The NCAA recently held their Division 1 Swimming championships for both men and women, 5 of the CARIFTA region’s best competing at the collegiate level were selected for this prestigious meet.
Those 5 were Joanna Evans (Bahamas) University of Texas, Jordy Groters (Aruba) University of Missouri, Mikel Schreuders (Aruba) University of Missouri, Dustin Tynes (Bahamas) Ohio State University Justin Plaschka (Jamaica) University of Notre Dame.
Evans, a Longhorns freshman had a fantastic debut season. In her main events during the regular season she never finished less than 5th in her strongest events the 500, 1000 and 1650 yard freestyle. Also that 5th place only occurred once. In the 500 yard freestyle she finished either won or finished 2nd 7times.In the 7 1000 yard freestyle races she contested she won all but one race where she finished 2nd.In the 1650 yard freestyle she won 2 of her 3 races while she finished 2nd in the other.
At the NCAA Division championships which was held from March 16-19 at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology. Evans contested the 200, 500 and 1650 yard freestyle events. In the 200 yard freestyle race she went out in 51.87 and came back to stop the clock in 1:46.26 for a new personal best .She would place 34th overall and be the highest placed Longhorn in that event.
The 500 yard freestyle saw the Evans splitting the race at 2:17.49 .She finished the race in a total time of 4:40.65.Joanna was just off her season and personal best of 4:39.97.The Bahamian distance standout missed the consolation finals by a mere 0.18 of second. She would finish 17th overall. She was yet again the highest placed swimmer from the University of Texas. The 1650 freestyle saw her placing 19th overall in the second fastest time in her career of 16:09.90.
Jordy Groters continues to raise the bar for Aruba swimming by lowering his breaststroke times in yards. The Missouri sophomore earned his first invite to this year’s NCAA Division 1 Championships held March 23-26 also in Georgia.
Prior to the Championships he had a career best of 52.85.In the morning heats he turned at the halfway mark at 25.16 slower than his split of 24.72 when he recorded his personal best. Jordy would however come home in 27.54 to touch the pads in a new personal standard of 52.70. It also earned him a place in the consolation finals in his first Championship swim. In the final in the evening he would finish 5th in the second fastest time of his career of 52.80. His preliminaries time of 52.70 places him as the third fastest Tiger in school history.
In his final event of the meet the 200 yard breaststroke Jordy’s personal best of 1:56.84 would be a target. Groters went out in 56.05, a split that was faster than when he did 1:56.84 at the SEC championships. It would prove to be a good indicator as he touched the final wall in a new personal best of 1:56.60.That swim puts as the 6th fastest swimmer in Missouri history.
Another top breaststroker from the CARIFTA swimmer making a name for himself, Ohio State and the Bahamas is sophomore Dustin Tynes. Dustin is at the forefront of great breaststroking talent coming from the Bahamas .He continued to demonstrate his leadership in this stroke at this year’s Championships. In his debut Tynes helped the Buckeyes qualify for the 400 yard medley relay consolation final with a 52.64 split. In the final Dustin went out in 24.09 to split a swift split of 51.94. His teammates Matthew McHugh backstroke (45.63), Ching Lim butterfly (46.65) and Andrew Appleby freestyle (42.20) also made sterling contributions to record a total time of 3:06.42.That placed the team 3rd and also broke the school record of 3:06.63 by the 2014 team of Connor McDonald, DJ MacDonald, McHugh and Michael DiSalle. In the 100 yard breaststroke he was just outside his career best of 52.93 when he touched in 53.16 (split 25.16) for 25th overall.
When Justin Plaschka made his first NCAA Division Championships as freshman he competed for Notre Dame only in the 200 medley relay. Since that time he went on to represent Jamaica internationally and be the sprint leader in an increasingly competitive cadre of talent from the land of wood and water. He would carry over that national success into the 2015-2016 NCAA season by qualifying for the Championships in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle, 100 yard butterfly and 400 yard freestyle and medley relays.
In the 50 yard freestyle he crowned himself the Fighting Irish sprint king as lowered his personal best of 19.69 and the 2014 school record of Frank Dyer of 19.57. Swimming in the morning heats he went out in 9.35 and powered through the last 25 yards to record a time of 19.56. He finished 20th overall missing the consolation final by .08 of a second.
In the 200 yard freestyle relay he put up the 3rd fastest time of his career of 19.74 to start off the Notre Dame team. The total time for the team was 1:18.62 for 18th overall. Justin was also the lead swimmer in the 400 yard freestyle relay. He went out in 43.34 just off his personal best of 43.05 to help the team to 2:53.72.In the individual 100 yard freestyle he recorded the 5th fastest time of his career of 43.58 to place 38th overall. In the 100 yard butterfly he recorded the 3rd fastest of his career when he clocked 47.26 for 41st overall.
Mikel Schreuders has made a big impact at the University of Missouri in the regular season and the NCAA Division 1 Championships would not be any different. In the very first event, the Tigers team of Michael Chadwick 1:33.64 ,Schreuders 1:34.60, Carter Griffin 1:34.52 and Fabian Schwingenschlogbian 1:35.49 lowered the 800 yard freestyle relay school record from 6:19.17 to 6:18.25.It also placed them 11th overall.
In 400 freestyle relay he clocked 43.28 to help the Tigers to the consolation final. In that final he went a bit faster splitting 43.26 to help the team to 6th in a time of 2:52.26.In the individual 200 yard freestyle he recorded the 2nd fastest time of his life of 1:35.27 to finish 27th overall. He finished the season as the 2nd fastest Tiger all time in that event.