KEANAN DOLS READY FOR 2019 WORLD CHAMPS CHALLENGE

Jamaica’s team to the the 2019 World Swimming Championships will consist of Olympian Alia Atkinson, Michael Gunning and making his debut at this Championship Keanan Dols. Keanan will be competing in the 100 metre butterfly and 200 metre individual medley events.††

Though Dols will be making his first splash at the Long Course World Championships he is no stranger to competing at the global level having swum at the 2015 World Junior Championships in Singapore and the 2016 World Short Course Swimming Championships in Windsor Canada.

Keanan Dols at the 2016 Caribbean Islands Swimming championships Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Keanan had been a standout swimmer for Jamaica at the in the junior ranks has been coming into his own in senior waters.

15-17 records
200 metre backstroke2:03.05
200 metre butterfly2:03.27
200 metre IM2:07.04
400 metre IM4:35.69

One indication of him making that transition was his performance at last year’s CAC (Central American and Caribbean Games) in Barranquilla Colombia. In the 100 metre butterfly he swam to new personal best to earn second place in the B final with a time of 54.74. That swim was not far off the 2015 national record held by Justin Plaschka.

Andrew Phillips Photo courtesy of andrewphillips.com

Earlier in the competition he lowered the 1984 national record of 2:05.63 Olympian Andrew Phillips when he placed fourth in the 200 individual medley ,his best senior level performance to date.

Draftingthecaribbean contacted Dols and asked him how competing at the 2015 World Junior Swimming championships and 2016 World Short Championships

” Those meets have prepared me for this summers world championships by providing experience in what it’s like at a major international meet racing against the best in the world. They provided experience with handling travel and ensuring that I’ve prepared myself well through recovery  “.

He also gave insight into big time drops at the CAC Games in 2018

” The time drops in my events last summer were a culmination of really the two years prior. The 2017 summer wasn’t my best and I didn’t see improvement in my times other than in the 200 IM. The improvements I saw in my fly events last summer were the result of an increased focus on training and racing butterfly after shifting slightly away from focusing on backstroke. The 200 IM improvements came from a massive improvement in my breaststroke split as well as a shift in race strategy. Breastroke is not my greatest stroke and in practice we’ve put a lot of emphasis on getting better at it to help out my IM races. My split this past summer was a 35.5 and in past years it’s been 37-38. For the race strategy I’ve learned I need to relax a bit more on the first 100 in order to finish the second 100 stronger. My first 100 last summer was a bit slower than it was even back in 2016 but the second hundred was almost 4 seconds faster. Putting up the times I did last summer was a great confidence boost. Getting my first worlds B time was one of my goals last summer and accomplishing that in the 200 IM was incredibly fulfilling. It shows me that I’m on the right track and that I’m doing the right things in and out of the pool in order to be successful”.

Keanan Dols

Keanan has made the decision to red shirt next season at the University of Pennsylvania in the NCAA Division I to focus on training for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Dols spoke about his team and why it was a good move to achieve his goals

Keanan en route to Gold at the 2016 CISC

” I have been training in Gainesville, Florida with the University of Florida postgraduate group under Gregg Troy and Robert Pinter. Members of the group include American Olympic Gold medallists Caeleb Dressel and Ryan Lochte, Corey Main of New Zealand, Mitch D’Arrigo, Tom Peribonio of Ecuador, Alberto Mestre of Venezuela, Enzo Martinez Scarpe, True Sweetster and Colombian Santi Corredor. Everyone in the group has the goal of qualifying for the Olympics whether it be for the US, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, or Uruguay. I felt it was important to train in an environment with like minded individuals who are all high achieving and share similar goals. Swimming alongside such high achieving athletes allows me to compete against them every day at practice as well as learn from them and see what they do day in and day out that makes them great. Gregg Troy is one of the best in the world having worked with numerous Olympians throughout his career  including our very own Janelle Atkinson. The detail oriented environment that he creates combined with the effort you need to bring to practice every day is exactly what I need to be successful in the lead up to 2020″.

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NAELE PORTECOP TAKES REGIONAL AGE GROUP BUTTERFLY STANDARD TO NEW HEIGHTS WITH EUROPEAN JR RECORD

Naele en route to the fastest time ever by a girl at CARIFTA 2018 Photo courtesy of Sports of Jamaica

It was at the National Stadium in Kingston on April 1 on 2018 Naele Portecop produced the fastest ever 50 metre butterfly by a girl at the CARIFTA championships with a time of 27.78.

