Alison Jackson Gold medal CARIFTA 2017
Alison Jackson with one her Gold medals won at the 2017 CARIFTA Championships held in The Bahamas Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

As the Championship meets for the summer of 2017 beckon draftingthecaribbean continues to look back at some of the top performers from the 2016-2017 so far. The performer being featured is Alison Jackson of the Cayman Islands for her sprint freestyle achievements at the 2017 CARIFTA Championships held from April 15-19 in The Bahamas.

With the availability of the top class facility in Nassau – the Betty Kelly Kenning National Swim Complex – and race commentary being provided by none other than the region’s best sprint freestyler (local heroine Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace) the motivation for Alison to perform well for her country would have been great.

On April 17 Alison lowered her personal best ,13-14 age group record, senior national record as well the CARIFTA record of 59.34 set by Bermudan Emma Harvey of 59.34 when she swam 58.22 (splits 27.71 and 30.51) in the preliminaries. In addition to those accolades it was also the fastest time ever done by a 13-14 girl in the Bahamas. Jackson would go on to win the Gold medal in the final in a time of 58.31. A day later she would complete the sprint double when she won the 50 metre in another personal best, 13-14 age group and senior national record of 26.97.That result made her the first female swimmer from the Cayman Islands ever to go under the 27 seconds mark. This marks the second sprint double for Alison in her CARIFTA career as she achieved the feat for the first time at the 2015 Barbados Championship in the 11-12 age group.

Alison powering her way to Gold in the 100 metre freestyle
Alison on her way to Gold in the 100 metre freestyle. Emily MacDonald the Silver medallist is seen below in her Gold Jamaica cap Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Since the 2005 CARIFTA Championships, no female swimmer from the Cayman Islands had medalled in the 50 and 100 freestyle events in the 13-14 age group. Jackson had given a sign of the speed to come as she had won the 200 metre freestyle crown with a winning time of 2:11.57. A year earlier in Martinique Jackson had the following places 50 metre freestyle 4th 27.48,100 metre freestyle 8th 1:01.60 and 200 metre freestyle 7th 2:17.26. Alison now has the national standards for the Cayman Islands for the sprint freestyle events for the 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and senior categories.

She would win a Silver in the 800 metre freestyle relay that clocked 9:09.35.In the 400 metre freestyle relay the Cayman Island girls would win the Bronze in 4:12.00.

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Jackson on June 7 she described winning three Gold medals.

“Winning the medals was a good reflection of where I’m at right now as a swimmer and helped to show where I can improve. Winning the 200 was a welcome shock because I only just started to really focus on middle distances this past season. Winning the 100 and 50 gave me an insight in to how I have improved my sprinting over the course of the season and where I still have room to improve”.

As the fastest female ever swimmer from The Cayman Islands she reflected on what her goals for the 50 metre freestyle before CARFITA

“I’ve had the goal to go under 27 seconds in the 50 freestyle for a while now. Now that I’ve done it I believe I still have ways to go and lots to improve on in this event. With our improving strength and sprint programmes I’m sure I will reach my full potential in this race”.

Alison also spoke about her summer plans

“While I’m not participating in CCCAN or World Juniors I am focusing on training this summer and then I am going to ISCA which is a meet in St. Petersburg. Although this meet isn’t as big as World Juniors it still gives me the opportunity to race people who are faster than me and who can push me in my races.”

Coach David Pursley and Alison
Coach David Pursley and Alison Photo courtesy of Stingray Swim Club

Draftingthecaribbean also was able to get an insight into Jackson’s performances and her development from head coach at the Stingray Swim Club David Pursley. In analyzing her Gold medal performances Coach Pursley offered these thoughts:

“Ali’s three wins were very reassuring to the direction we are heading. She has always had great potential in the sprints with her speed and strength but from a development stand point we have really been working hard to improve her stamina for the back end of her 100. The second night she was able to win the 200 free which helped to validate the work we have been doing the past couple seasons. Wehave seen the results in practice sets and day to day training but hadn’t yet put it together in the 200 in a big competition. I really feel even though it wasn’t her most impressive victory, that the 200 was her biggest break through and most important victory.

