Marsh's record excites local fraternity
Young Jesse Marsh's national 13-14 age group 100m butterfly record, set at the long course time trial at the SPEEDO Winter Juniors in Atlanta, United States, over the weekend, is causing a buzz in the local swimming fraternity.
The Florida-based St Andrew's school student lowered the previous mark of 59.27 seconds to 58.49 and became the first 13-14 age group swimmer to go below the 59 seconds marker.
Jesse's father and former Swim Jamaica vice-president, Allan Ray Marsh, described the young swimmer's achievement as surprising, noting that Jesse did not practise the 100m butterfly since July and has basically been competing on his own.
"To some extent, it was (surprising), he has been working hard and working consistently. What was surprising is that he was able to go to the US junior nationals in Atlanta the week before and broke the butterfly record, improving his time by a second-and-a-half.
"That was surprising, because at such at big meet and he was not at his best, so it was a little surprising but he has been putting in the work and we are happy," he told Star Sports.
"We knew he had the potential to do it and he basically swam the race by himself. On the last day of the meet, this was the first butterfly he had swam in the long course pool since July, so he wasn't in practice for it, but he was able to carry his condition in from his training," he continued.
Marsh has been getting rave reviews from local swimming experts who are hailing him as the next big thing from the pool. But his father is not too quick to jump the gun and wants the young swimmer to develop and take things in stride.
"There is positive feedback because we do not have many national age group records, and there are people reacting very positively towards this.
"He trains consistently, the coaches admire his work ethic and from his current coaches he has at St Andrew school in Boca Raton, Florida, one is a former Jamaican swimmer Ramon Walton, who says he is very coachable and he works, and they told me he was the only swimmer who made every practice this high-school season," he added.