Stingrays set for regionalsWORTHINGTON — All season long, the YMCA Stingray swim team has faced the best competition in the area.
By: Aaron Hagen, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — All season long, the YMCA Stingray swim team has faced the best competition in the area.
That won’t change this weekend as six members of the team will compete in the Midwest Regional Swim Championship.
Cosmo Morgan, Cameron Jenson, Madison Neuberger, Kari Engelkes, Tim Skog and Dave Sorensen will all make the trip to the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis Saturday and Sunday.
Five of the six have already swam at the Aquatic Center. The state meet was at the U of M last month.
“Madison is the only one (who didn’t swim at state),” Stingray head coach Donna Damm said. “She did not make state, but she was a region qualifier. Our section is so strong that only the top three got to go, and she wasn’t. So she’ll be competing against some of the kids that beat her out for state competition.
“Everybody else has swam up there, so it will be familiar. They will have an advantage over the other states coming in.”
Swimmers from Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, North Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Michigan will all descend on Minneapolis this weekend.
“They are swimming against the best people in seven states, so it’s tough,” Damm said. “It’s just too bad that they can’t reward more of the kids. They only give ribbons down to 16 and medals to four, so it’s hard to get any hardware or ribbons at this meet. But it’s knowing that you’re in that elite group and you’re going to swim your best.”
Morgan will compete in the 25 meter freestyle and the 50 freestyle. Neuberger will compete in the 50 freestyle and the 50 breaststroke, while Jenson will compete in the 50 and the 100 free.
Engelkes will swim in the 200 freestyle, the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle.
Skog will compete in the 50 and the 100 freestyle, while Sorensen will swim in the 50 freestyle.
“Kari is ranked 17th in her event and there is like 90 swimmers competing,” Damm said. “Cosmo is about the same. He’s seeded in the upper 20s, and again, there are about 90 swimmers in his event. So I’m hoping that those two will have the highest placing for the Stingrays, but you never know.”
In recent weeks, the swimmers have had quality practices with Damm.
“They have been practicing hard,” Damm said. “We only practice a couple days a week, but when they are here, they are practicing hard. I get more one-on-one work with them, so we get to really fine tune their turns and stuff like that more during these practices. So I expect them to cut time and have their own personal best.”
With a large group of competitors from across the region, Damm expects everyone to swim their best.
“Everybody pushes for their best time,” Damm said. “That’s their goal, when we talked about it. With the number of swimmers there and the quality of swimmers, their goal is to beat their best time and to beat more people than they were seeded against. I said, ‘If you were seeded 30th, I want you to place 25th or 20th.’”