Washington looks to peak at CAC Games

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  • Ticking over nicely: Bermuda swimmer Jesse Washington

    Ticking over nicely: Bermuda swimmer Jesse Washington

  • Photograph by Blaire Simmons

Making a splash: Marleigh Howes cuts through the water during her 100 metres backstroke race at the Validus Bermuda National Championships at the Aquatics Centre, National Sports Centre, yesterday

    Photograph by Blaire Simmons Making a splash: Marleigh Howes cuts through the water during her 100 metres backstroke race at the Validus Bermuda National Championships at the Aquatics Centre, National Sports Centre, yesterday


Jesse Washington will look to hit peak form when he competes in his first major international event at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, this summer.

Washington admits he was far from his best at the Validus Bermuda National Championships at the Aquatics Centre at the weekend — although he still won all but one of the seven events in which he competed.

The Sharks swimmer is understood to have already qualified for the CAC Games and will warm up for the quadrennial multi-sport event by competing at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Santa Clara, California, and the Caribbean Amateur Swimming Championships in Aruba.

“The [Validus Championships] haven’t been too good, but they haven’t been too bad,” said Washington, who won yesterday’s 100 metres fly in a time of 1min 1.18sec. “I’m quite a way off my PB, but I’m not shaved and we’ve rested a little bit. I’m not disappointed.

“At local meets I don’t really care about winning or the times. I just care about how I feel. You have to understand that it’s a process.

“I’ve got a few meets in the summer and I’m looking for better results. The whole season is built to swim fast at the end of July [for the CAC Games]. Hopefully I should be swimming fast by next month.”

Washington, who hopes to perform the 50, 100 and 200 free, and the 50 and 100 fly in Barranquilla, insists he will be not fazed by competing at the CAC Games — the oldest regional games in the world, starting in 1926 in Mexico.

“I’m really excited about [the CAC Games],” Washington said. “I’m not sure if I’m going yet. Ben Smith [the Bermuda swim coach] says I’ve qualified, but I don’t remember hitting the qualifying time.

“There will be really fast swimmers there, but I’m always looking to compete.

“I don’t want to say I’m going for experience. If I go and swim well it’s a lesson and if I go and swim bad, it’s still a lesson. It’s always learning.”

Washington will attend the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, this autumn on a scholarship. He was recommended to the university by its former swimmer Julian Fletcher, who represented Bermuda at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“All credit to Julian for guiding me and putting me in contact with the coaches there,” said Washington, who graduates from Warwick Academy on Saturday. He really helped me with the recruiting process; he’s been a mentor for me. I plan to follow in his and Roy-Allan Burch’s footsteps, going through the competitions all of the way up until the Olympics.”

Several records were broken during the three-day meet, with Sam Williamson shattering Trevor Nelson’s 1994 record in the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:11.82. Meanwhile, Logan Watson-Brown broke the 100 and 400 free records.

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Published May 21, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated May 20, 2018 at 11:17 pm)

Washington looks to peak at CAC Games

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