October 26,2016 will live on in the memory of Alia Atkinson and all her fans and supporters in the CARIFTA region and beyond as it was the day that she lowered the World Record in the 50 metre breaststroke (short course metres).
Competing at the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup in Tokyo Alia blasted off in the Championship final with a reaction time of 0.65 . This time with so many misses in the previous Tour stops there would be no doubt today. The Jamaican stopped the clock in 28.64 crushing the World record of American 28.80 set by American Jessica Hardy in November 2009.She finished well ahead of Russian Yulia Efimova 29.19 and American Molly Hannis 29.57.
Alia who has been aided on her way to the World Record by Rainforest Seafoods, National Bakery and Grace Kennedy Money Services had put the World Record on with her Golden run this season.
After sharing the World Record in the 100 metre breaststroke Alia now stands alone in the 50 metre breaststroke as the best of all time.
The University of Notre Dame’s Jamaican sophomore Justin Plaschka continued to improve his form leading up the World Short Course Swimming championships in Windsor in December. Competing in a 2 day meet (Friday Oct 21 to Oct 22) against Georgia Tech at the Herb McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta saw Justin registering big time drops.
In the 100 yard butterfly dropped from 51.00 to win the race in 48.37 (split time 22.40). It also bettered the NCAA B standard time of 48.49
The Fighting Irish A team of Plaschka 20.63, Daniel Speers 19.87, Tabahn Afrik 20.11 and Reed Fujan 20.51 posted a winning time of 1:21.12 in the 200 yard freestyle relay. That beat the season best of 1:22.84 and puts the team as 5th fastest in Division I. Justin also set a season best with his opening leg time which also doubled as the fastest opening split of the relay.
The A team would again be on top of the podium in the 400 yard freestyle relay. The splits for that event were Afrik 44.49, Speers 44.41, Fujan 44.94 and Plaschka 44.58. The total time was 2:58.49 which put them well clear of Georgia Tech A who touched in 3:01.89. It also ranks the team as the 8th fastest in Division I.
Plaschka’s season best of 20.63 would not last long as he clocked 20.51 for 2nd in the individual event. He would be on the podium again in the 100 yard freestyle when he hit the pads in 44.83 for 2nd place. In the 400 yard medley relay Justin swimming the butterfly leg for the B team clocked 48.61 to help them to 3rd in 3:20.55.
The Fighting Irish beat the Yellow Jackets 181-172.
Justin had the following thoughts about his performance
“I was happy with my times as they’ve been some of my best in season times in my college career. And I was happy that I was able to go these times and compete even though we are in the middle of intense training. It makes me excited for the rest of the year and makes me look forward to racing at Short Course Worlds”.
The Bahamas Laura Morley opened her 2016-2017 season recently with a tri meet in Bloomington Indiana on Friday Oct 21 against the universities of Florida and Texas. The meet held at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center was contested in a 50 metre pool.
Morley, a sophomore got her NCAA Division I campaign underway in the 200 metre medley relay for the Hoosiers B team. She split 34.30 on her breaststroke leg as the team posted a total time of 2:01.47.
In the 100 metre breaststroke a Nassau native posted 1:15.02 (split time 35.30) for 5th place. That is significantly faster than the 1:17.19 she posted at the 2015 edition of the meet.
The 200 metre breaststroke saw her finishing 9th in a time of 2:43.96 (split time 1:19.29).Morley again bettered her 2015 performance which was 2:45.85.
The Hoosiers beat the Florida Gators 150 to 131 but went down to the Texas Longhorns 106 to170.
Morley holds the senior national record for The Bahamas in the 100 and 200 metre breaststroke events.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Josiah Morales was a part of the Wayland Baptist Pioneers that set a NAIA nation leading mark in the 400 yard medley relay at the school’s invitational. The meet which was held from October 21 to 22 in Lubbock Texas saw Morales producing a number of top 10 NAIA performances.
In the 400 yard medley relay the team of Nico Ruiz –Rojas (backstroke), Bjoern Globke (breaststroke), Morales (butterfly) and Henri Günther (freestyle) produced the top time in the NAIA of 3:31.56. That easily bettered their season opener of 3:33.03. Their margin of victory at the meet was over 5 seconds.
