Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lightning swimmers win 13 Carifta medals

SMILING from ear to ear, four members of the Lucayan Lightning swim team returned from the Carifta Swimming Championships in Bridgetown, Barbados. And they certainly had good reason to celebrate, bringing home an impressive 13 medals.

The Bahamas' swim team, which had a total of 36 swimmers - four from Grand Bahama, one from Abaco and 31 from Nassau - amassed 41 medals and got third place overall behind Guadeloupe and Trinidad and Tobago.

Algernon Cargill, president of the Bahamas Swimming Federation highlighted the Lightning's Dustin Tynes as the most outstanding Bahamian swimmer in the 2011 Carifta championships.

In the boys' 13-14 category, Dustin won gold medals in the 50m, 100m and 200m breast stroke, breaking three Carifta records and two Bahamian records. He was also a member of the 400m medley relay team which took the bronze.

Taryn Smith swam in one of the closest races of the entire meet, the girls' 13-14 50m freestyle. There was a tie for the gold and Taryn received the bronze, only nine hundredths of a second behind the first place times.

Smith was awarded silver in the 50m fly and 100m free. She swam some of the strongest legs in all her relay events which gave her silver medals in the 400m medley, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle.

Joanna Evans, swimming her first year in the girls' 13-14 category, joined her team mate and close friend Taryn in the 800m freestyle relay and was delighted with her silver medal.

The "third musketeer" of this dynamic trio, Maya Albury, competed in the girls' 15-17 category, swimming numerous personal best times and an impressive leg in the 200m freestyle relay to win her team the bronze medal.

Andy Loveitt, coach of the Lucayan Lightning, was extremely proud of his swimmers' performances, saying that dedication, resilience and hard work bring rewards.

Loviett wanted to publicly thanked Anita Doherty of Bishop Michael Eldon School, Preben Olsen of the Grand Bahama Yacht Club and Mike Webber of Our Lucaya for their support and use of pools, Sky Bahamas for travel sponsorship and Peter Rebmann and the Top 20 Club for their generous financial assistance.

"These results have been achieved under challenging circumstances. These children have been compelled to use different pools to achieve their goals. On some days, the team has to travel to different venues to accumulate sufficient training time," said Loveitt.

Bahamas team manager Patra Albury was very happy with the contingent that went to Barbados.

"Without exception, the 36 swimmers represented their families and country remarkably well. We are very proud of them.

"The celebrations had to be very short for the Lucayan Lightning Swim Team because they were up bright and early on Friday morning, training at 9am with their new motto, 'Don't wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it.'"

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