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Stingrays to compete in district meet today

The Andalusia Stingrays have one goal in mind when they travel to Dothan this week to take part in the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association’s district swim meet — to bring home a district championship.

Swimmers Judy Johnson, Michael Hudson, Devin Ellis, B.J. Donaldson, Cali Fillmer and Noah Rider have been swimming for the Stingrays for more than 30 years combined.

The Stingrays have participated in four swim meets this summer, and just wrapped up their only home meet last Saturday.

Donaldson’s father, Gavin, also the 11-and-up swim, said he wants the swimmers to just do their best at district today.

Stingrays swimmer Noah Rider jumps off the block during the tri-meet last Saturday.

“I just want them to be proud of what they do at the meet,” Gavin Donaldson said, “whether its to help build self confidence and self esteem on what they did, finishing in first place, second place, third place or making their state qualifying goal.”

Andalusia will compete against one of its rivals in the Dothan swim team.

Since the beginning of the summer, many Stingrays have exceeded their state qualifying times.

Donaldson, a member of the 11-and-over team said the team’s success this summer has been because of “team participation.”

“Participation is very important,” he said.

Hudson said he is looking forward to the district tournament because of the other teams the Stingrays will face.

“Actually having a team show up will be good for us,” he said. “Us four (Ellis, Donaldson and Johnson) never really get any competition.”

Hudson said he’s treating this meet like it was “any other.”

“It’s going to be no different than any other meet,” he said. “We’ve been looking forward to it since the beginning of the season.”

The best events each can swim are the butterfly for Hudson; freestyle for Ellis; breaststroke for Donaldson and Rider; and the butterfly for Fillmer and Johnson.