Swimmers to fine-tune at Swim Jamaica Sprint Meet

Saturday, March 23, 2019

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With the 34th staging of the Carifta Swimming Championships just under a month away, a number of Jamaica's top swimmers from various local clubs will be seeking to improve their form when they take the pool at the Swim Jamaica Sprint Meet today.

The meet, which hones the status of being one of the biggest sprints only event on the local swim calendar, is scheduled to begin at 8:30 am, with the evening session set for 3:00 pm at the National Aquatic Centre in Kingston.

Defending champions Y-Speedos Swim Club has been in dominant form so far this season and is once again expected to retain their title. Last year, they amassed 1,153.5 points, ahead of Tornadoes Swim Club (753.5) and Marlins Swim Club (207.5), while Swimaz Aquatic Swim Club (192) and Kaizen Swim Club (165) completed the top five.

This annual sprint meet also represents the curtain call for local swimmers to sharpen up in a competitive arena and by extension better those qualifying marks prior to the team's departure for the Carifta Swimming Championship.

If the stellar form displayed by the swimmers earlier in the season is anything to go by, then the 15 records broken last year could very well be bettered, including a national age-group record or two, as the rising stars aim to throw down the gauntlet ahead of their regional assignment April 20-23 in Barbados.

By virtue of the seed times, patrons could be in for a treat as some big duals will be on the cards at the one day event.

The headliners will include regional record holder Zaneta Alvaranga of Kaizen Swim Club, Tornadoes standouts Nathaniel Thomas, Sabrina Lyn, Kokolo Foster and Nelson Denny.

Alvaranga has pulled together an impressive first quarter of the year becoming the fastest 13-14 female ever in the history of Jamaica's age group record keeping in the 50m breaststroke in just one swim meet.

She dropped a 34.14-second clocking, lowering the previous record on 34.72 set by Priscilla McClure. The young phenom has three years to make a run at Alia Atkinson's record of 32.59 in the 15-17 division.

Meanwhile, Thomas is being touted as Jamaica's strong medal prospect for the Carifta Championship as he is also coming off of an impressive national campaign and was the second highest record breaker behind Alvaranga.

Additionally, a huge depth of Carifta and Goodwill calibre swimmers, such as 13-14 boys 50m and 100m butterfly prospects Kaheem Lozer of Kaizen Swim Club and Devaughn Robe of Wahoo Swim Club.

At the recent Walter Rogers Championships, both Robe and Lozer produced some lifetime bests and have been training well to better those times at this particular meet. They will be gunning for bragging rights and a chance to climb the Aquatic Sports of Jamaica (ASAJ) ranking.

Also down to compete are the sensational Saidah Brown of Marlins Swim Club, Daniel Mair of Tornadoes, Zachary Jackson-Blaine of Tornadoes, Chester Adams of Y-Speedos Swim Club, Brianna Anderson of Y-Speedos Swim Club, Giani Francis of Y-Speedos and Raine Hopkins of Swimaz Aquatics Swim Club, among others.

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