Stingrays unveil a large group of new swimmers

James Ogihara-Kertz attained greater than 50% personal bests at the winter break time trial. - Don Bodger/file
James Ogihara-Kertz attained greater than 50% personal bests at the winter break time trial.
— image credit: Don Bodger/file

Chong Teng is new to the Duncan Stingrays swim team and also a first-time Vancouver Island Regional Championships qualifier.

Teng, 14, joined the team at the Comox Valley Aquatic Club's January Jamboree, along with Sofie Bloss, 13, and both were among six Stingrays who challenged themselves to new races.

Teng's regional qualifying was in the 50-metre freestyle. His time of 30.52 nipped under the standard of 30.55.

Heather Mackay, 12, almost made the regional standard in the 100 backstroke. Her time of 1:25.63 didn't quite get in under the required 1:25.50 standard.

Others who challenged themselves to new events were: Lily Cochrane, 8, Ty Dahlstrom, 8, Mackay and Mary Paridaen van Veen, 8. Cochrane, Dahlstom and Mackay joined Cate Cochrane, 11, Kayla Laberge, 13, Cody Shewchuk, 13, and Olin Dahlstrom, 10, as swimmers who attained 100% personal bests.

Sophie Paridaen van Veen, 12, had three personal bests and Randi Robertson, 13, managed one.

Meanwhile, the Stingrays held their Winter Break Time Trial just before Christmas.

Nineteen were first-time racers, including: Camryn Beck, 7; Hallie Bryant, 11; James Bryant, 9; Karis Jonat, 14; Tembi Jonat, 14; Clara Kodweiss, 23; Calem Lander, 5; Darien Lander, 8; Nikita Lander, 11; Rahma Lossing, 9, Ziad Lossing, 6; Brendan Lucas, 7; Eamon Manley, 7; Spencer McKay Fisher, 11; Hannah Richards, 13; Katelyn Seery, 12; Teng; Jacob Thomas, 8; Taylor Walters, 12.

Of the experienced racers, the 14 who earned 100% personal bests were: Allie Bell, 9; Jamie Bell, 12; Mathias Bell, 16; Jotei Browne, 13; Oliver Castle, 12; Cate Cochrane; Lily Cochrane; Mila Ellis, 9; Jeremy Kissack, 14; Mackay; Jaylene Olebar, 13; Desirae Ridenour, 14; Cody Shewchuk, 13; and Janey Woolls, 11.

Helena Ellis, 11, Emma Hender, 13, and Jasmin Marston, 15, had personal bests in three out of four races.

The group of 13 that had greater than 50% personal bests included: Kaylee Adair, 6; Jessica Castle, 11; Olin Dahlstrom; Cailine Keirstead, 11; Megan Lewis, 13; James Ogihara-Kertz, 14; Mary Paridaen van Veen; Sophie Paridaen van Veen; Ava Smith, 11; Mya Smith, 9; Savanah van Nieuwkerk, 14; Tessa van Nieuwkerk, 11; and Robyn Zinkan, 13.

Highlights included using the display board for the first time. There are only two comparable displays on the island.

"We used this minor competition as a rehearsal for the upcoming Stingrays-hosted VIR short course championships,'' noted coach Leanne Sirup.

Mathias Bell and Mya Smith were new regional qualifiers in the 100 breast and 50 free, respectively.

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