HC, QC swap swim titles
For at least three relays, Harrison College and Queen’s College were the only schools in the pool.
Not that the remainder of swimming sports seemed any different.
They didn’t successfully defend their titles but the country’s top two schools still finished atop both divisions of the Powerade Secondary Inter-Schools’ Swimming Championships again, as QC and “Kolij” took the girls and boys crowns, respectively, at the Aquatic Centre yesterday.
It’s at least the fifth straight year that one of the two heated rivals topped the tables, having split about eight CARIFTA swimmers between the two powerhouse squads.
But while the positions were all too familiar, the divisions weren’t.
Without the services of the now overseas-based Deandre Small and Inayah Sherry, Harrison College fell short of a tenth successive girls’ title after meekly surrendering that cup to their Husbands-based adversaries, who had 251 points to their 218.
St Ursula’s were a distant third on 125.
However, “Kolij” did get the satisfaction of ending QC’s two-year boys’ reign behind a strong 15-and-over age group, led by division champ Gabriel Gunby.
The Harrisonians won the crown with 245 points while their rivals (221) ended some 24 points adrift and The St Michael School finished third on 97.
This, despite the heroic efforts of Queen’s College’s multi-CARIFTA gold medallist Christian Selby, who had a meet-high 54 points after securing victory in all five of his 13-14 boys’ races – three in record time.
But setting new marks in the 50-metre butterfly (27.47 seconds), 50-metre backstroke (29.48) and the 100-metre individual medley (1:03.05 minutes) was never going to be enough to make up for otherwise weak 12-and-under and 13-14 squads.
That’s because Harrison College were so strong in the senior category, with Gunby taking the senior equivalent in the 100 free (56.78), 100 IM (1:06.27), 50 fly (29.15) and 50 breast (33.12), while getting a pair of silver medals and a third place showing from Tristan Ward.
QC still missed out on a chance to make up ground in the boys’ section, though, as Kolij failed to field teams in the 13-14 200 freestyle and medley relays. But QC only managed to win the former while Harrison College relegated them to second in both the 12-and-under and senior 200-metre medley relays.
There was no such luck for the girls, however, after Queen’s College exploited the champs’ failure to field a 13-14 squad to lead comfortably from pillar to post.
It also didn’t hurt any that Lee-Ann Rose overcame a back injury to dominate the senior division to the tune of 50 points and a couple of record-setting performances in the 100 free (1:00.50) and 50 back (32.10).
She even added victories in the 100 IM (1:12.42) and 50 fly (31.20) for good measure before coming fourth in the 50 breast (41.19).
And QC still had the next best swimmer in that category age group in Rebecca Clarke, who finished with 35 points.
Harrison College had to settle for taking the 12-and-under individual award behind the efforts of Sherry’s young sister Sariyah, who won the 100 free (1:01.85), 100 IM (1:14.20), 50 fly (32.71), 50 back (34.08) and 50 free (29.04) for 48 points.
Combermere’s Kimberley Willoughby (43) got the better of CARIFTA teammates and St Michael girls Zabrina Holder (36) and Amara Gibbs (31) in the 13-14 equivalent, while Alex Sobers of Deighton Griffith finished as the 12-and-under boys’ champ ahead of Combermere rival Damon St Prix.