Stingrays take in Commonwealth Games trials

Swimming: Foothills pair compete with Canada's elite

By: Remy Greer

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014 06:00 am

Foothills Stingray Carly Ede swims the backstroke at a practice session at the Riley Minue Pool at the Okotoks Recreation Centre. Ede and teammate Layne Guidinger competed at the Commonwealth Games trials in Victoria from April 2-5.
Foothills Stingray Carly Ede swims the backstroke at a practice session at the Riley Minue Pool at the Okotoks Recreation Centre. Ede and teammate Layne Guidinger competed at the Commonwealth Games trials in Victoria from April 2-5.
Phillip Currie/OWW

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Two Foothills Stingrays were small fish in the biggest pond in Canada last weekend.

Stingrays standouts Carly Ede and Layne Guidinger can be forgiven for being a little star struck in competing with the nation’s best at the Commonwealth Games Trials in Victoria, April 2-5.

“It’s an amazing meet. It’s really exciting to go and see the Olympians that you’ve watched on television and you’re swimming with them,” said Ede, 16, a backstroke specialist. “Hilary Caldwell, she’s a backstroker and she’s just really fast and of course seeing Ryan Cochrane, who got a silver medal at the last Olympics.”

The trials for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, open to all swimmers boasting races under the Senior national time standard, also served as a qualifying meet for the Pan Pacific and Junior Pan Pacific Games as well as the Junior Olympics.

Ede, a veteran of the Senior Canadian Championships, had the experience not to be in awe of her all age and often adult competitors.

“I had already been for the experience so this time I wanted to make sure I was going for best times and moving up the rankings,” Ede said. “The first time it was intimidating and now I get super excited because there is no pressure because it’s not like I’m going in to final. That would be lovely, but that’s probably what I’m working for in the future.

“I moved up and dropped time in two races and in one race I was right on my best time.”

Ede posted a personal best of 29.6 seconds in the all-out-sprint that is the 50m backstroke, earned her fastest ever swim in the 100m backstroke (1:06.68) and just missed setting a new benchmark in the 200m race.

“The 50 is such a fast race, it’s a sprint, and all I remember is my arms were flying and I was in Lane 1 which generally isn’t the fastest lane, they separate them by the fastest going in the middle, and I didn’t touch last,” Ede said.

“In my 200 back, I was in the far lane also and I touched third in my heat.”

Teammate Guidinger matched the two for three personal best swims in the backstroke. The 14 year-old set new standards in the 50m and 100m races where she touched the wall in a time of 1:08.38.

“Layne was going a lot for the experience because this was her first one and she’s only 14 and she got the experience. A best time in the 50 and 100 back,” said Stingrays head coach Todd Melton.

“She didn’t get a best time in the 200, but that’s partially because this is her third taper in a little while. We couldn’t have done it any other way. She rested for westerns in February, rested in March for A’s and then we had this right after.

“All the races were good and it was a big eye opener for both of them. It’s the fastest kids in the country and they’re all rested.”

The Grade 9 student at John Paul II Collegiate found out quickly there was no rest for the weary at the Saanich Commonwealth Place.

“I was a bit scared, intimidated by all the people, but it was good the second time we got in the pool,” Guidinger said. “The age range was from 13 to about 26 or 27, all the Canadian Olympic team from London was there and it was cool to watch them in finals.

“It was awesome, quite the experience.”

Guidinger, who qualified for the event in the 50m backstroke, didn’t disappoint in her signature event on the big stage racing to a personal best of 31.75 seconds.

“I was going more for the experience and to maybe get a few best times,” she said. “I’d like to next year maybe make the finals, that would be my goal for the next few years.”

Guidinger was back in the pool in Saskatchewan last week for the Best of the West Camp, a selection team based on the top swimmers from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba between the ages of 13 and 15 to determine the fastest province.

She will join her competitive stream teammates with the Stingrays for a training camp in Newport Beach, California from April 18-27.

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