CARIFTA BREASTSTROKE CHAMPIONS LILLY HIGGS AND IZAAK BASTIAN NAVIGATE MAKE FIRST SENIOR LEVEL CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

The Bahamian duo of CARIFTA Champions Lilly Higgs and Izaak Bastian made the championship finals at the 2018 CAC (Central American and Caribbean) Games in Barranquilla Colombia on July 20 and 21st respectively.

final preparations for free final Izaak
Bastian makes last minute preparations for his race at CARIFTA 2018. Photo courtesy of Rochelle Bastian

This competition marks their second opportunity participating at a senior level meet, the first time was earlier this year at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. With more rest between competitions both swimmers who hold the fastest time ever in this event at the CARIFTA level were able to make the Championship final in the 100 metre breaststroke events. Lilly placed fifth in a time of 1:11.32 just ahead of countrywoman Laura Morley who stopped the clock in 1:12.34. In 2014 there was also a Bahamian as Lilly’s older sister Albury had placed fourth in 1:14.06.

Higgs sisters CAC 2018
CAC 100 metre breaststroke championship finalists in 2018 and 2014 Lilly and Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

 

 

Bastian lowered his best time twice .In the heats he had a time of 1:02.99 (split time 29.49)  and in the final he placed seventh 1:02.91( split time 28.96). His split is significant as he won the 50 metre breaststroke at CARIFTA in Kingston Jamaica earlier this year in 28.69.

Izaak and Lilly Shelly Bas productions
Izaak Bastian and Lilly Higgs after their historic 2017Commonwealth Youth Games  Silver medal winning performances Photo courtesy of Shelly Bastian

 

The presence of three Bahamians in Championship finals at this competition also speaks to the proficiency of that nation in this stroke.

Draftingthecaribbean contacted Lilly and asked about her first senior level Championship final and she gave us her thoughts about her first day of competition

“Overall, my races today went pretty well. This morning I swam the backstroke leg on the mixed 4×100 medley relay and later swam 100 breaststroke and qualified for the A final. My prelims swim wasn’t what I wanted, but I was still able to get another swim and am very happy with my finals swim!”

 

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KAEL YORKE SET TO MAKE SENIOR INTERNATIONAL DEBUT FOR TEAM TTO AT CAC GAMES TODAY

Kael Yorke Gold medallist
Kael Yorke

Kael Yorke of Trinidad and Tobago has had an outstanding junior swimming career for Team Trinidad and Tobago and this 2018 season was no exception. He completed the regional Golden Double (CARIFTA and CCCAN) titles in the 100 metre butterfly.He was also amongst the medals in both competitions in both competitions.  He also came very close to establishing new records at both meets in his preferred stroke.

Event Meet Time Placing Championship Record
50 metre butterfly CARIFTA 25.45 heats 25.09 Silver 25.06
50 metre butterfly CCCAN 25.17 heats 24.99 Gold 24.97
100 metre butterfly CARIFTA 55.57 Gold 54.85
100 metre butterfly CCCAN 55.28 Gold 55.25
200 metre butterfly CARIFTA 2:05.88 Gold 2:05.83
200 metre butterfly CCCAN 2:08.27 heats 2:08.12 Bronze 2:01.58

 

Today awaits a new challenge , a senior international debut at the Central American and Caribbean Games.

Kael Yorke H wilson
Kael Yorke checks his times after his race at CARIFTA Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

It will be a challenge that he will have to learn to face as he transitions from the junior level to senior waters where the competition will be much closer from the morning heats to the final where mistakes will be capitalized upon by his competitiors

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to young Yorke at the CCCAN Championships about this season and the competitions he had for the rest of the season

“The CCCAN Meet has been progressing nicely for a meet that I am not tapered for. I am satisfied with the times that I am swimming. I actually swam a best time in the 50 m butterfly, going under the 25 second barrier (24.99). That says a lot about my training.
15-17 200 metre butterfly medallists
CCCAN 200 metre butterfly medallists from left to right Silver medallist Fernando Ponce Guatemala, Gold Medallist Juan Camilo Ocampo Urbano Colombia, joint Bronze medallists Yorke and Carlos Vazquez Honduras Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson
My favorite event, the 200 butterfly, was a bit off here (2:08.12 in preliminaries, 2:08.27 in finals which won a bronze medal). Hopefully I will be able to go faster when tapered.
After CCCAN I have two more championship meets this year, CAC and Youth Olympic Games.  CAC will be an opportunity to test myself against senior level swimmers. This is the meet that I am tapering for. When it is over I will have a better idea how I rank against world-class times. This will give my coaches at the University of Indianapolis, where I am enrolling in the fall, a better feel for how to prepare me for the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina (October 6-18, 2018) and the 2020 Olympics where I hope to compete”.

