The CCCAN Championships in Trinidad and Tobago which will be held from June 28 to July 2 will be the venue for many quality performances in the swimming pool. One of the swimmers who will be adding to the fireworks is Elan Daley from Bermuda. The versatile youngster who is in her first year of the 11-12 age group gave a preview what fans should see at the 2017 Age Group International in Canada which was held from June 1 to 4.At that meet she lowered a number of 11-12 age group records.
The 100 metre butterfly saw Elan become the fastest 11-12 girl in the English speaking Caribbean when she clocked 1:05.55 (split time 29.79). The previous fastest time was held Trinidad and Tobago’s Tyla Martin at 1:06.05. That exact time is also the CCCAN Championship record held by Panama’s Juliet Stern set in 1995.
In the 200 metre individual medley she lowered her own record by more than 3 seconds to win Gold in a time of 2:27.63. That brings her closer to the Championship record of 2:27.38 by another 11-12 star the twin island Republic’s Cerian Gibbes. Cerian’s national record also doubles as the fastest in that age group for the English speaking Caribbean. In the 400 individual medley she dropped almost 9 seconds from another record she owned to clock 5:20.53 and place fourth.
In the freestyle events Daley was more than 15 seconds faster than Emma Harvey’s 2014 800 metre freestyle standard of 10:18.19 when she touched in 7th in 10:03.97 (split time 4:57.64).
The 400 metre freestyle saw Daley beating another of her own national marks. She became the first 11-12 girl from Bermuda under 4:50 when she placed 5th in 4:47.99 (split time 2:19.70). Elan’s old record was 4:51.54.
The 200 metre freestyle event saw her winning Silver in 2:12.84 (split time 1:03.41). In that event the national record of 2:12.77 held by teammate Payton Zelkin just managed to survive.
The magical minute mark barrier was broken by Daley in the 100 metre freestyle.She split 28.41 at the 50 metre mark to touch in a final time of 59.90. That bettered her previous personal best and national mark of 1:00.28.That is faster than the Championship record of 1:00.05 by Puerto Rico’s Vanessa Garcia. It also gets closer to the fastest time in the English speaking Caribbean in that age group held by Gibbes at 59.27.
For the 100 metre backstroke she became the first 11-12 Bermuda girl under 1:10 when she won her event in 1:08.76 (split time 32.93).The old record was 1:10.60 set by Emma Harvey in 2014.
Daley along with swimmers from the other competing nations promises to make this CCCAN Championships one of the most exciting yet.
A 17 member Jamaican delegation will be in action in the swimming pool from the 28th of June to July 2 at the Aquatic Centre, Balmain, Couva in Trinidad. The Championship which membership comprises federations from the Central American and Caribbean region has seen a number of outstanding performances from Jamaican athletes. Seven existing records at the meet are held by swimmers from the land of wood and water.
Leading the record tally is Olympian Janelle Atkinson with three. She holds marks in the 18 and over 800 metre freestyle 8:39.16, 400 metre freestyle 4:13.11 and 200 metre freestyle 2:02.57. All of those Championship standards were set at the 2001 edition of the meet in the Dominican Republic where she won Six Gold, One Silver and One Bronze.
Olympian Alia Atkinson has two 15-17 records from the 2005 Championships still standing. As expected they are in the breaststroke events. In the 50 metre race it is 33.12 and the 100 metre breaststroke race 1:13.93.The meet was again held in the Dominican Republic. Alia won an impressive Seven Gold ,One Silver and one Bronze.
Yet another Olympian Timothy Wynter has two records in his favoured backstroke events at the 2011 Puerto Rico meet in the 13-14 age group. His 50 metre standard stands at 26.96 and his 200 metre record at 2:09.55.His medal haul would consist of Two Gold, Two Silver and a Bronze.
In 2017 the Jamaican team have 24 individual medal chances based upon the heat sheet.
In the 18 and over girls Kelsie Campbell has five good chances in the 50,100 and 200 metre freestyle events as well as the 50 metre butterfly races. In the 100 metre butterfly she is seeded first. Her time of 1:03.48 is in striking range of the Championship record of 1:03.18 by Puerto Rico’s Debra Rodriquez.
