When it comes to competition for the Stingrays of the South Whidbey Swim Club, it’s all about improvement.
The Stingrays, coached by Kristi Eager and Travis Kulcsar, hold four intraclub meets per school year and one in the summer, and ribbons are awarded to those who post personal records, not to the winners of each event.
Swimmers who compete in four events and earn four personal bests receive a Fab 4 medal. Medals are also awarded to those who set team records.
The school-year season runs from September to May at the Island Athletic Club. The summer session is June through August and takes place at the Useless Bay Golf and Country Club outdoor pool. The Stingrays, who range from 6 to 18 years old, practice twice a week.
“Our mission is to provide a fun and inviting atmosphere to learn the four competitive strokes of swimming,” Eager said. “Swimmers will develop endurance, strength, work ethic, positive self image and, above all, a love for the sport of swimming.”
She and Kulcsar “are committed to serving both the recreational and competitive swimmer,” Eager added.
The first meet, the “See Where You Are Meet,” was held in November for swimmers to set times to beat as the season progresses.
The second competition was Tuesday, Jan. 28, and of the 32 Stingrays who took part, 20 established personal records. Eight others missed the November meet and were posting marks for the first time.
In addition, 11 club records were set.
Jackson Murphy, swimming in the boys 14U division, set team standards in the 50-yard backstroke (36.31), 50 butterfly (37.25), 100 individual medley (1:20) and 100 freestyle (1:06.8). He now has club records for all six events, earning records in the 50 free (33.37) and 50 breaststroke (47.76) last year.
Abigail Ireland set four new records in the girls 14U class: 50 free (30.12), 50 breaststroke (46.75), 100 IM (1:26.8) and 100 free (1:06.8). She also owns the 50 backstroke record (39.16) set last year.
In the boys 12U division, Rowan Jung set records in the 50 fly (39.75) and 100 IM (1:28.5), and Nick Schomper set a new standard in the 50 back (37.66).
Sienna Nissen set a new tram mark in the girls 12U 100 free (1:12.3).
Eager began tracking club records in 2008.
Posting Personal Bests
8U: Olivia Gaze.
10U: Caleb Wipf, Carl Kohlaas, Nash Allen, Taylor Jaeger.
12U: Finn Price, Izzy Hanson Nikulin, Jack Hempel, Leon Kohlaas, Nick Schomper, Rowen Jung, Sean Carr, Sienna Nissen, Westin Klamm, Zoe Wilson, Vivian Hamblen, Beckett Walsh, Tyson Prendergast.
14U: Elle Hamblen.