GABRIANNA BANKS MAKES FIRST HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL, SETS NEW PB IN 50 FREESTYLE

Jamaica’s Gabrianna Banks continued her upward trajectory in swimming with a strong performance at the Florida High School Athletic Association 4A swimming Championships on Saturday Nov 10 at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatics Athletic Center in Stuart Florida. Competing for the Cypress Bay School from Weston Florida.

 

Gabriann Banks in relay action UANA Cup M Lyn
Gabrianna Banks in flight during a relay takeover at the UANA Cup Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Competing in her lone individual event the 50 yard freestyle Banks lowered her personal best of  23.88 set in 2017 to 23.67  to make her first ever high school Championship final.  She would display even more speed leading off the 200 yard freestyle relay team. Banks stroked her way to a time of 23.53 and helped the team to a time 1:39.04  to make the consolation final.

In the Championship final of the 50 yard freestyle she was again faster than her old PB of 23.88 when she stopped the clock in 23.79 to place 8th. This is the first time a female swimmer from Cypress Bay has made the Championship final of the 50 yard freestyle since Tiffany Oliver accomplished the feat in the 2007-2008 season.

cypress bay
Young ladies of the Cypress Bay team from left to right Paige Lane, Bnaks,Daniela Kim, Emily Lopez-Diaz and Ellie Koch

 

In the B final of the 200 yard freestyle relay Banks rocketed to the fastest opening lead leg of the race of 23.75. That gave her team an advantage of more than a second . That allowed teammates Paige Lane 24.40,Emily Lopez-Diaz 24.84 and Ellie Koch 24.52  to record a total team time of 1:37.51 of more than a second ahead of second placed Countryside. That is also the fastest time recorded by Cypress Bay since the 2006 -2007 team recorded a time of 1:37.79.

Comparison of teams

First leg Gabrianna Banks 23.75 Tiffany Oliver 24.54
Second leg Paige Lane 24.40 Jennifer Marquez 24.34
Third leg Emily Lopez-Diaz 24.84 Emily Kasmer 24.33
Fourth leg Ellie Koch 24.52 Ileana Lucos 24.58
Total Time 1:37.51 1:37.79

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Banks she gave her thoughts on her States performance

“I had a really good time at States.Cheering for my teammates and racing my competitors always gives me a sense of motivation. I went a personal best of 23.53.I always love racing with my teammates and relays are always to capture that moment so I was not suprised I was able to go that time. I am very thankful and fortunate to have such a supportive team that will stand together and uphold one another through everything”.

Mixed 15-17 mixed 200 free relay
Jamaica’s Bronze medal winning mixed 200 metre freestyle relay team from left to right Vale,Renuart, Marsh and Banks Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Banks has built quite an impressive resume with relays teams for Jamaica this year. At the UANA Cup in Coral Springs Florida this year she along with teammates Shaun Johnson, Jesse Marsh and Nicholas Vale would set a new mixed 200 metre freestyle senior national and 15-17 record of 1:43.70 in a fourth place effort . At the CCCAN Championships in Aruba this past summer with Bryanna Renuart stepping in for Johnson the team would lower that to 1:42.81 for the Bronze medal.

15-17 gold medallists
15-17 Gold medallists from left to right Eaton ,Johnson, Banks and Anderson Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

There would also be a record setting performance at CARIFTA in Kingston in the girls 200 metre freestyle relay as Johnson and Banks teamed with Naomi Eaton and Brianna Anderson to win Gold in a new 15-17 age group record of 1:48.42.

15-17 50 metre freestyle medallists
Girls 15-17 50 metre freestyle medallists from left to right Banks,Moore and Russell Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Also in Aruba Banks would win the Silver medal in the girls 50 metre freestyle under the PAN AM Games B standard of 27.44.  Banks is a member of  a strong age group cohort that Jamaica will depend on for leadership and quick times at CARIFTA and CCCAN for 2019 and possibly a PAN AM Games relay berth.

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