Mikel Schreuders Photo courtesy of mutigers.com

The University of Missouri’s duo of Olympian Mikel Schreuders and Jordy Groters continue to ensure the nation of Aruba was represented at the prestigious SEC Championships building on their country’s legacy at the NCAA Division 1 level.


The 2017 edition of the Championships was held at the University of Tennessee from Feb 14 to 18.The 200 yard freestyle saw Schreuders, a sophomore making his 2nd consecutive Championship final. In that final he bettered the NCAA B cut of 1:37.99,his personal best of 1:34.35  and his 2016 5th placing to finish 4th in a time of 1:34.06 (split time 46.03). That swim also moved him to 2nd all-time for the Tigers in the event.

The swimmer, who hails from Oranjestad, would see an improvement as well in the 100 yard freestyle. In 2016 he had finished 7th in the B final in a time of 44.03 .He had registered a time of 43.80 in the preliminaries. Heading to Tennessee he had lowered his personal best to 43.65. After completion of the morning heats he just missed lowering his own record with a swim of 43.69 (split time 21.02) but made it again to the B final. In that race he went out in the same time 21.02 but came back faster to record a new personal best of 43.62 and SEC best placing of 5th. He was also easily under the B cut of 44.29.

That time would not survive the Championships as he started the off the Tigers 400 yard freestyle relay team with a leg timed at 43.61 (split time 21.05). The other members of the team Michael Chadwick (41.48), Luke Mankus (43.66) and Sam Coffmann (42.99) secured 4th place up from 2016’s 5th place finish. It also bettered the school record of 2:52.05 set at last year’s Championships. The team’s performance was also under the automatic qualifying time of 2:52.45.

In the 200 yard freestyle relay there would be another 4th place finish for the Tigers. The team of Mankus (19.86), Chadwick (18.64), Andrew Sansoucie (19.52) and Schreuders (19.43) posted a total effort of 1:17.45. That bettered the 2016 time of 1:17.89 and the NCAA A time of 1:17.77.

In the 50 yard freestyle Mikel was 28th in a new personal best of 20.15 lowering significantly his previous best of 20.69.That swim is under the NCAA B time of 20.15 and bettered his 2016 finish of 39th.

Jordy Groters Photo courtesy of mutigers.com

Countryman Jordy Groters made his third consecutive 100 yard breaststroke final at the SEC’s when he clocked 53.81 to make the C final. He would win that race in a time of 53.52 (split time 25.15).  In the 200 yard breaststroke he was 28th in a time of 2:01.21 (split time 57.29). The 50 yard freestyle saw the Oranjestad native finishing 45th in 20.68.

The Tigers finished 5th in the men’s competition with 771 points.




Xavier Philips Howard University
Nicholas Haughton Howard University

The 2017  CCSA Coastal Collegiate Sports Association championships which  were held from Feb 15 to 18 at the Gabrielson Natatorium in Athens, Georgia, saw Jamaicans Nicholas Haughton and Xavier Phillips in action for their school, Howard University.

Xavier Phillips Photo courtesy of Gillian Haughton

On the first day both Phillips, a freshman (Wolmer’s Boys) and Haughton, a sophomore,(Campion College) accounted a new school record in the 800 yard freestyle relay. Xavier had a 3rd leg split of 1:46.35 while Haughton anchored the team in 1:46.54 to help the Bison to a new standard of 6:57.97 erasing the 2009 record of 6:59.98.

The 6’2 Phillips would be involved in another school record as he had a breaststroke split of 58.86 to help the 400 yard medley relay team crush the 2015 record of 3:31.74 with a combined effort of 3:27.84.

He would be involved in another school record in the 200 yard medley relay . His breaststroke split would be 26.52 as the team would have a total time of 1:33.71. The old record belonged the 1996 team had two former Jamaican representatives and national record holders on the team. The record of 1:34.58 had Stefan Steer (Wolmer’s Boys) doing butterfly duties while Daniel Ricketts (Campion College) did the anchor freestyle leg. When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Xavier after that he had the following thoughts about the records

” So far I’m two for two on the record board, by the end of the meet I hope to be seven for seven. The feeling is great but I still have  business to take care of.”

