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Hamilton pleased with improvements
Keisha Hill, Staff Reporter
Jamaican swimming sensation Brad Hamilton returned to competitive swimming recently at the 11th staging of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championships held at the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
Hamilton, now a freshman at the University of North Carolina, suffered a left shoulder injury in the summer of last year. He took a few months off for rehabilitation and began swimming on the college circuit since his return.
An outstanding sprinter, Hamilton made up for the loss of swimmers from University of North Carolina's 2008 sprint corps to graduation.
He is a solid breaststroke and butterfy competitor, who ranks fourth on the Carolina's preseason depth chart in the 50 free at 20.70, fourth in the 100 free at 45.15, fifth in the 100 fly at 50.36 and third in the 100 breast at 57.16.
"I did pretty well being in my first year of college. I did my best times at the ACC Championships and I qualified to swim in three of my finals, which is very good for me," Hamilton said.
During the tournament, Hamilton swam 20.9 in the 50m freestyle, 56 seconds faster than his previous time of 20.65.
In the 100m freestyle, he clocked 40:16, four minutes and 99 seconds better than his previous record of 44.15.
For the 100m butterfly, Hamilton did his best time of 48.65, ahead of his previous record of 50.43.
"I dropped time in all my events and I qualified for all the finals. That was pretty much what my goal was going into that meet. We have a break now and when I go back to school I will be training for the long-course season," Hamilton said.
Based on his performance and upcoming preparations, Hamilton is optimistic of qualifying to swim at the 2009 World Aquatics Championships to be held in Rome, Italy, from July 18 to August 2.
The 2009 championships will feature competition in all five aquatics disciplines - diving, swimming, open water swim-ming, synchronised swimming and water polo.
"I have been swimming for Jamaica over six years now. But when I was eligible for Carifta those were definitely my better times. I had more fun as I had just started the sport and I was able to gain a lot more records and medals for the country at that time," he said.