Border City Stingrays, from left, Makenna Campbell, Kallie Lumbard, Kaibrie Lumbard, Haley Wickham-Cross and Jaiva Bajema brought home a duet ribbon, a duet bronze medal and a solo gold medal from the North Battleford 2018 Saskatchewan Winter Games. JAMIE HARKINS LLS PHOTO
The competitive side of a few Border City Stingrays synchronized swimming club athletes made an appearance at last week’s North Battleford 2018 Saskatchewan Winter Games.
Stingrays swimmer Kaibrie Lumbard captured a gold medal in a solo event at the Games, while Kallie Lumbard and Haley Wickham-Cross won a bronze for their duet. The duo’s medal came in part through knocking fellow Stingrays Jaiva Bajema and Makenna Campbell to the B side of the tournament where they picked up a second-place ribbon.
“It was a little bit of a rivalry because we had to get in the A flight because we wanted to get the medal,” said Wickham-Cross, 16.
“It was just weird going against your own teammates.”
Kallie, 14, said they only hit the pool during two of their four-day sojourn to the Games from Feb. 18 to 21, but those days were packed with competitions.
She said they headed to the Battlefords Co-op Aquatic Centre early last Monday morning to determine spacing between the athletes before each performed a solo and figure routine for points toward their overall mark.
Last Tuesday started with preliminary competitions between the groupings in order to determine the A-flight and B-flight finalists. Once completed, the individual swimmers and duets performed their routine one final time for medal standings.
“It was really tough,” said Kallie. “It was harder then we thought. Everyone brought their A game, so we had to basically match it. It was a lot of pressure.”
Kaibrie, 12, noted the third-place mark she achieved in figures on the first day helped position her in good standing toward a medal the following afternoon. However, she noted there were still a few nervous moments as she watched her fellow competitors perform their routines during the final medal swims while waiting for her chance to head into the pool.
“Normally, I get really nervous just standing there and as soon as I get in I stay focused,” said Kaibrie. “Even if I mess up I stay focused, so I just forgot about that.”
This year’s Saskatchewan Winter Games marked the first time that Bajema, Campbell and Kaibrie earned the opportunity to compete against the province’s best. The Games were Kallie and Wickham-Cross’ second after the pair swam in the team event during the 2014 edition in Prince Albert.
“The first one, I feel like I didn’t really know what was going on,” said Kallie. “I was 10 when I was doing it, so it was just like a normal competition. But now I really got into it. I wanted to do really good. I knew how important it was, so it was different.”
Kallie noted winning a medal shows that all the hard work they put in over the years has paid off.
She said they train tirelessly for these moments, so it’s nice that they accomplished their goal.
“And we got to show off to the bigger clubs that we are actually competitors against them now,” added Wickham-Cross. “They got to watch out.”