The Stingray Swim Club recently took a party of 23 swimmers under the leadership of national coach Dominic Ross, coach Paula Swaby and tour manager Vicki Girling to compete at the Walter Rodgers Swim Meet in the National Pool, Kingston, Jamaica.
The meet was a wonderful opportunity to compete in a 50 metre pool, work on improving their own standards, post qualifying times, compete against international competition and enjoy that special feeling that comes with being a member of a team on tour.
The wonderful camaraderie of the team and the enthusiasm of support from swimmers and adults (plus one cheering sibling) alike was remarked on.
During the four days of the meet, the swimmers set personal best times over 100 times with three swimmers – Cole Morgan, Jonathan Key and Corey Westerborg – setting a PB in every race they swam.
The team brought home 20 gold, 29 silver and 16 bronze medals and two Stingray members were also crowned high points winners in their age-group – Danielle Boothe in the 13-14 girls and Seiji Groome in the 15 & Over Boys.
Swimming is a strange mixture of individual achievement and team effort, so while they celebrated Bethany Cleaver and Jayde Solomon making the times to qualify for the CARIFTA Games in Barbados over Easter, it was certainly a thrill for all concerned that the Stingray club – one of the smaller teams competing – came fourth in the team competition. And another smaller team, the 13-14 girls freestyle relay set a meet record, so congratulations go to Bethany Cleaver, Lois Moody, Coral Tomascik and Danielle Boothe.
The achievements for Boothe did not end there as she also set individual meet age-group records in the 400m individual medley, 200m breast and the 200m butterfly.
Two boys also deserve a mention. Corey Westerborg, seven, broke Joe Roberts’ 2002 club long-course record for 8 & under boys’ 50m freestyle by 0.01 of a second with a time of 44.74, while Geoffrey Butler clocked a time that qualified him to join big sister Lara at the Island Games in July
It was a very successful trip and there is no rest for the swimmers as this weekend is the Pete Ribbins Memorial Meet sponsored by Cayman Water, then a burner meet on 9 April, the Stingray Swim Club Easter Egg Hunt on 17 April and the CARIFTA Games themselves over Easter.