Swimmers strike gold in Bahamas

Avery Lambert, Corey Frederick-Westerborg, Sabine Ellison, Lauren Hew, Alison Jackson, Ria Plunkett and Catriona MacRae

table-1Cayman Islands national swimmers returned from the Bahamas with medals, records, personal bests and, for some, a lifetime of memories.

With the open water swimming competition completed, Cayman’s Catriona MacRae – who is hanging up her goggles when she heads off to college at Auburn University this fall – won a bronze in the 10K and a silver two days later in the 5K. Teammate Alex McCallum, who swam in the pool competition, also brought his swimming career to an end with a silver medal in the 200m backstroke. McCallum, who graduates from the University of Loughborough this summer, will be returning to Cayman to work, and perhaps give the Masters swimmers a run for their money.

“Bringing home a total of 13 medals, 11 in the pool and two in the open water competition, Cayman’s swimmers had a good outing in the Bahamas and we are very proud of them all,” said CIASA President Michael Lockwood.

Sabine Ellison came home with a sweep of the girls 11-12 breaststroke events, winning a bronze, silver and gold in the three different events and also winning a gold in the 200IM.

Ria Plunkett repeated her success from CARIFTA in the girls 13-14 800m; Lauren Hew showed her winning ways in the backstroke events with gold in 100m and silver in 200m; and Avery Lambert won her first medal while representing the Cayman Islands with a bronze in the girls 11-12, 200m backstroke.

table-2But another story, in this Olympic year, has connections to Cayman’s Olympic tradition. Corey Frederick-Westerborg – in addition to a number of other records broke three 11-12 age group records for the 200IM, in which he won a bronze medal, and 100m and 200m Freestyle, which were previously held by Olympians Andrew Mackay (200IM) and Shaune Fraser, respectively. In all, Corey broke four CIASA records and six national records in this one meet, which is an accomplishment in and of itself.

When asked how he felt about breaking two records, which were previously held by two of Cayman’s Olympic swimmers, Frederick-Westerborg said, “It’s a great feeling to break records set by two of Cayman’s Olympians. I feel so happy that I was able to represent Cayman at CISC and break the 200IM record that I have been after for so long. I credit my performance at CISC to all my coaches and the support of my family and friends. Thank you for all you’ve done to help me reach my goals.”

Meanwhile Alison Jackson set a new record, and won a bronze medal, in the girls 13-14 100m Freestyle, becoming the first girl in that age group to complete the 100m Free in under a minute – and breaking a record previously held by the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee’s COO, Jennifer Powell.

About the achievement, she said, “Going under a minute had been a goal of mine for a while now. Now that I have achieved it I am setting myself new, and faster, goals.”

The full team that represented Cayman in the Bahamas included Sabine Ellison, Avery Lambert, Stephanie Royston, Alison Jackson, Ria Plunkett, Holly Stradling, Samantha Bailey, Sarah Jackson, Lauren Hew, Catriona MacRae, Ella Plunkett, Jake Bailey, Corey Frederick-Westerborg, Jordan Crooks, Zachary Moore, Jonathan Key and Alex McCallum.

They are being coached by Bailey Weathers and David Pursley, and the team manager was Sue Weathers. They were also accompanied by CIASA/FINA referees Adam Roberts and Tom McCallum, who officiated at the meet.

Cayman’s national swimmers will train throughout the summer, heading off to end-of-summer season swim meets in St. Petersburg, Florida; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Boston, Massachusetts before enjoying a short break for the summer.