The Antigua and Barbuda Swimming Federation (ABSF) held its 6th Annual Invitational Swimming Championships this past weekend October 18th – 20th at the Antigua Health and Fitness Club, on the grounds of the V.C. Bird International Airport.
Six clubs, and over 100 competitors, participated in the event; all hoping to be crowned individual age-group high-point champions and overall club champion. For the first time, Antigua and Barbuda hosted 15 swimmers and their supporters from the Tobago YMCA Aquatic Warriors.
The overall club champion was the Wadadli Aquatic Racers who amassed 1,063 points on their way to a ‘three-peat’ in the Annual Invitational, 107 points ahead of second-place finisher, Antigua Aquatic Club Storm. Third-place finisher was Vipers Aquatic Club, followed by by Riptide Swim Team, Tobago YMCA Aquatic Warriors and Marlins Swim Club in fourth through sixth places respectively.
An overjoyed Coach of the Wadadli Aquatic Racers, Nelson Molina, exclaimed, “This is a great achievement by all of the WAR swimmers, they worked hard, and this proves that hard work pays off.” Coach Nelson also congratulated the ABSF on hosting an enjoyable, competitive meet.
The event produced 6 short course National Age Group Records (NAGR).
The first occurred in the Girls 15 & Over 100 Meter Individual Medley, which saw Olivia Fuller set a new standard of 1:09.59. In the Girls 9-10 50 Meter Breaststroke, Selah Wiltshire set a new age group record of 37:95 while Angelique Gittens left her mark with a time of 1:07.92 in the Girls 13-14 100 Meter Butterfly.
Olivia Fuller returned to set a second NAGR in the Girls 15 & Over 100 Meter Backstroke with a time of 1:10.78 followed by Selah Wiltshire with her second NAGR in the Girls 9-10 100 Meter Individual Medley with a time of 1:18.48.
Zahid Derrick joined the girls in breaking the record for the Boys 8 & Under 50 Meter Backstroke in a time of 39.12.
The event produced 10 individual age group champions and one overall club champion. The results were as follows: 8 & Under Girls – Keitonya Skepple of Vipers Aquatic Club, 8 & Under Boys – Zahid Derrick of Wadadli Aquatic Racers, 9 – 10 Girls – Selah Wiltshire of Riptide Swim Team, 9 – 10 Boys – Espriit Shaw of Wadadli Aquatic Racers, 11 – 12 Girls – Aunjelique Liddie of Wadadli Aquatic Racers, 11 – 12 Boys – Jacob Cox of Tobago YMCA Aquatic Warriors, 13 – 14 Girls – Hailey Derrick of Antigua Aquatic Club Storm, 13 – 14 Boys – Tony Goodwin of Wadadli Aquatic Racers, 15 & Over Girls – Oliver Fuller and 15 & Over Boys – Daryl Appleton of Antigua Aquatic Club Storm
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Swimming Federation (ABSF) Dr. Derek Marshall, stated, “In a word, the event was a success. We saw a very high level of competition from the local and invited swimmers and several National Age Group Records were broken this weekend.”
He added, “On behalf of the ABSF Executive, I would like to congratulate all of the winners in each of the events, as well as, the overall winners. I would also like to thank the swimmers for putting on an excellent show that exemplified the camaraderie and sportsmanship that continues to drive swimming. I would also like to thank Coach Mosi Denoon and the Tobago YMCA Aquatic Warriors for coming to our invitational and helping to make it a success. I certainly hope that they will return for future events and that we can one day take a visiting team to Tobago.”
The President also expressed his appreciation to the swimming fraternity for their continued support, saying, “Beyond the swimmers in the pool, the sport of swimming relies on strong support from the entire swimming fraternity, so I would like to thank the parents and supporters, along with the volunteers, who came out in their numbers to support the kids every day, and contributed to making the event a success, and the sport what it is today.”
The Annual Invitational is an important meet on the swimming calendar as the performances are used as the foundation for selecting the swim team to represent Antigua and Barbuda at the annual OECS Swimming Championships. This year, the OECS Championships will be held November 8th to 10th at the Shrewsbury Aquatic Center in St. Vincent. According to President Marshall, “the Selection Committee will now meet to make the team selection over the next couple of days and the team selection should be reviewed and ratified by the executive by the end of the week.”
The ABSF President also extended thanks to the meet’s sponsors, Premier Beverages, FLOW and Kaw Management, stating, “On behalf of the entire swim fraternity, I would like to thank our sponsors for their continued support. They offer important support to our association and we are thankful for that.”
Meanwhile, half-a-world away, at the Lindsay Powell Memorial meet in Exeter, United Kingdom, national swimmer, Jadon Wuilliez, broke three national records. In all three short course events, Jadon bettered his previous record times, setting new standards in the 50 Meter Breaststroke at 28:82, the 100 Meter Breaststroke at 1:04:28 and the 100 Meter Individual Medley at 59.18.
The ABSF also invites everyone to “Bubbles,” the Association’s annual fundraising fete, on Saturday 26th October, 2019 at the Coolidge Cricket Grounds. All proceeds will be to benefit the National Swim Team of Antigua and Barbuda. Tickets are only $100.00 in advance or $125.00 at the door.
The price covers an all-inclusive premium bar.
Tickets are available from Antigua Health and Fitness Club, The Garden Grill, Cassada Paints & Supplies and Cutting Edge Salon.