Bermuda Brings Home 34 Medals from CISC

Lisa Blackburn, Julian Fletcher and Jesse Washington (photo courtesy of Doug Patterson)

Lisa Blackburn, Julian Fletcher and Jesse Washington (photo courtesy of Doug Patterson)

On the final day of the meet the team aimed to finish with a bang and did not disappoint.  Three swimmers were in the finals with their events back to back and the expectations were high.

Jesse Washington was up first in the premier sprint event with his focus on impressing his peers and showing what he could do on the big stage again.  From the start he was out front with a strong straight arm swim and one breath to the touch over 50 meters. His time of 25.53 breaks the 13&14 record by 1 hundredth of a second, a record that has stood since 1989 from Gerri Mewitt.  Roy was envious as that was a record that he had missed at that age.  His gold medal swim also crushed the CISC record that was 26.28.

Next in the water was Lisa Blackburn with the 100 Breast and you could see the focus in her eyes as an Olympic qualifier from St Lucia was in the next lane.  This was Lisa’s main event and she wanted it bad.  Her competitor started fast and held a good lead at the 50 meter turn but the desire for gold was too strong and on every stroke Lisa gained on her.  At the finish it was Bermuda’s second gold and second CISC record in a row.

Julian was the next in the water in his 100 breast and the water was already stirred up by Bermuda so he knew what he had to do.  His first lap was strong and he had the lead at the 50.  The pull-out saw his two closest competitors pull even and had his teammates wonder what Julian would do.  As the swimmers raced for home Julian caught one of them in the corner of his eye and he surged on the last 10 meters.  He took the CISC record and the third Bermuda gold in a row.

Stephanie Myles was next in the pool in her favorite event, the 800 free. and she set the pace from lap 1. She took it to the field pulling away and lowering her best time by 7 seconds coming very close to Kiera’s National record on her way to the fourth gold medal for Bermuda this evening.

The final event for Bermuda’s swimmers at the meet was the 200 IM with Nic Patterson, Stephanie Myles, Lisa Blackburn and Julian Fletcher ready to go. Nic swam first and swam a strong race finishing in 7th place.

Next up was Lisa and Stephanie and they were pushing right from the start. Stephanie finished off her meet with an impressive 4th finish.  Lisa was looking to put a cap on an amazing 5 day meet. She battled in the fly and gave up a huge lead to a backstroke but her breastbone leg was so amazing, you could hear Bermuda’s small team screaming as she surged into the lead and then crushed the field on the free leg to take the Bermuda and CISC record along with her second gold of the night.

Julian wasn’t sure how he would do in this event as it has not been a focus for him.  He, like Lisa, was behind after the breast but the lead looked insurmountable.  Every stroke he gained and he tried hard to push for the lead but the silver was his.

The 34 medal count for the Bermuda team at the Caribbean Island Championships had our competitors complimenting our swim program. 10 swimmers produced this result.  All of them were important as they supported each other and fed off each other’s success.

Thank you to all that have supported us in reaching this amazing finish and we hope to continue to build from strength to strength. Judy Hagen did a great job in keeping the team fed and well rested. Dominique Nanette did a great job as the team therapist as he kept them in the form over the last 5 days to allow them to swim fast in so many events. Doug Patterson is responsible for all the amazing photos in action and on the podium.  Most of all thank you to these Bermuda swimmers who put their all into this meet and gave such great accolades to Bermuda.  As the National Coach I am so proud that every one of the 10 swimmers scored in the meet and swam their best. The National program has been producing very well over the years but this was an amazing experience and shows what progress we have made at all levels.

CISC Day 4

Roy receives gold in 50 free

Roy receives gold in 50 free

This was the lightest day so far for events with Bermuda swimmers participating.  Philip Hagen was up first in the 400 free and he had an amazing swim.  His time of 4:31.05 is a 10 second PB and put him in 8th place for the evening finals.  The way he swam the race was very good as his second 200 was faster than his first and he is pumped for the finals.  Next up was Jesse in his 400 free where he swam a very relaxed race in order to be ready for the finals where he was seeded 4th.  Stephanie Myles and Nic Patterson will also be competing in the 400 free finals.