Next up for a potentially large medal haul are the 11-12 sprinters Nathaniel Thomas and Zaneta Alvaranga. Both are in medal winning positions based on their entry times in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle races and 50 and 100 metre butterfly events. In the 50 metre butterfly in which both swimmers are ranked number 1 they will be seeking to lower their respective national records of 28.32 for Thomas and 28.95 for Alvaranga. Zaneta’s best time is almost a full second faster than the championship record of 29.85 by Venezuela’s Ángela Ciccenia.
Other swimmers in medal contention and aiming to break national records are
Sabrina Lyn the 2017 CARIFTA Champion who will be looking to lower her mark of 1:07.22 in the 100 metre butterfly.
Brianna Anderson will be looking to break the girls 13-14 50 metre backstroke record of 31.02
Emily MacDonald will be looking to better her national mark of 1:06.19 in the 13-14 100 metre butterfly
Gabrianna Banks will be racing for the 13-14 record of 26.86
As the Championship meets for the summer of 2017 beckon draftingthecaribbean continues to look back at some of the top performers from the 2016-2017 so far. The performer being featured is Alison Jackson of the Cayman Islands for her sprint freestyle achievements at the 2017 CARIFTA Championships held from April 15-19 in The Bahamas.
With the availability of the top class facility in Nassau – the Betty Kelly Kenning National Swim Complex – and race commentary being provided by none other than the region’s best sprint freestyler (local heroine Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace) the motivation for Alison to perform well for her country would have been great.
On April 17 Alison lowered her personal best ,13-14 age group record, senior national record as well the CARIFTA record of 59.34 set by Bermudan Emma Harvey of 59.34 when she swam 58.22 (splits 27.71 and 30.51) in the preliminaries. In addition to those accolades it was also the fastest time ever done by a 13-14 girl in the Bahamas. Jackson would go on to win the Gold medal in the final in a time of 58.31. A day later she would complete the sprint double when she won the 50 metre in another personal best, 13-14 age group and senior national record of 26.97.That result made her the first female swimmer from the Cayman Islands ever to go under the 27 seconds mark. This marks the second sprint double for Alison in her CARIFTA career as she achieved the feat for the first time at the 2015 Barbados Championship in the 11-12 age group.
Since the 2005 CARIFTA Championships, no female swimmer from the Cayman Islands had medalled in the 50 and 100 freestyle events in the 13-14 age group. Jackson had given a sign of the speed to come as she had won the 200 metre freestyle crown with a winning time of 2:11.57. A year earlier in Martinique Jackson had the following places 50 metre freestyle 4th 27.48,100 metre freestyle 8th 1:01.60 and 200 metre freestyle 7th 2:17.26. Alison now has the national standards for the Cayman Islands for the sprint freestyle events for the 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and senior categories.
She would win a Silver in the 800 metre freestyle relay that clocked 9:09.35.In the 400 metre freestyle relay the Cayman Island girls would win the Bronze in 4:12.00.
When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Jackson on June 7 she described winning three Gold medals.
“Winning the medals was a good reflection of where I’m at right now as a swimmer and helped to show where I can improve. Winning the 200 was a welcome shock because I only just started to really focus on middle distances this past season. Winning the 100 and 50 gave me an insight in to how I have improved my sprinting over the course of the season and where I still have room to improve”.
As the fastest female ever swimmer from The Cayman Islands she reflected on what her goals for the 50 metre freestyle before CARFITA
“I’ve had the goal to go under 27 seconds in the 50 freestyle for a while now. Now that I’ve done it I believe I still have ways to go and lots to improve on in this event. With our improving strength and sprint programmes I’m sure I will reach my full potential in this race”.
Alison also spoke about her summer plans
“While I’m not participating in CCCAN or World Juniors I am focusing on training this summer and then I am going to ISCA which is a meet in St. Petersburg. Although this meet isn’t as big as World Juniors it still gives me the opportunity to race people who are faster than me and who can push me in my races.”
