GIRL WONDER!! JILLIAN CROOKS OF CAMANA BAY CONTINUES NATIONAL RECORD ONSLAUGHT ON FINAL DAY OF DEAN MARTIN

As it was on the first two days of the 2018 Dean Martin Memorial meet in Kingston Jamaica so it was on the final day  Sunday October 28 where Jillian Crooks of Camana Bay Aquatics continued the constant assault on the Cayman Islands 11-12 age group records.

jillian crooks 100 fly
Jillian Crooks 11-12 metre record holder in 100 metre butterfly and fastest ever 11-12 swimmer in the event in Jamaica Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

In her first event of the day she raised the bar for her age group in the 100 metre butterfly. The 11-12 meet record stood to Jamaican standout Zaneta Alvaranga at 1:08.85 in 2017 which was also the fastest time by  a female swimmer at the meet, Jillian’s 11-12 Cayman record was 1:06.87 from her CCCAN Gold medal performance in Aruba and the best ever  11-12 time in Jamaica was 1:05.98 by another wunderkind Bermuda’s Elan Daley in her Gold medal winning performance at CARIFTA 2018.  Jillian would blast through all of those times  to record a winning time of 1:04.54.  Her opening split of 30.21 almost broke her 50 metre butterfly record of 30.08.Crooks has made considerable progress since her first regional meet of 2018 which was UANA where she recorded a time of 1:12.43.

100 butterfly UANA CCCAN Dean Martin
First 50 33.95 32.64 30.21
Second 50 38.48 36.67 34.33
Final Time 1:12.43 1:09.31 1:04.54
Heather Roffey gamecocksonline
Olympian Heather Roffey Photo courtesy of gamecocksonline.com

Still in only her first year of the 11-12 age group she is already faster than the Cayman Islands 13-14 record held by Olympian Heather Roffey (Athen 2004) of 1:05.62 and is closing fast on the senior record of Lara Butler (Rio 2016)  of 1:04.10. Her winning time at Dean Martin would have won her the Silver medal in the boys race at CARIFTA earlier in the year

Lara Butler
Lara Butler Photo courtesy of http://www.ciasa.ky
100 butterfly Crooks 2018 Butler 2016
First 50 30.21 30.15
Second 50 34.33 33.95
Final Time 1:04.54 1:04.10
Kendese Nangle
Kendese Nangle Photo courtesy of dartmouthsports.com

She would not finish with her record breaking in the butterfly but also extended that to the 200 metre backstroke. Jillian would slice a few hundredths off her PB and national record of 2:33.98 to register  a winning time of 2:33.91 . That now stands at the 11-12 record and fastest  ever female time of the meet. The old 11-12 meet record was held by Kendese Nangle of the Blue Seals swim club from 2007 who posted a time of 2:42.95.

Emily 200 free
Emily MacDonald  Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

She would close out the meet with a meet record in the 50 metre freestyle record of 27.78 just eclipsing the  2016 meet  record of  27.79 by CAC and Youth Olympics representative Emily MacDonald of Swimaz Aquatics.  Crooks now dominates the LCM record board for the Cayman Islands in the 11-12 age group and has a chance to lower the CARIFTA and CCCAN records in those events in 2019.

Event Crooks Cayman CARIFTA CCCAN CCCAN best/Country
50 metre freestyle 27.25 26.59 27.46 26.59 Ber
100 metre freestyle 59.93 1:00.06 59.65 58.12 Ber
200 metre freestyle 2:15.17 2:10.26 2:10.24 2:08.16 Ber
50 metre backstroke 32.11 31.52 30.78 30.78  Tri
100 metre backstroke 1:08.40 1:08.69 1:07.14 1:06.65 Tri
200 metre backstroke 2:33.91 2:29.11 2:26.35 2:25.91 Mex
100 metre breaststroke 1:23.60 1:14.60 1:14.39 1:13.33 Tri
50 metre butterfly 30.08 28.87 28.74 28.74 Jam
100 metre butterfly 1:04.54 1:05.98 1:05.55 1:04.46 Ber
200 metre IM 2:34.88 2:27.95 2:27.38 2:25.21 Ber

Continuing his own meet record smashing streak was Zarek Wilson of the Blue Dolphins Swim club of Trinidad and Tobago. He recorded the fastest ever time at the meet of 4:30.45 while destroying the 11-12 record of Sean -Douglas Gooden of 4:51.45.In his final event of the competition he clocked 26.20 just missing the 2017 record of 26.16 set by Nathaniel Thomas of the Tornadoes swim club.

