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 Chatoor Photo courtesy of

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.

Stefan Sharpe Photo courtesy of

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 comparisonsChatoorGordon

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 records and the English speaking Caribbean standard in the 1000   held by Jeremy Knowles of The Bahamas while competing for Auburn University.

1650 freeTimeRecord holderYear
Pool Record15:33.93Zane Turpin2013
School record15:26.26Austin Palmer2015
UAAA15:26.52Zane Turpin2014
1000 freeTimeRecord holderYear
School record9:22.29Austin Palmer2015
Team TTO9:41.19Chatoor2018
English speaking Caribbean9:22.62Jeremy Knowles2002
Jeremy Knowles Photo courtesy of the nassauguardian

Graham is just off the 1650 English speaking standard of Knowles of 15:23.08 set in 2001.

Graham Chatoor powering his way to Gold Photo courtesy of

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.



Jamaican Joseph Black had a fantastic debut for Kenyon College at the North Coast Atlantic Conference which was held from Feb 13-16

Before the Conference Championships started in Granville Ohio Black had a personal best time of 45.01 from the Kenyon Total Performance Invitational on December. He relegated that time to history with morning heats time of 44.45 (split time 21.34) . That propelled him to the top of the rankings heading into the Championship final.When the race started Joseph found himself behind in third place at the first 25 yards with a split of 10.15.The race was led by the Denison duo of Matt McHugh 10.03 and Kymani Senior 10.12. It was at that point that Black took off and gained the advantage with a split of 21.16.He ramped up the pressure on the field with the fastest third 25 split of 11.63 and turn in 32.79. That would be a game changing turn of 32.79 ,the only sub 33 seconds time. The Denison pair of McHugh and Senior tried to charge on the last 25 but there was too much ground to make up.

Joseph celebrating the 100 free win

Black stretches before race

Black would hold on for the win in the second best time of his career of 44.62.Senior won Silver in 44.65 and McHugh the Bronze in 44.86 . The trio were the only swimmers under the 45 seconds mark. Black’s heats time places him inside of the top 10 heading to the Division III championships to be held in Greensboro North Carolina from March 20 to 23.

That time put him as the fifth fastest Jamaican ever over the distance in the 100 yard freestyle

Ranking Name Time Year College Division
1 Justin Plaschka 42.78 2017 Notre Dame I
2 Sion Brinn 43.83 1995 LSU I
3 Brad Hamilton 44.16 2009 University of North Carolina I
4 Jason Adams 44.34 2014 Dickinson college III
5 Joseph Black 44.45 2019 Kenyon III
6 Sidrell williams 44.61 2018 Howard University I
7 Nico Campbell 44.77 2018 Florida Southern College III
8 Timothy Wynter 45.24 2016 USC I
9 Keanan Dols 45.68 2017 UPENN 1
10 Chris Gayle 46.66 1992 Howard University I

Black would also claim victory in the 400 yard medley relay with the Lords as he swam the anchor freestyle to deny Denison the victory 3:16.06 to 3:16.23. Black would deny Denison’s McHugh the fastest split honours as he had faster opening split 44.03 to 44.04. Depauw finished some distance behind in 3:26.18

Relay splits

backstrokeBen Baturka49.50
breatstrokeHumphrey Pruett54.54
butterflyDavid Fitch47.99
freestyleJoseph Black44.03
Total Time3:16.06

That team performance is the fastest time in Division III.

The Gold rush would not stop there as the 200 yard freestyle relay saw another hard earned victory over Denison 1:21.13 to 1:21.42.Wabash won the Bronze in 1:22.82


David Fitch20.66
Joseph Black20.22
Tommy Weiss19.85
Weston Carpenter20.40
Team Time1:21.13
Black en route to Silver and becoming the fastest Jamaican swimmer ever

The 100 yard breaststroke saw a Kenyon one two as Black won Silver in a time of 55.68 (split time 25.70) . The Gold went to teammate and senior Humprhey Pruett in 54.88. From the morning heats Black established himself as the fastest Jamaican ever in the event as he displaced Brad Hamilton’s Jamaica best from the 2012 ACC Championships of 56.62.

Brad Hamilton Photo courtesy of

In the 400 yard freestyle relay Joseph again got the better of McHugh from Dension for the fastest opening leg 45.01 to 45.07. This time however the Big Red beat Kenyon 2:59.05 to 2:59.54. Wooster won the Bronze in 3:03.21.

