Upbeat Kaizen swimmers depart island for Dom RepWednesday, November 24, 2021
BY SHERDON COWAN
A wave of optimism is sweeping through Kaizen Swim Club as three of its top swimmers depart the island today for the 38th staging of the International Invitational Swim Meet in the Dominican Republic.
The trio — Kaheem Lozer, Kito Campbell and Zaneta Alvaranga — will grace the four-day meet accredited by the International Swimming Federation (FINA), in search of qualifying times for the 19th FINA World Championships in Japan next year.
Both Lozer and Campbell are still riding high from their medal-winning exploits at the Central American and Caribbean Confederation (CCCAN) Championships in June, while Alvaranga will be making her first appearance on the international circuit this season.
Andrea Lozer, a long-time team manager for the three-year-old club, will accompany the swimmers.
Formed by Rory Alvaranga in 2018, Kaizen Swim Club has been a hit with some of the country's top young talents owing to their Ultra Short Race Pace Training (USRPT) method, which has resulted in numerous local, Carifta and CCCAN age-group records falling under their banner.
The in-form Campbell, who lowered his national senior and age-group 100m breaststroke record at CCCAN and again at the Dean Martin meet recently, is now aiming to improve his rankings with performances that will get him on the FINA radar heading into the 2022 season.
“My preparations have been really good. I feel fitter, stronger and faster heading into the meet, which is a huge positive.
“So the aim is just to go out and do my best and have fun. I have a few goal times that I want to hit and the fact that I am competing against fairly strong opposition will push me even more towards those times, so we will see what happens,” Campbell told the Jamaica Observer.
The Calabar High School stalwart was also ratified by the Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) council as Jamaica's nominee for a FINA scholarship.
If selected by FINA, Campbell, 18, will be the first Jamaican swimmer training locally under the tutelage of Rory Alvaranga, on scholarship.
Lozer, who enjoys overseas competition, is upbeat about this assignment with expectations of bettering his CCCAN performances.
Though favouring himself as the butterfly specialist, Lozer has been working his other strokes and is also hunting some strong showing in the backstroke and freestyle.
“I feel great heading into my second overseas competition this year. I am confident that my preparations have been sufficient and that my times are on par with where I want to be. So my goal is to get close to or even beat my times from CCCAN and I know that is highly possible based on how I am feeling right now,” said Lozer.
For Alvaranga, this meet represents an opportunity for her to once again show her class on the international stage, having not tasted overseas competition in over a year.
“I feel very excited to be back competing overseas. Things are looking good so far in terms of my readiness, as I am feeling more relaxed in training now than I was before my first competition in October. So I am just looking to improving my times and also to have some fun,” said Alvaranga, who has FINA Junior World Swimming Championship and UANA Cup credentials under her belt.
Meanwhile, Sidrell Williams, who is coming off a season's best showing at the Dean Martin event held in October, has also been entered in both the 50m and 100m butterfly and freestyle. However, there are some uncertainties around him making the trip.