Sabrina Lyn
Sabrina Lyn National record holder in the 13-14 100 metre butterfly Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

In one of the most exciting races of the day in the 13-14 age group in the 100 metre butterfly which saw the 2018 CARIFTA Silver medallist Zaneta Alvaranga of the Kaizen Swim Club in a head to head battle with the 2018 CCCAN Gold medallist and national record holder Sabrina Lyn of the Tornadoes. It would be Alvaranga’s fast opening 50 metres that proved to be the difference as she held off a late charge from Lyn. They would finish in times of 1:05.24 and 1:05.56  well under the 2008 record of 1:10.86. Also finishing under the record was P’aige Lewis of the Y Speedos who recorded a time of 1:10.57.

Zaneta Alvaranga
Zaneta Alvaranga, fastest ever female swimmer at the Dean Martin meet Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

Alvaranga would return to close out her individual races with  an emphatic win in the 50 metre freestyle in a time of 27.23 . That shattered the  2016 meet record of 28.38 by 2018 Commonwealth Games competitor Alison Jackson of the Stingrays Swim Club of the Cayman Islands.The performance will also stand as the fastest ever female time at the meet.

Nathaniel Thomas
Nathaniel Thomas 13-14 record breaker in the 100 metre butterfly and 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

Also in record standard setting mode was Thomas of the Tornadoes Swim Club in the 13-14 age category. In the 100 metre butterfly he set a new personal best time of 1:00.54 to take the win and break the meet record of 1:01.80. He would top the 13-14 field in the 50 metre freestyle with a time of 25.12 ,just under the old record of 25.16 in yet another personal best.He will be targeting the 2004 national record of 24.47 set by another Tornadoes swimmer Brad Hamilton.

Jordan Hines
Jordan Hines 17-18 50 metre freestyle record breaker Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

In the 15-16 category Jordan Crooks of Camana Bay Aquatics produced the meet’s first ever sub minute swim in the 100 metre butterfly when he touched the pads in 59.83.In the 15 and over category of the 50 metre freestyle he held off two members of Jamaica’s national record setting 15-17 200 metre freestyle team at CARIFTA Jordan Hines of the Tornadoes Swim Club and Kyle Sinclair of the Y Speedos to be the fastest sprinter in the history of the meet. He cut through the water to touch in 24.60. Hines was a touch back in 24.61 and Sinclair ,the final sub 25 seconds swimmer with a 24.80. Both Jordans won their respective 15-16 and 17-18 age groups.

The Y Speedos Swim club retained their crown with 845 points followed by the Tornadoes Swim club with 745 and the Marlins swim club third with 256 points.

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TEAM TTO’S RISING STAR ZAREK WILSON RETURNS TO JAMAICA FOR 2018 DEAN MARTIN MEMORIAL MEET

 

 

Zarek Wilson in action at the October Classic Invitational Swimming classic
Zarek Wilson in action at the October Classic Invitational Swimming classic Photo courtesy of Harold Robert Wilson

Team (Trinidad and Tobago)  TTO’s Zarek Wilson who will be representing his club Blue Dolphins will return to Jamaica to compete at the 2018 edition of the Dean Martin Memorial Swim meet at the National Aquatic Centre in Kingston from October 26 to 28.

Elan and Zarek hrold wilson photos
11-12 high point winners girls and boys Elan Daley of Bermuda and Zarek Wilson Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The last time Wilson was here for the CARIFTA championships he led a dominant 11-12 youth brigade from the twin island republic. Zarek dominated the competition winning 12 Gold and One Silver from 13 events , a near flawless winning percentage. During that competition from March 31 to April 3 he lowered the 400 metre freestyle record to 4:27.78.

Wilson will enter the competition having earned 21 Gold 6 Silver and 4 Bronze medals in the calendar year 2018 across the three major regional age group competitions UANA, CARIFTA and CCCAN. He will also be in good form for the three day meet having lowered the 11-12 national records at home in 3 events at the October Classic Invitational in at the Marlins Swim Pool in Westmoorings in early October.

