At the 2023 CARIFTA Championships the region's rising stars swam in the Enith Brigitha pool named after Curaçao's and the region's swimming national treasure. One of her great feats was a 17 year old at her first Olympic Games in1972 she made the 100 metre freestyle.She placed eighth in 1:00.09 after doing 59.75 in the semi finals.

Heidi Stoute in her first year of the 13-14 age group put on a near total domination of the freestyle.No one compares in the 13-14 category and would have to look at the years 2014 and 2015 when regional legend Bahamian Olympian Joanna Evans won from the 50 to 5k in the 15-17 age group .She did not have the opportunity to swim the 1500 metre freestyle as it was not offered in her time.

In Curaçao Stoute crushed the CR of 19:37.74 in 18:16.30 .The national age group record is held by Hannah Gill who dominates the 13-14 freestyle record board from the 200 to 1500 events. In that race she won by over 40 seconds. The 800 metre freestyle saw her winning by over 50 seconds. The national record is 9:13.49 and the CR is 9:11.82 held by Evans.

The 400 metre race saw her winning in 4:40.73. The national mark is 4:30.99 .The victory margin was over seven seconds.

The 200 metre freestyle saw her beating the field by over three seconds with a swim of 2:10.14.That was just off the NAGR of 2:09.99. The 2019 meet record was set by incoming Florida freshman Elan Daley formerly of Bermuda now representing Canada at 2:06.19.

In the 100 metre freestyle she broke the 2012 record of Sariyah Sherry of 1:00.08 with a winning time of 59.84. The championship record is held by Jamaican incoming LSU freshman Sabrina Lyn at 57.89.

For the 50 race she made the final but did not contest it. The Bajan sweep was completed by teammate Jaiya Simmons who won in a national.age group record of 27.28 .

She won the 5K in1:08.52 , more than 2 minutes ahead of her regional rivals.

The freestyle dominance extended to the relays as well 200 relay Gold NAGR 1:53.46, 400 relay 4:09.44 and 800 relay 9:16.74.

In just her first year one can just imagine what she will do in 2024.

Photos courtesy of Pirates Swim club and Bahamas Aquatics