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.

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