Naele atop the medal podium after being awarded the Gold medal in 50 metre butterfly for 13-14 girls Photo courtesy of Sports of Jamaica

The time was no joke and Naele has since proved she is a serious contender to be the fastest ever female butterflier the CARIFTA region has ever produced while firmly cementing her position as the fastest junior of all time. Naele has also never lost this race the CARIFTA level.

CARIFTA 2016 11-12 medal podium left to right Simons (SUR) Silver 30.60,Portecop (GUAD) Gold 29.98,Griffit (MART)Bronze 30.76 Photo courtesy of Carifta 2016 MARTINIQUE

CARIFTA Record Results

YearTimeAge
201827.8414
201629.0912
201529.9811

.

On Sunday July 7 in the semi final of the 50 metre butterfly Portecop covered the distance faster than any European Junior female swimmer has ever done at its Championships stopping the clock in a time of 26.21 in Kazan Russia.Naele showed the fields her heels as she won by more than half a second .She wiped from the record books the old European junior standard of 26.33 set by Russian Maria Kamaneva at the 2016 edition of the Championships.

50 metre butterfly Semifinal

In the final itself she was the clear leader throughout the race but was always being pressed by Anastasiya Shkurdai of Belarus. At the very end she took an extra stroke in the wall that saw the Belarusan taking the Gold in 26.23 to Portecop’s 26.29. Had she not taken the extra stroke the time may have been sub 26 seconds. The Bronze was won by Constanzza Cocconcelli of Italy in 27.03.

50 metre butterfly Championship final

With that swim Naele is the second fastest under 18 swimmer in the event In the WORLD . Only Gold medallist Anastasiya is faster having posted a 25.87 clocking from earlier in the year. Portecop is also the 13th fastest swimmer in the WORLD regardless of age group. Her semi final record time would have won the Silver at the 2017 World Junior Swimming Championships and the Gold at all the previous editions of the global Championships.

Portecop has not rested on her laurels since that game changing swim in 2018.She has bettered that CARIFTA Championships record time 16 times along with breaching the sub 27 seconds mark 8 times.

Her performance is so good that it is the the second fastest ever of all the female swimmers from the CCCAN region.

NationTimeYearName
BAH25.532014Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace
JAM26.542018Alia Atkinson
MEX26.972016Liliana Ibañez
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace Photo courtesy of theswimpictures.com

Only the legendary Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace of The Bahamas is faster with her CCCAN best time of 25.53 in a Silver medal winning performance at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland. A year later also in at the World Championships Kazan Vanderpool-Wallace registered sub 26 performances twice 25.81 semi finals and Championship final.

Portecop’s swim is further evidence to what times our regional youngsters can aspire to regardless of age group. It also points to what times are needed to be produced for a swimmer to truly be regarded as a sprinter.

KENZO SIMONS BECOMES FASTEST 15-17 SWIMMER EVER FROM THE CARIFTA REGION WITH EURO SILVER MEDAL

Kenzo Simons with his 50 metre freestyle Silver medal at the 2019 European Junior Championships today announced his arrival on the world stage with a major medal as well as a new Netherlands age group record in the event. Simons clocked a swift 22.10 to win Silver .

Kenzo Simons and father

In a race that show how fast the world of swimming has become saw German Artem Selim winning in 21.83 and the Bronze going to Vladyslav Bukhov of the Ukraine in 22.37. Simons had the advantage for most of the race before Selim pulled away for victory in a new European Junior record.

50 metre freestyle Championship race

Kenzo’s time would have won the Silver medal at the World Juniors at 2017 edition and Gold in 2015,2013 and 2011. No other swimmer from the region has ever gone faster than 22.50 in that age group.

In the history of CARIFTA region swimmers the top three rankings now includes Renzo Tjon A Joe of Suriname who blasted to 22.75 at the 2013 World Junior Championships en route to a Championship final. Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter would speed to 22.49 of the Youth Olympics the following year before winning Bronze in the Championship final with a time of 22.53

Renzo Tjon A Joe reacts to winning Gold in the 15-17 metre freestyle in 2013 Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

CARIFTA AGE GROUP ALL STARS OF SPEED

Name50 free
Kenzo Simons22.10 (2019)
Dylan Carter22.49 (2014)
Renzo Tjon A Joe22.75 (2013)

This shows the vast improvement Simons has made since regional fans would have seen him last at the now defunct Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships in 2016 when he won the Gold in the 13-14 age group in a time of 24.08 in a Championship record.Another top junior swimmer coming into his own now Jan Collazo of Puerto Rico won the Silver in 24.80 and Curacao’s Christopher Marlin the Bronze in 25.04.

