CARIFTA athletes well received

The CARIFTA track and field as well as the swimming team attended a reception in their honor at the Grand Old House restaurant on Tuesday night. 

The event was attended by Premier Alden McLaughlin, Minister of Sports Osbourne Bodden and a number of politicians and sports officials.  

The swim team won 15 medals at CARIFTA in Barbados over the Easter period, including eight by 12-year-old Alison Jackson. Middle-distance runner Dominic Dyer, 16, won a bronze for the track team in the 3,000 meters at the tournament in St. Kitts and Nevis.  

CARIFTA 2015 saw pool and open water swimming action in Bridgetown with 21 swimmers, a coaching and management team of four, three officials and a contingent of more than 30 supporters traveling from Cayman. 

The team arrived with high hopes and there were personal best times set by all medal winners in both individual races and relays. 

The swim team got on the medals podium from day one. Eddie Weber won gold in the 13-14 boys 1500m freestyle, Alison Jackson grabbed silver in the 11-12 girls 50m backstroke, Lauren Hew won silver in the 15-17 girls 50m backstroke and Jackson, Zororo Mutomba, Ria Plunkett and Holly Stradling won gold and set a CARIFTA record in the 11-12 girls 4x100m freestyle relay.  

On day two, Stradling won bronze in the 200m freestyle and Jackson got silver in the 100m backstroke.  

Day three saw Ella Plunkett win bronze in the 13-14 girls 200 individual medley and Jackson take gold in the 100m freestyle and 50m breaststroke. 

Jonathan Key, Cole Morgan, Rory Barrett and Iain McCallum won bronze in the 15-17 boys 4x200m freestyle relay. It was also Cayman’s first ever boys’ relay medal. 

On day four, Jackson won gold in the 50m freestyle and bronze in the 100m breaststroke. 

Lauren Hew grabbed bronze in the 200m backstroke. 

Alison Jackson, Zororo Mutomba, Emily Link and Ria Plunkett won the gold in the 11-12 girls 4x50m freestyle. 

Day five saw the focus shift from the pool to the Caribbean Sea for the open water swimming. A number of Cayman swimmers had strong finishes and Eddie Weber brought home Cayman’s 15th medal, a silver. 

Premier McLaughlin congratulated all the athletes in a brief speech, as did Minister Bodden and Michael Lockwood, president of the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association.  

Sprinter Cydonie Mothersill-Stephens also congratulated all the athletes for their efforts.  

Both the CARIFTA teams, as well as politicians and sports officials, attended the reception at Grand Old House Tuesday. – PHOTO: RON SHILLINGFORD