Jonathan Ramkissoon

Trinidad and Tobago’s Jonathan Ramkissoon had all podium finishes at the 2016 OUA deBray Divisional Championships in Sudbury, Canada. The meet which was contested in short course metres (25 metres) on saw the University of Waterloo swimmer setting a meet record in the 100 scm breaststroke.

Jonathan took the event in a season best time of 1:01.73 (split time 28.61). It was a convincing win for the Warriors swimmers as at the 50 metre mark he was almost a second faster than anyone. With that swim he went well under the qualification time of 1:03.29 for the 2016 U Sport Champs ( formerly Canadian Interuniversity Sport CIS)  in Sherbrooke in February.  It also ranks him as the 2nd fastest swimmer in the Canadian University rankings. Ramkissoon is also the school standard bearer in the event with his PR of 1:00.18.

He would complete the breaststroke sprint double when he won the 50 scm breaststroke in a time of 28.68.He was the only swimmer under the 29 seconds mark. He made bettered another U Sport Champs qualifying time as the standard is 29.23.It also places the 4th year student 8th in Canada. In this event Ramkissoon is again the best ever swimmer for the University of Waterloo as he holds the record at 28.26.

He just missed out on capturing the breaststroke trifecta as he was out touched at the finish in the 200 scm breaststroke by Warriors team mate Mackenzie Goodwin 2:20.17 to 2:20.90 (split time 1:06.50).

In the 200 scm freestyle relay the Warriors team of Danyon Chu (23.86),Jamaican Aidan Chow (23.18),Ramkissoon (23.78) and Mitchell Krafczek ( 23.48) won Silver in a time of 1:34.30. The same quartet set the school record of 1:34.94 earlier this year. The relay performance places the Warriors as the 7th fastest in Canada.

Jonathan would make his way to the top of the podium again , this time in the 200 scm medley relay. He turned the fastest breaststroke split of 28.07. That along with efforts from teammates Leon Ouyang backstroke (27.08) ,Chow butterfly (24.57) and Chu freestyle (23.22) contributed to a total time of 1:42.94. That was the 5th fastest time in Canada this season.

Jonathan Ramkissoon

When asked about the meet and the outlook for the rest of the season Ramkissoon said

“It was nice to get the meet record and the win, more importantly 1:01.7 is a great in season time for me so I’m excited to go back to training and how good I can be at OUA’s and U Sport Champs. I’d like to be 59.5 and 27.5 in CIS. It’s a short course meet this year and I’m much better short course than long course so hopefully I stay healthy and continue good training to be able to get those times.”

The Warriors topped the 7 team competition with 1057.5 points.




Josiah Morales
Josiah Morales Photo courtesy of

Trinidad and Tobago’s Josiah Morales had an outstanding meet for Wayland Baptist University at the Trinity Shootout in San Antonio Texas .The quality of meet which ran from Nov 18 to 20 which was enhanced by the presence of Division II team Henderson State saw Josiah breaking 3 individual school records en route to 5 NAIA leading performances.

Josiah Morales Photo courtesy of

His first record breaking performance would happen in the 200 yard freestyle relay.  He gave his Pioneers Men’s team the early advantage in the race with the fastest opening split of 20.46. That gave the team a lead of more than half a second. It also broke his school record and PR of 20.73. He set that standard when he won the Silver medal at the 2016 NAIA Championships in March. Teammates Henri Günther 20.86, Hugo Gallegos 21.27 and Mihovil Bakovic 21.18 all contributed to a 2nd place performance of 1:23.77. That relay performance was a school record and the fastest in the NAIA.

That 50 yard freestyle record would not last beyond the Championship final of the event as Josiah won in a time of 20.30.That puts the senior at the top of the NAIA rankings. The top 3 NAIA times in the event are held by swimmers from the CARIFTA region.

Josiah Morales Photo courtesy of

He would also earn the top ranking in the 100 yard butterfly when he was the only swimmer to break the 49 seconds barrier. He stopped the clock in new PR of 48.95 (split time 23.04).He would again top the standings in the NAIA along with breaking the school record of 49.55 set in March 2014.

The 400 yard medley relay saw the San Fernando native producing the fastest butterfly split of 48.75. His teammates Nico Ruiz-Rojas backstroke 51.81, Bjoern Globke breaststroke 55.42 and Günther freestyle 46.18 all helped in placing 2nd to Henderson State in a total time of 3:22.16. That places as the number 1 team in the NAIA and betters the school record of 3:24.67.

The Pioneers A team would again place 2nd to Henderson in the 200 yard medley relay in another NAIA leading performance of 1:32.04. The same line up from the longer medley had splits 24.11, 25.02, 21.73 and 21.18 respectively.

