Swim opener soggy but successful

| 12/10/2015
Cayman News Service

Donna Thompson of Cayman National (centre, back) with sprint meet participants

(CNS): Despite a rain-shortened evening, the Stingray Swim Club’s (SSC) Friday Night Lights meet on 2 October was a success, according to organisers, as was the next day’s Cayman National Fall Sprint. The events opened the 2015-2016 competitive age group swim season.

At the Friday Night Lights, swimmers aged 11 and over competed in the middle- and long-distance events — 400m, 800m and 1500m — that are not featured in a sprint meet. Members of the SSC and Camana Bay Aquatic Club (CBAC) took part but the competition was shut down after the last 800m heat was contested, due to heavy rain and loss of power.

Despite the rain, and without the staging of the 1500m events, FINA high points were awarded to Cole Morgan (SSC) — 451 points, 400m, 4:36.69; and Samantha Bailey (SSC) — 541 points, 800m, 9:47.93.

The next morning, under sunny skies, SSC and Seven Mile Swimmers (SMS) took to the blocks for the Cayman National Fall Sprint meet.

Stingray head coach David Pursley was happy with the start to the season. “We swam all summer, and after just six weeks back at regular training it is very encouraging to see how much further along we are starting this season compared to last. The results from the meets this time last year are dramatically different across all age groups,” he said.

“Some of our swimmers have already posted qualifying CARIFTA 2016 times. We will be looking to increase those at the upcoming meets both here at home and overseas when we travel to Jamaica for the Dean Martin Memorial Swim Meet, October 23-25, which will be followed by a training camp in the 50m pool there for our senior swimmers.”

Cayman National representative Donna Thompson was impressed with the event. “I am always amazed at how small the youngest swimmers are. Cayman National is proud to have supported Stingray Swim Club through the years. Their swim meets are well organised, the young athletes swim hard and at the end of the swimming is a life skill which we can only hope every child in Cayman has the opportunity to learn,” she said.

“It is good to know that the government’s Learn to Swim programme, headed up by Coach Ryan Mushin, is doing so well and I encourage them, and Stingray, to keep up the good work.”

The sprint meet high points winners by age category were:

6 & under: Lea Nevenlova (SMS) and Nicolas Havlin (UNATC);

7-8: Isobel Ackerly (SMS) and Ben Coak (SMS);

9-10: Allyson Belfonte (SSC) and Will Sellars (SMS);

11-12: Stephanie Royston (SSC) and Jake Bailey (SSC);

13-14: Sarah Jackson (SSC) and Jordan Crooks (SSC);

15 & over: Ella Plunkett (SSC) and Cole Morgan (SSC).

The next SSC home meet is the Mike Lockwood Memorial Pirates Week Meet, set for 19-22 November, which offers sprint, and middle- and long-distance events.

For more information on the Pirates Week event, email meet director Kathy Jackson

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Category: Sports, Swimming

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