Coach Smith given a birthday to remember
Bermuda’s swimmers gave coach Ben Smith a fitting birthday present last night while emboldening their credentials at the Central American and Caribbean Championships in Bridgetown, Barbados, with seven more medals.
Two gold, two silver and three bronze brought the four-day medal count to 22 for a breakdown of six gold, 11 silver and five bronze. “Today was a really good day for the team,” coach Ben Smith said.
Elan Daley led the way with her third gold medal of the championships, winning by a fraction less than half a second in the 13-14 200 metres individual medley. Daley came home in a meet record of 2min 25.44 sec, with Maria Yegres, of Venezuela, next in 2:25.80.
She added a silver medal in 100 freestyle in 58.35, only 0.25 of a second behind winner Miriam Sheehan, Puerto Rico.
Bermuda’s second gold medal of the night came in the girls’ 15-17 100 freestyle, where a commanding Logan Watson-Brown romped home in 58.05, half a body length clear of Mexican swimmer Alejandra Cornejo de la Peña (58.49), and matched Daley with her third gold as well.
The night’s second silver would have brought great cheer to the group, as it marked Bella Howes’s first individual medal at an international swim meet.
Howes, who had helped relay teams to medals previously and has a relay medal already at CCCAN this time around, outstretched Anabella Diaz, of Venezuela, to finish second in the 11-12 100 freestyle in 1:02.46. Diaz was seven hundredths back, with Elizabeth Jimenez Garrido, of Dominican Republic, a clear winner in 1:02.09.
Elijah Daley captured his second medal of the meet, a bronze in the boys’ 200 butterfly in 2:23.79. There were bronzes also for Madelyn Moore in the 18 and over 100 freestyle in 58.84, and the boys’ 15-17 200 freestyle relay team of Brian Desmond, Zebedee Wakely, Adam Young and Jack Harvey in 8:10.67, seeing off Jamaica and Barbados in a tight battle for the podium.
“Seeing the reaction of the boys when they touched in bronze-medal position was really special,” Smith said. “They worked hard together to earn that medal.”
Mexico (7:53.04) and Venezuela (8:05.71) were well clear in the top two places, with the coach noting the quality those countries bring.
“The addition of Mexico and Venezuela to the competition has significantly raised the level, but our swimmers are meeting the challenge,” he said. “Elan Daly powering through the individual medley to take the CCCAN record and gold medal and Logan Watson Brown taking gold in the 100 were truly great to watch.
“It was a great birthday gift, for sure.”
There were also three fourth-place finishes for Giada Dudley-Pun (200 individual medley), Elijah Daley (200 individual medley) and Taylor White (200 butterfly), and a fifth place for Sam Williamson (50 breaststroke) on a competitive night of finals racing.
Competition concludes today.