Family of athletes found friends and a place to train at the YMCA

Since he was four years old Drew Shellenberger has been competing in Triathlons. He began his training at the Baxter YMCA saying, “[the YMCA] has been a pretty big place in my life since I was young. I came here for basketball, soccer, and flag football.”

Now he’s a senior at Southport High School where he participates in swimming and track and field. Drew broke the school’s 44-year-old 100 meter breaststroke record and the 200 meter Individual Medley record for his high school and the township.

He is a junior triathlete and competes across the country to obtain the opportunity to compete all over the world. Over the years he’s traveled to Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, and Argentina. Drew credits the Baxter YMCA for “pretty much starting everything.”

Drew Shellenberger crosses the finish line
Drew Shellenberger crosses the finish line

It’s in the Genes

Both of Drew’s parents have been coming to the Baxter YMCA for many years.

“My family have been Y members long before I was born,” Shellenberger said. “Long before I was even questioned in this world.”

His older sister, Erica, who excels in golf at Embry-Riddle University, was also instrumental in getting him started as a swimmer when he was four. Drew’s father, Todd, discovered triathlon through his friends at the Baxter Y, and they helped him become more competitive. Todd Shellenberger has completed over 100 triathlon and running races over 22 years, including Ironman distance triathlons, Half Ironman World Championship events, Olympic and Sprint distance triathlons and marathons. In 2014, he qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. Drew maintains the same triathlon lifestyle while his father works as a coach and personal trainer for the Baxter Y.

The Shellenberger family
The Shellenberger family
The YMCA in the Community

Besides his father working here, Drew has a special connection with the Baxter YMCA.

“The Y has created a welcoming environment for people who come in and work out.”

Drew and his friends come to the YMCA on off seasons to stay fit and hang out. They are greeted with smiles and a community of people who care about everyone who walks inside.

“Everyone is welcoming and it’s very non-judgmental.”

Drew went on to say how all of his childhood training led him to where he is today.

“Now that I am older I can incorporate harder workouts. I can use [the Y] facility rather than the gym at Southport which doesn’t have the variety of workouts.”

Thank you and good luck, Drew!

Soon Drew will be competing in Washington and Iowa in an attempt to advance toward the world competitions. To get ready for the races Drew will be training at the YMCA. He plans to major in Aerospace Engineering in college and compete in triathlons professionally.

Your friends at the YMCA wish you the best of luck in all of your endeavors, Drew. Thank you for inspiring us!

Drew Shellenberger at national championships
Drew at the National Championships

Let the Y be your training partner

Interested in doing a triathlon? The Baxter YMCA has a Tri Tornadoes triathlon team for youth and adults. Area YMCAs also offer lots of running and walking groups, swimming and biking training programs and events.

Need more inspiration? Read more success stories and then get moving!