The Summer Sun Sets on the Stingrays

GOLD RIVER, CA (MPG)  |  Story and photos by Jan Float
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Stingray of the Year, Morgan Jones, was honored at this year’s Awards Nights.


GOLD RIVER, CA (MPG) - In the last two months, Gold River’s Stingrays have seen many a sunrise and sunset leading up to Championships Swim Meets. Well, this season has now seen its final light of day. With many a moon in between articles, hang on to your raft paddles for a wild ride through Class V rapids. There were meets against Rio Del Oro, Glen Oaks, Del Norte, the two-day top-tiered divisional Championships and another weekender of our region’s Meet of Champs. Woven into dryland beach towels, the Stingrays hopped out for Coaches Appreciation Week, a Spirit & Pasta Party, the Breakfast of Champs and Awards Night. Exhausting? No. Exhilarating? Like pulling through those IV and V whitewater rapids!

As nights fell, the Stingrays Superstars shone brighter and brighter. With the smallest team in 15 rotations around the sun, these constellations broke through in a year like no other. At times the waters looked treacherous; at those times, the Stingrays’ times got better and better. Having adapted a second mantra, “Heart & Soul to Reach Our Goal,” heaven knows how many individual and team goals were achieved. Never-ending Missions to Mars! As you know, Gold River woefully lacked the depth of other opponents. Out of five in their Division, this was the season to engage in fun, maximize personal potential, and revel in fifth place. Nonetheless, digging in to navigate the swift river, the Stingrays captured fourth … just three races from third. In gaining all of this (lap-after-lap) yardage, seven High-Point plaques were presented.

At the Meet of Champs, 46 teams collided in the universe to complete the course. Because of its past successful runs in the summer suns, the small-but-mighty is assigned to the large team division. Last year, after a historic first-place victory, 13 Superstars moved on to a higher caliber of long-distance competition. From a whirlpool of 41 qualified swimmers, 24 paddled down Gold River in unison; and, against the strong current, each earned star status. So how many teams were left up a creek without a paddle? 38. What a blazing sunset!

Awards Night is always a highly-anticipated crescendo to reflect upon the recent spherical past and project into the stratospheric future. Recipients of special team trophies are chosen by the coaching staff for exemplary performances as solos and as teammates. Beaming and starry-eyed, here’s honoree Morgan Jones, Stingray of the Year.

With the setting of the summer sun, registration for the fall-and-winter program has been launched. Year- rounders enjoy falling leaves and falling times, reaping what they sow and harvesting the benefits. Then prior to regaining that extra hour in daylight savings time, as the result of gripping handles throughout this duration, the waters aren’t nearly as turbulent. Dedicated Superstars are fit, feisty and ready to hit those raging Class V’s.

Without the support of this galactic microcosm, our community at large, the Stingrays could not be considered the model team and gracious hosts that they are. As one last fulfillment of “Heart & Soul to Reach Our Goal,” they wish to extend An Attitude of Gratitude for your encouragement. Night-night!