The CARIFTA Swimming Championships started in Aruba on Tuesday and Cayman Islands swimmer Lauren Hew immediately qualified for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
Hew made the qualifying standard by winning her heat in the 13-to-14-year old girls 50 meters backstroke with a time of 31.14 seconds. The Youth Olympics are set for Aug. 16-28.
Cayman has 28 swimmers at this week’s CARIFTA meet, many competing in the youngest age group, which suggests Cayman will make a splash for years to come.
“They raised the CARIFTA qualifying by a lot, so we have a lot of elite swimmers,” CARIFTA qualifier Eddie Webber said.
Cayman Islands Swimming Technical Director Bailey Weathers believes the program’s youth will result in more Olympic appearances down the line.
“I think we’ll see that progress at the next Olympic games,” Weathers said. “But in 2020, we’re going to see a lot of progress from this group of young men and women.”