Ribbins meet sees CARIFTA times

The Pete Ribbins Consolidated Water meet at the Lions pool over the weekend was a great four-day event to prepare swimmers for the CARIFTA championships at Easter.  

Hosted by the Stingray Swim Club, besides Stingray members, there were competitors from Camana Bay Aquatic Club, Team TI, Brac Barracudas, Cayman Islands Special Olympics and a number of other swim schools also took part. 

The meet started on Thursday and finished on Sunday and had two night sessions. Thursday night saw some exciting competition in the long distance 800 meters and 1500m freestyle, and on Friday night the middle distance events – 200m and 400m were contested.  

Stingray’s Sam Bailey, Jordan Crooks, Alison Jackson, Cole Morgan, Ella Plunkett and Ria Plunkett turned in a number of CARIFTA qualifying times.  

However, the CARIFTA 2015 team selection does not take place until after the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association nationals from Feb. 19-21, so hopefuls will have to wait a little longer to see if they will be selected. 

Stingray’s coaching team of David Pursley and Tim Leonhart – who are newcomers to the Cayman scene – enjoyed the meet. “It is always fun to see the competitive spirit come out in competition,” Pursley said. 

“It is not the same environment that we have every day in practice and the unique response we saw from individual swimmers can help us as coaches find the best in each swimmer.” 

He said that he enjoyed the tremendous team spirit which made for an exciting and fun four days. There will be plenty to take away from the Pete Ribbins meet that will help the coaches prepare for the CIASA nationals in the coming weeks, Pursley said.  

Meet director Brenda McGrath said, “Each session requires over 30 volunteers to officiate, time and run concessions. We are extremely thankful to all of them for coming out and working and we thank the parents who came out to cheer on the swimmers too.” 

High Points Awards were won by – Girls: 6&Under Emily Plamer (TI); 7-8 Gabriella Royston (SSC); 9-10 Stephanie Royston (SSC); 11-12 Beth Walton (CBAC); Ella Plunkett (SSC) and 15&Over, Lauren Hew (CBAC). Boys: 6&Under, Phinn Ellison (CBAC) and Dominic Gunn (TI); 7-8 Connor Macdonald (CBAC); 9-10 Finn Bishop (CBAC); 11-12 Jordan Crooks (SSC); 13-14 Eddie Weber (CBAC) and 15&Over Cole Morgan (SSC). 

“The Pete Ribbins Memorial Consolidated Water Meet was a resounding success by all accounts,” said Stingray club president Amanda Roberts. “The meet ran very smoothly. We are grateful to Consolidated Water who have continued their long-term sponsorship of this swim meet in Pete Ribbins’ name.” 

She added that Pete Ribbins, the late general manager of the Cayman Islands Water Company, displayed the immense discipline and commitment it takes to succeed in sports. Ribbins was a former Canadian football pro who competed in triathlons when he came to Cayman and a variety of other sports, including softball. He died of Multiple Sclerosis five years ago. “He would be very proud to see so many children taking part in this meet and displaying such good sportsmanship.” 

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Jordan Crooks qualified for CARIFTA.
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