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Donahue named most outstanding 13-14 girl
Gabriela Donahue was named the most outstanding 13-14 girls’ swimmer following her five individual gold medal haul at the CARIFTA Swimming Championships at the Betty Kelly Kenning Aquatic Complex in Nassau, Bahamas.
As the meet came to a close yesterday evening, T&T improved on last year’s fifth place finish to place fourth.
Donahue, who won the 50 and 200 breaststroke, 50m butterfly and 50m backstroke, added the 100 breaststroke to her gold medal vault winning the event last evening in 1:16.45. Will-Insha Marie Jules-Marthe of Martinique won the silver (1:17.79) while Guadeloupe’s Farah Sheikhboudhou won bronze (1:17.92).
Donahue continued to show her versatility as she was just behind Ali Jackson of Bahamas in the 50m freestyle as Jackson took gold in 26.97 to Donahue’s personal best 27.13. Jamaica’s Gabrianna Banks was third (27.35).
Jada Chatoor added a second gold to her name as she won the 13-14 female 400m freestyle in personal best 4:34.41, ahead of Marie-Lorella Capolini of Guadeloupe (4:39.01) and Ria Plunkett of Cayman Islands (4:42.59). Chatoor also won gold in the 800 free on opening night, and bronze in the 200m freestyle.
T&T won both the 15-17 girls and boys 50m freestyle via victories from captains Amira Pilgrim and Jeron Thompson. Pilgrim won the girls race in a personal best 26.73 ahead of Elinah Phillip of the British Virgin Islands (26.77) and Madelyn Moore of Bermuda (26.97). Danielle Williams of T&T was seventh in 27.81. Pilgrim took her individual medal tally to three as she also won bronze in the 50m butterfly in a national record and a silver in the 100m freestyle.
Thompson snuck in a victory from the outside lane in his 50m free winning in a personal best 23.61 ahead of Isaak Bastian of the Bahamas (23.76) and Bermuda’s Jesse Washington (23.91). Thompson also won three individual medals in total as he won gold in the 50m breaststroke and a silver in the 50m butterfly.
Zoe Anthony ended the 11-12 girls medal drought winning a bronze in the 100m breaststroke in a personal best 1:24.09. The event was won by Zaylie-Elizabeth Thompson of Bahamas in 1:20.52, with the silver going to Elan Daley of Bermuda in 1:22.30. Arielle Dickson of T&T was fifth in a personal best 1:24.64.
Nikoli Blackman won his first individual medal in the 11-12 boys 400 free in a personal best of 4:38.48. The event was won by Stephen Mulongo of Guadeloupe (4:36.55), with silver going to Nigel Forbes of Bahamas (4:36.93).
Jahmia Harley added more metal to her collection as she won the silver medal in the female 13-14 200m backstroke in a personal best 2:28.25. Danielle Titus of Bahamas was the victrix in 2:26.66, while Laureen Foumann of Guadeloupe won bronze (2:30.58). Harley also won gold in the 200m butterfly and a bronze in the 100m backstroke.
T&T had its best relay night with four medals in the relays. The 11-12 male 200 freestyle relay team of Kadon Williams, Nikoli Blackman, Zarek Wilson and Riquelio Joseph won gold in 1:50.59, ahead of Jamaica (1:53.80) and Guadeloupe (1:53.81).
The 13-14 girls had to settle for bronze this time around as Donahue, Harley, Regan Allen and Chatoor combined to clock 1:53.72 behind Jamaica (1:50.77) and Martinique (1:53.48).
The 15-17 girls achieved their first relay medal of the meet winning silver behind Jamaica (1:49.07). Danielle Williams, Jada Chai, Racine Ross and Pilgrim together registered a time of 1:50.33, ahead of Team Cayman (1:51.29).
Kael Yorke, Justin Samlalsingh, Gabriel Bynoe and Thompson won T&T’s first 15-17 male relay medal with a bronze in 1:38.89. Suriname won gold in 1:36.41, while Bahamas took silver in 1:37.49.
Other individual finalists of the night were Kadon Williams (6th: 11-12 50 free 27.36), Aqeel Joseph (6th: 13-14 50 free 25.63), Jonathan Constantine (7th: 13-14 50 free 25.69), Riquelio Joseph (8th: 11-12 100 breast 1:18.53), Luke Gillette (7th: 15-17 100 breast 1:08.56), Zarek Wilson (4th: 11-12 200m backstroke 2:36.84) and Ornella Walker (8th: 15-17 200m back 2:36.64).
Bahamas and Guadeloupe reversed their 2016 final ranking as Bahamas emerged the champion team with Guadeloupe second. Cayman Islands placed third.
This was T&T’s highest points accumulation since 2013 when the team placed second. T&T last won the CARIFTA Swimming Championships in 2010 in Kingston, Jamaica.