Heading into the final day of the Big Ten Championships on Saturday Feb 27 at Purdue University Bahamian Dustin Tynes had never broken 2 minutes for the 200 yard breaststroke. In fact his personal best stood at 2:00.81 from his school Invitational in November. He also had not met the NCAA Division B standard of 1:59.79.
After the morning heats the Buckeyes sophomore had bettered both his personal record and the NCAA standard . He dropped more than 3 seconds to record a time of 1:57.46.That time earned him a second swim in the evening in the B final. He would finish marginally off his preliminary time to place 3rd in a time of 1:57.50. Tynes finished the meet with best times and NCAA B standard cuts in the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke events.
His Ohio State team finished third with 1294.5 points. The University of Michigan were the male champions with 1475.5 points while Indiana University was second with 1306 points
When the final race was completed at the 2016 Big 12 Championships on Saturday Feb 27 at the Lee and Jamail Texas Swimming Center Bahamian freshman Joanna Evans had made a fantastic debut for the Longhorns.
Having already collected Gold in the 500 yard freestyle and Silver in the 200 yard freestyle she was aiming for yet another medal in the 1650 yard freestyle. When she contested it would be yet another emphatic win from one of the CARIFTA region’s best distance freestyle. From the first 100 yards that she covered in 54.83 she was already more than 2 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor .Joanna would continue to build her advantage on each lap .She would stop the clock 16:13.39 more than 15 seconds ahead of the chasing pack. That performance was under the NCAA Division 1 B cut of 16:30.59 .It was also under the 16:17.36 cut off time for invitees for the 2015 NCAA Division 1 Championships. She left the Conference Championships with Two Gold and One Silver.
Her University of Texas Longhorns won the women’s competition with 1043 points. Second went University of Kansas with 650.5 and third to Iowa State University with 570.5 points.
The CARIFTA region continues to see improvement in the quality of its swimming as national records fell on day 2 of the CIS Championships in Quebec. Christopher Courtis of Barbados and Jamaican Dominic Walter continued to lead the assault on the record books in the 100 metre backstroke and 400 metre respectively.
The meet has the format of preliminaries being held in scm (25 metre) pool and the finals being held in lcm (50 metre) pool. University of Calgary’s Courtis had set the senior national record for Barbados last year with a 55.06 effort .This year would be no different as Courtis would become the first Barbadian swimmer to go sub 55 seconds. He had splits of 26.48 and 27.83 to crush his old national record and record a time of 54.31. In the Championship final he improved upon his position and time from 2015. Last year he was 8th overall in a time of 58.71. In a much better showing he placed 6th in a time of 57.27.
McMaster’s Dominic Walter came close to going 2 for 2 in terms of national records in the 400 metre freestyle. In the morning preliminaries he clocked 3:54.31 to make it to the B final. That was agonizingly off his national record of 3:54.26 set at the OUA Championships earlier this month. In the B final he would be chasing his own national record of 4:08.67 set in August 2015.In a closely contested race Walter went out in 2:02.08 to challenge for the lead. He was timed in 2:02.49 for the last 200 metres. He stopped the clock in 4:04.57 for 2nd destroying his old national record. His last 100 metres was the fastest of the field clocking 59.25.At last year’s Championships he did not get an evening swim as was 24th in a time of 4:00.91(scm).
Countryman and teammate Cameron Chow had a breakout swim at this year’s Championships as he made his first ever CIS final earning a spot in the B final. In 2015 he was 26th in 57.38 This time he was more than a second faster as he hit the pads in 56.28. In the long course B final he placed 5th in a time of 58.80.
Bahamian Joanna Evans continues to enhance her reputation as a quality swimmer at the University of Texas and throughout the CARIFTA region with her performances at the Big 12 Championships at her home.
For Evans it was a case of another day another medal and yet another personal best. The Longhorns freshman had a personal best of 1:47.30 prior to the conference championships. She easily qualified for the championship final with a time of 1:50.01. It was always going to be a battle between Joanna and her fellow freshman teammate Quinn Carrozza. She had beaten Carrozza to the Gold medal in the 500 freestyle on Thursday Feb 25. Friday would however prove Quinn’s day as she won in 1:44.99 .Evans completed the Longhorns quinella as she won the Silver in a new personal best of 1:46.95. Her performance was under the NCAA Division 1 B standard of 1:47.99.
On Friday Feb 26 the CARIFTA region celebrated winning a medal at the 2016 ACC Championships as Jamaican Justin Plaschka won Silver in the 100 yard butterfly.