ALIA ATKINSON LEADS TEAM JAMAICA AT 2018 CAC GAMES IN BARRANQUILLA COLOMBIA

When action gets underway tomorrow July 20 in Barranquilla Colombia at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games Team Jamaica will be led by Olympian Alia Atkinson (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 , London 2012 and Rio 2016). The team will seek to add to their overall medal count of 20 after not being present at the 2014 Veracruz Mexico Games.

CAC Medal total

Alia making a move on medley
Alia Atkinson making a surge for the the lead in the 200 scm individual medley Photo courtesy of fina.org

Atkinson leads the  CARIFTA region with the most Gold medals at the oldest regional Games with Seven Gold medals from participating in two Championships 2006 and 2010.

Carolyn adel sundevils
Legendary Surinamese swimmer Carolyn Adel Photo courtesy of sundevils.com

Second on that list is another legend of the CARIFTA region Olympian Carolyn Adel (Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000) of Suriname  who won Six Gold medals at the 1998 Maracaibo Venezuela Games.

AVW zimbio
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace Photo courtesy of zimbio

Atkinson is also two medals away from the  highest CARIFTA region medal total held by another regional swimming icon  Olympian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016) of The Bahamas who also has Six Gold medals and an overall medal total of 11.   Atkinson was also the first Gold medallist in the 50 metre breaststroke and 50 metre butterfly events when they were introduced at  her 2006 debut at the Games  also in Colombia but at that time in Cartegena. Atkinson holds the Championship records in the 50 metre breaststroke 31.91,100 metre breaststroke 1:10.24 and 200 IM 2:17.31.

Keanan Dols CISC M Lyn
Keanan Dols at the 2016 Caribbean Islands Swimming championships Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Joining her on the team will be Keanan  Dols and Michael Gunning who have represented Jamaica at the senior team level  but making their CAC Games. Keanan represented Jamaica at the 2016 World Short Course Swimming Championships in Windsor Canada where he set three national records. At the junior level he has represented the country at the 2015 World Junior Championships in Singapore and also at the CARIFTA level where he set many Championship records.

Michael Gunning WC pic 2017
Michael Gunning at the 2017 World Championships

Michael Gunning has represented the Black , Green and Gold at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest Hungary and the 2017 World University Games. he holds national records in the 200 and 400 metre freestyle  as well as the 200 metre butterfly events.

Luke Gunning Flanders 2018
Luke Gunning

Also making his debut at the multi sport Games will be Michael’s brother Luke Gunning who will be donning the national colours for the first time at any level.

Bryanna Renuart podium
Bryanna on the medal podium after capturing the CARIFTA 400 IM Gold Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

 

Fresh from outstanding regional junior performances in 2018 and making their senior team debuts will be Bryanna Renuart and Emily MacDonald. Both claimed regional Golden Doubles (CARIFTA and CCCAN) Renuart in the  15-17 400 metre individual medley and MacDonald in the 13-14 50 and 100 metre freestyle events.For MacDonald both Gold were claimed in Championship record time.

Emily 200 free
Emily MacDonald CARIFTA 100 metre freestyle Gold medallist and Championship record holder Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

 

