Stingrays flood St. Pete pool

The Stingray Swim Club sent a team of 10 athletes to St Petersburg, Florida to compete in the St. Petersburg Aquatics 4th of July Long Course Swim Meet.

The St Petersburg Aquatics Team is a highly competitive programme which has six of its swimmers, between the ages of 11 and 14 years, ranked in the top 10 in the US this past year including three number one finishes. This competition challenged Stingray’s swimmers and Coach Andy Copley felt the team rose to the challenge quite admirably.

“Stingray is in a rebuilding phase and it was a good start, but there is a long way to go,” Copley said. “The kids are swimming fast, the coaches are motivated and refreshed and everybody is working to turn the ship around. It’s a very exciting environment at the Lion’s Pool right now. I’m lucky to be a part of it.”

The full team which travelled, representing Stingray Swim Club was: Andrew Smilley, Alex McCallum, Iain McCallum, Kyle Fraser, Ashley Theaker, Jonathan Key, Jayde Solomon, Katie Klein, Sarah Jackson and Ella Plunkett. Stingray President Brenda McGrath states all held their own.

“Stingray Swim Club is extremely proud of all our swimmers achievements at the St Pete’s Meet,” McGrath said. “Out of 68 events competed in, 20 were events which the athletes had not previously competed in and 30 were Personal Bests – with an athlete going faster in an event than they have before.

“We also had a number of top 10 finishes and must give special mention to our Girls 11-12 Medley Relay Team of Plunkett, Jackson, Solomon and Klein who placed third in that event.”

Team Manager Melanie Solomon was delighted with the team’s success and commended both the swimmers, Coach Andy and the parents: “This meet was a great experience for our swimmers and our parents,” Solomon said. “Our senior swimmers set a great example for our younger swimmers and they all showed great responsibility with their approach to warm ups, staying in the shade and remaining hydrated. It was fun to have swimmers from Camana Bay, who were also at the meet, to cheer for too.

“When the meet was finished we took the opportunity to visit a swim store so our swimmers could upgrade their training equipment and at the very end we had a great team dinner and outing to see Spider Man at the Imax Theater.”

McGrath would state that Solomon did well as manager.

“I would also like to thank Melanie for her excellent job. Like all of Stingray’s Directors, she is a volunteer; she has a full time job and is the mother of two extremely active young ladies – who are also swimmers – and we appreciate the hours of time that she donates to swimming, and to Stingray, on an ongoing basis.”

There is still a great deal of exciting swimming action to come this summer: the government swim camps are taking place; the Stingray Swim Club Camp will take place 13-17 August; founding Stingray members Shaune and Brett Fraser compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London; members Geoffrey and Lara Butler are competing in the British Nationals this summer and brothers Alex and Iain McCallum will be competing in the first FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships, being held in Canada on 16-19 August.

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