High point winners for Team Bahamas, from left: Marvin Johnson, Derron Laing, Keianna Moss and Zoe Williams. Photo - Alcindor Bonamy
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
In their third appearance at the Goodwill Games, the Bahamas’ swim team produced its best showing as the 36-member team returned from Georgetown, Guyana, with a fourth place finish.
Marvin Johnson led the attack with a total of nine individual gold medals in the boys’ 9-10 division as he touched the wall in first in the 50 and 100 metre backstroke, 200m individual medley, 50, 100 and 200m freestyle, 50 and 100m butterfly and 50m breaststroke, setting records in the 50m breast, 50m fly and both the 50 and 100m free.
Also during the two-day meet from August 18-20, Derron Laing won gold in the boys’ 15-17 100m back, 50m fly, 200m free, 50m back and 100m fly and silver in the 50 and 100m free.
Dedrie Higgs won gold in the girls’ 11-12 50m free with a record and 100m free, silver in the 50 and 100m free and bronze in the 50m fly. Leylah Knowles won a gold in the girls’ 9-10 50m breast and silver in the 100m breast.
Zoe Williams struck gold in the girls’ eight-and-under 100m free, 50m breast and 100m IM and silver in the 50m free and 50m fly.
Keianna Moss won gold in the girls’ 11-12 100m back, silver in the 50 and 100m free and bronze in the 50m breast and 200m IM.
Kristofer Smith got a gold in the boys’ 15-17 100m free, silver in the 200m IM and 200m free.
Triston Hepburn got a gold in the boys’ eight-and-under 50m breast.
Amauri Bonamy won silver in the boys’ 9-10 100m breast and bronze in the 50m free, 50m back and 50m breast.
Treston Ferguson won silver in the boys’ 100 and 200m free.
And a bronze medal also came from Ayden Bain in the boys’ eight-and-under 50m free, 50m fly and 100m IM, Ebonie Taylor in the girls’ 13-14 50m breast and Gigi Eneas in the girls’ 13-14 100m back and 100m free.
The Bahamas also got relay gold in the boys’ 15-17 400m medley, 9-10 boys 200m free; boys 15-17 200m free; boys 9-10 400m free; girls 13-14 400m free; boys 15-17 400m free.
Relay silver medals came from the boys 9-10 400m medley; girls 11-12 400m medley; girls 13-14 400m medley; boys 8-and-under medley; girls 11-12 400m free and girls 13-14 200m free.
And the boys 8-and-under picked up a bronze in the 200m free relay.
At the 4end of the two-day competition, the Bahamas got four out of the 10 high point divisional trophies as Zoe Williams won the girls 8-and-under; Marvin Johnson took the boys 9-10; Keianna Moss won the girls 11-12 and Derron Laing took the boys 15-27.
“It went very well. We did very well,” said Shirley Mireault, who coached the team for the third consecutive year that the Bahamas competed in the meet.
“We didn’t have a full team. We didn’t have out 13-14 boys relay and we only had two girls in the 15-17. We could have gotten more points if we had a full team.”
With the swimmers having had to pay their own way to the games, Mireault said they applied and received for full membership and will be preparing to host the event in it’s seventh year in the competition.
Last year, the games was held in St Lucia and the year before it was in Trinidad & Tobago.
Next year the games will be held in Barbados and Mireault said they are anticipating a full team and hopefully they can continue to improve on their overall and individual performances.
However, she said once swimmers are eligible for the Carifta Swimming Championships, they won’t be allowed to compete in the games.
But she said they are looking at the possibility of having those swimmers who made the team, but don’t make the final to be allowed to compete in the games.
During the trip, Mireault said they were able to get some sponsorship and that enabled the team to go on a tour. They had about six swimmers from Abaco and at least 12 from Grand Bahama.
“We did well and some kids had to cancel out with about three weeks out,” she said. “We had some swimmers, who were affected by the yellow fever vaccine. We could have avoided taking it because nobody checked it when we got there.”