Trinidad and Tobago’s Graham Chatoor who competes for New York University showed no fear in swimming in the senior waters since his graduation from the junior ranks with a five star performance at the University Athletic Association championships at the University of Chicago from Feb 13 to 16.
Graham who was a regional standout in the middle to distance events in the the 50 metre pool at the junior level has been displaying his talents in the 25 yard pool for the Greenwich Village based University. By his third competitive outing in the 1000 yard freestyle he had overhauled Stefan Sharpe as the fastest swimmer from the twin island Republic in the event . Both Chatoor and Sharpe competed for the Marlins Swim club in Trinidad and Tobago. He did that by winning the event in 9:41.19 in dual meet against John Hopkins on Nov 17 last year eclipsing the mark of 9:41.30 set by Sharpe when competing for La Salle against Pennsylvannia on Feb 2,2013.
When the meet got underway Chatoor’s best time in the 500 yard freestyle stood at 4:33.85 from the Kenyon Total Performance Invitational. He lowered that time in the morning heats and once again established himself as the fastest swimmer from Trinidad and Tobago with a new personal best of 4:30.35. That displaced another Sharpe standard of 4:32.60 from the 2014 Atlantic 10 Conference Championships . More records would be set in the final as the 2017 pool record of 4:28.16 by Emory’s Tom Gordon was in Graham’s sights. Gordon, a senior would be in the final as well and would not lose the record easily. In the final Chatoor set a fiery pace that most of the field could deal with .Only pool record holder Gordon tracked Chatoor and gave a valiant last 50 yards of 25.16 to close in on Graham. But it would not be enough as the Glenco native did enough earlier in the race to take the win and the pool record in 4:27.89.Gordon took Silver in 4:27.95,Rick Reinhard of Washington University won the Bronze in 4:30.88.
|100 split comparisons||Chatoor||Gordon|
With that swim Graham is now the ninth fastest swimmer in Division III and has the school record of 4:26.60 by Ian Rainey in his sights.
Before the start of the 1650 yard freestyle Graham’s personal best stood at 15:55.72 from a competition against MIT and Williams in January . That time would be destroyed in the timed final. Gordon would again be in the race contesting for the Gold. He would again try to use his late charging tactics . It would be a case of different race same treatment as Chatoor refused to to cede the title to him and won in a time of a huge personal by more than 30 seconds of 15:24.13. His winning swim place him second overall heading into the Division III championships to be held in
March 20-23 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina Gordon took the Silver in 15:24.20 with Richie Dauksher of Carnegie Mellon taking the Bronze in 15:44.27.
Records falling by wayside in Graham’s wake included school. pool records ,Team TTO record
|1650 free||Time||Record holder||Year|
|Pool Record||15:33.93||Zane Turpin||2013|
|School record||15:26.26||Austin Palmer||2015|
|1000 free||Time||Record holder||Year|
|School record||9:22.29||Austin Palmer||2015|
Graham is just closing in on the the 1650 English speaking standard by Matt Lowe Knowles of 15:16.95 set in 2015.
Chatoor helped the Violets place fifth in the 800 yard freestyle relay in a time of 6:48.43. Graham contributed to the overall time with a second leg split of 1:42.95.