Smith proud of swimmers’ efforts
National coach Ben Smith said: “The qualification meet held over the weekend was another opportunity for our young swimmers to test themselves against the clock and try to make times for overseas meets.
“Several swimmers swam personal best times in the two events that they participated in,” he said. “Of special note for me was Philip Hagen who was able to bring both of his times very close to the Carifta qualifying times. Brittany Siddle also came on strong with two times that put her in striking position”.
“Shannon Hassell continues to improve her times and was able to get very close to the harder qualifying times for this summer’s CISC meet.
“Jesse Washington stole the show again with two amazing swims in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle. In his 100 free he swam 59.79 seconds which is the second time that he has been under the one minute mark but the first time that it counts for a record. This took the record from Matthew Hammond from 1993.
“The 50 metre free time of 26.98 seconds took the record of William Massy that had been on the books since 1992. As he continues to prepare for this year’s Carifta Games these results are building the anticipation of what could come.
Harbour swimmer Ashley Irby broke Ashley Yearwood’s 9 and 10 age group record in the 50 metre butterfly in a time of 35.41 seconds.
Many of the swimmers who took part in the meet attended a recent intensive training camp in Florida.
The camp allowed ten local swimmers, ranging in age from 11 to 18, to prepare for the Carifta Championships in April to be held in the Bahamas.
Smith said: “They would rise at 6am and after a quick bite to eat would start their day with a one mile run to the pool facility.
“For the next hour they were put through their paces in land based exercises in order to build strength, explosion and stamina.
“They would spend the next two hours training in a beautiful 50 metre pool at the Plantation facility. The sessions were long and extremely challenging for all participants. After a rest period we would return to the pool in the afternoon for a second 2 hour swim practice followed by a core routine and stretching.
At the end of the training camp Vaughn Rowse and Nic Patterson participated in the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships.
Smith added: “Vaughn had three good swims and came very close to making his Carifta qualifying time in the 50 metre free.
“Nic was able to make it to the consolation finals in the 200 metre fly on the first day of the meet. He then qualified for the A finals in the 100 and the 50 fly over the next two days with his best finish being 7th in the 100 fly. His time in the 100 fly gave him a qualifying time for this summer’s Junior Pan Pacific’s in Hawaii.
“We had an added treat of seeing Lisa Blackburn at the meet where it is quite evident that she is in fine form.”