Top junior swimmers from The Bahamas made their presence felt at the 117th Annual Easter Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships held from February 24-25.The meet which was held at the Kunkel Aquatic Center, Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster Pennsylvania also saw other swimmers from the CARIFTA region such St Lucia, the Cayman Islands ,Jamaica and Barbados in action. The contingent from The Bahamas included Sian Longley from The Linsly School, Tyler Russell from Mercersburg Academy and Peter Morley and Alexander Encinar from Peddie School.
Longley would set a new school record at the Championships in the 100 yard breaststroke. In the morning heats she set a new Linsly School best of 1:08.61(split time 32.09).Her time in 2016 for the event was 1:09.51.
She would qualify for the B final where she would place 4th in a time of 1:09.11 (split time 32.26).Her relay team would place 6th in the 200 yard freestyle relay B final in a time of 1:44.72.Longley’s 3rd leg split was timed at 25.95.Her team would make another B final in the 200 yard medley relay. In that final they finished 7th in a time of 1:54.93.Sian’s contribution to the team effort was a 27.66 butterfly split. Last year they won the C final in 1:56.51 and Longley had a butterfly split of 27.86 .In the 100 yard butterfly she was 39th in a time of 1:04.13 (split time 28.89).
Sian had the following words about her performances at the Championships
“I am satisfied with my performance at this year’s Easterns swimming championship. I felt that the meet was great and the competition was fierce. This is my second time here and as a junior, I am pleased with my performance. I swam a personal best in the 100yd breaststroke with 1:08.61 which put me in the B cut finals and I also succeeded in breaking my school record”.
Her countryman Russell showed improvement since 2016.In the 200 yard medley relay last year Tyler had swum a backstroke split of 25.84.He beat that time with a heats split of 24.88. The team improved overall as well making the Championship final. In that final Russell went even faster turning in a time of 24.68 to help the team to 5th in a total effort of 1:34.71 much better than the 2016 time 1:40.36. The Junior also showed progress in the 200 yard individual medley. In 2016 he had swum 1:58.65 to place 2nd in the B final. This year in the morning heats he swam 1:56.64 (split time 55.38) to again make the B final. He would crush that time in the afternoon after to place 2nd in 1:55.07 (split time 55.28).
In the 100 yard breaststroke he would just miss doing his first sub 57 swim .He lowered his PB from 58.55 to 58.38 (split time 27.98) in the heats. Russell would better that again in the B final where he 4th in 58.18 (split time 27.73).
In the 400 yard freestyle relay B final Tyler record a pb of 48.04 leading off the team that placed 2nd in a time of 3:11.13. Speaking after the Championships he said
“This year the meet was very fast! I was excited that I swam PB’s in all four races that I swam in”.
His countryman at Peddie Peter Morley would also see also great improvement from 2016. At last year’s Championships in the 100 yard backstroke Morley had made the C final posting a time of 55.22.He would record a time of 53.52 (split time 26.05) to make the B final .In that final he was just off his morning swim performance and stopped the clock in 53.66 (split time 26.12) for 4th.In the 200 yard Individual medley he registered 2:03.16 for 32nd and faster than his 2016 time of 2:03.16. He spoke of his mindset heading to the Championships
“It was just time to take the money out of the bank and trust all the training I have done to prepare myself for this meet”.
Alexander Encinar, also of Peddie School was also faster than times he posted last year. In 2016 he swam 58.84 for the 100 yard breaststroke. He bettered that performance in the heats of the event recording 58.59 (split time 27.51) to qualify for the B final. He was marginally off that time as he recorded 58.61(27.63) to place 6th. He was 27th in the 200 yard individual medley in a time of 2:00.38 (split time 58.99). He also recorded a breaststroke split of 26.74 on the Peddie B team that had a total time of 1:37.48.
The Linsly School finished 18th in the girls competition with 86 points. In the boys competition The Peddie School won with 554 points and Mercersburg was 10th with 595.points