Saturday, 02 June 2012 02:30
By caribarena news
Antigua St John's - A group of young swimmers is being celebrated for making a strong showing at the just concluded 21st Annual Powerade Aquatic Centre International Swim Meet held in Barbados late last month.
Twenty-eight athletes representing two clubs - Antigua Aquatic Club-Storm (AAC) and Wadadli Aquatic Racers (WAR) secured a total of 36 medals.
WAR, which fielded 17 swimmers at the meet, captured 19 medals and scored 309 points overall to finish with an impressive 4th place standing. AAC-Storm’s contingent comprised just 11 youngsters but they were able to amass 239.5 points while securing 16 medals. They placed 7th overall.
The young Antiguan & Barbudan athletes were among 347 competitors from Barbados, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guyana, Puerto Rico and Aruba. Alpha Sharks Swim Club of Barbados, which entered over 70 swimmers, emerged champions.
During the meet 78 National Age Group Records (NAGRs) were either set or broken, with AAC-Storm swimmers accounting for 49 of these.
Receiving top individual honours was Olivia Fuller of AAC-Storm who captured the Girls’ 8 & Under trophy in very convincing fashion. Fuller, the top Antiguan point earner, scored 57 points on her way to winning four gold and three silver medals. She also set eight NAGRs.
In the Boys’ 8 & Under category Jonah Mascoll-Gomes of WAR earned top male honours, winning first place overall with 46 points. His medal haul included two gold, two silver, and one bronze. He set one NAGR.
In the Boys’ 9 to10 age group, two Antiguan swimmers battled for the first place trophy. In the end, Lleyton Martin of WAR edged out Ethan Benta of AAC-Storm by a narrow margin of 47 points to 45.
Martin’s accomplishments included winning three gold medals and one silver, while setting four NAGRs. Benta won two gold and two silver medals, and also set four NAGRs.
Among other headliners in the boys’ 9 to 10 category were Jason Benta, winning one gold and one bronze medal, and breaking one NAGR. Alexander Benta set one new NAGR.
WAR’s 10 & Under Girls - Gabriella Gittens, Bianca Mitchell, Zoe Dennis and Sally Benjamin - achieved two silver medals in relay events. Mitchell also broke three NAGRs.
“We are in the building stages of developing a strong overall swimming fraternity in Antigua. We are very strong in the 10 & Under categories and this will serve as the foundation for future success in the sport,” head coach of AAC-Storm Mark Mitchell said.
Agreeing with his counterpart, WAR’s head coach Wayne Mitchell added: "Both teams are striving for a future where Antigua becomes known for its powerful swimmers. Coupled with excellent training programmes for both clubs, the future is bright for Antigua's swimmers."
Meanwhile, Noah Mascoll-Gomes of WAR and Gabriella John of AAC-Storm each took home 5th place honours in the male and female 11 to12 age categories by scoring 36 points each. Mascoll-Gomes won one silver and two bronze medals and set six NAGRs. John finished her meet with two silver medals and set seven NAGRs. Two girls, Makaela Holowchak of AAC-Storm and Samantha Roberts of WAR, set seven and one NAGRs, respectively.
In the 13 to 14 male and female categories, Aliah Maginley of AAC-Storm was the female standout, winning two bronze medals. She also grabbed the highest total of NAGRs set by any swimmer at the meet – 11. Nathan Marshall, also of AAC-Storm, also excelled with seven top-eight finishes and nine NAGRs. Joelle Francis of WAR also set one NAGR.
Karin Clashing of WAR achieved one silver and one bronze medal, while J’Air Smith of WAR and David Alexander of AAC-Storm each earned a bronze. Clashing and Smith each set five NAGRs, while Donovan Simon of WAR and Alexander each contributed two.
Neriah Sandin and Dylan Ross of AAC, as well as Stefano Mitchell of WAR, should also be congratulated for contributing points toward their team’s overall placing.
Alexander, Clashing, N. Mascoll-Gomes and Simon, along with Trey Smith and Orel Jeffrey, will be representing Antigua and Barbuda at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships (CISC) in Aruba in late June.
President of Wadadli Aquatic Racers Swim Club Edith Clashing, who recently became a Fèdèration Internationale de Natation (International Swimming Federation -- [FINA]) certified official, officiated at the Barbados meet.
The next local swim meet, the 5th Annual Antigua Aquatic Club-Storm Invitational, will be held June 22 to 24 at Antigua Athletic Club.