With a contingent of 23 swimmers from ages 7 to 23 years, the Lightning Aquatics Swim Club amassed 289 points, placing 9th out of 25 teams participating in the 18th Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre (RHAC) Invitational Swim Meet held in Saint Lucia from April 6 to 9.
It was four days of tough competition from 320 swimmers from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Saint Lucia.
According to LA’s Club President Tessa Charles-Louis, “While there is always room for improvement, we are extremely proud of our swimmers who gave it their all despite the challenging competition from regional competitors. Many of them recorded personal best times and we are particularly thankful to our three coaches for their dedication to the club.”
Charles-Louis congratulated all the teams, especially the two Saint Lucian clubs that copped the first and second place positions, namely Sharks Saint Lucia and Sea Jays Swim Club respectively.
Here are some highlights for Lightning Aquatics during the RHAC swim meet:
Naima Hazell won the Sprint Challenge and 6th overall in the Girls 11-12 age group, getting 3 gold medals and breaking 3 meet records in the 50-metres freestyle and 50- and 100-metres breaststroke. She also won silver in the 50-metres butterfly.
Naekeisha Louis placed 3rd in the Sprint Challenge and 5th overall in the 11-12 Girls age group, earning silver in the 50-metres breaststroke and bronze medals in the 50-metres freestyle and 200-metres backstroke.
Also in the Girls 11-12 age group, Aliyah Henry won gold in the 200-metres breaststroke while Courtney Paul copped bronze in that event.
Joesha Daniel captured the bronze in the 200-metres breaststroke in the Girls 15-and-over category. The 9-12 age group girls relay team comprising Naima, Naekeisha, Courtney and Angelique Gaillard put on an amazing performance to snatch the gold in the 200-metres medley relay and the bronze in the 200-metres freestyle relay.
Akim Ernest placed 3rd overall in the Boys 11-12 age group, copping gold in the 200- metres backstroke, silver medals in the 50-metres freestyle, 50-metres butterfly, 50-metres backstroke and 100-metres backstroke, and a bronze in the 100-metres butterfly.
Karic Charles placed 8th overall in the Boys 9-10 age group, snatching silver in the 200-metres breaststroke and two bronze medals in the 50- and 100-metres breaststroke.
Special mention must be made of LA’s Learn to Swim children Alexandra Bristol, Aaron Charles and Jahson Felix, who participated in their first big meet. Bristol placed 6th out of 26 in the 25-metres backstroke while Jahson placed 9th out of 16 in the 25-metres backstroke in the Boys 7-8 age group.
The RHAC Invitational came about three weeks after LA’s first Relay Carnival which saw Sharks St. Lucia placing first, Sea Jays Swim Club second and host Lightning Aquatics placing third.
“Our first attempt at staging a swim meet received rave reviews from swimmers and parents alike,” said Charles-Louis. “Five of the seven clubs on island took part. What made it extra special were the fun relays, especially those which saw parents and coaches displaying their swimming abilities in the presence of the athletes.”