400 metre freestyle 4:21.16
200 metre butterfly 2:20.25
1500 metre freestyle 17:46.74
Kael off the blocks
Kael Yorke diving off the blocks in the heats of the 50 metre butterfly Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The previous records were  400 metre freestyle 4:23.66 by Joshua Romany in 2008  200 metre butterfly 2:21.68 and  1500 metre freestyle 17:50.31 by Kael Yorke in 2013.

The 1500 metre freestyle record was subsequently lowered  at the same meet by another 11-12 star Nikoli Blackman who took it to 17:36.90 at the same meet.

Zarek ,though untapered will have a much lighter work load swimming a mere “six” events.

Zachary-Moore caymansportsbuzz
Zachary Moore Photo courtesy of caymansportsbuzz

The first event he will tackle is the 1500 metre freestyle where the meet record and fastest time ever recorded in Jamaica by an 11-12 boy is 18:51.65 set by the Cayman Islands’ Zachary Moore while representing the Stingray Swim Club in 2015 . So the fans on Friday will have a chance to see the first sub 18 minutes swim on local swim by an 11-12 swimmer.

 

Three events later he will  have his final race for the day the 200 metre individual medley. That meet record of 2:31.18  was set by another rising star from the Cayman Islands and the Stingray Swim Club Corey Fredrick- Westborg. The fastest ever 11-12 time  posted in Jamaica is 2:24.55  held by another member of Team TTO ,Jabari Baptiste. That time was set at CARIFTA 2010 when he won Gold. This past summer he was a member of Team TTO’s  CAC Games 400 metre freestyle relay team that won the Bronze in a new national record of 3:22.83.

400 free relay TTO
Team TTO at the 2018 CAC Games

On Saturday his first event will be the 200 metre butterfly.The 11-12 200 metre butterfly record stands at 2:33.52 by the Tornadoes Nathaniel Thomas and the fastest ever 11-12 time in Jamaica is 2:22.71 set by Damon St Prix of Barbados when he won Gold at CARIFTA 2013. With the event being open the sporting public may see Zarek be pushed to under the 2:20 mark.

luis sebastian weekes im m lyn
Weekes competing in the heats of the 200 individual medley at the 2017 CARIFTA championships Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The 400 individual medley, also an open event sees the 2015 Moore standard of 5:24.99 under threat. Zarek may also get the push needed to go under the Jamaica best mark of 5:09.20 set by  recent 2018 Youth Olympic Games competitor Luis Sebastian Weekes of Barbados. Weekes set that mark at CARIFTA 2013 when he topped the 11-12 field for the Gold.

 

The final day sees the 400 metre freestyle as the opening event. The meet record stands at 4:51.13 by the Tornadoes Sean- Douglas Gooden . It is no surprise that Zarek holds the fastest time ever swum in 11-12  as he set the CARIFTA Championship record of 4:27.78 earlier this year. As he prepares to go into the stronger 13-14 age group he will be using this meet to post a sub 4:20 time and set yet another national record. The fastest time ever swum across all age groups at the meet is 4:30.93 by John Bodden of the Stingrays Swim Club of the Cayman Islands in 2016.

Dylan Carter trinidad express
Dylan Carter at the 2013 CARIFTA swimming championships Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

His final race in Jamaica will be the 50 metre freestyle where he saw the a big improvement at his last meet from 27.03 to 25.67. The meet record of 26.16 is held by  Jamaica’s Nathaniel Thomas who dominated the region in 11-12 in the event when he both the CARIFTA and CCCAN titles.

Nathaniel Thomas Neville 2017 1
Nathaniel Thomas  2017 CARIFTA and CCCAN in the 11-12 boys 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

The best 11-12 time recorded in Jamaica is 25.90 by French Guyana’s Dilan Nunez Green at CARIFTA this year when he lowered the long standing record of 26.00 Team TTO’s Olympian Dylan Carter. The  11-12 national record for Team TTO is 25.58 held by Carter. So Wilson could end his Jamaican adventure with a national mark.

The 2018 Dean Martin Memorial meet with the  inclusion of  Wilson and other CARIFTA,CCCAN and Goodwill Games champions promises to be yet another exciting meet with many closes races and records set to fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BERMUDA’S FASTEST FEMALE SPRINTER MADELYN MOORE READY TO RACE IN ARGENTINA AT 2018 YOG

Madelyn Moore , the fastest female swimmer from Bermuda is excited and ready to race in Buenos Aires , Argentina. The speedster will be racing in the 100 metre freestyle Monday October 8, the 50 metre butterfly on Tuesday October 9 ,the 50 metre backstroke on Wednesday October 10, the 50 metre freestyle on Thursday October 11.

