Stingrays excel at annual swim meet

Over 350 competed on Salt Spring at three-day event

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Salt Spring Stingrays summer swim club held their annual open water swim meet from July 13 to 15.

This year, 352 swimmers attended the event from across the Vancouver Island region. Salt Spring had the largest team at the meet, with 86 of their 93 swimmers registered for the race. The first day of the event was the open water portion, held in St. Mary Lake. Swimmers then escaped the heat and moved inside for the rest of the weekend.

Coach Jake Beyak said “there was lots of energy and focus from the Stingrays this weekend, as they pulled off lots of outstanding swims.”

For a number of swimmers, it was the first time swimming in longer races. Swimmers compete in each of the four strokes, butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle, and in an individual medley event. The races are in 25-m, 50-m or 100-m increments. The open water portion is on a 1,000-m course in St. Mary Lake. The outdoor race was available for swimmers aged 12 and older.

“There were loads of best times, lots of fun and the meet ran smoothly,” coach Finn Page said.

The swimmer of the meet was Salt Spring’s Renee Hayden. Hayden improved on her time for each of her events. Several other swimmers improved on their seed times, getting personal bests in different disciplines. 

“The team performed exceptionally well, toughing through the heat and being incredibly supportive to teammates,” Coach Brandon Bronson said. “The Stingrays truly showed their sportsmanship and sense of competition this weekend.”

The team would like to thank the parent volunteers who helped run the meet. This year, 74 parents helped out ensuring that the meet ran smoothly.

“It takes a village to raise a swim team,” a press release sent by the team said.

The Stingrays have one more local meet in Sidney on July 21 and 22 before they head off to regionals. This year, the regional competition will be held in Duncan on the weekend of August 3-5. Those who qualify from regionals have the chance to compete in provincials at the end of the summer.

This year, provincials will be held in Surrey from August 17-19.

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