The Trail Stingrays returned from the B.C. Summer Swimming Association (BCSSA) provincial meet in Nanaimo with an unprecedented medal haul.
“It was great, absolutely amazing,” said Stingrays coach Samme Beatson. “Everybody swam best times, which is exactly what we wanted, and the team overall, we won 13 medals, which is the most I can remember.”
The Stingrays also finished 18th overall out of 62 teams, an incredible accomplishment for the local club.
The Rays bounty included 11 medals mined by the dynamic sibling duo of Eden and Dylan Kormendy.
“They did very well this weekend, the Kormendy’s,” said Beatson. “They were ranked in the top three for their events but once you get to provincials it can go any way. I’m just really proud they were able to do so well.”
Dylan, a Div. 1 boys swimmer, led the charge with three golds and two silver, blowing away the competition in the 50-metre backstroke, which he won by almost two seconds, as well as taking gold in the 100-m individual medley (IM), and the 200 medley regional relay. Dylan also took silver in the 50-m breastroke and 50-m butterfly – narrowly missing top spot by three-tenths of a second.
Eden supplemented the riches with three individual silver and a bronze medal, finishing second in the 100 IM, 50 free, 100 free, and third in the 50 breaststroke.
She and the Stingrays’ Aby Elwood also swam with the Kootenay region team that placed second in the regional medley relay.
Amazingly, Eden, a Div. 3 swimmer, and Tess Markus, a Div. 4 swimmer, won bronze with the older girls Div. 5 freestyle relay team, breaking the two-minute barrier with team mates Madison Green and Jennifer Chung.
“It is pretty amazing,” said Beatson. “The whole relay team they all went best times on the relay, which was great – that doesn’t always happen, I was just really proud.”
While Kormendy’s mother Marcy expected some good results from Dylan, who won gold in the breaststroke last year, she was a little surprised at the big splash her daughter made.
“Eden’s older (than Dylan) so it’s a lot harder, so she kind of surprised us, but they sure cleaned up that’s for sure.”
Among the other medalists, in Div. 6 Oleg Liferovich earned two silver medals in the 50 and 100 fly, while Eric Gonzalez captured bronze in the 50 free, and narrowly missed the podium in the 100 free, finishing fourth.
From the beginning of the season, Beatson’s plan was for each swimmer to improve their stroke, which she hoped would lead to personal-best times. Individual and team results at the regional and provincial swim meets more than illustrate just how effective her approach has been.
“I hope that the club will want me back again, because I really, really enjoyed coaching this year, and I’d be really excited if they should give me the opportunity to do it again.”