Xavier would also lower his personal bests significantly at the conference championships. In the 100 yard breaststroke he bettered his personal best of 1:00.34 and recorded sub minute swims with times of 59.24 and 58.71 . The 58.71 was recorded in the C final which he won. The performance places him 5th all time in Bison history. He would earn another evening swim in the 200 yard breaststroke where made it to the B final . Philips placed 8th in a new personal standard of 2:10.74 bettering his previous best by more than 2 seconds. That gave him another 5th place all time ranking for Howard.

The same all-time ranking would await Xavier in the 200 yard individual medley as he finished 5th in the C final . He would move from a career best 2:06.49 heading into CCSA then 2:00.31 in the heats then 1:59.72 in the C final.

Phillips would again  set another personal best when he led off the 400 yard freestyle relay. He bettered his previous best of 48.89 to record 48.20,The team’s combined effort was 3:12.23. Haughton provided anchor leg split of 47.47.

Nicholas Haugton

Teammate Haughton would also see a number of time drops in his events. In the 500 yard freestyle he lowered his personal best from 4:52.40 to 4:47.70 to move to 3rd fastest of all time at Howard. In the 200 yard freestyle he lowered his personal standard from 1:47.26 to 1:46.35 and placed 6th in the C final. In the 100 yard freestyle he would have lower his pb by more than a second from 48.62 to 47.54 for another 6th place finish in the C final. When draftingthecaribbean was able to speak to Haughton on after his record breaking feat in the 800 yard  freestyle relay he had the following thoughts

“It feels great to be on the record board. Going into the race, we knew we had a real shot at breaking it so it was an amazing feeling to look up at the board and see that we did. I was pleased with my 500 free as it was a PB by 5 seconds. I hope to continue this good form going into the 200 and the 100 yd freestyle”

He would provide another 47 clocking  this time in the 4000] yard freestyle relay. Nicholas registered a time of  21.31 to help the B team to a time of 1:28.65.

CARIFTA region swimmers from Howard University at CCSA Front row from left to right Andreas Weech and Leanne McMaster Back Row Farion Cooper,Keegan Ford,Nicholas Haughton and Xavier Philips

Both swimmers are belong to a strong cadre of CARIFTA region swimmers that Head Coach Nic Askew has under his tutelage at the Washington based institution Caribbean nationals on the team include Leanne McMaster and  Sidrell Williams Jamaica  Andreas Weech and Farion Cooper The Bahamas and Kegan Ford Trinidad and Tobago.


Albury Higgs
Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of swimswam.com

The University of South Carolina’s Albury Higgs of The Bahamas competed in the SEC (Southeastern Championships) in her first year of college making a B final and lowering her personal bests in the 200 yard breaststroke and the 400 yard individual medley.

The meet which took place from Feb 14-18 at the Allan-Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center in Knoxville Tennessee saw the freshman competing in the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke and the 400 yard individual medley in her SEC debut.

It would be the 200 yard breaststroke where she would make her greatest impact. Heading to the conference she had a season best time of 2:18.76 (split time 1:05.96) and a personal best time of 2:14.06 (split time 1:03.99). In the heats of the event it was clear that both times would be committed to history as she covered the first 100 yards in a time of 1:03.34. When she touched the final wall Albury would have a new season and personal best time of 2:12.67. That would be good enough to earn her an evening swim in the B final. In that final the first 100 yards was again the indicator of the personal best to come. Higgs went out even faster with a split time of 1:03.23. The question was now how much she would lower her personal standard by. When she hit the pads the time registered was 2:11.49 for 5th place .Another personal best by more than a second.

Margaret Higgs
Margaret Higgs Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque

Her success in the longer breaststroke event is a continuation of her form in 2016 when she was crowned the 15-17 CARIFTA champion in March and the 15-17 CISC Champion in June in the 200 metre breaststroke. Also bettered in both her heats and final swim was the NCAA Division B standard of 2:15.99.

In the 400 yard individual medley Higgs would again better her season best of 4:22.79 and personal best of 4:19.56. Albury would register a time of 4:18.65 to better the NCAA Division I B standard of 4:19.39 for 28th overall. This is yet another event in she reigned supreme in regional age group waters for 2016 .This, as she took the CARIFTA title in the 400 metre individual medley in Martinique and later took the CISC title in The Bahamas in the summer.

The 100 yard breaststroke saw Albury bettering her season best of 1:03.99 when she clocked 1:02.81 (split time 29.19) for 25th overall.

Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of gamecocksonline.com

When asked about her first SEC experience by draftingthecaribbean Albury had these thoughts

“It was an amazing experience representing the gamecocks at my first SEC Championships!  I was happy to go best times in both my 200 Breaststroke and 400 IM, and had so much fun with my teammates. Mostly I was glad to be able to score some points for the team”.

The Gamecocks finished 9th in the women’s competition with 505,



Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of usctrojans.com

On Saturday Feb 18 Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter closed out the regular season with a new pool record in the 50 yard freestyle as the University of Southern California defeated Utah 181 to 118.

Competing in only event at the contest Carter stopped the clock in 19.42 breaking the 2012 pool record of former Trojan Olympian Russian Vladimir Morozov. Vladimir was the 2012 PAC-12 champion in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle. Later in 2012 the Russian would take the 50 metre freestyle crown at the World Short Course Championships. The victory by Carter marked his 10th  individual collegiate victory for the season. Of the 10 victories, only one was not under NCAA B standard. His current rankings heading into the Pac -12 Championships which will be held from March 1-4 in Federal Way Washington are as follows.

Event Time Ranking
50 yard freestyle 19..32 11th
100 yard freestyle 42.14 4th
200 yard freestyle 1:32.61 2nd
100 yard butterfly 45.27 4th

In speaking to draftingthecaribbean Carter had the following thoughts about the meet record

“We were all looking at the pool records leading into the meet and thought it would be possible to get a few of them. Not a firm goal but it was definitely on our minds to try to set some new marks in our home pool.”

When asked about the upcoming Pac-12 conference championships and NCAA Division 1 championships to be held in Indianapolis from March 22 to 25 the junior said

“I’m hoping to score as many points as I can for my team to place us in a good position in the team scoring. I have some specific time goals in mind for NCAAs but I’ll keep that to myself

In terms of the national representation in the summer at home in Trinidad and Tobago at CCCAN from July 1-6 and participating at the 17th  World Championships from July 23 to July 30 Dylan said

“Definitely will be attending world champs, and CCCAN looks likely as well. It will be fun to race at home in our new Aquatic Centre so I look forward to that as well as traveling to Budapest and competing on the world stage”

When asked about the possibility of swimming on a male relay team for his country which is laden with talent from the collegiate to age group level Carter offered these thoughts

“I think having a relay compete at the World Championships would be phenomenal for the sport of swimming in Trinidad. I’m good friends with lots of the other national swimmers and look forward to them swimming the cuts so we can put a relay together”.


2015 NCAA 400 yard freestyle champions USC Trojans who set a PAC -12 record of 2:47.06 From left to right Santo Condorelli,Cristian Quintero,Ralf Tribunstov and Carter Photo courtesy of usctrojans.com


At the Pac-12 Conference Championships Dylan has been won Gold medals in the 400 yard freestyle relay in 2014 and the 800 yard freestyle relay in 2014 and 2015. The overall conference record in the 400 yard freestyle relay of 2:47.06 belongs to the 2015 team which Carter was the anchor.  The Trojan relay teams with Dylan Carter’s support have the following PAC- 12 record

 Overall Conference Record Championship Record
400 yard freestyle record 2:47.06 (2015) N/A
800 yard freestyle record 6:11.54 (2015) 6:12.54 (2014)


Top Barbados age group swimmers repesenting the Baylor School at the 2017 Tennessee State Championships Photo courtesy of Barbados Aquatic Centre

The Barbados effect at the Baylor school was seen in the quality performances of Jack Kirby, Luis Sebastian Weekes and Hannah Gill at the recently concluded   2017 TISCA (Tennessee Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association). The meet which was held from February 10-11 at the Allan Jones Aquatic centre at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville saw the trio making Championship finals in all their events. The highlight was the Gold and Championship record by Jack Kirby in the 400 yard freestyle relay.

Jack Kirby Photo courtesy of Tastey Blackman

In the 400 yard freestyle relay championship final Kirby was drafted in to swim the last leg. In the race the team of Trey Freeman Jr 44.24,Zach Althoff 45.59,Peter Lochmaier 45.72 and Kirby 45.66 produced a new Championship and .  The State Championship record of 3:04.00 was held by the 2015 Baylor team that had another age group standout from Barbados Christian Selby as anchor . It narrowly missed the school record set last December of 3:01.21.

