SWIMMERS Raekwon Noel and Lian Winter have joined Goodwill Swim Meet gold medallist Leon Seaton as the final swimmers to make qualifying times (QT) for events, in the upcoming CARIFTA Swimming Championships, after the qualifying period concluded last Sunday with the Mashramani Swim Meet held at the National Aquatic Centre in Liliendaal.
Seaton had already begun qualifying for the April 14-19 CARIFTA event when trials started in February. However Noel and Winter were added to the list after clinching times in last weekend’s meet. Seaton added another four races to his list to bring the total to six events, while Winter qualified in two and Noel in one.
All three are in the 11-12 age category, Seaton and Noel are on the Boys’ side, while Winter is on the distaff end. When the trials began Noel and Winter were singled out as swimmers to watch after they continued to come near the qualifying times in several events.
Noel and Winter were elated to find out that they were able to qualify after they kept coming close to the standard in several events, but always came up short.
“I feel very excited, and I’m very happy to be going to represent Guyana at CARIFTA in Bahamas. I was very surprised because I thought I did a very slow time,” commented Noel, who got past the CARIFTA QT in the 400m freestyle after he clocked 5:10.69s for second place behind Seaton. QT for the event was at 5:11.3s.
Noel also went on take down his seed times in all eight of his events, despite finishing second place. Winter also saw improvements.
Winter had got a season-opening 34.86 seconds in the 50m butterfly at the first long-course time-trial event in January. She managed to lower that to 32.28 seconds enabling her to make the 32.57 seconds qualifying time in that event.
The Dorado Speed Swim club member also finished inside the qualifying time of the 200m butterfly after clocking 2:58.97s to win the event, while the QT was set at 3:05.0s, registering new seed times in both events.
The Bishops’ High second former also had a drastic drop of her time in the 100m butterfly event. The 12-year-old was swimming 1:21.08 seconds back in January but was down to 1:14.91s last weekend, getting past her 1:18.98s personal best to win the event.
Winter also won the 200m IM (2:54.18s), 200m backstroke (2:55.84s) in personal-best performances, while closing in on her seed times in the 50m (35.88s) and 100m backstrokes (1:19.95s).
Meanwhile Seaton added the 50m breaststroke (38.24s), 50m backstroke (33.99s) and 100m freestyle (1:01.99s) and 400m freestyle (4:59.38s) races to his qualifying list of events. The 50m freestyle was the first event that Seaton qualified in after he clocked 27.97 seconds back in January. He continued in fine form last weekend with 27.32 seconds to win the race.
He also first qualified in the 50m butterfly last month when he swam 31.15 seconds, with an improved 30.12 seconds last weekend.
Also swimming impressive times was 10-year-old Aleka Persaud. The Goodwill Swim Meet gold medallist had a remarkable 32.57 seconds in the 50m butterfly, equalling the QT. However, she will not be on the team, because she is too young to participate. Persaud currently participates in the 9-10 category.