The team is being coached by Miss Gillian Millwood

Schedule for Team Jamaica

Event Name Time Seeding
400 metre freestyle Emily MacDonald 4:56.08 17th
200 metre butterfly Michael Gunning 1:59.83 3rd
200 metre butterfly Keanan Dols 2:08.82 16th
50 metre backstroke Emily MacDonald 33.79 21st
100 metre freestyle Luke Gunning 52.98 27th
100 metre freestyle Keanan Dols 53.03 28th
100 metre breaststroke Alia Atkinson 1:07.61 1st
100 metre breaststroke Bryanna Renuart 1:14.89 13th
200 metre freestyle Emily MacDonald 2:08.70 19th
50 metre butterfly Alia Atkinson 26.82 1st
50 metre butterfly Alia Atkinson 28.85 19th
100 metre backstroke Bryanna Renuart 1:12.89 19th
200 metre IM Keanan Dols 2:05.87 8th
200 metre IM Michael Gunning 2:08.75 12th
100 metre backstroke Keanan Dols 58.37 13th
100 metre freestyle Alia Atkinson 55.35 1st
100 metre freestyle Emily MacDonald 57.95 15th
50 metre breaststroke Alia Atkinson 30.53 1st
50 metre breaststroke Bryanna Renuart 34.35 15th
50 metre butterfly Keanan Dols 25.44 17th
50 metre butterfly Luke Gunning 25.53 20th
200 metre breaststroke Bryanna Renuart 2:43.76 11th
400 metre freestyle Michael Gunning 4:00.01 9th
400 metre IM Bryanna Renuart 5:07.30 9th
200 metre backstroke Keanan Dols 2:06.02 8th
100 metre butterfly Alia Atkinson 59.94 1st
100 metre butterfly Emily MacDonald 1:04.28 17th
200 metre freestyle Michael Gunning 1:52.59 10th
200 metre IM Bryanna Renuart 2:26.96 14th
100 metre butterfly Luke Gunning 55.39 11th
100 metre butterfly Keanan Dols 56.19 13th
50 metre freestyle Alia Atkinson 25.94 4th
50 metre freestyle Emily MacDonald 26.73 13th
50 metre freestyle Keanan Dols 25.26 38th

 

NIGEL FORBES STANDS TALL AT CCCAN,WINS REGIONAL BREASTSTROKE TRIPLE CROWN (UNANA,CARIFTA AND CCCAN TITLES) EN ROUTE TO FIVE GOLD AND TWO SILVER

At the recently concluded CCCAN swimming Championships held in Aruba Nigel Forbes continued his epic season in an 11-12 age group division which was brimming with talent. Forbes stood tall among his peers in the breaststroke for 2018 and was unbeaten for the season in that stroke .

50 metre breaststroke medallists
50 metre breaststroke medallists from left to right Blackman, Forbes and Trejos Photo courtesy of CCCAN

It would be the 50 metre breaststroke in  which he would make put together a masterpiece of a swim .Already the fastest Bahamian 11-12 breaststroker of all time with 32.54 he now had his sights on the 2005 CCCAN record of Panamanian Arturo Medina of 32.42 .That time tied Bermudan Sam Williamson 11-12 national mark of 32.42 as the second fastest of all time in the CCCAN region. The unofficial record was held by  Aruba Jordy Groters at 32.41. Things looked promising for young Forbes when he clocked the fastest time of the preliminaries of 32.99. In the championship Final Forbes  took off from the sounding of the starter’s gun and was more than a body length of the field by the 25 metre mark.With the question of the Gold answered what needed to be determined was what the record would be lowered to . Forbes continued to blaze towards the wall and slapped the pads in a time of 32.15 , a new PB, Bahamian , CCCAN Championship  record and he can officially hold the moniker of the fastest the region had ever seen in the event. Winning the Silver was Trinidad and Tobago Nikoli Blackman in 34.74 and the Bronze to Edu Trejos in 34.75. It was this event that he created history for the CARIFTA region by winning the first ever Gold medal at the  inaugural UANA Championships so it is fitting that he would take the regional Triple Crown UANA , CARIFTA and CCCAN titles in the fastest swim of all time.

Forbes 11-12 Gold
Nigel Forbes of The Bahamas First Gold Medallist for The Bahamas and the CARIFTA region 11-12 breaststroke Gold at the 2018 UANA cup
UANA 34.20
CARIFTA 34.05
CCCAN 32.15

The 100 metre breaststroke would see Nigel putting another show of scintillating speed.As with the 50 metre breaststroke he was already the best The Bahamas had ever produced with his 1:12.24 clocking from the REV nationals and was within a hair’s breadth of the CCCAN record time of 1:12.18 set by  Olympian Carlos  Claverie of Venezuela  (Rio 2016) .

Carlos Claverie panamerican world
Carlos Claverie waving to the crowd after being presented with Bronze medal at the 2014 Youth Olympics Photo courtesy of panamericanworld

Claverie  won Bronze at the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing China in the 100 metre breaststroke in a time of 1:01.56.

After easing into the final with a time of 1:14.78  he decided to turn on the thrills in the final. When the race started Nigel again separated himself by some distance by the halfway mark turning in 33.13, a split that would have would the Silver in the 50 metre race. He kept applying the pressure and touched in a new PB,Bahamian record and CCCAN Championship record of 1:11.16.  Forbes is now the fastest ever swimmer the CARIFTA region has produced in the event.He just missed the unofficial CCCAN 2014 record of 1:10.94 held by Puerto Rico’s Daniel Chevere. The win also marked another Triple Crown performance ( UANA, CARIFTA and CCCAN). Silver went to Panamanian Trejos in 1:13.24 and Blackman won Bronze in 1:16.24.

