One of the region’s most distinguished swimmers in junior waters Kael Yorke was honoured by the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee. Yorke was bestowed the award of being the Junior sportsman of the Year for 2018. The awards ceremony which is in its 24 year took place on Saturday December 29 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain saw Yorke’s sister Keaona accepting the award on his behalf.
He joins other past Junior Sportsperson from swimming to include Christian Homer and Cherelle Thompson
Junior Sportsman Awardees
Junior Sportswoman awardees
Kael Yorke had a fantastic year for his nation and has been extraordinarily consistent with top performances in his best stroke, the butterfly.
The year started with his first national meet at the UANA Cup in Coral Springs in Florida from January 18 to 21 where he was the number one swimmer for the English speaking Caribbean when he won Silver and Bronze in the 50 and 100 metre butterfly with times of 25.52 and 56.53.
Next on his list of international duties was the CARIFTA swimming Championships in Kingston Jamaica from April 1 to 4 where he kept up his remarkable butterfly record at the Championships.
|Meet||50 butterfly||100 butterfly||200 butterfly|
|CARIFTA||25.45 Silver||55.57 Gold||2:05.88 Gold|
At his nation’s national Championships he had a long awaited break through in the 100 metre butterfly when he recorded his first sub 55 seconds clocking to take the national title in a time of 54.84 . That swim earned him his first senior team cap as it qualified him for the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla Colombia.
He would continue to rack up the international flying miles as he would continue to prove himself at the junior ranks at the CCCAN Championships from June 29 to July 4 in Aruba . There he again proved his mastery of the butterfly with podium spots in all three events
|50 metre butterfly||25.17||Gold|
|100 metre butterfly||55.28||Gold|
|200 metre butterfly||2:08.27||Bronze|
He would continue to improve in Colombia lowering his personal best in the 100 metre butterfly to 54.57 in the heats. That gave him another first in his CV , a major regional Championship final berth. In that final as the youngest swimmer he placed seventh in a time of 54.27 (split time 25.02).He would take well to the senior ranks as he would make the B final in the 200 metre butterfly and place sixth in yet another personal best of 2:05.20.
After those duties he was off to embark on a new journey in the collegiate ranks as he started school at the University of Indianapolis in the NCAA Division II.Despite the change in programmes and the long flight to the Argentina Yorke continued to give for his best for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago at the Youth Olympics from October 7 to 12. He was given the added honour of being the flag bearer. In the 50 metre butterfly he was the number one swimmer in the CCCAN region and 26th overall with a time of 25.20. The 100 metre butterfly saw him finishing second in the CCCAN region with a time 55.72 to finish 28th overall.
He would end his junior international career with the 15-17 record in the 200 metre butterfly with a time of 2:05.03 (split time 58.71). That ranked him 21st overall.
Kael is making impact already in the collegiate ranks as in November at the 15th House of Champions Invitational he won the 100 yard butterfly in a time of 48.53. That ranks him as number three in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and number four all time in the school history.
When draftingthecaribbean contacted Kael he gave his thoughts on winning the Junior Sportsman of the Year award
” It is an honour to receive this prestigious award of being the top Junior male Athlete of Trinidad and Tobago.It is something I have been working to for awhile now. It is something I really wanted to achieve to add to the accolades I have received during my junior years of competition and is the icing on top of the cake.My season this year has been really amazing probably one of my best years yet. My greatest achievement to me this year was my seventh place finish in the CAC Games final for the 100 metre butterfly.Competing against Olympians and national champions is something that was really a great experience for me as I was a junior and the youngest in the final. The Youth Olympic Games was another highlight for me although it was not my best Games it was still an opportunity to compete against some of the juniors I will be seeing at future World Championships and probably even the Olympics”.