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St. Croix Dolphins Do Well at Atlanta Georgia Open Swim Meet

Dolphins Swim Team at Georgia Open Swim MeetThe St. Croix Dolphins Swim Team traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, to compete in the 2014 SCAT Georgia Open Swim Meet from Feb. 15-16. The competition was attended by 30 different teams from around Georgia, amounting to over 600 swimmers. Thirteen Dolphins traveled and competed at this event, which took place at the aquatics facility at the Georgia Tech Campus Recreation Center. 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 the 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 as well as 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 she swam all personal best times. Her top place was second 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 he 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 third 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 first place finish in the 200-yard backstroke in his age group with a time of 2:08.46. He also placed second in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 59.91. Jean Devera qualified for the finals in the 200-yard breaststroke and finished seventh with a time of 2:52.78. Lidia Boguslawska’s top finish was third in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:17.57. Lex Devlin’s top finish was seventh in the 200-IM with a time of 2:20.78, and he dropped lots of time in the 100-yard 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 second in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:47.57. Chloe also made finals in all six of her events. Tony Hendricks’ top finish was fifth in the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes with times of 57.44 and 2:09.40. Alex Lewit’s top finish was fourth in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:04.89. Alex also had a great swim in the 100-yard butterfly dropping time and making finals. Jonathan Thomas’ top finish was fourth 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 Jon Howell, the head swimming coach. 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 Mountain 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, who expect to receive college swimming scholarships in the near future. For those who wish to be a part of this, Dolphins are still accepting team and ‘Learn to Swim’ registrations.
To be a part of this rewarding sport or for more information about the program, contact the Dolphins Swim Team on St. Croix at 719-7946, e-mail [email protected], or visit the Web site: www.stcroixdolphins.org. In addition to the competitive youth and masters swim teams, the St. Croix Dolphins offer a Learn to Swim Program that includes classes for infant, toddler, children and adults as well as life guard and CPR certifications.

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