DAY TWO: Bahamas builds lead in hunt for six straight

Alissa Ferguson in action - she clinched her second medal yesterday. 
Photo: Dante Carrer

Alissa Ferguson in action - she clinched her second medal yesterday. Photo: Dante Carrer


Chief Sports Editor


AT the midpoint of the 2024 CARIFTA Swim Championships, The Bahamas' 26-member team continues to build on its lead in the quest for a sixth straight title.

After surging out by 92.5 points over nearest rivals Trinidad & Tobago on day one on Saturday at the Betty Kelly Kenning Swim Complex, The Bahamas extended its margin to 184.50 points.


Photos: Dante Carrer

The Bahamas now leads with 525.50 points and 45 medals, including 15 gold, 18 silver and 12 bronze. The Cayman Islands have moved into second place with 341 points and 26 medals - nine gold, seven silver and ten bronze. Trinidad & Tobago dropped to third with 317 points and 29 medals - 15 gold, six silver and eight bronze.

It should be noted that the CARIFTA Swimming championships is decided on points, not medals.

200m freestyle

Alissa Ferguson clinched her second medal to spark the fuel with her bronze in the girls 11-12 200 metre freestyle in two minutes and 18.89 seconds. Sienna Campbell was seventh in 2:24.91.

The gold went to Zara Persico from Trini in 2:16.44 and the silver to Regan Uszenski from the US Virgin Islands in 2:17.52.

"It feels good. I didn't expect it," said Ferguson, who added to the silver in the 50m back behind teammate Tiah Seymour's gold on day one on Saturday.

That was followed by the first gold of the day from Christon Johnson in the boys 11-12 200m freestyle in 2:09.06. It was the third individual medal for Johnson, who picked up a pair of silver on day one in the 200m breast and the 100m fly.

"My performance was dominant. I took control of the first three laps and on the last lap, I just gave it my all," Johnson said. "It feels good to be able to do it at home."

Harold Simmons was fifth in 2:15.74. The silver went to Mihael Sobers of Barbados in 2:10.92 and the bronze to Jaythan Winterdal of Aruba in 2:13.30.

50m butterfly

Harold Simmons led a 1-2 sweep for Team Bahamas as he earned his third individual gold medal of the games in the boys 11-12 50m butterfly with a time of 28.32 to add to his triumph in the 50m back and 100m fly on Saturday.

"This was a good race. It was highly anticipated, so I tried my best in the preliminaries," Simmons said. "I swum even faster in the finals, so I am very proud of my time."


Harold Simmons won his third gold medal of the games.

Christon Joseph, swimming next to him in lane three, finished second in 28.49.

Taylen Nicolls, in his debut at the championships, earned her second medal with her bronze in the girls 11-12 fly in 31.38.

"I felt really good about it. This is my first year and although I didn't come first, next year I would be able to dominant," said Nicolls, who won silver in the girls 11-12 100m fly on Saturday.

Already a silver medalist from the girls 15-17 200m backstroke on Saturday, Rhanishka Gibbs wanted to get the gold and she achieved it in the 50m fly in 28.01.

"I feel very good about it. It was a good race, very well executed," said Gibbs. "I wanted to swim faster and it was my PR, so I'm very proud of myself."

Marvin Johnson, in the boys 15-17 50m butterfly, made sure that he got back on the podium with his silver in 24.47. It was his third consecutive silver after he claimed a pair in the 50m back and 100m fly on Saturday.

"I was in first coming into the line, but I lost it down the stretch, but I was still glad to get another medal for The Bahamas," he said.

100m backstroke

The Bahamas got a 1-2 sweep of the girls 11-12 100m backstroke as Alissa Ferguson was crowned the champion in 1:10.29 with team-mate Skyler Smith getting the silver in 1:11.76. The bronze went to Taylor Marchan of Trinidad & Tobago 1:12.82.

"It feels great. This is my first gold medal," Ferguson said. "I was tied for first going into my last 50, so I just gave it my best. Skyler really pushed me. If she wasn't there, I don't know if I would have won it."

Harrold Simmons has had a phenomenal meet, but he couldn't resist getting another gold medal in the boys 11-12 100m backstroke in 1:08.67. Fellow Bahamian Sean Norville-Smith was fifth in 1:15.45.

Mihael Sobers of Barbados won the silver in 1:09.28 and Rory Shepherd of Bermuda won the bronze in 1:10.96.

"I really worked hard for this one. I have another two races today and the relay after this so I'm pretty worn out, but I still tried my best and I still got the gold."

In other performances, Seleste Gibson was seventh in the girls 13-14 100m back in 1:14.16; in the girls 15-17 100m back, Elle Theberge was fifth in 1:08.08 and Kyana Higgs was sixth in 1:08.81; Ellie Gibson was sixth in the boys 15-17 100m back in 1:01.40 and in the boys 18 and over 100m back, Jake Thompson was third in 1:02.18 and Jack Barr was fourth in 1:03.97.

400m IM

In the 11-12 girls 400m IM, Alissa Ferguson got the gold in 5:43.24 with Skyler Smith coming in fourth in 6:02.98.

"This one felt good," Ferguson said. "The crowd really pushed me to get up. I was tired, but I had to keep going when I heard them."

Silver went to Marena Maartinez from Trinidad and Tobago in 5:43.37 and bronze to Taylor Marchan from Trinidad & Tobago in 5:49.11.

The boys 11-12 400m IM was won by Christon Johnson in 5:33.54 and Blake Comarcho got the bronze in 6:03.39. The silver went to Alessandro Bazzoni from Antigua & Barbuda in 5:48.65.

"This is my third gold, but it was tiring. I am so glad that I got another one," Ferguson said. "I was also proud of my teammate because he got what he wanted, a medal too."

In the girls 13-14 400m IM, Lelah Lewis got the silver in 5:37.71. Madison Gilbert was sixth in 5:45.02.

"I felt really good," said Lewis, who won a bronze in the 100m fly on Saturday. "I felt like I was going to fall back into the breaststroke, It's not my best race. The crowd really pulled me through."

The gold went to Jaiya Simmons from Barbados in 5:20.73 and the bronze to Aimee Le Blanc of Trinidad in 5:38.74.

In the boys 13-14 400m IM, William Farrington claimed the silver in 5:05.57 with Dijon Simmons was fourth in 5:15.99.

Gold went to Joey Schvartz of St Maarten in 4:59.66 and the bronze to Alejandro Agard of Trinidad in 5:13.85.

In an emotional end to the series of 400m IM races, Sara Dowden held on for the bronze medal in 5:27.08 as she dedicated her performance to her deceased father, Sean Dowden, who passed away here on Saturday night.

"I did my best. I felt accomplished. I felt like all of my hard work paid off," said the 17-year-old Dowden. "I felt I did my family proud and my country proud."

Kyana Higgs came back in the final 50m of the freestyle to clinch the silver in 5:26.21 behind gold medalist Sierrah Broadbelt of the Cayman Islands in 5:15.73. Bahamian Katie Goulandris was sixth in 6:03.22.

As the day concluded, The Bahamas added a pair of gold in the girls and boys 11-12 400m medley relays; silver in the girls and boy 15-17 and bronze in the boys 13-14. The only division not medaled in was the girls 13-14.

Day three of the championships will begin on Monday at 9am with the finals set for 6pm. The final day of the swimming championships will take place on Tuesday.

The open water swim in Goodman's Bay is all set for Wednesday.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment