Top Trail Stingrays off to provincials

Trail Stingrays will make the trip to Nanaimo for the B.C. Summer Swimming Association’s provincial championships this weekend.

A strong contingent of Trail Stingrays will make the trip to Nanaimo for the B.C. Summer Swimming Association’s provincial championships this weekend.

The Stingrays will take 17 swimmers to compete at the provincials including: Josie Dunham, Dylan Kormendy, Ian Markus, Reid Dunham, Josh Ballarin, Aby Elwood, Eden Kormendy, Sharman Thomas, Tess Markus, Martin Gonzalez, Jennifer Chung, Maddie Green, Samantha Theobald, Martin Gonzalez, Timothy Chung, Eric Gonzalez and Jesse Bartsoff.

After winning the Regional Meet in Colville earlier this month, the team is hopeful that it will do well at the B.C. meet, but at the provincial level the competition becomes much more severe and a top 16 is considered a great finish.

“The provincials are really competitive,” said coach Samme Beatson. “Some people even joke that it is the World Championships of summer swimming because it is the highest competition for these kids.”

Beatson was one of Trail’s best performers at last year’s provincial meet, taking home two silver, a bronze and a fourth-place finish in Div. 7 girls. Fruitvale’s Dylan Kormendy is coming off a record-breaking performance in the Div.1 boys 50-metre breastroke in Colville and hopes to repeat the gold he won in the same race at last year’s provincial meet.

While the team has many medal hopefuls, Beatson says that at the provincial level, pursuing personal bests is the most important element.

“I really hope that my swimmers will achieve best times because that is what we have been working towards this summer. Any medals that my team may receive will be an amazing feat.”

The BCSSA provincial start today and run until Sunday.