By Sharon Robb
April 27, 2014
Anthony Rechal of Guadeloupe had the fastest time in the open water competition at Sabana Basora, Aruba Saturday in the 29th CARIFTA Swimming Championships.
Rechal, 17, won the boys 15-17 5K event in 1 hour, 7 minutes and 12 seconds for 3.1 miles. Matthew Lyn, 16, of Jamaica and Pine Crest Swimming was eighth in 1:13:32.
Karl Fabry, 14, of Guadeloupe won the 13-14 5K title in 1:07:51. Patrick Groters, 14, of Aruba and Pine Crest Swimming finished out an outstanding meet just missing another medal placing fourth in 1:12:11.
In the girls 15-17 competition, Joanna Evans, 16, of the Bahamas won in 1:14:34.
Ingrid Champrobert, 14, of Martinique won the 13-14 race in 1:14:51. Annabella Lyn, 13, of Jamaica and Pine Crest Swimming was seventh in 1:23:21.
Bahamas won the team title with 736 points. Aruba finished runner-up with 618 points for the first time in the country’s history. Guadeloupe was third with 540 followed by Martinique, 474, Trinidad and Tobago, 446, Barbados, 437, Jamaica 403, Suriname, 347, Curacao, 193 and Cayman Islands, 170.
Groters older brother Jordy, a member of the Aruba national team since age 11, and Pine Crest Swimming completed his seventh and final CARIFTA meet.
The University of Missouri-bound Groters won four individual gold medals and one silver, another silver with his relay, broke two meet records and posted four career-best times. Groters and Daniella van den Berg of Azura Florida Aquatics were co-captains of Aruba’s team that made history by finishing second.
“Throughout these seven years I have met and raced so many people and I am so grateful for them to have made me a better swimmer and person through the races we’ve swum and the friendships we’ve made,” Groters wrote on his Facebook after the meet.
“Above all, I am thankful to have had this opportunity to represent my home Aruba and I definitely will continue to do so on bigger scales. Aruba Swimming’s future looks great and I can’t wait to hear the success stories that follow.”
The Caribbean Free Trade Association-sponsored meet, which featured 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.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org