Among the hundreds of swimmers at the Duncan Stingrays Spring Break Invitational on March 8 and 9 were 42 from the host club, who proceeded to stage an assault on the record book.
Twelve-year-old Oliver Castle alone set three individual records.
Castle broke records nearly twice as old as he is, including marks from 1992 in the 200m breaststroke and 200m IM. He also tied the record of 33.51 seconds in the 50m fly that was set in 1995 by Brian Hill, who would go on to race in four Paralympics, winning three medals.
Natalia Garriock also set an individual record at the meet, her time of 30.97 seconds beating Samantha Jory’s record of 31.24 seconds from December 2010.
Joining up with teammates Jeremy Kissack, James Ogihara-Kertz and Chong Teng, Castle then helped set five 14-and-under relay records. The foursome broke records from 2002 in the 4x50m freestyle and 4x50m medley, then set new records in the 4x100m and 4x200m free and 4x100m medley relays.
The 10-and-under relay team of Olin and Ty Dahlstrom, Dylan Kruger and Bennett Telfer also set its share of records, putting new club marks in the books in the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle and 4x100m medley races.
It wasn’t just about club records, as many of the Stingrays racked up the personal bests at the meet. Five swimmers – Katelyn Farley, Clara Kodweiss, Katelyn Seery, David Simms and Emerald White – were taking part in their first competition.
Another 17 swimmers achieved personal bests in all their events, including Dylan Kruger, Jeremy Kissack, Ty Dahlstrom, Allie and Jamie Bell, Jotei Browne, Olivia Campbell, Jessica Castle, Cate and Lily Cochrane, Helena Ellis, Cailine Keirstead, Heather Mackay, Jaylene Olebar, Randi Robertson, Janey Woolls, and Robyn Zinkan.
Coming just one result shy of 100 per cent personal bests were Ogihara-Kertz, Teng, Oliver Castle, Mathias Bell, Mila Ellis, Laura Kissack, Kayla Laberge, Gavin Morrison, and Cody Shewchuk. Finishing just two short of 100 per cent were Sofie Bloss, Megan Kruger, and Savanah and Tess VanNieuwkerk.
"It was an excellent competition which gave the Stingrays swimmers the opportunity to highlight how well they’ve been training to date," head coach Leanne Sirup said. "They all took some great strides forward and we are looking forward to starting up the long course season."
Sirup expressed thanks to the volunteers, led by meet manager Steve Ridenour, as well as the local businesses that sponsored the event, and the staff of the Cowichan Aquatic Centre.