As the entire Caribbean remembers those nations from the region affected by the passage of the recent hurricanes draftingthecaribbean celebrates the performances of a swimmer from an island impacted greatly by the adverse weather activity Antigua and Barbuda’s Stefano Mitchell.
At the Budapest World Championships which ran from July 23 to 30 Stefano established himself as the fastest ever performer from his country at the global championships in the 50 metre butterfly and the 50 metre freestyle.
Competing in the 50 metre butterfly Mitchell stopped the clock in 25.98 to place 57th overall and record the 5th fastest time by a swimmer from the CCCAN region. It also blew away the fastest time done by a swimmer at the World Long Course swimming championships which he set at the 2015 Kazan competition of 27.72. It also doubled as the best placing in the event which Stefano also held at 60th position.
In the freestyle race he eclipsed the time of 24.79 set by teammate Noah Mascoll-Gomes as the fastest ever by a swimmer from Antigua and Barbuda. Noah had recorded that time at the Kazan meet two years earlier. The new standard is now 24.15 which enabled Mitchell to finish 80th overall and 8th in the CCCAN region.
Mitchell is also the reigning CCCAN bronze medal winner in the 15-17 category after setting a new senior national record of 23.81 in Trinidad and Tobago on July 2
Draftingthecaribbean got Stefano’s thoughts on the competition on July 30 and he said
“Overall it was a good experience. Being able to compete the way top athletes do is very different compared to the regional events I usually attend”
Coach of the delegation to Budapest that included Noah Mascoll –Gomes ,Gabby Gittens, Bianca Mitchell and manager Cleopatra Gittens gave his impressions as well about the competition
“Thrilled to be a part of this sport and to see that its growing. It will always be in my memory as a highlight to the event, witnessing Adam Peaty clocking in sub 26 on the 50m breaststroke. On a personal note I would like to thank FINA for continuing their support to developing countries. It was a fantastic experience for our athletes to compete next to the very best in our sport. The Hungarian people were extremely welcoming and helpful in every aspect. The venue was spectacular and well supported with encouraging fans. A huge thank you to the host country for an experience.
Lilly Higgs of The Bahamas who has been the dominant swimmer in the sprint breaststroke events at the CARIFTA age group level for the last three years continued that good form at the World Junior Swimming Championships in Indianapolis on August 25 when she lowered her 15-17 and senior national 100 metre breaststroke record for the second time this season.
Lilly recorded a time 1:11.18 to lower the mark she had set of 1:11.40 when she was a finalist at the Commonwealth Youth Games in July in The Bahamas. She was already the CARIFTA region’s best ever placed female performer in the event at the Global championships when she had placed 24th at the Singapore edition of the Championships. Higgs has raised the bar by moving the best placing to 22nd and is almost 2 seconds faster than that swim.
Analysis of Lilly’s 2015 and 2017 world Championship performances
First 50 metres
Last 50 metres
Lilly was also the 2nd fastest swimmer from the CCCAN region finishing just behind Mexico’s Maria Jimenez who placed 20th in a time of 1:11.01 (split time 33.08).
Rounding out the top three in CCCAN was Puerto Rico’s Marissa Lugo Mojica who placed 39th in a time of 1:17.14 (split time 35.35).
The second day of the World Junior Championships in Indianapolis saw Aruban Patrick Groters leading the CCCAN region with the best individual placing with his effort in the 200 metre individual medley.
Patrick had given an idea as to what form he was in this season with a dominant display at the CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas which included a new 15-17 record and Aruban senior national record in the 200 individual medley. He won the Gold in 2:04.69.
He came close to lowering that mark when he stopped the clock in 2:04.73 to place 14th overall. This can only be seen in example to age group swimmers as to what happens in being persistent and aiming for excellence as two years ago in Singapore Patrick was 33rd in a time of 2:09.13.
Analysis of Patrick’s World Championship and CARIFTA swims
Puerto Rico’s 15-17 reigning CCCAN Champion Jarrod Arroyo was the second best placed swimmer from the region with a time of 2:06.47 (split time 59.86). He was just off his Gold medal winning time of 2:06.44 in Trinidad and Tobago recently. He placed 23rd overall.
Jorge Cardenas Reyes of Mexico rounded out the top 3 from the region with a time of 2:09.34 (split time 1:00.40) to finish 33rd overall
Two years ago at the 2015 World Junior Swimming Championships in Singapore Aruba’s Patrick Groters was 44th in a time of 59.88. Fast forward two years a much improved Groters crushed that time and placing with a good performance in Indianapolis today.
Patrick, who holds the 15-17 CARIFTA record and Aruban national record with a time of 57.17 bettered that time with a 57.01 clocking. That time placed him 17th overall. The top 16th time was 56.75. Mere 26th hundredths from a second swim Patrick earned the accolade of being the top CCCAN swimmer at the Global Championships.
