Reader Contributed Sports

Mandell JCC Sharks Swim Team Enjoys Wave of Successes

Tess Sherry, Ava Hapkiewicz, Mackenzie Headley, Jocie Niemczyk, Ella Tevelde, Liv Sherry. Submitted photo
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The Sharks, the swim team from West Hartford’s Mandell JCC, had a very successful summer 2017 season.


The Mandell JCC Sharks Swim Team completed another successful summer season. The Sharks team made a splash this long course season, celebrating special swims, including a state record swim by 10 year-old Mackenzie Headley.

Mackenzie Headley – after Breaking State record in 10 & under 50 Butterfly

At Connecticut Age Group Championships the team finished in the top 10 for the fourth year in row, with a tremendous showing by the entire team.

Ten-year-old Mackenzie Headley won the 50 Breaststroke, 100 Butterfly, and the 50 Butterfly. In the 50 Butterfly, she set new state record with time of 32.51.

Thirteen-year-old Madison Hagberg won the 100 back and placed in the top 5 in 4 out of her 6 events. The coaches knew it would be great meet for the team when 14-year-old Emma Hapkiewicz finished second in the 1500 meter freestyle, the first event of the meet. Throughout the weekend Emma placed second in the 800 meter Freestyle and top 10 in all swims.

The Sharks also celebrated top 10 swims by the following swimmers: 13/14 years – Molly Miller, Jennifer Zhang, Erin Shea, Malone Revis, Tahlia Crowley, Erika Dipietro; 11/12 years – Kali Dominguez, Meghan Tiernan, Jacqui Fox, Vanessa Squillante, Julia Seguro; 9/10 years- Ella Tevelde, Cyrus Xu, Ava Hapkiewicz, Tess Sherry, Live Sherry, Jocelyn  Niemczyk.

In addition the team was well represented by swimmers Brooke Armstrong (14), Arianna Bishop (11), Daniela Echevarria (12), Emma Gullen (13), Tyler Grublich (12), Hally Laney (14), Alex Lee (11), Parker Munro (14), Ella Shafman (11), and Blake Wool (9).

At the Connecticut Senior Championship, the Sharks had 11 swimmers competing: Jamie Amell, Alex Chernysh, Natalie Chernysh, Samantha Dickinson, Julian Flores, Samantha Hagberg, Ian Harker, Aislinn Mitchell, Grace Moore, Charlotte Otis, and Matt Shea. Alex, Grace, Aislinn, Samantha, Natalie all had top 10 finishes. The team place 12th overall, the highest finish for the team in its history.

After the Connecticut Swimming Championships, the Sharks will compete at the Eastern Senior Zone Meet in Buffalo, NY. The meet features the best swimmers in the Eastern Zone Swimming. Representing the Sharks will be: Alex Chernysh, Natalie Cherynsh, Tahlia Crowley, Madison Hagberg, Emma Hapkiewicz, Aislinn Mitchell, and Samantha Hagberg.

Four Sharks swimmers are joining team Connecticut at the Eastern Zone Age Group Championships in Virginia. These swimmers are: Mackenzie Headley, Jocelyn Niemczyk, Cyrus Xu, and Kali Dominguez.

After a successful season the Sharks are excited for the 2017-2018 season. For more information contact Coach Dave Laudati at[email protected]g or visit the team site at

The Mandell JCC Sharks Swim Team is a nonprofit member of United States Swimming dedicated to the development of competitive and recreational swimmers through technique and endurance development. The Sharks Swim Team is a year round program that offers many different opportunities for swimmers Ages 6 and older. 

Jamie Amell, Alex Chernysh, Julian Flores, Matt Shea. Submitted photo

Grace Moore, Aislinn Mitchell, Samantha Hagberg, Natalie Chernysh. Submitted photo

Daniela Echevarria, Arianna Bishop, Vanessa Squillante, Kali Dominguez, Jacqui Fox, Meghan Tiernan, Julia Seguro, Ella Shafman Front – Alex Lee, Tyler Grubelich. Submitted photo

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