On the 13-14th March, The Bahamas Swimming Federation held its, “Last Chance” meet at The Betty Kelly Kenning swimming complex. This would be the final opportunity for any Bahamian swimmers trying to make the Bahamas CARIFTA Team 2015, to qualify.
The meet was well attended by local Clubs and swimmers who were home from school during spring break. There was added hype, as The Bahamas’ own Olympic Swimmer, Ariana Vanderpool- Wallace was at the meet with six of her fellow Olympians, including the likes of Ryan Lochte and Cullen Jones. These World class Athletes actually participated in the races, mixed with the local swimmers, for photo ops and held a clinic on Sunday following the meet.
What an honour it was for the BSF (Bahamas Swimming Federation) and its swimmers to be in such company.
At the end of the day, the 2015 CARIFTA team was announced and two local Abaconians had made the cut. First timer Jewel Pinder of the Abaco Swim Club and Fourth timer Miller Albury of Alpha Aquatics. Miller is at the bottom of the 15-17 age group and swam personal best in all four of his events to make the final cut. Jewel had 5 CARIFTA Qualifying Times, and out of the 15 events for her age group, she held top place in 4 of them, and 2nd place in 5 of them. This put her in to swim 8 events for Carifta.
Over the next two weeks Miller and Jewel, along with fellow CARIFTA Swimmers, will make their final preparations and fine tuning, to defend their title in Barbados over the Easter Weekend, April 4-8th. The Bahamas National Swim Team made history this time last year, bringing home their FIRST ever CARIFTA Championship title.