Stingrays hope to make big splash in Minneapolis

The Worthington Stingrays swim team is sending 59 competitors to state


WORTHINGTON – Fifty-nine swimmers from the Worthington YMCA Stingrays team will be competing in the upcoming state meet Sunday in Minneapolis. The state meet will run 114 events in total.

“I try to set my entries in so that I have all the kids in relays, and hope that most of the relays can go so that all kids have a chance to get into the state meet,” said Stingrays coach Donna Damm. “That is my goal, I want every kid to be able to experience a state meet.”

In order to qualify for the state meet, a swimmer or relay team had to finish top three in their heat.

This state meet will look different from state meets of the past. The swim meet will be divided with all the kids 10 and under swimming first, and then after their heats are all done everyone 11 and older will have all their events start.

The new setup brings some questions for the Stingrays coach.


“It’s kind of confusing and hard. I have got some concerns on my 8 and under, 9, and 10 because at a normal meet you know what the break times are, but now there are not going to be break times,” said Damm. “Some of these kids might only have two heats to rest before their next event. It is very concerning.”

The Stingrays team is composed of swimmers from all around the southwest Minnesota area. Swimmers come from Worthington, Adrian, Luverne, Windom, Jackson, Slayton, Fulda, and many other communities.

As a team, the Rays are looking to improve on their team placement from last year, which saw the squad finish 8th out of the 18 invited teams.

“I like to get the highest team result that we can,” said Damm “When you come from one of the smallest YMCAs in Minnesota, you know you are not going to get one, two, or three. But the higher we can get up there the better.”

One unique gift given to the participants of this year's state swim meet were swim bag tags donated by some parents of the team. The tag is decorated with a state meet participant decal on the back, and swimmers can write in their name, age, and race they swam on the front.

“The kids were really excited about that,” said Damm. “It was pretty neat, I have never had that happen before but I thought it was a great idea on their part.”

The most important goal for coach Damm and the swim team is to enjoy the meet and have fun. The Stingrays have several relays seeded second and third at the state meet, and one that is seeded first. The girls 8 and under freestyle relay is seated first in the state.

“There is a lot of excitement, especially with some of the kids that are new on the team,” said Damm. “This is a pretty fun meet and I just tell them that they are going to love it.”

Dominic Burns is a reporter at the Globe who covers general news and sports.
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