Night 2 of the Arena Pro Swim Series meet at Austin on Saturday night again saw the CARIFTA region swimmers making an impact.SwimMaC Carolina’s Bahamian sprinter Arianna Vanderpool –Wallace made a big splash in her signature event the 50 metre freestyle. She made her debut for the season in the event in the morning heats clocking 25.15. Arianna would lower that early marker considerably in the final. In a very fast final Vanderpool-Wallace powered herself to the bronze medal in a time of 24.84 the 10th fastest time in the world this year. The event was won by Swede Sarah Sjostrom in the fastest time in the world of 24.17. Arianna’s teammate Madison Kennedy was 2nd in 24.72. With that performance Arianna joins Alia Atkinson as CARIFTA region female swimmers in the top 10 in the world this year. Atkinson currently tops the rankings in the 50 and 100 metre breaststroke events. Vanderpool-Wallace is also the 7th fastest woman in the world in the 50 metre freestyle over short course (25 metres). The Bahamian star also has the fastest time for the 50 yard freestyle mainly swam in the US.
The US Virgin Islands saw their top swimmer Rex Tullius registering an Olympic Qualifying B time. He swam under the mark of 2:02.63 twice. First in the morning heats swimming 2:01.49 with a split time of 59.64.That performance enabled him to make the championship final. In the final he went out harder turning at the halfway mark at 58.24. Despite the fastest early speed he maintained his 7th place from the preliminaries and finished in 2:00.88.
Alia Atkinson competing in the 200 freestyle recorded a time of 2:03.21 (split time 1:00.13) to earn a second swim in the night. That was just off her personal best of 2:02.85 set March3, 2014 at the Speedos Champions Series. It was marginally behind the Olympic B standard time of 2:03.13.Later in the D final Atkinson went out in 59.83 to be 2nd at the turn. In a tight finish where the top 5 all did 2:02’s Alia finished 4th in a new personal best and Olympic B standard time of 2:02.54. Alia continues to get closer to the senior national record of another Atkinson, Janelle Atkinson. Janelle set the Jamaican standard of 2:01.11 as a 16 year old en route to Silver in the event at the 1999 Winnipeg Pan American Games.
Aruba’s Daniella Van Den Berg had a close miss with her national record in the 200 metre freestyle .Van Den Berg clocked 2:08.73 (split 1:02.98) to finish behind the 2:08.07 she recorded the 2015 Kazan World Championships. Daniella would place 106th overall. Countryman Mikel Schrueders was disqualified in the men’s race
In the 50 metre freestyle Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter would make his way to the D final after 23.53 in the morning heats. He would improve upon the time posting 23.46 to finish 2nd . Team mate Bermuda’s Rebecca Heyliger posted a time of 27.18 to finish 72nd overall. Her countryman SwimMac Carolina’s Roy Burch who is on the long road to full fitness was 76th in a time of 24.26. Aruban Jordy Groters who is representing the University of Missouri was 85th.