In the 200 yard medley the personnel was the same except for the freestyle leg where David Caravjal swam. The Pioneers A team beat the 2nd place team by more than 3 seconds to win in a time of 1:36.43 .That performance places them 4th in the NAIA.
In completing his trifecta of wins Josiah had winning margin of over a second in the 200 yard butterfly with a time of 1:56.88. That has him ranked as the 2nd fastest in the NAIA.
In the 500 yard freestyle Morales just missed out on lowered his personal best of 5:04.01 set in 2014 when he hit the wall in 5:05.91 for 5th.
He placed 5th in the 400 yard individual medley in a time of 4:34.46 and 7th in the 200 yard breaststroke in a time of 2:24.86.
The Pioneers finished 2nd in the 4 team competition with 834 points. The meet was won by The University of Texas-Permian Basin with 1,296 points.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Joshua Romany opened the season for his new school the University of Indiana in a long course meet against the universities of Florida and Texas on Friday October 21.
The meet held in Bloomington Indiana saw Romany competing as Hoosier for the first time in the 200 metre medley relay. His C team swimming for exhibition purposes posted a time of 1:47.71. The Port of Spain native clocked a freestyle anchor leg of 23.92.
In another exhibition race the 100 metre freestyle the 6’1 junior stopped the clock in 53.26 (split time 25.56).He was the 10th fastest swimmer on the day.
Again swimming as an exhibition swimmer in the 50 metre freestyle event he posted a time of 23.80 that was the 6th fastest time of the meet.
In the last event of the day the 400 metre freestyle relay his Hoosiers B team finished 4th in a time of 3:31.59. Joshua’s 2nd leg split was timed at 52.83.
The Hoosiers turned back the challenges of the Florida Gators 181 to 100 and the Texas Longhorns 149 to 132.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Jabari Baptiste opened his season for North Carolina State against the University of Wisconsin at a 2 day meet from Friday Oct 21 to Saturday Oct 22 at the Willis R Casey Aquatic Center in Raleigh North Carolina.
Jabari started the 2016 2017 season with action in the 400 yard medley relay as a member of the B team. The team placed 3rd in a time of 3:18.24 with Baptiste anchoring with a freestyle split of 44.87.
In the 100 yard backstroke he finished 3rd in a time of 50.10 (split time 24.17).
In the 200 yard medley relay his C swimming exhibition finished in a time of 1:32.33. Baptist led off the team with a backstroke split of 23.25.
In another exhibition swim the former Fatima College and Bolles School student clocked 50.99 (split time 24.02) in the 100 yard butterfly.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter continued his hot streak for the University of Southern California on Friday Oct 21 with 3 victories. The meet that served as the Trojans season home opener at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center saw them competing against California State University Bakersfield.
Carter registered his 6th collegiate victory of the season when his Trojans A won the 200 yard medley relay in a time of 1:29.55.The team of Ralf Tribuntsov (backstroke) 22.53, Steven Stumph (breaststroke) 25.95 Carter (butterfly) 20.64 and Canadian Olympian Santo Condorelli (freestyle) 20.43 won by over a second over their interstate rivals. Dylan also bettered his previous season best butterfly split of 20.74.
Win # 7 came in the 200 yard freestyle where he yet again went under NCAA Division I B standard of 1:37.99.He would better his previous season best of 1:37.90 to clock 1:36.56 (split time 47.67) and win by over 5 seconds. That performance places him 3rd in Division I.
The 100 yard freestyle saw him on top of the podium for the 8th time this season. He won in a time of 44.28 (split time 21.45). His margin of victory was over 2 seconds. That swim betters his season best of 45.47 and ranks him 10th in Division I.
The 6’3 junior ended the meet with the 400 yard freestyle relay. His Trojan A team swimming for exhibition purposes only posted the fastest time of the day. Condorelli (45.11), Tribuntsov (44.18) Kyle Grissom (46.11) and Carter (43.64) posted the 11th fastest time Division I time of the season of 2:59.04.