Earlier at the 2016 CARIFTA championships earlier in Martinique Simons had set the 13-14 record of 24.49 before it was lowered by Izaak Bastian of the Bahamas in the Championship final.

CARIFTA 2016 Simons Silver 24.49,Bastian Gold 24.25, Berol Bronze 24.69.Photo courtesy of Carifta 2016 MARTINIQUE C

Simon’s Recent Regional Results

YearMeetEventTimeAgeMedal
2016CISC50 free24.0814Gold
2016CISC50 back28.1614Silver
2016CARIFTA50 free24.4914Silver
2016CISC50 back28.7314Bronze
2014CARIFTA50 back32.4112Bronze
2014CARIFTA50 free27.58124th
2014CISC50 free28.19127th
2014CISC50 back31.4912Silver

Simons time has bypassed the ranks of junior swimmers to make him the second fastest of all time from the CARIFTA region

Goerge Bovell III Photo courtesy of sportsmax.tv
NationTimeYearName
TTO21.202009George Bovell II
Neth/SUR22.102019Kenzo Simons
SUR22.182018Renzo Tjon A Joe
TTO22.392018Dylan Carter
BAH22.392009Elvis Burrow
CAY22.412011Brett Fraser
BER22.472012Roy Allan Burch
BAH22.751996Allan Murray
JAM22.772016 Justin Plaschka
TTO22.792017Joshua Romany
JAM22.832008Jevon Atkinson
FRA/Fren GUY22.862015Mehdy Metella

This fantastic effort makes Simons the second fastest 18 and under swimmer in the world behind Selim and the 15th fastest in the World .

He would also create more history by extending the distance between himself and the rest of the region’s age group swimmers in the 50 metre backstroke. Before 2018 the fastest time in the event was 25.99 by Carter. Simons had bettered that last year with a swim of 25.65 in the semi finals of this competition. This year he moved up from seventh to fourth with a new PB of 25.63

Start of the 2018 15-17 50 metre backstroke final from left to right Carey Silver medallist and Jack Kirby of Barbados Gold medallist Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn
NationTimeYearName
Neth/SUR25.632019Kenzo Simons
TTO25.992013Dylan Carter
BAR26.072018Jack Kirby

In the 50 metre butterfly only Dylan Carter with his sub seconds blast of 23.81 to win the 2014 Youth Olympics Silver medal is faster than Kenzo from the region at the youth level.

Dylan Carter at the 2013 CARIFTA swimming championships Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn
NationTimeYearName
TTO23.812014Dylan Carter
Neth/SUR24.282019Kenzo Simons
FRA/Fren Guy24.562010Mehdy Metella

In the 100 metre freestyle Simons is in the same company .He posted a huge PB of 49.71 in the heats of the mixed 400 metre freestyle relay .That was a massive time drop from his previous standard of 50.74. He would also be under the 50 seconds barrier in the Championship final with a swim of 49.92 as the Dutch team placed fifth in a time of 3:31.13.

Mehdy Metella Photo courtesy of Arena Water Instinct France and Stéphane Kempinaire
NationTimeSplitYearName
FRA/Fren Guy49.2523.552010Mehdy Metella
TTO49.5023.982014Dylan Carter
Neth/SUR49.7123.392019Kenzo Simons

Simons exploits should serve as motivation to the region’s youngsters about what can be achieved through hard work and dedication. Also that certain times are not above their abilities at the youth level

ZAYLIE ELIZABETH THOMPSON SETS NEW BAHAMIAN, NATIONAL CHAMPS RECORD IN 200 FREE ON DAY 2 OF REV CHAMPS

The second day of the 2019 REV National Championships in Nassau saw yet another national standard falling by the wayside. Setting the new national mark was Zaylie Elizabeth Thompson of Alpha Aquatics in the 13-14 200 metre for girls.

New Bahamian Reocrd holder in the 200 metre freestyle for 13-14 girls Zaylie-Elizabeth Thompson

Thompson, the reigning CARIFTA Silver medallist made her intentions very clear from the sounding of the starter’s gun. She had the field beaten by the first 50 metres. With the Gold decided the question now to be answered is what time would she record. When she touched the pads it would be the fastest time ever recorded by a Bahamian girl in the age group. Standards passed on the way were the Championship record of 2:12.59 set by Taryn Smith in 2011 and the overall national record of 2:09.74 set by countrywoman McKayla Lightbourn.