Analysis of Groters swims in 2015 and 2017
CCCAN Champion in the 15-17 Jack Kirby of Barbados produced yet another sub 58 seconds clocking to win heat 4 convincingly in 57.63 (split time 28.27).That performance placed him 23rd overall and second overall from the CCCAN region
As she did at the 2015 World Junior Championships in Singapore Lilly Higgs of The Bahamas was the CCCAN region’s top performer in the 50 metre breaststroke event today in Indianapolis.
Higgs, who is her country’s standard bearer in the event clocked 32.84 to be in place joint 20th overall with Australian Sarah Beale and be the top swimmer from the CCCAN region. For Higgs who has been unbeaten in this race for the last three years at the CARIFTA Championships this was an improvement in time and placing from 2015 where she finished 21st in 33.19. Lilly was not far off making the semi-finals as it took 32.59 to make the top 16.
Mexico’s Maria Jiminez was 28th in a time of 33.32. Guatemala’s Jimina Ximin clocked in at 36.56 for 39th. It was a keen battle for who would be the top Honduran in the event. That accolade went Paola Cwu who was marginally ahead of countrywoman Angie Vilorio 37.21 to 37.36 to finish 43rd and 44th respectively.
On Saturday August 5 at the 2017 Futures Championships in Nashville Tennessee while representing the Pine Crest Swim Team Nicholas Vale became the fastest age group 400 metre freestyler Jamaica has ever produced when he clocked a time of 4:10.52.
That performance by Vale lowered the 15-17 boys’ record of 4:11.31 held by distance standout Dominic Walter when he competed at the 2010 CISC (Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships) in Cuba.
Nicholas lowered his personal best of 4:15.57 that doubles as the 13-14 national record that he set at the 2016 CISC in the Bahamas. He now holds five individual national records
1500 metre freestyle
400 metre individual medley
400 metre freestyle
200 metre individual medley
Vale has been a regular fixture in the Jamaican swimming lineup since making his national debut at the 2013 CARIFTA Championships held in Kingston Jamaica.
Analysis of Vale’s 13-14 and 15-17 freestyle records
First 100 metres
Second 10 metres
Third 100 metres
Fourth 100 metres
At the same competition he registered the top times this season for the 15-17 Jamaican boys when he stopped the clock in 57.36 in the 100 metre butterfly and 2:13.03 in the 200 metre individual medley.
In the relays Nicholas had two top 10 finishes with Pine Crest.
His 400 metre freestyle relay team placed 6th overall in 3:36.05 while the 400 metre medley team was 5th in 3:57.65
When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Nicholas he spoke about his achievement
“I actually didn’t know what the 15-17 400 free Jamaican National record was prior to the race. I found out afterwards that I had broken it by a second. I was very pleased with the swim considering that I still have two years left in the 15-17 age group to lower that 400 free record and hopefully break many more.
During the race I felt very controlled and smooth. My goal going into the race was to keep my splits as close as possible and I was successful in doing so. I was very pleased to have finally dropped my time of 4:15.57 from a year ago at the 2016 CISC Championships. I believe that all of my technique work along with the grueling distance sets have attributed to my success in this event. After this swim I plan on doing a lot more 400 specific pace”.
As this 2017 FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup continues Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson is getting faster and faster. On the first day of competition in Eindhoven she let the world know that the 100 scm breaststroke World record of 1:02.36 was in grave danger of being bettered. The same warning was issued in the 50 scm breaststroke.
In the morning preliminaries at the Pieter van den Hoogenband Swimming Stadium she eased into the Championship final with a time of 29.56. Her 50 scm split time of 29.32 in the 100 scm final yesterday was faster. Her swim was the only sub 30 second clocking as tour rival Lithuanian Rūta Meilutytė was more than half a second adrift in 30.13.
The only question would be not who would take Gold but how fast Alia would be in winning the event in the evening.
Rūta would have the slightest of lead when she had a reaction time of 0.61 to 0.62.That would be the only lead she would have over the Jamaican as Alia took over the proceedings. She would take the race in a sizzling time of 28.84, the only sub 29 seconds performance . For Atkinson ,who is sponsored by Rainforest Seafoods, GKMS and National Bakery it was the second fastest performance of her career. Only her World record swim of 28.64 in Tokyo last year was faster. It was also the third fastest time ever swum on the World Cup Circuit. The second all-time fastest performance on the circuit being the 28.80 recorded by American Jessica Hardy when she set the World Record in 2009. Atkinson’s win was also her 26th on the tour.
Rivals Rūta and Dane Rikke Møller Pedersen finished with the Silver and Bronze medals in times of 29.57 and 30.25 respectively.
Atkinson ended the day with her second best career performance in the 50 metre butterfly when she placed 8th in the Championship final with a time of 26.03.