The Bahamas Aquatics Federation (BAF) has selected a 16-member team for the 2020 Union Americana de Natacion (UANA) Swimming Cup, to be held at the Videna Aquatic Complex in Lima, Peru, set for February 21-23.
Representing Team Bahamas for the females are Mia Patton (11-12), Rhanishka Gibbs (13-14), Devin Cuffy-Bethel (13-14), Keianna Moss (13-14), Jamilah Hepburn (15-17) and Delaney Mizell (15-17).
The males are Jarrod Charles (11-12), Caleb Ferguson (11-12), Ellie Gibson (11-12), Asher Johnson (11-12), Caden Wells (11-12), Nigel Forbes (13-14), Marvin Johnson (13-14), Kierro Stubbs (15-17), Lamar Taylor (15-17) and Erald Thompson III (15-17).
The head coach is Travano McPhee. The team manager is Gena Taylor.
Moss, Taylor, Hepburn, Forbes and Johnson were members of Team Bahamas at the inaugural UANA Swimming Cup in Coral Springs, Florida, in 2018. The majority of the team were members of the 2019 CARIFTA team that dominated the championships in Wildey, Barbados.
McPhee also coached that CARIFTA team and the 2018 Swimming Cup team. He is familiar with the swimmers and is looking forward to a good UANA meet.
“The team is a very experienced and strong team,” McPhee said. “Most of the swimmers have traveled before at international meets. They are aware of what is expected of them on these travel teams. We have a very fast team especially in the boys division. We look to go down there and to bring back as much medals as we can.”
With Grand Bahamians Forbes and Johnson in the boys 13-14 category, The Bahamas is expected to dominate that category. Forbes won two gold medals at the last Swimming Cup in the boys 11-12 50- and 100-meters breaststroke races.
“They are going down there and expected to perform well. They are swimming very strong right now. I feel UANA is a good meet leading up into CARIFTA for most of these kids to give them the experience… The 13-14 boys should dominate that age group as expected. We also have a strong 15-17 boys with Erald Thompson, Kierro Stubbs and Lamar Taylor. We look for them to really go down there and perform really well,” McPhee said.
With a large boys 11-12 category, McPhee is expecting them to perform well. He is expecting the mixed relays to do well.
The meet is a timed final; that means that the swimmers have to give their all when they get into the pool, unlike at CARIFTA where there is a heat in the morning and a final at night.
Training sessions for the team have not begun but with the club season in session, the swimmers have been training with their various clubs. According to McPhee, training will get underway two or three days before they travel for the meet.
At the last Swimming Cup, The Bahamas finished with 14 medals.
This edition features over 25 countries.
Established in 1948, UANA is “a sports organization with the purpose of organizing, supervising and controlling, in the Western Hemisphere, the amateur aquatics activities of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming, master and open water swimming”.