Swimmers scoop five CARIFTA medals

| 30/04/2014

(CIASA): The Cayman Islands National Junior Swim Team brought home two gold, two silver and one bronze medal from the 2014 CARIFTA Swimming Championships last week in Savaneta, Aruba. Lauren Hew (left) dominated the Girls 13-14 Backstroke events bringing home gold in the 100m and 200m events and silver in the 50m. In addition to a gold medal, Lauren’s 100m swim, in a time of 1:07.21 earned her a CARIFTA record – breaking a record which hadstood for 19 years. Cayman’s second silver medal was won by Alison Jackson in the Girls 11-12 50m breaststroke in a time of 36.25.

The girls 13-14 4 x 100 Medley Relay team, Lauren Hew (backstroke), Sarah Jackson (breaststroke), Kavanagh Lambert (butterfly) and Samantha Bailey (freestyle), brought home the bronze in a time of 4:45.91 — the first medal won by a Cayman girls’ relay team in 10 years.

Cayman Swimming’s Technical Director, Bailey Weathers enjoyed his first CARIFTA experience: "I believe the week was a lot of fun for all of the swimmers, staff and parents. More importantly it was a tremendous success,” he said. Close to ninety percent of the swims were life-time bests, and by any standard that is pretty remarkable! We had more swimmers qualify for finals than the Cayman Islands have had for several years. And, just as important we really know the things we need to work on for the future! We were good this week but we will continue to grow and swim a lot better in the months and years to come.”

Coach Brad Hutton, one of Cayman’s CARIFTA Coaches gave a rundown of the statistics:

2013 CARIFTA: 10 individuals make finals in 28 pool events
2014 CARIFTA: 14 individuals make finals in 39 pool events

2013 CARIFTA: 183 points with 12 medals (in the pool)
2014 CARIFTA: 198 points with 5 medals (in the pool)

“The 2015 Team will be in a great position as many of our swimmers age up: a lot of 11 year olds will be at the top of their age group; a lot of 13 year olds at the top of their age group and it will definitely help us to have more swimmers in the 15-17 age group.

“Looking at the statistics from past years shows that the 2014 pool times were much faster, especially in the 50m and 100m events for the 11-2 Girls, 13-14 Girls and 13-14 Boys. Times that previously won medals are the times that were needed to make finals this year,” said Coach Brad.

Coach Andy Copley, also a CARIFTA 2014 Coach added: "A lot of people are asking me about the medal count for our team, but really this year was not about that,” he said.

“We knew from the beginning winning medals this year was going to be tough as a huge number of our athletes were in the bottom half of their age group. I think the real stat to look at was that with a younger team, and without Geoff Butler our medals machine from last year, we still scored far more points. That comes from kids making big jumps in the rankings and getting themselves into finals. The meet was, in general, far faster this year and still we increased the number of athletes swimming in finals from last year. That's a statistic I'm really proud of and I know the other coaches are too. That's something we can really build on and look forward to next year,” he added.

It was a long, successful week and now Cayman’s young swimmers are back at school and at training for their next meet. Next on the CIASA Calendar of Events is the 27th Annual LIME 800m Sea Swim on May 10th.

The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA) is a volunteer, not for profit association dedicated to furthering the interests of all aquatic sports in the Cayman Islands. CIASA is the recognised Governing Body of aquatic sports in the Cayman Islands and is a member of FINA, UANA, CCCAN and the CIOC. For more information on CIASA please visit www.ciasa.ky.


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