Stingrays break club records at nationals
Swimming: Foothills seven combine for 11 new time standards at Age Group Champs
By: By Remy Greer
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 06:00 am
eld their on the winter swim club’s biggest national stage with a long list of accomplishments.
The Stingrays set eight age group club records, three overall club records, qualified for seven finals and posted 20 top-20 finishes at the Canadian Age Group Championships, July 23 to 29 in Montreal.
The Age Group Championships are reserved for the elite in the Junior swimming ranks and are open only to swimmers with age group standard swims in three events. Seven Stingrays – Carly Ede, Jotham d’Ailly, Christyna Dashko, Layne Guidinger, Blaise Evelyn, Emilia Hesterman and Justin Lisoway – earned their spot in the Quebec pool.
Ede continued her gradual ascent up the charts in her third trip through age groups.
“I had high expectations, to final as many times as possible and to get best time,” she said. “The first time (at age groups) was for experience, the second one in Calgary last year was the first time I made finals and this one I made two finals.
“It just keeps getting better.”
The 15-year-old backstroke specialist took off 3.14 seconds from her personal best time during her seventh place showing in the 200m race and posted a tenth place finish in the 50m sprint.
“I could see everyone’s arms across the heat in the pool and I remember I was beating someone in the fast lane,” she said of the 200m backstroke final. “I’m going to make sure I’m going to touch before them.”
She was certainly used to her surroundings in La Belle Province after spending the week prior competing at the Canadian Summer Nationals, July 17-20 in Montreal.
The meet features swimmers of all ages, including those at the Senior level, but is earmarked for those with Senior national time standards which is one level above age group national times.
“There was no pressure because we weren’t expecting anything,” said Ede, whose competitors ranged in age from 14 to 30. “They’ve been swimming longer than me and are more experienced at the big meets so they can handle everything better.”
Despite the challenging circumstances, Ede managed to post two personal best times as a debutant for the Montreal-based meet in the 200m and 100m backstroke. A week later, Ede’s six Stingray teammates joined her for the Canadian championships where not everyone brought the same degrees of experience to the pool.
It was baptism by fire in Montreal for 12-year-old Lisoway.
“It was my first nationals, I was so pumped,” he said. “Before races I was kind of shaky and nervous. Everyone was huge, it was people from all across the country and they were all thirteen.
“I proved to myself that height and mass and guys that are six-feet-tall, it doesn’t really make a difference.”
Lisoway made his debut on the national stage swimming with chiefly older competitors in the thirteen and under category.
“It was one of my best meets of the year,” said Lisoway, entering Grade 8 at Edison School this fall. “I was one of 10 twelve-year-olds in the country to make nationals and I made a couple of finals.”
Lisoway finished eighth in the 200m individual medley (IM), a race featuring all four strokes, in a time 2:26.88.
“It was an outdoor pool and it was raining hard before my race and I could not breathe in the backstroke leg,” Lisoway said. “Two lanes over were both Albertans so I was trying to keep up with them because I raced them at provincials as well.
“I was going in ninth and ended up eighth because someone got disqualified.”
His best race was the 400m IM, a 10th place finish in which he cut more than five seconds off his personal best time in the event.
“That was really exciting for me and I equaled my short course time,” he said of the improved time. “Normally before a race I’m really nervous and sick to my stomach and before that one I felt pumped and ready to go. It’s a race I feel comfortable with.”
“This year I just tried to make finals and next year I’m hoping to get in a medal position.”
Lisoway also earned top-20 swims in the 200m, 100m and 50m backstroke.
Teammate Evelyn eclipsed the top-20 plateau in three events. The 14-year-old Stingray was eighth in the 200m breaststroke, eleventh fastest in the 100m breaststroke and fifteenth in the 50m breaststroke.
Thirteen-year-old Guidinger turned in six top-20 finishes, in the 400m IM, 100m breaststroke, 50m freestyle, 100m backstroke, 200m breaststroke and highlighted by her eighth place swim in the 200m backstroke.
D’Ailly, 15, was the eighth fastest in the 200m breaststroke. Dashko, in her final swim meet with the Stingrays as a 17-year-old graduate, posted her best showing in the 100m breast – a 41st place finish in a time of 1:30.39.
For more information on the Foothills Stingrays, go to foothillsstingrays.com