As draftingthecaribbean looks back at 2016 -2017 school season we focus on one of the top performers at the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) Perry Lindo from Curaçao. The meet was held March 1-4, 2017 at the Columbus Aquatic Centre in Columbus, Georgia.
Lindo, who is a freshman at Thomas University based in Thomasville, Georgia, had an outstanding Championship for the Night Hawks. The highlight of the competition was his 19.99 Gold medal win in the 50 yard freestyle. That was a school record and a personal best. He held his nerve to pass eventual Silver medallist Joel Ax (Savannah College of Art and Design) who had gone out to huge lead with a 8.85 25 yard split .It was only the second time in school history the Night Hawks had claimed an individual National Championship title.
In the 100 yard freestyle he would set another personal best and school record in the 100 yard freestyle when he won the Silver medal in 44.21. His third and final medal of the Championship would be in the 200 yard freestyle relay as the team touched in 1:21.51 aided by his anchor leg split of 19.50.
He would be a part of school record breaking relays in the 200 yard medley relay where they finished sixth in 1:31.52 and the 400 yard freestyle where the Night Hawks placed fifth in 3:03.21.
When draftingthecaribbean spoke to the sprinter on March 15 he gave insight on the Championship and his swimming career so far
“Collegiately the NAIA championships was the last meet for this season, I took a small break to go home afterwards with my friends in Curaçao for spring break. This meet was the best meet I’ve have in years, probably because it was my first year swimming in a collegiate program. Breaking the 20 second barrier had been in my sight for a while now and I finally did a 19.99 during the finals for the 50 yard free. I was so happy after I saw that I finally did it, regardless of it being the slowest 19 attainable. I’ve been saying all season long that I’d be happy with a 19.99 and it happened. As for the 100 yard free it was bittersweet because I came in second and after analyzing my race I saw where I should’ve gone faster, and I felt afterwards that I still had some gas in the tank. But comparing a 45.23 which I did during prelims and a 44.21 from finals was a complete turnaround and a major drop off my best time (45.00) since March 2014. I honestly thought I had plateaued since then but I guess being a swimmer in a college for the first time in a fitting program made all the difference. I regained the confidence in myself as a swimmer and it definitely made me want to get back on the horse to attain the ultimate athletic dream which would be the Olympic Games for the Netherlands. I still have a long way to go but having three more years of eligibility and the right outlook on things plays a major role on my success I’m pursuing. For now the Thomas University Nighthawks will be practicing with a club team down in Tallahassee under guidance of coach Terry Maul, who trained my current coach Malcolm Hosford when he was getting ready for the 2012 US Olympic trials. We train at our local YMCA pool since we’re a fairly new program, existing for only 5 years but recently took off once the coaching staff and recruiting were revamped. I just want to see how far I can go with this, since my body still grows stronger and faster. Though I’m older than maybe half of the swimming world at 25 I’m still making my way up in the ranks”.
Lindo, who is also the fastest man from Curaçao in the 50 metre pool with a time of 23.33, will be among the some of the top regional sprinters to look out for this summer.