Black getting off to a fast start in the morning heats

The 50 yard freestyle saw Black just outside the medals in new PB of 20.50 to place fourth. In the morning preliminaries he recorded his first time under 21 seconds with a swim of 20.57 .He is now in the top 10 rankings of fastest Jamaicans ever

Rank Name Time Year School Division
1 Justin Plaschka 19.30 2018 Notre Dame I
2 Jason Adams 19.80 2014 Dickinson college III
3 Sion Brinn 20.07 1995 LSU I
4 Brad Hamilton 20.09 2009 University of North Carolina I
5 Nico Campbell 20.49 2018 Florida Southern College III
6 SidrellWilliams 20.55 2018 Howard University I
7 Joseph Black 20.57 2019 Kenyon III
8 Timothy Wynter 20.64 2016 USC I
9 Chris Gayle 20.76 1992 Howard University I
10 Steven Moodie 21.00 2015 FIT III

Newcomer of the Year presentation Photo courtesy of NCAC

For his efforts that helped Kenyon Men finish second overall with 1829.5 points to Denison 1851 he was named Freshman Of The Year

Draftingthecaribbean caught up with Black on Feb 24 and he gave his thoughts about the Conference Championships and his outlook for the Division III championships

“So heading into the conference meet I was on the bubble of qualifying for NCAA’s.So I always had that in the back of my head knowing that this meet was either going to make it or break it on me going to Nationals.Being a freshman and accomplishing that much means a lot to me and the team as well.It was good racing Denison, our biggest rivals but losing to them was not only a humbling experience but also makes the team more hungry for Nationals”.


The morning session of Day Three of the Walter Rogers Age Group Champs had as the highlight the obliteration of the girls 13-14 400 metre freestyle relay record by the Tornadoes team.

Record setting Tornadoes 13-14 girls 400 freestyle relay team from left to right Aliyah Heaven,Ireland Hunter, Sabrina Lyn and Isabella Sierra Photo courtesy of Mike Critchlow

Since 2011 the old record had stood to the visiting Stingrays Swim Club of the Cayman Islands .The standard had stood to the team of Bethany Cleaver,Coral Tomascik,Lois Moody and Danielle Boothe. On Saturday Feb 23 the Tornadoes team of Isabella Sierra, Ireland Hunter, Aliyah Heaven and Sabrina Lyn laid waste to that time as they stopped the clock in a time of 4:16.80.They recorded the fastest female relay time of the day as well as beating back their opposition by more than 30 seconds.

Their teammates in the 13-14 boys age category got in on the record breaking act with a new standard setting swim of their own.The record in their sights belonged the 2015 Tornadoes team of Alex Mignott,Sean -Douglas Gooden,Jonathan Lyn and Jesse Marsh of 3:58.91.The team of Zachary Jackson-Blaine,Adrian Balfour,Daniel Mair and Nathaniel Thomas lowered that time to 3:57.85.

The fastest relay time of the day was posted by the Y Speedos team of Jordane Payne,Chester Adams, Akeem Alleyne and Kyle Sinclair of 3:52.33.

Sean-Douglas Gooden CARIFTA 2017 Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

In the 200 metre series Sean Douglas-Gooden of Tornadoes won his seventh title breaststroke in the event over the last eight years in a time of 2:40.57. Since his last year of 11-12 Gooden has been unbeaten save for a disqualification in 2015.

Britney Williams defending CARIFTA Champion in the 15-17 200 metre freestyle

Britney Williams of Swimaz Aquatics , the fastest ever locally trained mid to long distance freestyler and the defending CARIFTA champion ensured she was unbeaten in her three years of the 15-17 category as she took her event in a season best of 2:12.61.

Saifiya Officer CCCAN Bronze medallist in the Girls 11-12 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

There were also a number of close races as Safiya Officer of Swimaz just outlasted Sierra of Tornadoes in the girls 13-14 200 metre freestyle 2:22.52 to 2:22.98.Nathaniel Thomas got the decision over teammate Daniel Mair in the boys 13-14 race 2:08.35 to 2:08.85.