Kirby would make it to another Championship final when in the morning heats of the 200 yard individual medley he stopped the clock in the 1:54.68 .That beat his previous personal best of 1:54.77. He again would be faster in the final when he placed 6th in a time of 1:54.58 (split time 52.84). That is a major progress from 2016 when he placed 8th in the B final in 1:58.28.

Jacky Kirby in action in the backstroke at the 2017 Tennessee State Championships Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

The 100 yard backstroke would see even great improvement .In the preliminaries he posted a time of 50.74 (split time 24.74) beating his old pb of 51.13.In the championship final he went out even faster 24.48 and came back in 25.66 to register yet another personal best of 50.14 for 6th place. Last year he had placed 8th in the Championship final after registering 51.13 in the preliminaries. Jack is now ranked 5th all-time in Baylor history.

In speaking to draftingthecaribbean’s reporter on location Tastey Blackman Kirby described the meet

“It was awesome. All best times and that last race (the 400 yard freestyle relay) was the best one. That was a best time (split) by 2 seconds for me”.

Luis Sebastian Weekes Photo courtesy of Tastey Blackman

Fellow countryman and teammate Luis Sebastian Weekes qualified for the 200 yard individual medley posting a time of 1:53.39 (split time 53.36),That easily beat his personal standard of 1:54.77. In the final he was 6th at half way mark with a split of 53.91 but used a strong back half of 58.26 to hit the pads in 4th place. That performance ranks Luis as the 7th fastest in Baylor history.

Luis Sebastian Weekes Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

In the 100 yard breaststroke Weekes crushed his pb of 58.99 to post a morning heats time of 58.15(27.29). The final saw him taking out the first 50 yards more than half a second faster than in the preliminaries 26.68. That early speed helped him to his first sub 58 second time of 57.56 and 6th place overall. That moves Luis from 15th to the 8th fastest Baylor swimmer in Baylor history. Additionally he is the 3rd fastest CARIFTA swimmer at Baylor behind Bahamian Dustin Tynes 55.77 and Jamaican Brad Hamilton 57.12.

In speaking to draftingthecaribbean’s reporter Tastey Blackman after the 100 yard breaststroke described the race

It was amazing. Best experience of my life especially with all my teammates cheering me on”.

Hannah Gill Photo courtesy of Tastey Blackman

Countrywoman Hannah Gill repeated her good from 2106 when she made Championship finals in the 200 and 500 yard freestyle as well as the 400 yard freestyle relay. In the 200 yard freestyle she placed 7th in a time of 1:53.61. In the heats she had challenged her pb of 1:53.35 when she posted 1:53.40. That is an improvement in position when she was 8th in the final in 1:54.30.Hannah was 7th in the 500 yard freestyle in a time of 5:02.03. The final of the 400 yard freestyle saw Gill posting an anchor leg split of 52.46 to help Baylor to 7th in a time of 3:36.53.Hannah registered a much faster split than 2016 when she was timed in 53.87.

Victorious Baylor Team Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

Baylor won the boys’ competition with 377 points. McCallie finished 3rd with 165 points. In the girls’ competition Baylor was 3rd with 207 points. The combined team rankings saw Baylor victorious with 584 points.


Lilly Higgs

The Bahamas age group standout Lilly Higgs turned in a number of strong performances to help William A Hough high school capture the North Carolina 4A State Championships. The meet which was held from February 9-10 at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary North Carolina saw the Higgs medalling in all of the 4 events that she contested. She left the 2017 Championships with a Silver and 3 Bronze medals


Lilly would win her Silver in the 100 yard breaststroke in the 100 yard breaststroke. In the championship final she would have the advantage at the first 50 yards as she had the only sub 29.50 split, registering a time of 29.48.At the final wall the Huskies junior would be just out touched by Middle Creek senior Julia Poole, 1:01.98 to 1:02.19.For Lilly that swim marked her best performance at the Championships . In 2015 she was 2nd in the B final in a time of 1:05.83 and last she won the Bronze in 1:03.24.

In the final of the 200 yard freestyle relay Higgs lead off the team with a new personal best of 24.25. The efforts of teammates Madelyn Brotherton 24.37, Hannah Hermanson 24.71and Heidi Lowe 23.48 contributed to the total team time of 1:36.81 which earned the Bronze medal.

In the 200 yard individual medley Higgs was the youngest medallist as Gold and Silver were won by seniors Poole and Kate Moore (Green Hope) in 1:58.96 and 2:00.71 respectively .Lilly stopped the clock in a time of 2:02.61 for the Bronze.

