The first day of the 2016 Arena pro Swim Series at Austin saw swimmers from the CARIFTA region posting Olympic B standard swim .Those swimmers were Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson, Dylan Carter from Trinidad and Tobago , Arianna Vanderpool –Wallace and Joanna Evans from the Bahamas.
Atkinson (South Florida Aquatics) competing in the 200 metre breaststroke lowered her 2015-2016 season best of 2:30.61 from the Fina/ airweave World Cup tour to record a time of 2:29.18.Her split for the morning swim was 1:12.82. That performance placed her 6th overall earning her a berth in the championship final. In the final Atkinson who holds all the breaststroke records for Jamaica went out harder in the final touching at 1:10.89 at the 100 metre mark .She would touch stop the clock in 2:29.77 just off her morning the time she recorded in the morning .Both times were under the Rio 2016 Olympic B standard time of 2:32.08.
Bahamian sprint star Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (SwimMAC Carolina) was another regional standout who earned a second swim in the afternoon. Competing in the 100 metre freestyle Arianna recorded her first long course 100 metre freestyle swim for the 2015-2016 season. She as usual powered her way through the first 50 metres clocking 26.85 and carried it home to record a time of 55.69. That earned her 16th spot overall from the morning heats and under the Olympic B Standard time of 56.34. Vanderpool-Wallace would improve upon that in the B final .Vanderpool-Wallace who holds all the sprint freestyle records for the Bahamas rocketed to a split of 26.01 on the first 50 metre metres. That was a almost a second faster than in the morning and more than .20 ahead of the field. The field came back on her and she finished 4th in yet another Olympic B standard time of 55.16.
Dylan Carter (Trojan Swim club), a regional age group sensation who is now navigating the senior international waters notched his Olympic B standard in the morning heats of the 100 metre freestyle as well. He lowered his season best of 50.87 and post a time of 50.48 and under the standard of 50.70.His split time was 24.15. He earned himself a lane in the C final. In that final like Arianna he was significantly faster going out in 23.59 .He was unable to hold the charge of Canadian Yuri Kisil and finished second in a new season best time of 50.10.
Another junior swimmer looking to make her mark with the seniors was Bahamian Joanna Evans University of Texas. She took 3 seconds off her season best of 4:20.30 to record a time of 4:17.06 (split time 2:06.38). Competing in the C final she was slightly ahead of her pace in the morning swim with a 2:06.13 split to be 3rd at the halfway mark. In the end she finished 5th a bit slower than her performance in the morning with a time of 4:17.26.
Other performances in the 100 metre freestyle saw Bermuda’s Rebecca Heyliger (Trojan Swim club)swim the race for the first time this season and recording time of 59.55 (split 28.74).She finished 113th overall. Countryman Roy Burch(SwimMAC Carolina) who is battling back from injury Also swam the event .Clearly swimming to get a 50 metre time he clocked 24.07 .He swam down the rest of the way to stop the clock in 1:06.22.
Aruban national record holder Mikel Schreuders (University of Missouri) clocked 52.65 with an opening 50 metres of 25.34.He placed 90th overall.
Former Florida Gator Rex Tullius of the US Virgin Islands also competed in the 100 metre freestyle. Representing St Thomas Swimming Rex raced to a time of 51.43 (split time 24.28).He finished 44th overall.
In the 200 metre breaststroke Bermuda‘s Julian Fletcher (Trojan Swim Club) was the fastest swimmer from the region on the day. He was 38th overall in 2:22.17 (split time 1:08.64). Aruban national record holder Jordy Groters (University of Missouri) was 52nd in time of 2:24.22 (split 1:08.68).
In the 100 metre butterfly Arianna Vanderpool just missed getting her second Olympic B time in her first long course race of the season. The national record holder went out in 27.62 .She faded slightly in the last stanza of the race to finish in 1:00.86 just outside the standard of 1:00.80.Atkinson also swimming the race for the first time this season went out in 29.33 and finished in 1:03.67 for 73rd overall. Her Pan American Games team mate Trudi Ann Patrick (University of Columbia) was 86th overall in a time of 1:04.38 (split 29.87).
Aruban Daniella Van Den Berg swam her first 400 metre freestyle race of the season with a 4:25.30 (split 2:11.33) .She was just off her national record of 4:24.79 set at the 2015 Kazan world Championships .She finished 63rd overall.