BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — Because of her swimming accomplishments on the collegiate and international stages, Florida swimming & diving assistant coach Leah Stancil will officially be named to the Barbados Sporting Hall of Fametonight.
Stancil, who has been on staff at Florida since 2008 and was a Gator swimmer from 1998 to 2002, is one of 24 Barbadian athletes who will be inducted into the inaugural class of the newly created hall of fame. She has the distinction of becoming the first Barbadian female to compete in an Olympic final across all individual sports when she placed fifth in the 50 freestyle at the 1996 Olympic Games.
“It feels good,” Stancil said about her induction honor. “It means a lot because I competed at the Olympics 20 years ago for the first time, and so I appreciate that I’m still remembered for my accomplishments and how I did a long time ago. I’m proud of it.”
During her career as a swimmer, Stancil appeared in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games for Barbados, with her top finish coming in the 50 freestyle in 1996, and has also swam in the 1998 and 2001 FINA World Championships, 1995 and 1997 FINA Short Course World Championships, 1995 and 1999 Pan American Games and 1998 and 2001 U.S. Open, among other meets.
Stancil holds national records in the 50 free (24.97), 100 free (54.75), 50 butterfly (27.04) and 400 medley relay (5:04.46) for short course and 50 free (25.49), 100 free (56.03), 50 butterfly (28.18) and 100 butterfly (1:03.49) for long course. She was Barbados’ Female Sportsperson of the Year in 1995, 1996 and 1997.
In her four seasons at UF as a student-athlete, Stancil (then Leah Martindale) was a 12-time All-American and a member of the 2002 women’s SEC championship team. She has coached collegiate swimming since 2003 and earned both her undergrad and master’s degrees from Florida.
The Barbados Sporting Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held tonight in Bridgetown, Barbados, Stancil’s hometown. Other Barbadian sporting icons to be honored alongside her include Andrea Blackett, a two-time Olympian and six-time IAAF World Championships athlete in track; Sir Garfield Sobers, one of cricket’s greatest allrounders; and Obadele Thompson, a sprint athlete who, to date, is the country’s only Olympic medalist, winning a bronze in the 2000 Olympic Games’ 100m dash.
Press release Courtesy: Florida Athletics