There was another successful staging of the Neville Alexander Memorial swim meet at the National Aquatic Centre in Jamaica from May 27 to 29.The event saw three national marks falling amongst a host of meet records.
Yet again making their mark in the history books were Christanya Shirley of the Marlins Swim Club, Emily MacDonald of Swimaz Aquatics and the Y Speedos relay team of Kyle Sinclair, Cameron Brown, Jordane Payne and Chester Adams.
Shirley of the Marlins who seemingly breaks a record every time she swims set another national mark in the 50 metre breaststroke. This time she lowered the 1995 mark of another exceptional age group swimmer Allison Bardowell from 44.47 to 43.65. Her fantastic swimming this season would also see her setting meets marks in the 50 metre breaststroke 43.65 and 50 metre freestyle 34.45.
Not content with having the national mark in the 50 metre freestyle Emily MacDonald of Swimaz would add the freestyle sprint double to her growing list of accolades. After a few words on encouragement from the soon to be former record holder Breanna Roman the young sprinter attacked the event and succeeded in lowering Roman’s record from 1:01.86 to 1:01.71.Both swimmers were coached to the national record by Swimaz head Coach Lynval Lowe
The Y Speedos quartet of Kyle Sinclair, Cameron Brown, Jordane Payne and Chester Adams continued to lower the 13-14 national mark in the 200 metre medley relay. At the Tornadoes meet in April the team combined for a new national standard of 2:02.86.They would shatter that mark with a new combined effort of 2:01.61.
The Olympic qualifier saw other high quality performances across the age groups. A standout performer from the United States was young Morgan Cogle of Jupiter Dragons team from Florida. She set three meet records in the 10 and under category at the competition .She lowered the 200 individual medley record from 2:59.52 to 2:58.62. In the 100 metre freestyle she swam her way to 1:11.08 bettering the old time of 1:11.77 .In the 50 metre breaststroke she demolished the old time of 41.34 to record an incredible 37.13.
Local swimmer Safiya Officer of the Blue Seals Swim club etched her name ion the record books by taking down the 50 metre freestyle mark of current sprint sensation Emily MacDonald. Safiya will be the new record holder with a time of 31.33 undercutting the standard of 31.39.
The boys would not be out done as the Tornadoes 9-10 boys lowered meet record in both relays. In the 200 metre medley relay the team of Daniel Mair, Joshua Mair, Israel Allen, Jomo McMayo took exactly one second off the meet record to post a time of 2:42.31.In the freestyle relay the line up would be Daniel Mair, Joshua Mignott, Joshua Mair, and Israel Allen. That team would lower the meet record by almost 2 seconds when they stopped the clock in 2:19.70.
In this age group there was a fantastic match up of the best young sprinters in the island Emily MacDonald and Zaneta Alvaranga of the Y Speedos. The old standard of 31.60 had belonged to Kendese Nangle of Blue Seals since 2007. The mark would not last the competition as in the head to head clash both swimmers would break the 31 second barrier and record personal bests. Finishing first was Zaneta in a new meet record of 30.63. In the Silver medal position and well under the record was Emily in a time of 30.89.The national record of 29.97 should go by the end of the calendar year if both swimmers continue in their current upward trajectory.
Emily would take the sprint freestyle meet record double as she added the 50 metre freestyle title on the final day of competition. She would take down the 2011 mark of 28.48 of D’Ageane Clarke and win the event in a time of 28.08.
Western Jamaica had their top swimmer put in his name in the books. Rin Gyles of Blue Marlins swim club lowered the 2008 mark of Timothy Wynter of 33.50 when he hit the pads in 33.15.
13 and over
In the senior category it was 2016 Olympic hopeful and current Auburn University student Breanna Roman who did the most damage to the record books as she set five. Roman who swam for Swimaz aquatics locally before moving overseas took down the 200 metre freestyle by 3 seconds when she won in a time of 2:12.33. In the 200 metre breaststroke the record was lowered by over 7 seconds she touched in a time of 2:43.46. Breanna became the first woman under the minute at this meet when she was timed in 59.73 lowering her 2011 mark of 1:00.06. She took down another of her 2011 records and completed the freestyle trifecta when she crushed the mark of 27.95 to register 27.23.The 100 metre breaststroke saw similar destruction as she mover her mark from 1:17.97 to 1:14.13.
Jamaica seems likely to have another distance standout in the form of Joseph Cardozo from Flying Fish USA . That team based in Florida is headed by 1984 Olympian and iconic swimmer Andrew Phillips . Cardozo shattered the meet marks of current national distance standard bearer Dominic Walter in both the 400 and 1500 metre freestyle events. In the 400 metre he moved from 4:26.90 to 4:19.80. In the 1500 metre freestyle he became the first swimmer at this meet to crack 17:30 as he won handily in 17:26.85 bettering the old meet standard of 17:35.10.
Jesse Marsh who is conditioned at Saint Andrews also in Florida lowered another of Walters’s records. This time it was in the 200 metre butterfly. He bettered the open record of 2:18.53 on his way to becoming the new record holder in a time of 2:16.60.
The Y Speedos team of Brianna Anderson, Angara Sinclair, Paris Clare, Sage Sinclair set the final meet mark of the competition when they took the title in the 13 and over 200 metre freestyle relay. They bettered the Marlins standard of 1:58.95 set by Marlins Brittany Bartley, Stefani Webley, Shade Thaxter, and Octivia Gray to record a new time of 1:58.12.
The meet saw Olympians Belinda Phillips (1972 Munich) and Andrew Phillips and Allan-Roy Marsh (1984 Los Angeles) offering advice and best wishes to the 2016 Rio Olympic Hopefuls Breanna Roman and Sidrell Williams.