Before the Championships started Justin had a season best of 47.85.His personal standard stood at 46.98 from the 2015 Championships where 5th in the B final in 46.98 .That time was just off the programme record of 46.92 set by Frank Dyer. In the morning heats he lowered his season best to 47.04 with a split time of 22.11 just qualify in 8th place for the Championship final. In the final he went out in 21.79 compared to the 22.02 en route to sub 47 in 2015. But in 2016 he came home faster in 24.58 to win Silver in 46.37 well under the NCAA Division 1 B standard of 48.29 .That performance was a new school record and equals the time the NCAA invited swimmers to the Championships in 2015.
In the 400 yard medley relay he anchored the Notre Dame with a split of 42.51. That helped them to a total time of 3:11.42 and 7th overall. Plaschka’s anchor leg was the 2nd fastest anchor leg.
Rafael Van Leeuwaarde of Florida State had a personal and season best of 55.61. The Surinamese swimmer would lower that time in the morning heats to 55.59 .He would finish 25th overall. Aruban team mate Jemal LeGrand placed 44th in the 200 yard freestyle in 1:41.50
The Big Ten swimming championships got underway at Boilermaker Aquatic Center in West Lafayette, Indiana on Wednesday Feb 24.The CARIFTA region was represented by Bahamian Dustin Tynes who is swimming for Ohio state University.
Tynes who is the best breaststroker from the Bahamas had a personal best of 54.59 in the 100 yard breaststroke heading into the conference championships. That time would not survive the morning heats .He clocked 25.36 en route to 53.58 to make the B final in the evening. In the evening he would break the 53 second barrier. He went out in 24.78 for a close second to Minnesota Conner McHugh 52.89 to 52.93. Both performances by Tynes were under the NCAA Division 1 B standard of 55.39.
He also had another big personal best in the 200 yard individual medley earlier in the meet as he clocked 1:51.19 .That swim beat her season best of 1:54.59 and personal best of 1:53.70 and placed him 54th overall.
The first night of the Canadian Interuniversity Sports championships got under way at Université Laval in Quebec City Quebec on Friday Feb 26. The format of the meet is to have the heats swum in short course metres (25 metre pool) and the final in long course metres (50 metre pool).The CARIFTA region is represented at the meet and continues to raise the bar in terms of quality swimming.
Twenty two year old Christopher Courtis of Barbados had a fantastic morning swim in the 50 metre backstroke when he lowered the record of legendary Barbadian Olympian (1996, 2000, 2004) Nicky Neckles. The record of 25.45 was set by Neckles in December 2009 while Courtis had a season best of 25.79. He crushed both times to set a new senior national record of 24.79. The University of Calgary student was the top seed heading into the long course metre final.
The long course record in the 50 metre backstroke also belonged to Neckles with a time of 26.26 set in August 2005. Courtis would go on to erase that standard from the books when he won Bronze in a time of 26.21. This is a major improvement for Courtis from 2015 when he finished 4th in the B final .Last year his times were 26.00 scm (short course metres) and 27.29 lcm (long course metres).
Also doing the national record double was Jamaican Dominic Walter of McMaster University. Walter had been on a record breaking spree having set national short course metres records in the 400 and 1500 freestyle. Competing in the 200 metre freestyle the Wolmer’s Boys graduate had a personal best of 1:50.62 in the 200 scm freestyle. The national record prior to the meet belonged to Nico Campbell at 1:49.63 set at the World Short Course Championships in 2014 in Doha. At the end of the morning heats it would Dominic with yet another national record of 1:49.11. See analysis of splits of Walter and Campbell.
That performance propelled Walter to 11th overall and into the B final.
The national lcm record also belonged to Campbell .That record was also set in 2014 and stood at 1:53.95. In the B final which had ten competitors Dominic was 7th with a split time of 56.39. At this point Walter decide to make his move and turn up the heat on his competitors. He unleashed a last 100 metres with his distance background that the field could not handle. He split 56.94 which was the fastest last 100 metres by over a second. He stopped the clock at 1:53.33, a new national record by more than half a second. This is another major improvement for Walter who was 34th last year having posted 1:53.69 scm.
Teammate and country man Cameron chow was the best McMaster swimmer in the 50 metre backstroke. He clocked 26.32 scm for 24th overall.
In the 400 metre freestyle relay Walter split the fastest time of 51.66 lcm on the 2nd leg to help the Marauders to 8th in 3:30.90.