One of Cayman’s most promising medal hopefuls will miss the region’s top amateur competition due to injury.
After suffering a separated shoulder in practice one week ago, Cayman 27 can confirm 12-year old Jillian Crooks will miss the 2019 CARIFTA Championships in Barbados.
Last year, the Camana Bay Aquatic Club standout won five medals in her CARIFTA debut at 11-years of age. In July, Crooks won with nine medals including five gold while breaking a 20-year old record in the 50-metre freestyle at the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Federation (CCCAN) Championships. Crooks was schedule to compete in a whopping eight events in the Girls 11-12 age group, as well as soloing in artistic swimming. Cayman Islands Aquatics Sports Association Technical Director Bailey Weathers drew on the positives of the loss.
“It is disappointing mostly to Jillian herself,” said Weathers. “She had a lot of goals and expectations this CARIFTA. We are excited because we have a lot of girls in that age group. We have six more girls, and historically all our girls ages 11-12 swim fast, and improve a lot. We have a strong team and expect a lot from the girls. Jillian has been our standout, but we have some new young swimmers who we are looking forward to seeing compete.”
The injury will end the promising swimmer’s season. Mother Faith Crooks told Cayman 27 a September return to the pool is likely. Coach Weathers says agreed with the patient approach due to the nature of the injury.
“A shoulder injury, particularly a dislocation, you have to be careful and slow with a recovery,” said Weathers. “I’ve had several swimmers dislocate their shoulders, and all of them have come back as well or better than they ever did. It is, however, a long-term injury. It’s takes, six, eight, twelve months. You want to complete rehab it, and err on the side of safety because of how young she is to restructure the joint.”
Cayman’s artistic swimmers are set to depart this Thursday (11 April), while pool and open water swimmers will leave the following Thursday, 18 April.
For a list of all Cayman’s athletes that will be competing at the CARIFTA Championships by event click here.