It was loud and jam-packed over at the Betty Kelly-Kenning National Aquatics Complex over the weekend as the different local swim clubs cheered on their respective swimmers. In the end, it was Mako Aquatics Club that won and successfully defended its title at the 2019 REV Bahamas Aquatics Federation’s (BAF) National Swimming Championships.
It was a grueling eight sessions over four days of competition, but Mako Aquatics persevered, winning with 1,862 points. They went into the final day with 1,420 points, and increased their lead on the final day.
Finishing second to Mako Aquatics was the YMCA WaveRunners out of Freeport, Grand Bahama, with 1,458 points. Alpha Aquatics finished in third place with 1,159 points. Coming into the final day, they were in fourth place with 895 points, but managed to overtake the Barracuda Swim Club to finish third.
Head Coach of Mako Aquatics Travano McPhee remained humble, but said the win felt great.
“The first one felt good but this one feels great. The team came together this year with their mind set on a second championship and they did it. I am very proud of the seniors that came back home and represented Mako. They really showed up and motivated the younger kids, who did a good job again. Like I said, the first one felt good and but this one feels great,” McPhee said. “After last year’s nationals, we went right back to the drawing board and prepared for this one. The kids did an awesome job. They trained year-round and we could not ask for more from them. They really stepped up,” he added.
McPhee is preparing to head to Barbados with The Bahamas’ team this week for the Central America and Caribbean Swimming Federation (CCCAN) Swimming Championships.
He said the club will celebrate its victory, and then he will focus on the CCCAN Championships.
Swimmers were not only vying for bragging rights for their respective clubs, they were also battling for the coveted high point trophies.
In the 8-and-under girls category, it was the YMCA WaveRunners’ Skyler Smith who swam away with the high point trophy, accumulating 48 points. Saleste Gibson was close behind her with 46 points. Finishing third was Madyson Julien of the Barracuda club with 37 points.
Baracuda’s David Singh held on to finish first in the 8-and-under boys category. He scored 48 points. That was enough to hold off YMCA WaveRunners’ Kaylan Williams who finished second with 47 points. Third place went to the Blue Waves Swim Club’s Christon Joseph with 42 points.
The 9-10 girls category saw Freeport Aquatic Club’s Zoe Williamson winning with 58 points. The YMCA Waverunners’ Passion Daniel was second with 55 points. Rounding out the top three in that category was Daniel’s teammate, Zizou Salting, with 47 points.
Tristen Hepburn from the YMCA WaveRunners dominated the 11-12 boys category, winning with 63 points. The Dolphin Swim Club’s Donald Saunders finished second with 52 points. Freeport Aquatics’ Ayden Bain was third with 48 points.
Alpha’s Leylah Knowles was the winner in the 11-12 girls category with 61 points. Second place went to the YMCA WaveRunners’ Seannia Norville-Smith with 50.50 points. Rhanishka Gibbs from the Barracuda club was third with 48 points.
The YMCA WaveRunners’ Marvin Johnson dominated the 11-12 boys category, scoring 63 points. He held off Mako Aquatics’ Tristin Ferguson, Amauri Bonamy and Caden Wells. Ferguson finished second with 57 points and Bonamy and Wells were tied for third with 46 points.
The 13-14 girls category was won by Alpha Aquatics’ Zaylie-Elizabeth Thompson. She scored 61 points. Lyford Cay Swim Club’s Delaney Mizell was second with 55 points. Mako Aquatics’ Keianna Moss was third with 52 points.
The YMCA WaveRunners’ Nigel Forbes had an impressive meet as he finished with 63 points to win the 13-14 boys high point award. Carting off second place was Erald Thompson III from Mako Aquatics. He finished with 56 points. His teammate Ishan Roy was third with 43 points.
In the 15-and-over girls category, it was 2019 CARIFTA swimmer and YMCA WaveRunners’ Katelyn Cabral edging out Margaret Higgs. Cabral finished with 48 points. Higgs swam unattached, scoring 43 points. Mako Aquatics’ Kaliyah Albury finished third with 36 points.
Alpha’s Luke-Kennedy Thompson scored 53 points to win the 15-and-over boys category. Mako Aquatics’ Davante Carey was second with 49 points. Lamar Taylor, representing Freeport Aquatics, was third place with 38 points.
Jump Line – The focus now shifts to the CCCAN Championships which get underway this week
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism
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