The Duncan Stingrays returned to racing for the first time in more than a year and a half when they got in the pool for the Nanaimo Riptides Invitational at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre on Oct. 23 and 24.
The Duncan Swim Team hadn’t been in action against other clubs since the start of the COVID shutdown 19 months earlier.
“It was our first racing opportunity, racing against others in person, since our hosting of the DST Spring Break Invitational and Swim BC Provincial Championships way back in March 2020,” Stingrays head coach Leanne Sirup commented.
The Stingrays took 20 swimmers to the meet, with another unable to race due to illness. A total of 320 swimmers from all over the Island took part.
Among the standouts was Brody McCartney, 12, who put up six Swim BC Provincial Championship qualifying times and set a new DST record in the 11/12 male 50m freestyle, his time of 28.70 seconds beating the old record of 28.79 held by Kelsey McDaniel since 1992.
“I felt I was pretty successful,” McCartney said. “I was very happy making those times.”
McCartney has been swimming with the Stingrays for about four years, but this is his first club record.
“I was trying for it, so I was really happy I made it,” he said.
Twelve more Stingrays recorded Vancouver Island Regional Championships qualifying times: Malcolm Blackburn with eight QTs; Wyland Dumont and Gabe Gebrandt with seven apiece; Ayla Graham, Teddy James, Lauchlin MacGregor and Angus Preston with six each; Kallie MacGregor with five; Evan Hales and Matthew Ruiter with four; Waylin MacGregor with three; and Sam Gebrandt with two. James also narrowly missed a Swim BC divisional QT by 0.06 seconds.
Another seven Duncan swimmers set personal bests in all of their races: Emma deBree, in her first Swim BC competition, Yelain Frano, Clara Lake, Nina Lempinen, Olivia Matthews, Ava Sandell and Kate Schultz, who entered two new events in Nanaimo.
The Stingrays will head to the Island Swimming Club’s Bennett Cup at Saanich Commonwealth Place this weekend, followed by the Comox Valley Sharks Fall Invitational.