As the winter season winds down for the Springfield Stingrays, head coach Patrick Whalen has his 40-plus swimmers team practicing hard as they get ready to travel to Lebanon, NH for the Connecticut River Valley Invitational - their last meet before the state tournament.
The New Hampshire state meet, (many eastern Vermont teams compete with New Hampshire during the winter season) is a huge three day event held in Exeter, NH.
The team practices at the Edgar May Health and Recreation Center located in Springfield.
Assistant coach Stephanie Pinney thinks that this strong Stingrays team will continue to impress, especially in the under-12 age group.
"These dedicated kids work extremely hard, the future looks terrific," Pinney stated in a recent interview.
At last month's regional swim meet in Hartland, over a dozen teams competed in the three day event, with 25 Stingrays qualifing for the regional tournament, which is the first tier of national competition.
During this meet, all of the Stingrays posted new best times and/or took top finisher medals.
"For a team as small and as new as ours, to have several scores in the top 20 (and top 10) is quite notable," Pinney added.
Last year the Stingrays had only 12 swimmers qualify for regionals and in only one age group swimmer.
This year, however, 25 Stingray swimmers attended regionals and two swimmers went to age groups, including Sofia Gulick and Kristin Burlew.
The age groups meet, hosted by the Upper Valley Aquatic Club, matches the top under-12 year-old swimmers from the Northeast.
Gulick and Burle proudly represented their teammates by participating in the freestyle, butterfly and breaststroke events.
Rebecca Larkin contributed information to this article