CARIFTA junior swim team announced

Rory Barrett from the Camana Bay Aquatic Club will compete in the 15-17 Boys division.

Twenty-two junior swimmers from Cayman will attend the CARIFTA Games in Martinique next month.

The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association on Thursday announced the Junior Swimming Team that will compete in the 2016 CARIFTA 50-meter pool and open water swimming championships, March 22-26.

Bailey Weathers, CIASA’s technical director, said, “This has already been an exciting season for so many Cayman Islands swimmers. We have seen an incredible amount of improvement and success, and we are expecting more great swims as well at CARIFTA.”

Ria Plunkett from Stingray Swim Club will represent Cayman in the 13-14 Girls competition.
Ria Plunkett from Stingray Swim Club will represent Cayman in the 13-14 Girls competition.

Cayman competitors

Swimmers who will represent the Cayman Islands at the 2016 CARIFTA Swimming Championships are:

  • 11-12 Girls: Sabine Ellison, Avery Lambert, Isabel Watler, all from the Camana Bay Aquatic Club, and Stephanie Royston from the Stingray Swim Club.
  • 11-12 Boys: Jake Bailey and Corey Frederick-Westerborg, both from the Stingray Swim Club, and Finn Bishop and Ben Somerville, both from the Camana Bay Aquatic Club.
  • 13-14 Girls: Alison Jackson and Ria Plunkett, both from the Stingray Swim Club, and Holly Stradling from the Camana Bay Aquatic Club.
  • 13-14 Boys: Jordan Crooks and Zachary Moore, from the Stingray Swim Club.
  • 15-17 Girls: Samantha Bailey, Catriona MacRae and Ella Plunkett, from the Stingray Swim Club and Lauren Hew from the Camana Bay Aquatic Club.
  • 15-17 Boys: Rory Barrett and Eddie Weber from the Camana Bay Aquatic Club, and John M. Bodden, Jonathan Key and Cole Morgan, from the Stingray Swim Club.
Alison Jackson is no stranger to the CARIFTA Games. She is shown here with the many medals she won at last year's games.
Alison Jackson is no stranger to the CARIFTA Games. She is shown here with the many medals she won at last year’s games.

Training camp

According to organizers, the CARIFTA squad will have a training camp which brings the athletes together as a team for pool training and team building. The training camp is in addition to the swimmers’ regular club training and focuses on common technical aspects of their swims, such as starts, turns and relay changes.

CIASA president Michael Lockwood said, “The CARIFTA 2016 qualification times were announced in September 2015, with the qualification process being tweaked just a little to acknowledge the increasing number of swimmers achieving the faster qualification times.

“Swimmers were required to achieve a minimum of two qualification times. This requirement notwithstanding, we have seen some outstanding results and this year CIASA is proud to announce a team of 22 swimmers will attend CARIFTA 2016.”

The maximum team size allowed in the games is 32 swimmers, so Cayman’s 22-strong team “is a testament to the swimmers’ hard work and dedication,” local organizers said in a statement.

Lauren Hew from the Camana Bay Aquatic Club is among the young swimmers representing Cayman in the CARIFTA Games in Martinique next month.
Lauren Hew from the Camana Bay Aquatic Club is among the young swimmers representing Cayman in the CARIFTA Games in Martinique next month.

Experienced competitors

Some of the competitors are veteran CARIFTA swimmers, including Lauren Hew, Ella Plunkett, Eddie Weber and Cole Morgan. There are also seven first-time competitors on the team.

“I would like to congratulate all of our swimmers,” Minister of Sport Osbourne Bodden said. “Swimming requires incredible commitment, discipline and focus … and many early hours at the pool. I also want to thank our athletes’ parents for the support and often referenced ‘swim taxi service’ which they provide. On behalf of the Ministry of Sports and the Cayman Islands Government we wish you all success in Martinique.”

The team traveling to Martinique will be accompanied by head coach and manager Bailey Weathers, associate head coaches Caleb Miller and David Pursley and assistant team manager Myriam Plante.

CIASA is funding much of the trip from money raised at the recent Dine and Splash with Olympians, raffle ticket sales and the CIASA golf tournament, and it hopes to raise yet more money before the games begin.

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