Draftingthecaribbean also was able to get an insight into Jackson’s performances and her development from head coach at the Stingray Swim Club David Pursley. In analyzing her Gold medal performances Coach Pursley offered these thoughts:
“Ali’s three wins were very reassuring to the direction we are heading. She has always had great potential in the sprints with her speed and strength but from a development stand point we have really been working hard to improve her stamina for the back end of her 100. The second night she was able to win the 200 free which helped to validate the work we have been doing the past couple seasons. Wehave seen the results in practice sets and day to day training but hadn’t yet put it together in the 200 in a big competition. I really feel even though it wasn’t her most impressive victory, that the 200 was her biggest break through and most important victory.
Her 100 was fun to watch and the most impressive 100 of her career. Though the last 15 meters still were not there. The 200 showed the progress we have made and the 100 showed us that there is still work to be done. She managed to maintain her rates longer than any 100 in the past but still dropped significantly in the last 15 meters. Her speed out was very impressive and she took an early commanding lead. It was nerve racking for me as it looked more aggressive than her prelims swim but she managed to show how tough and determined she is coming home.”
He also spoke about her going under 27 seconds and plans for her in the event
“The 50 free was good to get under 27 seconds which was a general goal. However there is still a long ways to go in this event. I truly believe that Ali will be very special in this event as her career unfolds. Her development right now is setting her up to see impressive results in the 50 a couple years down the road. She is nowhere near the potential I believe she has in this event. The 50 is all about speed and strength.
The strength program she is on will have her lifting with the best of them in three years’ time. It is a three year program that she is on that started 7 months prior. Ali has tremendous strength already but is nowhere near where she will be in 2019. She has proven to be a high responder to strength training and seems to really enjoy the process. I look forward to seeing what she will be doing. After hitting the peak of the program in 2019 she will hopefully be ready to really specify the strength aspect at an elite level by 2020.
To develop her speed we need to develop her coordination, balance, and technique. This is the first year we have introduced rate specific coordination exercises and really pressured for greater core stability and it seems to be paying off. Naturally Ali has great kinaesthetic awareness and is able to adjust and perform complicated movements fairly easily and quickly. From a technical stand point her focus right now is on improving her kick and her start”.
Coach Pursley also outlined the programme for Jackson
“As stated earlier Ali still has a focus on development and training. We have had talks on a four year plan for her working backwards from Tokyo. To stay on schedule and continue to develop we try to limit travel and rested competitions to 3 per year the first two years of the quad. April, early August, and December are the three best opportunities for competitions to allow full training cycles between each and to be sure she is getting the training and development she needs. If we add big travel competitions in between we lose 2-3 weeks depending on the rest each time when we could be improving capacities in strength, aerobic, or neural. Because Ali isn’t at the top yet we need to continue to focus on where she wants to be rather than showcasing where she is. This summer she will be traveling to St. Petersburg Florida August 2nd-5th for the ISCA Senior Summer Championships. This is a P/F LCM meet that is at the perfect competition level where Ali will have plenty of swimmers seeded in front of her to go after but will also have opportunities to compete for medals if she is at her best. With one travel meet to focus on we won’t lose any training time and can prepare fully for her swims.
In 2019 we will still travel 3 times but will reduce the number of full tapers in the year, to two in order to get a full strength progression in time for a hopeful Pan Am performance. From there we will have answers to the best plan forward. In summary we have a long term developmental focus right now”.
In the swimming fraternity locally and regionally Rajiv Redhi is known as a top junior breaststroker for his school Wolmer’s Boys’ and as a representative for Jamaica. This is evidenced by his 200 metre breaststroke Silver medal performance in the 11-12 age group at the 2016 CARIFTA Games in Martinique. He would also have four other Championship final performances placing 4th in the in the 50 and 100 metre breaststroke.
Later that year in The Bahamas he would compete for the national team at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships from June 29 to July 2. He would make three Championship finals in the 50, 100 and 200 metre breaststroke event, just missing out on a podium finish with fourth place performances.
