Fifteen Black Sands Swim Squad swimmers took part in the 2019 annual ASATT Invitational Swimming Championships at the Trinidad Aquatic Centre, Dec. 11-14.
This highly competitive swim meet attracted some of the region’s best swimmers coming from Jamaica, St. Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent and also from the United States.
In the girls 8 years and under category, BSSS’ OECS Champion Eltonique Leonard swam herself to pole position on the medal podium winning gold in the 50 metre breaststroke, followed by 2 silver and 1 bronze medal.
At the conclusion of the meet, she was awarded the trophy for coming third overall in her age group.
In the girls 9-10 age group, Zariel Nelson swam herself onto the medal podium winning 2 silver medals.
Abigail Deshong and Jamie Joachim competed well in the girls 11-12 year age group. Joachim winning 1 gold and 2 silver medals, whilst teammate Deshong won 1 silver and 2 bronze.
Mya DeFreitas succeeded in the very competitive girls 13-14 year age category, winning 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals.
Medal winners for the BSSS boys were Seth Byron winning 1 bronze medal in the 9-10 age group and Eltonte Leonard in the 11-12 age group who achieved 2 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze.
BSSS also had medal-winning success in the relays. In the girls 11-12 year age group the relay team of Jamie Joachim, Kennice Greene, Zariel Nelson and Abigail Deshong impressed the crowd by winning gold in both the 4 x 100 and 4 x 50 metre freestyle relays. In the boys 15 and over relay team, Bryson George, Kenale Alleyne, Eltonte Leonard and Aaron DeFreitas won a bronze medal in the 4 x 50 freestyle relay.
Personal best performances were also achieved by Kyle John, Brandon George and Dariana Des Vignes.
Head Coach of Black Sands Swim Squad Kyle Dougan commented “These are fantastic results to complete a magnificent 2019 swimming year. It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this standard and we are looking forward to working even harder in 2020.”
The following swimmers set new SVG National records:
Eltonique Leonard – Girls 7-8 years
100 freestyle – 1:18.99
50 butterfly – 36.06
200 freestyle – 2:59.41
200 IM – 3:18.12
50 backstroke – 42.63
50 breaststroke – 45.75
Zariel Nelson – Girls 9-10 years
50 butterfly – 33.46
Jamie Joachim – Girls 11-12 years
100 freestyle – 1:07.59
200 freestyle – 2:24.82
400 freestyle – 5:16.30
100 backstroke – 1:18.54
200 backstroke – 2:49.20
Abigail Deshong – Girls 11-12 years
50 freestyle – 29.97
50 butterfly – 31.35
Kennice Greene – Girls 11-12 years
100 butterfly – 1:16.16
Mya DeFreitas – Girls 13-14 years
100 butterfly – 1:12.90
800 freestyle – 9:51.21
200 butterfly – 2:52.10
Seth Byron – Boys 9-10 years
200 freestyle – 2:31.56
Eltonte Leonard – Boys 11-12 years
50 butterfly – 29.05
Bryson George – Boys 13-14 years
50 freestyle – 25.58
100 freestyle – 57.39
These young swimmers from SVG are making waves at these championships. Steve Joachim’s vision and guidance are impacting. Kyle, the coach, must be commended as well and is in contention for “coach of the year once more”.
These performances come on the heels of our gymnasts who made it clear in Jamaica that they didn’t attended to just show their faces, but rather were there as serious contenders. And they impressed us.
A couple of issues need attention however, these I have noted for some time: they deals with team photos and athletes of the touring teams that are missing from the photographs. Evidence in the piece above point to the issues. The officials with the team should take up the responsibility to ensure all athletes of touring parties are featured because local journalists will not be with the touring teams at all times. But again, team photos can be taken before teams depart or when they return.
It’s also OK for the athletes to “show off” they medals and trophies. At first glance at the photos above, I was under the impression that the swimmers came back empty handed, until I read on. Yes, the photos should reflect what the athletes encountered at their outings.
Track and field, netball, cricket, squash, and some other sports need brushing up. Swimming officials, shear your secrets please!
Boxing might be the ideal sport to introduce to those rough and tough youngsters filled with aggression and causing society such problems. Champions may emerge from this group too. You never know.
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