December 04, 2013
A 26-member team from the Barracuda Swim Club recently traveled to Plantation, Florida, to take part in the Speedo Winter Championships, and the athletes turned in phenomenal performances. Coaches Susanne Coleby and Travano McPhee traveled with the team.
The team, which was comprised of 17 male swimmers and nine girls, returned with 12 medals.
Gershwin Greene, 14, had an outstanding meet, taking home four medals - gold in the 50 freestyle and 50 backstroke, silver in the 100 Individual Medley (IM) and bronze in 50 butterfly. N'Nhyn Fernander, 15, won a bronze in the 50 butterfly.
The 12-year-old boys made their mark with Izaak Bastian winning three medals - gold in the 50 breaststroke, silver in the 100 breaststroke and silver in 200 breaststroke; and with Samuel Gibson winning a silver in the 50 butterfly. In the 12-year-old girls age group, Amber Pinder won two bronze medals, one in the 50 butterfly and the other in the 50 backstroke. In an exciting race, the 11-12 boys 100 medley relay team walked away with a third place finish. The team members were Christopher Neil (backstroke), Bastian (breaststroke), Gibson (butterfly), and Ian Pinder (freestyle).
The meet was governed by Florida Gold Coast and hosted by the Plantation Swim Team.
"The Barracuda swimmers trained hard, were ready to compete and they performed well," said a club spokesperson. "The international exposure was invaluable as they raced against a highly competitive field of swimmers from the United States, the Caribbean and Central America."
In addition to the medal winners, many swimmers made it through the preliminary heats to qualify to swim in finals. Making finals in the 9-and-under girls category were Salene Gibson and Rachel Lundy. Gibson placed seventh in the 50 butterfly, eighth in the 100IM and seventh in the 200IM. Rachel Lundy placed ninth in the 100IM and seventh in the 50 breaststroke. In the 9-and-under boys, Sean Longley placed 10th in the 50 breaststroke finals. Mandia Roberts placed seventh in the 100 breaststroke for 10-and-under girls.
Ian Pinder, 11, competed in three finals, placing sixth in the 50 breaststroke, fifth in 50 butterfly and 10th in the 100 breaststroke. In the 12-year-old girls category, Amber Pinder placed seventh in the 100 backstroke. In the 12-year-old boys category, Samuel Gibson placed fifth in the 50 freestyle, fifth in the 50 backstroke, seventh in the 100 fly and eighth in the 100IM. Izaak Bastian, also in the 12-year-old boys category, placed seventh in the 100IM and eighth in the 50 freestyle.
A couple of 13-year-old finalists were Sian Longley who placed sixth in the 50 breaststroke and Charlotte Reed who was eighth in the 100 backstroke and 10th in 50 and 200 backstroke. In the 14-year-old boys' category, Tyrique Cox placed seventh in the 100 breaststroke and Gershwin Greene placed fifth in 100 backstroke, seventh in 100 butterfly and eighth in the 200 backstroke. Doran Reed, 16, earned an eighth place finish in the 50 backstroke finals. The senior boys, ages 15-16, swam well, earning several spots in the finals for that age group. Christoph Johnson placed seventh in the 50 backstroke. He was followed by his teammates Drew Bastian in eighth, Farion Cooper in ninth and Meshach Roberts in the 10th spot. Drew Bastian also competed in the finals of the 50 and 100 breaststroke, placing sixth in each one, seventh in the 200 breaststroke and eighth in the 100IM. N'Nhyn Fernander earned a sixth place in the 50 freestyle and the 100IM, and Farion Cooper earned a ninth spot in the 100 breaststroke.
This meet was a great way to end the year, as the swimmers gear up for the 2014 season. Several meets are scheduled for the coming swim year. The first of the season is the Barracuda Insurance Management Invitational, scheduled for January 11, 2014. The swimmers are confident and their hard work and training will allow them to attain the ultimate goal of making a national team for 2014.
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