Her 100 was fun to watch and the most impressive 100 of her career. Though the last 15 meters still were not there. The 200 showed the progress we have made and the 100 showed us that there is still work to be done. She managed to maintain her rates longer than any 100 in the past but still dropped significantly in the last 15 meters. Her speed out was very impressive and she took an early commanding lead. It was nerve racking for me as it looked more aggressive than her prelims swim but she managed to show how tough and determined she is coming home.”

He also spoke about her going under 27 seconds and plans for her in the event

“The 50 free was good to get under 27 seconds which was a general goal. However there is still a long ways to go in this event. I truly believe that Ali will be very special in this event as her career unfolds. Her development right now is setting her up to see impressive results in the 50 a couple years down the road. She is nowhere near the potential I believe she has in this event. The 50 is all about speed and strength.

The strength program she is on will have her lifting with the best of them in three years’ time. It is a three year program that she is on that started 7 months prior. Ali has tremendous strength already but is nowhere near where she will be in 2019. She has proven to be a high responder to strength training and seems to really enjoy the process. I look forward to seeing what she will be doing. After hitting the peak of the program in 2019 she will hopefully be ready to really specify the strength aspect at an elite level by 2020.

To develop her speed we need to develop her coordination, balance, and technique. This is the first year we have introduced rate specific coordination exercises and really pressured for greater core stability and it seems to be paying off. Naturally Ali has great kinaesthetic awareness and is able to adjust and perform complicated movements fairly easily and quickly. From a technical stand point her focus right now is on improving her kick and her start”.

Coach David explaining a training set with Alison
Coach David explaining a training set to Alison. Photo courtesy of Stingray Swim Club

Coach Pursley also outlined the programme for Jackson

“As stated earlier Ali still has a focus on development and training. We have had talks on a four year plan for her working backwards from Tokyo. To stay on schedule and continue to develop we try to limit travel and rested competitions to 3 per year the first two years of the quad. April, early August, and December are the three best opportunities for competitions to allow full training cycles between each and to be sure she is getting the training and development she needs. If we add big travel competitions in between we lose 2-3 weeks depending on the rest each time when we could be improving capacities in strength, aerobic, or neural. Because Ali isn’t at the top yet we need to continue to focus on where she wants to be rather than showcasing where she is. This summer she will be traveling to St. Petersburg Florida August 2nd-5th for the ISCA Senior Summer Championships. This is a P/F LCM meet that is at the perfect competition level where Ali will have plenty of swimmers seeded in front of her to go after but will also have opportunities to compete for medals if she is at her best. With one travel meet to focus on we won’t lose any training time and can prepare fully for her swims.

In 2019 we will still travel 3 times but will reduce the number of full tapers in the year, to two in order to get a full strength progression in time for a hopeful Pan Am performance. From there we will have answers to the best plan forward. In summary we have a long term developmental focus right now”.



Jamaica's Rajiv Rehdi
Rajiv Redhi

In the swimming fraternity locally and regionally Rajiv Redhi is known as  a top junior breaststroker for his school Wolmer’s Boys’ and as a  representative for  Jamaica. This is evidenced by his 200 metre breaststroke Silver medal performance in the 11-12 age group at the 2016 CARIFTA Games in Martinique. He would also have four other Championship final performances placing 4th in the in the 50 and 100 metre breaststroke.

11-12 boys 200 metre breaststroke podium
11-12 200 metre breaststroke podium from left to right Rajiv Redhi Silver Jamaica,Mccallum Clarke Barbados championship record holder Gold,Roan Baker Barbados Bronze Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque

Later that year in The Bahamas he would compete for the national team at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships from June 29 to July 2. He would make three Championship finals in the 50, 100 and 200 metre breaststroke event, just missing out on a podium finish with fourth place performances.

What others may not know is that his athletic abilities also extend to the sport of cricket. He follows a tradition of a number of Wolmerians and members of his local the Y Speedos before him who played cricket for the school and represented Jamaica in the pool nationally. Those names include the Foote brothers Mark and Gordon in the 1980s and Stefan Steer in the 1990s. Where Rajiv has taken it a step further is by gaining selection to the national Cricket team. He played for Jamaica in the Under 15 tournament in Grenada in 2016.

Also in 2016 Rajiv helped the boys from the Heroes Circle based institution win the ISSA Under 14 All Island First Global Champions. In parish competition he helped Kingston capture the Under 15 Championship when they beat St Elizabeth in the final in August of that  year.

