Open water swimmers qualify for CARIFTA

The Mako Swimming Club hosted its annual open water swim meet at Long Wharf, Arawak Cay, on Saturday, with swimmers vying for a spot on this year’s CARIFTA team. The open water segment of the 2020 CARIFTA Swimming Championships is set for Wednesday, April 15 at Carlisle Bay in Barbados.

Crossing the finish line first was Joshua Murray in a time of 1:08 in the five kilometer (km) distance race. Murray, who swam at last year’s CARIFTA meet,took part in the open category this time around as he is ineligible for this year’s CARIFTA Championships due to age.

“I was pretty happy with my time because I know I was swimming with Mark-Anthony [Thompson]. I know he is pretty fast in the distance so I was pretty pleased,” said Murray.

Thompson was the first to finish in the 16-18 boys category. He posted a time of 1:11.01. Finishing behind him was Hugh Bartlett in 1:17.32.

“This is my first time swimming open water since last year CARIFTA. It was a good experience trying to get myself back into it, so now I know what to do and prepare for it the next time I swim it,” Thompson said.

He feels he is mentally and physically ready to win a medal at this year’s CARIFTA Championships.

It was a fight to the finish in the 16-18 girls age group as Salene Gibson managed to hold off Kaliyah Albury. Gibson posted a time of 1:10.44 to win that category. Albury was second as she recorded a time of 1:10.57. Finishing third was Giovanna Eneas who swam a time of 1:13.

Gibson said that she was happy with her race and the way she swam.

“I was very happy with the way that I swam, especially the last lap where I usually get tired but the endurance was there and I was real happy about that,” Gibson said.

Albury said she will be training hard between now and CARIFTA.

“We will keep practicing and training hard. We are going to keep up the yardage and work toward CARIFTA,” she said.

Tristin Ferguson was the first to cross the finish line in the 14-15 boys category. Ferguson posted a time of 1:11.02.

Hodari Prince was second as he swam 1:12.19. Lamont Feaste was a distant third as he managed to finish the race in a time of 1:20.18.

Rounding out the 5K swimmers was the 14-15 girls which was won by Mia Sastre. She powered her way to the finish line in a time of 1:12.59.

Grace Farrington finished second in 1:14.03. Finishing a close third behind Farrington, with two seconds separating the two, was Seannia Norville-Smith. Her time was 1:14.05.

There was also a one-mile race.

Qualifying for the open water portion of CARIFTA are Sastre, Farrington, Norville-Smith, Gibson, Albury, Eneas, Ferguson and Prince.

Thompson has the fastest time in the 16-18 boys age category.

There is one more open water meet remaining on the swimming calendar. That meet is the Freeport Open Water Meet slated for Saturday, February 29, in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

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Simba French

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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