Seiji braves through the sadness

Over four days, the sun shone and
the water sparkled which was fitting, given the sponsor. The Consolidated Water
Age Group Championships and CARIFTA Trials was a well attended meet with lots
of new faces and plenty of spectators.

The swimmers put on a fine show,
starting with the distance events on Wednesday evening and finishing before
noon on Sunday with the presentation of the high-points awards, whilst in
between braving the cold winds and colder water on Friday evening; this proved
too much for some of the youngest swimmers who refused to get into the water, a
decision few of the adults would argue with.

Around this time of year we tend to
think of spring and new arrivals, and this meet saw two new winners in the 6
& under category and two new additions to swimming families acknowledged by
SSC President, Brenda McGrath.

Corey Westerborg was all-conquering
in the 6 & under boys and even tried his hand at racing the older boys on
Saturday and Sunday; Sabine Ellison also achieved a clean-sweep on her

The next day the crowd sang happy
birthday to Liam Majors, but he was unable to dedicate a high-points award to
his new baby sister as that was claimed by Tobias Mikkelsen for his new baby

Saturday and Sunday saw glorious
sunny cool weather and the bleachers fuller than they have been for some time.
There was also fine racing going on as all the swimmers tried to post best
personal times or even attain qualifying times.

Sunday was an emotional day as it
started with a prayer and a minute’s silence for Adora Bodden-Groome who had so
sadly passed away a week earlier and ended with the announcement of the CARIFTA
team and the naming of Adora’s son Seiji as the boys’ captain of that team.

Tears were shed also by the
families of swimmers whose hard work paid off with their recognition making the
team, or just making personal bests, winning awards or winning races. The
youngsters there could see the results of hard work training under dedicated

There was plenty for the crowd to
cheer. In the Senior Division, a more mature swimmer Alekandra Vvjic battled
the 15 and 16 year-olds in the 50 meter freestyle, while two records fell;
Miquala Montana set the 8 and under girls Lions Pool and SSC records in the
200M breaststroke, and Tobias Mikkelsen broke his own pool record in the 8 and
Under 400 metres freestyle.

There was also some fine racing
especially at the very end of the meet in the 200m backstroke where Iain
McCallum could hardly be separated from winner Simon Butler in the 11-12
category, while in the 13-14 age group Lois Moody just lost out to Bethany Cleaver
and three of the larger boys came down the last length in a row.

It was a fine weekend for the
Butlers (Lara, Geoffrey and Simon) who each won the high points awards in their
age-group and all were named in the CARIFTA team.

Mother Maria had acted as meet director
and was thrilled with the way it went. “We had a great meet this weekend with
so many super new swimmers going all the way up to seniors,” she said.

“The turnout was great, it ran very
smoothly, the swimmers swam well and there were a lot of spectators. It was
certainly one of the best meets I’ve been involved in.”

This was the last opportunity for
the CARIFTA hopefuls to hone their racing skills and improve their personal
best times. It also allowed some younger swimmers to enter uncharted waters and
try out new longer distances, and maybe make an early claim for a spot on the
2011 CARIFTA team.

Adam Roberts of the Stingray Swim
Club said: “We would like to thank Cayman Water for their continued support of
swimming and to the wonderful coaching staff who were there through it all and
work so hard to make all of this possible.

“Also a big thank you to all who
volunteered and to the children who behaved very well over the four days.”

The next SSC event is a sprint meet
towards the end of March, when another great turnout is anticipated. An announcement
will be made when the date is finalised.

Full results of this and all
Cayman Swimming events are posted on the website (