Next up was the 50 breast where Julian cruised into the final with both Stephanie and Lisa joining him as they compete in the women’s 50 breast finals. Shannon Hassell and Jesse Washington finished the morning with their qualification for the 200 back finals and we hope to continue the success of previous finals after a quick rest up.

The finals began with the 400 freestyle events. Stephanie Myles was up first and she lowered her PB by 7 seconds on her way to the silver medal with a 4:37.56. Nic Patterson was next finishing in 6th place and then Philip Hagen finished in 8th.  Jesse Washington was in the battle for the night in his 400 as he went 4:28.80 giving him the silver at the final touch.  The old 13-14 record was 4:42 but he has erased it after only being in the age group for 6 weeks.

Lisa Blackburn continued her medal haul in the 50 breast with a very good time to take the silver.  Julian followed her with his own strong 50 coming in with the bronze medal.

Shannon Hassell finished the night with her own silver medal in the 200 back.  Every stroke against her competitor was close but it came down to the touch.

This takes us to 28 medals to this point in the meet and we were 5th in the medal count at the start of the evening’s finals.  Bermuda has a small team and are challenging much bigger countries with much bigger teams.  This group is exceptional and are making Bermuda proud each day.

CISC Day 3

This morning Bermuda was very busy again in the pool with lots of heats.  The first event was the 50 free and Ashley Yearwood was Bermuda’s first competitor.  She swam a strong 27.84 to place herself 5th for the evening’s final. Nic Patterson had a personal best swim of 26.48 in his 50 and finished in 15th place. Next up were our senior girls Lisa Blackburn and Rebecca Heyliger.  Lisa swam 27.54 to take 3rd seed followed closely by Rebecca’s 27.89 that has her 4th for the evening finals. Roy-Allan finished up the morning 50 freestyles with a 23.05 which puts him firmly in the top spot for the final tonight in his Olympic qualifying event. Julian Fletcher also made it into the final after having a tie for the final spot and having to do a swim-off to get in.  His heat time was a personal best and he lowered it by 4 tenths to reach the final.

Jesse Washington cruised into the 3rd seed for tonights 100 fly in 1:09.22.  Shannon Hassell swam the 50 back in 33.81 to take the 3rd seed with both of her fellow competitors merely tenths ahead of her. Jesse also was able to take the 3rd seed in the 50 back with 32.43. Ashleys 50 back was 31.81 placing her 4th seed.  Philip swam a PB of 32.75 finishing 16th in his 50 back and Roy is seeded 6th after a 28.89.

Philip tried a new event this morning with the 100 breast where he swam well and finished 12th with a 1:17.85.  Bermuda finished the morning with Shannon and Jesse in the 200 free.  Shannon swam 2:20.03 to take 2nd seed and Jesse swam a very relaxed 2:14.71 to take the 4th seed. Nic Patterson will be swimming the 200 fly in the evening finals and we hope to be adding to our medal tally with so many opportunities.  Presently Bermuda is in 9th place out of 15 countries and hope to move back up the rankings.

National Coach Ben Smith reported with the 50 free starting off the events for the Bermuda team we were very excited with the amount of swimmers we had in the finals.  Ashley Yearwood started out with a strong 50 but the race was very fast and she finished in 7th place. Lisa Blackburn and Rebecca Heyliger were in the 18 and over group and they had a great battle.  Rebecca swam a new PB and finished in 4th and Lisa raced her way to a bronze medal.  Next up was our Olympian Roy-Allan Burch in his main event along with Julian Fletcher fresh off his swim off to get into the final.  Julian had another strong swim and moved into 7th place. Roy swam his best unshaved and untapered 50 free with a 22.85 to take the gold medal. This was great preparation for him as it was his last race before the Olympics and it was great for his confidence.

Next up was Jesse Washington in the 100 fly and he was in a winning mood.  He swam 1:03.78 which broke the 13-14 Bermuda record and gave him another gold medal. Nic Patterson came in 6th in his 200 fly in a very tough swim. Lisa continued her medal haul with an impressive 200 fly that lowered her National record as she took the silver.

The 50 back was up next and we once again had plenty of finalists.  Shannon Hassell had a hard time staying straight and with a couple of lane line bumps she settled for the bronze medal. Jesse was up next and he also had issues with swimming straight and was touched out at the finish giving him the silver. Ashley Yearwood didn’t have her best start in her 50 back but she finished strong and grabbed the bronze medal with a 31.41. Rebecca Heyliger had a strong 50 lowering her best time, coming in 5th. Roy-Allan finished the 50 backs with a 28.14 which sets a new Bermuda National record and placed him 5th.