The fastest times of the day came from Y Speedos duo of Kyle Sinclair and Chester Adams who battled to the wall in times of 2:03.72 and 2:04.14 respectively.Other Gold medals decided in the morning were


EventAge GroupNameTimeClub
200 metre freestyle11-12Kokolo Foster2:26.22Tornadoes
200 metre breaststroke11-12Kokolo Foster2:58.05Tornadoes
200 metre breaststroke13-14Raine Hopkins2:58.12Swimaz
200 metre breaststroke15 and overRegan Griffiths3:56.86Wahoo
400 metre IM13-14Raine Hopkins5:54.93Swimaz
400 metre IM15 and overKarci Gibson5:46.58Y Speedos
400 freestyle relay11-12Emma Marston
11-12Giani Francis
11-12Chrstanya Shirley
11-12Aija -Marie Adams4:45.40Y Speedos
400 freestyle relay15 and overAmanda Clarke
Alexa Critchlow
Annelies Denny
Amore Hunter4:58.50Tornadoes


EventAge GroupNameTimeClub
200 metre freestyle11-12Nelson Denny2:20.58Tornadoes
200 metre breaststroke11-12David Morris3:24.63Y Speedos 
400 metre IM11-12Charles McIntosh7:05.70Aqua Marine
400 metre IM13-14Joshua Mignott5:52.55Tornadoes
400 metre IM15 and overMatthew Sinclair6:13.45Y Speedos 
400  freestyle relay11-12Israel AllenTornadoes
Joshua Bramwell
Noah Azan
Nelson Denny4:42.94


Kokolo Foster

The second night of action at the 2019 Walter Rogers Age Group Championships got underway on the perfect note in the very first event contested , the girls 11-12 100 metre breaststroke. This as Kokolo Foster of the Tornadoes Swim club stormed to victory in the event with an advantage of almost ten seconds to set a new 11-12 age group record of 1:18.51 (split time .

Danielle Boothe Photo courtesy of Liberty University Swimming and diving

That performance lowered the 2009 Championship record held by Danielle Boothe of 1:20.31. Boothe would go on to have a very successful CARIFTA championships that year in Aruba winning Three Gold , Four Silver and a Bronze. In Aruba Boothe would set the former national record of 1:19.89 en route to the Gold medal.In that 11-12 breaststroke final included The Bahamas Laura Morley of Indiana and Aruba Daniela Van Den Berg of Florida State University are currently competing in the Big Ten and Atlantic Coast (ACC) Conferences NCAA Division I .In Boothe’s lasting outing for Jamaica she was part of the record setting 400 metre medley relay team that competed at the 2015 PAN American Games

2015 PAN AM Games 400 metre medley relay from left to right Trudiann Patrick, Alia Atkinson, Breanna Roman and Danielle Boothe
Sabrina Lyn stroking to the wall en route to a new personal best in the 100 metre breaststroke Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The Gold in girls 13-14 age group went to Foster’s teammate Sabrina Lyn who lowered her championship record of 1:18.42 that she set in the heats to 1:17.51 to take Gold.

Octivia Gray of UWI Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

The 15 and over Gold medal was won by another swimmer who competed at CARIFTA 2009, Octivia Gray of the Marlins Swim Club .She turned back the hands of time to take the win in 1:25.76. In 2009 she had won the Bronze medal in this event in a time of 1:21.61

The fastest time of the night came from Chester Adams of the Y Speedos who won in a personal best time of 1:10.90 to take the 15 and over crown.

Other Gold medallists on the night were


50 metre backstroke8 & underZuri Coke44.98Tornadoes


Event Age Name Time Club
100 metre breaststroke 11-12 Dirk Harrison 1:26.61 Y Speedos
100 metre breaststroke 13-14 Joshua Mair 1:18.85 Tornadoes
50 metre backstroke 8 & under Adlai Nixon 46.91 Swimaz


On Thursday Feb 21 Indiana’s senior Bahamian Laura Morley shattered her personal best in the 200 yard individual medley and in the process became the fastest Bahamian woman ever in the event.

Laura Morley Photo courtesy of Mike Dickbernd

Before the Conference championships got underway at her home pool at the Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center in Bloomington, Indiana Morley boasted a best time of 2:00.06 at the Indiana Invitational in November. She threatened that time in the morning heats with clocking of 2:00.15. That performance earned her a second swim in the event in the C final. That was the first time that she made a final at the Conference Championships. In 2018 she placed 46th in a time of 2:02.64 and 2017 76th in 2:06.83.In that C final she trailed at the halfway mark in seventh place She would however uncork a monster breaststroke split of 32.93 to gain the lead heading into the freestyle leg. She would not relinquish that advantage and touched in HUGE PB of 1:57.44,holding off teammate Shelby Koontz 1:57.94 for the victory.

