By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
THE Mako Swim Club carted off the overall title in the Alpha Aquatic Spring Invitational held at the Betty Kelly Kenning Swim Complex over the weekend.
Mako, coached by Travano McPhee, dominated the two-day event by collecting a total of 1,026 points, well ahead of the Barracuda Swim Club with 921. 50.
Host Alpha Aquatics ended up in third place with 606.50 points.
Rounding out the rest of the field in order were the Blue Waves Swim Club in fourth with 544 5; Lyford Swim Club was fifth with 480; Mantas Swim & Water Polo Club sixth with 445. 50 7; Black Marlins Swim Club seventh with 238. 50 8; Lightning Aquatics eighth with 99 9; Turk and Caicos Aquatics Club ninth with 56; Unattached - Alpha Aquatics tenth with 40 and the Sea Waves Aquatic Team 11th with 31.
The meet was the second one for the Bahamas Aquatics’ calendar since the national team returned home with their fourth consecutive victory at the recent CARIFTA Swim Championships in Barbados over the Easter holiday weekend.
And according to Alpha Aquatic Club’s president Celestial Deveaux, it was good to provide the opportunity for the New Providence-based swimmers and those coming home from college to compete in a tune-up for the National Swim Championships in June.
Winning the high point trophies for the outstanding performances in the various age groups were the following:
Under-8 girls - Isabella Munroe and Leniah Hamilton provided a 1-2 punch for Mako Aquatic with first and second places with 54 and 31 points respectively.
Under-8 boys – Mantas’ Asher Bastian captured the title with 45 and Alpha’s Fraser Menzies was the runner-up with 33.
9-10 girls – Tiah Seymour of Mantas Swim & Water Polo Club won with 46 over Mako’s Taylen Nicolls, who had 37.
9-10 boys – Mako got another sweep of the top two spots as Keiron Lloyd won with 52 and Blair Thompson trailed with 29.
Girls 11-12 – Two different clubs prevailed as Saleste Gibson emerged the winner for the Barracuda Swim Club with 54 and Alexia Zatarain of the Lyford Swim Club was second with 42.
Boys 11-12 – Mako Swim Club again posted a 1-2 finish with Lenin Hamilton earning 57 and Trace Russell got 41.
Girls 13-14 – The Lyford Cay Club shined as Elina Fiaux took the title with 37 over Adriel Pratt of the Black Marlins Swim Club, who had 34.
Boys 13-14 – The Turks and Caicos Islands got some hardware as Tajhari Williams collected 56 to out-dual Alpha Aquatics’ Jarrod Charles with 40.
Girls 15-and-over - Delaney Mizell got another boost for the Lyford Swim Club with 42, Mia Sastre of the Black Marlins Swim Club came up short in second with 40.
Boys 15-and-over – The same results occurred as Roman Pinder came through for Lyford Swim Club with 45 over Joshua Murray of the Black Marlins Swim Club with 41.
Although she didn’t get to peak at the results because of the duties she had to fulfill on deck, Deveaux said Alpha Aquatics was quite pleased with the performances from the clubs and the swimmers who participated.
“I’ve been in touch with our coaches and they have been telling me that the kids have been dropping their times,” she said. “I checked the meet mobile and it was true, so I’m very pleased with where our club is heading into Nationals.”
Although all of the spotlight is placed on track and field, Deveaux assured the fans that swimming is definitely the sport to watch and she encouraged the spectators to come out to the nationals and watch the keen competition on display at the stadium.
Despite the action being interrupted on Friday because of the rain, the meet came to a successful conclusion on Saturday. What made it even more exciting was the rhymical sounds of the junkanoo music that was played in the stands.
Up next on the Bahamas Aquatics’ calendar will be the Mako Aquatics Swim Meet on May 28, followed by the 50th edition of the National Swim Championships that will be held in honour of the late swim executive extraordinaire John Bradley July 7-10.
Quite a number of swimmers attained the qualifying standards to be eligible to compete in the nationals, while there were three swimmers who qualified for the Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation’s Championships (CCCAN), scheduled for July 8-14 in Barbados.
But according to Bahamas Aquatics’ president Algernon Cargill, the Bahamas won’t be participating in CCCAN as it conflicts with the dates for the Nationals.
Nonetheless, Barracuda’s Saleste Gibson qualified in the 11-12 girls 50m butterfly in 31.38, surpassing the standard of 31.45, while Lenin Hamilton of Mako Aquatic posted a pair of marks in the boys 11-12 50m butterfly in 29.78 (standard 29.90) and the 50m freestyle in 27.71 (standard 27.92) and Caleb Hepburn of Alpha duplicated the feat in the boys 13-14 50m free in 25.23 (standard of 25.58) and the 100m butterfly in 1:00.63 (standard 1:01.76).