Records tumble at national swimming championships

A total of 27 swimmers have now met the qualifying mark for CARIFTA. - Photos: Taneos Ramsay

More than 130 youngsters took part in Cayman’s national youth swimming championships over the weekend.

Multiple records were set at the aquatics center at Camana Bay over the course of the four-day competition.

Jillian Crooks, Kyra Rabess, Raya Embury-Brown and Jake Alberga were among the standout performers, setting new national age-group records.

Steve Broadbelt, public relations director for the Cayman Islands Aquatics Sports Association, said the event had been great preparation for the upcoming CARIFTA Games. He said the championships, for athletes under 18, had been organized to mirror the competition conditions of CARIFTA in order to aid their preparation.

Mr. Broadbelt said seven swimmers had hit the qualifying times to make the CARIFTA team at this weekend’s meet. They will join the 20 who had already qualified to compete in Barbados next month.

Cayman’s swimmers bagged an impressive 41 medals at the last CARIFTA games in 2017 and Mr. Broadbelt believes this year’s crop can achieve equally impressive results.

He said the impressive times at the weekend event showed that Cayman’s athletes were developing well and could compete against swimmers from much bigger countries with better facilities.

Among the top performers were Jillian Crooks, who broke records in multiple events in the Girls Under-12 division, Kyra Rabess, who broke the record in the Girls Under-14 50m butterfly, Raya Embury-Brown, who broke the 200m and 800m freestyle record in the same age group, and Jake Alberga, who set a new record for the Boys Under-14 200m freestyle.

Other standout swimmers, winning multiple gold medals in various events over the weekend included, Lila Higgo, Will Sellars, Sierrah Broadbelt, Coco McGrath, Stefano Bonati, Jordan Crooks, Phin Ellison, Corey Frederick-Westerborg, Elana Sinclair, Sabine Ellison, Alison Jackson and Jake Bailey.

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