In the 200 yard butterfly Morales was 2nd in the 200 yard butterfly in a PR of 1:52.98 (split time 54.06). That swim broke his school record of 1:54.41.It places him 4th in the NAIA.

In the 400 yard freestyle relay the team of Bakovic 46.55, Günther 45.94, Gallegos 47.51 and Morales was 2nd in a time of 3:05.84 .That took exactly 1 second off the school record and has them leading the NAIA.

In a time trial in the 800 freestyle the Pioneers posted a time of 7:25.57 with Morales anchoring the team in a time of 1:53.31.

Josiah Morales Photo courtesy of

When asked about the meet he said

“Personally I thought I had a better meet than expected. My goal was to make close to my personal bests. There were somethings in my sprinting I was working on for Dec/Jan and it seemed to be coming together at this meet. The rest of the season is up to me basically now not to be complacent and make some new goals. The main goal is hitting 19 in 50free at nationals. I’m very hopeful for the rest of the season and it looks like it might be my best season yet if I can keep this up”.

The Pioneer finished 3rd in the men’s category with 479 points.


Raiz Tjon A Joe

Texas A & M Surinamese freshman Raiz Tjon A Joe recorded his first B cut at NCAA Division I level at the Art Adamson Invitational at the Mansfield ISD Natatorium in Texas.

After making his season debut in the 100 yard breaststroke in the event with a time of 56.78 he earned a 2nd swim by making it to the C final. He proved to be the class of the field as he was half a second ahead of his competitors at the 50 yard mark with a split of 26.02. His second 50 yards split of 29.17 was almost a second faster than the competition giving him the win in 55.19. It bettered the B standard of 55.39. His performance was the 6th fastest of the 4 final heats contested.

He would have near misses for bettering the B cut in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle. In the 50 yard freestyle he placed 3rd in the B final with a time of 20.37. In the morning he recorded a season best of 20.27(split 9.91) to be just off the B time of 20.19. In the longer sprint freestyle event he was 6th in a time of 45.19.Like the 50 he recorded his season best earlier in the day posting 44.63(split time 21.02) not far off the B time of 44.29.

In the 100 yard butterfly he recorded a time of 50.06 (split time 23.33). He finished 4th in the C Final with a time of 50.24.

His highest placing would be in the 400 yard freestyle relay as the Aggies A team placed 3rd . The team of Corey Bolleter 44.47, Jacob Gonzales 43.31, Raiz 44.24 and Kaan Ayar 44.17 clocked the 17th fastest time in Division I of 2:56.69.

In the 200 yard medley relay Raiz had his fastest breaststroke split this season of 25.10 as the Aggies B team placed 6th in 1:29.58.In the 400 yard medley relay his C team placed 7th overall in a time of 3:17.55. His breaststroke contribution was 55.62.


Raiz had the following thoughts about the meet and the rest of the season

“My performances where very good considering not being tapered and being able to go close to best times in both the 100 fly and 100free.I am very excited for the season and hope to qualify for NCAA Championships. I predict that my 100 free and 100 breast will be my fastest events in the season .I also have the  possibility to swim very well in the 50 free, but I am more focused on my 100m,because I am a better at 100 free than 50m due to my endurance. My ultimate goal is to go 41-42 in 100 free and 53 in 100 breast for this season. I think this jump is possible since I adapted a vegan diet. It drastically increased my recovery and endurance, hence why I am concentrating more on my 100’s. Furthermore I am excited to see what I can do for other collegiate meets as well as international meets.”

The Aggies finished 2nd of the 6 team with 917 points.


Breanna Roman in action for Auburn University

Jamaica’s Breanna Roman set two lifetime bests at the recently held Georgia Tech Invite held at the McAuley Aquatic Center. The meet which ran from Nov 17 to 19 saw the Auburn junior registering personal bests in the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke events.


Coming into the competition Roman had a season best of 1:02.95 in the 100 yard breaststroke. She lowered that considerably in the heats. Breanna went out in her then fastest split of the season of 29.39 before she came home in 32.35 to record a new season best of 1:01.74. That performance also doubled as her personal best. She was also under the meet record of 1:01.78.The morning swim lowered her 2014 personal best of 1:02.53 marking her first time under 1:02. It would not be the only time she would breach that barrier. In the evening she was even faster in the opening stanza of the race with a split of 29.03 to be 2nd at that point of the race. She would be just outside the top 3 when she hit the pads in a time of 1:01.57. Yet another personal best for 4th place .It was also just outside the NCAA B standard of 1:01.49.

In the 200 yard breaststroke she had set a personal best earlier in the month when she posted a time of 2:17.19 bettering her 2015 personal record of 2:17.31. That too would not last .She registered 2:18.71 (split time 1:04.97) to qualify for the B final. In that final she held the early advantage with a 1:04.08 split. When she touched the final wall it would be yet another personal record. Her final time was 2:16.61 which placed 4th .It again places her within striking distance of the NCAA B standard of 2:15.99.