Shannon Hassell has been showing great promise in the freestyle events and she really pushed herself in the 200 free final.  She lowered her PB by 3 seconds and finished in 3rd place taking the bronze. The silver medalist only beat her by 5 hundredths of a second.

Jesse ended the day with a bang in his 200 free.  He lowered the Bermuda 13-14 record from 2:11.15 to 2:05.21.  This amazing swim gave him the gold medal but it showed the real level of his talent and hard work.

After 3 days of competition we have 23 medals and we hope to move up the points table after another amazing night of swims. The team is getting along well and performing at their highest.  With two days left in the meet we want to keep moving forward with the level of success.  Watching these great Bermuda athletes competing so well for their country is a treat and I hope it will bring some well-deserved recognition to the sport of swimming.

CISC Day 2

The morning heats were very short with many of the longer events going straight to the finals.  Roy-Allan, Shannon and Jesse all had the day off  while  Philip Hagen had two very good morning swims where he had great personal best swims in the 50 free and 100 fly.  Both of his times qualified him for CARIFTA 2013. Nic Patterson was the only other swimmer participating in the morning finishing 9th just missing out on the finals.

CISC Day 2 finals

Ashley Yearwood continued the medal haul for Bermuda in the first event of the evening with a 2:10.96 in the 200 free giving her the bronze medal. In the senior girls Stephanie Myles dropped 5 seconds in her 200 free to place 5th. Ashley was back in the pool again in the 100 back where she had a strong time finishing 4th. Rebecca Heyliger swam the senior 100 back with a 4 second drop giving her the bronze medal.

Nic Patterson got a second shot at the 100 fly when someone scratched.  He had a good swim and finished 8th.  Rebecca Heyliger swam the 100 fly with a 2 second pb and was just touched out at the finish to claim 4th.

Bermuda finished the night with the 200 breaststroke swimmers and they finished with a bang.  Lisa and Stephanie took the gold and bronze medal with Lisa just missing out on the CISC record.  Julian spent 3 laps in a battle until he pulled away in the last 25 meters taking both a gold medal and the CISC record on his way.

National Coach Ben Smith noted the beginning of the night Bermuda was sitting at 5th out of 15 countries with one of the smallest teams. We now have 14 medals with 3 days left to compete.  He predicts lots of excitement tomorrow with the 50 freestyles and 50 backstrokes events.

Michael Lohberg Invitational Swim Meet Concludes

Swimming at the Michael Lohberg Invitational Swim Meet concluded today as the swimmers had to contend with severely inclement weather – torrential rain, lighting and thunder. This meant two, hour long delays and as the meet went beyond its scheduled timeline, the decision was made that the format would have to be changed to timed finals, with only one swim in each event. Nevertheless, the Bermuda swimmers adapted well, with more excellent swims.

“The results from this meet were outstanding and all credit must go to this small but highly determined team. They competed with distinction and I am extremely proud of what they have accomplished under trying conditions”, said National Coach Richard Goodwin.

Sunday, June 23rd, 2012

50 fly

Emma Harvey, gold and a new age group record of 0:32.36

50 breast

Emma Harvey, silver and a new age group record of 0:42.57

100 free

Ashley Irby, silver and a new age group record of 1:06.63

Madelyn Moore, silver, 1:04.75

Sophie Froud, bronze, 1:05.06

100 backstroke

Tyler Smith, bronze, 1:14.81

200 backstroke

Tyler Smith, silver, 2:38.98

400 freestyle

Tyler Smith, silver, 4:53.55

In summary for the meet:

9 age group records; 21 total medals – 4 gold, 10 silver and 7 bronze.

Full team

9 and 10 girls – Emma Harvey, Ashley Irby

11 and 12 girls – Madelyn Moore

13 and 14 girls – Somer Froud, Erica Hawley, Olivia Moore

13 and 14 boys – Tyler Smith

15 and over girls – Sophie Froud

15 and over boys – Vaughn Rowse

CISC Day 1

We had a very busy morning for Day 1 at the 19th CISC in Aruba. We had 15 swims in the heats and the 400 IM was a straight final.

