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Swimming: Fifteen Stingrays to regional meet

BRIAN KORTHALS/DAILY GLOBE Worthington Stingrays going to the Midwest Regional meet are (front row, from left) Nick Freese, Ivy Jenson, Sophie Wietzema, (center) Meredith Moore, Madison Neuberger, Hannah Rahn, Sarah Janssen (back) Anwar Farra, Oliver Wolyniec, Cameron Jenson, Bryan Doeden and Blaine Doeden. Missing from photo are Levi Blanchard, Ben Doeden and Morgan Hockel.


WORTHINGTON — A full one-third of the 2013-14 Worthington Stingrays squad will be moving on this weekend for the Minnesota Youth Athletic Services (MYAS) Midwest Regional Swim Meet.

The meet will take place at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis Saturday and Sunday and will include nine states. The Stingrays have qualified 15 of the 43 swimmers on the team — the team’s largest regional group ever.

“These are kids that have been swimming a long time. The kids that are going have put their time in and they’ve set their goals,” said Stingrays head coach Donna Damm.

The regional competition will be the final meet as a Stingray for seniors Sarah Janssen and Ben Doeden. Janssen has been a regular participant at regionals. For Doeden, it will be his first.

This year’s most successful Stingray has been 10-year-old Sophie Wietzema, who will compete in seven events in Minneapolis — the maximum number of events allowed. She is also an alternate on the 15-18 girls 200 freestyle relay.

Another noteworthy local competitor is Ivy Jenson, who will compete in four events as an 8-year-old.

Worthington’s swimmers will compete against as few as 21 other athletes in the relays and up to 120 in individual events. Those who finish first, second, third or fourth will receive medals and others placing fifth through 16th will receive ribbons.

The following Stingrays have qualified for the Minneapolis event: Levi Blanchard, Ben Doeden, Blaine Doeden, Bryan Doeden, Anwar Farra, Nick Freese, Morgan Hockel, Sarah Janssen, Cameron Jenson, Ivy Jenson, Meredith Moore, Madison Neuberger, Hannah Rahn, Sophie Wietzema and Oliver Wolyniec.