McKayla Lightbourn Photo courtesy of seminoles.com

McKayla had set that national record at the 2007 edition of the CARIFTA Championships when she dominated the age group in what can only be described as an awe inspiring performance where she won 16 medals , 13 of which were Gold and 11 were won in individual events.

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to the new national standard bearer Thompson about her record breaking efforts

“Breaking the Bahamas record in the 200 metre freestyle was a great experience.I was happy that I was able to lower my time and set a new standard for out future Bahamian swimmers to strive for”.

TOP REGIONAL 200 METRE FREESTYLE PERFORMANCES

BermudaElan Daley2:06.132019
JamaicaEmily MacDonald2:08.702018
The BahamasZaylie Elizabeth Thompson2:09.332019
Trinidad and TobagoKimberlee John-Williams2:09.512009
BarbadosHanna Gill2:09.992014
CaymanR Embury-Brown2:11.382019
15 and over 200 freestyle podium from left to right Katelyn Cabral,Evans and Anya MacPhail.Photo courtesy of Al Bominy

Dominating the event in the 15 and over event was Joanna Evans swimming unattached dominated the four lap freestyle race. She won in 2:01.55.That bettered her old Championship record of 2:01.73.Evans , who finished her career as at the University of Texas is the fastest English speaking woman from the CARIFTA region with her national record of 1:58.03.She has won this event for the last seven times she has contested it. The last time she was not atop the medal podium was in the 13-14 group when Taryn Smith had set the Championship record.

20182:01.73
2017DID NOT SWIM
20162:01.62
20152:06.20
20142:10.85
20132:11.60
20122:13.22

In the men’s equivalent Kohen Kerr defended his title to win in a new personal best of 1:57.99.The Mako Aquatics who finished his collegiate career with Delta State this year lowered bettered his old time of 1:58.20 from the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games in Colombia.He was the only swimmer under the 2 minute mark.

15 and over medal podium from left to right Carey, Burrows,young lady and Bastian.Photo courtesy of Al Bominy

If Joanna Evans is the Queen of the 200 metre freestyle at the National Championships Elvis Burrows is the Emperor of the king of 50 metre butterfly.The Freeport Aquatics swimmer defended his title to bring his total to ten consecutive wins.

201924.73
201824.30
201725.08
201624.38
201523.74
201425.41
2013DID NOT SWIM
2012DID NOT SWIM
201124.90
201025.47
200924.47
200825.22

He was the only sub 25 seconds swimmer in the Championship final.Silver went 2019 CARIFTA Silver medallist DaVante Carey of Mako who touched in a new PB of 25.03. Incidentally the CARIFTA record is held by Joshua Romany in 25.06 and the 15-17 CCCAN record is held by Burrows from 2007 in 24.97. Two time defending CARIFTA Champion Izaak Bastian won Bronze in a time of 25.35. Bastian’s teammate from Florida State University Will Pisani won the B final with the fastest time of the night of 24.55.

Ariel Weech of Alpha Aquatics won the 15 and over event in a time of 29.22. That was not far off her 29.10 she did to win Bronze in Aruba at CCCAN in the 18 and over event.

Albury Higgs took the 15 and over title in the 100 metre backstroke stopping the clock in 1:07.57. As it was at CARIFTA so it was at these National championships with DaVante Carey winning Gold in 59.29 defending his title and Lamar Taylor of Freeport winning Silver. Taylor dipped under the minute barrier for the first time with a swim of 59.72.Peter Morley of Mako won Bronze in 1:02.69.

The 15 and over medley relay title went to the Alpha Aquatics team of Celia Campbell,Ariel Weech,Virginia Stamp and Jazmine Trotman in 4:50.40.The men’s title went to Mako with the team of Carey,Tyler Russell, Ina Pinder and Kohen Kerr in 3:58.82. They were chased by the Barracudas team than won Silver in 3:59.11.The meet record of 3:58.27 just made it to 2020.

13-14 50 butterfly podium from left to right Jared Reckly,Forbes and Brayden Dam.Photo courtesy of Al Bominy

Nigel Forbes continues to show why has been the best 50 metre butterflier amongst his peers in the region when he lowered the 2018 Championship record of 25.98 set by Rommel Ferguson to 25.96.

