Suriname’s Raiz Tjon- A -Joe made his collegiate debut with Texas A & M on Friday October 28 in College Station Texas. The occasion was a duel meet with the University of South Carolina.
His life as an Aggie began with the 200 yard medley relay C which swam for exhibition purposes. Swimming the breaststroke leg where he split 26.05. Raiz helped them to a total time of 1:32.64.
In his first individual event the 50 yard freestyle he led the field into the 25 yard turn with a split time of 9.99. He would not be able to hold off the field and finished 4th in a time of 20.67.
The longer sprint, the 100 yard freestyle, Raiz was 2nd to the wall with a split of 21.58. He would be one place lower at the finish to place 3rd in a time of 45.74.
The swimmer who hails from Paramaribo was given A team duties in the 400 yard freestyle. Though the team swam for exhibition purposes they still had the fastest time on the day. The line-up of Adam Koster (45.41), Turker Ayar (45.69) ,Raiz (46.20) and Jacob Gonzales (44.47) touched in a total time of 3:01.77.
The Aggies won the contest 176 to 118.
Raiz is known for his sprinting prowess. While representing Westlake Prep he won the 2015 Florida State 1A Championships in the 50 yard freestyle and was 2nd in the 100 yard breaststroke. He had set the Florida state record in the heats of the 100 yard breaststroke with a time of 54.64 .The all-time top 3 fastest times in Florida high school history are held by swimmers from the CARIFTA region. Raiz broke the record of 54.72 held by Olympian Bradley Ally of Barbados when he represented St Thomas Aquinas in 2004.Rounding out the trio is Aruban breaststroke national record holder Jordy Groters who clocked 54.76 representing University School in 2013.
At the 2015 SPEEDO Winter Junior Nationals East Raiz was 2nd in 100 yard freestyle and 4th in the 50 yard freestyle cracking the 20 second barrier with a time of 19.94. Notable alumni of Texas A &M include Jamaica’s World Record Holder Alia Atkinson and Barbadian national record holder Shawn Clarke.