Cayman swim team enjoys record CARIFTA

| 26/04/2019
CNS Local Life
Some of Cayman’s returning swimmers, decked in medals, greeted at the airport Wednesday by Minister for Sports Juliana O’Connor-Connolly (centre) and Councillor David Wight (right)

(CNS Local Life): Cayman’s national swimmers arrived home this week with a record haul of medals earned over four days of events in the pool, plus synchronised swimming and open-water races, at the 34th CARIFTA Aquatics Championships in Barbados. The 25-member team collected 56 medals overall, eclipsing the 41 earned at last year’s competition in Jamaica, and the best total to date.

Bailey Weathers, Cayman Islands Aquatic Sports Association technical director, said he was “exceptionally pleased” by the team’s performance, “I thought the team did really well. Most of the times were their best ever. For us that was significant,” he told CNS.

On Tuesday, the final day of pool competition, Cayman added two gold, four silver and two bronze to its tally. Harper Barrowman took gold in the women’s 11-12 400m freestyle, finishing in 4:46.92, outpacing her nearest competitor by a full 12.5 seconds. Raya Embury-Brown collected the day’s other gold in the women’s 13-14 400m freestyle, followed by Avery Lambert in second place; both swimmers earned gold the day earlier as part of the CARIFTA record-setting, 4x200m freestyle relay team.

The other silver medallists were Ali Jackson in the women’s 15-17 50m freestyle; Jordan Crooks in the men’s 15-17 50m freestyle where he cut almost a second off his effort in the prelims in a time of 23.49; and Lila Higgo, in the women’s 11-12 200m backstroke, clocking 2:36.93, a whopping 6.23 seconds better than in her prelim.

The final bronze medals in the pool went to Elana Sinclair in the women’s 15-17 400m freestyle and Kyra Rabess in the women’s 13-14 50m freestyle.

Weathers pointed to the swimmers who missed out on bronze the final day, noting, “I thought there were a couple of opportunities to move up. If we could have turned those into third, that would have been great.”

Finishing just off the podium in fourth place were Jake Bailey (men’s 15-17 400m freestyle); Higgo (women’s 11-12 100m breaststroke); Sabine Ellison (women’s 15-17 100m breaststroke); Zachary Moore (men’s 15-17 200m backstroke); Jackson, Sinclair, Ellison and Tabitha Hawkins (women’s 15-17 4x50m freestyle relay); and Crooks, Moore, Liam Henry and Bailey (men’s 15-17 4x50m freestyle relay).

Over the four days of pool events, the team earned 11 gold, 19 silver and 14 bronze medals. “We’re really proud of the kids,” Weathers said, adding that in artistic (synchronised) swimming, the 13-15 group “won every gold medal in the competitions they were in, which was pretty incredible”, and in open water, the athletes took gold in three out of their four events, along with a silver and a bronze. Overall, the synchronised swimmers took four gold, one silver and two bronze.

The swim team will be returning to Barbados this summer for the CCCAN championships, which will also include an 18-and-over category.

See photos of Cayman’s last day of pool competition in Barbados below (Photo credit: Cayman SwimCarifta Facebook page) (click to enlarge)

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Category: Sports, Swimming

Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Congrats & well done to our swim team.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Let’s get these kids a 50m pool. Not only will our swimmers be able to benefit from training it in … but we can teach more children to swim, we can host more meets (sports tourism) AND we can host US College Swim Teams for training trips. There are ways to offset the operational costs. If other Caribbean islands can manage to have a 50m pool we surely can.

    Well done Cayman’s Swimmers – your hard work has made us all proud.

  3. Anon says:

    Juliana take note, 56 medals including 18 gold in Carifta swimming. Compare this with the track and field team with more than twice as many athletes with home turf advantage, who produced 1 medal, a bronze.Time for Government to invest in a 50 meter pool, these youngsters more than deserve it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you! Honestly Track and Field gets so much money it’s wasteful and swimming gets nothing. Let those guys swim in a 50m pool. Could you imagine how many more we could win?! On top of actually excelling in the Olympics!

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you! The swim coaches bust their butts and what does Coach Williams do…Trank and field is need of changes.

    • Anonymous says: