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Walter, Nangle intensify training

Keisha Hill, Staff Reporter

Since the naming of a 36-member delegation to participate in the XXIII Carifta Swimming Championships, scheduled for Aruba from April 15-20, two of the island's top swimmers have intensified their training and preparation for the tournament.

Sixteen-year-old Dominic Walter won gold at the tournament last year in the boys' 15-17 1500m freestyle, clocking 16 minutes, 42.82 seconds to defeat Derek Groters of Aruba, 16:44.79 and Yohann Baron of the French Antilles, 17:06.59.

The final-year student at Wolmer's Boys' School stated that competition this year will be intense, but he will remain positive and find a way through it.

"Training has definitely gotten harder since the team was announced. I hope to win the 1500m freestyle and place in some of the other events," Walter said.

Walter is currently training for the 1,500m freestyle, 400m individual medley, 400m freestyle and the 200m butterfly.

Obvious events

"These events are the most obvious events," Walter said.

"They haven't told us our events fully yet but these are the ones I am training for," he said.

Walter said in order to succeed in swimming, it is important that swimmers do their best at all times. He indicated that when he was younger most of the times swimming was just for fun, but when he started competitive swimming he had to take it more seriously.

"You go out there and try to do your best and you have to put it all out there. Even if you don't win and you do your best you still feel better," Walter said.

"When you are younger most of the times it's all fun. You get encouragement to come to training and then you have the fun things like socials, where everybody gets to communicate and you get to meet new people when you go away to other places," he added.

National Under-16 champion Kendese Nangle has also taken her training into high gear. Nangle was among six record breakers at the 2008 CARIFTA Swimming Championship.

Championship record

Nangle clocked a championship record 32.03 seconds to mine gold in the girls 13-14 50m backstroke. She won ahead of Siona Huxley of St. Lucia, 32.13 and the Netherlands Antilles' Karlene Theodora, 32.69.

"Half my life is basically swimming," Nangle said. "Since I started swimming in first grade at Hillel, I started to improve and that's when I realised that I can really do this. I was doing a lot of other sports and then I just started focusing on swimming and eventually dropped everything else," she said.

Nangle said swimming is a very difficult sport that requires a lot of training and now that the Carifta team has been named, she has no choice but to pick up the pace and get into intense training.

"Most sports, you train once per day," Nangle said. "In swimming you have to train twice per day, especially when you get to the competitive level. For the week you do up to nine training sessions," she said.

Nangle said some mornings she is even tired before going to training "...and I will complain but I go anyways and I will do my best. It will be hard today but tomorrow will be easier."