ATKINSON WINS SILVER ON FINAL NIGHT IN AUSTIN, TULLIUS, CARTER AND EVANS RECORD OLYMPIC B TIMES

Alia Atkinson
Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of Aurelien Menuuier/Getty Images Europe
Rex Tullius
Rex Tullius Photo courtsey of vifreepress.com
Dylan Carter
Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of usportt.com
Joanna Evans
Joanna Evans Photo courtesy of dailynews.openwaterswimming.com

On the final night of the Arena Pro Swim Series at Austin Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson won Silver in her signature event the 100 metre breaststroke.
In the morning preliminaries Atkinson, the world leader for the 2015-2016 rankings opened with an automatic Olympic qualifying time 1:07.38 (split time 31.57) to make her second Championship final. Heading into the final with the Jamaican would be Pan American Gold medallist Katie Meili, former World Record holder Jessica Hardy, rising Star Molly Hannis and Atkinson’s college team mate and fellow Olympic 100 metre breaststroke finalist at the London 2012 Olympics Breeja Larson. In the final Atkinson went off to another quick start to lead the field at the 50 metre with a split of 31.47. In the last few metres of the race Meili would close and win the race in a time of 1:06.75 .Atkinson earned the Silver in 1:07.47 and Hannis the Bronze in 1:07.50.
Another CARIFTA region swimmer making two Championship finals was Rex Tullius of the US Virgin Islands. Competing in the heats of the 100 metre backstroke Rex stroked his way to a time of 55.45 (split 26.61) to be 7th heading into the final. That performance was also under the Olympic B standard time of 56.26. He would again be under that time standard as he maintained his position to finish in a slightly slower time of 55.57 (split 26.72).
Also getting under the 56.26 barrier was Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter. In the morning preliminaries he earned a second swim when he was timed at 56.65 (split 27.11).In the C final he lead the field at the 50 metre turn with a split time 26.79. He was passed by two swimmers on the last lap to finish 3rd in a time of 56.13 and be under the Olympic B standard. His 2015 -2016 season best stands at 55.53 done in December at the 2015(Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago) ASATT’s Invitational.
Joanna Evans recorded the final Olympic B standard time of the meet for the CARIFTA region when she competed in the 800 metre freestyle. Evans beat her season best of 8:51.93 to place 16th in a time of 8:50.86 (split 4:20.00) .That bettered the Rio 2016 B standard of 8:51.96. The event was highlighted by the World record swim of American Katie Ledecky who lowered her own global standard from 8:07.39 to 8:06.68.
Aruban national record holder Daniella Van Den Berg placed 41st overall in the event with a time of 9:10.23 (split 4:30.73).
In the 100 metre breaststroke event Bermudan national record holder Lisa Blackburn lowered her season best of 1:14.67 to 1:14.11 (split time 34.75).Countryman and fellow national record holder Julian Fletcher was just off his season best in the male equivalent when he touched the pads in 1:04.89 (split time 30.35) for 35th overall. His season best stands at 1:04.23. Aruban record holder Jordy Groters placed 39th with his morning effort of 1:05.33 (split time 30.93).
Blackburn recorded a time of 2:31.31 for 87th overall for her first swim this season in the 200 metre individual medley.

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