Eva, 16, claims Flowers record

The
annual Flowers Sea Swim race usually brings out the best young swimmers in
Cayman. Many within the under-18 crowd tend to hit the waters in force and
perform well.

This
year a foreign competitor nabbed the top spot and she is not even 17 yet.
American Eva Fabian, 16, won the women’s section of the swim in an unofficial time
of 16 minutes 47 seconds. It was the fastest time for the swim and was an event
record. Fabian won a first place trophy and a cheque for US$5,000.

The
New Hampshire resident was here representing Greenwood Swimming Club and stated
her win was not by accident.

“I
had such a good time here,” Fabian said. “It was my first time swimming here
and my first visit. Everyone saw a good race. I got some good tactics for the
race as I got a chance to scope out the course to see the straightest line. I
came on Tuesday and went out to the beach three or four days. All in all I
enjoyed myself so much.”

Fabian
finished ahead of six international swimmers in Bethany Robinson (second) and
Lucy Smithson (fifth) of Australia, Stephanie Proud (third) and Jemma Lowe
(sixth) from Great Britain, Rada Owen (fourth) of the US and Valerie Gruest
(seventh).

The
first Cayman female swimmer home was Lara Butler in eighth place, who finished
the swim in a little over 20 minutes.

Fabian
returned to the New England area over the weekend and states she is gearing up
for more competitions. “I have the Open Water Championships in Canada in about
a month. I hope to finish as high as I can. I’m hoping to get more experience
for more tournaments and medal for the US one day. So from here I’ll be
training real hard and watching Yankees games.”

Swimming
may be her sport but Fabian admits the New York Yankees and professional
baseball are her passions. Understandably she is still on a high after the team
won another World Series title last year against the Philadelphia Phillies.

“I
love baseball and the Yankees are my favourite team. I went to my first Yankees
game at four and I’ve been to a couple of games over the years. Derek Jeter is
my favourite player without a doubt.

“I
was so happy when they won last year. I was celebrating for a week. My town is
a (Boston) Red Sox town so it was tough to celebrate the win in Red Sox
territory. Whenever I get chance I play backyard baseball.”

Fabian
was accompanied on her trip to Cayman by dad Jack, who doubles as the national
development coach for the Greenwood Swimming Club. Jack, 47, states he would
love to return with his daughter to compete next time.

“This
was the first time a swimmer came down to do the swim and we would love to come
back next year.” Fabian said. “Next year will be busy though as Eva is trying
to make the 2012 US Olympic team. She could make it to London at age 18 and
from there head to the 2016 games where, hopefully, she will be a top three or
five finisher in the 10K event. We’re working out who will make it here next
year whether it will be her or a group of swimmers.”

As
in years past the Flowers Sea Swim benefits a worthy local charity (for the
second year in a row proceeds went to the Sunrise Adult Training Centre this year).
As Fabian states his presence here was also hoping to help out a cause back
home.

“We’re
trying to build a local YMCA pool in New Hampshire so while we were here we
asked for donations to the pool. Right now we just have a lot of lakes there.
My daughter started open water swimming in those lakes. I used to teach her and
swim with her. Now we can’t swim together anymore; she got faster and I’ve gone
the other way!

“But our little city
has done well. BJ Bedford (who also took part in the Flowers swim) and US Olympian
Jenny Thompson are two of the notable swimmers that have come through New
Hampshire.”

SPORTSevaSTORY

Hundreds of swimmers took part in the swim.
Photo: Matthew Yates

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