He is only in his first year of the 13-14 age group and the 2019 CARIFTA Champion has shown tremendous improvement since his Gold medal winning performance of 26.47.

RECORDS IN DANGER

MeetTimeRecord holderYear
CARIFTA25.66Cadell Lyons2007
Bahamas25.60Lamar Taylor2018
CCCAN25.35Dylan Carter2011
11-12 50 butterfly podium from left to right,Asher Johnson,Marvin Johnson and Amauri Bominy.Photo courtesy of Al Bominy

Nigel’s Waverunners teammate Marvin Johnson is making his final year of the 11-12 age group memorable.The CARIFTA champion set a new personal best of 27.70 just outside Forbes record of 27.67.He will be looking to keep the CCCAN title in the Bahamas as Nigel won Gold in 2018 in 27.73.

Other winners

EventNameAgeTime
200 freestyleSeleste Gibson8&U2:50.40 CR
200 freestyleKaylan Williams8&U2:47.77
200 freestyleZoe Williamson9-102:32.79
200 freestyleAyden Bain9-102:33.79
200 freestyleLeylah Knowles11-122:22.26
200 freestyleTristin Ferguson11-122:12.22
200 freestyleErald Thompson III13-142:06.96
50 butterflySkylar Smith8&U40.02 CR
50 butterflyKaylan Williams8&U38.51
50 butterflyZoe Williamson9-1032.91
50 butterflyTristen Hepburn9-1032.72
50 butterflySeann Norville-Smith11-1231.75
50 butterflyRachel Lundy13-1430.27
100 backstrokePassion Daniel9-101:26.03
100 backstrokeTristen Hepburn9-101:17.27
100 backstrokeKeianna Moss13-141:09.50
100 backstrokeIshan Roy13-141:05.83

DAVANTE CAREY’S NATIONAL RECORD HIGHLIGHTS DAY 1 OF REV BAHAMIAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

The first day of the 2019 Rev Bahamian National Championships got underway on Thursday June 20 at the Betty Kelly- Kenning Pool in Nassau.

Davante Carey

The highlight of the day was the new national and Championship record in the 15 and over 50 metre backstroke set by Davante Carey of the Mako Aquatics Club.

Carey ,who is the reigning CARIFTA 15-17 and 2018 Nationals Champion went into the the meet in Good form. At CARIFTA earlier this year he had lowered his own national record from the 2018 National Championships from 26.75 to 26.66 to take the Gold. He lowered that mark even further as he stopped the clock in a time of 26.46. Winning the Silver was Lamar Taylor of Freeport in Aquatic club in 271.14. Taylor had won the Silver at CARIFTA in 27.41.The Bronze went to Armando Moss of Alpha Aquatics in 28.02. Reigning UWI Games champion, former national record and older brother of Davante ,Dionisio was eighth in 29.21.

Davante, who will swimming for the senior team later this summer in Peru for the PAN American Games is steadily climbing the all time rankings in the 50 metre backstroke for the 15-17 age group.

CountryTimeNameYear
Trinidad and Tobago25.99Dylan Carter2013
Barbados26.07Jack Kirby2018
The Bahamas26.46Davante Carey2019
Aruba26.66Patrick Groters2017
Jamaica26.71Timothy Wynter2013

Carey will also be competing at CCCAN in Barbados also holds the Championship record at that competition with a time of 26.84 from 2018. Draftingthecaribbean asked Davante today about his reaction to his new national record

“Overall the 50 backstroke was a good race seeing that I came off a bit of a struggle in the prelims as I did not have a good start and I went straight to the bottom.But despite all of that I came back in the night for finals ready to defend my title and possibly even breaking my record and that was what I did.I had a great start.I came up a little bit early out my underwater but I made it work and then I really finished strong”.

Ariel Weech

In the female equivalent Ariel Weech of the Alpha Aquatics team put the 2011 national record of 29.40 by Alana Dillette on notice when she recorded the fourth fastest time in Bahamian history of 29.84. She becomes only the second Bahamian woman under the 30 seconds barrier. First to the wall was visitor Maddie McDonald who touched in 28.61

Davante Carey butterfly

It would be Double gold for Carey as he took the 100 metre butterfly title in a new personal best of 55.54.In the process he defended his title that he won in 2018 in 56.26. He came from behind to nip N’Nhyn Fernander of Barracudas at wall who won the Silver in 55.85. Fernander who won the B final of this event at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games. Bronze to reigning CARIFTA 15-17 Champion Ian Pinder in 56.80. Visitor Will Pisani touched first in 54.92. Carey will now be eyeing the 15-17 CCCAN record of 55.25 held by Puerto Rico’s Arsenio López from the 1997 edition of the meet held in Cuba.

