The CARIFTA region’s swimmer performed well on the opening day of the UANA Cup . The meet which being held in Coral Springs Florida is designed for athletes from Central America, South America, and the Caribbean that are in UANA Zones 1 and 2. Despite the temperature reaching as low as 14 degrees Celsius the Regions swimmers still brought the heat winning EIGHT medals on the day Three Silver and Four Bronze medals. Leading the way in the 11-12 age group was Zarek Wilson who won a Silver and Two Bronze medals.
Zarek became not only the first medallist from Trinidad and Tobago but the Region when he won the Bronze in the 400 metre freestyle in a time of 4:33.49.He would also win the Region’s second medal when he won yet another Bronze in the 200 metre individual medley in a time of 2:31.50. He would complete the medal hat trick when he won the Silver in the 50 metre freestyle in a time of 27.32. He had the following thoughts about his performances
“The first day was a bit tough because the weather was colder than what I am accustomed to. I am happy to have won medals for Trinidad and Tobago. The competition was stiff, which is what Coach Edmund Pouchet wanted me to face. The UANA Cup is a chance to face quality swimmers so I can see all the areas I have to improve. I am looking forward to the rest of my races where I hope to challenge my best times.”
Zarek’s Silver lead to a medal rush with the region winning medals as well in the 13-14 and 15-17 races. In the 13-14 race it was The Bahamas Lamar Taylor who also took the Silver in a time of 24.57 and earned The Bahamas first medal of the competition.He was edged by the narrowest of margins by Mexican Victor Salcedo Carrillo who clocked 24.56. Lamar spoke to draftingthecaribbean about his performance
“After the disappointment at CCCAN (he was disqualified in the final) I basically just wanted to regain my title and swim my heart out.The race went pretty well .My start was not the best but it was good enough for me to get enough momentum.During the race I looked once and saw the boy in Lane 3 and swam harder . I was kind of disappointed by the one hundredth defeat but to be honest I wasn’t really focused on the place I was focused on the time”.
There would be another medal for The Bahamas as Izaak Bastian won the Bronze in the 15-17 age group.He won Bronze in a time of 24.08.That swim was under the Youth Olympic B qualifying time of 24.38. He gave his analysis of his race
“The 50 was a pretty good race for where I am in my training.I took some more time off than I usually do because I knew coming into the next 2 or 3 years in my training I know I will have to be very focused and not take off that much time.This winter break I took off 18 days so I could mentally reset before going into the next 2 years and decompress from 2017.This was only my second week back in training so to get up and go 24.0 with only two weeks of training was pretty impressive for me so I was really happy with the time.It was also great to see the swimmers I don’t normally race from Argentina and Brazil.I felt I had a good race the breakout was good I felt like I getting on it in my first couple of strokes which is something I have been working on a lot in practice”
Roan Baker of Barbados in the 13-14 age group earned his country’s first medal when he won the Silver in the 200 metre individual medley in a time of 2:18.23.
Barbados would earn the last medal for the region when the Boys 15-17 200 metre medley relay team of Jack Kirby backstroke 27.47,Nkosi Dunwoody breaststroke 31.93 ,Luis Sebastian Weekes butterfly 27.16 and Damon St Prix freestyle freestyle won the Bronze in a new senior national and 15-17 age group record of 1:51.99. That lowered decades old record of 2:02.88 set back April 1993.That team had in their line up Dean Durant doing backstroke and Chris Moseley doing anchor leg duties.
The young ladies winning medals on the day included Jamaica’s Emily MacDonald who won the Silver in the 13-14 50 metre freestyle in 27.42.She gave draftingthecaribbean an assessment of her performance on Day One
“Medalling at UANA was a very big accomplishment for me especially swimming against the best swimmers from Central and South America who I am not used to competing against. Winning the very first medal for Jamaica at this meet was also a big accomplishment for me”.
Winning the only medal for the Region’s 15-17 girls
was Curacao sprint princess Chadé M. Nersicio. She won the Silver in the event in 26.72 under the Youth Olympics B qualifying time of 27.39
Top CARIFTA Region performances for Day One
|Zoe Anthony||Trinidad and Tobago||400 metre freestyle||11-12||5:04.30||4th|
|Avery Lambert||Cayman Islands||400 metre freestyle||13-14||4:45.18||5th|
|Sam Bailey||Cayman Islands||400 metre freestyle||15-17||4:45.76||9th|
|Zarek Wilson||Trinidad and Tobago||400 metre freestyle||11-12||4:33.49||Bronze|
|Brian Desmond||Bermuda||400 metre freestyle||13-14||4:29.25||9th|
|Graham Chatoor||Trinidad and Tobago||400 metre freestyle||15-17||4:15.18||12th|
|Zoe Anthony||Trinidad and Tobago||200 metre IM||11-12||2:46.12||10th|
|Sabine Ellison||Cayman Islands||200 metre IM||13-14||2:34.57||8th|
|Sam Bailey||Cayman Islands||200 metre IM||15-17||2:31.70||12th|
|Zarek Wilson||Trinidad and Tobago||200 metre IM||11-12||2:31.50||Bronze|
|Roan Baker||Barbados||200 metre IM||13-14||2:18.23||Silver|
|Luis Sebastian Weekes||Barbados||200 metre IM||15-17||2:13.97||4th|
|Keiana Moss||The Bahamas||50 metre freestyle||11-12||29.50||4th|
|Emily MacDonald||Jamaica||50 metre freestyle||13-14||27.42||Bronze|
|Chadé M. Nersicio||Curacao||50 metre freestyle||15-17||26.72||Silver|
|Zarek Wilson||Trinidad and Tobago||50 metre freestyle||11-12||27.32||Silver|
|Lamar Taylor||The Bahamas||50 metre freestyle||13-14||24.57||Silver|
|Izaak Bastian||The Bahamas||50 metre freestyle||15-17||24.08||Bronze|