After a couple of meets at their home pool to get ready, the Duncan Stingrays swim team faced its first true test of the season at the 2014 FastSwim hosted by the Richmond Rapids at Watermania.
The Stingrays sent 14 swimmers to the meet, where they were among nearly 500 competitors from across the province.
"We are very proud of our swimmers," head coach Leanne Sirup said. "Their hard work and dedication over the first 14 weeks of this season are evident by their results.
"What’s more, their performances were done in a predominantly provincial racing arena, which will undoubtedly give the swimmers confidence when going into their provincial championships."
Half a dozen Stingrays achieved personal bests in 100 per cent of their races: Oliver Castle, Olin Dahlstrom, Ty Dahlstrom, Cailine Keirstead, Dylan Kruger and Brielle Woodruff. Four more – Gavin Morrison, James Ogihara-Kertz, Mary Paridaen vanVeen and Savanah Van Nieuwkerk – had personal bests in all but one of their events.
The rest of the pack also put up personal records. Laura Kissack posted six, Jeremy Kissack and Sophie Paridaen vanVeen had two each, and Haakon Koyote had one.
In total, the Stingrays had personal bests in 69 of their 84 races, good for 82 per cent.
"If we exceed 60 per cent as a group we are happy for our swimmers," Sirup said.
Olin Dahlstrom finished with medals in all of his races, including three golds and two silvers. Laura Kissack made the top five in all of her events, and collected one medal of each colour. Kruger was in the top 10 in each of his races, with three silver medals. Castle made the top eight in all of his events, including one bronze. Van-Nieuwkerk also reached the podium with a bronze.
The club also had several swimmers put up provincial qualifying times. Ogihara-Kertz earned a AA qualifier in the 100m freestyle, Kissack recorded AA championship qualifiers in the 100m backstroke and 200m individual medley, Keirstead earned a AAA qualifier in the 50m breaststroke, and Kruger had a total of four AAA championship qualifiers in the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke and 200m breaststroke.
Castle picked up his first Canadian Age Group qualifier in the 13 and under 200m backstroke, and broke a 20-year-old team record in the 400m IM, shaving nearly five seconds of Greg Bate’s mark from 1994.
Finally, 11 of the 14 Stingrays climbed the rankings in at least one event: Morrison, VanNieuwkerk, Keirstead, Kruger, Ogihara-Kertz, Castle, Laura Kissack, Jeremy Kissack, Olin Dahlstrom, Ty Dahlstrom and Sophie Paridaen vanVeen.
"Of those 84 events we raced, the Stingrays climbed the rankings in 64 of those events – that’s three out of every four races the Stingrays made their presence known," a proud Sirup stated.