The Trail Stingrays dive into their competitive summer swimming program with a meet in Nelson this weekend.
The Stingrays have been training hard for the last month to prepare for the meet and while numbers aren’t as robust as other years, the team has a strong group of returning swimmers led by returning coaches Jennifer Chung, Kayla Fraser, and Diego Greenwood.
“The numbers are on the smaller side this year, but we have a lot of swimmers returning, and doing really well, so I’m excited to see them swim this year,” said Stingrays coach Fraser, who also competes.
The Nelson Neptunes host the first meet of the season, with eight teams competing including Trail, the Castlegar Aquanauts, the Grand Forks Pirhanas, Colville Valley Sharks, Revelstoke Aquaducks, Kimberley Seahorses, and the Creston Swim Club.
“We have a big group going for our numbers,” said Fraser. “We have a lot of good swimmers this year, so expectations are pretty high.”
Every year swimmers look to improve their strokes and speed in the pool, yet to achieve those personal best times in a 25-metre pool, particularly when swimming up to four lengths or more in any given race, there is an aspect of the swim that is often overlooked.
“We are really going to focus on turns this year and work on the walls,” said Fraser. “It’s important in every swim.”
The Stingrays look forward to another active summer, with meets almost every weekend, and workouts increasing from three days to five days a week starting in June. The swim team will also begin training with Rossland swimmers in the Rossland Pool beginning June 4 with registration at the pool at 5:30 p.m. – just in time for the Stingrays to host their own meet at the Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre on June 9-10.
Fraser says she is looking forward to the Stingrays Swim Meet even more this year as organizers will introduce a ‘Jamboree’ style meet.
“I think it’s going to be really exciting because the swimmers will be competing according to their speed versus their age, and I think that’s going to help them out a lot,” said Fraser. “Usually they’re swimming in their age group, but this way we’re going to mix them together according to best times, and not their age or gender, so more competitive that way.”
Fraser began coaching last year after swimming competitively for eight years with the Stingrays and TRAX Swim Clubs, and has embraced the challenge and unique perspective of being on the deck rather than in the pool.
“I really like it, it’s been a lot of fun working with the kids. Working with the older kids is really fun because it’s sharpening their skills and stuff, but also working with the younger kids – it reminds me of when I was a kid and how much fun it was for me.”