A local swimmer gained fresh props in Canada.
Camana Bay Aquatic Club swimmer Lauren Hew, 13, returned to the Cayman Islands a champion after winning a bronze medal in the 2013 Canadian Age Group Long Course Championships, which took place in Montreal in late July.
Hosted by Swimming Canada, the competitive meet is designed to give young swimmers 12-18 years old an opportunity to race against some of the best athletes in their age group. As youth swimming continues to grow internationally, this year saw competition qualifying standards rise.
For the first time, swimmers had to qualify in a minimum of three different events to earn their place in the meet. More than 160 teams from Canada, the United States and the Caribbean took part in the event, and the young Cayman swimmer kept her head well above water against more experienced, international competitors.
Despite chilly conditions and a tough first race in the 200 metre backstroke, Hew finally found her rhythm in the 50m back preliminary heat. Hew finished in second place with a time of 32.19 seconds, earning her a position in the final, while also knocking nearly one second off her personal best and smashing the CBAC team record.
In the 50m back final, Hew’s efforts and determination were rewarded with another impressive finishing time of 32.27 seconds – and a bronze medal.
“Lauren had a tremendous meet,” says new CBAC Head Coach Brad Hutton, who joined the swimmer in Montreal. “She was one of the fastest swimmers off the blocks in all of her events and that speed paid off with a bronze medal in the 50m back.”
Hew also set a new personal best in the 100m back, finishing in one minute, 11.85 seconds and achieved two fast swims in the 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly, with times of 30.67 seconds and 31.98 seconds, respectively.
“It was an incredible accomplishment at her first Canadian Age Group Championships,” adds Hutton. “And a great sign for her swimming this upcoming season.”
Hew trains with CBAC’s top level swim group, MaplesFS Select, which is named after the Club’s platinum sponsor. In June last year, MaplesFS signed a two-year agreement to assist the club in a number of important areas, such as travel team expenses and a scholarship programme.
“This has been an exciting year for our club,” says CBAC president Jeffrey Wight. “With the support of MaplesFS, CBAC swimmers of all ages and training levels have been able to take part in a number of prestigious international meets that includes sending eight swimmers to CARIFTA.”
The club is currently enjoying a short summer break before returning to the Camana Bay pool for the 2013-14 season at the end of August. Wight said his group will be eager to continue winning this year.
“We are delighted to end the season on such a high note and look forward to working with MaplesFS over the coming year for the betterment of our club,” adds Wight.
“We are also excited to start a new season with our new head coach, Brad Hutton. Lauren has already set the bar high for the 2013-14 season and I expect it is going to be another successful year for competitive swimming in Cayman.”