The 2018 Atlantic Coast Championships came to a close on Feb 24 at the Greensboro Aquatics Centre, Greensboro North Carolina which saw Notre Dame’s star sprinter Justin Plaschka blazing to new all-time Jamaican standards in his final conference meet.

Plaschka, who was already Jamaica’s fastest swimmer of all time in the 25 yard pool, added a bit more shine to his crown. On the first day of competition Wed he gave a glimpse of his speed when he rocketed to the fastest butterfly in the 200 medley relay of 20.21.That propelled the Fighting Irish team to a news season best of 1:25.37 and an NCAA B time standard.

Notre dame graduating seniors
Justin Plaschka with members of the Notre Dame graduating class Photo courtesy of und.com

In the 50 yard freestyle the senior bettered his season best time of 19.60 and made his third consecutive Championship final in the event. In the final he would blaze to new school record and Jamaica best time of 19.30. It also bettered the time standard of 19.43 to be invited to the NCAA Division I final.

Plaschka’s evolution of speed

Year Time split
2018 19.30 9.22
2017 19.38 9.32
2016 19.72 9.44
2015 20.12 9.65

His performance ranks as the second fastest collegiate performance of all time by a CARIFTA region swimmer

He would gain another automatic invitation to the Championships when the Notre Dame team placed fourth in the 200 yard freestyle relay in a season best of 1:17.61. That just under cut the A standard of 1:17.62.

Notre Dame tribute to Justin 2016 World
University of Notre Dame tribute to Justin Plaschka for setting the Jamaican at the 2016 World Short Course Swim Championships Photo courtesy of und.com

In the 100 yard butterfly Justin was just off his season best of 46.84 when he stopped the clock in 46.92. It earned him a second swim in the C final. Knowing he was in a different class than the field he was to race  he demonstrated that from the firing of the starter’s gun.He blitzed the field with an opening leg of 20.97, an advantage of more than a half a second. With the field defeated it would be a question of what time he would post. He did not disappoint as he registered his first sub 46 seconds swim touching in 45.41.A swim that would have earned the Bronze medal. It blew away his school record and Jamaica best of 46.05 and also went under the  2017 NCAA invitation time of 46.10.

Shaune Fraser
Shaune Fraser Photo courtesy of shaunefraser.com

It also pushes him past 45.82 Cayman Olympian Shaune Fraser (Beijing 2008, London 2012) as the second fastest CARIFTA collegiate swimmer of all time.

He would help the 400 yard medley team to fourth and a season best and NCAA B time of 3:08.32 with a butterfly split of 45.34 .

In the 100 yard freestyle he would lower his season best twice .In the morning he recorded 43.48. Competing in the C final he  easily topped the competition with a swim of 43.02. He had taken the wind out of the sails of the competition with a split of 20.01.In his final event the Notre Dame team recorded a season best and A qualifying time of 2:51.62.

When draftingthecaribbean caught up with Plaschka he gave his thoughts about his swims

“I was relatively happy with my swims in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly. I was glad I was able to take off in both and hit times that would send me to NCAA’s. Only thing I was disappointed in and know that I have to work on in the future is racing better in the mornings. It’s something I know I will be working on the next few weeks in preparation for NCAA’s”.

Notre Dame finished fourth overall with 941 points.North Carolina State topped the

topped the competition with 1457 points.

competition with 1457.



Gardner-Webb’s star freshman from Curaçao  Seggio Bernardina had a great Coastal Collegiate Sports Association debut at the 2018 edition of the Championship. The meet which ran from Feb 14-17 in Athens Georgia saw Seggio winning Two Gold , One Silver and Two Bronze medals as well as recording all personal bests in his individual events.

seggio ber
Seggio Bernardina Photo courtesy of gwusports.com

His first trip to the top of the podium came in the 200 yard freestyle relay. In that  fellow freshman standout Eli Coan 20.35,|Zach Dingfield 20.37,Bernandina 20.34 and Mason Hutchinson 20.57 combined for a winning total time of 1:21.63.Seggio had the joint fastest split of the relay event.

