Annual swim meet honours young athlete

| 08/06/2017
CNS Local Life

Pastor Randy Von Kanel (centre) with members of Stingray Swim Club

(CNS Local Life): The third annual Landon Von Kanel Memorial Swim Meet, held to honour an athlete who died almost 16 years ago, took place 1-4 June. Organised by the Stingray Swim Club (SSC) and the swimmer’s family, the event was established in 2015 in memory of Von Kanel, a former SSC member who died in a car accident in the US on 12 October 2001.

The swimmer, a native Mississippian, and the son of Pastor Randy Von Kanel and his wife, Cindy, spent his primary and early secondary years in the Cayman Islands where he excelled in the sport at the Lions Pool and in the Caribbean.

At the age of 12, Von Kanel became the first gold medallist in international competition in the history of Cayman Islands swimming, winning both the 200m and 400m freestyle at the CARIFTA Games in Trinidad in 1996.

SSC head coach David Pursley said of the recent competition: “The Landon Von Kanel Memorial meet turned out to be a huge success even in the face of the scorching heat. This meet is important for SSC and the swimming community on so many levels. From a community standpoint it is important to remember those that paved the way for the success that has been Cayman swimming and Stingray Swim Club.

“Landon’s story is an inspiration to all our swimmers. Pastor Randy Von Kanel has been a tremendous supporter to our athletes from day one when he helped to build Stingray Swim Club.  He continues to support and inspire each and every one of our swimmers as he teaches them the value of sport and tells the history of swimming on island every year.”

The coach added that the meet is also important because it allows Cayman’s swim clubs a final competition before heading off to end-of-summer championship meets in late July and early August. “With so few opportunities to compete it was important that we took advantage of all four days, and we did just that. The pool was packed with competitors every session. The meet gave us the tune up we needed and the progress report to put things in perspective,” he said.

Over the summer, in addition to a full training schedule, SSC swimmers will compete in the Island Games in Gotland, Sweden; the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas, and the ISCA Senior Summer Championship meet in Clearwater, Florida.

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Category: Sports, Swimming

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