SOFLO’s Sebastian Lares, Gaby Banks, FGC Swimmers Compete In CCCAN Swimming Championships That Begin Friday In Barbados

By Sharon Robb

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS, June 27, 2019—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Sebastian Lares of Panama and Gaby Banks of Jamaica will compete in the 32nd Central American and Caribbean Aquatic Championships [CCCAN] at National Aquatic Centre.

Lares, 14, will compete in four individual events and two relays. He will compete in the 13-14 100-meter backstroke, 400-meter individual medley, 200-meter individual medley and 200-meter backstroke.

Banks, 16, is seeded second in the 50-meter freestyle in 26.65. She will also swim the 50-meter butterfly, 200-meter breaststroke, 100-meter butterfly, 50-meter breaststroke, 100-meter freestyle and 100-meter breaststroke.

Pine Crest alum and Kenyon College-bound Nicholas Vale will represent Jamaica. He will be joined by his younger sister, Simone Vale, 15, and Sidrell Williams, another Florida Gold Coast swimmer. Renzo Tjon A Joe, 23, will represent Suriname. Cathy Cooper, 19, will compete for Panama. Lauren Hew will represent the Cayman Islands.

Banks and Vale are also shortlisted for the FINA Junior World Championship set for August 20-25 in Budapest, Hungary.

An estimated 500 athletes from 29 countries are expected to compete in pool swimming. Several participants will try to qualify for the World Championship and Pan American Games before the July 3 deadline.

Twenty eight countries will be represented at the swimming championships including Antigua and 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, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vicente and Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and US Virgin Islands.

Barbados Aquatic Sports Association president Tony Selby said during the meet’s press conference that he expects a competitive meet.

“There is going to be a lot of competition in swimming,” Selby said. “I have had a look at the psych sheet and the competition is going to be stiff. Obviously, the powerhouses of the Caribbean are Trinidad and Bahamas, they will all be here as well trying to maintain glory to the English-speaking Caribbean over the Central American countries.”

According to Selby, Mexico has not competed in CCCAN for several years, and they are coming to make a statement with a large group of 81 athletes.

CCCAN is an age group swimming championship with 11-12, 13-14, 15-17 and 18-and-over age categories.

The swimming will be held from Friday to July 2. The races will be swam as preliminary qualifying heats in the morning and finals at night, a similar format to CARIFTA and other four- or five-day swim meets.

The Championships, which also features synchronized swimming, open water swimming and water polo, began on Monday.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Sebastian Lares, FGC Swimmers Among Field For This Weekend’s UANA Swimming Cup.

By Sharon Robb

CORAL SPRINGS, January 17, 2018—Sebastian Lares of South Florida Aquatic Club and several other Florida Gold Coast swimmers will be among a field of nearly 400 swimmers from 33 countries for this weekend’s UANA Swimming Cup at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

The inaugural Union Americana de Natacion (UANA) meet is an international age group meet featuring swimmers competing in 2,325 individual events and 140 relays. The format will be a dual meet between Central America, South America and Caribbean. Neither North Americans or Canadians are allowed to compete.

Each country is limited to a maximum of six girl and six boy swimmers per age group. Swimmers have no limit in event entries but only two swimmers from each country can score.

Swimmers are competing in 11-12, 13-14 and 15-17 boys and girls age group categories.

Lares will be joined by several Florida Gold Coast swimmers including SOFLO teammate Gaby Banks of Jamaica, Azura Florida Aquatics’ Adriana Gooding of Trinidad & Tobago and Panama’s Emily Santos and Ireyra Tamayo and Pine Crest Swimming’s Andrea Santander of Venezuela, Daniel Jacobs of Aruba, Nicholas and Simone Vale and Annabella Lyn of Jamaica and Racine Ross of Trinidad & Tobago; TS Aquatics’ Luis Bucaro of Guatemala;St. Andrew’s Swimming’s Izaak Bastian of the Bahamas; Curacao’s Chade Nersicio of East Coast Aquatics and Ecuador’s Victoria Abad Wood of Plantation Swim Team in the Michael Lohberg Pool of Champions.

Lares will compete in six 13-14 events: 400-meter freestyle, 200- and 400-meter individual medley, 50- and 100-meter backstroke and 100-meter breaststroke.

Santander is seeded first in the 15-17 200-meter individual medley in 2:20.47. She is also entered in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly and 100-meter backstroke.

Timed final competition begins each day at 10:20 a.m.

The meet will also serve as one of the qualifiers for the Youth Olympic Games, Pan American Games and FINA World Championships. UANA is the regional governing body for aquatic sports in the Americas and has been in existence since 1948.


What: UANA Swimming Cup.

When: Friday-Sunday, 10:20 am timed finals each day. Warm-ups 8:30 a.m.

Where: Michael Lohberg Pool of Champions, Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, 12441 Royal Palm Blvd., Coral Springs

Of note: Swimmers from the Central American & Caribbean (CCCAN) and South American Swimming Confederations (CONSANAT) will compete and try to qualify for various major meets including the Pan American Games. For more information, call 954-340-5032.

Sharon Robb can be reached at