Eight is enough for Stingrays
Swimming: Foothills swimmers race into Alberta Summer Games
Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014 06:00 am
The race to repeat is on.
The Foothills Stingrays will make up eight of the 28 athlete contingent for Zone 2 as it looks to retain its first-place finish from two years ago when the 2014 Alberta Summer Games hit Airdrie in late July.
“It’s a lot more pressure now because now we’re some of the older kids and we’re looked up to as the ones who won the banner,” said Stingray Kaitlyn Bouchard, who qualified for her third Summer Games. “At other meets it’s less of a team event, more individual. This one is more team because you’re trying to get the one banner.
“One of my friends (Stingray) Chyanne Simpson, this is her third year too, we’ve gone together all three years so I’m really excited.”
Bouchard, 15, is eager to tip her toes into the Summer Games atmosphere for a third time after thoroughly enjoying her previous two experiences in Peace River (2010) and Lethbridge (2012).
“You really get to know the people who are on your team and I’ve found it really encouraging to go,” said Bouchard. “It almost is a self-confidence boost for me to go. It was actually really nice.
“I want to get first, but we’ll see.”
Bouchard, Simpson, Emilia Hesterman, Michael McMahon, Megan Deering, Alycia Weber, Kaitlyn Lumby and Mitchel Ochitwa will be flying the Stingrays flag in Airdrie after swimming their way through the Summer Games trials in Canmore on June 7.
Deering said qualification was made more challenging than her trip through trials en route to the 2012 games in Lethbridge.
“This time was different from last time,” Deering said. “Last time if you got top-two in an event you went (through) and this time it was top-two in your age group for all the events, the amounts of points you had.”
The 13-year-old wants to land on the podium in her second trip through the elite youth showcase and maintain Zone 2’s dominance in the pool.
“I would like to medal, that would be fun,” she said. “And hopefully be on a relay or two.”
Fifteen-year-old Michael McMahon qualified for his second consecutive Summer Games though he opted to attend the 2012 national swim meet instead. It’s an option he’s still holding out hope for this time around as both meets run on the same weekend in late July.
“I do want to go to this event,” he said. “But I do also want to go to nationals which I still need to qualify for.”
McMahon swam to first-place finishes in the 200m IM, 100m breaststroke and 400m freestyle to put a stamp on his berth into the Summer Games.
One Stingray used the Summer Games trials as a stepping-stone to one of the biggest meets of the swim season.
Rachel Sylvestre, 13, earned her A time swim in the 100m breaststroke to book her ticket to the Age Group Championships and bypass the pressure of advancing through the age group trials meet.
“I needed a 1:25 and I got a 1:23,” Sylvestre said. “I was going for trials for age groups and had a 1:26 in it and just missed it (the A-time) by a little bit and then I tried this one and got it.”
The Age Group Championships run July 2-6 in Edmonton. The 2014 Alberta Summer Games run July 24-27 in Airdrie.
For more information on the Stingrays go to foothillstingrays.com