The women’s 15 and over race went to Katelyn Cabral of the YMCA Waverunners in a time of 1:05.80. She topped the field easily by over four seconds.

In the distance freestyle events Zaylie -Elizabeth Thompson of Alpha topped the girls 13-14 800 metre race with a time of 9:35.07.The 15 and over event went to Anya Macphail of Mako in 10:00.01. The 13-14 1500 metre race was won by Hodari Prince of Barracudas in 18:44.39.

Luke-Kennedy Thompson

The 15 and over race went to another Thompson , CARIFTA 15-17 Champion Luke Kennedy in 17:20.76. He was followed to the wall by brother Mark-Anthony in 17:28.16.

CAC 100 metre breaststroke championship finalists in 2018 and 2014 Lilly and Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

In the women 15 and over 200 metre breaststroke the top two spots were dominated by the Higgs family as Albury defended her title to win the Gold in a time of 2:34.09.Sister Lily won the Silver in 2:39.99 and the Bronze to Jemilah Hepburn of Mako in a time of 2:50.88.

The men’s equivalent was won by Andre Walcott of Mako in 2:30.88.Silver went to teammate Tyler Russell in 2:31.78 and the Bronze to Mark Anthony Thompson in 2:31.95.

The Alpha Aquatics quartet of Jazmine Trotman,Virginia Stamp,Ariel Weech and Celia Campbell set a new Championship record of 1:50.48.That lowered their 2017 mark of 1:50.97.

Marvin Johnson

CARIFTA 2019 standout Marvin Johnson dominated the field in the 11-12 50 metre backstroke to win in a time of 30.92 just off the Championship record held by Carey of 30.76.At CARIFTA he won Gold in a personal best 30.75 . In the 100 metre butterfly he would lower the Championship record of 1:03.27 set by teammate Nigel Forbes with a winning time of 1:02.10. He took the 2019 CARIFTA title in 1:03.27 .The CCCAN record which stands at 1:01.83 set by Emir Quintero by Mexico from 2005 seems set to go in Barbados later this summer.

Nigel Forbes en route to Gold at UANA in 2018

Forbes has improved tremendously from 2018 after winning the 11-12 National Championship title in 1:03.27 he won convincingly in his first year of the 13-14 in a new personal best of 57.98. His performance is the the second fastest all time in the age group. The National and Championship record is 57.81 held by Ian Pinder.He will have more than a year to lower that mark.At CARIFTA he won the Silver in a time of 59.45.

Other Gold medallists

EventAgeName TimeTeam
200 metre breaststroke11-12Rhanishka Gibbs3:01.21Barracudas
200 metre breaststroke11-12Caden Wells2:56.69Mako
200 metre breaststroke13-14Delaney Mizell2:59.90Lyford Cay
200 metre breaststroke13-14Erald Thompson III2:32.41Mako
50 metre backstroke8& underSkyler Smith39.46Waverunners
50 metre backstroke8& underDavid Singh40.46Barracudas
50 metre backstroke9-10Rayven Ward36.77Mako
50 metre backstroke9-10Tristen Hepburn33.98Waverunners
50 metre backstroke11-12Leylah Knowles33.33Alpha
50 metre backstroke13-14Keianna Moss30.87Mako
100 metre butterfly13-14Joshua Newry30.31Freeport
100 metre butterfly9-10Zoe Williamson1:14.79Freeport
100 metre butterfly9-10Tristen Hepburn1:13.20Waverunners
100 metre butterfly11-12Seann Norville-Smith1:12.05Waverunners
100 metre butterfly11-12Marvin Johnson1:02.10Waverunners
100 metre butterfly13-14Rachel Lundy1:08.56Mako
100 metre butterfly13-14Nigel Forbes57.98Waverunners

Relay winners

200 metre freestyle relay8&underBarracudas Girls2:34.24
200 metre freestyle relay Waverunners2:30.81
200 metre freestyle relay9-10Waverunners Girls2:13.33
200 metre freestyle relay Mako2:14.15
200 metre freestyle relay11-12Lyford Cay Girls2:01.92
200 metre freestyle relay Mako1:53.28
200 metre freestyle relay13-14Mako Girls1:55.91
200 metre freestyle relay Mako1:44.69
200 metre freestyle relay15 and overMako1:36.61

LIGHTNING JACK KIRBY STRIKES AGAIN,SETS ANOTHER NATIONAL BACKSTROKE RECORD

The fans at the Aquatic Centre in Wildey, St Michael Barbados were on hand to witness a lightning quick national record performance in the 15 and over 100 metre backstroke by Jack Kirby. The occasion was the 28th Aquatic Centre International Invitational Swim Meet.