The team from Boiling Springs North Carolina would win another sprint freestyle relay Gold in the 400 yard event. That team would see Eli start again with a split of 45.35, followed by the Seggio 44,24,Justin Conklin provided handled third leg duties with a time of 45.10 and Dingfield anchored in 44.30. The team took the event in 2:58.99, just off the school record of 2:58.41. Seggio again had the fastest split.

In the 100 yard butterfly Bernardina recorded PB’s twice, in the heats and the Championship final. In the heats he lowered his PB of 49.39 with a 48.97 (split time 23.30). He would be even faster in the final touching in 48.28(split time 22.62) to win the Silver  behind Filip Svedberg of Old Dominion 47.74. Seggio’s time was just under the NCAA Division B time of 48.29.

In the 400 yard medley he split 48.04 on his butterfly to help the team to the Bronze in a total time of 3:17.62 .They just missed the school record of 3:17.04.The Trinity Christian Academy graduate would record handle the butterfly duties on the shorter 200 yard medley relay with a split of 21.65 .The team would stop the clock in 1:30.21 for another Bronze.

In the 50 yard freestyle he would get under his personal record of 20.93 with a 20.72 blast in the morning heats. He would be close to that time in the Championship final with a seventh place time of 20.82.

In the 100 yard freestyle he came close to his personal best of 45.61 with a time of 45.69. He bettered that time with another seventh place finish of 45.57(split time 21.68).

Gardner-Webb would place third in the men’s competition with 849 points. Incarnate Word would take the male championship with 849 points.


Jamaica’s Breanna Roman won a Bronze medal last night Saturday Feb 17 in the 400 yard medley relay for Auburn at the SEC Southern Eastern Conference championships.

Breanna Roman in action for Auburn University

Competing at the Texas A&M Natatorium the Auburn Tigers relay team of Erin Falconer backstroke 52.48, Roman 59.83, Haley Black 50.69 and Julie Meynen freestyle 47.93 touched in 3:30.93. Silver went to Texas A&M in 3:29.40 and the Gold to Tennessee in 3:29.26. The team performance by Auburn is under the automatic qualifying standard of 3:32.67.It is also just off the Auburn school record of 3:30.32 set in the heats of the 2012 NCAA. That team included Bahamian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace on freestyle anchor leg duties.

Breanna Roman 2017

Roman gave a sign of things to come  earlier in the day when she made the B final for the second straight year She posted 1:00.98 (split time 28.46) to be the number one seed, just 0.38 outside of a second from making the final. Breanna who qualified for her first SEC Championships in 2017 had placed second then in the B final in 1:00.84 (split time 28.59). This year she would leave no doubts as to her intentions as she went out in 28.41 for the first 50 yards. There would be no catching her as she touched in a season best and NCAA B time of 1:00.41. That performance is the second fastest of her career. Her best stands at 59.99 from 2017.






Howard University celebrated winning a Gold medal at the CCSA Champs in the 100 yard freestyle last night. The victory came courtesy of Jamaica’s Sidrell Williams who the event in a new personal best and school record of 44.61.

Williams 100 free CCSA
Sidrell Williams of the 100 yard freestyle at the 2018 CCSA Champs Photo courtesy of Coastal Collegiate Sports Association

Already the school record holder in the event with a time of 45.22 (split time 21.82) when he won Gold at the Randolph Macon Yellow Jacket Invitational in Richmond Virginia Williams threatened that mark when he touched in 45.41 (split time 21.82) in the morning heats. In the final Sidrell trailed 50 yard freestyle Silver medallist Eli Coan of Gardner-Webb 21.39 to 21.43. It was at that point Williams took off and recorded the fastest last half of 23.18 to pull away and win in 44.61. Silver went to 50 yard freestyle champion Harp Parker of Old Dominion 44.91 and Bronze went to Zach Dingfield of Gardner-Webb in 44.95 , he also won Bronze in the 50 yard freestyle.

