CLOSE to 160 swimmers will converge on the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre tomorrow (Sunday 1st March 2020) for the Saint Lucia Aquatic Federation (SLAF) annual Independence Swim Challenge dubbed “Last chance to qualify for Carifta 2020”. The meet will be a full day of competition from 9.00 a.m. with 49 events and medal presentations on the cards.
The many sports enthusiasts coming to take in the showpiece will see the march pass of the various participating teams – Sharks Swim Club, RR Swim Club, Lightning Aquatics, Southern Flying Fish, Seajays Swim Club and RHAC Swim Club, followed by remarks from SLAF President – Eddie Hazell who will welcome the swimmers back to competitive swimming.
First off the blocks, male/ female 10 and Under 200 metre freestyle, followed by 11 and over 200 metres freestyle.
Events Nos. 5 – 8: 10 and Under and 11 and Over, will be back into action with 100 metres Individual Medley (IM).
All eyes will look towards the pool for events No. 9 -12, when the 8 and Under and 9 and Over compete in the 25 metre and 50 metres respectively.
The showpiece will shift into high gear for events No. 13 -18: 4×50 metres Individual medley relay for 10 and Under, 11-14 and 15 and Over.
Events No. 19 -20 will see the 9 and Over battle it out for bragging rights in the 100 metres Breaststroke while event No. 21 -24; the 8 and Under and 9 and Over, will go head on in the 50 metre and 100 metres Freestyle.
Bringing the curtains down for the lunch time break will be events No. 25 – 30: 8 and Under 25 metre Backstroke, 9 and Over 50 metres Backstroke and 9 and Over 100 metres Butterfly.
On the resumption swimming enthusiasts will witness the 4×50 metres Freestyle Relay; 25 metres, 50 metres and 100 metres Breaststroke; 100 metres Backstroke; 25 and 50 metres Freestyle. To bring the curtains down will be the 4×50 metres Freestyle for 10 and Under, 11 -14 and 15 and Over in that order.
Dubbed, “The Last chance to qualify” the standards are simply benchmarks for goalsetting and to track improvement. `
Each group has an A, B, AA, and AAAA based on relative speed within the age group and at present the SLAF is using the 2017 -2020 standards.
At Sunday’s event the following swimmers will be closely watched: Jennot Walters (Seajays); Courtney Paul (Lightning Aquatic); Allandre Cross (Sharks); Ziv Reynolds (Sharks); Maliyah Henry and Anyka Holder (Southern Flying Fish) as they are expected to go all out to shave off times to qualify. There is a possibility that certain swimmers can spring up from nowhere and amaze the SLAF Technical Staff headed by David Peterkin with qualifying times.
Speaking about qualifying times, to date a total of 12 swimmers have qualified for the Carifta Swimming Championship scheduled for Barbados in April. There are three debutants in the mix – Ethan Hazell (Lightning Aquatic); Antoine Destang (Sharks) and TherronHerelle (Seajays).
The other qualifers are – Karic Charles, Naima Hazell, Naekeisha Louis (Lightning Aquatic); Mikaili Charlemagne, (Sharks); D’Andre Blanchard, Tristan Dorville, TerrelMonplaisir, JayhanOdlum – Smith and Caitlin Poilus (Sea Jays).