Stingrays breakthrough in the city

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he Foothills Stingrays are riding a wave of positive momentum following an impressive early season meet.

Foothills set nine new club records, one overall club record, a new provincial record, earned 26 medals and achieved seven provincial time standards in a stellar showing at the Killarney Invitational held at Calgary’s Repsol Centre.

“One thing that has changed from last year is I was growing a lot and injured my shoulder really badly,” said Stingray Tess Barber. “This year I was trying to build up my strength because I wanted to increase and to do the best I can in 50 breaststroke and be top of the top.

“Last year it was better near the end of the year and now that I’m 12 and at the top of my age level I really want to show what I can do.”

So far, so good.

Barber picked up gold in the 50 and 100m breaststroke and was a double silver medallist in the 100m IM and 200m breaststroke.

She achieved a championship time in the 200m breaststroke.

“It’s really exciting,” Barber said.

“Last year at the start of the season I was not doing well at all. It’s insanely different, going from being able to swim and barely getting into the finals, not really chipping off a lot of time to now taking off huge amounts of time at the start of the year.”

Hailey Thiele shattered not one, not two, not three, but four Stingray records in the 8 and under girls division in the 50m and 100m backstroke, 50m butterfly and 100m IM.

The latter benchmark previously stood for 11 years.

She was the bronze medallist in Calgary in the 50m butterfly and 50m backstroke.

“In the fly I’m just a natural at it,” she said. “For the back I get the speed from my sister (Abby). We spend most of our time going over it in my practice.”

The record-setting exploits were symptomatic of the age group as a whole.

Stingray Bryiar Murphy, also 8, set a pair of new club records in the 50m and 200m breaststroke.

Her top-eight finish in the 50m sprint was also a first.

“I’ve never made it to finals before,” Murphy said.

Elsewhere Finlay Knox established an age group and overall club record with a 57.72 finish in the 100m IM while teammate Justin Lisoway set a pair of 17 and over Stingray records in the 100m freestyle and 50m butterfly.

Adding medals were a number of experienced Stingrays.

Knox picked up five gold medals, Lisoway added gold and two silver and Kennedy Loewen produced gold and bronze. Adding silver medals were Megan Deering, Summer Fedor and Keton Murphy.

Bronze medallists include Christopher Giles, Abby Thiele and Alycia Weber.

For more information on the swim club go to foothillsstingrays.com

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