Cayman’s swimmers look to make splash in Jamaica

The Cayman Islands team left Thursday morning for the 2018 CARIFTA Swimming Championships in Jamaica, excited to pick up where they left off last year when they won 50 medals.

“CARIFTA is a real experience. You train, you get ready, you go to the meet, you participate and it’s an experience that you cannot repeat. It’s fun, it’s exhilarating,” said 14-year-old Corey Frederick-Westerborg, who was among the stars of the 2017 championships in the Bahamas.

In all, 36 athletes will look to make a splash for the Cayman Islands at the 31 March – 4 April event, including six synchronized swimmers – a first for the territory.

“Those kids have been putting in a lot of work over the last couple of years…to get to a stage where they can compete internationally at CARIFTA. We’re very excited to see them do that and see where they stand in the Caribbean,” Cayman Islands Aquatic Sports Association president Michael Lockwood told

CIASA Technical Director Bailey Weathers will have to track the results from afar, as he’s attending the Commonwealth Games with other national swimmers, but he could hardly contain his enthusiasm about the youngsters heading to Jamaica.

“We’re really excited about this team. Everyone who is competing this year has been competing for us for a number of years and I think it’s just a great opportunity for them,” Weathers said.

“I really expect our kids to swim as well as they did last year. Where that places them, obviously every year is different but they’ve been training and competing well…so we’re looking forward to some very good performances.”

Lockwood agreed. “We’re really proud of all of the work they have done over the last year. They’ve come of a good showing last year at CARIFTA and they continued right off that success and they’ve put in more work than they did last year and that means good things,” he said.

VIDEO: Zach Moore and Sarah Jackson share their excitement about CARIFTA.

Frederick-Westerborg, 14, couldn’t wait to get into the water against his Caribbean rivals. “I love participating in competitive racing…and with my friends overseas, I love racing against them. It’s going to be a hoot.”

Avery Lambert has been a solid performer in recent years and she’s looking forward to a new challenge at the championships. “This year, I get to do the [Open Water] 5K, so I’m looking forward to that and I also just want to perform my best and PB in most of my races,” said the 14-year-old.

It’s the fifth time at CARIFTA for Jordan Crooks. “I have [fewer] events than last year, but it’s going to be a great year,” he said ahead of the trip. “My goal is to medal in the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke. Those are my three events and that’s my main focus.”

He also had this message for his teammates: “Just remember we train all year for this, so make it worth it.” Lambert also offered this advice to the rookies: “My first CARIFTA, I only made finals once and you’re just there to have fun, have a good time and perform your best.” will have constant coverage throughout the weekend.

BREAKING: 36 for CARIFTA Swimming Championships

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