Raring to go!

Sports

Raring to go!

Talented 15-member swim team departs for ASATT Invitational

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

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Following their impressive performances at the recent Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) swim meet, Jamaica's young swimmers will be hoping to assert their dominance at the Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago (ASATT) Invitational Championships.

The talented 15-member team from three clubs — Kaizen, Y-Speedos, and Montego Bay-situated Sailfish Academy — is set to converge on Couva to plot the course towards another successful outing and some end-of-year fast times in their respective age groups at the four-day meet.

They depart for the twin-island republic today.

Scheduled to take place tomorrow through to Saturday at the new Aquatic Centre, the ASATT Invitational, now in its 40th staging, holds some rich history on the aquatics calendar since its inception back in 1978 when it was known as the Marlins Invitational, hosted by Marlins Swim Club in Trinidad and Tobago.

It is one of the older meets in the Eastern Caribbean, which was set up to provide regional swimmers with long course (50m pool) opportunity as most countries back in the day only had 25m pools.

The meet is once again expected to attract over 400 swimmers from Barbados, Guyana, St Lucia, Jamaica, among others.

Jamaica's participation at the meet has yielded positive results over the years, and as such, swimmers will again be in search of qualifying times for Carifta and UANA for national call-up.

Rory Alvaranga, head coach of Kaizen Swim Club which will field two swimmers in daughter Zaneta and Kaheem Lozer, pointed out that the annual meet plays an integral role in the development of his swimmers.

Zaneta has been sharpening her mental game at the meet since 2015, while Lozer will be making his second trip to the event.

“The Marlins Invitational has and will remain an essential part of development of young Kaizen swimmers away from home. It provides a very competitive environment where the swimmers don't really know the level of competition they'll meet, as they do at our local meets,” Alvaranga told the Jamaica Observer.

While not making any bold predictions, Alvaranga believes his charges should give a good account of themselves.

Lozer has been a man on a mission since missing a Carifta call-up earlier this year, but made his national debut at the Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) in June, while Zaneta is a two-time top-ranked high point winner at the event and is expected to remain competitive against the other nations.

“I try to take away the predicted result and talk them into swimming at a higher level in Trinidad. To race, many swimmers have the physical skill already, however, away from home they tend to swim faster. Overseas swim meets help to make them mentally tougher, and bring all their skills and talents to life,” Alvaranga noted.

Meanwhile, Georgia Sinclair, manager of the Y-Speedos Swim Club, which fields 11 swimmers of the lot, expressed delight at the prospects to come from her representatives.

Her son Kyle Sinclair, who won the high point trophy in 2017 against a highly competitive 13-14 field, is featured prominently on the psych sheet.

“The Y-Speedos Club is delighted to once again have a team participating at the ASATT Invitational. We expect to have a good showing at the meet, given the rankings of some of our swimmers based on the psych sheet produced by the meet organisers.

“We have swimmers like Giani Francis, Samanta Selvon, Karci Gibson, Dirk Harrison and Kyle Sinclair ranked in the top three going into some of their respective events,” Sinclair shared.

For Sinclair, who is also the Aquatic Sports of Jamaica's (ASAJ) vice-president of swimming, the country's participation at the meet this year is twofold.

“Of course, swimmers go in search of qualifying times for Carifta and CCCAN. This meet will be a good gauge to see where these swimmers are, as we return to Jamaica to compete at our Christmas Open Invitational a few days after returning from Trinidad. Our swimmers look forward to this meet as it is fiercely competitive and allows them to optimise their efficiency,” she added.

Full delegation: Zaneta Alvaranga, Kaheem Lozer, Loren-Ann Patterson, Howard Wallace, Akeem Alleyne, Dirk Harrison, Liam Harrison, Dominic Mullings, Brandon Wong, Sage Sinclair, Kyle Sinclair, Giani Francis, Karci Gibson, Kayla Kerr, and Saamanta Selvon

Officials: Georgia Sinclair, Rory Alvaranga, Gillian Millwood


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