Despite choppy and cold waters, swimmers competed in the YMCA WaveRunners 5K (five-kilometer) Open Water Meet at the Banana Bay Beach, in Freeport, Grand Bahama, on Saturday.
This was the final meet for athletes looking to qualify for the open water segment of CARIFTA. The team is expected to be ratified by the Bahamas Aquatics Federation (BAF) this weekend.
Mark-Anthony Thompson of Alpha Aquatics was the first one to reach the finish line when he clocked a blistering 1:01.14. That time qualified him for CARIFTA.
This was his second meet of the season and he shaved about 10 minutes off his previous time. That time was 1:11.01 at the Mako Aquatics Open Water Meet back in February.
Thompson swam in the 15-17 boys category. Finishing behind him in that category was the WaveRunners’ Ocean Smith who clocked 1:05.30 to also qualify for CARIFTA. His teammate Taye Fountain was third with a time of 1:13.35.
It was a close race in the 13-14 girls category as Mako Aquatics’ Mia Sastre clocked 1:10.30 and was able to hold on to win by two hundredths of a second over Alpha Aquatics’ Grace Farrington. Sastre was the first female to finish the race. Her time was enough to qualify her for CARIFTA.
Farrington clocked 1:10.32 as she also qualified for CARIFTA. This was a faster time for Farrington than her previous best. She clocked 1:14.05 at the Mako Open Water Meet.
In the 15-17 girls, Mako Aquatics’ Kaliyah Albury won with a CARIFTA qualifying time of 1:11.35. Barracuda Swim Club’s Gigi Eneas was second with a time of 1:13.36.
The WaveRunners’ Marvin Johnson, known for the sprint races, showed his stamina in open water, as he swam 1:05.29 – a CARIFTA qualifying time, to win the 13-14 boys category.
Finishing second was Barracuda’s Hodari Prince with a CARIFTA qualifying time of 1:10.57. The WaveRunners’ Aidan Musgrove finished third with a time of 1:34.38.
Mako Aquatics’ Joshua Murray was the lone swimmer in the open boys category. He swam a time of 1:04.11.
Also making the qualifying times during the season were Seannia Norville-Smith (14-15 girls) and Salene Gibson (16-18 girls).
The open water portion of the 2020 CARIFTA Swimming Championships is set for Wednesday, April 15 at Carlisle Bay, in Bridgetown, Barbados.
Next up on the BAF swimming calendar is the 2020 Last Chance Meet that gets underway tomorrow evening and wraps up on Saturday. The full CARIFTA team is expected to be named afterward.