Local swimming heats up for CARIFTA

This year’s CARIFTA Games is coming next month and Cayman’s swimmers are making fast preparations.

Last weekend saw the CARIFTA Trials at the Lions Pool. By the end of the three day event held from 15-17 February, Cayman’s 2008 CARIFTA swim team had been decided.

The names of the team members in their respective age groups are:

Age 11-12 Girls – Alora Davis-Myles, Tori Flowers, Amber Myrie and Luisa Roberts.

Age 11-12 Boys – Geoffrey Butler, Jackson Messer, Alexander McGrath, Asher Van Zanten and Elliot Vernon.

Age 13-14 Girls – Ariana Bain, Lara Butler and Abi Drummond

Age 13-14 Boys – Joshua Bain and Seiji Groome

Age 15-17 Girls – Summer Flowers

Age 15-17 Boys – Joel Rombough and Peter Stasiuk

In all, seventeen swimmers will constitute the team. Only Joel Rombough has won a CARIFTA medal.

The team will instead feature six first-time members: Flowers, McGrath, Messer, Roberts, Van Zanten and Vernon.

National Coach Dominic Ross was very pleased with the results. He feels Cayman’s swimmers are in prime condition for the Games.

He went on to say that he is not put off by the amount of swimmers competing in CARIFTA for the first time.

‘We have a young team and we’re aware of it. I’m not worried about them. Whatever happens happens. As long as they try their best, I’ll be happy.’

The 2008 CARIFTA Swimming Championships will take place in Aruba. The thirty-seventh edition of the competition will be held 27-30 March.

In addition to the CARIFTA team being named, a number of national records were set.

Brett Fraser broke two national records in the 200m and 100m backstroke. In addition he qualified for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing as he met the Olympic ‘B’ qualifying standard in the 200m event.

Lara Butler broke the 13-14 age group record in the 100 metre breaststroke. Meanwhile Danielle Boothe set a new record in the 11-12 age group of the same event.

Cayman swim teams will be involved with numerous competitions after CARIFTA.

The Stingray swim club will travel to Sarasota, Florida in May. More details on the contest will be released at a later date.

One of the biggest meets after CARIFTA will be the Caribbean Island Swimming Championships in Jamaica. That meet will be held 16-23 July.

Coach Ross says he intends to have a team compete there as well.

‘We will be sending a team to that event. It will be a smaller squad than what we’re sending to CARIFTA. Right now we have four or five team members for sure. Hopefully, there will be more after CARIFTA.

‘Right now, our main priority is to get through CARIFTA first. It is the major national event of the year.’