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VI sends 10 to OECS Swimming C/ships

The BVI Swimming Federation has had a record 10 athletes competing in the 24th Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Swimming Championships that opened in St. Lucia on Friday and ends today, Sunday 9 November, 2014. Photo: Provided
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - The BVI Swimming Federation has had a record 10 athletes competing in the 24th Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Swimming Championships that opened in St. Lucia on Friday and ends today, Sunday 9 November, 2014.

BVI Swimming Federation President Elsworth Phillip announced the team, stating “the OECS Championships is a meet that presents an opportunity to prove to the young developing swimmers that they are capable of competing with the older swimmers.”

Elinah and Amarah Phillip will join eight home based athletes for the competition that includes: Giselle “Gigi” Archibald Bowers, Gregory Nelson, Tia Roberts, Kalya Roberts, Kassia Hayman, Kahdija Sampson, Chakia Smith and Jaden Marshall.

Grenada jumped out to the early lead, closely followed by the home team, Saint Lucia, as the 24th Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Swimming Championships got underway Friday at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre.

With defending champions Grenada on 210 points, 12-time champions Saint Lucia just three points behind, and hard-charging Antigua &Barbuda a mere 16 back of Saint Lucia, and with two full days of swimming to come, the title is still very much up for grabs. At the closing ceremony Sunday, will the defending champs draw level with the home team in terms of number of titles won? Will the trophy stay in Saint Lucia? Or will it have a new destination for the first time in years?

The action in the pool on Friday evening was intense, kicking off with the distance races and 200m medley relays. Two records were broken, both falling to swimmers from Antigua-Barbuda. in 2013, Noah Mascoll-Gomes set a meet record of 4:20.26 in the boys 13-14 400m Freestyle. On Friday, he smashed that record by over 15 seconds, touching the wall in 4:05.23, more than 30 metres ahead of his nearest rival, countryman Stefano Mitchell (4:31.89).

The Antiguan quartet of Maddison Coleman, Gabriella John, Samantha Roberts and Makaela Holowchak stopped the clock in 2:09.89 for the girls 11-14 200m Medley Relay, besting Saint Lucia by over four seconds and beating the mark of 2:13.79 set last year by a team that also included John and Roberts.

Earlier, Antigua-Barbuda had started the meet by winning the opening event, the girls 8 & Under 100m Freestyle. That title went to Hailey Derrick in 1:20.50, over Saint Lucia’s Naima Hazell (1:21.59).

In the boys’ category, Saint Lucia’s D’Andre Blanchard evened things up by conquering Antigua’s Luke Pollen-Brooks, 1:18.09 to 1:21.27. Olivia Fuller (5:30.56) won the girls 9-10 400 Free, whilst Alex Joachim of St Vincent & the Grenadines (5:27.03) won the boys crown.

In the 11-12 400 Free, Saint Lucia’s Eden Crick (5:07.13) was victorious, and Antigua’s Lleyton Martin (4:51.13) was the boys’ champion. Holowchak of Antigua-Barbuda (4:45.04) took the 13-14 400 Free honours over compatriot Roberts (4:54.32).

Grenada got into the mix with the 15-17 girls, as Oreoluwa Cherebin (4:45.42) copped the 400 Free title in that division; the boys gong went to Antigua’s J’Air Smith (4:35.21). For the 18 & Over 400 Free, it was Kevlian Andrews (5:57.27) winning it for the Spice Isle of Grenada, just as her male counterpart Chris Regis (4:37.04) would do. Regis beat Saint Lucia’s Jordan Augier (4:38.90) by just under two seconds, so whatever else happens this meet, the hometown favourite won’t be repeating his unbeaten run from last year’s competition.

The six relay wins were evenly split between the top three teams, though Saint Lucia did finish second in each of the four they did not win. Aside from Antigua-Barbuda’s record win in 11-14 girls, their 11-14 boys, led by Mascoll-Gomes, just managed to hold the home team off. Saint Lucia’s wins came in the 10 & Under girls, with Shalini Joseph, Naima Hazell, Maya Hilaire and Mikaili Charlemagne, and the 18 & Over boys, a team comprising Michael Louis Fernand, Stefon Emmanuel, Jordan Augier and Jonathan Calderon.

In both cases, Grenada was second. But Grenada topped the medal rostrum in the 10 & Under (Jenebi Benoit, Zackary Greshem, Jaydon Hyson and Iyanu Antoine) and 115 & Over (Kevlian Andrews, Oreoluwa Cherebin, Valorie Andrews, Ashleigh McLeish).

At last years Championships the VI team recorded 16 Medals, 10 of which were Gold and also established four new Records.

Following the OECS Championships, the VI delegation will head to St. Thomas for the Virgin Islands Championships later this month to compete against their St. Thomas and St. Croix counterparts.

5 Responses to “VI sends 10 to OECS Swimming C/ships”

  • ABC (09/11/2014, 15:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    i like the green
  • swim fan (09/11/2014, 22:51) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    15 medals in the bag, 6 gold 6 silver, 3 bronze
    Take that Government, no support but we doing
    what we have to do, how you feeling now?

    Shame on them, we don't need parades and stages to shine, we need a place to swim.
    • Vg man (10/11/2014, 09:37) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      So, finish the pool in Virgin Gorda (80% complete) and subsidize ferries so people can come train. A finished world class pool will also attract world class swimmers to train here. These folks could also coach our youngsters while they are here. We could even host regional swim meets.
  • OMG (14/02/2015, 20:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

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