Swimmers compete at classic

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 17, 2012

At the end of the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association swim season in July, some Andalusia Stingrays decided that they weren’t done swimming.

Five Stingrays now participate in year-round swimming events and competed in their first winter meet at the 32nd annual War Eagle Classic at Auburn University last weekend.

There were more than 400 swimmers at the event, where swimmers B.J. Donaldson, Chase Fillmer, Cali Fillmer, Mary Beth Baker and Stewart Baker competed. Troy Tiger Sharks coach Shane Tatum coaches the team.

Stingrays coach Gavin Donaldson contacted Tatum to see if he could “join forces” for the off season.

“Shane welcomed the kids into his program,” Donaldson said. “These kids travel to Troy four days a week.”

The winter swim team practices each night from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. and compete in the USA Swimming. USA Swimming is the national governing body of the United States.

“The kids are now competing in longer distance events,” Donaldson said. “Training is very different than that of summer swimming.”

At the War Eagle Classic, B.J. Donaldson finished in first place in the 50-yard breaststroke with a personal best time of 29.97 seconds. He also finished third in the 50-yard backstroke and 12th in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Cali Fillmer finished fourth in the 50-yard butterfly with a time of 31.54 seconds. She finished 10th each in the 50-yard backstroke and 100-yard individual medley with personal best times of 33.90 seconds and 1 minute, 15.83 seconds, respectively; and 13th in 100-yard butterfly.

Mary Beth Baker finished in 11th place in the 50-yard backstroke at 34.06 seconds; and 15th in the 100-yard IM at 1:22.90.

“The kids swam great for the first meet of the winter season,” Tatum said. “We have room for improvement and with hard work they will meet the goals we have set for them.”

Additionally, Chase Fillmer finished 11th in the 50-yard butterfly with a personal best time of 29.30 seconds; Donaldson and Chase competed in the male 15 and over events; and Cali and Baker competed in the girls 13-14 events.