Record falls at Alpha Aquatics meet
There was a lot of excitement in the air last weekend as swimmers from local, national and international clubs fiercely competed at the 2019 Alpha Alpha Aquatics International Invitational Swim Meet at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Aquatic Swim Complex.
The meet was held on Friday, March 8, and Saturday, March 9. The meet was the first of its kind in that it was a qualifying event for the 2020 Olympic Games, 2019 Pan American Games and the World Games with the approval of FINA, the international governing body for water sports. It was the last shot for athletes who were looking to get on the 2019 CARIFTA swim team.
The meet saw a national record fall in the 11-12 boys age category 400 meters (m) freestyle. Marvin Johnson swam the race in a time of 4:33.48 to break the 4:35.98 record set by Nigel Forbes last year.
Finishing second was Tristin Ferguson in a time of 4:46.41. Behind him was Caleb Ferguson in a time of 5:16.10.
“I knew I was with the bigger boys so I knew they would pace me in the beginning but they would eventually go away. My coach gave me the strategy to go out hard in the first 300 meters and just hold on as close as possible. He also said because I have the heart, the stamina and the training where I have been working hard, I would be able to come home hard and I did, beating the record,” Johnson said
He wants to win the high-point trophy at CARIFTA next month in Barbados.
Celestial Darville, president of the Alpha Aquatics Swim Club, said it was amazing that the record was broken at their meet.
In the 15-17 boys 400m individual medley, Luke-Kennedy Thompson swam 4:55.02 to win that race and to have the fastest CARIFTA qualifying time in the country. Second to him was Andre Walcott with a time of 5:02.45. The third fastest time came from Hugh Bartlett III. He swam the race in 5:35.05.
Katelyn Cabral clocked the fastest CARIFTA qualifying time locally in the 15-17 girls 100m butterfly race. She swam that race in 1:08.59. Finishing with the second fastest time was Katherine Slatter with a CARIFTA qualifying time of 1:11.49. Kyla Bethel was third with a time of 1:14.26.
“I was very impressed with our athletes. I think they are amazing, they worked really hard. This meet is usually a CARIFTA last chance meet and just the idea that it was something bigger than that they could use their times to qualify for a number of international meets was amazing. I saw their drive and their push. It was really nice to see,” Darville said.
She and her team will look into having the meet over four days instead of two to give the swimmers enough time to recover.
Corner Trader was one of the main sponsors of the meet. This was the third meet that the club has hosted.