Jack Kirby Photo courtesy of Pirates Swim Club Barbados

Before second day of the competition on May 25 the fastest a Barbadian swimmer had ever navigated the two back stroke race was 56.19 . That mark was set by Kirby in a fifth place finish in the Championship final at the 2018 CAC (Central American and Caribbean Games)in Barranquilla Colombia. But this is new year with new standards to be achieved and Jack certainly did that .

When the starter’s gun sounded two swimmers separated themselves from the field with their excellent underwater work Kirby of the Pirates Swim club and Nicky Neckles Olympian (1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney and Athens and CAC 100 metre backstroke medallist (Bronze 2002,Gold 2006,Silver 2010).

Barbados Backstroke Stars Jack Kirby and Olympian Nicky Neckles Photo courtesy of Pirates Swim Club

Jack gained the ascendancy and pushed his way to the lead with a split of 27.77. Kirby’s underwater work was almost as good if not better than the start . He used that to gain a sizeable lead and all eyes were now on the clock. He did not disappoint with a final 50 metres timed at 28.03 which helped to a total time of 55.80.

There was a change of tactics for this record swim as he went out more conservatively to bring it home faster. As evidenced by his splits in 2018 which were 26.77 and 29.42

The first swimmer under 56 seconds in the event in Barbados lowering the meet and open record of 56.76 set by Venezuela’s Luis Rojas in 2012. Second went to Neckles of Flying Fish Masters in 1:01.29 and Bronze to Nkosi Dunwoody of Alpha Swim club in 1:07.37.

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Kirby about his achievements and he gave us the following thoughts.He first spoke about why the race was special

” The race was special because I was able to achieve my goal at home in front of my friends and family”.

He also spoke about the training behind his great underwater work

” For the underwaters, I practice them everyday in warm up. We always have these 8 50s and as I go through them, I do 4 kicks off the turn for 3 50s, 6 kicks off the turn for 3 50s, and 8 kicks off the turn for the last two. The goal is to work on going far with those kicks. So by time I get to the 8 kicks, I break out at 15 metre mark. In the race, I do 8 kicks off the turn, hoping to get to the 15 metre mark”.

He also told draftingthecaribbean about his mindset before the race

” I kept my thoughts pretty relaxed before the 100 back. I planned to go after it the same way I always do. Back half it because I’m pretty good with easy speed, so I had to trust my wall and back end speed”.

His new personal best and national record also moves him past Jamaican record holder Olympian Timothy Wynter, a recent USC (University of Southern California) graduate on the best all time English speaking CARIFTA region list. That list is headed by another USC graduate Trinidad and Tobago Olympian Dylan Carter.Jack now holds two of the three senior national backstroke records to include the 50 metre backstroke at 26.07. The last remaining record he does not own is the 200 . That mark was set by Neckles in 2006 in a time of 2:00.85.

CARIFTA backstrokers at USC from left to right Carter,Kirby and Wynter Photo courtesy of swimmingworld
NameFirst 50 Second 50100Year
Dylan Carter TTO26.4127.6854.092019
Rex Tullius USVI26.6128.4655.072016
George Bovell III TTO26.1829.0455.222012
Jack Kirby Bar27.7728.0355.802019
Bradley Ally Bar27.3828.5055.882011
Timothy Wynter Jam26.9329.2256.152016
Shaune Fraser Cay28.0628.9356.992011
Jack Kirby Bar26.7729.4256.192018


PONSON READIES HERSELF FOR TOKYO WITH SPRINT FREE RECORD PERFORMANCES IN PUERTO RICO

Aruban Olympian Allyson Ponson announced her readiness for top performances at this summer’s World Championships in Korea and ultimately the Tokyo Olympics with national record performances in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle.

