Heavy rains made a big splash at Friday Night Lights meet

Stingray Swim Club’s Business Solutions Technologies Group Friday Night Lights and Cayman National Sprint meet brought the Lions Aquatic Centre to life last weekend. 

The meets opened the 2015-16 competitive age group season with a resounding splash. 

The Friday Night Lights saw swimmers ages 11 and over compete under the lights in the middle and long distance events that are not featured in a sprint meet: 400 meters, 800m and 1,500m. 

Besides Stingray swimmers, others competing were from Camana Bay Aquatic Club, and the evening was progressing well until just after the last 800m heat was contested – then the rains came. 

As is standard for swim meets, officials, swimmers and supporters were poised to go on, but when the power went out and the rain got harder, the decision was made to call off the meet. 

Despite the rain, and acknowledging that the 1,500m events were not completed, the awards for FINA High Points were awarded to Cole Morgan (SSC), 451 points for his 400m swim, in 4 minutes, 36.69 seconds and Samantha Bailey (SSC), 541 points in the 800m in a time of 9:47.93. 

The next morning, under the sunshine, swimmers from SSC and Seven Mile Swimmers took to the blocks for the Cayman National Sprint meet, with company representative Donna Thompson in attendance. 

“I am always amazed at how small the youngest swimmers are,” Thompson said. “Cayman National is proud to have supported Stingray Swim Club through the years. Their swim meets are well organized, the young athletes swim hard … Swimming is a life skill which we can only hope every child in Cayman has the opportunity to learn. 

She added, “It is good to know that the government’s Learn to Swim program, headed up by coach Ryan Mushin, is doing so well and I encourage them and Stingray to keep up the good work.” 

Stingray’s head coach David Pursley was happy with the start to the season. “We swam all summer, and after just six weeks back at regular training, it is very encouraging to see how much further along we are starting this season compared to last,” he said. “The results from the meets this time last year are dramatically different across all age groups.” 

Pursley added that some swimmers have already posted qualifying CARIFTA 2016 times. He said they will be looking to increase the number of CARIFTA qualifiers when they travel to Jamaica for the Dean Martin Memorial Swim Meet, Oct. 23-25. After that, there will be a training camp in the 50m pool there for the senior swimmers. 

Cayman National High Points winners were: 6 and Under: Lea Nevenlova (SMS) and Nicolas Havlin (UNATC); 7-8: Isobel Ackerly (SMS) and Ben Coak (SMS); 9-10: Allyson Belfonte (SSC) and Will Sellars (SMS); 11-12: Stephanie Royston (SSC) and Jake Bailey (SSC); 13-14 Sarah Jackson (SSC) and Jordan Crooks (SSC) and 15 and Over, Ella Plunkett (SSC) and Cole Morgan (SSC). 

The next home meet on the Stingray Swim Club Calendar is the Mike Lockwood Memorial Pirates Week Meet, Nov. 19-22, with a full array of events – sprint, middle and long distances. 

For more information, contact meet director, Kathy Jackson, on [email protected] 

Catriona MacRae

Catriona MacRae was one of the top swimmers over the weekend.