Rajiv with trophy
Rajiv Redhi with Kingston Wharves Under- 15 trophy

This year playing in the Urban Area Sunlight Cup competition for Under 19 boys he snared 27 wickets with his left hand spin bowling. He also competed in the Colts Under 16 competition where he amassed 22 wickets.

Rajiv bowling
Rajiv Redhi taking another in school boy competition Photo courtesy of Sports of Jamaica


He had an amazing match haul during that competition of seven wickets for eight runs from eight overs. He has again gained selection to the national Under 15 team to play in Barbados.

Even better news would come in late May as Redhi has been selected to play for the West Indies Under 15 team that will tour England from August 8-21, 2017.His selection was based upon his performances in Grenada in 2016.

When draftingthecaribbean contacted Redhi he said this was the start of his dream and  that he was happy and  excited and  wanted  to be the youngest player to make the West Indies  senior team. He stated that this was his platform to showcase his talent.


P Lindo tunighthawks
Perry Lindo Photo courtesy of

As draftingthecaribbean looks back at 2016 -2017 school season we focus on one of the top performers at the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) Perry Lindo from Curaçao. The meet was held March 1-4, 2017 at the Columbus Aquatic Centre in Columbus, Georgia.

Gold medal ceremony Perry Lindo
Medal ceremony for the 50 yard freestyle Gold medallist Perry Lindo Photo courtesy of

Lindo, who is a freshman at Thomas University based in Thomasville, Georgia, had an outstanding Championship for the Night Hawks. The highlight of the competition was his 19.99 Gold medal win in the 50 yard freestyle. That was a school record and a personal best. He held his nerve to pass eventual Silver medallist Joel Ax (Savannah College of Art and Design) who had gone out to huge lead with a 8.85 25 yard split .It was only the second time in school history the Night Hawks had claimed an individual National Championship title.

In the 100 yard freestyle he would set another personal best and school record in the 100 yard freestyle when he won the Silver medal in 44.21. His third and final medal of the Championship would be in the 200 yard freestyle relay as the team touched in 1:21.51 aided by his anchor leg split of 19.50.

He would be a part of school record breaking relays in the 200 yard medley relay where they finished sixth in 1:31.52 and the 400 yard freestyle where the Night Hawks placed fifth in 3:03.21.

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to the sprinter on March 15 he gave insight on the Championship and his swimming career so far

Collegiately the NAIA championships was the last meet for this season, I took a small break to go home afterwards with my friends in Curaçao for spring break. This meet was the best meet I’ve have in years, probably because it was my first year swimming in a collegiate program. Breaking the 20 second barrier had been in my sight for a while now and I finally did a 19.99 during the finals for the 50 yard free. I was so happy after I saw that I finally did it, regardless of it being the slowest 19 attainable. I’ve been saying all season long that I’d be happy with a 19.99 and it happened. As for the 100 yard free it was bittersweet because I came in second and after analyzing my race I saw where I should’ve gone faster, and I felt afterwards that I still had some gas in the tank. But comparing a 45.23 which I did during prelims and a 44.21 from finals was a complete turnaround and a major drop off my best time (45.00) since March 2014. I honestly thought I had plateaued since then but I guess being a swimmer in a college for the first time in a fitting program made all the difference. I regained the confidence in myself as a swimmer and it definitely made me want to get back on the horse to attain the ultimate athletic dream which would be the Olympic Games for the Netherlands. I still have a long way to go but having three more years of eligibility and the right outlook on things plays a major role on my success I’m pursuing. For  now the Thomas University Nighthawks will be practicing with a club team down in Tallahassee under guidance of coach Terry Maul, who trained my current coach Malcolm Hosford when he was getting ready for the 2012 US Olympic trials. We train at our local YMCA pool since we’re a fairly new program, existing for only 5 years but recently took off once the coaching staff and recruiting were revamped. I just want to see how far I can go with this, since my body still grows stronger and faster. Though I’m older than maybe half of the swimming world at 25 I’m still making my way up in the ranks”.

Lindo, who is also the fastest man from Curaçao in the 50 metre pool with a time of 23.33, will be among the some of the top regional sprinters to look out for this summer.


Selfie with victorious squads
Coach Brinn takes selfie with victorious NJCAA men and women’s Championship teams Photo courtesy of

As draftingthecaribbean looks back at the some of the performances from the 2016-2017 school season we look at the growing legacy of Jamaican sprinter Sion Brinn now coach at the Indian River State College.

