BSSS in record- breaking form
Thirteen swimmers from St Vincent and the Grenadinesâ Black Sands Swim Squad recently competed in the Barbados National Swimming Championships from February 28 – March 4. It was the swimmersâ first opportunity to compete in a 50-metre pool this year, preparing some of them for the up and coming Carifta Games in Jamaica in April and the Commonwealth Games to be held in Australia, also in April.
Sixteen-year-old Shane Cadogan showed great form at the event, winning four gold and one silver medal and breaking two St Vincent national records â the 50m butterfly, in a time of 26.79 seconds and the 50m breaststroke, in a time of 31.08 seconds.
Nikolas Sylvester joined Shaneâs record-breaking performance by setting a new St Vincent national record in the 100m backstroke, in a time of 1 minute 5.04 seconds. Nikolas came home with a total of two gold, one silver and two bronze medals.
Helping Nikolas and Shane dominate the boysâ 15-17 years age group were Dillon Gooding, Cruz Halbich and Tyrese Lewis. Gooding swam himself onto the podium, winning one bronze medal in the 50m butterfly, whilst Halbich was called to the podium twice, winning one silver in the 400m freestyle and one bronze. Lewis swam well and was able to reduce his 100m freestyle time, giving himself a new personal best time of 1 minute 1.55 seconds.
Swimming in the boysâ 18 years and over age group was Alexander Cyrus. He swam himself to two silver and one bronze medal and smashed his 50m butterfly personal best time by over one second.
In the girlsâ 13 to 14 years age group, Paige Cadogan battled against some extremely tough competition. Unable to make a podium spot, she proudly came away from the event with a total of five personal best times.
Following family tradition, Jamie Joachim found herself on the medal podium four times, collecting four bronze medals, whilst seven-year-old Eltonique Leonard worked hard to keep up with the competition in the girlsâ 8 years and under age group and was able to win herself a bronze medal in the 50m backstroke.
St Vincentâs Carifta qualifying first timers Eltonte Leonard and Jayson Sandy showed great strength swimming in their first year of the boysâ 11 â 12 years age group. Leonard added extra weight to his returning luggage, coming home with a total of seven silver and four bronze medals and Sandy came home jingling with three silver and three bronze medals.
Completing the strong Black Sands Swim Squad team were the George brothers, Bryson and Brandon. Both Bryson and Brandon swam fantastic personal best times, with Brandon coming home with two bronze medals and Bryson one bronze.
Black Sands Swim Squad head coach Kyle Dougan expressed huge congratulations to all of the competing team members and went on to say that the results of this competition have highlighted to him that there is still a lot of hard work to be put in for 2018, to enable his swimmers to reach the higher standards he strives to achieve.