Local rugby players allowed Cayman to end its time in Mexico on a high note.
The Cayman Islands national 7s men’s team finished fifth at the XXII Central American and Caribbean Games. The squad won three of its six matches on Friday and Saturday at the High Performance Center in Veracruz. In pool play, Cayman lost to Barbados, 31-7, and Colombia, 33-7, before thumping Bermuda, 20-5. In the quarterfinals, Cayman lost to Trinidad and Tobago, 24-0, before rallying to defeat Costa Rica, 28-7, and the Barbadians, 14-10.
Representing Cayman were Alex Pineau, Angel Hawkins, David Terry, Edward Westin, Joel Clark, Justin Wight, Keswick Wright, Kramer Bell, Mark Soto, Paul Westin and Taylor Wight. Wright, 31, led the way with a team-high five tries.
The ladies were well off that pace. The national 7s women’s team finished sixth out of six countries, losing all six of its matches and scoring just 12 points throughout the tournament. Cayman lost to Venezuela and Mexico by identical 39-0 scores before losing to Colombia, 34-0, Trinidad twice by scores of 20-5 and 37-0, and Jamaica, 36-7. Shenel Gall was Cayman’s top scorer with seven points (scoring a try and a conversion).
Representing Cayman were Avery-Ann Rankine, Cassianne Lawrence, Chrishaunna Trowers, Ciara Henry, Jenna Richards, Jodie McTaggart, Larissa Johnson, Marline Williams, Meylys Swaby, Gall, Tracey Seymour and Yasmin James.
Other sports wrapped up over the weekend. The beach volleyball tandem of Olney Thompson, 47, and Keith Higgins, 46, finished 15th of 16 countries after winning one of its six games. After losses in pool play to Mexico, Cuba and Aruba, the duo lost to the Dominican Republic and Barbados before overcoming Costa Rica due to an injury to the Ticos.
The sailing contingent missed out on top-10 finishes after 10 races. Florence Allan, 16, ended up tying Puerto Rico’s Miranda Rivera for 11th place with 97 points in the Women’s Laser Radial. Jesse Jackson, 15, was 15th of 15 racers with 129 points in the Men’s Laser event, and Shane McDermot, 16, tied Colombia’s Juan C.P.C. Martinez for 10th out of 12 competitors with 81 points in the Sunfish category.
Cayman’s men’s squash team – consisting of Alexander Frazer (age 21), Julian Jervis (17) and Cameron Stafford (22) – finished 13th of 13 countries. The local boys lost to El Salvador, Guatemala and Venezuela.
Overall, Cayman finished 17th of 26 countries, with one gold medal during the competition – which ended Sunday. That golden moment came on Wednesday when Stafford and Marlene West, 42, won the squash mixed doubles category.