T&T’s 40-member swim team for the 19-country Caribbean Islands Swimming Championship in Aruba starting on the weekend is confident of repeating as champions. This was the confident view of Denise Farray Constantine, public relations officer of the Amateur Swimming Association of T&T when contacted yesterday. The local squad under the supervision of head coach Edmund Pouchet leaves on Saturday for Oranjestad, Aruba where it will seek a third straight lien on the overall team title. At the last CISC meet in Havana, Cuba in 2010, T&T led by the impressive Jabari Baptiste and US-based Tyla Martin captured 120 medals (51 gold, 42 silver, 27 bronze) for 1,301 points to repeat as champions after topping the table with 88 medals two years earlier in Jamaica. Baptiste is once again included in the team which was selected by the Swim Committee of ASATT and ratified by its council for the meet which ends on Wednesday (June 27).
Speaking yesterday, Constantine said, “We are the defending champions and we have all intentions of holding onto our title. “The team has been preparing well with sessions twice weekly at the Marlins Swimming Pool and from all that has transpired everything points to another team triumph for T&T,” boasted Farray-Constantine. Also in the squad which will hold its final training session today at Marlins from 5 pm are regular CISC games gold medal winners, US-based Kimberlee John-Williams, Dylon Carter, Syriah David and Joshua Romany. A notable absentee from the T&T squad though is Florida-based Tyla Martin who also had an impressive outing in Havanna as well. Meanwhile, Josiah Morales (Eagles Aquatics), Nicholas Mitchell (Stingray) and Theana Hay (Titans) will compete in the Open Water events in Aruba. In order to qualify, inter alia, the athletes must have participated in at least one 5k Open Water event as of September 1st 2011, to present and the selection was based on the athlete placing first or second in the event in the particular age-group.
If several athletes were competing for a place on the team and having achieved 1st or 2nd place in an event, the fastest times were used to determine selection. Two years ago at the CISC, T&T’s Stephan Sharpe was the gold medalist in the inaugural event. This time around Morales who recently clocked 1:11.57.00 for first at the May 28, 2012 Powerade Barbados 5K Open Water International Classic, and team-mate Mitchell who was second at the same event in a time of 1:11.58.00 are expected to do just as well. The lone girl, Hay (1:16.04.30) got the nod as she finished second behind Samantha Rahael (1:12.32.00) at the Maracas Open Water Swim last year. There has been one change to the technical staff though, with Merlene Mohammed replacing Gary Morales as team manager.
CISC SWIM TEAM
11-12: Aliyah Noel, Amira Pilgrim, Arielle Downes
13-14: Ariel Cape, Jessica Gay, Johnnya Ferdinand, Samantha Khan, Syriah David
15-17: Alexandria Donahue, Jenique Duval, Kimberlee John-Williams, Rebecca Marshall
18 & Over: Sharntelle Mc Lean, Simone Maundy
11-12: Christian Marsden, Dario Omiss, James Gillette, John Paul Pedro, Justin Samlalsingh, Kael Yorke, Osaze Riley.
13-14: David Wiltshire, Dyllon Joshua, Jabari Baptiste, Joshua Ramkissoon, Sachin Sankar
15-17: Christopher Greene, Dylan Carter, Emiro Goossen, Jeron O’Brien, Jonathan Ramkissoon, Joshua Romany, Kareem Baptiste.
18 & Over: Abraham Mc Leod, Anthony Edwards, Caryle Blondell, Levar Goossen, Mosi Denoon, Napoleon Howell, Strasser Sankar.
Technical staff: Edmund Pouchet (head coach), Brian Wickham (assistant coach), Ronald Corke (assistant coach), Mark Pouchet (assistant coach),
Gregory Mitchell (chaperone), Josette Baptiste (chaperone), Merlene Mohammed (manager).