What others may not know is that his athletic abilities also extend to the sport of cricket. He follows a tradition of a number of Wolmerians and members of his local the Y Speedos before him who played cricket for the school and represented Jamaica in the pool nationally. Those names include the Foote brothers Mark and Gordon in the 1980s and Stefan Steer in the 1990s. Where Rajiv has taken it a step further is by gaining selection to the national Cricket team. He played for Jamaica in the Under 15 tournament in Grenada in 2016.
Also in 2016 Rajiv helped the boys from the Heroes Circle based institution win the ISSA Under 14 All Island First Global Champions. In parish competition he helped Kingston capture the Under 15 Championship when they beat St Elizabeth in the final in August of that year.
This year playing in the Urban Area Sunlight Cup competition for Under 19 boys he snared 27 wickets with his left hand spin bowling. He also competed in the Colts Under 16 competition where he amassed 22 wickets.
He had an amazing match haul during that competition of seven wickets for eight runs from eight overs. He has again gained selection to the national Under 15 team to play in Barbados.
Even better news would come in late May as Redhi has been selected to play for the West Indies Under 15 team that will tour England from August 8-21, 2017.His selection was based upon his performances in Grenada in 2016.
When draftingthecaribbean contacted Redhi he said this was the start of his dream and that he was happy and excited and wanted to be the youngest player to make the West Indies senior team. He stated that this was his platform to showcase his talent.
As draftingthecaribbean looks back at 2016 -2017 school season we focus on one of the top performers at the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) Perry Lindo from Curaçao. The meet was held March 1-4, 2017 at the Columbus Aquatic Centre in Columbus, Georgia.
Lindo, who is a freshman at Thomas University based in Thomasville, Georgia, had an outstanding Championship for the Night Hawks. The highlight of the competition was his 19.99 Gold medal win in the 50 yard freestyle. That was a school record and a personal best. He held his nerve to pass eventual Silver medallist Joel Ax (Savannah College of Art and Design) who had gone out to huge lead with a 8.85 25 yard split .It was only the second time in school history the Night Hawks had claimed an individual National Championship title.
In the 100 yard freestyle he would set another personal best and school record in the 100 yard freestyle when he won the Silver medal in 44.21. His third and final medal of the Championship would be in the 200 yard freestyle relay as the team touched in 1:21.51 aided by his anchor leg split of 19.50.
He would be a part of school record breaking relays in the 200 yard medley relay where they finished sixth in 1:31.52 and the 400 yard freestyle where the Night Hawks placed fifth in 3:03.21.
When draftingthecaribbean spoke to the sprinter on March 15 he gave insight on the Championship and his swimming career so far
“Collegiately the NAIA championships was the last meet for this season, I took a small break to go home afterwards with my friends in Curaçao for spring break. This meet was the best meet I’ve have in years, probably because it was my first year swimming in a collegiate program. Breaking the 20 second barrier had been in my sight for a while now and I finally did a 19.99 during the finals for the 50 yard free. I was so happy after I saw that I finally did it, regardless of it being the slowest 19 attainable. I’ve been saying all season long that I’d be happy with a 19.99 and it happened. As for the 100 yard free it was bittersweet because I came in second and after analyzing my race I saw where I should’ve gone faster, and I felt afterwards that I still had some gas in the tank. But comparing a 45.23 which I did during prelims and a 44.21 from finals was a complete turnaround and a major drop off my best time (45.00) since March 2014. I honestly thought I had plateaued since then but I guess being a swimmer in a college for the first time in a fitting program made all the difference. I regained the confidence in myself as a swimmer and it definitely made me want to get back on the horse to attain the ultimate athletic dream which would be the Olympic Games for the Netherlands. I still have a long way to go but having three more years of eligibility and the right outlook on things plays a major role on my success I’m pursuing. For now the Thomas University Nighthawks will be practicing with a club team down in Tallahassee under guidance of coach Terry Maul, who trained my current coach Malcolm Hosford when he was getting ready for the 2012 US Olympic trials. We train at our local YMCA pool since we’re a fairly new program, existing for only 5 years but recently took off once the coaching staff and recruiting were revamped. I just want to see how far I can go with this, since my body still grows stronger and faster. Though I’m older than maybe half of the swimming world at 25 I’m still making my way up in the ranks”.
