The CCSA (Coastal College Sports Association)Champs got underway at the Gabrielson Natatorium in Athens Georgia on Feb 14 and saw Jamaican Sidrell Williams helping his Howard University to a new school record.
The Howard University Bison team of Don Brazelton backstroke 23.63,Speakman Smith breaststroke, Alexander Barnes butterfly 22.65 and Williams 20.23 freestyle recorded a time of 1:32.33 to place fifth. That bettered the record of 1:33.71 recorded at the 2017 CCSA Championships when that team recorded 1:33.71. It also bettered their 6th place finish.
Countryman Mattheau Bonner representing New Jersey Institute of Technology clocked 23.06 on his butterfly to help them to fifth in 1:33.44.
Nicholas Haughton, a fellow Howard University student anchored the 800 yard freestyle relay team with a split of 1:44.58 to help them to sixth in a time of 7:06.67. That is the fourth fastest time in school history.
Teammate and country woman Leanne McMaster anchored the ladies 200 medley relay with a freestyle split of 24.43 for a total time of 1:48.12 for ninth overall. That just missed the school record of 1:47.77 set at last year’s conference Champs where McMaster performed anchor leg duties as well.
The second night of the Walter Rogers Age Group Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Jamaica on Feb 15 saw meet records falling to Brianna Anderson and Sabrina Lyn .
Brianna Anderson who represents the Y Speedos Swim club lowered the 2014 15 and over girls 50 metre backstroke meet record of 31.35 of former CARIFTA standout Danielle Boothe when she stopped the clock in 30.81.That time places the Brianna, who is in her first year of the 15-17 age group within striking range of the national 15-17 age group record of 30.55 set by Angara Sinclair at the 2017 CCCAN championships. That time would also have won the 15-17 Bronze medal at the 2017 CARIFTA championships held in The Bahamas. In 2017 she lowered another Sinclair mark when recorded 32.15. She gave her thoughts about the race to draftingthecaribbean
“My goals were to try to beat the record, try to qualify for CARIFTA and to do a 29.I am still trying my best to achieve that time with more training. Hopefully with the Swim Jamaica sprint I will do 29.My start was actually amazing especially my under waters, my breakout was good and my turnover was quite nice this time. My finish was not as it was I wanted it be because I want to finish like the Olympians so hopefully I fix those things at the sprint meet”.
Also lowering a meet record was Sabrina Lyn of the Tornadoes Swim Club who lowered the 2017 13-14 100 metre butterfly Championship record of 1:06.19 set by Emily MacDonald of Swimaz. That was the national record until MacDonald lowered it to 1:05.86 at the UANA Cup in Florida last month. Though Lyn is the second fastest girl of all time in the age group her 2017 11-12 national record is faster which stands at 1:05.69 when she won CCCAN Gold.
She gave her impressions on the race “ My goal was to make the CARIFTA team and to do that I had to come first. I knew that my competitors do not finish well I did not go as hard on the first lap but as soon I started the second I would have sprint all the way to the finish and that’s what I did and I won and broke the record”.
Sean Douglas Gooden made it three wins in three years in the 15 and over 200 metre breaststroke. He lowered his 2017 record of 2:37.15 to 2:33.71 in the heats before taking the Gold in the final in 2:42.45. He spoke about the race after his win
“I thought I executed my race as best as I could given my current fitness. Honestly I was working on the small things such as my turns and underwaters and dive.I have been told that I have a really strong last 50 metres so I worked on that today. The race was a good one I did not go out too hard due to my fitness. I was aware that and tried to build my momentum throughout the race and that strategy worked perfectly”.
The first day of the 2018 Walter Rogers Age Group Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Jamaica held yesterday Tuesday Feb 13 saw the distance titles being decided.
The fastest performers were Britney Williams of the Swimaz Aquatics Swim club in the 15 and over 800 metre freestyle and Jordane Payne of the Y Speedos Swim Club in 15 and over 1500 metre freestyle.
Williams extended her unbeaten winning streak in the event to five years when she took the title in a time of 10:04.37.
Williams, who is the fastest ever locally trained middle to local distance freestyle swimmer finished ahead of the Y Speedos duo of Naomi Eaton 10:18.31 and Karci Gibson 10:43.94. When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Williams she gave her impression of her performance and building up to CARIFTA
“The race was okay .it was better than the Karl Dalhouse race because I did not feel as tired during and after the event so I am really looking forward to CARIFTA and going sub 10 minutes and hopefully getting a medal”.
