Relay power enables Tornadoes to blow away rivals
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Tornadoes Swim Club's coach, Jackie Walter, says her relay teams are to be credited for last weekend's victory at the 16th annual Tornadoes Invitational Swim Meet.
The three-day meet, which was held at the National Stadium pool, saw Tornadoes winning ahead of Y-Speedos. Tornadoes scored 1,304 points to Y-Speedos 1203.5, with Marlins 879.5 finishing third. Swimaz, 438, took fourth, while Blue Seals, 215, ended fifth.
"In the relays we won all the freestyle relays for the 11-12 and 13 and over age groups and I thought these were what made the difference and made us win the meet," said Walter.
"It was a pleasing victory as after the morning session on Saturday we were 200 points behind in third place.
"As for the meet as a whole, it is the biggest entry that we have ever had in terms of participants with over 450 athletes turning out, beating our normal figure of about 375," she declared.
She added: "We also had a swimmer from St Vincent, Tolga Akcayli, who is a wildcard for this year's Olympics and he did a personal best in the 50m freestyle."
The meet ended on Sunday with seven individual and three relay records being broken.
Angara Sinclair of the Y-Speedos Swim Club claimed two records. She first clocked 1:13.35 to break the girls 11-12 100-metre backstroke mark of 1:14.50, before returning to swim 29.05 in the 50m freestyle, .05 seconds off the previous record of 29.10.
Another double record-breaker was Lisa Griffith of Tornadoes Swim Club, who set new records in the Masters 44 and over category in the 50m butterfly (45.74) and 50m backstroke (46.99).
Tiara Myrie of Tornadoes also put her name in the history books when she erased her previous record, set last year in the girls' 11-12 200m butterfly with a swim of 2:55.24.
The other record breakers were Emily MacDonald of Swimaz in the eight and under 50m freestyle in 35.45, and Ramon James of Tornadoes in the male 24-33 Master's category 50m butterfly.
Marlins Swim Club accounted for two of the relay records in the 4x50m medley in the boys' eight and under and the girls' 13 and over in 2.53.68 and 2:03.93, respectively.