The Trail Stingrays swam to strong finishes in the pool on the weekend at the Kootenay Regional Swim Meet in Castlegar.
A total of 14 Stingray swimmers competed in the event and came away with 25 individual medals, five relay medals, and a number of personal best times.
“It went very well,” said Stingrays’ coach Samme Beatson. “The Stingrays had an amazing swim meet. Everybody brought their best effort and turned in very good results.”
Indeed, the Stingrays’ coach led by example winning two gold medals in 50 and 100-metre butterfly and two silver in 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke in Division 7. Beatson met provincial qualifying times in every race, and is a multiple medal winner at past provincial meets, yet the dedicated coach and competitor prefers to focus on the accomplishments of her swimmers.
Every Stingray swimmer qualified for the provincial meet by finishing in the top three or by meeting the provincial qualifying times, either individually or in the relay, said Beatson.
“I knew that we would do well but I didn’t know we would do so well; I am really proud of the results that came out that.”
Four of the top Trail Stingray swimmers, Elijah Grebe, Juliana Zhou, Diego Greenwood, and Johnny Hodgkins, will attend the B.C. Summer Swimming Association provincials Aug. 16-18 at the Spani Outdoor pool in Coquitlam.
“There will be lots of tough competition, overwhelming in fact, so we hope to have everyone prepared for that,” added Beatson.
Grebe took home four medals at the regionals, racing to two gold in 50 and 100-m freestyle and two silver in 50 fly and 100 breastroke.
In Div. 2 girls, Zhou claimed silver medals in 50-m breaststroke and 50 fly, and a bronze in 50 back, while Hodgkins placed second in 50 back with a provincial qualifying time, and third in 100 free. Greenwood sprinted to gold in Div. 4 50 free, and captured two silver medals in 100 free and the 200-m Individual Medley.
Page Marrandino came third in Div. 2 girls 100 free, while in Div. 4 girls, Keandra Billingsley won three bronze medals in 50 and 100 free, and 50 fly, and Nicole Merry placed third in 200 IM.
Daniel Merry was also a triple medal winner in Div. 5 boys, taking first in 50 fly, and third in 100 fly and 100 back.
Sam Grebe rounded out the impressive performances with gold in Div. 8 100 breaststroke, and three silver medals in 50 and 100 free, and 50 fly.
The Div. 4 girls relay team comprised of Georgia Merry, Kayla Fraser, Nicole Merry and Billingsley swam to gold in both the medley relay and the freestyle relay, while Melissa Pitman, Marrandino, Maddy Fraser, and Zhou placed third in the Div. 4 girls medley relay. Not to be outdone, the Div. 5 boys relay team of Elijah Grebe, T.J. Worsley, Greenwood, and Daniel Merry won first place in both the freestyle and medley relays.
“I am very proud of the team, although it was quite a bit smaller than it was last year especially those attending the swim meets, but for the number of swimmers we had, it was very, very successful.”