Max Wilson jumped three spots in the rankings for the Men’s 200-meter Medley Wednesday to wrap up Team Virgin Islands’ (ISV) swimmers’ competitions during the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. Wilson entered his final event ranked 20th but ended on a higher note when he posted a time of 2:07.75 which propelled him into the 17th spot out of 27 swimmers.
The Santiago 2023 Games may not have netted any medals for Team ISV swimmers, but Coach John Vasbinder sees the experience as a positive one. “Overall, they did well for a mid-season meet,” Vasbinder said. “We’ve never had swimmers make the finals, but two swimmers did! I’m pleased with the efforts they showed in the pool.”
Wilson made the Finals B for the Men’s 100m Backstroke and the Men’s 200m Backstroke events, and Natalia Kuipers made the Finals B Heat for the Women’s 400m Freestyle event.
For the finals, the top 16 are recognized, but the top eight competitors compete for the medals. Although Coach Vasbinder always shoots for the hardware, he’ll take the small victory of making the finals. “The plan was always to make the finals,” Vasbinder stated. “We knew the top eight would be tough, but the excitement of coming back to the finals was what we wanted—to hear the VI announced!”
Team ISV consisted of two males and a female for Santiago 2023:
- Max Wilson – swam three events: 100m Backstroke; 200m Backstroke and 200m Individual Medley
- Adriesl Sanes – swam four events: 100m butterfly; 100 m Breaststroke; 200m Breaststroke and50m Freestyle
- Natalia Kuipers – swam three events: 100m Freestyle; 200m Freestyle and 400m Freestyle
Wilson and Kuipers are both actively involved in swimming for their college programs, as Wilson is a key member of the Florida State University team and Kuipers swims for Bryant University. Sanes, who has completed his years of eligibility, started at the University of Denver and finished at Auburn University. Sanes now has the challenge of balancing his training with his work schedule.
Next up for Coach Vasbinder in life with swimming is the Virgin Islands Swimming Federation’s Championships scheduled for St. Thomas on November 3–5, 2023. Teams from St. Thomas, St. Croix, and the British Virgin Islands are expected to participate. The event will host the best swimmers in all age groups, and more than 100 participants are expected.
The VISF Championship will be followed by the Puerto Rico Championships, which are scheduled for December 1–3, 2023. V.I. swimmers will end their season as they attend an event in Atlanta, Ga., on December 13–16, 2023.