Madelyn Moore with the Usain Bolt pose
Madelyn Moore with the Usain Bolt pose Photo courtesy of Sharks Swim Club Bermuda

 

Moore holds the 17-18 and senior national record in the 50 metre freestyle with a time of 25.95 on May 6 at the Southwest Summer Championships in the United Kingdom. Breaking the the 26 seconds barrier is a significant achievement for a junior swimmer. Moore who is a freshman at the University of Northern Colorado spoke to draftingthecaribbean on Saturday October 6.

“The swimming facilities here in Argentina are exceptional. I am having a good time so far. I have enjoyed settling into the village and seeing old friends and finally I can’t wait for the the meet to begin”.

Moore is a seasoned campaigner at top level international junior competitions having swum at the 2016 Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Hawaii, the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games in The Bahamas and the 2017 world Junior Swimming championships in  Indianapolis, United States.

Madelyn 15-17
CCCAN Championships 15-17 50 metre freestyle from left to right Gabrianna Banks Jamaica Bronze medallist, Moore Gold and Victoria Russell The Bahamas Silver medallist Photo courtesy of C.C.C.A.N

At the 2018 CCCAN Championships she equalled her senior national record in the 50 metre freestyle with yet another 25.97 showing.Moore would also take the one lap crowns in the butterfly and backstroke with times of 28.13 and 30.23 .She would would win the Silver in the 100 metre freestyle in 58.40.

Madelyn enters the Youth Olympic Games in good form . At her senior national debut at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Colombia she earned second swims in all her events. The 50 metre freestyle saw her placing 8th in the Championship final with a 26.09. She would leave Barranquilla with personal bests in the 100 metre freestyle 58.09, the 50 metre backstroke 30.09 and the 50 metre butterfly 28.10 respectively.

This will be second Youth Olympic Games that Bermuda will be competing in the swimming. She is the first female to compete in the sport for Bermuda. Team Bermuda is completed by teammate Kai Legband and Coach Ben Smith.

ARUBA’S ANAHI SCHREUDERS TO END AGE GROUP CAREER ON A HIGH NOTE AT 2018 YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES

The CARIFTA Region has a good history at the Summer Youth Olympic Games with the talented swimmers performing well at the competition. One of those gifted athletes who will be displaying their skills in Buenos Aires Argentina is  Aruban rising star Anahi Schreuders

Anahi will be capping a very successful final year as a junior swimmer when she competes in the sprint breaststroke events. She will dive into the water in the 50 metre event on Sunday October 7 and the 100 metre race on Tuesday October 9.

She has been having a successful campaign in these events at the major Championships for the calendar year. At the CARIFTA championships in Kingston Jamaica in the 15-17 age group she set  a personal best of 1:15.82 to take the Bronze in the 100 and was just off her personal standard in the 50 to take the Silver in 33.82.

anahi at CCCAN
Anahi posing with 50 metre breaststroke Silver at the CCCAN Championships Photo courtesy of C.C.C.A.N

In her quest for excellence and competing in front of her home crowd in Aruba at the CCCAN Championships she would be even faster.She would retain her Silver medal in the 15-17 breaststroke but with a new personal best of 33.43 compared to the 34.02 recorded in Trinidad and Tobago a year earlier.

Anahi during the heats of the 100 metre breaststroke
Anahi concentrating before the heats of the 100 metre breaststroke at the CAC Games Photo courtesy of Comite Olimpico Arubano

There would be more personal bests in store as well as Aruban records. Making her senior national debut at the Central American and Caribbean records in Barranquilla Colombia.She would make her first Championship final when she became the first swimmer from Aruba under 33 seconds with a time of 32.98. She would place sixth in the final in the second fastest of her career of 33.33.

There would be another senior national record in the 100 metre breaststroke as she lowered her personal best in the morning heats to 1:14.02 to make the B Final. In that race she showed great speed endurance to have the fastest closing 50 metres of 38.50 to take the win 1:13.24. That equalled the 2009 record set by Ashley Groters at the Rome World Championships.

