Stingrays impressed Jamaicans

The Stingray Swim Club of Grand Cayman competed in Jamaica recently in the Walter Rodgers Age Group Swimming National Championships at the National Stadium Pool, delivering personal bests and CARIFTA qualifying times.

Local performers also earned gold medals, top-10 finishes and set long course records in all four sessions of the competitions held between 14 and 17 February in Jamaica.

“It was an amazing weekend for the swimmers who travelled,” said Derrick Westerborg, team manager and a Stingray parent. “Each and every one of our swimmers gave 100 per cent. They all achieved at least one personal best and our masters’ swimmers Michelle Bailey and Sally Poole – also Stingray parents – broke existing meet records for their age groups in multiple events.”

“We travelled to Jamaica with a team that represented a true cross section of our club,” said Stingray head coach Andy Copley. “We had swimmers who have never competed in a 50-metre pool, as well as swimmers who have represented Cayman at CARIFTA, swimmers who have been competing since they were five and swimmers who have more recently started at the ages of 11 or 12.

“What we all had in common was team spirit and the desire and intent to do our best,” he added. “I am extremely proud of all the swimmers who competed in Jamaica.”

Meet highlights included Ashley Theaker and Alex Dakers both going from having zero CARIFTA events to three in one weekend.

Corey Westerborg went a perfect six unbeaten in the Boys 8 & Under division to take home the High Point award and a FINA points trophy.

Ali Jackson won the High Point Award for the Girls 9-10 age division by placing first in four of six events and breaking four national and Stingray records.

The 11-12 Girls dominated the field, proving their strength in every stroke. Sam Bailey won the 200m back in a time of 2 minutes, 42.66 seconds. Meanwhile, Sarah Jackson claimed the 50m breaststroke in a time of 38.70 seconds and Stefanie Boothe was nearly edged out for the gold in the 50m butterfly in a time of 32.40 seconds.

Cole Morgan made a clean sweep of the backstroke events, capturing gold in the 50m, 100m and 200m back.

“We are delighted at the results our swimmers achieved in Jamaica,” said Brenda McGrath, Stingray Club president. “They have been training hard. They are focused and committed and now they are starting to be rewarded for the hard work and discipline.”