Mako Aquatics wins fourth straight national title

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Simba FrenchSend an emailJuly 12, 2022 237 4 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

The Bahamas Aquatics Federation’s 50th National Swimming Championships came to a close on Sunday, and at the end of the meet, Mako Aquatics Club swimmers and coaches made a celebratory splash in the pool, winning their fourth straight title.

The Betty Kelly-Kenning National Swim Complex was at full capacity as parents and supporters cheered on their respective teams. Fans were allowed at the nationals for the first time since 2019.

Mako came into the final session with a 293-point cushion over the second-placed YMCA WaveRunners. At the end of the session, that lead went up to 368 points. At the end of the four-day meet, Mako scored 2,011 points while the WaveRunners finished with 1,643 points. The Barracuda Swim Club was third with 1,568 points and Alpha Aquatics was fourth with 849 points.

Mako Aquatics Head Coach Travano McPhee lost his voice during the meet, but managed to say that it was great for them to get a fourth straight win.

“It feels a lot better than the other three,” McPhee said. “For some reason, we feel a lot more accomplished on this win. The swimmers really stepped up. Coming off of COVID last year, we did not know how the kids would perform and how the meet would run but the federation did an excellent job in organizing the nationals. Coming off from CARIFTA in April, these swimmers were able to defend their championship to get a fourth straight title which is not easy.”

McPhee said he was very happy with the way the swimmers performed over the four days of competition.

“It’s a four-day meet so you are looking at some of the swimmers swimming 14 or 15 races in those days. They stepped up and tried to perform personal bests in those races. Isabella Munroe dominated, Lamar Taylor broke some records, Elle Theberge, Tia-Isabella Adderley, Lenin Hamilton and I can go on and on, but the bottom line is that our swimmers performed well,” McPhee said.

The meet was held in honor of John Bradley Sr. who was an athlete, and an executive, who passed away last year August. McPhee said the win is dedicated to Bradley who he has been around for many years.

“We at Mako dedicated the victory to Bradley. He will be greatly missed by all in the swimming community, not only here in The Bahamas but the world,” McPhee said.

McPhee thanked the other coaches of his club – Duane Davis, Amanda McPhee, Sarah Knowles and Stella McPhee. He also went on to thank the parents, massage therapists at Major Changes, Evolve Functional Fitness, Oaktree Medical and the other sponsors who stayed with them.

The former national team swimmer said that his team will come stronger in 2023 as they look to win a fifth straight title.

Alpha’s Mark-Anthony Thompson came away with 47 points to win the 18-and-over men high point award. His older brother Luke-Kennedy Thompson was tied for second with Mako’s Lamar Taylor as they both scored 43 points.

In the 18-and-over women, Mako’s Anya MacPhail scored 56 points to win that division. Her teammate Kaliyah Albury was second with 50 points. Finishing third was the WaveRunners’ Katelyn Cabral with 49 points.

Marvin Johnson from the WaveRunners had a strong meet and was able to score 59 points to win the 15-17 boys high-point award. The Black Marlins’ Jake Thompson edged out Mako’s Erald Thompson for second place with 51 points. Erald Thompson scored 50 points.

It was a close race for the high-point winner in the 15-17 girls division between the Barracuda’s Rhanishka Gibss and Mako’s Keianna Moss. In the end, it was Gibbs who scored 57 points to hold off Moss who scored 56 points. Gibbs’ teammate Kyana Higgs was third with 50 points.

The WaveRunners’ Ellie Gibson won the high-point award with 56 points in the 13-14 boys age category. The Black Marlins’ Caden Wells went on to secure second place with 53 points. For third, there was a tie between the WaveRunners’ Tristen Hepburn and Alpha’s Donald Saunders who both accumulated 52 points.

The 13-14 girls age category was very competitive. In the end, it was the WaveRunners’ Zoe Williamson who won with 57 points. Her teammate Mia Patton was a close second with 56 points. Mako’s Elle Theberge was third with 55 points.

The Blue Waves Swim Club’s Dijon Simmons won the 11-12 boys age category with 59 points. Mako’s Lenin Hamilton was second with 56 points while the Barracuda’s David Singh scored 54 points to finish third.

The WaveRunners’ Lelah Lewis held off the Barracuda’s duo of Saleste Gibson and Trinity Pratt to win the 11-12 girls age division. Lewis finished with 61 points. Gibson and Pratt scored 55 and 51 points respectively.

Christon Joseph was dominant for the Blue Waves as he powered his way to accumulate 63 points to win the 9-10 boys age division. His closest competitor was the WaveRunners’ Nitayo Knowles who finished with 49 points. The WaveRunners’ Harold Simmons swam away with third place after finishing with 46 points.

In the 9-10 girls category, Alissa Ferguson had a strong meet for the Barracuda team. She won that division with 62 points. The WaveRunners’ Skyler Smith was second with 52 points. The Mantas Swim and Water Polo Club’s Tiah Seymour rounded out the top three positions with 47 points.

The Mantas’ Asher Bastian scored 52 points to win the 8-and-under boys division. Alpha’s Fraser Menzies scored 40 points and held on to finish second. Freeport Aquatic Club’s Jeremiah Newry had 39 points for third.

Mako’s Isabella Munroe finished with 63 points to cart off the 8-and-under girls division high-point award. The Blue Waves’ duo of Rinia Johnson and Cailyn Dean were second and third respectively. Johnson scored 41 points and Dean finished with 35 points.

The nationals marked the end of the local swim meets this season. Bahamian swimmers will now be swimming in international meets to close out the season.

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