Sion Brinn stuartmagazine
Sion Brinn Photo courtesy of

Sion who was Jamaica’s top sprinter in the 90’s and inspired a generation of swimmers after him to aspire to qualify for the Olympic Games after seeing him place 4th in the B Final of the 100 metre freestyles at the 1996 Atlanta Games. In that race he swam 50.09 to be the Fastest English speaking Caribbean Swimmer at the Games .His record still stands to this day.

On March 4 of this year Brinn’s men and women’s team won the NJCAA (National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association) titles. In the women’s competition the Fort Pierce Florida based institution complied 1,293 points. South Georgia State placed second with 563 points and Iowa Central was third tallying 498.5 points. The men topped the field with 1,210 points. Southwestern Oregon was the runner up team with 557 points and Iowa Central third with 486 points.

The women won all the 23 races on offer from the 50 yard freestyle to the 1650 yard freestyle, 50-100-200 butterfly, 50-100-200 backstroke,50-100-200 butterfly,100-200-400 yard individual medley,200-400-800 yard freestyle relays and the 200 and 400 medley relays.Osianna McReed set a Championship record in the 50 yard butterfly on her way to the Gold medal in a time of 24.62.

The men would win 21 Gold medals. The non-Indian River victories were in the 200 yard breaststroke and 200 yard individual medley. Nicholas Loomis would set new Championship records in the 50 and 200 yard butterfly with times of 21.27 and 1:46.10 respectively. Both McReed and Loomis were named respective Women and Men’s Swimmer of the Year.

Sion Brinn NJCAA 2017 Men and Women's Head Coach of the Year
Sion Brinn accepting awards as Men and Women’s Coach of the Year Photo courtesy of

For his tremendous efforts Sion was named the NJCAA Coach of the Year for both men and women. It was his first win for women’s swim team but his fourth consecutive triumph for the men. Brinn has not lost a Championship since taking over the reins of his alma mater in 2014.


Gianna Francis,Kokolo,Saidah Brown, christanya
Marlins Girls 9-10 team that set a new national record in the 200 metre freestyle relay from left to right Gianna Francis,Kokolo Foster,Saidah Brown and Christanya Shirley Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams


The final day of the Neville Alexander Memorial Swim Meet saw the sprinters putting on a show. There would be yet another national record as the Marlins 9-10 girls added to their tally from Saturday morning. This time they lowered the national standard in the 200 freestyle relay.

Marlins free relay record holders
National record holders in the 9-10 girls freestyle relay from left to right Back row Kokolo Foster,Gianna Francis Front row Saidah Brown ,Christanya Shirley

The young ladies of the Marlins who lowered a record set almost 30 years. The team of Kokolo Foster, Saidah Brown, Giani Francis and Christanya Shirley touched in a time of 2:14.66, more than 10 seconds ahead of the field. That lowered the national record of 2:15.37 set way back on Aug 1, 1988. That mark was set by the national team of Kezia Stewart, Kerone Peat, Joanna Lee and Nicole Lowe at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships held in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic when 9 and 10 year olds were allowed to participate. Also falling by the wayside was the meet record of 2:18.69 by the 2012 Marlins team of Deandra Reynolds, Karci Gibson, Ahkira Brown and Britney Williams.


The 50 metre freestyle meet records fell by the wayside in the following races 8 and under boys, 11-12 girls and boys and the 13 and over boys’ events. That meet record rush continued in the 200 metre freestyle relays 8 and under girls, the 11-12 girls and boys and 13 and over girls events.

Zach-Andre Johnson Neville 2017
Zack-Andre Johnson record breaker in the boys’ 8 and under 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

The record breaking spree was started in the 8 and under boys’ race by the Y Speedos’   Zack –Andre Johnson. He lowered a more than a decade old record when he touched the wall in 34.13. The old record of 34.21 was held by former Speedos swimmer Robert Marshall. Johnson topped the field by more than 5 seconds.

