Friday, Oct 18, 2019
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REV swimming nationals get underway

The 2019 REV Bahamas Aquatics Federation (BAF) National Swimming Championships is underway as eager swimmers got in the pool at the Betty Kelly-Kenning National Aquatics Complex yesterday. It was the first of four days of swimming.

Swimming away with the first win of the day was Alpha Aquatics’ Zaylie-Elizabeth Thompson. She won the 13-14 girls 800 meters (m) freestyle event with a time of 9:35.07. She won the race by a huge margin as Barracuda Swim Club’s Grace Farrington posted a time of 10:25.14 for second. Thompson’s teammate, Salene Gibson, was third after she finished the race in 10:28.20.

Anya MacPhail came away with the fastest time in the 15-and-over girls 800m freestyle. Swimming under the Mako Aquatics banner, she swam a time of 10:00.01. Finishing second to MacPhail was Barracuda’s Gigi Eneas as she swam 10.12.94. Close behind Eneas in third was Mako Aquatics’ Kaliyah Albury in a time of 10:21.15.

It was a close finish in the timed final of the 13-14 boys 1500m freestyle as less than two seconds separated the top three swimmers.

Barracuda’s Hodari Prince clocked 18:44.39 to come out with the fastest time in this age group. It was the YMCA WaveRunners’ Taye Fountain who was second after he swam 18:45.74. Close behind him in third place was Sean Longley, Prince’s teammate. Longley finished in 18:46.14.

In the 15-and-over boys timed final, Luke-Kennedy Thompson swam 17:20.76, a slower time than he did at the 2019 CARIFTA Games, but still won the gold medal yesterday. The Alpha Aquatics swimmer swam a blistering 16:37.95 in that race to win gold at CARIFTA. His brother, Mark-Anthony Thompson, was second as he touched the wall in 17:28.16. Mako Aquatics’ Joshua Murray was third in a distant 18:39.29.

After those long distances, the preliminaries for last night got underway.

The 8-and-under girls 50m backstroke saw YMCA WaveRunners’ Skyler Smith clock the fastest time of 43.23 seconds. Barracuda’s Alissa Ferguson and Christin-Alyssa Clarke posted the second and third fastest times respectively. Ferguson’s time was 44.81 seconds and Clarke recorded a time of 45.38 seconds.

Over on the boys side, it was Barracuda’s David Singh who clocked 42.54 seconds to record the fastest time. The YMCA WaveRunners’ Kaylan Williams was the second fastest swimmer heading into the finals as he posted a time of 43.59 seconds. Gerard Rolle, Singh’s teammate, was the third fastest qualifier as he clocked 44.72 seconds.

YMCA WaveRunners’ Marvin Johnson, potential high point winner in the 11-12 boys age group, had the fastest times in the 50m breaststroke and the 100m butterfly events. In the 50m breaststroke, he swam 31.84 seconds. In the 100m butterfly, he recorded a time of 1:05.45.

Mako Aquatics’ Amauri Bonamy had the second fastest time of 32.51 seconds in the 11-12 boys 50m breaststroke. Johnson’s teammate Asher Johnson recorded the third fastest time of 35.20 seconds.

Alpha Aquatics’ Daniel Ferguson III was the second fastest in the 11-12 boys 100m butterfly after touching the wall in 1:08.88. Asher Johnson had the third fastest time again after clocking 1:09.38.

In the 15-and-over girls category, Alpha Aquatics’ Ariel Weech was the fastest qualifier as she posted a time of 32.21 seconds. The YMCA WaveRunners’ Katelyn Cabral’s time of 33.12 seconds was good enough to be the second fastest qualifying time. Weech’s teammate, Celia Campbell, had the third fastest qualifying time after she swam 33.14 seconds.

The 15-and-over boys final promises to be an exciting race as the three fastest times were all under 29 seconds. Alpha Aquatics’ Miller Albury was the fastest qualifier with a time of 28.32 seconds. Barracuda’s Gershwin Greene posted a time of 28.44 seconds to finish with the second fastest qualifying time. Lamar Taylor, a junior swimmer and a Freeport Aquatics Club member, was the third fastest in the pool with a time of 28.56 seconds.

Donald Saunders, who represented the Dolphin Swim Club, was the fastest swimmer in the 9-10 boys 100m butterfly heats. His time was 1:16.35. The YMCA WaveRunners’ Tristen Hepburn came out with the second fastest qualifying time of 1:17.44. Mako Aquatics’ Maxwell Daniels’ time of 1:27.66 was the third fastest qualifying time.

The results for those finals were not available up to press time.

Today’s first session begins at 9 a.m. with the finals in the 400m individual medley (IM) races. Following those finals, the preliminaries for the 50m butterfly and the 100m backstroke events will be held. The evening session will begin at 6 p.m. with the finals for those preliminaries and the 400m medley relays.

The four-day meet wraps up on Sunday.

Simba French

Sports Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism
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