Event Time Split
UANA 1:15.07 35.40
CARIFTA 1:15.81 35.50
CCCAN 1:11.16 33.13
boys 11-12 200 metre breaststroke medal podium
Boys 11-12 200 metre breaststroke medallists from left to right Trejos, Forbes and Bonati Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The 200 metre breaststroke which was Forbes first individual race saw a colossal battle between himself and Trejos. The Panamian started the race with a split of 35.67 followed by Nigel with a 36.50 . They were the only swimmers under 37 seconds for the first 50 metres and well ahead of the rest of the field. Nigel kept closing the gap on Edu until he was ahead by .01 ahead of him coming off the final wall.

Forbes pushing for Gold in the 200 breast
Forbes pushing for Gold in the 200 metre breaststroke Photo courtesy of CCCAN

 

He then stepped on the gas to take the win in a new PB and Bahamas record 2:36.00.  Forbes just missed another Claverie standard of 2:35.89 but is now the fastest ever 11-12 200 metre breaststroke swimmer from the CARIFTA region. Edu was close behind winning Silver in 2:36.32. Bronze went to Stefan Bonati of the Cayman Islands in 2:49.08.

Boys 11-12 100 metre butterfly podium
Boys 11-12 100 metre butterfly podium from left to right Wilson,Forbes and Gossmann Photo courtesy of CCCAN

There would be more Gold for Forbes in Aruba in the sprint butterfly events. In the 100 metre butterfly he won the Gold based on a strong back half. This, as he was behind at the 50 metre mark as the early leaders Christopher Gossmann of Guatemala 29.23 and Trinidad and Tobago standout Zarek Wilson 29.44. Nigel’s split was 30.05. He however provided the fastest last 50 metres to take the Gold in 1:01.95 a new PB and Bahamian record taking almost a second off the 2014 Evante Gibson standard of 1:02.83 .that completed the regional Golden Double as he won the CARIFTA Gold in 1:04.05 earlier this year in Kingston. Silver went to Wilson in a new PB of 1:02.16 and the Bronze to Gossmann in 1:02.23.The same trio finished in the exact same order earlier at the UANA cup with times of 1:03.34,1:03.48 and 1:04.19 respectively

CARIFTA 1:04.09 30.47
CCCAN 1:01.95 30.05
boys 11-12 50 metre medal podium
Boys 11-12 50 metre butterfly medal podium from left to right Sealy, Forbes and Gossmann Photo courtesy of CCCAN

In the 50 metre butterfly he posted the only sub 28 seconds time in the final to win 27.73. Omari Sealy of Barbados took the Silver in 28.17 and Gossman 28.25. He holds the national record at 27.67.

100 freestyle podium 11-12 boys
Boys 11-12 100 metre freestyle medal podium from left to right Forbes,Blackman and Johnson Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

In the 100 metre freestyle he dipped under the 58 seconds barrier for the first time to win Silver in a PB and national record time 57.79.Gold went to Blackman in 57.61 and the Bronze to his teammate Marvin Johnson in 58.75. The old 11-12 record of 57.99 belonged to Lamar Taylor .

 

11-12 mixed 200 metre freestyle relay
11-12 mixed 200 metre freestyle relay medallists from left to right The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago and the Cayman Islands Phoot courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would be another Silver for Forbes and Team Bahamas in the 200 metre mixed freestyle relay.The team of Johnson (27.98),Keianna Moss (28.72) ,Devin Cuffy-Bethel 28.98 and Forbes (25.76) stopped the clock in 1:50.64 just behind Team Trinidad and Tobago 1:50.29 .The Bronze went to the Cayman Islands in 1:52.64. Nigel placed 9th in the 400 metre freestyle.

