Stingrays rewrite record book, bring home hardware

It has been a busy few months for the Duncan Stingrays swim team, with meets including the provincial AA and AAA championships.

It has been a busy few months for the Duncan Stingrays swim team, with meets including the provincial AA and AAA championships.

The Stingrays sent seven swimmers to the Swim BC AA championships in Penticton on Feb. 12-14, where they were among nearly 500 athletes from across the province.

Of the seven who attended, James Ogihara-Kertz and Robyn Zinkan achieved 100 per cent personal bests and Jeremy Kissack and Brielle Woodruff had personal bests in all but one event, and Mathias Bell and Montana Prystupa each had three PBs.

Each of the seven swimmers also brought home hardware. Prystupa claimed one fifth-place result and one eighth in the 14-and-over group; Woodruff brought home two silvers, a fourth and an eighth in the 12/13 group; and Zinkan collected a gold, a bronze, a fourth and a fifth in the 14-and-over group. Those three also teamed up with Megan Lewis to win gold in the female senior/open 4x50m freestyle and medley relays.

Bell picked up a bronze, a fifth and an eighth in the 14-and-over age group; Kissack came home with a bronze, two fourths and a fifth in the 14-and-over group; and Ogihara-Kertz, also in the 14-and-over group, claimed a bronze, a fifth and an eighth.

The club also measured its success based on how much the swimmers climbed in the rankings over the course of the meet. Kissack and Ogihara-Kertz each moved up in all of their events, and as a team, the Stingrays moved up in 26 of their 41 races.

Also at the AA meet, three swimmers earned qualifying times for the AAA championships in Victoria two weeks later: Woodruff in the 200m freestyle, Kissack in the 100m and 200m backstroke, and Zinkan in the 100m free and 50m fly. Added to her previous times in the 50m free and 100m fly, Zinkan had more than the requisite three qualifiers to attend the AAA championships.

Including Zinkan, the Stingrays had 10 swimmers at the AAA meet in Victoria on March 3-6, where they were part of a field of 620 athletes.

Zinkan, Mary Paridaen vanVeen, Dylan Kruger and Savanah VanNieuwkerk each had 100 per cent personal bests. Ty Dahlstrom and Malia Prystupa were one event short of that mark, and Olin Dahlstrom and Oliver Castle were two events short. Cailine Keirstead and Desirae Ridenour each finished the meet with two PBs.

Zinkan, coming off just racing at the AA meet, was the only Stingray not to score points with a top-16 finish. Three swimmers had top-eight results: Paridaen vanVeen  in the 11-and-under 100m fly, Ty Dahlstrom in the 11-and-under 100m backstroke, and Castle in the 14/15 200m breaststroke.

Castle had six top-16 finishes, VanNieuwkerk had four, Kruger and Keirstead had three each, Paridaen vanVeen, Ridenour, Ty Dahlstrom and Malia Prystupa had two each, and Olin Dahlstrom had one.

Paridaen vanVeen, VanNieuwkerk and Zinkan each climbed the rankings in all of their races.

Castle, a 14-year-old racing in the 16-and-under events, earned an invitation to the Canadian Age Group Championship by collecting his second and third qualifying times in the 100m and 200m breaststroke.

Castle also set new club records for his age in the 100m backstroke (1:03.34), 200m backstroke (2:14.64), 50m breaststroke (32.31), 100m breaststroke (1:10.09), and 200m breaststroke (2:32.96 in the prelims and 2:32.86 in the finals.

Kruger, 12, set new club marks in the 50m backstroke (33.07), 100m backstroke (1:09.33), 100m breaststroke (1:20.93) and 200m breaststroke (2:52.29).

Paridaen vanVeen, 10, achieved records in the 50m fly (35.50 seconds) and 100m fly (1:18.51). Ty Dahlstrom, 10, set new marks in the 100m backstroke (1:19.01) and 200m backstroke (2:51.89). Olin Dahlstrom, 12, twice broke the record in the 200m fly (2:38.95 in the prelims and 2:35.68 in the finals),  and set a record in the 100m fly (1:10.64).

The 14-and-under 4x50m medley relay team of Kruger, Castle and both Dahlstroms also set a new club record of 2:10.97.