A familiar sight at the Owen Roberts International airport Wednesday evening (4 July) saw nine swimmers return from 2018 Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) Championships winning 14 medals.
The competition was highlighted by a brilliant performance from 12-year old Jillian Crooks who won a Cayman Islands Aquatic Sports Association (CIASA) record nine individuals medals including a new CCCAN record in the Girls 11-12 50-metre free with a time of 27.46 seconds.
“I didn’t know about a record, I just made a PB,” said Crooks. “When they said ‘you got a record that was held 23 years ago’ that surprised me a lot.”
CIASA Technical Director Bailey Weathers say Crooks still has room for growth.
“When you really think about it, she has another year in the age group,” said Weathers. “She’s just 11 in terms of how we count age internationally, so we are really looking forward to that.”
Overall, Crooks won five gold, three silver and two bronze including the 11-12 mixed relay. She set eight individual CIASA domestic swimming records and nine National records in the five day competition.
* 50 Back (GOLD) – J Crooks 32.11 (30 June): CIASA/ NAT Record
* 100 Fly (GOLD) – J Crooks 1:06.87 (30 June): CIASA/ NAT Record
* 200 Free (BRONZE)– J Crooks 2:16.95 (1 July): CIASA/ NAT Record
* 50 Fly (GOLD) – J Crooks 30.08 (1 July): CIASA/ NAT Record
* 100 Back (SILVER)– J Crooks 1:10.45 (1 July): CIASA/ NAT Record
* 200 IM (SILVER) – J Crooks 2:36.70 (2 July): NATIONAL Record
* 100 Free (GOLD) – J Crooks 1:01.72 (2 July): CIASA/ NAT Record
* 50 Free (GOLD) – J Crooks 27.46 (3 July): CIASA/ NAT Record/CCCAN Record
* 200 Back (SILVER)– J Crooks 2:33.98 (3 July): CIASA/ NAT Record
Weathers says the performance of the Camana Bay Aquatic Club standout was truly remarkable considering it was among some of the region’s most elite competition.
“The field was much more competitive than CARIFTA,” said Weathers. “They get all the Central American countries those guys are not messing around.”
Another swimmer who stood out was 13-year old Stefano Bonati, winning three bronze medals (200 IM and 200 breaststroke) including the 11-12 mixed relay on day one alongside Crooks, individual gold medalist Allyson Belfonte (200 Fly) and Jake Alberga. He says the team exceeded expectations.
“We were coming in not really favorites because it was a sprint relay, and we went out there and got third place,” said Bonati. “Everyone had a fantastic swim in the relay, and I think everybody did great this weekend.”
Cayman also got a silver medal from 14-year old Sabine Ellison in the Girls 13-14 breaststroke on day two (30 June). In the Boys 13-14 50 Freestyle, Corey Frederick-Westerborg’s time of 26.06 set a new CIASA and National record.
In total, 45 personal bests were set at the competition.