The 2019 REV National Swimming Championships is less than a month away, and a number of local swimmers, over 300 in total, were in the pool this past Saturday, competing at the Mako Aquatics Club Spring Invitational at the Betty Kelly-Kenning National Aquatics Center.
The two-session meet gave the swimmers an opportunity to qualify for the nationals, set for June 20-23 in New Providence, and the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Federation (CCCAN) Championships to be held in Barbados, from June 28 to July 2.
After some great performance in the pool at the two sessions, 10 high-point champions were crowned. Also, there were 10 swimmers who achieved CCCAN qualifying times. There were also numerous qualifiers for the nationals.
Making the CCCAN times at the meet on the boys side were Davante Carey (50, 100 and 200 meters (m) backstroke, and 100m butterfly); Tristin Ferguson (50, 100 and 400m freestyle), N’Nhyn Fernander (50m butterfly); Kierro Stubbs (50m breaststroke); Lamar Taylor (50m freestyle and 50m backstroke); Erald Thompson III (50, 100 and 200m breaststroke, and 200m individual medley); and Luke-Kennedy Thompson (200m backstroke). On the girls side, Leylah Knowles (50m backstroke); Keianna Moss (50m backstroke); and Zaylie-Elizabeth Thompson (400m freestyle, 200m backstroke and 200m individual medley), achieved CCCAN qualifying times.
Head Coach at Mako Aquatics Travano McPhee said he was happy to see the younger swimmers get an opportunity to qualify for the nationals.
“Coming down so close to nationals and having a meet in May, a lot of the younger swimmers who haven’t qualified were given another opportunity to qualify for the nationals. This was a big eye-opener, to see some of the young ones really step up. Quite a few of them made the nationals cut and it was good to see them smiling coming out of the pool,” McPhee said.
He said that good weather played a part in the successful staging of the meet, and that everyone he spoke with – swimmers, parents, coaches, officials and Bahamas Aquatics Federation (BAF) executives – had nothing but high praise of the entire event.
Saleste Gibson of Alpha Aquatics won the 8-and-under girls category with 54 points. Her teammate Siann Isaacs was second with 35 points, and finishing one point behind her in third was Sea Waves Aquatics’ Taylor Knowles.
On the boys’ side in that age category, Kaylan Williams from the YMCA WaveRunners ran away with the high-point award, winning with 54 points. In second place was Mako Aquatics’ Keiron Lloyd with 31 points, and Makhai Cartwright of the Blue Waves Swim Club and Mako Aquatics’ Trace Russell finished tied for third place with 21 points.
The 9-10 girls category saw YMCA WaveRunners’ Passion Daniel win the high-point award with 61 points. Mako Aquatics’ Rayven Ward and Jordyn Rolle finished second and third with 51 and 42 points respectively.
It was a close race for the top spot in the 19-10 boys category. The Dolphins Swim Club’s Donald Saunders scored 43 points to win that category. Mako Aquatics’ Maxwell Daniels finished one point behind him for second, and Daniels’ teammate Damari Butler scored 36 points to finish third.
The 11-12 girls category saw Mako Aquatics’ Giann Sands emerge as the winner with 49 points. Tia-Isabella Adderley, her teammate, and Sea Waves’ Anjaleah Knowles tied for second with 43 points each.
The 11-12 boys category was dominated by Mako Aquatics. They finished first, second and third. Tristin Ferguson was first with 60 points, and Amauri Bonamy and Caden Wells finished second and third with 52 and 41 points respectively.
Mako Aquatics also swept the 13-14 girls category. Keianna Moss, Rachel Lundy and Mia Sastre were first, second and third respectively. Moss scored 57 points, Lundy finished with 50 points, and Sastre had 47.
In the 13-14 boys category, Mako Aquatics once again put on a strong showing again. Jared Reckley scored 53 points to win that category. Erald Thompson III was a close second with 52 points, and rounding out the top three was Brayden Dam with 38 points.
Mako Aquatics also swept the 15-and-over girls category. Kaliyah Albury won that category with 54 points. Kyla Bethel secured 51 points to finish second, and Aaleyah Evans was third with 39 points.
In the 15-and-over boys category, Mako Aquatics’ Davante Carey came out on top with 45 points. In second place with 42 points was Freeport Aquatics’ Lamar Taylor. Carey’s teammate, Andre Walcott, finished third with 35 points.
In total, there are 21 Bahamian swimmers who have already qualified for the CCCAN Championships. More is expected to qualify at the national championships.
Swimmers will be back at the Betty Kelly-Kenning complex this Saturday, taking part in the Dolphin Swim Club Meet. This will be the final swim meet before the nationals.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism