April 2, 2007

The 2007 CARIFTA Swim Championships commence at 9:00 AM on Saturday, April 7th in Kingston Jamaica and after four days of intense competition, one Nation will be crowned king of Caribbean Age Group Swimming. The National Stadium Pool is once again host to a barrage of young talent which will be showcased over the four day event. 263 swimmers from 13 Caribbean countries have entered the competition.

The Bahamas boasts a massive squad, flooded with prospective medalists, who seek to dethrone the defending champions, The French Antilles. Perennial rivals Trinidad and Tobago and the host country Jamaica are also expected to be in the running for the title. The event is one of the few regional meets sanctioned by FINA, the world governing body of swimming, and consequently is a golden opportunity for a few swimmers who seek to qualify for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in 2008 to be held in Beijing, China. In particular, the senior division will exhibit fierce competition among swimmers currently training at American institutions

††††††††††††††††††††† On the female side, Bahamian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (The Bolles School), fresh off competition at the USA Spring National Championships has been having an excellent year and is slated to compete in ten individual events. Her dominance will be put to the test by local hopeful Natasha Moodie(Comets Swim Club) in the sprint Freestyle events. An ongoing rivalry ensues in the 15-17 Breaststroke events between Bahamian Alicia Lightbourne (The Peddie School) and St. Lucian Danielle Beaubrun (The Bolles School) who have both traded titles throughout the years. In the 13-14 category, McKayla Lightbourn (Bahamas) will be expected to make a statement in the Breaststroke, I.M and Distance Freestyle events and is unlikely to be challenged while young Kendese Nangle (Jamaica) is capable of sweeping the Backstroke events in the 11-12 girls.

†††††††††††††††††††††† The male side of the competition features a number of highly anticipated duels. Local star Brad Hamilton (The Baylor School) undoubtedly faces one of the more rigorous challenges of his career as he will contest a grand total of eleven individual events. The seventeen year old who recently won two titles at the Tennessee High School State Champs squares off against familiar rivals Mickey Van Der Vaart (Aruba), Vereance Burrows (Bahamas, University of Kentucky) and Florida High School State Champ Rodion Davelaar (Neth. Antilles, The Bolles School).Each of these prospective medalists and record breakers are also likely to challenge Olympic B cuts over the weekend. In the 13-14 age group rising star Christian Homer (Trinidad) will look to follow up on his breath taking performances from CISC 2006 in Puerto Rico. He goes head to head with his team mate Cadell Lyons in a number of events.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Live results will be available on the ASAJís website at The Schedule of Events is also available on the website.