Sports

Record Breaker D’Andre Still in the Fast Lane

Image of Saint Lucian swimmer D’Andre Blanchard.

D’ANDRE Blanchard began his competitive swimming journey from the age of six years old and he has always shown determination and a hunger to win. His first ever competition was the Summer Splash swim meet in 2011 while a member of the Racers Swim Club. He won the Capri Sun 6 & under Boys 1st place Trophy and made the St. Lucia National Swim Team.

Image of Saint Lucian swimmer D’Andre Blanchard.
Saint Lucian swimmer D’Andre Blanchard.

In 2012 he captured 1st place male 6 & under Trophy at the RHAC 13th Interclub Invitational. At the GrenFin Invitational in Grenada that year, he captured the 1st place male 6 & under and the most outstanding male trophies. His performance at Summer Splash also won him the 1st place Boys High Points winner. At the Capri Sun Short Course Nationals he placed 2nd in the 8 & under category.

In 2013 he joined the Lightning Aquatics Swim Club and continued his performance by winning the RHAC 14th Interclub Invitational 7- 8 year age group category. Then at the Summer Splash swim meet Blanchard captured 1st place awards, in that same 7 – 8 year old category. At the Capri Sun Short Course Nationals D’Andre took the 8 and under 1st place champion trophy.

2014 was a phenomenal year which started with him capturing the 8 & under 1st place trophy at the 23rd Annual Aquatics Center International Meet, held in Barbados in May. At the Capri Sun Short Course Nationals he continued to execute well claiming 1st place honours in the 8 & under age group. Then it was the OECS championships where he out classed his competition winning gold at all his seven races, on his way to the Champion 8 & Under Swimmer. At the SLASA awards he also captured the Most Outstanding Performance trophy and Best 8 and Under Swimmer for that year.

In 2015 D’Andre was awarded the trophy for the Most Outstanding Swimmer (M) at the National Primary Schools Sports Awards. At the Capri Sun Short Course Nationals he won the 9-10 age group 1st place trophy. At the Lucian Grand Prix hosted by Racers Swim club again he was able to capture 1st place in the 9-10 age group category. At the annual SLASA awards D’Andre was awarded the Best 9-10 Age Group Swimmer title for 2015.

For the year 2016 at the Summer Splash swim meet he snatched up another 1st place trophy in the 9-10 boys category. He was also the 1st place winner at the Capri Sun Short Course Nationals, OECS Swimming Championships, and Lucian Grand Prix Meet for the 9-10 age group. The SLASA 2016 awards saw him being honoured with the Best 9-10 Age Group Boy’s Swimmer title for that year.

In 2017 D’Andre picked up 1st place trophies at the Karen Beaubrun Swim Meet, and Capri Sun Short Course Nationals. At the OECS Swimming Championships he placed third. With three AA times required for CARIFTA 2018, D’Andre had attained AA standards in four strokes namely the 50M freestyle 28.45secs, 100M freestyle 1:02.85, 50M Butter Fly 31.69 secs and 100M Butter Fly 1:12.40secs. He had also qualified for the CCCAN 2018 swimming championships with AAA standard times in the 50M freestyle and 50M Butterfly.

In 2018 at CARIFTA he medaled twice getting silver in the 50M Breast and bronze in the 50M Butterfly. At CCCAN 2018 D’Andre made the finals in four of his five races but did not capture a medal. At the 2018 OECS 28th Swimming Championship he contributed the most individual points for team St. Lucia and in the process broke the OECS 50M breaststroke record with 33.00sec. D’Andre also broke local 11-12 age group records in 50M and 100M Free, 50M Breast, 50M and 100M Butterfly. D’Andre received the trophy for the High Points Winner for the 11-12 Age Group. At the ASATT 2018 Swimming Invitational in Trinidad, he would again perform well breaking local records in 50M Free, 200M I.M, 50M Breast, 50M Butterfly.

At the 2018 Swimming Awards held Sunday February 10th 2019, the St. Lucia Amateur Swimming Association recognized its swimmers and administrators. D’Andre captured the 2018, 11-12 Age Group award and the Junior Male Swimmer of the year. “I am grateful to my club SeaJays and coaches Norm and Brian and parents for motivating and encouraging me,” he said. “My dad has always reminded me of a quote. ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit!’”

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