Sparkling Shirley brings curtains down on Age Group Swim Champs

Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

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Having given their best effort in the pool, Jamaica's young sensations are now waiting with bated breath as the selection committee gets to work to amass the country's best age group team for the upcoming Carifta Swimming Championships.

The rising stars, who set the pool alight at the Walter Rogers National Age Group Swimming Championships, have certainly made the selection committee's task an interesting one following five days of pulsating performances at National Aquatic Centre.

At the end of Sunday's final day of the meet, Y-Speedos were named overall winners after amassing 1,829 points, winning ahead of Tornadoes Swim Club who ended with 1,819.5 points in a nail-biting finish.

Marlins Swim Club ended third with 436 points, with the recently formed Kaizen Swim Club (316 points) and Swimaz Aquatics (275.5 points) completing the top five.

Some 12 records were broken at the meet which saw swimmers vying for spots on the team for the 33rd staging of the Carifta Swimming Championships, to be hosted here at National Aquatic Centre in March.

Christanya Shirley of Marlins Swim Club continued her impressive form as she was again responsible for at least five of the records, including two longstanding marks dating back to 1973 and 1988.

Though not yet at the age to compete at the Carifta Championships, the 10-year-old Shirley has established herself as one to watch in years to come, and is only expected to get better with time.

Like she did when she got the record show on the road on the second day of action, Shirley brought the curtains down on the meet in fine style on Sunday as she gradually took the shine off her older peers.

She first clocked 2:42.84 in girls' 9-10 200m freestyle, lowering Emma Marston's mark of 2:49.45 set last year.

And the 50m freestyle was also at her mercy on the day. She finished in 30.57, erasing the previous record of 31.51 set by Zororo Mutomba in 2013.

Prior to that Shirley came away an easy winner in the girls' 9-10 50-metre breaststroke, clocking a brisk 40.94 seconds on Saturday's penultimate day.

That time lowered the 45-year-old mark of 41.80 set by J Veitch back in 1973. She won ahead of Loren-Ann Patterson (44.83) of Sailfish Swim Club and Renae Chung (48.94) of Y-Speedos.

Waldon McIntosh of Aquamarine Ripples won the boys' 9-10 50m breaststroke in 45.63, ahead of Brandon Wong (47.77) of Y-Speedos and Tornadoes' Kabiki Thomas (48.01).

The girls' 11-12 50m breaststroke was won by Brooke Hopkins of Blue Seal Swim Club in 40.17 ahead of Isabella Sierra (41.02) of Tornadoes and Saidah Brown (41.13) of Marlins.

Joshua Mair of Tornadoes topped the 11-12 boys' event in a time of 38.11, followed by teammate Adrian Balfour (40.49) and Nyles Davis (41.57) of Swimaz Aquatic.

The prolific Zaneta Alvaranga of Kaizen finished tops in the girls' 13-14 50m breaststroke, stopping the clock at 37.45 ahead of Sabrina Lyn (38.56) of Tornadoes and Tiara Campbell (38.99) of Sailfish.

Kito Campbell of Y-Speedos followed suit in the boys' 13-14 event, clocking 34.04 ahead of teammate Rajiv Redhi (34.29) who recently returned to active competition. Nikolos Gordon-Somers (35.10) of Tornadoes was third.

Y-Speedos' Naomi Eaton (36.01) won the girls' 15 and over 50m breaststroke, with Annastazia Chin (39.27) of Tornadoes and Aasha McGlashin (39.57) of Wahoo Swim Club taking the runners-up spots.

Another Y-Speedos representative, Akeem Alleyne, took the boys' 15 and over event in 32.24, ahead of overseas-based Adrian Grant (32.38) swimming unattached and Chester Adams (33.00) also of Y-Speedos.

Shirley returned to top the girls' 9-10 100m freestyle in a time of 1:10.28, which bettered the previous 30-year-old standard of 1:13.26 set by N Lowe in 1988. Chung (1:22.30) was second, with Asha Davis (1:23.12) of Y-Speedos back in third.

Meanwhile, Britney Williams of Swimaz Aquatic also accounted for the meet record in the girls' 15 and over 100m freestyle, when she clocked 1:00.02. She lowered the old mark of 1:00.53 set by Breanna Roman in 2012, winning ahead of the Y-Speedos pair of Brianna Anderson (1:01.75) and Eaton (1:02.86).




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