RHAC 20th Invitational an Event to Remember

The Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre was ablaze this past weekend (April 11th to 15th) celebrating the 20th Annual RHAC Invitational Swim Meet.  The event has been held for 20 years consecutively under the theme “Friendship through Competition” which is a record in itself. For this momentous affair, Dr. Diane Worrell and her team put together an event to be remembered.

A record 381 swimmers took part in four days of stiff competition in the pool and 56 swimmers in the one day of open water at Reduit Beach. This by far surpassed any previous swimming event held in Saint Lucia. In fact, on a daily basis the facility had a record number of visitors.  On average 300 spectators attended the meet on any given day of competition; this does not include officials, coaches, and volunteers.

(L-R) Black Sands Swim Club from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines representative receiving the championship trophy; 2nd place team Seajays (Saint Lucia) celebrate. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)

The champion club for 2019 – Black Sands with 706 points (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), in second place Seajays with 668 points (Saint Lucia); third – Blue Marlins with 628.50 points (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines); fourth – Shoelcher Natation 2000 with 622 points (Martinique) and fifth – Longvillier with 618.50 points (Martinique).

A record number of viewers were graced with online live feeds provided by Winners TV and connected via Flow.

There were 65 Meet/Event records set by a variety of regional swimmers.

Age Group Records were set by Naima Hazell (3), Mikaela Casimir (2), Nicholas McLennon (1), Antoine Destang (10), and Jayhan Odlum Smith (3) for Saint Lucia.

Odlum Smith further set two National Records in the 50 metres Fly and 100 meters Fly. Odlum Smith and Hazell will be off to Barbados in the next few days for the Carifta Swimming Championships.

Overall High Point Winners by Age Group:  6 and Under Girls– Kaija Eastmond, Pirates Swim Club from Barbados; 6 and Under- Boys – Kione Deshong, Black Sands Swim Squad from Saint Vincent; 7-8 Girls – Amiya Harrison, High Tide Stingrays from Barbados; 7-8 Boys – Zahid Derrick, Wadadli Aquatic Racers from Antigua and Barbuda; 9-10 Girls – Selah Wilshire, Riptide Swim Team from Antigua and Barbuda; 9-10 Boys – Antoine Destang, Sharks Swim Club from Saint Lucia.

(L-R) third place team, Blue Marlin from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Niama Hazel and Jayhan Odlum Smith were amongst the top winners. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)

In the 11-2 Girls – Abigail Deshong, Black Sands Swim Squad from Saint Vincent; 11-12 Boys – Eltonte Leonard, Black Sands Swim Squad from Saint Vincent; 13-14 Girls – Mya Defreitas, Black Sands Swim Squad from Saint Vincent; 13-14 Boys – Bryson George, Black Sands Swim Squad from Saint Vincent; 15 and Over Girls – Mikaili Charlemagne, Sharks Swim Club from Saint Lucia; and 15 and Over Boys – Delron Felix, Grenfin Swim Club from Grenada.

In the Open Water Swim Competition, the overall winners are placed in their event and age groups; the winners: 500 metres were 7-8 Girls – Eva Fercot, Martinique; 9-10 Girls – Ina-Moune Fraissinet, Martinique; 7-8 Boys – Nathan Berlioz, Martinique; 9-10 Boys Matthew Dacosta Hinds, Barbados. Fraissinet finished first overall for the Girls and Dacosta Hinds was first overall for the Boys.

1 Kilometer (1000 metres) 9-10 Girls – Jade Bering, Martinique; 11-12 Girls – Lisa Jean, Martinique; 13-14 Girls – Mya Defreitas, Saint Vincent; 15 and Over Girls – Evelyn Day, Saint Lucia; 7-8 Boys – Zahid Derrick, Antigua and Barbuda; 9-10 Boys – Luke McIntyre, Barbados; 11-12 Boys – Kristopher Gilbert, Martinique; 15 and Over Boys – Sebastian Mann, Saint Lucia.  Defreitas was overall female first place and Gilbert was first for the males.

3 Kilometer (3000 meters) in the 7-8 Girls – Mya Jean-Phillipe, Martinique; 9-10 Girls – Siddhi Sieusanker, Trinidad and Tobago; 13-14 Girls – Maely-Kloe Janvier, Martinique; 9-10 Boys – Adam Scoon, Trinidad; 11-12 Boys – Naeem D’Souza, Antigua; 15 and Over Boys – Andy Cinna, Martinique.  Overall female first place winner was Janvier and male first place winner was Cinna.

Antoine Distang (Sharks), D’Andre Blanchard and Terrel Herrelle (Seajays) were among the top winners. (Photo: Anthony De Beauville)

5 Kilometer (5000 metres) 15 and Over Girls – Jade Jean-Baptiste Edouard, Martinique; 14 and Over Boys – Adrien Cheri-Zecote, Martinique.  Both were also first respectively for their genders in this event.

Brad Worrell, former Saint Lucian swimmer and son of Doctors David and Diane Worrell, came home to assist with organization throughout the meet.  He was grateful and thankful for the evolution of his swimming achievements through the RHAC Invitational Swim Meet. Currently, he and his older brother David have a swim school outside of Washington, DC.

Dr. Diane Worrell/Meet Director expressed her gratitude to all those who participated; to the clubs that came for the first time and the ones that come year after year, to the officials, volunteers, and staff that made this meet a success.

Anthony De Beauville is The VOICE Publishing Company’s multi-award winning sports journalist. He works closely with a number of sports federations including the Department of Youth Development and Sports, the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee and other organizations.

He covers and contributes articles highlighting the areas of international, regional, national, community based clubs and schools sporting activities. There is never an off day as he stays busy... Read full bio...

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