Four records, 51 medals for National swimmers at 29th Annual OECS Swimming Championships

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The Antigua and Barbuda National Swim Team returned with four OECS records and 51 medals from the 29th Annual OECS Swimming Championships (2019), which was held November 8th to 10th at the Shrewsbury Aquatic Center in St. Vincent.

“Antigua and Barbuda’s swimmers did our nation proud in St. Vincent. I would like to congratulate each and every one of them for their fine performances. I would also like to congratulate their coaches, Head Coach Nelson Molina-Fojo, Coach Mark Mitchell and Coach Terrell Bruno, for providing the leadership and support to our young athletes as they competed against the OECS’ best,” the President of the Antigua and Barbuda Swimming Federation, Dr Derek Marshall said.

Olivia Fuller, swimming in the Girls 15-17 age group, set OECS records in the 200 meter Individual Medley with a time of 2:29.52, and the 400 meter Freestyle with a time of 4:37.25, breaking a 14-year-old OECS record in that event.

Meanwhile, teammate Selah Wiltshire, swimming in the Girls 9-10 age group, set OECS records in the 100 Individual Medley with a time of 1:17.43 and 37:44 in the 50 meter breaststroke.

Although Team Antigua and Barbuda 2019 was one of the youngest teams ever fielded for the OECS championships, with almost half of the team 10 years or younger, the swimmers produced 116 top-five finishes, and 51 medals including 12 gold, 22 silver and 17 bronze in the short course (25 meter) meet.

Head Coach Nelson complimented the swimmers for their performances saying, “The dedication and performance of these young swimmers were fantastic. They were exposed to a higher level of competition and they focused on what they had to do every day. For many, this was their first time swimming in a regional meet and they did not disappoint.” He added, “All of the swimmers swam in several events with some competing in up to 13 events. Although demanding, each produced personal best times. In the end, we secured 51 medals as a team and they should all be proud of their accomplishments.”

The team comprised of Keitonya Skepple, Marion Belgrave, Brielle Martin and Sienna West in the Girls 8 & Under category, while Zahid Derrick, Horatio Reynolds, and Jamie Tranter competed for the boys in the same age category.

 In the 9 – 10 year-old category, Selah Wiltshire, Madison MacMillan, Ellie Shaw and Isabelle Bremner represented for the girls while Espriit Shaw, Adrian Karam, Davien Barton and Marley Richardson represented the boys.

The Girls 11 – 12 age group consisted of Aunjelique Lidde, Jemaria Jackson, Sydnee Hesse, and Alandra Dublin while the boys consisted of Naeem D’Souza and Ethan Stubbs-Green.

Hailey Derrick, Angelique Gittens, Arianna John and Kimberlee Warner represented the girls in the 13 – 14 category while Tony Goodwin, Osayba Browne, and Yacine Williams represented the boys.

 The 15 – 17 age group comprised of Olivia Fuller and Anisa Lewis for the girls and Brandon Derrick and Joshua Edwards for the boys. There were no girls selected for the 18 & over age group, however, Daryl Appleton and J’Air Smith represented the boys.

ABSF Vice-President of Pools and OECS Team Manager, Darren Derrick, praised the young athletes, saying, “This year, we focused on developing the younger swimmers and they performed admirably. Our 10 & Under girls team swept first place in both the 200 meter medley relay and the 200 meter freestyle relay. While our 10 & Under boys team secured a bronze in the 200 meter medley relay and a gold in the 200 meter freestyle relay, and our 11 – 12 girls also secured a bronze in the 200 meter freestyle relay. Judging by the performances and the results, we can continue to say that the future of swimming in Antigua and Barbuda is bright!”

Individual medal winners were: Daryl Appleton (2 silver, 2 bronze), Hailey Derrick (1 silver, 3 bronze), Zahid Derrick (6 silver, 1 bronze), Olivia Fuller (5 gold, 6 silver), Sydnee Hesse (1 bronze), Jemaria Jackson (1 bronze), Adrian Karam (2 silver), Anisa Lewis (2 bronze), Madisson MacMillan (1 gold, 1 silver, 3 bronze), Ellie Shaw (1 bronze), Jamie Tranter (1 bronze), and Selah Wiltshire (3 gold, 4 silver).

Team medals went to the Girls 10 & under 200 meter Medley relay team (Madison MacMillan, Ellie Shaw, Selah Wiltshire, and Isabelle Bremner) which secured gold, while the 10 & under 200 meter Freestyle relay team (Selah Wiltshire, Madison MacMillan, Keitonya Skepple, and Ellie Shaw) matched that performance with another gold medal.

Meanwhile, the 10 & under boys relay team (Davien Barton, Espriit Shaw, Zahid Derrick, and Adrian Karam) achieved a bronze medal in the 200 meter Medley relay and a gold medal in the 200 meter Freestyle relay. The girls struck again in the 11 – 14 age group, with a bronze for the 200 meter Freestyle relay team (Arianna John, Angelique Gittens, Sydnee Hesse, and Hailey Derrick).

Grenada repeated as OECS champions at the 29th edition of the OECS Swimming Championships bringing their win streak to 5. Second overall was St Lucia, followed by St Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, and St Kitts and Nevis, in third through fifth places, respectively.

Next on the local swimming calendar is the 33rd ABSF National Open Water Swimming Championships to be held Sunday December 1st, 2019 at Ffryes Beach. The ABSF invites everyone fit enough to participate to do so, and all others to come out to support and cheer on the participants.

The Antigua and Barbuda National Swim Team next travels to Peru to take part in the UANA Swimming Cup hosted by Union Americana de Natacion (UANA). The event is scheduled to be held at The Videna Aquatic Complex, in Lima, Peru, February 21st – 23rd, 2020.

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