By Sharon Robb
June 19, 2017—The Central American and Caribbean (CCCAN) Swimming Championships, featuring two South Florida Aquatic Club and several other Florida Gold Coast swimmers, begins Thursday with water polo at the National Aquatic Centre in Balmain Couva, Trinidad & Tobago.
Four other disciplines, including swimming, will also be held.
The swimming competition begins on Wednesday, June 28th. Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals at 5:30 p.m. The timed finals are the 11-12 200-meter breaststroke and 200-meter butterfly, 13-14 400-meter individual medley and 800 and 1500 freestyles.
The opening ceremony is also set for June 28th. The closing ceremony is July 2.
The open water is June 24-26 at Turtle Beach; diving is June 29-July 2 and synchronized swimming is June 29-July 2.
Athletes representing countries such as Barbados, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Panama and Jamaica, will race for Caribbean and Central American amateur titles.
Brothers Sebastian and Andres Lares members of the Panama national team, will compete. The pair competed last year at CAMEX to gain international experience.
Sebastian Lares, 12, a Central American champion, competed in seven individual events at CAMEX. He posted six personal best times and took home six medals including two individual and one relay gold medals.
At CCCAN, Sebastian Lares will again swim seven events. He is entered in the 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 200 individual medley, 200 butterfly, 400 freestyle and 200 backstroke in the 11-12 age division.
Andres Lares, 17, who trains with Azura Florida Aquatics, will swim five events: 1500 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle relay, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle in the 15-17 age division.
Farah, 19, is among 64 athletes selected by the Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad & Tobago. He is entered in the 18-and-over 200-meter backstroke, 200-meter individual medley and 50-meter breaststroke.
Farah, a sophomore-to-be at Boston College and Plantation American Heritage alum, participated in a summer training program at Club Nautico Sevilla.
“It’s been a hot minute since the last time I raced for Trinidad,” Farah posted on his Facebook page. “Looking forward to CCCAN at the end of the month.”
Gulliver Prep’s Miguel Cancel, one of Puerto Rico’s top swimmers, will bypass CCCAN, where he won six gold medals and had two best times in 2015, to focus on the FINA World Aquatic Championships, set for July 23-30 in Hungary. SOFLO’s Marc Rojas of the Dominican Republic, is also training for his first worlds.
Two-time Olympian Ana Fortin, 44, of Honduras will be the oldest swimmer in the CCCAN field. She competed in the Seoul Olympics and 1992 Barcelona Olympics. In 2015, at 42, she took gold and silver in the 40-44 age group in the FINA World Swimming Masters Championships in Kazan, Russia. She has been featured on the Forbes list of the 50 Most Influential Women in Central America.
Among other current or former Florida Gold Coast swimmers competing at CCCAN are:
Marcelo Acosta, Louisville/Azura, El Salvador
Lani Cabrera, Barbados
Dylan Carter, Plantation American Heritage, Trinidad & Tobago
Cathy Cooper, Plantation American Heritage, Panama
Jordy Groters, Missouri, Aruba
Patrick Groters, University School, Aruba
Irvin Hoost, St. Brendan, Surinam
Daniel Jacobs, University School, Aruba
Noah Mascoll-Gomes, Azura, Antigua
Sharntelle McLean, Trinidad & Tobago
Chade Nersicio, Trinity Christian/East Coast Aquatic Club, Curacao
Jhonny Perez, Azura, Dominican Republic
Racine Ross, Pine Crest, Trinidad & Tobago
Andrea van den Berg, Azura, Aruba
Sidrell Williams, St. Andrew’s, Jamaica
Please note FGC coaches: If any swimmers are left off the list please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF YOU GO
What: CCCAN 2017 (Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Championships)
When: Thursday-July 3
Where: National Aquatic Centre, Couva Main Road, Balmain, Couva, Trinidad & Tobago
Countries: Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts & Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos, and U.S. Virgin Islands. There are also non-CCCAN countries competing including Colombia, Guyana, Surinam and Venezuela.
Of note: The confederation develops, controls and facilitates the aquatic disciplines in its region. There are 28 federations in CCCAN. The championships are held bi-annually during the months of June or July. It is the first time the event is being hosted by Trinidad & Tobago and only the second time the championships are being held in the English speaking Caribbean. It is the first time all the disciplines with the exception of open water are being held at one venue.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com