Zaneta Neville 2017 1
Zaneta Alvaranga 11-12 50 freestyle record breaker and the fastest girl at the 2017 Neville Alexander Memorial meet Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

In the 11-12 girls event it was Zaneta Alvaranga of the Y Speedos who recorded the fastest time by a girl at the meet and lowered the meet record with her quick time of 27.68. Her margin of victory was more than 2 seconds. In winning she lowered the 2016 meet record of 28.09 by Swimaz’s Emily MacDonald .Zaneta was just off her Silver medal winning CARIFTA personal best of 27.56.She continues to track the national record of 27.53 of MacDonald when she won Gold at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships.The record for the 11-12 girls age group at the upcoming CCCAN championships to be held in Trinidad and Tobago is 27.55 set their Olympian Cerian Gibbes in 1995.


Thomas Cheser
Nathaniel Thomas 11-12 50 metre freestyle record breaker Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

For the boys event it was Nathaniel Thomas of the Tornadoes who again dominated the field. He recorded the only sub 27 seconds time of 26.57. He crushed the meet record of 27.58 by the Y Speedos Alford Green set in 2003.He was more than a second ahead of the field. He was barely off his personal best time of 26.52.  Last year he was In his sights for the rest of the year will be the national record of 26.29 held by another Tornadoes age group standout Brad Hamilton. That mark was set in 2002.

Sidrell Williams 2017
Sidrell Williams 13 and over 50 metre freestyle record breaker

In the boys 13 and over race it was Sidrell Williams of the Y Speedos who recorded the fastest time of the meet and the only sub 25 seconds clocking when he touched the wall in 24.29. That lowered his 2012 meet standard of 24.74.

The 11-12 girls Y Speedos relay team of Paig’e Lewis, Callier Maxwell, Jadean Dixon and Zaneta Alvaranga lowered the meet record of 2:04.24 with a swim of 2:03.82.

The 11-12 Tornadoes boys Jaleel Samms, Zachary Jackson-Blaine, Nikolos Gordon-Somers and Nathaniel Thomas set their meet record with a time of 1:56.25.

The 13 and over girls of Y Speedos team of Leanne McMaster, Naomi Eaton, Paris Clare and Brianna Anderson set a record of 1:57.54.

Brianna Anderson neville 2017
Brianna Anderson Triple gold medallist in backstroke events Photo courtesy of Yvonne Anderson

Anderson would sweep the backstroke events 50-100-200 when she claimed the open 200 backstroke crown in 2:43.51.She would also add the 13 and over 50 metre freestyle title in 28.08.

Kyle Sinclair Neville 2017
Kyle Sinclair Winner of the open 200 metre backstroke Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

The boys open 200 metre backstroke title went to her teammate Kyle Sinclair in a personal best of 2:20.51.

Christanya and Kokolo getty ready to race
Christanya Shirley (red swimsuit) and Kokolo Foster (black swimsuit) prepare to race in the girls’ 9-10 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

The crowd was treated to good contests between national record breaking teammates Kokolo Foster and Christanya Shirley of the Marlins in the 50 breaststroke and 50 metre freestyle races.

Shirley and Foster
National record breakers and Marlins teammates from left to right Christanya Shirley and Kokolo Foster Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

The older Foster edged her younger teammate 40.14 to 40.71 in the breaststroke race and 31.42 to 31.74 in the freestyle event.

David Morris of the Y Speedos won the boys 9-10 50 metre breaststroke in 43.21.Israel Allen who had an outstanding showing at the meet won the 50 metre freestyle in a pb of 31.86.Allen won five of the six 9-10 individual age group events on offer all in personal record times. The 200 metre freestyle relay in this age group was won by the Marlins team of Josh Johnson, Jayden Campbell, Josh Wilkinson and Kajuan Haughton in 2:20.35.

In the 11-12 age group it was the Tornadoes duo of Sabrina Lyn and Nikolos Gordon –Somers who took top honours in the 100 metre breaststroke in 1:27.72 and 1:22.49 respectively.

In the 13 and over age group Naomi Eaton of the Y Speedos in addition to her relay win had victories in the 100 metre breaststroke 1:22.67 and 400 metre freestyle 4:53.09.

Breaststroke medallists
Gold and Silver medallists in the boys’ 13 and over 100 metre breaststroke from the Tornadoes Swim Club From Left to right Adrian Grant and Sean-Douglas Gooden Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

Adrian Grant of the Tornadoes also did the breaststroke/freestyle double for the 13 and over boys. He won the 400 metre event in 4:53.09. In the breaststroke race he held off teammate Sean-Douglas Gooden for the victory 1:11.84 to 1:11.97.