McKayla Lightbourn Photo courtesy of

That swim puts her as the fastest Bahamian woman of all time in the event bettering the previous best of 1:58.11 by countrywoman McKayla Lightbourn. Lightbourn had recorded that time for Florida State University in the heats of the 2014 ACC championships.She would later place seventh in the Championship final with a time of 1:59.46.

Alia Atkinson

Morley is just off the all time CARIFTA region record of 1:57.31 held by CARIFTA region legend Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson. Alia had set the standard during the heats of the 2009 NCAA championships. Alia ,competing for Texas A&M would place seventh in the B final in a time of 1:58.84.

Laura Morley .Photo courtesy of

Morley has also bettered the NCAA B standard of 1:59.94 and is the seventh fastest Hoosier in school history.


Outgoing Missouri senior Aruba’s Mikel Schreuders is leaving the SEC Championships with his name in the record books and his first title in the 200 yard freestyle.

Mikel Schreuders the best 200 yard freestyler the SEC Championships has ever seen.Photo courtesy of Madeline McKernan

Last night in Georgia he reaffirmed his position as the best 200 yard freestyler that the Championships has ever seen when he won Gold in a new PB, school and SEC record time of 1:31.27 . That bettered his lead leg relay split of 1:31.61 on the opening day of the SEC Championships at the University of Georgia.Silver was won by Joey Reilman of Tennessee in 1:32.35 and the Bronze went to Khader Baqlah of Florida in 1:32.71. He is now the second fastest swimmer in the event across all divisions this year. Through determination and the goal to set higher standards for himself each year at these Championships Schreuders had swum faster all of the four years he has competed.


200 yard freestyleGoldBronzeFourth Fifth
First  5021.2022.1722.1222.92
Second 5023.0323.9323.9223.99
Third 5023.2723.5424.0323.56
Fourth 50 23.7723.6024.0023.88
Final time1:31.271:33.241:34.061:34.35

Schreuders now adds Aruba to the CARIFTA region nations that have won individual titles in the men’s 200 yard freestyle

Shaune Fraser Photo courtesy of

2004George BovellAuburn1:34.54Trinidad and Tobago
2007Shaune FraserFlorida1:35.05Cayman Islands
2008Shaune FraserFlorida1:34.23Cayman Islands
2009Shaune FraserFlorida1:33.73Cayman Islands

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to the SEC Champion after his race and he shared his thoughts on the race

“The race was amazing .Before the race I was not trying to focus on any specific time.I was just trying to go out there and have fun and do the best I can. I felt good the entire way.Afterward of course it hurt a little bit but that always happens.It feels good not only to represent my school and my name but also Aruba and all the kids from the Caribbean”,

Mikel Scrhreuders.Photo courtesy of mutigers


Britney Williams Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

The opening day of the Walter Rodgers Age Group Championships got underway yesterday and saw Jamaica’s fastest ever locally trained female distance freestyler Britney Williams of the Swimaz Aquatics Club lowering the 15 and over 800 metre freestyle championship record.

Breanna Roman

Williams set a new mark of 9:52.46 lowering the 2012 standard of 9:53.97 by another Swimaz Aquatic athlete Breanna Roman . The win makes it five years that Britney has been unbeaten at the biggest championships of the year. She won the race by over 40 seconds to her nearest rival. Britney gave her thoughts about her record breaking performance

” I am really happy for the win and the record, The swim was amazing. This just sets the pace for the rest of the meet to be an amazing and successful one”.


YearTimeAge group

Chester Adams of the Y Speedos was the top swimmer in 1500 metre freestyle .He topped the field in a time of 18:36.21.

Other Gold medallists on the opening night included


Age Group Name Event Time Club
13-14 Zaneta Alvaranga 800 metre freestyle 10:42.76 Kaizen
11-12 Leanna Wainwright 800 metre freestyle 11:12.40 Sailfish Swim Academy
15-17 Brianna Anderson 200 metre backstroke 2:42.15 Y Speedos
13-14 Safiya Officer 200 metre backstroke 2:46.68 Swimaz Aquatic Club
11-12 Leanna Wainwright 200 metre backstroke 2:43.46 Sailfish Swim Academy


Age Group Name Event Time Club
13-14 Zachary Randle 1500 metre freestyle 19:05.27 Y Speedos
11-12 Israel Allen 1500 metre freestyle 20:18.12 Tornadoes
15-17 Kyle Sinclair 200 metre backstroke 2:21.58 Y Speedos
13-14 Nathaniel Thomas 200 metre backstroke 2:26.58 Tornadoes
11-12 Nelson Denny 200 metre backstroke 2:43.62 Tornadoes