Duncan Stingrays qualify record number for Island long course meet

The Duncan Stingrays qualified a team-record 32 swimmers for the Vancouver Island Long Course Swimming Championships in Saanich last month. Due to other commitments, not all of the swimmers who qualified were able to attend, but those who did made it count.

Half a dozen swimmers achieved personal bests in all of their events over the weekend: Ty Dahlstrom, Dibs Fitzgerald, Mya Smith, Tiegan McDevitt, Montana Prystupa and Jeremy Kissack. Another 10 had PBs in all but one of their races: Lily Cochrane, Brielle Woodruff, Jasmine Kremer, Sophie Paridaen vanVeen, Malia Prystupa, Olin Dahlstrom, Dylan Kruger, Megan Lewis, Robyn Zinkan and James Ogihara-Kertz. Three others had PBs in all but two events: Mary Paridaen vanVeen, Cailine Keirstead and Oliver Castle.

The Stingrays also had two new provincial AA championship qualifiers, each of whom needed two qualifying times to earn an invitation. Fitzgerald qualified for the 11 and under AA provincials by adding a qualifying time in the 200m freestyle to a previous qualifier in the 100m free, and Ogihara-Kertz qualified for the 16 and over/senior provincials by adding a qualifying time in the 100m free to his previous qualifier in the 50m free.

Fitzgerald was one of three new provincial AAA qualifiers, thanks to a qualifying time in the 50m fly. Also putting up provincial AAA qualifying times were Ty Dahlstrom in the 400m free, having already qualified in the 50m fly, and Olin Dahlstrom in the 100m fly, having already qualified in the 50m fly.

Savanah VanNieuwkerk locked up her own qualification for the Canadian Age Group Championships. Swimmers need three qualifying times to make it into the Canadian meet, and Van-Nieuwkerk’s third came in the 200m breaststroke, after she had previously met the standard in the 50m and 100m breaststroke. Malia Prystupa also put up a national qualifying time in the 50m backstroke.

Three Duncan Swim Team records fell in Saanich. Oliver Castle set the new team mark in the boys 13/14 long course individual medley, with a time of 5:26.06, besting Greg Bate’s 22-year-old mark of 5:28.52. Another of Bate’s marks fell as his 25-year-old record of 1:44.28 in the 10 and under long course 100m breaststroke was edged out by Ty Dahlstrom’s 1:42.67. Dahlstrom also beat his own club record in the 200m backstroke twice. His old record of 3:19.85 was set in April, but he put up a time of 3:08.20 in the preliminaries in Saanich, and 3:07.39 in the finals.

Medal winners at the Island Long Course Championships included Ty Dahlstrom with six silvers and one bronze, Fitzgerald with one silver, Woodruff with one silver and one bronze, Olin Dahlstrom with two bronzes, McDevitt with one gold and one silver, Castle with four silvers, and Laura Kissack with one silver.

The Stingrays also earned a bronze in the 10 and under mixed gender 4x50m freestyle relay thanks to the team of Fitzgerald, Mary Paridaen vanVeen, Cochrane and Ty Dahlstrom. The club’s depth was also on display as for the first time ever, the Stingrays were able to enter two teams in the club relay. Unique to the Vancouver Island Championships, the club relay sees each club enters a team of eight swimmers: a male and female in each age group.

"The premise behind this is to showcase a cross section of an entire team and highlight the depth of their programs," Stingrays head coach Leanne Sirup said.

The Duncan A team of Woodruff, Ty Dahlstrom, Malia Prystupa, Olin Dahlstrom, Montana Prystupa, Oliver Castle, Laura Kissack and Ogihara-Kertz finished fourth in the club relay, and the B team of Smith, Fitzgerald, Keirstead, Kruger, Kremer, McDevitt, Sophie Paridaen van-Veen and Jeremy Kissack placed eighth.