Jules Graham Linkedin
Jules Graham Photo courtesy of LinkedIn

The last time Howard University tasted victory in the event was when Trinidad and Tobago’s Jules Graham won the event in 2010 in 45.88.

HU 400 free relay team 2018
Record breaking Bison 400 yard freestyle relay from left to right Brazelton,Ford,Williams and Haughton Photo courtesy of Howard University swimming and Diving

The record breaking trend would continue in the 400 yard freestyle relay as the team of Trinidad and Tobago’s Kegan Ford 47.29, Don Brazelton 46.54 and Jamaican Nicholas Haughton 46.75 and Sidrell Williams 45.85 lowered the record of 3:06.44 set by the 2009 CCSA team that included Jules Graham.

Leanne McMaster recorded her fastest collegiate time in the 100 yard freestyle of 54.55 (split time 26.05) and equaled her personal best time set back in 2016 when at Baylor.She placed 33rd in the event.

Haughton recorded 47.75 (split time 22.89) for a season best and highest CCSA placing of 20th in the 100 yard freestyle.

Bonner CCSA
Mattheau Bonner in action for NJIT Highlanders at the 2018 CCSA Champs Photo courtesy of Coastal Collegiate Sports Association

Mattheau Bonner of New Jersey Institute of Technology recorded a personal best in the 200 yard butterfly to place 18th overall in 1:53.83 (split time 54.14).

Liberty University Danielle boothe
Danielle Boothe Photo courtesy of Liberty University Swimming and diving

Danielle Boothe of Liberty University recorded a time of 2:05.00 (split time 1:00.45) in the 200 yard backstroke.

Howard freshman Keith-Jordan Wilkinson split 50.52 on the Bison B 400 yard freestyle team that finished with a time of 3:15.58.





Friday’s session at the CCSA on Feb 16 saw Jamaica’s Sidrell Williams as a member of yet another school record setting relay team  and his countrymen recording personal bests.


In the 400 yard medley relay the Howard team of Don Brazelton backstroke 52.43,Speakman Smith 56.85,Alexander Barnes 51.31 and Williams 44.70 recording a new school record of 3:25.29 to place fifth. The old record of 3:27.84 was set at last year’s championship.

Earlier in the day Williams was just off his PB in the 100 yard butterfly finishing 19th  in 50.85 (split time 24.11).

Teammate Nicholas Haughton recorded a personal best in the 200 yard freestyle by more than a second when he touched the wall in 1:44.91(split time 49.86). That placed him 17th overall his highest finish ever after placing 22nd in 2017 and 24th in 2016.

Leanne McMaster recorded a new personal best in the 100 yard breaststroke clocking 1:07.20 (split time 31.11) to make the C Final in the event. That time is her fastest ever collegiate time and erases the 1:07.28 she swam while a student at Baylor. In the final she was just off that performance placing fourth in 1:07.44 (split time 31.11). Her morning heats time is now third fastest time in Bison history.

Freshman Keith-Jordan Wilkinson recorded a new personal best of 1:01.79 (split time 29.43) to place 26th in the 100 yard breaststroke.

Another Jamaican Mattheau Bonner representing New Jersey Institute of Technology placed 25th in the 100 yard butterfly in a time of 51.79 (split time 24.22)




The third day of action of the 2018 Walter Rogers Age Group swimming National Championships was highlighted by national record breaking swims by Zaneta Alvaranga of the Kaizen Swim Club in the 50 metre butterfly.

Zaneta 2018
Zaneta Alvaranga national Champion and age group record holder in the 13-14 50 metre butterfly Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

After dominating the 50 metre butterfly event locally and regionally as 11-12 swimmer in 2017 and establishing herself as the CARIFTA region’s number best of all time she continued her unbeaten streak on Friday Feb 16. Competing in her first race in the 13-14 age group she started her career in the new age category on the best possible note by lowering the national record of 29.57 to 29.55.

Kendese Nangle
Kendese Nangle Photo courtesy of dartmouthsports.com

The previous record was set by age group star Kendese Nangle when she won Silver at the 2008 Caribbean Islands Swimming championships in Kingston.The meet record of 29.68 was held by Emily MacDonald of Swimaz set in 2017 Zaneta would have more in the tank for the final as she reset the record again with a time of 29.19. That performance was the fastest time of the competition and the fastest time ever recorded by a girl at the Championships. That swim by Alvaranga would have won her the Bronze in the event at the 2017 CARIFTA championships.

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Zaneta after her record breaking swim after the final and got her impressions of her swim

“My goal was to get as close to my ( 2017 Gold medal winning) CCCAN time and I did. I focused on the start so I could get out as  have as little armstrokes as possible and have rested shoulders and breathe as little as possible so I would not break streamline.I expected the record because I broke it this morning and I came back prepared to do even better than this morning”. In 2017 Alvaranga was the most prolific  female age group record breaker have setting the 11-12 50 metre butterfly record four times and the 100 metre freestyle once.


Brianna Anderson CARIFTA photo
Brianna Anderson CARIFTA 2017 Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Brianna Anderson of the Y Speedos would take down another Boothe standard when she recorded 30.07 in the 15 and over butterfly heats.

Patrick Atkinson Roman Boothe
Jamaica’s record breaking 400 medley relay team at the 2015 PAN AM Games from left to right Trudi ann Patrick,Alia Atkinson ,Breanna Roman, Danielle Boothe

Boothe had set the record in 2013 at 30.32. In the final Brianna took the Gold in 30.47.

Christanya Shirley of the Marlins 9-10 50 metre butterfly Champion and meet record holder Photo courtesy of David Mullings

Alvaranga’s 2015 9-10 50 metre butterfly record would fall to Christanya Shirley of the Marlins. She would win the event handily in a time of 33.35 well under the previous meet record of 34.86.

Other event winners

Age group Name Club Event Time
11-12 girls Ireland Hunter Tornadoes 200 metre freestyle 2:30.18
11-12 boys Joshua Mair Tornadoes 200 metre freestyle 2:23.80
13-14 girls Zaneta Alvaranga Kaizen 200 metre freestyle 2:20.23
13-14 boys Nathaniel Thomas Tornadoes 200 metre freestyle 2:09.76
15 & over girls Britney Williams Swimaz 200 metre freestyle 2:12.30
15 &over boys Kyle Sinclair Y Speedos 200 metre freestyle 2:04.46
8& under girls Victoria Vanderleer Y Speeods 50 metre butterfly 51.13
8 & under boys Talon Longmore Sailfish 50 metre butterfly 44.48
9-10 boys Josh Johnson Marlins 50 metre butterfly 35.35
11-12  girls Isabella Sierra Tornadoes 50 metre butterfly 32.42
11-12 boys DeVaughn Robe Wahoo 50 metre butterfly 31.50
13-14 boys Nathaniel Thomas Tornadoes 50 metre butterfly 27.65
15 & over boys Jordane Payne Y Speedos 50 metre butterfly 27.91
8 & under girls Victoria Vanderleer Y Speedos 200 metre IM 3:53.74
8 & under boys Talon Longmore Sailfish 200 metre IM 3:43.98
9-10 girls Christanya Shirley Marlins 200 metre IM 2:58.71
9-10 boys Charles McIntosh AquaMarine Ripple 200 metre IM 3:22.29
11-12 girls Safiyah Officer Blue Seals 100 metre backstroke 1:20.79
11-12 boys DeVaughn Robe Wahoo 100 metre backstroke 1:18.41
13-14 girls Zaneta Alvaranga Kaizen 100 metre backstroke 1:15.34
13-14 boys Nathaniel Thomas Tornadoes 100 metre backstroke 1:06.92
15 &over boys Kyle Sinclair Y Speedos 100 metre backstroke 1:03.73


Age group Club Event Time
11-12 girls Tornadoes 400 metre medley relay 5:32.25
11-12 boys Tornadoes 400 metre medley relay 5:18.55
13-14 girls Tornadoes 400 metre medley relay 5:49.93
13-14 boys Y Speedos 400 metre medley relay 4:42.10
15 & over girls Tornadoes 400 metre medley relay 5:12.12
15 & over boys Y Speedos 400 metre medley relay 4:25.15


Jamaica’s Sidrell Williams continued to lower school records for Howard University at the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Championship CCSA in Athens Georgia on Thursday Feb 15 .

Sidrell mike clyn
Sidrell Williams Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

On Thursday he became the fastest swimmer at the Washington based institution when he clocked 20.55 in the morning preliminaries.

Gayle Howard 2nd
Chris Gayle 2nd left Photo courtesy of Chris Gayle

In posting that time he lowered the nearly 30 year old record another Jamaican Chris Gayle. The old record was set in Dec 1989 when Gayle stopped the clock in 20.76.  In the final Williams was again under the old standard when he recorded 20.64 to finish 4th. The Bronze was won by Zach Dingfield 20.49 of Gardner-Webb University , his teammate Eli Coan won the Silver in 20.38 and Gold to Harp Parker of Old Dominion of 20.35. Sidrell Williams was the first Bison finalist in the event since Zadook Isaacs placed 8th in 2013.

When draftingthe Caribbean spoke to Gayle about that record swim he shared the following thoughts

Gayle Howard 3
Chris Gayle receiving medal at US Swimming Senior Nationals as a member of the 400 yard medley relay Photo courtesy of Chris Gayle

“It was December 1989 at the Oakmar Rec Center in Virginia.At the time, I broke the school record I was more thrilled at winning the race. It was at a club meet at the end of our college season and Coach Eric Howard entered us in the meet to see if we could lower our times since we were already rested and tapered.

It was a brilliant move and some of our competitors were in high school. I thank God first for the ability to swim that fast and blessing me with a swimming coach who saw my potential even when I did not. To this day, his words encourage me. He would always say, Chris Gayle – you are a world class swimmer. I was truly embarrassed by him saying that especially around people.   He however I now realize was casting vision. I have since then thanked him for believing in me and working us (the entire team) hard to achieve beyond what we ever dreamed.  We won our conference my freshman and sophomore years due to his gifted guidance.I congratulate the young man who has broken the record and I encourage him to continue to pursue the impossible.  All things are possible to them that believe.

More speed would be on display by the Bison in the 200 yard freestyle relay. The team of Trinidad and Tobago’s Kegan Ford 21.49, Alexander Barnes 21.04, Maalik Nixon 21.20 and Williams 20.39 recorded a time of 1:24.12 to place fifth overall. That bettered the 1:24.18 time done by the 2017 CCSA team.

Haughton CCSA 2018
Nicholas Haughton Photo courtesy of Howard University Swimming and Diving

Teammate Nicholas Haughton just missed a second swim in the 500 yard freestyle when he placed 17th in a season best of 4:49.20.His Bison 200 yard freestyle B team recorded a time of  1:25.66 .Nicholas had a third leg split of 21.66.

Keith Jordan Wilkinson
Keith-Jordan Wilkinson Photo courtesy of Howard University

Another Jamaican Bison Keith Jordan Wilkinson was 31st in the 50 yard freestyle in a PB of 22.42.His 200 yard freestyle relay team clocked 1:30.21 with Keith Jordan with a second leg split of 22.32 and Bahamian Farion Cooper anchoring in 22.03.

McMaster CCSA
Leanne McMaster Photo courtesy of Howard University

Leanne McMaster recorded a PB of 24.98 to place 47th in the 50 yard freestyle. Her Bison 200 yard freestyle relay team recorded a season best of 1:37.47 for 9th. Leanne’s second leg split was 24.50.

Countryman Mattheau Bonner led off the New Jersey Institute of Technology B team with a split of 22.78. They finished with a total time of 1:28.76