SWIMMING: Stingrays open season with home swim meetWORTHINGTON — The winter months are dawning, meaning that Stingrays are once again appearing in Worthington waters.
WORTHINGTON — The winter months are dawning, meaning that Stingrays are once again appearing in Worthington waters.
The Stingrays — the Worthington YMCA’s youth swimming team — kicked off their season with a three-team meet at the Worthington YMCA on Saturday against the Southdale Sharks and the Northwest YMCA Marlins, both teams from the Twin Cities metro area.
The meet was highlighted by strong individual performances by five Stingrays swimmers in their respective 50-yard freestyle events.
All five — Madison Neuberger, Cameron Jensen, Sarah Janssen, Adrian Manzo and Tim Skog — qualified for the Midwest Regional Meet, to be held at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in April.
“It’s a nice start to the season,” Stingrays coach Donna Damm said. “A lot of the kids weren’t able to make it because of things that were going on, and some injuries and stuff. I have 53 kids, and 43 of them were in this meet.”
Neuberger won the girls 12 & under 50-yard freestyle in a time of 31.79 seconds, beating 14 other swimmers. The Stingrays’ Meredith Moore came second in the race, and also placed first in the girls 12 & under 50-yard backstroke with a time of 40.92.
Neuberger also won the girls 12 & under 50-yard breastroke with a time of 41.11.
Neuberger and Moore were joined by Rachel Koller and Arely Rodriguez to place second in the girls 12 & under 200-yard medley relay, and second in the girls 12 & under 200-yard freestyle relay.
Jenson placed first in the boys 12 & under 50-yard freestyle in a time of 30.13, followed by Stingray Eli Gaul with a time of 32.87. Gaul won the boys 12 & under 50-yard backstroke in 46.42.
Janssen won the girls 14 & under 50-yard freestyle with a time of 30.27 in an all-Stingray field, and Manzo won the boys 14 & under 50-yard freestyle in 28.07, also in an all-Stingray field.
Skog finished second in the boys 18 & under 50-yard freestyle as the youngest swimmer in the race, finishing in 27.26, and also came second in the boys 18 & under 100-yard freestyle.
In the 8 & under 25-yard freestyle races, Sophie Wietzema won the girls’ event in 23.47 and Sammy Farra won the boys’ event in 28.22.
Noelle Simons came a close second in the girls 8 & under 25-yard breaststroke, finishing in 29.24, just 0.24 seconds out of the lead. Gracie Barber was third in the race, finishing in 34.78.
In the girls 14 & under 100-yard breaststroke, Tori Elsing and Tracy Prins managed a one-two finish for the Stingrays with times of 1:42.71 and 1:44.41, respectively.
The meet marked the debut for the 19 new swimmers on the team, a number that has helped the team grow in size from last season.
“I was impressed by the new kids,” Damm said. “For them it was their first swimming experience, and they all did a very good job.”
The Stingrays’ next meet will be on Saturday in Austin.