MARSH... I hope to go even faster next year

It is never an easy feat to go faster as a swimmer, but young Jesse Marsh has been making a big splash of his times.

The former Campion College student, who made the move to St Andrews school in Boca Raton, Florida, three months ago to join Sidrell Williams, was among a number of Jamaica's young elites who returned home to showcase some of what they have learnt on the overseas circuit.

And, as expected, the results were startling in more ways than one for some members within the aquatic circle who ventured to the recently concluded Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) Christmas Open Championships at the National Aquatic Centre.

A few of the overseas-based sensations consistently added times when gracing the pool during the four-day meet, which may have been due to jetlag or limited training sessions due to exams.

But for others, it raised eyebrows about their level of training which involves the alteration of their techniques at the different strokes.

However, that was not the case for Marsh who did the opposite and consistently lowered his times, one of which was a national age-group record he achieved earlier this year at the Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) games.

At CCCAN, Marsh clocked 2:15.41 minutes to lower the previous mark of 2:16.68 minutes set by his father, Olympian Allan Roy Marsh, 38 years ago.

But the sensational swimmer, who specialises at the butterfly stroke with his crisp form, soared above the water on his way to further lowering the age-group record with a 2:13.33-minute clocking in the boys' 13-and-over 200-metre butterfly event on Sunday.

He also annihilated the six-year-old meet record of 2:21.87 minutes set by Dominic Walter in 2009 by well over seven seconds in the process.

“I feel really good. I think the last couple of months I have done a lot of training and a lot of work with my techniques in terms of butterfly and freestyle strokes. So I have been expecting to go faster, and next year I expect to go even faster,” Marsh told the

Jamaica Observer after the event.

“I have set some goals with my coaches in Florida for next year and we are already working towards them. My aim is to clock 57 seconds or somewhere thereabouts in the 100-metre butterfly and I want to go under 2:10 minutes in the 200 butterfly,” he added.

The 14-year-old also posted a flashy 59.09-second clocking in the prelims and finals of the boys' 13-and-over 100-metre butterfly event, thereby erasing the previous time of 59.60 seconds set by Brad Hamilton in 2008.

However, that time was just outside the blistering national age-group record of 58.49 seconds, which the now unattached swimmer, who was affiliated with the Tornadoes swim club, achieved at a meet in Florida recently.

“It is always a great feeling to drop time, because I feel like what I put into my training sessions and in the gym comes out in the pool when I race. So I am hoping to keep improving on my times and keep getting better on the different strokes,” said Marsh.

When asked to compare the level of training at his current institution with that in Jamaica, Marsh pointed out that the one-on-one sessions with the coach have made the difference.

“I think it is a lot more sessions and a lot more work on the smaller things like the start, the turns and the techniques, more than just swimming up and down every day. But we are also getting the hard work as well.

“I think my techniques were not all that good before I left here, but my coach has been working with me a lot. Sometimes I even stay with him after training to do further work on my fly technique and it has paid off a lot,” he explained.

Marsh along with Sean Douglas-Gooden and Bahamian DaVante Carey were named recipients of the High Performers award for achieving Quad-A (AAAA) standard times in a number of their events.

Jesse Marsh in butterfly action at the ASAJ development meet.
BY SHERDON COWAN Observer staff reporter

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