Trinidad and Tobago swimmer Joshua Romany again proved why he is one of the top sprinters from his country and the CARIFTA region when he recorded personal best times in all of his events in Indiana University’s BIG TEN Conference Championship win. The Conference Championships which were held from March 22 to 25 at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion in Columbus Ohio saw the Port of Spain native recording personal bests in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle races as well as the 100 yard butterfly event. All those performances were under NCAA Division 1 B standards
The first personal standard to fall was in the 50 yard freestyle. Joshua’s previous best was 19.90 (split time 9.60) set in 2015 set at the 2015 SEC Championships while representing Tennessee. In the morning heats he lowered that time to 19.79 (split time 9.56) to qualify for the B final. In that race he would place 5th again under his previous best with a time of 19.83 (split time 9.57).
He would again score points for the Hoosiers by qualifying for the B final in the 100 yard butterfly. He would register his first sub 48 clocking when he posted 47.92(split time 22.08) to make the C final. His previous best was his 2015 effort of 48.29 (split time 22.78) . The 6’1 Junior would be even faster in the evening posting a new PB of 47.79 (split time 22.30) for 5th overall.
His increased speed would also be seen in the 100 yard freestyle. His 2015 record of 43.98 (split time 21.18) would be beaten in the morning heats. He would record a time of 43.55 (split time 20.95) to qualify for the C final. He would place 6th in that race in a time of 43.93 (split time 21.16).
Indiana won the Conference championships for the first time since 2006 scoring 1,504 points. It was their 25th time lifting the BIG TEN crown.
Romany, who was the first swimmer to swim under 51 seconds in the 100 freestyle at the 2012 CARIFTA Championships in Aruba in spoke to draftingthecaribbean about the transition from moving from Tennessee to Indiana
“At the beginning, it was very difficult as I had to adapt to a new training program and training atmosphere but once I found a rhythm in both school and swimming, I really began to enjoy the process and flourish in the program”.
He also elaborated on the factors behind his increased speed
“I think my new training environment accounted for a lot of my success. Training with several Olympians from Rio makes me motivated to stay up and compete with them every day. I also have to give credit to my new coach, Dennis Dale and Ray Looze for giving me the opportunity to come to Indiana an experience winning a Big 10 championship. I believe that because of the environment, I am an improved swimmer physically and mentally”.
Joshua also competed at the 2017 Arena Pro Swim Series in Indiana from March 2-4 .He recorded times of 23.35 for the 50 metre freestyle, 51.07 for the 100 metre freestyle and 24.51 for the 50 metre butterfly in a time trial. He gave his thoughts about his current conditioning and getting faster for the rest of the season
“I think it tells me a lot. My preparation for that meet was not ideal as it was a quick turnaround from Big10s and I had a lot of catching up to do with school. So just going close to my best times surprised me. So I think with a bit of long course training under my belt, my summer swims will be a lot better from my swims at the Arena Pro Swim Series”.
The summer of 2017 will have a number of meets which gives the opportunity for national representation to include CCCAN in Trinidad and Tobago, World University Games in Taipei and the World University Games in Taipei Romany who was a semi-finalist at the World Junior Swimming Championships spoke of his schedule and possible participation in those meets
“I am planning to go to CCCAN and potentially Worlds but I am training and preparing for CCCAN. But I will be going to the NCAAs for Indiana to swim the relays in a couple weeks so that is my focus right now. I am a relay alternate which means that I am just going for relays. Potentially the 200 yard freestyle relay”.
Trinidad and Tobago has a number of quality sprinters that have the potential to have the lower the national 400 metre freestyle relay records under 3:20 .He was asked about being part of a possible relay team to the World Championships and possibly upsetting some of the bigger nations in swimming. His response was
“I would love to be a part of that. Trinidad has never sent a relay to worlds and that would be something special to be a part of and would be at the back of my mind while I begin my preparation for my upcoming meets this summer”.