First up was the 100 back for our 11 and 12 swimmers.  Shannon Hassell swam 1:13.66 which is faster than her time from Carifta and places her 2nd for tonight’s final.  Jesse swam the 100 back for the first time long course and he is seeded 5th with a 1:12.30.

Next up was Philip Hagen in the 200 free where he swam 2:08.81 taking 2 seconds from his Carifta time and putting him in the finals in 8th place.

The 100 free was the next event and we had Roy-Allan and Julian in the same heat.  Julian just missed out of the final placing 9th while Roy cruised into the final in 4th place. Ashley Yearwood looked very relaxed in her 100 free with a 1:00.82 which is just outside her PB and puts her in 4th for tonight. Shannon missed her PB by a tenth of a second and just missed the finals placing her 9th.  Jesse was our last 100 free swimmer and he cruised a 57.64 and is top seed tonight by 2 seconds.

Last up for the morning was the 50 fly for our Senior boys. Julian dropped a second from his PB but finished outside the finals.  Roy finished 3rd in 25.69 which lowers his National record in the event.  Nic Patterson swam a little off of his PB and finished in 10th in the event while Ashley Yearwood swam 30.52 and is seeded 4th in the final.  Philip took a crack at the 50 fly and lowered his PB by 9 seconds finishing with 30.11. Shannon Hassell swam 37.54 finishing 14th and Jesse Washington swam 29.21 and will be the top seed for tonight. In all it was a great start to the meet and I hope that we will be able to convert these finals into medals tonight.

CISC Day 1 Finals

Lisa Blackburn was the first out in the 400 IM and she started things off right.  Her time of 5:11.83 crushed the National record of 5:26.63 set in 1990 by Jenny Smatt. She ran away from the competition and took the gold medal.  Julian followed Lisa in the 400 IM swimming 4:59.35 on his way to the bronze medal.

Shannon Hassell continued her strong backstroke swimming with her 100 back final.  She was in second on the first lap taking the lead at the turn.  After hitting the lane line several times she was touched out at the finish by 4 hundredths of a second finishing with the silver medal.  Jesse Washington has added the 100 back to his list of events and was able to charge his was to a silver medal in the event.

Philip Hagen swam in his first CISC final and finished in 8th place in the 200 free.  Next up was Ashley Yearwood in the 100 free where she finished in 1:00.00 and 5th place. She was followed by Rebecca Heyliger in the 100 free who swam 1:01.39 for 4th place. Roy-Allan Burch added a little excitement in the 100 free as he almost missed his race. After a mix up he had to run to the blocks as they called out the names.  He calmly raced to 52.45, his best in season as he captured the silver medal.

Jesse was next in the 100 free where he surpassed his Carifta performance by swimming 56.36 which is a new CISC record as he won the race by 3 seconds.

Once the 50 fly events started we seemed to have complete control. Rebecca Heyliger swam 29.63 to take the bronze medal.  Then Roy was in a battle in his fly where he came 4th missing the bronze by 4 hundredths of a second while still lowering his national record from the morning heats. Ashley Yearwood followed on with the silver medal in her age group with a 29.42.

Jesse was our last swimmer for the night and he saved another special swim.  He won the race by a second and set a new CISC and Bermuda age group record with a 27.86.

This was an amazing first day where Bermuda was able to capture 9 medals, 2 National records, 1 age group record and 2 CISC records.

Michael Lohberg Invitational Swim Meet – Florida June 21-24, 2012

National Coach Richard Goodwin took a team of nine swimmers representing the Bermuda Amateur Swimming Association to compete at the inaugural Michael Lohberg Invitational swim meet, hosted by the Coral Springs Swim Club in Florida. Michael Lohberg was a well-known and highly respected swim coach in the state of Florida who passed away last year from aplastic anemia. The meet is dedicated to his memory with all proceeds aiding research for a cure to this disease.

Coach Goodwin noted this is a meet which tests the character and endurance of all of the swimmers over 3 days of intense competition, featuring the best swimmers of the Florida Gold Coast. To date, the Bermuda swimmers have done extremely well, with one more day of competition on Sunday.

