After working more than two years as an assistant coach of the Westchester Family YMCA Orcas swim team, Gaku R. Ito has been appointed head coach.
Ito was selected for the position after nearly a year-long search. Since Ito was appointed as assistant coach in 2006, the Orcas have sent their swimmers to Junior Olympics and they took their first team in over a decade to YMCA Nationals in Maryland this past summer.
“I am truly humbled and honored to take on the title of head coach of the Orcas,” said Ito. “Working with the team, its parent volunteers and the YMCA staff has truly been a blessing and I look forward to our future together. I am confident that we can take this team in the right direction as we head toward a bigger and brighter future.”
At this year’s YMCA Championships, the Orcas returned 49 swimmers to finals for individual events and relays. The team tied its rivals, the CCY Dragons, for the most first-place relays, with seven. Overall, the Orcas earned more gold medals than any other medal from second to eighth place.
The Orcas have also found another new coach in West Carter, who is from Connecticut, where he swam at the YMCA, high school and college levels. Carter has been a coach and organizer for various aquatic programs at the YMCA. Additionally, the Orcas are seeking to add a third coach for the young/beginner level swimmers.
Last month marked the end of the YMCA League Season and the beginning of the spring/summer season, with the reentry of the Orcas into Southern California’s USA-Swimming League as part of the Pacific Committee. Tryouts are scheduled throughout the season.
With their home pool temporarily closed for repairs and maintenance, the Orcas can be found training at nearby Loyola Marymount University, Inglewood YMCA and Culver City YMCA.