Young swimmers raring to go as Age-Group Champs looms

Observer staff reporter

Friday, February 09, 2018

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With their appetites whetted from a series of dazzling displays at the recently concluded 23rd Karl Dalhouse Memorial Invitational Meet, Jamaica's young swimmers of Y-Speedos are raring to go for the upcoming age group championships.

The six-day Walter Rogers National Age-Group Championships scheduled to begin next Tuesday is expected to be fast and furious as swimmers continue to hunt spots on Jamaica's squad for the 33rd Carifta Swimming Championships whoich will be hosted here starting March 15 at the National Aquatic Centre.

The three-day Karl Dalhouse Meet provided the rising stars with the perfect opportunity to gather some momentum and they duly obliged, establishing all of 15 records, which was complemented by 18 set by their coaches in the Master's category.

Coached by Gillian Millwood, Kyle Sinclair and his Y-Speedos peers successful retained their title for a third- consecutive year and will now turn their attention to the age group meet to further tune their performances with the Carifta Championships only a few weeks out.

Y-Speedos logged a combined total of 959 points, winning ahead of Tornadoes Swim Club (749) and Marlins Swim Club (396.5). Blue Seal Swim Club (214), Swimaz Aquatic Swim Club (195) and the recently formed Kaizen Swim Club (186) made up the top six.

Three records fell on Sunday's final day of action with young Christanya Shirley once again being the pick of the day's action, as she ended the meet with eight of the 15 age-group records.

Shirley maintained her dominance of the girls' 9-10 age group events when she clocked a fast 39.70 seconds on her way to victory in the 50-metre breaststroke, erasing the old mark of 42.87 set by Gabriella Black in 2009.

The rising sensation then joined forces with her Marlins Swim Club teammates to clock a new mark of 2:45.19 in the Mixed 9-10 200m medley relay. They lowered their previous mark of 2:45.23 established last year.

The other record on the final day came courtesy of the Y-Speedos Mixed 13-24 200m medley relay team of Brianna Anderson, Jordane Payne, Akeem Alleyne, and Naomi Eaton. They clocked 2:00.91 to beat the club's previous mark of 2:02.24 set last year.

As expected, Shirley walked away with the top award in the girls' 9-10 age group after amassing a total of 63 points. She was followed by Renae Chung (47) of Y-Speedos and Sailfish's Loren-Ann Patterson and Saamanta Selvon of Y-Speedos, who both ended with 26 points each.

Josh Johnson of Marlins topped the boys' 9-10 category with 51 points, ahead of Charles McIntosh (32) of Aquamarine Ripples, Y-Speedos' Zack-Andre Johnson (32), and Joshua Scarlett (24) of Blue Seal.

Victoria Van der Leer (52 points) of Y-Speedos topped the girls' eight and under category, followed by Zuri Coke (33) of Tornadoes and Lisa-Marie Martin (30) also of Y-Speedos.

Sailfish's Talon Longmore (39 points) topped the boys' eight and under section ahead of Y-Speedos' Mateo Cheng Hin Mee (36) and Ethan-Conrad Harrison (29) of Royals Swim Club.

The girl's 11-12 section was topped by Safiya Officer (42 points), followed by Aliyah Heaven (40) of Tornadoes and the Marlins pair of Kokolo Foster and Saidah Brown with 39 points each.

Joshua Mignott (48 points) of Tornadoes was the top 11-12 boy, with Devaughn Robe (45) of Wahoo and Joshua Mair (44) also of Tornadoes.

Meanwhile, Zaneta Alvaranga, who recently turned 13 and was one of the youngest swimmers in the girls' 13-24 category, managed to claim the top prize of the age group with 60 points.

The Kaizen Swim Club representative bettered her older rivals Karci Gibson (56) of Y- Speedos and Britney Williams (56) of Swimaz Aquatics, as well as Brianna Anderson (45) also of Y-Speedos.

The vastly improved Kyle Sinclair (49) was tops in the boys' 13-24 group, followed by his Y-Speedos teammates Jordane Payne (44) and Akeem Alleyne (35). Nathaniel Thomas of Tornadoes also ended with 35 points.

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