The Bahamas Aquatics Federation (BAF) ratified a 36-member team for the 2020 CARIFTA Swimming Championships that will be held at the Barbados Aquatic Center in Wildey, Barbados, set for Saturday, April 11 to Tuesday, April 14.
The team was ratified yesterday afternoon, a day after the BAF hosted its CARIFTA Trials, which was dubbed the ‘Last Chance Meet’, where swimmers put their best foot forward to improve their times.
Team Bahamas will be heading back to Barbados as the defending champion after completing a three-peat last year. They will be going for their fourth straight victory and their sixth title in the last seven years.
The female division will be represented by Tia-Isabella Adderley (11-12), Mia Patton (11-12), Zidane Salting (11-12), Elle Theberge (11-12), Rayven Ward (11-12), Zoe Williamson (11-12), Abayomi Brown (13-14), Maria Fox (13-14), Rhanishka Gibbs (13-14), Keianna Moss (13-14), Seannia Norville-Smith (13-14), Mia Sastre (13-14), Katelyn Cabral (15-17), Jamilah Hepburn (15-17), Rachel Lundy (15-17), Anya MacPhail (15-17), Delaney Mizell (15-17) and Zaylie-Elizabeth Thompson (15-17).
The male division will be represented by Jarrod Charles (11-12), Caleb Ferguson (11-12), Ellie Gibson (11-12), Zion Gibson (11-12), Tristan Hepburn (11-12), Asher Johnson (11-12), Donald Saunders (11-12), Caden Wells (11-12), Jack Barr (13-14), Tristin Ferguson (13-14), Nigel Forbes (13-14), Marvin Johnson (13-14), Joshua Newry (13-14), DaVante Carey (15-17), Ian Pinder (15-17), Lamar Taylor (15-17), Erald Thompson III (15-17) and Mark-Anthony Thompson (15-17).
The coaching department will be spearheaded by Travano McPhee for a fourth straight year. He will be assisted by Andy Loveitt, Camron Bruney and David Delcueto.
Georgette Albury will return as the team manager.
The male chaperone will be Kendric Albury and the female chaperone will be Denise Mizell.
The team features 19 swimmers who are returning to Barbados for the meet as last year’s CARIFTA Championships was held in Barbados as well. A total of 10 of them are females and the other nine are males.
Aside from Patton, the other 11-12 girls are new. In the 13-14 girls
category, Fox and Brown are new.
All of the 11-12 boys, with the exception of Asher Johnson, will make their CARIFTA debut.
Some of the younger swimmers have seen action at the regional level.
In the 13-14 boys, Barr and Newry are the newcomers.
All of the 15-17 boys and girls swimmers swam at the meet last year and the ones who are aging out this year will be looking at finishing their junior careers strong.
The 13-14 girls has Moss who holds the top CARIFTA qualifying times for her age group, and Sastre, who will compete in open water swimming, also returns. Moss is at the top of the age group this year and will be looking to end her competition in that group strong. Individually, she won a gold and silver, along with a silver in the relays, last year.
Gibbs will look to take the 13-14 breaststroke races at CARIFTA. She has the fastest times in the sprint breast races.
Jamilah Hepburn has the fastest times in the breast sprints for The Bahamas in that age category and will be looking to lock up the top spots at CARIFTA too.
Cabral and MacPhail are returning team captains and will look to show their leadership in the pool. Both have competitive times going into the meet and with just under a month remaining, will look to drop times even more.
In the 13-14 boys, Forbes will be joined by his club teammate Marvin Johnson, who won 10 individual gold medals and four relay gold medals at last year’s championships.
Forbes won six medals last year including a gold. Last month at the Union Americana de Natacion (UANA) Swimming Cup, he swam away with six medals – four gold, a silver and a bronze. He also set three championship records.
The senior boys are strong with national record holder DaVante Carey at the helm. The McKendree University freshman has been having a great year and will be swimming at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Swimming Championship this weekend.
Taylor was also at the UANA Swimming Cup, picking up four individual medals – two gold, one silver and one bronze. He also broke a championship record.
Mark-Anthony Thompson will look to improve on the bronze medal he won in the 1500m race at last year’s CARIFTA Championships.
The 11-12 boys and girls have very strong swimmers who were in a fierce battle up to Saturday night.
Last year, the team won a whopping 73 medals at the championships, dominating its Caribbean counterparts in grand style. The Bahamas grabbed 35 gold, 18 silver and 20 bronze medals.