Online Staff Report
The YMCA of Rock River Valley RAYS placed third out of 10 regional teams competing at 2014 Northwest District & Junior District YMCA Swimming Championships held March 8-9 at the Kishwaukee YMCA in Sycamore, Ill.
Eighty-one swimmers ranging in age from 5 to 17 represented the RAYS in the two-day event. Other Y teams included: Kishwaukee/DeKalb Co., Sage, Illinois Valley, Ottawa, Belvidere, Kewanee, Dixon, Streator and Freeport. A total of 39 RAYS — nearly half of the district team — qualified to compete at 2014 Illinois YMCA State Swimming Championships March 22-23 at the RecPlex in Pleasant Prairie, Wis.
First-place finishes by the RAYS in district events included the following: Victoria Dolan — Girls 12 & Under 50-yard breast (34.65); Mikayla Durkin — Girls 8 & Under 25-yard back (17.95), 100-yard IM (1:26.68); Tyler Pidde — Boys 14 & Under 500-yard free (4:57.75), 200-yard IM (2:03.97), 200-yard free (1:53.31), 100-yard breast (1:05.54); Molly Ryan — Girls 8 & Under 25-yard free (15.28), 25-yard fly (17.40); and Camden Taylor — Boys 8 & Under 100-yard IM (1:21.44), 25-yard breast (20.22) and 50-yard free (32.07).
Additionally, the RAYS placed first in five relay events: Girls 8 & Under 100-yard Free Relay (1:06.22) and Girls 8 & Under 100-yard Medley Relay (1:17.24) — Ryan, Samantha Appino, Avery Miles and Durkin; Boys 8 & Under 100-yard Free Relay (1:11.79) — Zander Hartman, Matthew Dolan, Caleb Rundblade and Taylor; Girls 12 & Under 200-yard Free Relay (1:50.50) — Victoria Dolan, Rachel Gander, Katie Roxworthy and Nhia Caras; and Boys 14 & Under 200-yard Free Relay (1:45.56) — Nathaniel Todd, Jacob Appino, Noah Todd and Pidde. The Girls 12 & Under 200-yard Free Relay broke the RAYS pool record from 1994.
Several RAYS also achieved first-place finishes in Junior District events; they are Rayan Bouhal, Hartman, Jeremy Mueller and Ella Roxworthy.
“I am proud of all of the personal best times achieved, long-standing records broken and outstanding sportsmanship these young athletes have shown all season long,” said RAYS Head Coach Liz Grace, herself a former RAYS swimmer.
A year-round competitive team for swimmers of all levels, the RAYS hold practices and home meets at the YMCA of Rock River Valley’s I.D. Pennock Branch in downtown Rockford. For more information, visit www.rockriverymca.org/stingrays.
Posted March 19, 2014