Ready for the meet

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 5, 2010

Andalusia's Ethan King practices his butterfly stroke in an earlier practice. | Andrew Garner - Star-News

The Andalusia Stingrays swim team will be competing in its first competitive meet today in Eufaula.

Last Saturday, the Stingrays held their intrasquad meet at Cooper Pool, and many swimmers recorded times that were close to those that meet state qualifying times.

Today’s meet, however, will be against two year-round teams (Eufaula and Troy) in Eufaula.

The Stingrays haven’t competed against Eufaula in four to five years, and 11-and-up coach Gavin Donaldson said his team is going to have to “dominate” the field to have success.

“My team is just going to have to step it up (today), and see what kind of times they post,” Donaldson said. “Then, I’ll evaluate them and see what we need to do different at practice prior to our meet in Troy (on June 12).

“The keys to success are the same as they always are — dominate your opponent,” he said. “It’s just that simple.”

The meet will start at 11:15 a.m. today, with warm ups at 10.

With the younger kids, 10-and-under coach Barbara Peek said it’s going to be a test of getting used to “competing in a foreign pool.”

“We haven’t been to Eufaula in a while,” she said. “It will be interesting to see how they deal with a new set up.

“We do have quite a few rookies this year swimming against somebody that’s not their friend, or somebody that’s not against their teammate,” she said. “Last week, they did really well. So, I expect that they’re going to step it up against Eufaula.”

Both Donaldson and Peek said that practices have gone well this week leading to today’s meet.

They also said that the kids seem to be “focused” and “excited” at the task that awaits them today.

“Overall, I think they’ll fair well,” Donaldson said about the 11-and-ups. “Eufaula has got some swimmers that will swim faster than what the team posted Saturday, but they’ll always swim up to the level of the competition.

“They’re going to do their absolute best to dominate their opponent.”

Leading up to the meet today, Peek said her team has been focusing on “fine tuning” those mistakes that were made Saturday.

“After Saturday’s meet, they’ve gotten kind of focused,” she said. “It’s been going well. We took a lot of notes Saturday of the things that still needs work, and we’ve been fine tuning.”