ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES – Thirteen swimmers from St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Black Sands Swim Squad, recently competed in the Barbados National Swimming Championships from the 28th February to 4th March 2018.

It was the swimmers’ first opportunity to compete in a 50-metre pool this year, as timely preparation for some of them for the up and coming Carifta Swimming Championships 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 4 gold and 1 silver medal, breaking two St Vincent and the Grenadines national records, in the process.

He set new times of 26.79 seconds in the 50-metre butterfly, and 31.08 seconds in the 50-metre breaststroke.

Nikolas Sylvester emulated Shane’s record breaking form by setting a new St Vincent and the Grenadines national record in the 100-metre backstroke in a time of 1:5.04 minutes.

In all, Nikolas won two gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals, respectively.

Helping Nikolas and Shane dominate the boys’ 15-17 years age group was Dillon Gooding, Cruz Halbich and Tyrese Lewis.

Gooding swam himself into a podium finish, winning 1 bronze medal in the 50-metre butterfly, whilst Halbich was called to the podium twice, winning 1 silver medal in the 400-metre freestyle and 1 bronze.

Lewis swam well and was able to reduce his 100-metre freestyle time, setting for himself a new personal best time of 1:1.55 minutes.

Black Sands Swim Squad swimmers – (top left to right)-: Cruz Halbich, Shane Cadogan, Dillon Gooding, Alexander Cyrus, Tyrese Lewis.
(bottom left to right)-: Bryson George, Jayson Sandy, Brandon George, Eltonique Leonard, Jamie Joachim, Eltonte Leonard, Paige Cadogan.

Swimming in the boys’ 18-years and over age group was Alexander Cyrus. He swam himself to 2 silver and 1 bronze medals, respectively, with a new 50-metre butterfly personal best time by over 1 second.

In the girls’ 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 5 personal best times.

Following family tradition, Jamie Joachim found herself on the medal podium 4 times, collecting 4 bronze medals, whilst 7-year-old Eltonique Leonard worked hard to keep up with the competition in the Girls’ 8-years and under age group, winning a bronze medal in the 50-metre backstroke.

St Vincent and the Grenadines Carifta qualifying first timers, Eltonte Leonard and Jayson Sandy showed great strength swimming in their first year of the boys’ 11- 12 years age group.

Leonard added extra weight to his returning luggage, coming home with a total of 7 silver and 4 bronze medals, while Sandy came home jingling with 3 silver and 3 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 2 bronze medals, and Bryson 1 bronze.

Black Sands Swim Squad Head Coach Kyle Dougan expressed congratulations to all of the competing team members. He went on to say that the results of this competition has 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.