By Sharon Robb
April 25, 2014
On the final night of pool swimming, Florida swimmers once again dominated the medal count at the 29th CARIFTA Swimming Championships Friday at the Piscina Olimpico Roly Bislik in Oranjestad, Savaneta, Aruba.
Going into Saturday’s open water 5K events, the Bahamas lead the team standings with 748 points followed by Aruba, 616, Guadeloupe, 538, Martinique, 470, Trinidad and Tobago, 464, Barbados, 435, Jamaica, 401, Suriname, 341, Curacao, 193, and Cayman Islands, 170.
Brothers Jordy Groters, 17, and Patrick Groters, 14, of Aruba and Pine Crest Swimming continued their winning ways in the pool.
Jordy Groters won the 15-17 100-meter breaststroke in 1:04.25. Wayne Denswil, 17, of Suriname and Metro Aquatics took the bronze in 1:07.87.
Patrick Groters won a gold medal in the 13-14 200-meter backstroke in a best time 2:15.73, dropping from 2:19.98. He first bettered his best time in prelims with a 2:16.32.
Patrick Groters also was second in the 13-14 400-meter freestyle in a best time 4:13.86, dropping from 4:22.28.
Against a star-studded field, Zuhayr Pigot, 16, of Suriname won the gold medal in the 15-17 50-meter freestyle in 23.80 knocking off David McLeod, 17, of Trinidad and Tobago who finished second in a best time 23.97. Sidrell Williams, 17, of Jamaica and St. Andrew’s Swimming was third in 24.21. Christian Selby, 16, of Barbados was fifth in a best time 24.51 and Jabari Baptiste, 16, of Trinidad and Tobago was sixth in 24.63.
Jordy Groters was the fastest qualifier in the 50-meter freestyle morning prelims in a best time 23.79 but scratched from the final. It was the first time he cracked 24 seconds.
Christian Selby, 16, of Barbados took gold in the 15-17 400-meter freestyle in a best time 4:04.70, dropping from 4:05.24.
Keanan Dols, 15, of Jamaica won the 15-17 200-meter backstroke in a best time 2:08.91, dropping from 2:12.20. Baptiste took bronze in a best time 2:13.28, bettering his previous best of 2:16.52. Matthew Lyn, 16, of Jamaica and Pine Crest Swimming was seventh in a best time 2:22.14.
Baptiste was also a member of Trinidad and Tobago’s winning 15-17 200-meter freestyle relay that won in 1:37.67.
Sisters Daniella, 17, and Andrea, 15, of Aruba and Azura Florida Aquatics won a gold medal in the 200-meter freestyle relay in 1:52.55 with teammates Ginayla Arends and Rebecca Maduro.
In the girls’ 15-17 400-meter freestyle, Michelle Dols, 16, of Jamaica took silver in a best time 4:31.03 dropping from 4:32.88 and Daniella van den Berg, 17, of Aruba and Azura Florida Aquatics won the bronze in 4:34.31.
Nicholas Vale, 12, of Jamaica and Azura Florida Aquatics was fourth in the 11-12 400-meter freestyle in a best time 4:41.27, dropping from 4:42.98.
Matthew Lyn, 16, of Jamaica was sixth in the 15-17 400-meter freestyle in 4:22.29 and Keanan Dols, 15, of Jamaica was eighth in 4:24.95.
Annabella Lyn, 13, of Jamaica was 11th in the 13-14 400-meter freestyle in 4:53.22. Lyn, swimming anchor leg, took a bronze medal on Jamaica’s third place 13-14 200-meter freestyle relay in 1:52.94 with teammates Anjuii Barrett, Angara Sinclair and Annastazia Chin.
The Caribbean Free Trade Association-sponsored meet, which features most of the top junior age group swimmers in the Caribbean, is a qualifier for both the Youth Olympic Games and Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships.
The meet concludes on Saturday with the open water 5K events.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com