Okotoks Stingrays impress at home meet
Swimming: Summer swim club finishes second at two-day mega event
Wednesday, Jun 11, 2014 06:00 am
Experience doesn’t count for everything.
The Okotoks Stingrays finished with the second most points at their annual home meet, June 6-7 at the Riley Minue Pool, with approximately half of their swimmers enjoying their first year of competition in the pool.
“We’ve had a lot of best times,” said Stingrays assistant coach Brandon Nori. “We had a lot of first-year swimmers that got in the water and went very fast, way better than expected.”
The two-day event was the biggest in club history with 422 swimmers representing eight teams and 87 of the 94 Stingrays taking part in the event.
As just the second meet in the summer swim season, the Stingrays coaches are looking for the meet as a building block for its youthful racers.
“It’s just to make sure they finish their races, try not to get disqualified,” Nori said. “To do their best, have fun.”
For some of the more tenured members of the club it was a weekend to build a bid towards the regionals and ultimately the provincial championships, held in August in Edmonton. Fourteen year-old Joseph Haworth posted first-place swims in the 50m butterfly, 50m backstroke and was second in both the 200m IM and 100m breaststroke.
Branden Bonham took top-spot in the 50m freestyle and finished third in the 100m freestyle and 50m backstroke.
“I swam 100 free and 50 back and took time off in both of them,” Bonham said. “I remember beating my time (in 100 free) and I wasn’t very happy because I wanted to take more time off, but I can still take time off.
“We’re still getting into shape slowly and I think the best meet will probably be closer to the end of the season.”
The two Stingrays teamed up in the four-person relay with Will Blackie and Cole Cotnam to win both the 200m medley relay and 200m freestyle relay races.
Other top finishers included four Okotoks siblings. Eight-year-old Jorja Inglis and six-year-old Brock Inglis who both finished tied for first among all competitors with 36 points with four gold medals each. Twelve-year-old Teghan Inglis contributed three golds and one silver while Easton Inglis, 10, added a pair of golds, one silver and one bronze.
Elsewhere, 14-year-old Laurence Ricard produced gold medals in the 200m IM and freestyle and was a silver medallist in the 50m butterfly and 100m breaststroke.
Twelve-year-old Teagan Broadley walked away with a medal of every colour, earning gold medals in the 100m and 50m backstroke, silver in the 100m IM and bronze in the 200m freestyle.
All told, the Stingrays engineered 732 points, 132 personal best swims, 56 podium finishes in individual races as well as 10 relay medals.
Bonham said as hosts there’s never a dull moment over the two-day meet at the Okotoks Recreation Centre.
“It’s nice to be able to have a weekend with all your buddies from swimming,” he said. “It’s very hectic. You don’t get much time to just sit down, but it’s a good hectic.”
Next up for the Stingrays is the Calgary Swordfish meet at SAIT on June 21, followed by a short trip south to the High River Otters’ annual event on July 12. To find out more about the Okotoks Stingrays go to okotoksstingrays.com