Record-setting Alvaranga Swimmer's 50m butterfly win leads Ja's medal charge on day two at ASATT Invitational

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Record-setting Alvaranga Swimmer's 50m butterfly win leads Ja's medal charge on day two at ASATT Invitational

Saturday, December 14, 2019

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After whetting their appetites for medals on the opening day of the Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago (ASATT) Marlins Invitational Championships, Jamaica's young swimmers upped the ante with an impressive six-medal haul on day two at National Aquatics Centre in Couva on Thursday.

Those six medals, which included three gold, two silver and a bronze, took the talented 15-member team's overall tally to 10 medals –five gold, three silver and two bronze – as they continue to make a splash at the 40th staging of the meet, which has become a staple on the regional calendar.

Over 400 swimmers from six countries are competing at the event.

Kaizen Swim Club's Zaneta Alvaranga charted the medal-winning course as she accounted for three of the six medals, mining two gold and one silver in her three events on the day, adding to the gold medal won on the opening day.

The outstanding 14-year-old logged her first victory of the night in the girls' 13-14 100m freestyle where she clocked a fast 59.12 seconds, not too far off the record 58.78 held by Siobhan Cooper since 1993. She won ahead of Gabrielle Vickles (1:01.58) of Tidal Waves Aquatics and Zoe Anthony (1:01.68) of Marlins.

Alvaranga followed that performance with a second-place finish in the 200m breaststroke, stopping the clock in 3:03.86 minutes, behind Anthony, who won in 2:55.59 minutes. Arielle Dickson (3:12.45) of Flying Fish was third.

Karci Gibson of Y-Speedos won her second medal of the campaign when she delivered a bronze in the 15 & over 200m breaststroke in 3:10.60 minutes. The event was won by Gabriella Acosta of Blue Dolphin in 2:57.70, ahead of Vrisnelit Faure (3:00.65) of TSC.

Jamaica had to wait until the 50m butterfly series to snare their other medals with Alvaranga and Kaizen teammate Kaheem Lozer both mining gold, while Giani Francis of Y-Speedos copped silver.

Francis, who won gold in the grils' 11-12 50m backstroke on Wednesday's first day, was first up, clocking a new personal best 30.64 seconds, dropping .73 seconds off her previous best time. The event was won by Tidal Wave's Joy Blackett in 30.04, just one-hundredth of a second outside the record of 30.03, set in 2010 by Tyla Martin, with Abigail Deshong (31.35) of Black Sands taking bronze.

Alvaranga then took a quality field to class in the girls' 13-14 event, clocking a record 28.31 seconds, as her stellar underwater technique propelled her ahead of competitors. She lowered the previous record of 28.85 set by Gabriela Donahue in 2017.

Ariann Clouden (30.67sec) of Grenfins and Caitlyn look Fong (30.78sec) of Barracudas were the runners-up.

The soft-spoken Alvaranga later expressed pleasure with her performances which represent an improvement on her times from her last swims at the ISSA meet.

Meanwhile, Lozer, who missed out on points in the freestyle, made no mistakes in the boys' 13-14 50m butterfly, to ensure a sweep of that age group for the Rory Alvaranga-coached Kaizen Swim Club.

Lozer justified his top-seed post by clocking a new personal best of 26.33 to win the event ahead of Blue Dolphin's Aaron Stuart (26.52sec) and Nikoli Blackman (26.62sec) of Marlins Swim Club.

A modest Coach Alvaranga praised the efforts of all the swimmers in Jamaica's camp.

“I am pleased with the performances on the day, the Kaizen swimmers gave a good account of themselves and so too did the other Jamaican swimmers with a number of huge personal best times as well.

“Our training programme was tailored for a mini peek for the year-end and we will shift gear in our periodisation for UANA and Carifta peaks,” Alvaranga noted.


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