Foothills five stamp provincial ticket
Swimming: Stingray swimmers earn berth into Age Group Championships
By: By Remy Greer
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 27, 2013 06:00 am
It was trial by fire in the pool for members of the Foothills Stingrays last weekend.
Five members of the swim club made good on the last chance to qualify for provincials by advancing through the Age Group Provincial Trials, Feb. 22-24 at the Talisman Centre.
Stingray Morgan Pierce shook off a shaky start to win the gold medal in the 400m individual medley (IM) in the 12-13 boys division and swim to a spot at the provincials.
“I remember how I saw the person that I just barely beat ahead of me in the butterfly,” said Pierce, about the first leg of the four stroke swim. “I decided to pick it up and I won.”
The gold medal was earned in a personal best time of 6:32.93, nearly two minutes less than his previous benchmark in the IM. Not bad for the 12-year-old’s first attempt at the 400m swim in two years.
Pierce, a Grade 7 student at Ecole Okotoks Junior High School, will be making his second consecutive appearance at the Age Group Provincial Championships. He will be looking to build on a gold medal in the 200m butterfly at last year’s event and to pick up additional A-times.
The Age Group Trials are earmarked for swimmers who have earned B-qualifying times, but have not yet reached the provincial standard, or A-times.
In order to earn a berth at the Age Group Provincial Championships, March 1 to 3 at the Talisman Centre, a competitor needs to either win an event or eclipse the A-time standard in the given age group.
Stingray Jada Cotham opted for the latter route. The 10-year-old’s personal best swim of 1:46.04 in the 100m breaststroke gave her the elusive A-time she needed to earn her first age group provincial qualification.
“I got my A-time and it was a very good swim,” she said. “I went fast at first and then got a lot faster.”
Cotham, who also swam in the 200m and 50m breaststroke finals, said she’s anxious to swim next week in the same pool with an eye on adding another A-time to her repertoire.
Nine-year-old newcomer Steffen Botha continued to make waves in the water for the Stingrays. The first-year competitive swimmer left no doubt as to his eligibility for the provincial meet by swimming to A-times in the 200m, 100m and 50 breaststroke.
Teammate Max Gurtler also booked his first ticket to the meet as the 12-year-old won the gold medal in the 400m freestyle, and earned a bronze in the 800m and 1,500m freestyle. Gurtler missed his A-time in the latter by a mere second in the grueling distance swim.
Elsewhere, Stingray Sophie Faye will be swimming with the province’s best in the 13 to 14 age group after earning two berths in the Age Group Championships. Faye, 14, tied her personal best of 5:06 in the 400m freestyle and was seven seconds off her top swim in the 800m freestyle. However, both swims were under the A-time standard for provincials, where Faye also appeared in 2011.
The Age Group Provincial Championships go from Friday to Sunday at the Talisman Centre in Calgary. For more information on the Stingrays go to foothillsstingrays.com.