Britney’s Golden Years at Age Group Champs
15 and over
15 and over
In the 1500 metre freestyle Payne topped all comers with a time of 18:35.69. He was followed to the wall by teammate Dominic Mullings who punched the clock in 18:48.56. The Y Speedos trifecta was completed by 13-14 Gold medallist Zachary Johnson who dropped more than 20 seconds to be timed in 19:44.98. Payne spoke to draftingthecaribbean after his win
“The 1500 was a very good race, one of my best in Jamaica. It was a very challenging race and I had to be pacing myself but it has put me in a good position to win the high point trophy at this competition”.
Topping the 800 for 13-14 girls race was Zaneta Alvaranga of the Kaizen Swim club who posted a personal best of 10:44.63. Tornadoes swept the top 11-12 positions for girls and boys with Ireland Hunter touching in 11:37.30 for the 800 and Joshua Mair registering 21.12.51 for the 1500.
The final day of competition of the 2018 Tennessee State High School Champs on Sat Feb 10 saw Jamaicans Alex Mignott and Angara Sinclair earning freestyle relay Silver medals while also recording personal bests in their individual 100 yard freestyle events.
Mignott opened up the Jamaican medal account when his McCallie 200 yard freestyle relay team won the Silver .The team of Benjamin Griffith 22.17, Ethan Bevill 20.92, Mignott 21.71 and Will Jackson 21.31 touched in 1:26.11 just behind the Bearden team that touched in 1:26.09. The team improved on their 2017 swim where they placed fifth. Mignott was also faster this year as in 2017 he was timed in 21.85. In the 100 yard freestyle event he earned a second swim in the B final when he recorded a personal best of 48.07 (split time 23.17). In the final that evening he placed seventh overall in a time of 48.64 (split time 23.27).
Country woman Angara Sinclair who represented Baylor won her Silver medal in the 400 yard freestyle relay. The team of Addison Smith 51.72,Sarah Riley 52.62 ,Sinclair 52.37 and Jamee Mitchum 51.66 took the Silver in a total time of 3:28.37.The winners of the event were Harpeth Hall who touched first in 3:22.47.
In the individual 100 yard freestyle Angara earned a second swim by setting a personal best by more than 2 seconds when she clocked 52.79 (split time 25.20) to be the top seed in the B final , a mere .05 of a second outside the Championship final. In the night’s B final she proved that she deserved the top billing. She record the fastest last 50 yards of 27.28 to win in yet another personal best of 52.08. This is a major improvement from 2017 where she placed 25th in a time of 54.88 (split time 26.27).
1st B final
The girls from Baylor finished second overall with 275 points to Harpeth Hall who garnered 353. On the boys side McCallie finished second to Baylor 257 to 315 points respectively.
Lilly Higgs of The Bahamas ended her high school career on the best possible note as she set a new meet and state record in the 100 yard breaststroke and helped school William Amos Hough High to their third consecutive North Carolina 4A State Championships.
Competing at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary on Saturday Feb 10,2018 Higgs would waste no time establishing herself as the top seed for the final when Lilly recorded the fastest time ever in 4A history as well as North Carolina high school history stopping the clock in 1:01.77. That just edged the 2017 record by Middle Creek”s Julia Poole of 1:01.77. In the final she would not have things her own. Mika Fullerton of Apex had shown early front end speed with a 28.68 in the preliminaries to take the second seed with a time of 1:02.40.
The final would prove no different as Fullerton led the early proceedings with a 28.97.Higgs and Ashley McCauley of Leesville Road tracked her with splits of 29.20 and 29.56 respectively. The last 50 yards would be a battle between Higgs and McCauley as they split sub 33 seconds. It would be Higgs who would get her hands to the wall first as she split 32.37 to hold off Ashley and win Gold in 1:01.57. McCauley ,who pressed hard at the end clocked 1:01.78 while Fullerton won Bronze in 1:02.73.
That challenge helped Higgs not only reset the meet and State Mark but also lower her personal best of 1:01.58 set back in March 10,2017 at the SPEEDO Sectionals –Eastern. Her Gold medal is also a tribute to her hard work and consistency to be the best over the years at this Championship. She would also be her school’s only individual winner on the night
The Path to Gold
2nd B Final
She would win another title in the 400 yard freestyle relay as the Hough Huskies recorded the fastest winning time of all three State Championships 1A/2A,3A and 4A to take Gold. The team of Heidi Lowe 50.95, Amaya Hanley 52.07, Kesnley Merritt 50.68 and Higgs 50.73 touched in 3:24.43 just ahead of South Mecklenburg 3:24.86.
In the 200 medley relay the Hough Huskies placed fourth in a time of 1:43.95. Higgs had the second fastest breaststroke split of the meet with a time of 28.20. She would also place fourth in the 200 yard individual medley in a time of 2:03.14 (split time 59.18), the fourth fastest time in her career.
