Swimming: A Phenomenal Year

Image From L-R: Terrel, Jayhan, Jamaar and D’Andre.

DESPITE not having the 50-metre swimming pool as promised, Saint Lucian swimmers continue to make their country proud at local, regional and international championships, and based on performances thus far, the year 2017 can best be described as a “phenomenal one” for the sport.

Image From L-R: Terrel, Jayhan, Jamaar and D’Andre.
From L-R: Terrel, Jayhan, Jamaar and D’Andre.

At the CARIFTA Games: Naima Hazell was a bronze medalist in 50-metres breast stroke. Katie Kyle brought home the bronze in 50-metres and silver in 100-metres butterfly. TerrelMonplaisir won a silver medal in 200-metres back stroke. His 2 minutes and 19.35 seconds set new age group and national records in the process. Mikaili Charlemagne reduced the age group record over 50-metres freestyle to 28.11 seconds and in 100-metres freestyle to 1 minute and 03.28 seconds. JayhanOdlum-Smith set two new age group records: 50-metres butterfly in 26.80 seconds and 50-metres back stroke in 29.89 seconds, as well as new age group and national records in 1500-metres freestyle: 18 minutes and 11.38 seconds.

Overall, Saint Lucia placed 16th, tying with Suriname on the score chart out of 23 countries, with 25.5 points. Katie Kyle earned herself a silver medal in the 50-metre butterfly, setting age group and national records in the process. She also took bronze in the 100-metre butterfly, setting age group and national records. Katie further broke national and age group records in 100-metres freestyle. National and age group records were also set by JayhanOdlum-Smith in the 200-metres butterfly and TerrelMonplaisir in the 100-metres back stroke. Naima Hazell, Jamarr Archibald and Mikaili Charlemagne joined the team in making finals at least once during the championship and keeping within the top 8 swimmers in the competition in various strokes.

A New Executive: The Saint Lucia Amateur Swimming Association held an Extraordinary General Meeting May 29, 2017. Present were the past executive members; FINA representative Errol Clark; SLOC representatives Alfred Emmanuel and David Christopher; and a quorum of approximately 104 voting members. Outgoing president, Carol Mangal, addressed the membership and gave a basic overview of the association’s accomplishments during her tenure.

Eddie Hazel, a swim dad for over 6 years and an active member in Lightning Aquatics, who has over 12 years of board and council representation, was voted in and will now serve as the federation’s president. Paula James will serve as the Vice President (administration). The other executive members include Constance Renee, Secretary General; David Peterkin, Vice President (Technical), Juliana Destang, Treasurer; Tessa Charles Louis, Fundraising; Sue Monplaisir, Public Relations Officer.

OECS 2017: Leading the country’s charge for the OECS Championship was Girls and Boys 8- and-under Fayth Jeffery, Mila Festini Cromer, Diego Vargas and Antoine Destang. The 9-to-10 age group squad was represented by Jasmine Stiede, Amelia Joseph, JerminaOdlum-Smith, Anais Bataillard, TherronHerelle, Karic Charles and Ethan Hazell. Naima Hazell, Naekeisha Louis, D’Andre Blanchard, Ziv Reynolds and Akim Ernest took control of the 11-to-12 age group swimmers.

The senior representation on the team was led by 13-14 competitors, Mikaili Charlemagne, Marissa Louisy, Mya Hilaire, Shalini Joseph, JayhanOdlum-Smith, TerrelMonplaisir and Jamarr Archibald. Eden Crick, Mikaela Casimir, Abbie Pultie, Mya Peter, Nicolas Mc Lennon, Omar Alexander and Devin Boodha joined the team in their attempt to dominate the point standings. The 18-and-over entries included Vanessa Eugene, Shernice Popo, Johnny Calderon and Michael Louis Fernand, whom SLASA expects to strengthen the team’s representation.

The Saint Lucia Amateur Swimming Association congratulates team Grenada on winning first place with combined scores of 1360 points. Saint Lucia swam fiercely but still fell short by 16 points, coming in second place with combined scores of 1344. Antigua Barbuda’s national team placed third by mustering a total of 1240.50 points, with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines placing fourth with 807.50 points.