Summary of results:

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

200 Individual medley

Emma Harvey – silver, in a new age group record of 2:47.54

Ashley Irby – bronze – 2:57.90

50 freestyle

Ashley Irby – silver, with an age group record in prelims of 0:31.23

Emma Harvey – bronze – 0:31.65

Madelyn Moore – gold, 0:28.95

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

200 freestyle

Ashley Irby – bronze, in a new age group record of 2:30.58

50 backstroke

Emma Harvey – gold, breaking her own record twice, once in prelims at

0:36.70 and in finals at 0:36.09

Ashley Irby – bronze, 0:37.02

Madelyn Moore – gold, 0:34.43

100 breaststroke

Emma Harvey – silver, with a new age group record in prelims of

1:34.27

Ashley Irby – bronze, 1:40.03

100 butterfly

Emma Harvey – silver, 1:16.45

100 backstroke

Emma Harvey – silver, with a new age group record in prelims of

1:18.93

Ashley Irby – bronze, 1:23.12

2012 Caribbean Island Swimming Championships

The Bermuda Amateur Swimming Association will be sending a very strong squad of 10 swimmers to the 2012 Caribbean Island Swimming Championships.  This year’s meet is being held in Oranjestad Aruba  from the 23rd to the 27th of June.  The team is made up of some well known veterans along with many of our top up-coming talents.

Roy-Allan Burch will be attending as his last tune up meet before the Olympics.  We should be looking for good results out of him in the sprint events in the 18 and over age group after he just smashed the National records at the CCS National Championships.

Julian Fletcher having just narrowly missed the Olympic cut in National record time will be out to show his form in the 18 and over breast events.

Lisa Blackburn having just competed in the Bahamas Nationals over the weekend where she lowered her National record again will be in race mode in the 18 and over age group.  After coming so close to hitting the Olympic time it will be great to see how she performs in our region.

Rebecca Heyliger has just returned from a hard training camp with a school team at the University of Southern California.  As her teammates prepared for the US Olympic trials she was preparing for CISC and we hope to see her make a huge jump in the sprint events. She will be competing in the 18 and over category.

Stephanie Myles will be returning to the Bermuda team after having several record performances in the distance free events at the University of Alberta.  She will also be in great form and we hope to see more records from her. She will be competing in the 18 and over category.

Nic Patterson will be swimming in the 15-17 age group and will be looking to continue his strong form in the butterfly events.  He hopes to better this 4th place finish from this year’s Carifta.  This is his last year of competing in the age group category before joining the seniors in the 18 and over.

Ashley Yearwood has just returned home after doing her preparation at the Baylor school.  She will be hoping to build on her medal performance at this year’s Carifta championships.

Philip Hagen will be making his second major regional meet for the year after qualifying for his first Carifta earlier this year.  He was able to lower his times significantly since Carifta and will be glad to meet the new challenge at CISC.

Shannon Hassell was able to get one of each medal at Carifta this year in the backstroke events.  She will be out to get more hardware at CISC and to see what she can do in her much improved freestyle.

Jesse Washington had an amazing Carifta this year so it will be interesting to see what he can do for an encore.  He has been working hard and showing even faster times since returning home.  Could he possibly match his last meet against our region?

Coach Smith is quietly optimistic that we can have great success with a small team once again.  Every swimmer that we are taking is well prepared and in great form.  This could be an opportunity for our athletes to shine again but you never know what happens until you reach the competition.  We are very happy with the progress of the program and the way that our swimmers have been performing this season.  I know that no matter what they will give their best effort and do Bermuda swimming and Bermuda proud.

Dolphins Summer Meet – July 14, 2012 at BASA Pool

Sharks Swimmers,

The next swim meet will be the Dolphins Summer Meet to be held on Saturday, July 14, 2012 at BASA pool starting at 9 a.m.  All heats will be swum ‘Open” – i.e. everyone swims against swimmers of the same speed.  However, the results will be broken down into age groups. Medals and ribbons will be awarded for 1st through 6th places in each Age Group as detailed on the entry form. Swimmers age will be taken as at July 14, 2012.

Please review the meet program by clicking on the following link: Dolphin Summer Meet 2012 Entry Form Sharks.

Entries are to be submitted by Tuesday, JULY, 3rd

Please let your coach know if you are available to swim and would like to be entered in the meet.