Jamaica's swimming in good hands as juniors make big splash

Observer staff reporter

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Print this page Email A Friend!

The future of Jamaica's swimming is currently looking bright as a number of young protagonists continue to impact the sport, which is a source of pride for their parents.The name Zaneta Alvaranga has been making the rounds over the past few years, and rightly so. She was recently crowned the fastest 11-12 girl in the history of the Carifta Swimming Championships in the 50m butterfly.

Alvaranga's time of 29.05 seconds has placed her in close quarters with international competition, being some way ahead of the number one ranked American Hannah Weissman (29.25) when compared to United States and regional swimmers in her age group for the event.

The Immaculate Conception athlete's present 100m butterfly time of 1:07.55 would place her fifth on the list of America's 10 best swimmers in that event, while her 50m and 100m freestyle times of 27.56 seconds and 1:01.25 minutes would place her third and second, respectively, on the said top 10 list.

Her 33.34 in the 50m backstroke would place her at number seven when compared to the American powerhouse swimmers.

Father and coach Rory Alvaranga believes there is a lot of scope for improvement and the rising star will only get better with continued focus and consistency with the assistance of the Ultra Short Race Pace Training (USRPT).

“One can only look to long term athletic development, good health and continuous improvements, as we continue to pioneer the USRPT locally.

“A lot is being said about the following of Zaneta Alvaranga from the tender age of six years old, and even more is being said of the local parent/athlete combination that we now have,” Alvaranga, who is assisted by Torey Clare, told the Jamaica Observer recently.

He continued: “But things are slowly being put into perspective as she continues to excel, and I am very proud of where she is at right now and what we have achieved thus far.”

While Zaneta is charting her course, there is another headliner now on rise and and his name is Nikolos Gordon-Somers.

Gordon-Somers, 12, was the youngest member of Jamaica's team to the Carifta Championships in The Bahamas recently, where he earned silver as a member of the 4X200m freestyle relay squad.

However, his prowess and passion know no bounds and since returning, the Tornadoes Swim Club representative has been making a splash over the past few weeks.

At the Mayberry Investments schools championships and the recently concluded Burger King-Popeye's-YMCA meet, Gordon-Somers won gold in all his events and was named top individual points scorer at both meets.

In addition, he broke four meet records in each of the two meets, including his own 50m breaststroke record when he posted 36. 31 to better 38.48 set last year at the Burger King-Popeye's-YMCA meet.

His other records came in the 50m and 100m freestyle, where he achieved times of 28.59 seconds and 1:05.72 minutes and in the 50m butterfly with a time of 32.27. He also won gold in the 200 individual medley (IM), which was being contested at both meets for the first time.

The Liberty Preparatory student pointed out that he is looking forward to the remainder of the season as he seeks to improve his times for an even more outstanding performance at the Carifta Championships to be hosted here in Jamaica next year.

“I feel proud and special being the youngest one to make the Carifta team. Since I went to Carifta and saw the competition, and returning to Jamaica I am more determined to go faster and lower my times, so the next time I compete at the Championships I want to rule the pool,” he said,

His father, Nigel Gordon-Somers, also shared the family pride.

“We are extremely proud of Nikolos because normally the actual swimming age is like about three or four and he didn't start until he was seven. When he started at the Swim Jamaica programme there were seven levels and he pretty much finished all seven levels in one year,” he said.




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon