Curaçao’s Chadé Nersicio of Trinity Christian Academy captured the 50 yard freestyle at the 1A State Championships on November 16 at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida. Her win is a culmination of hard work and determination to finally capture the crown after a number of podium finishes.
Something special was on the cards for Chadé as for the the first time in the four years of competing in the event she was the top qualifier in the event . She also had her fastest ever preliminary time of 23.14. That would be a good sign of what was to unfold in the Championship final of the 50 yard freestyle.
Chadé would win her 50 freestyle title and the first for the Warriors. She stopped the clock in the only sub 23 seconds time of the race of 22.66 , a new personal best and school record. Silver went to McKenna Smith of Academy at Lakes in 23.29 and the Bronze to Madeline Burt in a time of 23.29. Chadé has been the standard bearer for the Warriors ever since she enrolled Lake Worth based institution making an immediate impact becoming the first swimmer to go under 24 seconds.
Her buildup to this State Championship Gold was perfect in all the major school meets leading up to the meet in Stuart Florida as she took the top sprinter title at the Districts,Regionals and the Palm Beach County Championships .
ROAD TO GOLD
Palm Beach County
22.89 MR PB
Draftingthecaribbean contacted Chadé and got her reaction to her win
“It felt so great winning the 50 free, my goal was dropping more time than usual in this event.Because over the years I wasn’t dropping much.I went from being stuck at 22.89 to going 22.66 Junior Nationals is coming up shortly my coach and I still believe I can go much faster than States so that’s what were preparing for”.
Only FOUR other winners of the 50 yard freestyle have ever gone faster than Chadé’s winning time across the Florida divisions and she now joins Chinyere Pigot of Suriname who represented the Doral Academy 2010 and Jamaican Natasha Moodie of Miramar (3A) 2005 as CARIFTA region swimmers to have won the 50 yard freestyle State Championships. Both went on to compete at the Olympics in the 50 metre Moodie at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Pigot at the 2008 Olympics and London 2012 Olympics.
This year has gone well in the 50 freestyle in the long course pool in the Chadé with top performances in regional age group meet and making the B final at the CAC Games in Colombia.
1st B final
There would be more Gold and yet another school record in the 200 yard freestyle relay . In the Championship final Nersicio provided the fastest split of 22.67 to move the team from third to Gold in a new school record and first ever State title in a time of 1:34.25.The team of Nicole Gomez, Naïma Dessout, Eriana Temperino produced the fastest 1A winning time since 2014.
It was also the first time a CARIFTA region swimmer was on the Gold medal winning team since Bahamian Olympian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace led off the 2006 Bolles team in a then state record time of 1:34.53.
There would also be another medal in the 400 yard freestyle relay as the Warriors replicated their best ever showing from 2017 with another Bronze medal. This time the quartet lowered the school record from 3:28.11 at the Palm Beach county champs to 3:27.44.
Nersicio would also go on to place fifth in the 100 yard freestyle in 50.64. She has set the school record in the event at the this year’s Palm Beach County Championships with a a winning time of 50.34.
The Warriors would place fourth in the girls division with 208 points. The Bolles school won with 381 points, followed by Pine Crest with 303 points and Saint Andrews with 244.
On Saturday November 16 at the Florida 4A State Championships in Stuart Florida Aruba’s Brandon Cheong provided a sensational breaststroke leg for the Bucholz high school to help them win the Silver medal in the 200 yard medley relay.
The final of the 200 yard medley relay at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center saw Bucholz trailing in 6th place after the backstroke leg. It would take a great leg by Brandon to move them back into medal contention. He provided just that leg with a 25.91 split. That time was the third fastest leg in 4A State Championships final history. That brought the team to third and gave anchor Julian Hill to challenge for the Gold. The total team was 1:33.70 earning them the Silver just behind Lake Brantley in 1:33.61. The team performance was also best the time done by Bucholz at the State Championships. This is the second consecutive Silver medal for the school as they placed second in 2017 in 1:33.99.
Brandon had been having a great year in this distance as he won Silver medals in the 50 metre breaststroke at both the CARIFTA Championships in Kingston Jamaica and at home in Aruba for the CCCAN Championships with times of 30.38 and 30 .23.
There would be another Silver medal for Cheong and his school mates in the 400 yard freestyle relay. The team moved from 4th in 2017 to second place in 2018 with a total team time of 3:07.30. Cheong also recorded his best split at the State Championships with a third leg effort of 48.53.
In the 50 yard freestyle he recorded a personal best of 21.81 in the heats to make the B final. In that race he stopped the clock in 22.02 to place 6th his best performance at the Championships. The 100 yard breaststroke saw him recording a season best of 58.49 in the heats before placing 4th in the B final in 59.66.
When draftingthecaribbean contacted Brandon he gave this assessment of the 200 yard medley relay
“Honestly I had an amazing teammates this season, it wasn’t just me who had a great effect on the relay. My teammates made an awesome role for making states and we earned second place in the 200 yard medley relay. When I stepped on the block I knew I had to step up for my guys to win in the 200 medley relay. I’ve actually felt great in the water, I was mainly focusing on my turns, stroke and my underwater. When I touched the wall I saw the 25.91, I was actually shocked to go below 26 seconds in the 50 breaststroke. After I got out of the water I was supporting my teammates as loud as possible”.
Jamaica’s most well traveled junior swimmer for the calendar year 2018 Emily MacDonald of the Bolles School was in yet another high level meet as she competed in the prestigious Florida high school 1A State championships. Emily’s itinerary for 2018 included the UANA championships in Coral Springs Florida, CARIFTA in Jamaica, CCCAN Championships in Aruba, the CAC Games in Colombia and the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina The State Championships which were held on Saturday November 16 at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida saw Emily winning her first State Championships title in the 200 yard medley relay as well as Silver in the 200 yard freestyle relay. Along with those medal performances she recorded personal best times in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events on her way to making the Championship finals in those races.
The evening’s final began on the best possible note for Emily as the Bolles School Sharks team of Faith Khoo backstroke 26.11, Carly Schwab breaststroke 28.74, Sasha Ramey butterfly 25.22 and MacDonald 23.43 recorded a total team time of 1:43.50 to capture the Gold. Silver went to the Saint Andrews School in 1:44.97 and the Bronze to Pine Crest in 1:45.29.This is the first medley relay title at the 1A State Championships since St Lucia’s Olympian Danielle Beaubrun who swam the breaststroke leg on the 2007 Bolles team.
Next up was the 50 yard freestyle final. Emily had qualified for the Championship by lowering her personal best in the race from 23.76 to 23.70. She would be even faster in the final as she posted another personal best of 23.68 to place 5th. This is an improvement from 2017 where she had placed eighth.
The race won by Chade Nercisio of the Trinity Christian School in 22.66. Chade who is from Curacao is the reigning CARIFTA 15-17 50 metre champion while Emily is the reigning champion in the 13-14 age group.
In the heats of the 100 yard freestyle Emily recorded her first sub 52 seconds time performance when she registered 51.67 (split time 25.01) to make the A final. That would be the second time she has made the Championship final in the event after making her debut in 2017. In the final she would place eighth in 52.71.
The 200 yard yard freestyle relay saw MacDonald leading off the Bolles team in a time of 23.86 in the final faster than the 23.91 she did in 2017. Her fellow Sharks Ramsey, Adair Sand and Megan McGrath contributed splits of 23.71,23.35 and 23.47 to help the team to a Silver medal winning time of 1:34.39. That performance betters the Bronze medal performance of 2017 .It is also the fastest time by the Bolles Sharks in the final since 2014.
MacDonald who started the Championships with 1 career medal at States now has 3. When draftingthecaribbean contacted Emily on November 18 she had the following thoughts about her Championship performances
” I was very pleased with my performances at this year’ State Championships. I bettered my 50 free and 100 free times. My 50 free time is now 23.68 and 100 free is 51.67.I am very pleased because it means because I am a lot fitter than last year because in 2017 I was doing 52 in the 100 free and 23 high in the 50 free.My time shows that I can do a lot better in long course season when it comes and do a lot better overall for the season”
The Bolles School won the girls division with 381 points.Second went to Pine Crest with 303 points and third to Saint Andrew’s with 244 points.
The 2018 edition of the Walter Lowi Swim meet returned after a one year hiatus .It also returned to its original sprint origins which comprised of 50 and 100 metre races. The swimmers took to this return with great relish as the age group swimmers stroked their way to 33 meet records.
One of the swimmers that stood out on the meet on November 17 at the National Aquatic Centre was young Christanya Shirley of the Marlins Swim club in the 9-10 age group. Shirley who will be eligible for CARIFTA selection in January put in yet another great showing winning four Gold medals and all in meet record times. The most impressive of which was the 100 metre freestyle. She crushed the field by more than 10 seconds to win a new national record of 1:06.12. In stopping the clock at that time she lowered the 2015 record of 1:07.33 by Zaneta Alvaranga set back in Dec 2015.Alvaranga also held the meet record at 1:08.65 also set in 2015. There would almost be another national record effort in the 50 metre backstroke as she won by 7 seconds to touch the pads in 36.21 breaking the 2007 meet record of 36.75 by fellow Marlins swimmer Stefani Webley but just missing Webley’s national record of 35.75 set in December of the same year. Shirley’s other meet records would be in the 50 metre butterfly where she won by five seconds lowering Kendese Nangle’s 2005 standard of 34.39. In the 50 metre breaststroke she won by four seconds to lower Gabrielle Black’s 2010 standard of 42.13 to 41.33.
Another swimmer who provided a four star performance on the day was Nathaniel Thomas of the Tornadoes Swim Club who competed in the 13-14 age group. Thomas recorded all personal best for his wins. In the 50 metre butterfly he won by over a second to claim the Gold in 26.71 , a time that would have won Gold in that age group at this year’s CARIFTA Championships held in Kingston. It was also the fastest 50 metre butterfly time on the day.He took more than a second off the 2010 standard of 27.78 set by Sidrell Williams and has more than a year left in the age group to go after the national record of 26.22 set by Olympian Timothy Wynter in 2011. In the 100 metre freestyle he took nearly three seconds off another 2010 Williams standard of 58.55 when he recorded his first sub 56 time of 55.97. The 100 metre butterfly saw him breaking the minute mark and crushing the 2006 standard of Ramon Walton of 1:03.33. That effort would have won him the Gold at CARIFTA this year. He closed out the meet with almost his first sub 25 seconds performance in the 50 metre freestyle as he touched the wall in 25.09. That broke Williams’ 2010 standard of 26.03. His effort would have also won the Bronze at CARIFTA this year. In speaking to draftingthecaribbean yesterday Thomas gave this assessment of his performances
“My performances at Walter Lowi this weekend was very good .I achieved a lot of best times and I think this meet compared to CARIFTA this year was much better mainly because I think I got fitter and faster.I think CARIFTA was a little rough because I still adjusting to the new age group and also I was sick.This meet was a very good opportunity for me to get all my sprint times down and I think the next meet I can do even better. I have been improving a lot since CCCAN (July in Aruba) and in terms of training it has gotten hard and more intense and I think that has been a big factor in my improvement. I am looking forward to CARIFTA and CCCAN in 2019 to do a lot better than this year”.
The Y Speedos remained unbeaten for the calendar year 2018 as they won the meet with 710 points, Second went to the Tornadoes with 575 points and third to Swimaz with 252. The top five was rounded out by Marlins and Aquamarine Riplles with 208 and 168 points respectively.
When Jamaica’s Adrian Grant of the Bolles School spoke to draftingthecaribbean on Tuesday November 13 about his expectations for the 50 yard freestyle at the Florida 1A State high school Championships he said that he wanted to swim 21.6 during the morning heats to make a final and then go as fast as he could in the afternoon. Promise made and promise kept.
During the heats of the 50 yard freestyle at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center on Friday November 16 Grant broke through the 22 seconds barrier and lowered his personal best time of 22.05 from the Regional championships with a 21.58 performance. That enabled Grant to keep his word by making the B Final of the event. Buoyed by the good showing he was even better in the evening .Grant posted a time of 21.51 to win the B final.
This is a major improvement for Grant in the event as in 2017 he had placed 23rd in 22.59.His swim is the best performance by a male Jamaican swimmer in the event since Brian Forte also of the Bolles School swam 22.14 to place third in the B final in 2009.
It is also the fastest time by a Jamaican male swimmer since Brian’s older brother Travis swam 21.88 to place 5th in the 2005 Championship final. This is also the second consecutive B final win for Grant as he had won the 100 yard breaststroke B final in 2017.
Grant would continue his good showing in the 200 yard freestyle relay. This as the Bolles team clocked 1:25.02 to take the Bronze medal. Grant would anchor the team in 21.23.
When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Grant yesterday
“At States in the morning it was bit cold ,colder than Districts but I did all the necessary things I needed to do such as extra warm up and carry warm apparel to wear. I swam the race pretty well I went 21.58.I believed my stroke rate was a bit slow.That 21.58 placed me 10th and in the B final. I warmed down after that race and focused on recovery after the swim .I came back in the finals and went as fast as I could . I worked on a fast turnover rate as possible while maintaining my efficiency and went 21.51.I would have loved to get the Futures Swimming standard of 21.49 but I am still happy with the swim.In the 200 yard freestyle relay I was the anchor leg swimmer and I went 21.23 from a relay start . The swim itself was decent but in the future I will need to work on my underwaters”.
The Futures Swimming Championships are designed to be a a stepping stone between Sectionals meets and Junior Nationals, allowing those swimmers not qualifying for Junior Nationals to compete in a meet of their own.
Adrian was member of the 2018 CARIFTA 200 metre freestyle relay Bronze medley winning team that set a new 15-17 national record of 1:38.38 in front of a home crowd in Kingston.
The final day of the FINA World Cup tour in Singapore saw lightning striking twice for Jamaica in the 50 metre breaststroke Championship final. The ladies from the land, wood and water were history makers again on Day Two and decided to do it again on the final day of the tour.
In the morning heats of the 50 metre breaststroke Roman and Russia’s Yulia Efimova went head to head .Roman did well against the seasoned European with a personal best time of 31.06. Yulia took the win in a time of 30.42. Alia took the final heat with with a time of 29.96 , the only sub 30 seconds time of the morning qualifiers.
Singapore has been a happy hunting for Atkinson having never lost a 50 metre breaststroke race and in the sensational form she has been in was in no mood to lose that winning record. When the starter’s gun went off it would be as it had been all tour long Alia with the fastest reaction time of 0.64 .It would be a case of “last one fast one” and Alia turned it up again in the final to beat the field by over a second and win in a time of 28.93.Teammate Roman was just off her newly minted personal best with a 5th place performance of 31.41. Silver went to Australian Australian Emily Seebohm in 30.25 and the Bronze went to Russian Vitalina Simonova in 31.11. Efimova was disqualified.
Analysis of the Alia’s performances in Singapore
With the reign of Atkinson and the rise of Roman on the international stage and other female swimmers such as Emily MacDonald,Gabrianna Banks, Bryanna Renuart, Shaun Johnson among others making a name for themselves it would not be be improbable to see Jamaica push for a relay medal at the PAN AM Games .
The second day of the final stop of the FINA World Cup in Singapore saw history being created for Jamaica at the OCBC Aquatic Centre as two Jamaicans made it through to the final of the same event in the women’s 100 metre breaststroke.
In the morning preliminaries it was in the last heat of five in the morning it was Commander Alia Atkinson in lane 4 with First Lieutenant Breanna Roman in Lane 5 .They would have the final say in how the top eight places would be decided for the Championship final. The Commander led the way with a split of 30.80 with Roman just in her wake at 31.80 . Roman put on a final push in the last 50 metres with a split of 35.75 which resulted in both Jamaicans successfully navigating their way to the final in times of 1:07.00 and 1:07.55 respectively. Roman’s effort was a new personal best .
Video of the 100 metre breaststroke heats
As was to be expected the larger the team at international competitions the better the swimmers do with their individual efforts for Jamaica and the region as a whole . The Championship final was yet another example of this. In the final Alia took the early initiative and took the race away from the field with a scorching first 50 metres of 29.87 , the only sub 30 seconds swim of the final. She was also displayed her considerable speed endurance to also have the fastest second 50 metres of the final of 32.87 to punch the clock in 1:02.74 , a World leading time and fourth fastest performance of her career.Atkinson has also put her World record of 1:02.36 which she has done twice in her career on notice.
First 50 metres
Second 50 metres
Roman would have splits of 31.78 and 35.86 to touch in 1:07.74 and be just off her new PB of 1:07.55 to place a creditable 6th in her first Championship final. Silver and Bronze went to the Russian duo of Yulia Efimova and Vitalina Simonova in 1:03.58 and 1:05.53 respectively.
The last time this Jamaican duo were together they joined teammates Trudi -Ann Patrick and Danielle Boothe to set a new Jamaican record in the 400 metre medley record at the 2015 PAN AM Games. Earlier this year in March at Roman’s final collegiate swim for the Auburn Universityat the NCAA Division I Championships she joined Alia as the only female swimmers to have swum under 59.60 in the 100 yard breaststroke.
More history could be in store for tomorrow’s final day of action as both ladies will be competing in the 50 metre breaststroke.