Image of Charlemagne

Goodwill Games: Saint Lucia’s team medalled in several events, bringing home 6 gold, 8 sliver and 7 bronze medals. The top performing swimmers included Antoine Destang, who achieved 3 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medals. He also walked away with the top points in the overall 8-and-under Goodwill swimmers. Antoine also broke five age group records in 100-metres freestyle, 100-metres individual medley, 50-metres freestyle, 50-metres butterfly and 50-metres breast stroke.

Ziv Reynolds took his place on the podium with a double gold in 50-meters and 100-metres breast stroke, as well as Omar Alexander with a gold medal in 50-metres freestyle and 1 bronze in 50-metres back stroke. D’Andre Blanchard picked up a silver medal in 50-metres breast stroke, Naekeisha Louis a silver in 50-metres butterfly, and Marisa Louisy a bronze in 50-metres back stroke. The relay team comprising Naekeisha Louis, JorjaMederick, Sunshine Mauricette and Anya Hilaire picked up silver in the 200-metres free style and a bronze in 400-metres free style relay.

Trinidad and Tobago pulled it off for the fourth year with top points, leaving Saint Lucia with 314.5 points to place fifth.

17th FINA World: Hungary hosted the 17th FINA World Championships, or World Aquatics Championships, from July 14 to 30. Six disciplines — swimming, water polo, open water swimming, synchronized swimming, diving and high diving — were on display. The championships had over 2,300 athletes from 180 federations participating.

Jayhan Odlum-Smith and Jean Luc Zephir of the Sea Jays Swim Club and Mikaili Charlemagne of Sharks Swim Club were chosen to represent Saint Lucia at the meet. Odlum-Smith competed in the 50-metres and 100-metres butterfly; Zephir in the 50-metres and 100-metres freestyle and Charlemagne in the 50-metres and 100-metres freestyle.

6th FINA Junior World: This year, 2017, the Saint Lucia Amateur Swimming Association supported swimmer TerrelMonplaisir, who competed in the six-day meet amongst nearly 1000 athletes from nearly 100 countries in Indianapolis, Indiana. In Terrel’s quest to make his mark, he broke two local age group records.

Commonwealth Youth Games: Katie Kyle and Jyasi Daniel were the two swimmers selected to represent Saint Lucia in swimming at the Commonwealth Youth Games held in The Bahamas. Selection of each swimmer was based on the highest FINA points and selecting the fastest female swimmer 14-17 and male 15-18 years old. Katie swam in the 50-metres and 100-metres butterfly whilst Jyasi competed in the 50-metre butterfly and 100-metres freestyle.

Image of Antoine Destang (Photo: Anthony De Beauville)
Antoine Destang (Photo: Anthony De Beauville)

Congratulations to Katie Kyle: Katie Kyle was the recipient of a one-year FINA Scholarship. In line with the FINA policy on Development and Universality, FINA has implemented programmes in order to help with the progress of aquatics in the five continents. FINA selected Saint Lucia’s Katie Kyle and has approved the allocation of funding in order to support her training and development. Job well done, Katie. Continue to reach for the stars!

Primary School Swimming: The day was divided into two sessions with the morning session dedicated to swimmers from primary schools. In total, seven primary schools participated: Dame Pearlette Louisy, Tapion Primary, Gros Islet, SDA Eucharist, Montessori Center, Vide Bouteille, and the International School. With leading combined team points, Montessori Center captured the winning spot with 320 points. Dame Pearlette Louisy Primary School captured second place with 309 points, with Tapion Primary School placing third.

The first half of the competition ended at 12:00 noon, allowing the secondary schools to take the stage and get ready for competition. Competing in the second round were the following secondary schools: Leon Hess, St. Mary’s College, St. Joseph’s Convent, SDA Eucharist, Boys Training Centre, Castries Comprehensive, Gros Islet, International School and Soufriere.

Leon Hess Secondary School won the competition with a total of 352 points, followed by St. Joseph’s Convent (343 points) and St. Mary’s College (289 points).

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