Sunday December 17 will be known as record breaking Sunday as the nation’s youngsters continued to excel in their last competitions for 2017 as they have done all throughout the year. Competitions in two different meets in two different islands yielded national age group records . In Jamaica at the ASAJ Christmas Open and Christmas Breezer Nathaniel Thomas of the Tornadoes swim club lowered his national mark in the 11-12 boys 50 metre butterfly twice in the morning heats and final . While the Golden Girls from the Marlins Swim Club Giani Francis, Kokolo Foster, Saidah Brown and Christanya Shirley continued their awesome record breaking run in the 9-10 200 metre freestyle relay at the Republic Bank Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago Invitational.
At his first CARIFTA in The Bahamas in April Nathaniel was 5th in the 11-12 50 butterfly in 29.22 .
Later in May in Jamaica Nathaniel would lower the 11-12 50 butterfly to 28.32. That just edged the old standard of 28.33 set by Olympian Timothy Wynter (Rio 2016) when he won the Silver medal at the 2009 CARIFTA Championships held in Aruba. At the CCCAN competition in Trinidad and Tobago in July he would top the region taking the Gold in 28.53. He would join the elites among the region when he became the first Jamaican 11-12 boy to break the 28 seconds barrier.
In the morning he was fantastic in breaking the meet record also set by Wynter in 2009 of 29.39 and lowering the national mark to 27.95. He would continue his record breaking feats in the final as he dropped time again to set a standard of 27.86.
He now joins the likes of Evante Gibson of the Bahamas 27.77, Aruban Jordy Groters 27.85 as regional standouts under the 28 seconds barrier in the 11-12 age group.
On the day he would also set new meet record in winning the 200 metre freestyle with a personal best of 2:12.77 and taking the Gold with the Tornadoes A team in the 400 metre medley relay.
The Golden Girls of the Marlins Swim club Gianna Francis, Kokolo Foster, Saidah Brown and Christanya Shirley have dominated the sprint freestyle relay this season and their last meet in Trinidad and Tobago would be no different.
At the Neville Alexander meet they set a new national mark of 2:14.66 .That lowered the national record of 2:15.37 set way back on Aug 1, 1988. That mark was set by the national team of Kezia Stewart, Kerone Peat, Joanna Lee and Nicole Lowe at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships held in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic when 9 and 10 year olds were allowed to participate.
At the Dean Martin Memorial Meeting in October they crushed that mark with a swim of 2:10.52. In the twin Island Republic they would be even that much faster with a time of 2:05.52 .That performance takes almost ten seconds off from the 1988 record. That swim is among one of the fastest ever done by an English Speaking Caribbean team in that age group.
Three of the young ladies Francis, Foster will be pushing to make their first CARIFTA team in Kingston next year while Shirley has one more year in the 9-10 age group.
In 2017 at the CARIFTA Championships in the Bahamas the Jamaican ladies won the swept the 200 metre freestyle relays taking wins in the 11-12, 13-14 and 15-17 age groups