Marco YMCA swimmers look to make winning swims at state

Madeline Burt, Luca Gurgenidze and Madison Bonfitto look forward to swimming in the Florida Age Group Championships (formerly Junior Olympics) at the University of Florida in Gainesville on July 19. They, and Lauren Faremouth, not in the photo, will be representing the Greater Marco Family YMCA Swim Team.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Madeline Burt, Luca Gurgenidze and Madison Bonfitto look forward to swimming in the Florida Age Group Championships (formerly Junior Olympics) at the University of Florida in Gainesville on July 19. They, and Lauren Faremouth, not in the photo, will be representing the Greater Marco Family YMCA Swim Team.

Luca Gurgenidze works on his breaststroke during a Greater Marco Family YMCA Swim Team practice. He has qualified for several events in the Florida Age Group Championships (formerly Junior Olympics) at University of Florida in Gainesville on July 19.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Luca Gurgenidze works on his breaststroke during a Greater Marco Family YMCA Swim Team practice. He has qualified for several events in the Florida Age Group Championships (formerly Junior Olympics) at University of Florida in Gainesville on July 19.

Madison Bonfitto slices through the water as she practices her freestyle for the Greater Family Marco Island Swim Team.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Madison Bonfitto slices through the water as she practices her freestyle for the Greater Family Marco Island Swim Team.

Roger LaLonde Staff (3)
Madeline Burt works on her butterfly stroke during the Greater Marco Family YNCA Swim Team practice. She has qualified to compete in the Florida Age Group Championships (formerly Junior Olympics) on July 19 at University of Floirda in Gainesville.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde Staff (3) Madeline Burt works on her butterfly stroke during the Greater Marco Family YNCA Swim Team practice. She has qualified to compete in the Florida Age Group Championships (formerly Junior Olympics) on July 19 at University of Floirda in Gainesville.

Steve Reynolds Special to the Eagle
Luca Gurgenidze, 8, was the standout at the 2012 Neurosurgical Associates 2012 Summer Invitational at Florida Gulf Coast University on Saturday. He was the top point scorer in the 8-and-under competition. He won the 50-meter backstroke, 50 freestyle and breaststroke, while placing second in the 50 butterfly. He, Madeline Burt, Lauren Faremouth and Madison Bonfitto advance to the Florida Age Group Championships at the University of Florida in Gainesville on July 19.

Photo by Steve Reynolds

Steve Reynolds Special to the Eagle Luca Gurgenidze, 8, was the standout at the 2012 Neurosurgical Associates 2012 Summer Invitational at Florida Gulf Coast University on Saturday. He was the top point scorer in the 8-and-under competition. He won the 50-meter backstroke, 50 freestyle and breaststroke, while placing second in the 50 butterfly. He, Madeline Burt, Lauren Faremouth and Madison Bonfitto advance to the Florida Age Group Championships at the University of Florida in Gainesville on July 19.

Kamal Farhat, YMCA swim team director, has been turning out competitive young swimmers for years.

This year is no different.

He will have four competitors at the Florida Age Group Championships (formerly Junior Olympics) on July 19 at the University of Florida at Gainesville.

They are Luca Gurgenidze, 8, Madeline Burt and Lauren Faremouth, both 10 and Madison Bonfitto, 12.

They qualified as part of the 620 swimmers that attacked the pool at Florida Gulf Coast University on June 16 to earn the right to move on to state competition.

Gurgenidze, was like a fish in water, swimming smoothly and quickly, finishing as the overall best point scorer in the 8-and-under competition.

He won the 50-meter breaststroke, backstroke and freestyle races, while finishing second in the butterfly.

"He came in second only because he didn't care about winning that one," Farhat said. "The other three he won easily."

Gurgenidze also competed in the 10-and-under for more experience, finishing in the top eight for overall points.

Bonfitto qualified for state in the 11-12 age group. Her times send her to state in the 50 butterfly, 50 freestyle and 50 breaststroke.

Lauren Faremouth, 10 and under, qualified in the 50 and 100 breaststroke. In another competition she had already qualified for the 100 and 400 freestyle and 100 backstroke.

Burt, won the 50 butterfly. "Their chances to win are very good, because they will be prepared," Farhat said. "They are self-motivated, dedicated, work hard and have a lot of heart. They want to win."

Gurgenidze gained experience and confidence when he raced against 10-and-under swimmers.

"I made times as good or better in the races," he said. "I think I prepare better. I want to win every time."

Burt said, "I like my chances at state. I concentrate on good mechanics and making the right strokes."

Bonfitto said, "My times are the same as them (competitors). I'll be prepared."

For years Farhat's program has been a feeder for area high schools, many going to Lely and to St. John Neumann. His daughters, Mercedes and Louisa, were among the best at Lely. Marco's Wesley Blassneck, also in Lely swimming record books, is now on a swimming scholarship at Eastern Michigan University,

The key for longevity Farhat said is to "Not beat them up. Teach them. Push them, but don't beat them up trying to succeed."

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features