Renae Chung Neville 2017
Renae Chung Winner of the 8 and under 50 metre butterfly , 50 metre backstroke,50 metre breaststroke and 50 metre freestyle

In the 8 and under category Renae Chung of the Y Speedos was a double winner for the girls taking the 50 metre breaststroke and freestyle races in personal best times of 52.25 and 36.61. Chung won all the 8 and under individual races on offer at the meet. The boys breaststroke race went to Waldon McIntosh in 49.46.

The masters’ races for the ladies were again dominated by the Tornadoes Swim club. Lisa Griffith won the 50 metre breaststroke in 48.22. Annelies Denny won the 50 metre freestyle in 35.41.Stefan Braeger won the men’s 50 metre breaststroke in 41.78. Rohan Whyte of the Sailfish Swim Academy won the freestyle race in 30.29.

The meet was brought to a conclusion with the boys 13 and over 200 metre freestyle relay by the Tornadoes team of Sean-Douglas Gooden, Joshua Craigie, Adrian Grant and Jordan Hines in 1:43.38



Nathaniel Thomas Neville 2017 1
Nathaniel Thomas Triple meet record breaker on the Saturday session of the 2017 Neville Alexander Memorial Swim Meet Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

The Saturday afternoon session (May 27) of the Neville Alexander meet saw four swimmers Nathaniel Thomas (Tornadoes), Zaneta Alvaranga (Y Speedos), Sean-Douglas Gooden (Tornadoes) and Christanya Shirley (Marlins) setting new records.

From left to right Nathaniel Thomas of Tornadoes receiving his medal at the Karl Dalhouse Swim meet in January from former Tornadoes swimmer and national record holder in the 11-12 boys 100 metre butterfly Ramon James.Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe



Though the session did not see any national marks lowered some were put on notice. In the 11-12 boys age group it was Nathaniel Thomas who rattled the long standing 100 metre butterfly record 1:04.27  of Ramon James with a personal best time by more than a second of 1:04.39. James had set the mark more than 20 years on November 18, 1995. Nathaniel crushed the 2005 meet record of 1:08.13 by Jason Adams while beating the field by more than nine seconds .Both James and Adams are former Tornadoes swimmers. Last year at this meet Thomas was fourth in 1:24.79. With that win he completed the sprint butterfly double.


Thomas would also carry the broom to the backstroke events as he won the 50 metre backstroke race in  a meet record time of 30.91.That destroyed the old mark of 33.15 by Blue Marlins Swim Club Rin Gyles of 33.15 and his old pb of 31.64. He continues to track the national record of 30.25 set by Olympian Timothy Wynter at the 2009 CARIFTA Games. In 2016 Thomas finished 5th in the event in 38.66.

In the 100 metre freestyle Nathaniel would complete the meet record hat trick as he was the only swimmer under the minute mark in the 11-12 boys 100 metre freestyle as he touched in 59.67. That was better than the meet record of 1:02.96 Javier Marrero of the Flying Fish Swim .Also under the record was Joshua –Daniel Alleyne who clocked 1:02.52.Nathaniel was just off his pb of 59.45. Last year Thomas placed 7th with a time of 1:13.79.

Zaneta Neville 2017 2
Zaneta Alvaranga Gold medal winner in the 100 metre butterfly and 100 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

Also completing a sprint butterfly double in the 11-12 age was Zaneta Alvaranga. Competing in the 100 metre event she smashed the 2007 meet record of 1:11.65 former Speedos swimmer Raynae Hall with a 1:07.83. She continues to flirt with the age group record of 1:07.22 set by national teammate Sabrina Lyn when she won Gold at the CARIFTA Games in The Bahamas. Zaneta also posted 1:07.55 at the Tornadoes meet earlier this month. She added to her Gold medal count that afternoon when she won the 100 metre freestyle in 1:02.78.

Christanya Shirley Record breaker in the 9-10 girls’ 50 metre butterfly.Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

In the 9-10 age Shirley would lower Alvaranaga’s meet standard in the 50 metre butterfly. Christanya posted a time of 33.34 to better Zaneta’s 2015 time of 33.92.

