Barbados’ young swimmers made quite an impression at the 2018 Goodwill Swimming Championships at the Aquatic Centre, Wildey, St Michael over the weekend, and which concluded yesterday with the awards ceremony. The hosts finished in second position with 983 points while the overall winners were Trinidad and Tobago with 1,242 points and the Bahamas took third place with 633.50 points.
The home team were awarded the championship trophy in four age groups and had several second and third place finishes.
It was a clean sweep of the top three placements in the girls’ eight and under category with Heidi Stoute emerging the winner after amassing 29 points from the five events contested. Second place went to Jaiya Simmons with 28 points while Ayobami Leon Barker finish in third spot with 24 points, tied with Guyana’s Shareefah Lewis.
Nikolai Sisnett with four gold medals from five events emerged the champion of the eight and under boys, finishing with 40 points. Second place was a tie between Bahamian Maxwell Daniels and Trinidad’s Rylan Thomas with 28 points each, while Tariq Greenidge of Barbados finished in fourth place with 26 points.
Kenyah Deane was the lone placement for Barbados in the 9-10 age group, finishing in third place overall with 42 points. The age group title went to Christanya Shirley of Jamaica (67 points). Heidi Baker finished in fourth place with 22 points.
In the 13-14 age group, Takiyah Weekes was second overall with 39 points behind Trinidad’s Isabella Edwards with 48 points while third place went to Liya Moncur of the Bahamas. Christopher Pollard and Eli Zerpa would swap gold and silver medal positions throughout the meet but Pollard’s performance was strong enough to eventually earn him the title of age group champion with 55 points while Zerpa had to settle for second place with 50 points.
In the 15-17 age group, Ashley Weekes and Destiny Harding having medalled in every event contested were awarded the first and second place trophies respectively. Weekes finished with 63 points while Harding secured 53 points. The third place went to Trinidad’s Courtney Lawrence with 31 points.
On the final day of competition where seven overseas teams and Barbados battled, Team Barbados got off to a positive start when Deane in the 9-10 girls age group of the 200m Freestyle event snatched gold away from Keryn Burke of Trinidad in the last 15 meters of the race. Deane’s time of 2:25:61 bested Burke (2:25:74) who had to settle for silver while Baker took the bronze. In the 11-12 Girls event, Toni Walrond would add another bronze for Barbados with a time of 2:22:63. Aleka Persaud of Guyana took gold (2:20:33) with silver going to Kiara Goodridge of Trinidad (2:22:56).
Chara Hinds in the 13-14 girls would add the third bronze in the event finishing with a time of 2:24:76 behind Shaznay Balai of Suriname (2:22:40) with the gold going to Isabella Edwards of Trinidad in 2:18:24. Pollard would earn his fifth individual medal of the meet, this one coming in the 200m freestyle in a time of 2:04:41 which was enough to earn him the silver medal. Gold went to Grenada’s Zerpa (2:01:03) with bronze to Trinidad’s Aaron Stuart (2:06:31). Takiyah Weekes and Eric Lashley would both finish in fourth place for Team Barbados in the 13-14 age group. The final medals in this distance would be gold and silver for Weekes and Harding respectively in the girls 15-17 age group.
The 50M Backstroke was next up on the programme and Simmons in the eight & under girls would take the bronze medal in a time of 40:87 being out-touched at the wall by Lewis of Guyana (40:29) and Alyssa Reid of Trinidad (40:46).
Sisnett and Jacob Gollop would then add a gold and silver respectively to Barbados’ medals with bronze going to Trinidad’s Thomas. In the 11-12 girls, Kyla Beckles would do the honours for the team earning bronze (34:13) behind gold medallist Goodridge and Patrice Mahaica (Guy). Pollard would then reverse positions with rival Zerpa taking the gold medal for Barbados in 29:83. Nicholas Francois of Trinidad finished third (30:32). Just out the water from her silver medal performance in the 200m freestyle, Harding then stopped the clock at 32:66 to take gold in the backstroke with Eden Crick of St. Lucia earning silver (32:81) and bronze going to Trinidad’s Bianca Prevatt.
The final individual event of the meet was the 100M Butterfly. No medal was secured by the younger 9-10 and 11-12 age groups but Kayla Renwick and Pollard would take gold and silver in the 13-14 girls and boys’ events respectively. The duo of Weekes and Harding who between them had secured medals for Barbados in every individual event of the meet swept the gold and silver as the final two individual medals for the team. With their times of 1:09:53 (Weekes) and 1:09:66 (Harding) they finished well ahead of bronze medallist Tatjana Graanoogst of Suriname (1:13:21).
The 4 x 50M freestyle relays which saw the spectators on their feet in anticipation of the excitement ahead would not disappoint. Gold medals came from the eight & under girls and boys teams as well as the 13-14 and 15-17 girls teams while the 11-12 girls and 13-14 boys earned silver medals. The 9-10 girls earned the bronze medal. (SC)