Bree Roman
Breanna Roman Photo courtesy of

In the 200 yard medley relay her Tigers B team produced their fastest time of the season of 1:41.18. Roman also produced her best breaststroke split of the season of 28.09 which was the 4th leg of the day.

The 400 yard medley relay saw yet another season best breastroke split by Roman as she produced 1:01.61 to help the Tigers B team to a time of 3:40.93.

Breanna’s split on the 2nd leg of the Auburn C team in the 200 yard freestyle relay was timed at 23.59.The total team time was 1:34.36. In the individual event she placed 47th in a time of 23.92. When asked about the meet Breanna said

“Well, I was very pleased with the pbs I did this past weekend especially since this was a mid-season meet.  I’m excited for what I’ll be able to do at my conference meet early next year”.

Auburn won the 12 team competition with 1141 points.


Justin Nov
Justin Plaschka Photo Courtesy of

Jamaica’s Justin Plaschka continues to improve his form ahead of the World Short Course Swimming Championships to be held in Windsor Canada from Dec 6-11. He showed his increased speed at the North Carolina State Greensboro Aquatic Center Invitational held from Nov 17 to Nov 19.


In the 200 yard freestyle relay he led off the Notre Dame A team with a time of 20.09 under the NCAA B standard for the 50 yard freestyle of 20.19. It was just off his season best of 20.00. The other team members comprising of Daniel Speers (19.21), Tabahn Afrik (19.61) and Reed Fujan (19.79) combined for a total time of 1:18.70 to place 2nd . It was the 9th fastest time in the NCAA Division 1 this season. The team’s performance was just off the school record of 1:18.46 set at the 2016 ACC competition. That exact time is also the NCAA B standard for 2017. A time that should be beaten as the season goes on.

Plaschka’s season best in the 50 yard freestyle would fall in the A final of the event. He would better the 201.19 B standard for the 5th time this season and break the 20 second barrier when he record 19.91 (split time 9.56) for 4th place.

Justin Plaschka ACC 1
Justin Plaschka

Another season best would be realized in the 100 yard butterfly. In the final he broke the 22 seconds barrier in the 1st 50 with a split of 21.85. He stopped the clock in a time of 46.82 well under the NCAA B standard of 48.29. He was not far off his personal best and school record of 46.37.

In the 100 yard freestyle heats Justin lowered his season best from 44.84 to 44.74 to make the B final. In that race he went under the 44 seconds barrier and NCAA B time of 44.29 to record a win in a time of 43.96 (split time20.60).

In the 100 yard backstroke he was 33rd in a time of 49.73(split time 23.21). That was his fastest ever collegiate performance and his best time since May 2014.

The Fighting Irish seem set to break a number of school records in the relays this season. In the 400 yard medley relay the team of Rob Whitacre backstroke (47.81), Trent Jackson breaststroke (53.83), Plaschka butterfly (46.81) and Afrik freestyle (42.98) clocked a season best time of 3:11.43 for 3rd place. It was just off the 2016 school best time of 3:11.42 and closes in on the school record of 3:09.50.

Justin Plaschka ACC 3
Notre Dame’s record breaking 400 yard freestyle relay team at the back from left to right Daniel Speers and Tabahn Afrik In front Justin Plaschka and Reed Fujan

The 400 yard freestyle relay saw the team of Afrik 43.31, Speers 43.43, Reed Fujan 43.76 and Justin 43.74 recording a total time of 2:54.24 for 2nd. It was just off the NCAA B time of 3:53.68.It places them at number 10 in the nation.

The 200 yard medley relay saw Justin turning a freestyle split of 19.43 to help the A team to 6th in 1:27.43. When asked about his performances Justin said

“I’m just overall very happy with the times that I was able to put up at the invitational. We had only suited up and rested for about three days and the fact that I was able to go 43, 19 and 46 were all awesome as I’ve never done that besides on a full taper.”

Notre Dame placed 2nd of the 8 competing teams with 1593 points.

Lyn wins Relay Silver at 1A State championships

Pine Crest Silver medallists in the 400 yard freestyle relay From left to right Marta Ciesla,Alexandra Meszaros,Hannah Virgin and Annabella Lyn. Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn


On Friday November 11, 2016 Jamaica’s Annabella Lyn earned her first medal at the Florida 1A State Championships in Stuart Florida while representing the Pine Crest School. The meet which was held at the Sailfish Aquatic Athletics Center saw Lyn winning the Silver medal in the 400 yard freestyle relay.