Higgs gave her thoughts about her performances to draftingthecaribbean
“As always, I enjoyed representing my high school at the state level! With a team of only 3 divers and 8 swimmers we were able to win states for the third time in a row, which is an incredible accomplishment. Individually I placed fourth in the 200im and first in the 100 breaststroke and set a new meet record, which I was so proud to do to. Being a senior this year it was a way for me to leave my mark on high mark on high school swimming!”
She , along with older sister Albury were members of the 2016 Huskies team that set the state 200 medley relay record of 1:43.21 .
The Huskies topped the competition with 295 points followed by Leesville Road 267 and South Mecklenburg 197.
Higgs who has been unbeaten in the 50 and 100 metre breaststroke at the CARIFTA level for the last three will to aim to build on her CARIFTA legacy in her final year of eligibility when she competes at the Championship in Kingston Jamaica next month
The Barbados Boys at Baylor Jack Kirby and Luis Sebastian Weekes produced yet another series of best times at the 2018 Tennessee State Champs to help their school capture yet another boy’s title.
Jack would start the proceedings by winning the 100 yard freestyle state title in a new personal record. He cruised to the final with a time of 46.35. In the championship final he took the fight to the field early with a split of 21.38.As seen with his improved back end speed in past competitions he out split the chasing pack by recording the fastest last 50 yards of 23.07. He touched the wall in 44.45 , marking his first time under the 45 seconds barrier .His previous best was 45.21 leading off the Baylor team at the SPEEDO Winter Junior championships –East in 45.21 .
He bettered the 2014 time of countryman Christian Selby who won the crown in 44.76 . This is the third 100 yard freestyle title won by a CARIFTA region swimmer from Baylor under the tutelage of Coach Dan Flack . The first Champion being Jamaican Brad Hamilton ,who won in 2007 in a time of 45.15.The swim also places Kirby number two all time at Baylor .
In the 100 yard backstroke Kirby would again cruise to time of 50.36 to easily make the Championship final. In the afternoon’s final it would be a coronation rather than a race as Jack went out in 23.29 for the first 50 and that pace was too hot for the field as he had an advantage of almost a second. And as has been the custom he out split the field over the last 50 yards to post 24.94 and record yet another new personal best of 48.23. His performance is the fourth fastest all time in state history and third all-time at Baylor.
He had previous finishes at the State champs of sixth and eighth.
Road to Gold
In the final race of the day the Baylor team of Trey Freeman 43.87, Piotr Kurleto 45.47, Zach Althoff 45.40and Kirby 44.78 broke the magical 3 minute mark for high school teams to record a new school and Championship record of 2:59.52. That broke the state record set last year of 2017 of 3:01.21 and the school record of 3:00.78 of which Kirby was a member of both teams.
That makes it Six titles in the 400 yard freestyle relay with CARIFTA region swimmers coached by Flack at Baylor following wins with Hamilton in 2008 and 2009 and Selby in 2014 and 2015.
Countryman Weekes did not let the disappointment of a DQ in the 200 yard freestyle relay deter him from doing his best in the 100 yard breaststroke. He won the Bronze in a new personal best of 56.15 (split time 25.80).
It is the first medal for Baylor in the event since Bahamian Dustin Tynes won the title in 2014. Luis is the now fourth all time at Baylor.
Baylor topped the competition for the boys with 315 points. Second went to McCallie with 257 points and third to Memphis University School with 215.Baylor also won the combined title
The first day of competition at the Tennessee State swim Champs on Friday Feb 9 at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center saw Jamaica’s Alex Mignott winning relay Bronze and country woman Angara Sinclair setting a new personal best in the 50 yard freestyle.
Competing for McCallie Mignott anchored the team in the 200 yard medley relay of 21.79 to help them to be the third seed in the final with an overall time of 1:35.75. In the final the team would be faster to win the Bronze. The team of Jake Marcum backstroke 23.57, Reece Gallagher breaststroke 26.89, Max Ransom butterfly 22.79 and Mignott 21.53 would touch the wall in a time of 1:34.78. That bettered their 2017 position and time of fourth place in a 1:36.78.
In the individual 50 yard freestyle event Mignott recorded a season best’s time of 22.15 to place 18th .
Countrywoman Angara Sinclair who was a member of Jamaica’s all conquering CARIFTA 15-17 team that swept all the relay in The Bahamas in 2017 set a new personal best in the 50 yard freestyle. The Baylor student touched the wall in 24.77 to place 18th overall just .20 of a second outside of earning a spot in the B final. That bettered her 2017 time of 24.99.