Sean-Douglas Gooden CARIFTA 2017
Sean-Douglas Gooden CARIFTA 2017 Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

In the open 200 metre breaststroke event Sean Douglas-Gooden lowered  amore than decade old record of 2:38.26 when he touched in a time of 2:36.83.He completed the medley double when he won the open 400 individual medley in a time of 5:19.03.

Teammate Lyn won the girls 400 individual medley in 6:41.90.

Morgan Cogle outstanding 9 - 10 swimmer
Morgan Cogle of Jupiter Dragons Swim Team Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

The Marlins’ Kokolo Foster just missed adding her name to the list of meet record breakers when she won the 9-10 100 metre freestyle in 1:11.17.That was just off the 2016 standard of 1:11.08 by Jupiter Dragon’s Morgan Cogle.

Britney Williams
Britney Williams Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

Swimaz ’s Britney Williams won the 13 and over event in 1:02.82.

Paig'e Lewis Neville
Paig’e Lewis Gold medallist in the 11-12 girls’ 50 metre backstroke.Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe


Paig’e Lewis won the 11-12 girls 50 metre backstroke in 38.79.

Double winners in the afternoon included Sidrell Williams of the Y Speedos. He also completed the sprint butterfly double when he won the 13 and over 100 metre butterfly in 59.89 and then won the 100 metre freestyle in 55.68.

His teammate Brianna Anderson completed the sprint sweeps in the backstroke and butterfly events. She took the 50 metre backstroke title in 31.09 then won the 100 metre butterfly in 1:11.65.

Israel Allen Neville 2017
Israel Allen 9-10 Gold medallist in the 50 metre butterfly and 100 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

Israel Allen in the 9-10 boys category continued his domination of the individual events. He won the 50 metre butterfly and 100 metre freestyle in times of 34.93 and 1:11.17 respectively. Allen was undefeated in all 4 individual events at that point.

Santiago Gonzales and Tiara Campbell
Sailfish Swim Academy’s Gold medallists from left to right Coach Santiago Gonzalez 13 and over boys’ 50 metre backstroke and Tiara Campbell women’s open 200 metre breaststroke Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

Representing the Western end of the island Montego Bay’s Sailfish Swim Academy had victories in the open girls’ 200 metre breaststroke and the 13 and over boys’ 50 metre backstroke. Tiara Campbell won the 200 metre breaststroke in 3:07.38. Coach Santiago Gonzalez completed the backstroke sprint sweep with a time of 29.70.

The masters’ events saw victories for the Tornadoes Swim Club. For the men Stefan Braeger won the 50 metre backstroke and butterfly in times of 40.65 and 38.70. For the ladies Annelies Denny won the 50 metre backstroke in 43.36 while Kristina Chuck –Smith took the 50 metre butterfly in 43.70.


Gianna Francis,Kokolo,Saidah Brown, christanya
Marlins Girls 9-10 team that set a new national record in the 200 metre medley relay from left to right Gianna Francis,Kokolo Foster,Saidah Brown and Christanya Shirley Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

The second session of the 2017 Neville Alexander Memorial Swim Meet on Saturday May 26  being held at the National Aquatic Centre  saw two more national records lowered .Both new marks were set in the 200 metre medley relays. The first standard to be set was by the Marlins 9-10 girls relay team. That squad comprising of Giani Francis backstroke, Kokolo Foster breaststroke, Christanya Shirley butterfly and Saidah Brown freestyle set a new time of 2:32.52. That bettered the meet record of 2:36.80 by the 2012 Marlins team of Deandra Reynolds, Raynna Mitchell, Ahkira Brown and Britney Williams. The Marlins swimmers have lowered the national record twice in a month. The previous Jamaican record of 2:33.52 was set by the same quartet at the Tornadoes Invitational on May 7.

Tornadoes11-12 boys
Record setting Tornadoes 11-12 boys 200 metre medley relay team From left to right Nikolos Gordon-Somers,Jaleel Samms,Nathaniel Thomas and Zachary Jackson -Blaine Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

In the 11-12 boys age group Nathaniel Thomas joined forces with his Tornadoes teammates to record his second national record in as many sessions. The medley relay team of Zachary Jackson-Blaine backstroke, Nikolos Gordon-Somers breaststroke, Jaleel Samms butterfly and Thomas freestyle combined for a new national record of 2:11.04.They crushed the meet record of 2:19.57 by the 2012 Tornadoes team of Jesse Marsh, Christian Alberga, Joseph Black and Jordan Smith. Like the Marlins girls team the Tornadoes boys are rewriting the record books for the second time in a month.At their club’s invitational the squad swam a then national record of 2:11.51 . On that occasion Thomas swam the backstroke and Jackson-Blaine handled the freestyle duties

Earlier in the meet Thomas dropped almost 2 seconds in the 11-12 boys 100 metre backstroke to lower the 2004 meet record of 1:12.37 set by the Y Speedos’ Ramon Walton to 1:10.77.

