First Edition of UANA Swimming Cup Kicks Off on Friday

2018 UANA Swimming Cup

The inaugural UANA Swimming Cup will kick off on Friday in Coral Springs, Florida at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex. UANA is the overarching organization for all things aquatics in the Americas (including north, south, the Caribbean, etc). They are perhaps best-known as the organizers of the Pan American Masters Championships and as the lead governing body for the aquatics events at the quadrennial Pan American Games.

The new meet being hosted this weekend is an age group meet, with 11-12, 13-14, and 15-17 breakouts. In spite of being hosted in the United States, there are no Americans swimming, though most of the rest of the region is. Brazil is the most accomplished swimming nation among the attendees, with countries like Venezuela, Argentina, the Bahamas, and Mexico also bringing starpower.

This region is stock-piled with young talent. We’ve seen the front-edge of this wave of talent roll through national and continental records in the last few years, and make an impact on NCAA swimming as well (Dylan Carter, Renzo Tjon-a-Joe, Joanna Evans), and that momentum is growing into a full generation of swimmers with world-class potential out of the Western Hemisphere’s smaller nations.

Below is a breakout of a few swimmers to watch this weekend:

  • 14-year old Fabiana Pesce is Venezuela’s most-promising female sprint prospect since Arlene Semeco. She’s the top seed in the girls’ 50 free in 26.51.
  • No Mexican female has ever broken 1-minute in the 100 fly in long course, but Athena Meneses Kovacs is already within 2 seconds of Lili Ibanez’s National Record – and she’s only 13 years old. She’s the top seed in the girls’ 13-14 100 fly by 3-and-a-half seconds with a 1:02.03. She’s also the front-runner in the 200 free with a 2:08.16, the 100 back with a 1:04.06, and the 50 back with a 29.86.
  • Bahamian Izaak Bastian has been 28.77 in the 50 breaststroke and 1:03.71 in the 100 breaststroke at just 16 years old. That 100 time would’ve ranked him 5th among American 15-16s all of last season. He’s within a few tenths of a FINA “B” qualifying time in the 50 breaststroke.
  • What’s an American spring meet without a few young Brazilian hotshots? The Brazilian boys hold the top two seeds in the boys’ 13-14 50 freestyles, with Joao Pedro Altoe seeded at 24.47 and Gustavo Saldo seeded at 24.50. The order flips in the 100 free, with Saldo seeded at 53.58 and Altoe seeded at 54.11.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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