The St. Croix Dolphins Swim Team traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to compete in the 2014 SCAT Georgia Open Swim Meet from February 15-16. The competition was attended by 30 different teams from around Georgia, amounting to over 600 swimmers. Thirteen Dolphins swimmers traveled and competed at this event, which took place at the aquatics facility at the GeorgiaTechCampusRecreationCenter. This facility was the site of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.
Dolphins attending the competition were: Lidia Boguslawska (12), Webster Bozzo (14), Jean Devera (17), Lex Devlin (16), Daniel Garriga-Cerni (14), Chloe Phillips-Hayden (14), Tony Hendricks (16), Nati Kuipers (11), Alex Lewit (17), Matthew Mays (15), Jonathan Thomas (15), Jelena Vialet (13), and JJ Washshah (16). Each of these swimmers competed in three events per day for two days during the preliminary session, with many qualifying and competing in the finals sessions at night. Twelve swimmers attend The Good Hope Country Day School and one swimmer attends the St. Mary School.
It was a great opportunity for Dolphins swimmers to qualify to represent the Virgin Islands in the CARIFTA Swimming Championships that takes place in Aruba next April 2014. Nati Kuipers took advantage of this opportunity and qualified for the 2014 Carifta Games in the 200 yard butterfly with a time of 3:01.04. She is now an addition to this year’s U.S. Virgin Islands National Team composed of St. Croix Swimmers Webster Bozzo, Chloe Phillips-Hayden, Alex Lewit, Jonathan Thomas, Matthew Mays, and JJ Washshah and St. Thomas Swimmers Sasha Klein, Portia Norkaitis and Hannah Clements. Kuipers qualified for finals and finished top ten in her age group in all of her events during the two day meet, and swam all personal best times. Her top place was 2nd in the 200 yard freestyle with a time of 2:21.31.
Matthew Mays won two events in his age group. He came from behind and had an exciting finish to win the 200 yard butterfly with a time of 1:59.92 and in the 200 yard IM with a time of 2:01.57 and placed in the top 4 in 5 of his 6 events. JJ Washshah qualified for finals in all of her events. Her top place was 2nd in the 50 yard freestyle with a time of 25.93. She also finished 3rd in the 500 yard freestyle with a time of 5:57.53 and 3rd in the 100 yard freestyle with a time of 56.49. Webster Bozzo stole the show with a 1st place finish in the 200 yard backstroke in his age group with a time of 2:08.46. He also placed 2nd in the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 59.91. Jean Devera qualified for the finals in the 200 yard breaststroke and finished 7th with a time of 2:52.78. Lidia Boguslawska’s top finish was 3rd in the 200 yard freestyle with a time of 2:17.57. Lex Devlin’s top finish was 7th in the 200 IM with a time of 2:20.78 and he dropped lots of time in the 100 freestyle to join Tony Hendricks in the finals in that event. Daniel Garriga-Cerni’s top finish was 14th in the 500 yard freestyle with a time of 6:06.43. Chloe Phillips-Hayden’s top finish was 2nd in the 200 yard breaststroke with a time of 2:47.57. Chloe also made finals in all 6 of her events. Tony Hendricks’ top finish was 5th in the 100 and 200 yard backstrokes with times of 57.44 and 2:09.40. Alex Lewit’s top finish was 4th in the 200 yard butterfly with a time of 2:04.89. Alex also had a great swim in the 100 butterfly dropping time and making finals. Jonathan Thomas’ top finish was 4th in the 200 yard breaststroke with a time of 2:21.89. Jonathan made finals in most of his events. Jelena Vialet’s top finish was 13th in the 50 yard freestyle with a time of 27.78.
While in Atlanta, the Dolphins took the opportunity to tour Emory University and meet with the Head Coach of Swimming, Jon Howell. They also met with Georgia Tech Assistant Swimming Coach Eric. Swimming in a 25 yard pool with prelims and finals(double sessions)was a great practice to learn how their body works and how quickly it recovers after swimming fast in the morning to doing it again in just a few hours the same day. For fun the team was able to visit the Georgia Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the country and they also visited Stone Mt for snow tubing, after the competition of course. This trip was not just a competitive experience but an educational one as well for these student athletes, whom expect to receive a college swimming scholarship in the near future. You can be part of this … Dolphins are still accepting team and Learn to Swim registrations.