Also setting new medley meet records were the Y Speedos Swim club in the 9-10 boys and 13 and over boys’ races. In the younger age category the team of David Morris backstroke, Dirk Harrison breaststroke, Zack –Andre Johnson butterfly and Courtney Bailey freestyle set a new record of 2:41.74.that bettered the 2016 mark of 2:42.31 set by the Tornadoes team of Daniel and Joshua Mair, Israel Allen and Jomo McMayo.

The 13 and over squad of Kyle Sinclair backstroke, Jevaun Jackson breaststroke, Jordane Payne butterfly and Sidrell Williams freestyle set a meet record of 1:57.36. That time took down the 2014 performance of 1:58.91 by the Marlins squad of Nicholas Haughton, Xavier Phillips, Orane Garrick and Keith-Jordan Wilkinson.

Zach-Andre Johnson Neville 2017
Zack-Andre Johnson record breaker in the boys’ 8 and under 50 metre butterfly Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

Getting his name on the meet record books was the Y Speedos’ Zack-Andre Johnson in the 8 and under boys’ 50 metre butterfly. He lowered the 2011 standard 38.84 of former teammate Cameron Brown when he stopped the clock in 36.79.That doubled his Gold medal count for the day as he also won the 50 metre backstroke in 43.14.His teammate Renae Chung also did the butterfly and backstroke double posting winning times of 42.18 and 44.57 respectively.

Sabrina Lyn Neville 2017
Sabrina Lyn of the Tornadoes Swim club .Double winner of the 11-12 50 metre breaststroke and open 200 metre butterfly on session 2 Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

Other double individual winners included Sidrell Williams of the Y Speedos and Sabrina Lyn of the Tornadoes Swim Club. Sidrell took the 200 metre freestyle and butterfly events in times of 2:07.40 and 2:22.70. Lyn won the 11-12 50 metre breaststroke in 41.14 and the 200 metre butterfly in 3:02.63.

Britney Williams of Swimaz Aquatic Swim Club repeated her 2016 success in the 200 metre freestyle winning this year in 2:19.65.

Nikolos Gordon-Somers Neville 2017
Nikolos Gordon-Somers winner of the 11-12 boys 50 metre breaststroke Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

In the 50 metre breaststroke series the 11-12 boys race was won by Nikolos Gordon-Somers of Tornadoes Swim Cub in 39.11.

Naomi Eaton
Naomi Eaton winner of the 13 and over 50 metre breaststroke Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

The 13 and over girls event went to Naomi Eaton of the Y Speedos in 38.09. The male equivalent went to Sean-Douglas Gooden of Tornadoes in 32.19.

In the other backstroke races Shirley in the 9-10 50 metre backstroke just missed breaking the 2007 meet record of 37.10 set by teammate Stefani Webley when she hit the wall in 37.72. Israel Allen of Tornadoes won his second individual race in the boys when he touched in 38.71. Zaneta Alvaranga of the Y Speedos won the 11-12 girls’ 100 metre backstroke in a personal best time of 1:17.64.The 13 and over girls’ race went to her teammate Brianna Anderson in 1:11.64.

Santiago Gonzales Neville 2017
Coach Santiago Gonzales of the Sailfish Swim Academy winner of the 100 metre backstroke Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

Winning his first race on Jamaican soil was Coach Santiago Gonzalez of the Sailfish Swim Academy from Montego Bay. He won 13 and over boys race in 1:03.42.

The Y Speedos Swim club would take both the girls 11-12 and 13 and over 200 medley races. The 11-12 team of Zaneta Alvaranga, Callier Maxwell, Paig’e Lewis and Jadean Dixon won in 2:25.79.The senior girls team of Brianna Anderson, Naomi Eaton, Paris Clare and Leanne McMaster won in 2:13.77.