When draftingthecaribbean contacted the young swimmer he gave his thoughts on his breaststroke Gold medals . He said that he felt great about all the breaststroke races his favourite was the 100 metre race. When questioned about the 200 metre event if he knew about the record and if he could have gone faster he said he did not think he could have gone any faster because he had great competition from his Panamanian competitor (Edu Trejos) and he gave it his all. Forbes now owns 7 of the 16 individual Bahamian national records for the 11-12 age group

Event Record
100 metre freestyle 57.79
50 metre breaststroke 32.15
100 metre breaststroke 1:11.16
200 metre breaststroke 2:36.00
50 metre butterfly 27.67
100 metre butterfly 1:01.95
400 metre IM 5:18.05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EMILY MacDONALD COMPLETES REGIONAL GOLDEN RECORD DOUBLE (CARIFTA AND CCCAN TITLES), BECOMES FASTEST 13-14 GIRL OF ALL TIME, HELPS 13-14 MEDLEY RELAY TO GOLD ,NATIONAL RECORDS FALL MORGAN COGLE AND THE 11-12 GIRLS MEDLEY RELAY TEAM

The final day of competition at the CCCAN swimming Championships in Aruba  on July 2  saw Team Jamaica adding Two Gold, Three Silver and Three Bronze medals.

13-14 50 free medal podium
13-14 50 metre freestyle medallists from left to right Watson-Brown ,MacDonald and Farro Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The highlight of the day was Emily MacDonald who completed the freestyle sprint double .A day after she completed the record regional Golden Double (CARIFTA and CCCAN titles) in the 100 metre freestyle she did the same in the 50 metre freestyle. She took the race in a time of 26.48 a new PB, CCCAN and CARIFTA all time best.It was a mere .03 of a second outside of the automatic Youth Olympic qualifying mark of 26.45.

This makes her unbeaten for the 13-14 age group at CCCAN as she took the title in Trinidad and Tobago as well last year in 27.20. In April of this year in her hometown of Kingston she won the splash and dash in  a  time of  26.76 lowering the record of 26.81 held by Bermudan Madelyn Moore. In Aruba she would take down another Moore standard of 26.65 , the unofficial all time regional record. Emily has been Golden in all but one meet at the regional level since 2016.

GOLDEN RUN

Date Meet Medal Time
March 2016 CARIFTA Gold 28.15
July 2016 CISC Gold 27.64
April 2017 CARIFTA 4th 27.60
July 2017 CCCAN Gold 27.20
April 2018 CARIFTA Gold 26.76 Record26.81
July 2018 CCCAN Gold 26.48 record 26.65
thrillson.blogspot.com Chinyere
Chinyere Pigot Photo courtesy of thrillson.blogspot.com

MacDonald had the second fastest time of the competition. That accolade went to none other  than Madelyn Moore who lowered the 15-17 meet of  26.13 by Suriname’s Olympian Chinyere Pigot (Beijing 2008 and London 2012) when she stopped the clock in 25.97.

Silver went to Bermuda’s Logan Watson -Brown in 27.24  and the Bronze to Aruba Chloe Farro 27.67.

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Emily she gave her thoughts on her performances

“I’m very happy about winning events in the meet for my age group and breaking Championship record for both events .It gives me the assurance that I have the potential to be a great sprinter”.

Girls 13-14 400 metre medley relay medallists
13-14 400 metre medley relay medallists from left to right Colombia,Jamaica and Aruba Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would almost  be another regional record Golden Double in the 400 metre medley relay as the team of Simone Vale, Sabrina Lyn, MacDonald and Amore Hunter just missed the CCCAN record of 4:34.23 held by the 2005 Mexico team and their own national age group record of 4:33.81 when they won Gold in 4:34.48.Silver went to Colombia in 4:38.89 and Bronze to Aruba in 4:52.40.

CCCAN Relay Gold medallists
13-14 CCCAN Gold medallists from left to right Hunter,MacDonald, Lyn and Vale Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

 

Names CARIFTA Record Names CCCAN 2005 Names CCCAN 2018
backstroke Vale 1:09.46 backstroke Gonzalez 1:08.21 backstroke Vale 1:10.15
breastroke Lyn 1:21.13 breastroke Delgado 1:19.31 breastroke Lyn 1:18.26
butterfly Zaneta Alvaranga 1:04.54 butterfly Medrano 1:06.18 butterfly MacDonald 1:04.46
freestyle MacDonald 58.68 freestyle Barjas 1:00.53 freestyle Hunter 1:01.61
4:33.81 4:34.28 4:34.48
Girls 11-12 200 metre backstroke medallists
Girls 11-12 200 metre backstroke from left to right Crooks, Jimenez Garrido and Cogle Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would be another national record for Morgan Cogle in the 11-12 200 metre backstroke.She lowered the 2007 Kendese Nangle record of 2:36.00 set at CCCAN 2007 in El Salvador in the morning heats with a time of 2:35.21. She would go on to win Bronze in the final in 2:35.29. Jillian Crooks of the Cayman Islands took the Silver in 2:33.98 with Gold going to  Elizabeth Jimenez Garrido of the Dominican Republic in 2:33.23.

