Mako Aquatics swimmers set to compete in the NCAA

They might not be able to train in a certified facility right now but for four Bahamian student-athletes who swim for the reigning two-time national champions Mako Aquatics, there have been commitments to tertiary-level schools in the United States.

Furthering their careers are Anya MacPhail, Lamar Taylor, Kaliyah Albury and Benjamin Lundy; they will be swimming in various conferences and levels in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Taylor is one of the fastest junior swimmers in the country. The St. John’s College student-athlete has committed to the Henderson State University Reddies which competes in the NCAA Division II in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

In the past year alone, Taylor has made several national teams, including Team Bahamas for the International Swimming Federation’s (FINA) World Junior Championships, the 2019 CARIFTA Swimming Championships, the Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) Swimming Championships and most recently, the 2020 Swimming Union of the Americas (UANA) Swimming Cup events. He is a six-time CARIFTA team member with this year’s CARIFTA team being his most recent.

Taylor grew up in Freeport, Grand Bahama and holds several age group national records achieved while swimming for Freeport Aquatics Club. He joins a strong division two program where he is expected to be swimming backstroke, butterfly, and freestyle disciplines.

Albury is a three-time CARIFTA team member and has committed to swim for the Howard University Bison – a NCAA Division I program in Washington, D.C. She made this year’s CARIFTA open water team.

The St. Augustine’s College (SAC) grade 12 student is well positioned to be a distance freestyle swimmer for Howard University.

Albury joins fellow Bahamians Luke-Kennedy Thompson and T’lez Foulkes who are entering their sophomore years at Howard.

MacPhail, one of the 2019 CARIFTA team captains, has committed to swim for Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) – a NCAA Division II program in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

The St. Andrew’s School Head Girl is expected to be a distance swimmer for OBU, competing in the 500, 1000 and 1650-yard freestyle events and the 400-yard Individual Medley (IM). She was selected for the 2020 CARIFTA team and is a six-time CARIFTA team member.

Lundy is headed to Trinity College, a NCAA Division III school in Hartford, Connecticut. He is set to graduate in June from Woodberry Forest School in Madison County, Virginia.

The swimming sprinter is expected to make an immediate impact at Trinity, competing in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle and butterfly events.

Head Coach of Mako Aquatics and several national teams, including CARIFTA and CCCAN, Travano McPhee, said all four of the student-athletes have worked hard to get to the next chapter of their lives.

“I am proud of these swimmers,” McPhee said. “They have worked hard – in and out of the water. Each of them will bring value and leadership to their respective teams. As they begin this next chapter in their lives, I wish them all the best.”

McPhee and his team of coaches have produced a number of collegiate swimmers such as Laura and Peter Morley, Ian Pinder, Kohen Kerr, DaVante Carey, Keitra and Keith Lloyd and Tyler Russell just to name a few.

McPhee said this is an indication of their values toward academic opportunities that are created by achieving excellence in the pool, and the successes of their senior swimmers as they transition to NCAA competition.

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