Westchester YMCA Orcas swim team member Brett Albert captured the gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke for 11-to-12-year-old boys at the 2008 Southern California Swimming Long Course Junior Olympics.

Twelve-year-old Albert, who finished in a time of 1:12.10, qualified for all 11 individual events offered at the meet.

“Going into the meet, Brett was seeded 12th, and after morning preliminaries, he was now seeded second going into the finals,” recalled Orcas head coach Gaku Ito. “He knew what critical mistake he had made in prelims that prevented him from going faster that morning.

“It was his start — if he could nail the start, he would be bound for an even faster time. Gold wasn’t even an issue at this point. For now, he just wanted to do his own personal best.”

Within the last 15 meters of the race, Albert surged with his kicks and touched out his opponent by half a second to win the gold.

Albert also finished third in the 50-meter backstroke (33.80), fourth in the 50-meter butterfly (31.67), sixth in the 200-meter individual medley (2:37.67) and ninth in the 50-meter breaststroke (37.46) and in the 100-meter butterfly (1:11.36).

Another Orca member Zachary Profozich, ten, placed eighth and ninth in the 50 and 100-meter breaststroke events respectively (43.39) and (1:32.96) for the ten and under boys age group. Teresa Lincoln, 17, finished tenth in the 15 and over girls 100-meter breaststroke (1:21.38).

Other representatives for the Westchester Family YMCA Orcas swim team were Christopher Abdelmalak, 12, Claire Funderburk, 11, Megan La Rose, 17, and Nichol Walloch, 13.

“I am very proud of the group and the entire team as well. We have come so far as a team,” said Ito.

The team will host the first meet of the 2008-2009 YMCA-League at Southwest College, Saturday and Sunday, October 11th and 12th.