The final stops in the ARENA PRO Swim Series were held recently in Santa Clara California from June 3 to 6 and Indianapolis from June 3 to 5. The CARIFTA region’s performances at these meets were highlighted by the good performances turned by Bahamian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace and the US Virgin Islands Rex Tullius.
In Indianapolis Vanderpool-Wallace reaffirmed why she is not only one of the best sprinters in the Caribbean but also the World. In the shortest sprint on offer, the 50 metre freestyle she claimed lane 4 for the final with a 25.03 performance. In the final after a fairly even start for the field Arianna broke from the pack at 25 metres with terrific top end speed to punch the clock in 24.84. That time was the only sub 25 clocking of race. That performance equalled her second fastest time of the season done in Austin Texas and is just off her 24.80 which has her ranked 22nd in the world this season.
In the 100 metre freestyle she cruised into the final with her third fastest swim of the season of 54.85. In the final she unleashed a 25.99 first 50 metres for which the competition had no answer. They would have no solution to her closing speed and split of 28.19 , again the fastest of the final as she touched in for the win in a season best time of 54.18.With that season best she is now ranked 26th in the world.
Also in good form heading into the Rio in Indianapolis was Rex Tullius of the US Virgin Islands. Tullius recorded a season best time to win the Silver medal in the 100 metre backstroke. Putting up splits of 26.61 and 28.46 he posted a time of 55.07 bettering the 55.12 he swam in March. He continues to close in on the automatic qualifying mark of 54.36. In the longer race the 200 metre backstroke he again copped Silver. This time he just missed setting another season best. With splits of 59.58 and 1:00.69 he produced a Championship final time of 2:00.27. He just missed dipping under the 2 minute barrier again for the season after posting a season best of 1:59.52 in March. It was still well under the Rio B time of 2:02.36.
Laura Morley of the Bahamas earned an evening swim in the 200 metre breaststroke when she placed 4th in the D final. Her time was 2:37.20 (split 1:14.87). In the shorter breaststroke, the 100 metres she ranked 36th with 1:13.50 (split 34.71) performance.
Also in action at the meet was Jamaican Justin Plaschka .Still in heavy training and not tapered he used the meet to remain race sharp. He clocked 57.28 (split 26.13) for 39th in the 100 metre butterfly. He was 38th in the 50 metre freestyle in 23.88.In the 100 metre freestyle he was 64th in a time of 53.22 (split 25.58).
Meanwhile in Santa Clara Julian Fletcher of Bermuda was getting back to his preparations for Rio after making his target time of 1:02.69.Fletcher attained the B standard with his national record swim of 1:02.47 at the Validus Bermuda National Long Course Championships in May. In California Julian won the D final of the 200 metre breaststroke in a time of 2:22.86 (split time 1:09.86).Fletcher was 4th in the C final of the 100 metre breaststroke with a time of 1:04.18(split time of 30.15)