Swimmers return for Long Course Splash
2 time Olympian Sharntelle Mc Lean and decorated national standout Cherelle Thompson are making a return to the pool at the National Open Long Course Championships (NOLC) from May 25th to 28th at the National Aquatic Centre in Balmain Couva. This meet is the last qualifier for Team Trinidad and Tobago for the CCCAN Championships […]
2 time Olympian Sharntelle Mc Lean and decorated national standout Cherelle Thompson are making a return to the pool at the National Open Long Course Championships (NOLC) from May 25th to 28th at the National Aquatic Centre in Balmain Couva.
This meet is the last qualifier for Team Trinidad and Tobago for the CCCAN Championships which will be held at the same venue from June 28 to July 2nd. 250 athletes in total are scheduled to face the starter over the four day meet, which is also a qualifier for the World Championships in Budapest Hungary in July.
Mc Lean of Torpedoes Swim Club has registered to compete at NOLC in the 50 and 100 freestyle and 50 butterfly. With CCCAN being home she saw this as an opportunity for Team Trinidad and Tobago to have a full 18 and over female contingent to contribute to relays and team points.
“I am excited by the fact that T & T should be able to field a full team of athletes in each age group” Mc Lean said.
“Getting back in to try out for CCCAN also created the opportunity to be able to compete for the first time in a regional competition in front a local crowd and once I qualify, it is an experience I am longing for”
Mc Lean competed in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics and several other high level meets, and has established several national and regional records during her career. She is also a coach at Torpedoes.
Thompson of Eagles Aquatics also has eyes on CCCAN and hopes once she qualifies this weekend she can help to inspire and motivate athletes on the national team. She has signed up for the 50m breaststroke and 50m freestyle events. She too is excited at the prospect at competing at the National Aquatic Centre
“I am looking forward to competing at NOLC because it is the first time I will get to race at this world class facility. Last year when I attended the CISC Championships I went as a foreign based athlete, I was a bit disconnected from the team. This time I will be preparing right here at home and hope as a senior swimmer to have a positive effect on the team and look forward to reconnecting with old, and connecting with new teammates.”
Thompson has represented Trinidad and Tobago at elite level meets including World Championships, Commonwealth and CAC Games.
In addition to Thompson and Mc Lean, prior regional medallists who are now in the 18 & over category have entered the NOLC for a chance to qualify for the first ever T & T hosted CCCAN Championships. They include Kristin Julien, Johnnya Ferdinand, Pierre Carmino, Kareem Baptiste, Abraham Mc Leod and Mosi Denoon. A race to watch will be the 50m freestyle for women where Thompson, Mc Lean, Ferdinand and Julien will all line up.
Jahmia Harley who won gold at CARIFTA, and subsequently broke a 24-year-old short course record in the Girls 13-14 200m backstroke at the Annual Invitational May Classic this month, is expected at NOLC as well. Many of our other successful CARIFTA athletes will also be competing this weekend inclusive of gold medallists Jeron Thompson, Jada Chatoor, Jada Chai, Kael Yorke and Kadon Williams. Amira Pilgrim and Alexandria Donahue are unavailable for NOLC due to academic commitments.
The meet starts on Thursday with preliminaries starting from 6pm. The meet officially opens on Friday at 6pm, with finals from Thursday’s events scheduled to start from 6:30pm. Competition on Saturday and Sunday would feature prelims at 9:15am and finals at 5:30pm.