Lindo, who is also the fastest man from Curaçao in the 50 metre pool with a time of 23.33, will be among the some of the top regional sprinters to look out for this summer.
As draftingthecaribbean looks back at the some of the performances from the 2016-2017 school season we look at the growing legacy of Jamaican sprinter Sion Brinn now coach at the Indian River State College.
Sion who was Jamaica’s top sprinter in the 90’s and inspired a generation of swimmers after him to aspire to qualify for the Olympic Games after seeing him place 4th in the B Final of the 100 metre freestyles at the 1996 Atlanta Games. In that race he swam 50.09 to be the Fastest English speaking Caribbean Swimmer at the Games .His record still stands to this day.
On March 4 of this year Brinn’s men and women’s team won the NJCAA (National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association) titles. In the women’s competition the Fort Pierce Florida based institution complied 1,293 points. South Georgia State placed second with 563 points and Iowa Central was third tallying 498.5 points. The men topped the field with 1,210 points. Southwestern Oregon was the runner up team with 557 points and Iowa Central third with 486 points.
The women won all the 23 races on offer from the 50 yard freestyle to the 1650 yard freestyle, 50-100-200 butterfly, 50-100-200 backstroke,50-100-200 butterfly,100-200-400 yard individual medley,200-400-800 yard freestyle relays and the 200 and 400 medley relays.Osianna McReed set a Championship record in the 50 yard butterfly on her way to the Gold medal in a time of 24.62.
The men would win 21 Gold medals. The non-Indian River victories were in the 200 yard breaststroke and 200 yard individual medley. Nicholas Loomis would set new Championship records in the 50 and 200 yard butterfly with times of 21.27 and 1:46.10 respectively. Both McReed and Loomis were named respective Women and Men’s Swimmer of the Year.
For his tremendous efforts Sion was named the NJCAA Coach of the Year for both men and women. It was his first win for women’s swim team but his fourth consecutive triumph for the men. Brinn has not lost a Championship since taking over the reins of his alma mater in 2014.
The final day of the Neville Alexander Memorial Swim Meet saw the sprinters putting on a show. There would be yet another national record as the Marlins 9-10 girls added to their tally from Saturday morning. This time they lowered the national standard in the 200 freestyle relay.
The young ladies of the Marlins who lowered a record set almost 30 years. The team of Kokolo Foster, Saidah Brown, Giani Francis and Christanya Shirley touched in a time of 2:14.66, more than 10 seconds ahead of the field. That lowered the national record of 2:15.37 set way back on Aug 1, 1988. That mark was set by the national team of Kezia Stewart, Kerone Peat, Joanna Lee and Nicole Lowe at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships held in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic when 9 and 10 year olds were allowed to participate. Also falling by the wayside was the meet record of 2:18.69 by the 2012 Marlins team of Deandra Reynolds, Karci Gibson, Ahkira Brown and Britney Williams.
The 50 metre freestyle meet records fell by the wayside in the following races 8 and under boys, 11-12 girls and boys and the 13 and over boys’ events. That meet record rush continued in the 200 metre freestyle relays 8 and under girls, the 11-12 girls and boys and 13 and over girls events.
The record breaking spree was started in the 8 and under boys’ race by the Y Speedos’ Zack –Andre Johnson. He lowered a more than a decade old record when he touched the wall in 34.13. The old record of 34.21 was held by former Speedos swimmer Robert Marshall. Johnson topped the field by more than 5 seconds.
In the 11-12 girls event it was Zaneta Alvaranga of the Y Speedos who recorded the fastest time by a girl at the meet and lowered the meet record with her quick time of 27.68. Her margin of victory was more than 2 seconds. In winning she lowered the 2016 meet record of 28.09 by Swimaz’s Emily MacDonald .Zaneta was just off her Silver medal winning CARIFTA personal best of 27.56.She continues to track the national record of 27.53 of MacDonald when she won Gold at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships.The record for the 11-12 girls age group at the upcoming CCCAN championships to be held in Trinidad and Tobago is 27.55 set their Olympian Cerian Gibbes in 1995.