Allyson Ponson celebrating her 100 metre freestyle Gold medal Photo courtesy of Azura Florida Aquatics

The occasion was the Puerto Rico International Swimming Open held from April 25 to 28 at the San Juan Natatorium . In her first sprint event the 100 metre freestyle Allyson, representing Azura Florida Aquatics rattled her national mark of 56.84 in the morning heats.She swam 56.86 to claim the top seed heading into the Championship final. In that final in the afternoon she relegated the 56.84 to the history books when she swam the only sub 57 time of 56.78. Allyson had set the old national record during the heats of the 18 and over category at the now defunct Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships. Silver went to Daniela Gutierrez Zapata of Colombia in 57.66.The Bronze was won by Julimar Avila of Honduras in 58.26.

Ponson was just off the 2019 Lima A standard of 56.56.In her sights for the rest of the season will be the World Championships B time of 56.40 and Olympic B standard of 56.01.

Allyson Ponson at the 2016 Rio Olympics opening ceremony Photo courtesy of wikipedia

The record breaking was not limited to the 100 metre freestyle as she turned her attention to the fastest event in swimming , the 50 metre freestyle. In that event she blasted through a number of standards as well as her national record in her morning swim. She exerted her dominance with a new Aruban mark of 25.61. That blew away her old national standard of 25.84 set in 2016. Also bettered was the Lima Peru PAN AM A standard of 25.89 and the World Championships B standard of 25.92.

Allyson with her teammate Mariel Mencia displaying Gold and Silver medals from the 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Azura Florida Aquatics

In the night’s final her speed proved too much for her rivals as she stopped the clock in a time of 25.70.Second went to club mate Mariel Mencia in 26.56 and the Bronze to Olympian and 2007 PAN AM Games Silver medallist in the event Puerto Rico’s Vanessa García Vega in 26.50.

Allyson who is now training in Florida with Azura Florida Aquatics spoke to us earlier this month about that move

” So I left February 2 to train with Azura my goals where to do the Pan American A cut in the 50 (25.89) and swim a personal best in the 100 free. In regards with the training I was expecting to do a lot of sprint focused training which I did and I think that really helped me a lot”.

She also gave draftingthecaribbean some insight about her races in San Juan

”  Well during the heats of the 50 I really just tried to stay calm and not focus on the fact that I needed to still qualify with a Pan Am A cut. I felt confident because during warm up I felt really good and I really believed that the training I did during Azura would help me qualify with the A time. So during the race I was just focused on doing what I practiced and not thinking of the time. How ever I wasn’t expecting to go 25.61 yet. For the 100 finals I was already so happy to have done 56 in the morning that my mind set was basically just put on lets try to go a little faster than the morning .I can definitely improve my second 50 in the 100 going back.I also need to make sure I don’t breathe as much in the last few metres”.

Allyson along with twin sister Gabrielle provided the backbone of Aruba’s sprint force during their junior years at the CARIFTA swimming championships

Allyson’s CARIFTA record

Age Group50 freePlacing100 freePlacingAgeYear
11-1228.40Gold1:03.96Bronze122008
13-1427.72Bronze1:04.077th132009
13-1428.17Gold1:01.484th142010
15-1727.29Silver59.81Gold152011
15-1726.97Gold58.48Gold162012
15-1726.91Gold58.28Gold172013

Those swims are putting her in elite company among the top sprinters of all time from the region. In the 50 metre freestyle she is the second fastest active swimmer and fifth overall.

Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace Photo courtesy of theswimpictures.com
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace The Bahamas24.31
Malia Metella   French Guiana/France24.58
Alia Atkinson Jamaica25.47
Leah Martindale Barbados25.49
Malia Metella celebrating Olympic Silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics Photo courtesy of zimbio

In that group Vanderpool-Wallace,Martindale and Metella have all made the Olympic final in the event. Metella won the Silver in 2004 in Athens,Martindale was the first female swimmer from the CARIFTA region to make the sprint final in 1996 at the Atlanta Games. Arianna showed her dominance during her era to make the final in 2012 in London.

For the 100 metre freestyle the all time list is as follows

Coralie Balmy Photo courtesy of Coralie Balmy
Malia Metella   French Guiana/France53.49
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace The Bahamas53.73
Joanna Evans  The Bahamas55.29
Alia Atkinson   Jamaica55.35
Coralie Balmy   Martinique/France55.49
Leah Martindale  Barbados56.03
Allyson Ponson Photo courtesy of sportskidsaruba.com

With Allyson already faster than her 2016 Olympic debut swim in Rio of 26.00 she is one of the most exciting prospects to watch her heading to the 2020 Tokyo Games.