Stingray Swim Club celebrates past, prepares for new season

More than 100 people, including swimmers of all ages and their families, attended an awards ceremony in June.

The Stingray Swim Club had an eventful summer in which it reflected on its achievements and sent a few of its competitors off to begin their college careers.

Stingray swimmers performed at six different international competitions, including the Pan American Games and the FINA International Swimming Championships, and head coach David Pursley said the summer was a time of great achievement for the club and for its individual swimmers.

“It was an exciting summer for Cayman swimming and I think the return of Brett Fraser will bring renewed inspiration,” Pursley said in an official statement. “The short summer season requires experience and a higher level of care for the body; and mentally and physically our athletes were challenged to compete in high pressure situations on multiple occasions. We handled the pressure tremendously and learned a great deal in terms of handling stress and taking extra care of the body with the physical toll.”

The Stingray Swim Club held its awards banquet in June at Ristorante Pappagallo, and officially welcomed assistant coach Mason Crowder at that event. Crowder had joined the team in April. A number of swimmers were lauded for their achievements and for improving at the gala in June.

Raya Embury-Brown was named Swimmer of the Year following a season that saw her win two silver medals at the Island Games. She later competed in the World Championships for the first time. Sarah Jackson was awarded the Shepheard Cup for being an all-around ambassador for swimming and the club.

Three members of the club – Cole Morgan, John Bodden and Kenneth Glidden – are currently swimming for McKendree University in Illinois but returned to Cayman for the summer and the awards banquet.

“Having our returning college swimmers train with us over the summers is always a highlight,” said Pursley of the college trio. “The younger swimmers look up to them, and they inspire the seniors who are in their final years and working towards swimming in college too.”

Club members heading to college include Alex Dakers, Bath, UK; Liam Henry, Indian River State College, Florida; Sam Bailey, Ohio State University; and Sarah Jackson, University of Northern Colorado.

Stingray’s swimmers will get back in the pool for training, and their next international competition will be in April 2020. Their local competitions will begin 21 Sept. at the Cayman National Sprint meet at the Lions Aquatic Centre, and the public will be able to cheer them on for free that day.

“We couldn’t be more excited for the up-and-comers, and know they will take the torch with passion and commitment,” said Pursley of making way for younger swimmers in the Stingray lineup. “We have been back in the water for three weeks, and the excitement and drive are already there.”

Stingray Swim Club Awards
Swimmer of the Year: Raya Embury-Brown
Gold Spirit: Andrew Muyanga
Silver Spirit: Kassandra Adapa
Bronze Spirit: Daniella Whiteman
Gold Most Improved: Jack Clark-Terrell
Silver Most Improved: Jade Allen
Bronze Most Improved: Noah Watson
High School Development Spirit: Dayana Powery
High School Development Most Improved: Matthew Javier
Senior Spirit: Krishna Adapa
Senior Most Improved: Kyra Rabess