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Coach expects quartet to boost ratings at Pan Am Festival

Published:Monday | September 22, 2014 | 7:10 PMShayne Fairman
Contributed Philips

National swimming youth coach, Gillian Millwood, is

confident that her small but experienced team of swimmers, who are scheduled to depart the island this morning to compete in the Pan American Sports Festival in Mexico, will not only relish the experience to be gained from the trip, but believes they will improve their personal ranking in the region.

There are four swimmers chosen to represent from the Under-17 and Under-15 age group levels. Among them are three males: Nicholas Haughton, who will compete in the 100 and 200 metres freestyle; Kevaughn

Campbell, who will enter the 100 breaststroke, 100 butterfly and the 200 metres individual medley (IM); and Xavier Philips, who will swim off in the 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke and 200 metres individual medley (IM).

The sole female to make the trip is Leanne McMaster, who will compete in the 200 and 100 metres freestyle, as well as in the 100 breaststroke and 100-metre butterfly.

The quartet of budding swimmers has already represented Jamaica competitively at the CARIFTA and Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships (CISC) levels.

Millwood told The Gleaner that her swimmers are ready to make an impression.

"They are really excited, dedicated and ready to compete. Nicholas (Haughton) will be looking to break the 55-second mark in the 100m freestyle, and Leanne McMaster is working to do well in her events. Overall, we expect the team to be strong and give an excellent showing in at least four events," she outlined.

The coach outlined that the two-day event should showcase the swimmers' talent.

"I expect them to get their goals, achieve milestones in the pool and, hopefully, they can climb up the rankings. At the festival, they will gain additional experience and learn from others when they compete," she concluded.

Millwood added that she has not seen what other teams have been doing, in terms of competitive action during the summer break, but maintains high hopes of Jamaica finishing strong among the top-10 countries.