Representing the Jamaican National Team in swimming competition for the first time at the annual CARIFTA (Caribbean) Games, sophomore Mackenzie Headley ’24 (Windsor, CT) helped Jamaica to a 2nd place finish, contributing high individual and relay placements across five days of competition hosted by Barbados in mid-April.
In individual events, Mackenzie won gold in the 15-17 year age group 50 meter fly (27.79), establishing a new Jamaican national and CARIFTA record. She also secured 2nd and 3rd places in freestyle, fly, and breaststroke events, and helped two relays to first place honors.
In speaking about the international meet experience, Headley said, “Competing at CARIFTA was a very exciting experience. This meet has allowed me to learn what it is like to compete on an international level. I was fortunate to create friendships that will last a lifetime. I believe this meet has helped me gain knowledge that will help me in the rest of my swimming career.”
Suffield coach Andy Lowe remarked, “Numerous Suffield students have competed at CARIFTA in recent years, including Brett Smith ’19 and Rio (2016) Olympian Julian Fletcher ’10, both representing Bermuda, and Shaun Johnson ’18, who like Headley, swam for Jamaica. Mackenzie’s achievement was particularly impressive as a 15-year-old, and in her setting of a national age group record in her first international competition.”