Anahi and Coach
Coach Ismael Santisesteban Espinsona and Anahi

Schreuders indicated to draftingthecaribbean that training heading into the Games has been going well .With that in mind one can expect more good performances from Anahi.

daniella-van-den-berg
Daniella Van Den Berg Photo courtesy of seminoles.com

Past representatives for Aruba at the Summer Youth Olympics were Jonathan Ponson and Saskia Postma in 2010 in Singapore and Jordy Groters and Daniella van den Berg in 2014 in China.

ALEX SOBERS OF BARBADOS CRUSHES NATIONAL RECORD TO LEAD ENGLISH SPEAKING CARIBBEAN IN THE 400 METRE FREESTYLE

Barbadian Olympian Alex Sobers established himself as the best from  the English speaking Caribbean in the 400 metre freestyle when he had won the 15-17 crown at the now defunct Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships with a time of 3:57.30 in 2016 in The Bahamas.

scoreboard-on-alex-sobers-swim
Scoreboard showing the results of the 15-17 400 metres freestyle final at the 2016 CISC

 

He would dip under the 4 minute mark again on his Olympic debut at the Rio Games with a time of 3:59.97. Since then it he would have a number of close shaves with that barrier recording 4:00.17 at the 2017 CCCAN Championships in Trinidad and Tobago and 4:00.50 at the 2017 Budapest World Championships.

sobers final 400 metre final
Sobers gets ready to compete in the 400 metre freestyle final Photo courtesy of Aisha Norville

On July 23 at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla Colombia he registered a preliminary round time of 4:01.42.That propelled him to Championship final. In the final that afternoon he destroyed his old national mark to place seventh in 3:55.50.

Record Progression
400 metre freestyle 2016 CISC 2018 CAC Games
First 100 metres 57.04 56.70
Second 100 metres 1:00.81 59.67
Third 100 metres 1:00.22 59.29
Fourth 100 metres 59.23 59.84
Final Time 3:57.30 3:55.30

Speaking to draftingthecaribbean after his record swim Sobers said “I am really proud and excited to do 3:55 which is a best time and to break my national record as I was struggling to produce a sub 4 minute swim for a really long time”

Alex bettered the 2019  Gwangju LCM World Championships and 2018 Hangzhou SCM World Championships B standard of 3:56.14. He is closing in on the the 2019 Lima PAN AM Games automatic qualifying standard of 3:54.44 and as well as the provisional Tokyo 2020 B standard 3:53.58. The final Olympic standards will be ratified in December by FINA.

sobers EC Athletics Athlete of the year
Alex Sobers Emmanuel College’s Athlete of the Year Photo courtesy of goeclions.com

Alex will be in his junior college at Emmanuel College which is now a full member of the Division II and will be a member of the Conference Carolinas. For the 2017-2018 season he was named by his school as the Male Athlete of the Year Annual Leo  Athletic Awards. He hold the school records in the 200 and 500 yard freestyle with times of 1:35.95 and 4:27.56.

BACK TO THE TOP CARTER WINS 50 IN GAMES RECORD AND WORLD TOP 10 TIME,McLEOD TAKES BRONZE AND 400 FREE RELAY ALSO WINS BRONZE

In another wonderful night of swimming by the CARIFTA region at the 23rd      CAC (Central American and Caribbean) CAC)Games at the Eduardo Movilla Aquatic Complex in Colombia, it was Team Trinidad and Tobago that lead the medal performance with Gold and Bronze by Dylan Carter in the 50 metre backstroke and a Bronze medal won by the 400 metre freestyle relay team .

The fourth day of action got under way on a good note in the heats with David McLeod returning a personal best in the 50 metre backstroke heats with a time of 25.85 to place third . It was also for that time the fastest swim ever by a Team TTO member at the CAC Games The meet record was broken by  2014 Silver medallist Venezuela’s Robinson Molina who topped the heat with a time of 25.21.  That would not last very long as those record would  fall to Carter who record a new PB, national record , and Games record of 25.01. The old national record had stood to Olympic Gold medallist George Bovell III set almost exactly 4 years ago at 25.39.It also stood as the fastest time ever from the CARIFTA region. Carter’s heat swim was also the 17th fastest time in the World this year. With Carter a clear favourite the question now was would Team TTO be able to get two swimmers as they had done in the 50 metre butterfly With past Champions and medallists such Colombia’s Omar Pinzon and Molina set to contest the medal race.

