WITH over 120 of Saint Lucia’s top competitive swimmers in competition mode, the inaugural Lightning Aquatic Club Carnival Relay Swim Championships came to a successful climax on Sunday March 19at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre.
The meet generated fierce competition with the stands filled by swimmers, coaches, family members and supporters cheering and shouting for their respective team members throughout the five-hour event.
Of the five participating clubs, Sharks Swim Club was victorious with 400 points, followed by Sea Jays Swim Club (325 points), Lightning Aquatic Club (308 points), Racers Swim Club (239 points) and Southern Flying Fish (95 points).
First to hit the pad in the Girls 10-and-under 50-metres freestyle was Jasmine Stiede of Sharks in a time of 38.91 seconds, ahead of JerminaOdlum-Smith in 39.52 seconds (Sea Jays) and third Amelia Joseph in 39.67 seconds (Sharks).
The Boys 10-and-under 50-metres freestyle was won by Antoine Destang (Sharks) who finished 32.31 seconds, with second placer Racers’ TerronHerelle (33.59 seconds) and Ethan Hazell (Lightning Aquatics) in 35.97 seconds for third.
Naima Hazell (Lighting Aquatics) won the Girls 11-12 50-metres freestyle in 30.65 seconds, ahead of teammate Naekeisha Louis (30.81seconds) and Sunshine Mauricette (Sea Jays) in 32.73 seconds.
Sea Jays’ D’Andre Blanchard made light work of the field in the Boys 11-12 50-metres freestyle winning in 29.96 seconds, with Sharks’ Ziv Reynolds (30.59 seconds) and Akim Earnest (Lightning Aquatics) in 31.44 seconds for third place.
Sharks, led by Katie Kyle, the 2016 junior sportswoman of the year, made a clean sweep by winning the top three spots in the Girls 13 -14 50-metres freestyle. Kyle finished in 28.76 seconds, Mikaili Charlemagne second in 29.38 seconds and Maya Hilaire third in 32.11 seconds.
The 2016 junior male swimmer of the year, JayhanOdlum-Smith was in good form, winning the Boys 13-14 50-metres freestyle in 25.87 seconds. Allandre Cross (Sharks) came second in 27.72 seconds and Jamar Archibald (Sea Jays) third in 28.23 seconds. Smith eclipsed the 26.16 seconds he clocked last month.
Eden Crick’s 28.75 seconds and Mikaela Casimir’s 28.84 seconds extended Sharks’ lead by finishing ahead of third place Daniel Joesha (Lightning Aquatics) in 31.28 seconds in the Girls 15-and-over 50-metres freestyle.
In the Boys 15-and-over 50-metres, Omar Alexander (Racers) had an impressive swim, winning in 25.50 seconds, ahead of Michael Louis Fernand (26.17 seconds) and Jonathan Calderon’s (Sharks) 26.25 seconds.
Sharks were dominant on the day winning six of the ten relay races.
President of Lightning Aquatics Swim Club, Tessa Charles-Louis, said that putting on a meet of that nature was no easy task. However, she said the club was thankful for the assistance from the other clubs, as well as Dr. Diane Worrell, Sue Dyson (Racers), SLASA President Carol Mangal, and other officials. The intention, she said, is to include the event on SLASA’s calendar of activities.
“For 2017, LASC intends to get more swimmers into overseas competitions,” Charles-Louis said. “In May, we are looking to send a team of over 15 swimmers to the Barbados Invitational. We are also looking at getting as many swimmers on the Saint Lucia team for the Goodwill Swimming Championship in Guyana in August, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Championship in Martinique in November and the Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago Invitational in December.”