For the boys event it was Nathaniel Thomas of the Tornadoes who again dominated the field. He recorded the only sub 27 seconds time of 26.57. He crushed the meet record of 27.58 by the Y Speedos Alford Green set in 2003.He was more than a second ahead of the field. He was barely off his personal best time of 26.52. Last year he was In his sights for the rest of the year will be the national record of 26.29 held by another Tornadoes age group standout Brad Hamilton. That mark was set in 2002.
In the boys 13 and over race it was Sidrell Williams of the Y Speedos who recorded the fastest time of the meet and the only sub 25 seconds clocking when he touched the wall in 24.29. That lowered his 2012 meet standard of 24.74.
The 11-12 girls Y Speedos relay team of Paig’e Lewis, Callier Maxwell, Jadean Dixon and Zaneta Alvaranga lowered the meet record of 2:04.24 with a swim of 2:03.82.
The 11-12 Tornadoes boys Jaleel Samms, Zachary Jackson-Blaine, Nikolos Gordon-Somers and Nathaniel Thomas set their meet record with a time of 1:56.25.
The 13 and over girls of Y Speedos team of Leanne McMaster, Naomi Eaton, Paris Clare and Brianna Anderson set a record of 1:57.54.
Anderson would sweep the backstroke events 50-100-200 when she claimed the open 200 backstroke crown in 2:43.51.She would also add the 13 and over 50 metre freestyle title in 28.08.
The boys open 200 metre backstroke title went to her teammate Kyle Sinclair in a personal best of 2:20.51.
The crowd was treated to good contests between national record breaking teammates Kokolo Foster and Christanya Shirley of the Marlins in the 50 breaststroke and 50 metre freestyle races.
The older Foster edged her younger teammate 40.14 to 40.71 in the breaststroke race and 31.42 to 31.74 in the freestyle event.
David Morris of the Y Speedos won the boys 9-10 50 metre breaststroke in 43.21.Israel Allen who had an outstanding showing at the meet won the 50 metre freestyle in a pb of 31.86.Allen won five of the six 9-10 individual age group events on offer all in personal record times. The 200 metre freestyle relay in this age group was won by the Marlins team of Josh Johnson, Jayden Campbell, Josh Wilkinson and Kajuan Haughton in 2:20.35.
In the 11-12 age group it was the Tornadoes duo of Sabrina Lyn and Nikolos Gordon –Somers who took top honours in the 100 metre breaststroke in 1:27.72 and 1:22.49 respectively.
In the 13 and over age group Naomi Eaton of the Y Speedos in addition to her relay win had victories in the 100 metre breaststroke 1:22.67 and 400 metre freestyle 4:53.09.
Adrian Grant of the Tornadoes also did the breaststroke/freestyle double for the 13 and over boys. He won the 400 metre event in 4:53.09. In the breaststroke race he held off teammate Sean-Douglas Gooden for the victory 1:11.84 to 1:11.97.
In the 8 and under category Renae Chung of the Y Speedos was a double winner for the girls taking the 50 metre breaststroke and freestyle races in personal best times of 52.25 and 36.61. Chung won all the 8 and under individual races on offer at the meet. The boys breaststroke race went to Waldon McIntosh in 49.46.
The masters’ races for the ladies were again dominated by the Tornadoes Swim club. Lisa Griffith won the 50 metre breaststroke in 48.22. Annelies Denny won the 50 metre freestyle in 35.41.Stefan Braeger won the men’s 50 metre breaststroke in 41.78. Rohan Whyte of the Sailfish Swim Academy won the freestyle race in 30.29.
The meet was brought to a conclusion with the boys 13 and over 200 metre freestyle relay by the Tornadoes team of Sean-Douglas Gooden, Joshua Craigie, Adrian Grant and Jordan Hines in 1:43.38