In the 400 yard freestyle relay the ladies of Pine Crest just missed standing atop of the podium by .07. Alexandra Meszaros 52.07, Lyn 52.16, Hannah Virgin 53.57 and Marta Ciesla 49.22 put up a total time of 3:27.02 to win the Silver medal. That swim placed the Panthers 4th overall in Florida .Finishing first was Lake Highland Prep in 3:26.95.

In other events Lyn led off the Panthers 200 yard medley relay team with a backstroke split of 27.97. That helped the team to 4th  in the Championship final with a total time of 1:47.64. This bettered their 2015 Championship position of 6th . It also placed the team as the 10th fastest in Florida.

Annabella Lyn Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

In the 100 yard freestyle Lyn was a mere .01 outside the B final of the event. She recorded a time of 53.48 (split time 26.05). This is her best performance at the State Championships bettering the 54.89 she clocked in 2014.

In the 100 yard backstroke she placed 20th overall in a time of 59.80 (split time 29.43).She was just off her personal best time of 59.41.

Pine Crest Girls team Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Pine Crest girls finished 2nd  with 260 points. Perennial powerhouse Bolles were pressed closely by the Panthers as they registered 270 points to claim the girls Championships title .It was their slimmest margin of victory in recent years


Saint Andrews record breaking 200 yard medley relay team From left to right Izaak Bastian, Jesse Marsh, Nicholas Sharp and Andrej Sokolovski Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn
Pine Crest Bronze medal winning team in the 400 yard freestyle relay From left to right Nicholas Vale,Elvis Kotikovski,Nicolas Ferrara and Christian Soderberg Photo courtesy of Rob Vale


Jamaicans Jesse Marsh (Saint Andrews) and Nicholas Vale (Pine Crest) were among the medal winners at the Florida 1 A Championships on Friday Nov 11. The meet which took place at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida saw the Jamaican contingent earning Silver and Bronze.

Jessie Marsh Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Marsh would be the first to win a medal. The Saint Andrews team of Nicholas Sharp backstroke (23.67), Bahamian Izaak Bastian breaststroke (25.40), Marsh butterfly (22.41) and Andrej Sokolovski freestyle (21.73) won Silver in the 200 yard medley relay in a time of 1:33.21. This bettered the school record of 1:34.21 that the team set in 2015. Marsh’s butterfly leg improved from 2015 when he had split 23.66. Of all the Florida Championships that were contested the Scots had 3rd fastest time.  In the 400 yard freestyle relay his Scots team finished 6th with a time of 3:12.38. Jesse led off the team in a time of 48.40. In the 100 yard butterfly he finished 2nd in the B final in a time of 50.95 (split time 24.20) .That was an improvement from 2015 when he was 6th in the B final in a time of 52.38.In the 100 yard backstroke Marsh was 17th in a time of 54.45 (split time 26.23) bettering his 2015 time and position 24th in 56.41.

When asked about his performance Marsh had the following thoughts

“ I think it was a very good state championships for me, I was really happy with our relay team breaking the school record we got last year and getting all American. In the 100 fly I had a pretty good race breaking 51 for the first time but was unlucky in missing the school record of 50.8. Also leading off my relay with a 47.7 in the morning was really a great swim and I think this state championships have been a great stepping stone for the rest of my season.”

Pine Crest Bonze medal winning 400 yard freestyle relay team on the podium Nicolas Ferrara, Nicholas Vale, Elvis Kotikovski and Christian Soderberg Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Teammate and countryman Nicholas Vale would earn his medal in the 400 yard freestyle relay. Vale split 46.74 on his third leg to move the Pine Crest team from 4th to 2nd . The team would fight on to win the Bronze. His teammates Christian Soderberg 47.70, Elvis Kotikovski 47.81 and Nicolas Ferrara 45.79 for a total time of 3:08.04 .It ranks the team as the 8th fastest in Florida.

In the 200 yard freestyle relay his Pine Crest team finished 5th in a time of 1:26.04. Vale’s contribution was a 3rd leg split of 21.16. In the 200 yard individual medley he was 6th in the B final in a time of 1:56.54 (split time 54.31). Nicholas had the following thoughts about his swims

Nicholas Vale Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

“It was a great state meet overall for me. I made finals for the first time ever at a state championship in the 200 IM. I had a couple great relay swims as well in finals including a 22.6 fly split on the medley relay, 21.1 on the 200 free relay, and 46.74 on the 400 free relay. Going into the 4×100 our goal was to place in the top 3 and we were fortunately able to achieve that. We were very happy with the outcome of the relay and I was very pleased with my 46.74 split as it was a terrific swim for me. All these great swims have given me the confidence I need going into Carifta next year”.

Pine Crest finished 3rd in the boys standings with 202 points. Saint Andrews was 4th with 177 points.