In the 400 medley relay Cogle backstroke ,Brooke Hopkins breaststroke ,Ireland Hunter butterfly and Safiya Officer won the Silver in a new national age group record of 4:56.06. That bettered the old 2007 record of 4:58.67 set in by the 2007 CARIFTA team Brittany Kenney, Kendese Nangle, Raynae Hall and Alexia Royal-Eatmon.

COMPARISON OF TIMES

Names CCCAN 2018 Names CARIFTA 2007
backstroke Cogle 1:12.37 backstroke Kenney 1:16.37
breaststroke Hopkins 1:24.50 breaststroke Nangle 1:23.96
butterfly Hunter 1:15.97 butterfly Hall 1:12.08
freestyle Officer 1:03.22 freestyle Royal-Eatmon 1:06.26
4:56.06 4:58.67
Girls 11-12 400 metre medley relay medallists
Girls 11-12 400 metre medley relay medallists from left to right Jamaica ,Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Gold went to Trinidad and Tobago in 4:51.10 and the Bronze to Barbados in 5:06.93.

15-17 50 metre freestyle medallists
Girls 15-17 50 metre freestyle medallists from left to right Banks,Moore and Russell Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

In the 15-17 Girls 50 metre freestyle it was Gabrianna Banks getting the medal for Team Jamaica . She stopped the clock in a new PB of 26.69 for the Silver. The performance marks consecutive Silver medals for Banks who won Silver in her last year of 13-14 in the twin island republic last year in 27.28. The Bronze went to Victoria Russell of The Bahamas in a new PB of 26.93. This is the first medal for Jamaica in 2017 since Breanna Roman won Bronze in 27.59 at CCCAN 2011 in Puerto Rico.

boys 13-14 50 freestyle medallists
Boys 13-14 50 metre freestyle medallists from left to right Williams, Taylor and Thomas Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would be a Bronze for Nathaniel Thomas in the 13-14 age group in the 50 metre freestyle as his effort was timed in a PB of 25.33. This is a step up from his performance at CARIFTA where he placed ninth in 26.19. Silver went to Malik Nelson of Trinidad and Tobago in 24.50. Gold went to the fastest 13-14 swimmer of the season Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas who won in a new CCCAN record of 23.94 to add to his CARIFTA title which he won in 24.27 and  as well as National title in 23.79.

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

There would be Bronze for Safiya Officer in the girls 11-12 race  she touched in 27.71.Silver went to St Lucia’s Naima Hazell in 27.61 .

Cerian Gibbes
Cerian Gibbes competing in the 100 metre breaststroke at the 1996 Olympics Photo courtesy of gettyimages

The Gold went to the Cayman Islands Jillian Crooks who lowered the 1995 meet standard of 27.55 set  by Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympian Cerian Gibbes who went to the Atlanta 1996 Games as a 13 year old.

Boys 11-12 400 metre medley relay medallists
Boys 11-12 400 metre medley relay medallists from left to right Jamaica,Trinidad and Tobago and Aruba Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The 11-12 boys 400 metre medley relay team won Silver . The team of Daniel Mair (backstroke) 1:16.61,brother Joshua (breaststroke)1:20.15 ,Jaedon Lynch( butterfly) ( 1:10.15) and Adrian Balfour (freestyle) 1:01.55 touched in 4:48.55 to finish behind the Trinidad and Tobago team that won in 4:41.05.the Bronze was won by Aruba in 4:53.76.

Boys 15-17 400 metre medley relay
Boys 15-17 400 metre medley relay medallists from left to right Trinidad and Tobago,The Bahamas and Jamaica Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The 15-17 boys won the Bronze in their medley relay. The team of Nicholas Vale (backstroke) 1:01.47 ,Sean-Douglas Gooden (breaststroke) 1:09.48 ,Jesse Marsh (butterfly) 56.91 and Cameron Brown (freestyle) 55.86 touched in 4:03.72. Gold was won by The Bahamas in 3:59.57 and the Silver to Trinidad and Tobago in 4:01.63.

