Jesse Washington, pictured, and Dejan Wellman battled in the 100 free. *File photo
Jesse Washington, pictured, and Dejan Wellman battled in the 100 free. *File photo

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4: Today, National Coach Ben Smith made following comment re Saturday’s qualifying swim meet.

He said, “Today was the first time that BASA has hosted a meet at a different venue than the Saltus pool in 30 years.  With the Saltus pool under construction BASA moved the meet to the Warwick Academy pool in order to make sure that our swimmers had this opportunity to swim for Carifta qualifying times or try to make the BASA training squad. Thanks to some fathers handy work we were able to set up the touch pads and have a full regulation meet.  We were also lucky to have a great day of sunshine and fast swimming”.

He continued, “Coming into today we had 10 swimmers qualified for this year’s Carifta Swimming Championships and were hopeful that we would get more qualifiers by the end of the day after seeing some great progress and hard work over the last two months.  Young Alyssa Paynter from Harbour club had reached her first qualifying time earlier in the season and was working hard to reach her second time which would make her eligible for selection and give us the 4th 11-12 girl for a relay team. In the 100 free she dropped nearly a second and a half to swim a 1:09 and become the 11th qualified swimmer. 

Next we had Josh Irvine who already had his qualifying time in the 100 fly trying to reach his second time for the 11-12 boys age group. In the 50 fly he dropped nearly a full second to get his second time and become number 12 on the list.  As the meet went on it was obvious that everyone was swimming very well and almost every swimmer was hitting personal best times.  We had several swimmers come within hundreds of a second of qualifying times and the excitement was building.  Maddie Moore from Sharks Swim Club who has already made her 2 times for selection had a great swim in the 200 backstroke where she was able to lower Rebecca Sharpe's record by 3 seconds.  This swim bodes well for Maddies’ Carifta preparation as she looks to follow the long line of Bermuda female backstrokers at Carifta”. 

When the meet ended the coaches got together and decided to add a couple more events to see if some of the swimmers that were close during the meet could get to the times.  It turns out that was a good decision as the fast swimming continued.  Some swimmers lowered their times again and will be looking to hit their time on the 23rd at the Best of BEST meet.  In the last event of the day we had Jesse Washington and Dejan Wellman in a battle for the 100 free.  Dejan was looking for his second time and they battled all the way to the touch.  It was an exciting moment when Dejan hit the wall and reached his second time to be number 13 for selection. 

Smith closed by saying, “Congratulations to all the swimmers for their great swims today.  After some heavy training at the upcoming training camps over the next couple of weeks we look forward to adding to this year’s team at the next meet”.