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A total of 150 swimmers from six Saint Lucian clubs came together over the weekend for the 2014 Capri Sun Short Course National Championships at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre.
Sharks Swim Club claimed their sixth National Championship in seven years, amassing 735 points from the Lady Sharks and 573.5 points from the men, their overall total of 1,356.5 dangerously close to doubling the combined tally of the clubs in second (Lightning Aquatics, 780) and third (Racers, 738.5), whilst hosts Sea Jays (645), the Sports Academy (233) and Cobra Adventures (161) were further back.
Notable this year was the absence of the lone swim club outside of Castries / Gros Islet, Southern Flying Fish, though some of the members of that club competed unattached.
Sharks owed their dominance in part to Katelin Samuel and Jyasi Daniel, who broke three of the 11 national age group records to fall over the weekend.
Although Katelin was second to teammate Eden Crick in the 11-12 women, and ahead of yet another Lady Shark, Katie Kyle, she reigned supreme in he 100m Butterfly, with a time of 1:12.60. Jyasi, who won the 13-14 men over teammate Christopher Phillips, broke the 200m Freestyle (2:05.36) and 200m Individual Medley (2:23.03) records.
Second-placed Lightning Aquatics were paced by their 8-and-under group, most notably women’s and men’s division winners Naima Hazell and D’Andre Blanchard.
They combined for five new records, Naima in the 50m Freestyle (35.97), 25m Breaststroke (19.71) and 25m Butterfly (17.77); and D’ Andre in the 50m Freestyle (35.97) and 25m Breaststroke (20.89).
Terrell Monplaisir of Sea Jays was the standout among the boys, as his team swept the 11-12 division, Ethan Dyke-Elliott and Jamarr Archibald placing second and third in that class.
Once again, young Monplaisir was in record form, setting new marks in the 50m Breaststroke (35.28), 200m Individual Medley (2:32.55) and 400m Freestyle (4:59.13). Dyke Elliot also surpassed the previous record in the 400m Freestyle, touching in 4:59.50 for second place.
Other age group national champions for Sharks included Mikaela Casimir in the 13-14 Women, leading a Sharks sweep; and Jonathon Calderon in the 18 & Over Men, just edging teammate Michael Louis Fernand.
Shalini Joseph took the 9-10 Women for Racers. Ziv Reynolds copped the 9-10 Men’s title for Lightning Aquatics. 2014 Youth Olympic Games representative Thalia Bergasse was victorious in the 15-17 Women Sea Jays. Mark Emanus, competing unattached, won the 15-17 Men.
And Vanessa Eugene of Cobra Adventures captured the 18 & Over Women’s crown.
Sea Jays also presented the Karen Beaubrun Swim Medals for dedication and commitment. These were awarded to swimmer Zanaii Taylor from Sharks and Sunshine Mauricette of Sea Jays.
The Saint Lucia Amateur Swimming Association will now shift its focus to preparing to host the 24th Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Swimming Championships, 7-9 November at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre. SLASA will be selecting the OECS Team later on this week.