 

 

 

 

EMILY MacDONALD LOWERS OLYMPIAN CLAUDIA POLL’S 100 FREESTYLE MEET STANDARD TO RECORD REGIONAL GOLDEN DOUBLE (CARIFTA AND CCCAN TITLES)

Day Four of the CCCAN Swimming championships saw Team Jamaica adding Four more medals to their tally One Gold , One Silver and Two Silver to have Eighteen medals Six Gold ,Four Silver and Eight Bronze medals.

Getting the Gold for the land of wood and water was Emily MacDonald in the girls 13-14 100 metre freestyle. She bounced back from illness on Day Three to win the freestyle title.

Emily Mac 13-14 100 free podium
13-14 100 metre freestyle medal podium from left to right Watson-Brown Bermuda, MacDonald and Libreros Bolivar Colombia Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

In the Championship final she recorded the only sub 28 seconds split at the halfway mark and then pulled away from the field to record a new personal best and CCCAN meet record of 57.95. It was also the fastest 100 metre freestyle time recorded by a girl at the Championship.

Claudia Poll panamerican world
Claudia Poll Photo courtesy of panamericanworld

That lowered the the more than three decades old standard of 58.34 byCosta Rican Olympic Gold medallist Claudia Poll (1996,2000 and 2004). MacDonald also is closing in on the national age group record of 57.54 held by Olympian Janelle Atkinson (2000,2004). It was Poll who held off Atkinson to win the Bronze in the 400 metre freestyle at the 2000 Sydney Games . That fourth place position at the Olympics is the joint highest placing at the Games along with Alia Atkinson’s fourth place at the 2012 London Games.

 

Winning the Silver was Bermuda’s Logan Watson-Brown in 58.82 and the Bronze to Colombia’s  Manuela Libreros Bolivar 1:01.38.

100 free CARIFTA 13-14
13-14 100 metre freestyle medallists at CARIFTA 2018 in Kingston from left to right Watson-Brown Bermuda Silver ,MacDonald Gold, Alvaranga Bronze Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

 

It also  marked the regional Golden Double as she captured the same title at the CARIFTA Games in her hometown of Kingston in April . It marked the second time she is completing the double after doing so in the 11-12 age group in 2016

Regional record for the 100 metre freestyle

Date Meet Medal Time
March 2016 CARIFTA Gold 1:02.02 split 29.40
July 2016 CISC Gold 1:00.26 split 29.18
April 2017 CARIFTA Silver 59.28 split 28.33
July 2017 CCCAN Gold 58.83 split 27.89
April 2018 CARIFTA Gold 57.99 split 28.17
July 2018

 

CCCAN Gold 57.95 split 27.79

Emily spoke to draftingthecaribbean about her performance after the race

“Going the 100 I was a bit nervous at first. The meet has  not been great so far .In my 200 metre freestyle I got a cramp in my leg and ended up doing a bad time as I added 5 seconds to my personal best and I did not swim the Championship final of the 50 metre butterfly because of that injury and the 100 metre butterfly was not a good race overall.so going into this race I was very nervous as I did not know how I was going to perform because I had not done well so far but I was just going to try my best. That was my mindset heading into the final.I told myself I prepared for this meet and I have trained so hard for this and it does not make sense not swim my heart out. Going into the heats  said I am going to just try and hopefully come in the top 8 fand hopefully seed first for the final. That is what I did and ended up doing a 58.70 .Going into the final I was going up again Logan Watson-Brown from Bermuda who I know is a great swimmer and I was even more nervous.I knew I wanted to get a Gold medal but was still not sure because of how I was performing. Before I stepped on the blocks I knew I had done all that I can to get this far and I know that I have done all I could possibly do to achieve a best time in this race so I was going to do what my coach told me to do which was best time.As I swam the race I remembered doing the splits in training  and swimming the first 50 in a particular time and pushing hard on the last 25 metres into the wall which I did and recorded a personal best which I am very happy about and I got the Gold medal that I wanted”.

Cameron Brown 15-17 50 breaststroke medal ceremony
15-17 50 metre breaststroke medal podium from left to right Brown,Cheong and Russell Photo courtesy of CCCAN

In the Boys 15-17 50 metre breaststroke Cameron Brown ended a decade old medal drought for Team Jamaica when he secured the Silver in a new personal best of 30.23. He tied Brandon Cheong for the medal while the Gold was won by The Bahamas Tyler Russell in 30.16. The last time Jamaica got a medal in the 15-17 age group in this event was in 2007 in El Salvador when age group star Brad Hamilton won Silver in 30.59.