The final of the 200 yard medley relay saw the Huskies team of Kensley Merrit (backstroke) 26.35, Higgs (breaststroke) 28.68, Katelyn Qualls butterfly (26.09) and Marissa Lassell (freestyle) 23.61capturing the Bronze medal in a time of 1:44.73.

Lilly, who is the reigning CARIFTA Champion in the 15-17 50 and 100 metre breaststroke had the following thoughts about the Championships.

At high school state meet I thought my swims went really well considering I wasn’t shaved, tapered, or in a new suit. For both the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke I was within less than a second of my best times, so I’m looking forward to hopefully dropping time at my end of season meet. The state meet itself is very exciting and full of energy which helped me get ready for my races. Everyone cheers and gets each other pumped up for their races and all the positive energy was what enabled my team to bring home the state championship for the second year in a row!”

North Carolina 4A State Champions William A Hough high school women’s team

The Huskies won the Championships tallying 270 points. Lilly will be one of the standouts The Bahamas will be looking to score heavily for the nation as they host CARIFTA Championships from April 14-19 this year.


Barak Goren Photo courtesy of Tastey Blackman

The Jamaican trio of McCallie’s Alex Mignott and Barak Goren and Baylor’s Angara Sinclair made a number of Championship finals at the recently concluded 2017 Tennessee Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association ( TISCA) High School Swimming and Diving  Championships .The meet  was held from Feb 10 -11 at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville Tennessee.

Alex Mignott Photo courtesy of Tastey Blackman

New recruit Alex Mignott featured in 3 Championship finals. In the 200 yard medley relay Alex anchored the team in the heats with a split of 21.61 to 1:37.46. In the final he was even faster with a freestyle leg of 21.25 to help the team to a total time of 1:36.67.

In the 200 yard freestyle relay The Blue Tornado team placed 5th in the Championship final. Mignott produced a  2nd leg of 21.85 split to help the team for a total effort of 1:27.18. That was just off their morning heats swim of 1:26.88.

The 50 yard freestyle heats saw Mignott posting a new personal best time of 21.72 to qualify for the B final in the events. He would be just off that time as he registered 21.83 for 5th .In the 100 yard freestyle he recorded his first sub 49 clocking to stop the wall in the 48.56 (split time 23.56). He was a mere .01 of a second from earning a second swim.

In speaking to draftingthecaribbean’s reporter on location Tastey Blackman Mignott had the following thoughts about the meet after the 50 yard freestyle.

It was the first time being to a State meet and it was very good. I came and trained very hard for the month I have been at McCallie and finished 13th”.

Barak Goren Photo courtesy of Tastey Blackman

Teammate Barak Goren also made it to Championship final in the 400 yard freestyle relay. He clocked 48.39 on the 3rd leg to help McCallie to 5th place. In the heats he was timed in 48.59.That bettered the 3:14.48 the team registered last year to win the B final. Goren also beat his 2016 split of 49.30. The 200 yard freestyle saw him placing 17th in a time of 11:46.15 (split time 51.38). He finished 18th in the 500 yard freestyle a time of 4:49.70. In speaking our reporter Tastey Blackman he described the meet

McCallie Swimming and diving team that finished 3rd in the boys category Photo courtesy of http://www.mccallie.org

It was great. It wasn’t what I planned as I did not go best times in my individual events compared to last year. But overall it was a great year we moved up one spot from last year and I could not be happier with our team. I did go personal best times in my relays. I had a lot of difficulties at the beginning of this this season so overall it was a good season”.

Angara Sinclair Photo courtesy of Tastey Blackman

Baylor’s Angara Sinclair competing in her first State Championships qualified for the 400 yard freestyle relay Championship final by helping her team to a total time of 3:38.93 with a 3rd leg time of 55.29.In the final she went even faster clocking a time of 54.44. The team was anchored by Bajan Hannah Gill to a total time of 3:36.53 for 7th overall. In her individual events Sinclair recorded personal bests in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle .The 50 freestyle saw her recording 24.99 for 18th  , .05 of second from earning a second swim. The 100 yard freestyle saw her stopping the clock in 54.88.

Victorious Baylor Team Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

Baylor won the boys’ competition with 377 points. McCallie finished 3rd with 165 points. In the girls’ competition Baylor was 3rd with 207 points. The combined team rankings saw Baylor victorious with 584 points.