February 23, 2015
The Barracuda Swim Club pulled off an impressive victory as the Bahamas Swimming Federation's (BSF) 2014/15 swim season continued this past weekend. In the third meet of the year, the Barracuda Swim Club totaled 703 points, winning the Sea Waves Aquatic Club meet which was held at the Betty Kelly-Kenning National Aquatics Centre. The Alpha Aquatics Swim Club finished second with 485 points, Swift Swimming was a distant third with 238 points, the Dolphin Swim Club got fourth with 217 points and the host Sea Waves team rounded out the top five with 148 points. The Sea Bees Swim Club completed the six-team field with just 72 points.
A number of brilliant performances were turned in, as the swimmers continue to prepare themselves for the upcoming CARIFTA Trials in March.
In the under-8 boys 50 meters (m) freestyle, Keiran Sealy from Barracuda won a gold medal with a time of 1:06.98. Christoph Johnson from Barracuda won the 15-and-over boys 50m butterfly in a time of 29.28 seconds, and he was followed by teammate Farion Johnson with a time of 29.80 seconds. Michael Walking from Swift Swimming picked up a bronze with his time of 31.72 seconds.
Alpha Aquatic's Zoe McCarroll won the 13-14 girls 200m backstroke in a time of 2:49.38, followed closely by her teammate Virginia Stamp with a time of 2:50.34. Madison Davis from the Dolphin Swimming Club rounded out the top three with a time of 3:09.98. In the 13-14 boys butterfly, Tyler Russell from Swift Swimming won a gold medal with his time of 31.48 seconds. His teammate Joshua Murray finished second in 31.58 seconds, and Tenajh Gaitor from Barracuda finished third in a time of 35.07 seconds.
"We had planned a two-day meet but had to move Friday evening's events to today as the wind chill factor with the low temperature of the pool was not up to minimum FINA (International Swimming Federation) standards for swimming last night," said Head Coach of the Sea Waves team Shirley Mireault. She attributed the pool's inclement temperature to the fact that the pool's heater had been off for three works prior to the meet.
"Six clubs participated with about 123 athletes swimming. Although the water is cold, they swam well and we had no incidents of injury. Despite the cold, some swimmers did personal bests and they are all gearing up for the CARIFTA Trials in March and nationals in June. We were pleased that we placed fifth out of the six teams with our eight swimmers. We may be small, but we try hard."
Mireault said that although she was pleased with the meet's final result, she feels that some of the BSF's smaller clubs are constantly at a disadvantage, due to a lack of sponsorship and consistent access to suitable facilities.
"Our club trains primarily at the South Beach Pools, but are severely handicapped at the moment as the competitive (25-yard) pool at South Beach has been out of operation since July of 2014, and it is the only pool there with any heat," she said. "It seems our plea for assistance to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture is not being heard as they keep saying it is being dealt with, but after more than six months, we are very disappointed to see no obvious change taking place there.
"We ran a successful meet today with a small number of swimmers' families assisting, as well as other clubs helping us. Some clubs have had the same sponsors for more than 20 years, but the smaller clubs like ours have been unable to get sponsors to assist with the expense of running a meet."
The BSF will continue with its regular season on Friday, as the Barracuda Swim Club prepares to host its second meet of the year at the aquatic center.
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