The Philadelphia Sports Clubs High Point Stingrays are one of the smallest teams in the Lower Bucks Swim League.
But size isn’t everything.
The Stingrays finished second in team scoring at the recent league championships.
“We did not have the largest roster in the league, but we swam with heart and passion this season to help lead us near the top,” head coach Sean Kelly said. “We saw tremendous growth in many of our age groups and swimmers with their skills and that speaks highly for our future.
“The togetherness and spirit of our team is consistent from one year to the next. We need to continue to grow together in the hopes of climbing one more spot.”
Over the past 23 years, the Stingrays are 132-20 with eight league titles. The team currently has 100 members with room for more in all age groups.
“We take pride in being a spirited summer program that is dedicated to providing a fun atmosphere for instructing swimmers on the latest techniques in swimming and teaching them how to be valuable team members,” Kelly said.
“We view ourselves as a family, and it’s one that I have had the pleasure to be a part of for the last 23 years. Over that time, we have had a generation of swimmers and families make many summer memories at our pool and during our summer seasons.
“The coaching staff views each practice as a piece of a puzzle with the finished result showing a swimmer who is knowledgeable in the sport of swimming and an effective contributor to a team. We view each member individually and work toward helping them reach their greatest potential and personal goals.
“Ultimately, we want swimmers to enjoy the sport, have fun obtaining their goals and become valuable members of the community both in and out of the pool.”
For 13-year-old Juliana Ryan, it’s been a long, fun experience.
“I’ve been swimming for the Stingrays for nine years,” said Ryan, who will enter eighth grade at Unami Middle School in the fall. “This was my first swim team.
“I started as a 5-year-old and just stuck with it. I love the coaches and the camaraderie. It’s like a big family. The best part of the season for me is making new friends. We have a great bond. Even on rainy days at 6 a.m. we’re laughing and having fun.
“I thought we did great at the championships. We have really low numbers but we put our heads to the grindstone and got second. I’m really proud of us.”
The Stingrays had a number of top three finishes at the league championships.
In girls 11-12, Madeline Majewski took first in the 50 backstroke (30.76), second in the 50 butterfly (29.67) and third in the 100 individual medley (1:09.14).
In girls 13-14, Sue Bin (Esther) Park won the 100 breaststroke (1:09.01) and took second in the 100 individual medley (1:04.22).
In boys 15-18, Matt Lewis won both the 100 freestyle (48.65) and 50 freestyle (22.15) while Stuart Sumner finished second in both the 100 freestyle (48.76) and 50 freestyle (22.27).
In boys 12-18, Stuart Sumner took third in the 200 freestyle (1:51.24).
In boys 11-12, Macek Vandermolen finished third in the 50 backstroke (31.92).
The 11-12 mixed 200 freestyle relay of Ellie Beck, Madeline Majewski, Madison Shackelford and Macek Vandermolen finished third (1:49.00).
At the 10-under championships, Clara Vandermolen and Avery Kemezis tied for first in the girls 6-under 25-meter freestyle (29.42).
In girls 7-8, Colleen Moore won the 25 breaststroke (25.82), was second in the 25 freestyle (19.27) and finished third in the 25 backstroke (24.66).
In girls 9-10, Anna Majewski won the 25 breaststroke (19.30) and 100 individual medley (1:24.32) and finished second in the 25 butterfly (16.86), while Chloe Shackelford took third in the 25 backstroke (20.56).
For the boys, in 9-10, Nathan Jang took second in the 25 breaststroke (20.96).