50 back medallists and carter 96.1
Team TTO 50 metre backstroke medallists Carter and McLeodwith the parents of Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of 96.1 WEFM

 

In the Championship final it was a matter of question asked and emphatically answered. Carter would take the Gold in a another new PB, NR and Games record of 24.83, the first man under 25 seconds at the CAC Games and also the 10th fastest time in the world this year . It obviously qualified him for the 2018 Hangzhou World Short Course Swimming championships and 2019 Gwangju World Championships as the A standard is 25.17 Silver went Molina in 25.25 and the Bronze to McLeod in a personal best of 25.55 with 2010 Champion Pinzón placing fourth in 25.71. It is a big improvement for David as he placed seventh in Veracruz Mexico with a time of 26.87.

See video by TEAM TTO

 

With the Gold and Bronze in the race Team TTO have a complete set of medals with Bovell’s Silver in 2010 (26.08) and Bronze in 2014 (25.91) and have begun work on a another set. It is also first time Team TTO has placed two persons on the podium and second CARIFTA region victory with Olympian Nicky Neckles winning the first Gold in 2006 (26.44).  Team TTO has won a medal at every edition of the Games as Barbados Olympian Nicholas Bovell won Bronze in 2006 (26.82).

The 400 metre freestyle relay team easily qualified for the final with a time of 3:27.77. With the lineup of swimmers assembled in Barranquilla it would always be a question of how much the national record of 3:25.73 set at the 2010 edition of the Games would be lowered by and if it could get them a podium place.

The final had them using Carter on the opening leg to give them a lead and keep them in medal contention . The strategy worked as the splits of Carter 48.79 , Jabari Baptiste 51.74, McLeod 51.44 and Joshua Romany’s anchor leg of 50.86 sealed the Bronze with an overall time of 3:22.83. Dylan’s opening leg also lowered his 100 metre freestyle Games record set on the opening day and ranks him 14th in the world

100 FREESTYLE GAMES RECORD PROGRESSION

Date July 20 July 24
First 50 metres 23.29 23.02
Second 50 metres 25.66 25.77
Final Time 48.95 48.79

Silver went to Venezuela in 3:20.43 and the Gold to Mexico in 3:18.60, Games record.

See video of race by Team TTO

 

 

400 free relay TTO

 

Team TTO is the  only CARIFTA region team to medal in this relay. This follows on Silver medal winning performances of the 1986 team of Mark Andrews, Rhett Chee Ping,Bruce Kaufmann and Andre Dieffenthaller (3:33.08) and the 2010 team of George Bovell III, Caryle Blondell, Joshua McLeod and Jarryd Gregoire (3:25.73). This medal performance also raises hopes of the team swimming  more often to get into a World top 16 position and make  2020 Olympic relay qualification possible . Team TTO Bronze medal winning time is currently the 11th fastest time in the world by a country.

Kael off the blocks
Kael Yorke at CARIFTA 2018 Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Kael Yorke became yet another CARIFTA 2018 Champion to make a medal final as he continues to put together an impressive final year as a junior. He rose to the challenge of competing in senior waters to record a personal best in both the heats and Championship and place seventh. He was timed in 54.27 just outside off the 15-17 age group record of 54.21 held by Carter.

100 butterfly 2018 season

Event Time Split Placing
UANA 56.53 26.68 Bronze
CARIFTA 55.57 26.23 Gold
CCCAN 55.28 26.68 Gold
CAC Games 54.27 25.02 7th

HISTORIC FIRSTS FOR THE BAHAMAS AND JAMAICA AS ALBURY HIGGS, JOANNA EVANS AND ALIA ATKINSON WIN MEDALS ON DAY 4 OF THE CAC GAMES

The fourth night of action the at the 23rd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Barranquilla, Colombia on Saturday night at the Eduardo Movilla Aquatic Complex saw three CARIFTA region ladies as they won the first ever medals for their nations in their respective events.

Higgs breaststroke bronze
200 metre breaststroke Bronze medallist Albury Higgs

Starting the medal run Was Albury Higgs of The Bahamas. Albury has been having quite the summer lowering the national records in the 100 and 200 metre breaststroke right before the Games . She was expected to be in form at the meet and she was. She qualified for the 200 metre breaststroke Championship final with a time of 2:32.90 just her national standard of 2:32.30 set at the Bahamian REV national championships in June. Joining in her in the final was countrywoman  2:33.90 Laura Morley who made the Championship finals in all the breaststroke events, the 50,100 and 200 .

With increased  speed evidenced by her national record of 1:10.77 in the 100 metre event in  the United States Albury pushed the pace in the final turning at the 100 metre mark in a time of 1:12.59 in the Silver medal position.She held that placing until the last couple of metres when Mexico’s Esther Gonzalez Medina passed her. That early front end speed would pay off as she just just held off Morley to take the Bronze in 2:30.83 to 2:31.02 .Both ladies went well under the old national mark and were well under the 2019 Lima PAN AM Games automatic qualifying standard of 2:34.43. Both swimmers achieved the 2018 Hangzhou World Short Course Swimming Championships and 2019 Gwangju World  Championships B standard of 2:31.02. With her Bronze medal she becomes the first Bahamian man or woman to win a medal in the event.She also becomes the fastest ever CARIFTA region swimmer at the Games as she bettered Alia Atkinson’s 2006 effort of 2:30.99.  Only Atkinson and now Higgs have ever medalled in the event for the ladies. It also marks the first medal for Albury in the senior ranks

Higgs offered this reaction to her historic swim

“It was an exciting swim and I was very happy with the best time and record, as well as a bronze for team Bahamas!”

Gold went to the Mexican duo of Byanca Melissa Rodriguez Villanuez in a Games record of 2:25.60 and the Silver to Gonzalez Medina in 2:29.72.

Puerto rico 400 im
400 IM medallists Photo courtesy of the Puerto Swimming federation

Known primarily for her distance exploits Joanna Evans has taken the opportunity to add a few other events to her schedule and it has resulted in medal winning performances.In the 100 metre freestyle she set a new personal best to win the Silver medal. She had set the national record of 4:59.25  in the 400 metre individual medley as a junior swimmer at the 2015 CARIFTA Games in Barbados which still stands today. in qualification she  cleared that mark  with a time of 4:57.56. In the final she blew that mark away with a swim of  4:50.38 to land the Silver. Joanna becomes the first Bahamian woman to medal in the event. Both record breaking swims were under the  2019 LIMA PAN AM Games mark of 4:57.99. The only other swimmers  from the CARIFTA  region to medal at the Games are Gold was won by Puerto Rico’s Kristen Romano in 4:46.31 and the Bronze by Monika Gonzalez Hermosillo in 4:52.13. She gave an assessment of the race and the  humid conditions to draftingthecaribbean

“Honestly there was not much of a strategy except to go out and race and see what I can do.It is really hot .We are just hydrating and trying to stay out of the sun”.

CARIFTA REGION MEDALLISTS THROUGH THE YEARS

Year Name Time Country Medal
1986 Rhett Chee Ping 4:39.14 Trinidad and Tobago Bronze
1998 Carolyn Adel 4:52.42 Suriname Gold
2006 Jeremy Knowles 4:23.83 The Bahamas Silver
2006 Bradley Ally 4:22.86 GR Barbados Gold
2010 Bradley Ally 4:21.49 GR Barbados Gold
100 metre butterfly
100 metre butterfly medallists Photo courtesy ofadiimages

Competing in her third CAC Games Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson created another first by medalling in the 100 metre butterfly. No Jamaican man or woman has ever made it to the podium in the event . Last night she took the Bronze medal in the event in a time of 1:00.13 (split time 27.34). Silver went to Venezuela’s Isabella  Paez 1:00.04 and Gold to Miriam Guevara Hernandez in 59.13. Alia’s medal winning time was the second best effort of her career as her national record stands at 59.94 (split time 28.44) when she beat Paez (1:00.47) for the Gold at the 2017 Southern Zone Sectional Championship.

FEMALE CARIFTA REGION MEDALLISTS THROUGH THE YEARS

Year Name Time Country Medal
1978 Shelly Cramer 1:05.64 ISV Silver
1982 Shelly Cramer 1:04.20 ISV Silver
1982 Judy Lawaetz 1:05.10 ISV Bronze
1993 Siobhan Cropper 1:03.01 Trinidad and Tobago Gold
2010 Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace 59.74 GR The Bahamas Gold
2014 Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace 1:00.17 The Bahamas Gold