The 2020 CARIFTA Aquatics Championships is rapidly approaching, set for April 11-14 in Wildey, Barbados, and today, the focus is on the top local female swimmers going into the CARIFTA Trials. Time is winding down for swimmers to impress coaches enough to be selected for The Bahamas’ team.
Several female swimmers have unofficially qualified with top times in their respective events at a number of meets in the country. The Bahamas Aquatics Federation (BAF) is expected to ratify the team about a month before the championships, and Team Bahamas will be going after a fourth straight junior regional swimming title, and sixth in the past seven years.
In the 15-17 girls division, Zaylie-Elizabeth Thompson has had a superb season thus far, currently holding onto top times in six races. These races are the 200, 400 and 800 meters (m) freestyle events; the 200m backstroke; and the 200 and 400m individual medley (IM) events.
In the 200m free, Thompson has posted a time of 2:09.33, and in the 400 and 800m free races, she has the top cuts of 4:36.26 and 9:35.07 respectively.
Thompson has a top time of 2:31.93 in the 200m back, and the 15-year-old has additional top times of 2:29.52 in the 200m IM and 5:24.46 in the 400 IM.
Securing three of the top times each in the 15-17 girls category are Katelyn Cabral and Jamilah Hepburn. Cabral has the top times in the 50 and 100m back, and the 100m butterfly. Hepburn, a breaststroke specialist, has the top times in the breast sprints – 50, 100 and 200m.
For Cabral, her time in the 50m back is 30.53 seconds. The Grand Bahamian has gone on to record a top time of 1:11.26 in the 100m back. In the 100m fly, she has the top time of 1:05.80.
Hepburn sprinted her way with the top cut in the 50m breast with a time of 34.56 seconds. To continue her dominance in the breaststroke events, the 16-year-old has recorded a top time of 1:18.88 in the 100m breast and a top time of 2:50.08 in the 200m breast.
Rounding out the top performers are Delaney Mizell and Rachel Lundy. Mizell is a freestyle sprinter as she has the top times in the 50 and 100m free. Lundy has the top times in the 50 and 200m fly.
In the 50m free, Mizell is a force to reckon with, coming in with a time of 26.96 seconds. In the 100m free, she was able to swim under a minute, posting a time of 59.39 seconds.
Lundy has the top time of 29.98 seconds in the 50m fly. In the 200m fly, she has posted a time of 2:38.74.
In the 13-14 girls age group, Keianna Moss leads the way in the short sprints in three strokes and the 200m IM. She has the top times in the 50 and 100m free; 50, 100 and 200m back; 50, 100 and 200m fly; and the 200m IM.
Moss’ times in the 50 and 100m free are 27.90 seconds and 1:02.46 respectively. She swept the backstroke top cuts with times of 30.87 seconds in the 50m back, 1:09.50 in the 100m back, and 2:30.92 in the 200m back. The 14-year-old swimmer is a little over 10 seconds faster than her nearest competitor in the 200m back.
Showcasing her swimming prowess, Moss was able to put up the top time of 30.27 seconds in the 50m fly. She wasn’t finished there as she also posted the top cut of 1:08.82 in the 100m fly, and in the 200m fly, she has a leading time of 2:43.41.
Doing all four strokes, Moss was able to record the top time of 2:35.42 in the 200m IM.
Rhanishka Gibbs has two of the top times in this age category – in the 50 and 100m breast. In the 50m breast she has the fastest time of 36 seconds flat. Gibbs was able to post a quick time of 1:20.67 in the 100m breast.
Maria Fox leads the way in 200m breast as she swam a time of 2:59.05. Abayomi Brown holds a slight edge in the 400m IM with a time of 5:50.39.
Zoe Williamson and Tia-Isabella Adderley leads the way in the 11-12 girls category.
Williams has the top times in the 50m free, and the 50 and 100m fly. In the 50m free, the newcomer to the scene has a top time of 29.98 seconds.
Leading the way in the 50m fly, Williamson posted a time of 31.29 seconds. In the 100m fly, she has managed to get the top time of 1:14.79.
Adderley has the top times in the 50, 100 and 200m breast races. Her time in the 50m breast is 39.38 seconds. She swam a top time of 1:25.45 in the 100m breast, and in 200m breast, Adderley powered her way to a time of 3:05.52.
Mia Patton and Zidane Salting have two times apiece.
Salting leads the way in the 400m free with a time of 5:11.40. The 11-year-old also has a best time of 2:57.99 in the 200m fly.
Patton will look to head back to Barbados as she has the best time of 1:05.52 in the 100m free. In the 50m back, the 12-year-old has recorded a top time of 34.07 seconds.
Passion Daniel has the posted a leading time of 2:54.12 in the 200m IM.
There are still two local meets left as swimmers try to make last-ditch efforts to make the CARIFTA team. Those meets are the Alpha Aquatics Swim Meet set for February 21-23 and the CARIFTA Trials to held March 6-7. Both meets will be held in the capital at the Betty Kelly-Kenning National Swim Complex.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism