The CARIFTA region had reason to celebrate on Day 2 of the Big 12 Championships as University of Texas standout freshman Joanna Evans won Gold in the 500 yard freestyle at her home pool at the University of Texas.
The Bahamas best distance freestyler Evans had a personal and season best of 4:43.07 heading into the Championships. In the morning heats she made her intentions clear from the morning preliminaries as she set a lifetime best of 4:42.88.
In the final it was a close battle between Evans and her Longhorns teammate Quinn Carrozza for 350 yards. After that point Evans maintained her sub 28.50 splits per 50 pace which Quinn could not handle. Evans then kept up the pressure and opening up a gap between Quinn and the rest of the field. With only her penultimate 50 at 28.76 she unleashed the fastest final 50 yard of 28.03 to break 4:40 and record a new personal best of 4:39.97. Carrozza finished 2 seconds adrift of the Bahamian’s fiery pace in 4:42.28.
With her title win she joins storied Jamaican distance queen Janelle Atkinson as a conference Champion in the 500 yard freestyle and in her freshman. Atkinson competing for the University of Florida Gators won her SEC titles in 2001 in 4:43.38 and 2002 in 4:42.53.Joanna who can be described as the CARIFTA region’s best distance freestyler also joins Alia Atkinson as a BIG 12 individual champion.Alia won individual titles in the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke.
Evans who is currently enjoying an incredible freshman year has moved from 39th to 17th in Division 1.