Time is winding down for local swimmers to impress coaches enough to be selected for The Bahamas’ CARIFTA team. The 2020 CARIFTA Aquatics Championships looms on the horizon, set for April 11-14 in Wildey, Barbados.
Several male 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 boys age group, there are six male athletes leading the way.
DaVante Carey has five leading times. The backstroke specialist sweeps that stroke with the fastest times in the 50, 100 and 200 meters (m) backstroke events. His seed time in the 50m back is 26.46 seconds and he has clocked 58.12 seconds in the 100m back. The 17-year-old has the senior national record in both of those events.
In the 200m back race, his top time is 2:17.56.
Carey also has the fastest cuts in the 50 and the 200m butterfly events. He posted a time of 25.03 seconds in the 50m fly race while in the 100m fly, his best time is 55.54 seconds.
Grand Bahamian Lamar Taylor has had a good swimming season thus far. He has shown that he is a force to reckon with as he has the top cuts in the 50, 100 and 200m freestyle events. In the 50m free, his best time is 23.33 seconds. His top time in the 100m free is 51.99 seconds and he has clocked a best time of 2:01.32 in the 200m free.
Erald Thompson III also has three top cuts in that age group. He has the top time of 1:08.12 in the 100m breaststroke. The 15-year-old has exhibited his ability in the individual medley (IM) events as he has the top cuts in the 200 and the 400m distances.
In the 200, he has posted a time of 2:16.46 and he recorded a time of 5:00.68 in the 400m IM.
Mark-Anthony Thompson, a long-distance specialist, has the top time in the 400 and 1500m free events as well as the top time in the 200m breast.
In the 400m free, he swam a top cut time of 4:17.99 and in the 1500m he has a leading time of 17:02.20. His time in the 200m breast is 2:31.95.
Kierro Stubbs and Ian Pinder have the top cuts in the 50m breast and 200m fly events respectively. Stubbs’ time in the 50m breast is 30.25 seconds and Pinder’s time in the 200m fly is 2:09.42.
In the 13-14 boys age group, Grand Bahamians Nigel Forbes, Marvin Johnson and Johsua Newry lead the way with top times in that age group.
Forbes has the top cut in the 50 free, 50, 100 and 200m breast; 50, 100 and 200m fly; and the 200m IM.
In the 50m free, he sprinted his way to a top time of 25.21 seconds. The sprinter’s time in the 50m breast is 30.76 seconds. He has clocked 1:07.95 in the 100m breast, and has recorded a time of 2:31.79 in the 200m breast race.
In the butterfly sprint races, Forbes has a top time of 25.96 seconds in the 50m fly, 57.98 seconds in the 100m and 2:12.61 in the 200m fly.
Forbes has clocked 2:18.78 in the 200m IM.
Johnson has the top times in the 100, 200, 400 and 1500m free events and the 400m IM.
Moving up an age group from his 10-individual gold medal haul at CARIFTA a year ago didn’t stop Johnson from recording top cuts in his new age group. In the 100m free, he leads the way with a time of 55.39 seconds. He has a top time of 2:04.81 in the 200m free.
In the 400 and 1500m freestyle events, his times are 4:28.83 and 17:17.04 respectively.
Johnson’s top time in the 400m IM is 5:03.10.
Newry has the fastest time of 30.31 seconds in the 100m back.
Unlike the 13-14 boys category, the 11-12 boys have more balance. There are four swimmers with top times in that division.
Caleb Ferguson leads the way in that category with six of the top times. In the 50m free, he sprinted his way to a time of 27.63 seconds. He recorded the top time of 2:15.23 in the 200m free. Ferguson also showed that he can swim the distance events after posting the top time of 4:56.72 in the 400m free.
In the 50m backstroke, he swam to a top cut of 33.87 – the only swimmer to meet the CARIFTA qualifying standard in that event thus far.
Ferguson also has the best times in the 200 and 400m IM. In the 200m IM he has a time of 2:35.79, and in the 400m IM, the 12-year-old recorded a time of 5:41.88
Ellie Gibson, Caden Wells and Asher Johnson each have top times in three races apiece.
Gibson is the fastest in the 100m freestyle with a time of 1:00.71. He also has the top cut in the 100 and 200m back events. His time in the 100m back is 1:13.81 and in the 200m back he has a time of 2:40.59.
It is obvious that Wells is a breaststroke specialist as he has the leading times in the 50, 100 and 200m breast races.
He clocked 36.15 seconds in the 50m and 1:20.26 in the 100m breast. In the 200m breast he swam 2:56.69.
Johnson’s strong stroke is the butterfly event where he has the best times in the 50m, 100m and 200m races.
The 12-year-old’s time in the 50m fly is 29.65 seconds. He has posted a time of 1:05.57 in the 100m fly and a time of 2:33.50 in the 200m fly.
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.
The female top times will be displayed in tomorrow’s Nassau Guardian Sports.