Stingrays show bite at provincials
Swimming: Foothills swim club earns 11 medals, establishes 17 club records
By: By Remy Greer
| Posted: Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013 06:00 am
A Foothills Stingray is making a habit of groundbreaking performances at provincials.
After collecting the first provincial gold medal in club history four years ago, Justin Lisoway added to the record books by becoming the first Stingray to climb to the top of the podium in four consecutive years.
The 12-year-old Lisoway won the gold medal in the 100m individual medley (IM) in a field of 13 and under competitors, swimming to a time of 107.99 at the Age Group Provincial Championships, March 1-3 at the Talisman Centre in Calgary.
“Going into it I was a bit nervous because everybody was only a second apart,” said Lisoway, who benefited from positive reinforcement from coach Todd Melton prior to the race. “Todd told me I was the hardest trainer out of everybody in the group so don’t feel nervous about it.
“I wasn’t and I took off five seconds and blew everyone away.”
The Edison School student added to his medal collection with a second-place finish in the 400m IM, where he just edged bronze medalist and fellow Stingray Finlay Knox for the silver.
“I was going in confident and from my previous time I took off about 20 seconds. I was pretty excited about that,” Lisoway said. “I remember seeing Finlay underwater on the backstroke leg and just racing everybody and having fun with it. I think that’s why I went fast.”
Lisoway was not alone on the podium as the Stingrays collected 11 medals and established 17 new club records at a wildly successful provincial meet.
Emilia Hesterman picked up bronze medals in the 50m and 100m breaststroke in Calgary, securing her first podium finishes in seven trips to the provincial meet.
Hesterman swam to a personal best of 35.22 in the 50m breaststroke.
“I was going into the race and thinking about how fast I was going to go,” Hesterman said of the 50m swim. “I saw my time because I hadn’t beaten it from prelims, but I was really excited because I beat my time from Western Nationals.”
She also eclipsed the age group national standard for the 100m swim. The 13-year-old now has two of three required swims to qualify for the Age Group National championships in Montreal.
Jotham D’Ailly enjoyed a similar breakthrough meet in Calgary.
The 15-year-old made his last Age Group Championships, earmarked for 15-and under male competitors, count as D’Ailly locked down his first provincial silver medal in the 200m breaststroke.
“I was going into it pretty nervous,” D’Ailly said. “At the end of it I could see the guys beside me who got third and I was really racing to stay ahead of him.”
His swift swim in the 100m breaststroke of 1:10.17 in Calgary also booked D’Ailly a ticket to Age Group Nationals as the third of three required times for the July meet.
Stingray Layne Guidinger already earned a trip to the Montreal meet, but continued to collect age group qualifying swims. Despite missing her heat and being placed in an exhibition leg, the 13-year-old swam to her seventh national time in the 800m freestyle.
Guidinger’s name was prolific at provincials. She swam to a silver medal in the 200m breaststroke, a bronze in the 200m IM and a fourth place finish in the 100m IM.
“My friend Karah (from Edmonton Keyano), she was in third and I was in second (after preliminaries) and I was neck-and-neck with her the whole time and in the last 25 I went all out and beat her by a few tenths of a second,” Guidinger said of the silver medal swim, part of her best provincial meet in five tries. “I made finals in all of my races and I placed well and got more national times.”
The High River native’s 200m IM earned Guidinger a spot on Prospects West, a traveling all-star team featuring the top swimmers 13 and over in each discipline to compete at a summer meet in Kamloops.
Twelve year-old Kennedy Loewen swam to personal bests in six of seven events, highlighted by a sixth-place finish in the grueling 1,500m freestyle.
“It’s definitely a really long race and I miscounted by about 150m so I started going a lot faster than I should have on the last 350m,” said Loewen, a Grade 7 student at Senator Riley School. “It’s one of my favourites because I do enjoy long distance more than sprinting.”
Four Stingrays also received plaudits for being near the top in the country in their age group for the youth recognition time standard. Megan Deering cracked the top-five for the 10 and under category; Lisoway and Finlay Knox swam to time standards of top-10 in the country while Hesterman and Guidinger were top-25 in Canada.
The provincial meet also pitted swim clubs against one another in an aggregate scoring system. The Stingrays finished second to the Alberta Marlin Aquatic Club out of Medicine Hat for the top Medium Team Award at the 2013 Age Group Provincial Championships.
For the latest on the Foothills Stingrays visit www.foothillsstingrays.com.