Twenty-two swimmers from St. Vincent’s Black Sands Swim Squad returned from St. Lucia on Sunday, having spent the previous four days racing against some of the region’s best age group swimmers at the 15th Rodney Heights Annual Invitational swim meet.
The team, led by Black Sands Coach, Kyle Dougan, had exceptional results at the meet and once again demonstrated to the region what a great strength St. Vincent and the Grenadines have become within the sport of swimming.
Adding weight to their returning luggage, the swimmers totalled a win of 22 gold, 17 silver and 18 bronze medals over the four-day competition.
Black Sands’ more experienced swimmers, Carifta record holder Shne Joachim, Carifta finalist Nikolas Sylvester and long-distance specialist, Cruz Halbich, all managed to set new competition records in many of their events. Sylvester also led his teammates to a clean sweep in the boys’ 13 to 14 years age group, by becoming the competition’s overall champion, with teammate Shane Cadogan taking second place and Cruz Halbich taking the third spot.
Shne Joachim pushed hard for the Black Sands girls and came second overall in the girls’ 13 to 14 age group.
Black Sands team of 12 girls — Jamie Joachim, Caitlyn Polious, Mya Defreitas, Akayla Chrichton, Tia Gun-Munro, Chelsea Cordice, Kiara Chrichton, Nyah Isaacs, Christalle Wilson, Kayla Ollivierre, Shne Joachim and Loren Gun-Munro — all swam personal best times in their many events and the same results came from the Black Sands 10 boys — Shane Cadogan, Aaron defreitas, Gerard Gieowarsingh, Cruz Halbich, Alex Joachim, Kyle John, Chavez Joseph, Justin and Nikolas Sylvester.
“It was a very energetic four days of fast swimming for our athletes from SVG. I feel blessed to be able to witness our swimmers improve year after year, though the outstanding results come as no surprise because I also get to see the hard work and dedication the swimmers put in to the sport when training with Black Sands at home in SVG,” Coach Dougan said.
“This was Black Sands’ first regional competition for 2015 and I am extremely pleased with the results. I would like to thank the parents who travelled with the team, helping with the logistics for the team and also assisting with the technical running of the meet,” he further stated.