Cameron gave his thoughts to draftingthecaribbean about the swim

“I knew it was going to be straight line line heading to the wall.I pushed to the very last second.I was suprised to see a new PB of 30.23 when I looked at the scoreboard”.

Morgan 100 free Harold Wilson
11-12 100 metre freestyle medallists from left to right Vickles Silver medallist,Crooks Gold medallist and Cogle Bronze medallist Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

11-12 dynamo Morgan Cogle secured  more precious metal at the Championship .She lowered her 100 metre freestyle from 1:03.11 to 1:02.59 to secure Bronze.The title went to Jillian Crooks of the Cayman Islands in a time of 1:01.72 and the Silver to Gabrielle Vickles of Trinidad and Tobago in 1:02.33.

Cogle 200 IM Bronze pict
11-12 200 IM medallists from left to right Crooks, Anthony and Cogle Photo courtesy of CCCAN

In the 200 metre individual medley she ended a more than decade old drought when she won Bronze in 2:37.44.That medal winning swim puts her within sight of the age group record of 2:36.26 set by Annabella Lyn in 2012. Gold was won by the another 11-12 standout Zoe Anthony of Trinidad and Tobago in 2:32.91 and Silver to Crooks in 2:36.70.

 

Bronze was won by the 15-17 800 metre freestyle relay team of Annabella Lyn ,Gabrianna Banks, Bryanna Renuart and Naomi Eaton who stopped the clock in 9:07.22. Gold went to Aruba in 8:48.55 and the Silver to Honduras in 8:59.65.

The personal best tally moved from 28 to 47 at the end of Day Four

Name Event Personal Best Previous Best
Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 200 IM 2:39.42 2:41.26
Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 200 IM 2:37.44 2:39.42
Joshua Mair Boys 11-12 200 IM 2:37.13 2:41.26
Jaedon Lynch Boys 11-12 200 IM 2:39.06 2:40.93
Sabrina Lyn Girls 13-14 200 IM 2:37.06 2:44.98
Sabrina Lyn Girls 13-14 200 IM 2:35.25 2:37.06
Nathaniel Thomas Boys 13-14 200 IM 2:29.56 2:29.83
Joshua Mair Boys 11-12 50 metre breaststroke 36.52 37.23
Joshua Mair Boys 11-12 50 metre breaststroke 36.14 36.52
Jaedon Lynch Boys 11-12 50 metre breaststroke 36.23 36.45
Sean-Douglas Gooden Boys 15-17 50 metre breaststroke 31.35 31.43
Cameron Brown Boys 15-17 50 metre breaststroke 30.23 30.64
Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 100 metre freestyle 1:03.10 1:03.11
Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 100 metre freestyle 1:02.59 1:03.10
Adrian Balfour Boys 11-12 100 metre freestyle 1:02.42 1:03.28
Emily MacDonald Girls 13-14 100 metre freestyle 57.95 57.99
Nathaniel Thomas Boys 13-14 100 metre freestyle 56.12 56.95
Daniel Mair Boys 11-12 100 metre freestyle 1:02.60 1:06.15
Jaedon Lynch Boys 11-12 200 metre butterfly 2:46.50 2:51.11
Jordane Payne Boys 15-17 200 metre butterfly 2:17.58 2:18.43

 

DANIEL JACOBS WINS CARIFTA 200 AND 400 METRE FREESTYLE GOLD, PREPARES TO CHART NEW COURSE IN SENIOR WATERS WITH GEORGIA TECH

Jacobs 200 free Gold
Daniel Jacobs Gold medallist in the 200 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

Through consistent hard work and determination Aruban Daniel Jacobs finally earned the honour of being on top of the podium in the 200 and 400 metre freestyle events at his final CARIFTA championships in Kingston.

200 free 15-17 CARIFTA podium
15-17 200 metre freestyle podium from left to right Payne, Jacobs and Chatoor Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

The first part of the Gold medal mission in the 15-17 age group was achieved on April at the National Centre on April 1 in the 200 metre freestyle race. He put up the second fastest time in the morning when he stopped the clock in 1:57.66.

Jacobs on way to 200 free Gold
Daniel Jacobs on his way to 200 metre freestyle Gold Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

The final saw him making a decisive move on the first 50 metres splitting 26.64. The field could not recover from that early blast and Jacobs would go on to take the title in 1:55.85, the fastest time ever swum by an Aruban at CARIFTA.The Silver went to Mauricio Payne of Curacao in 1:56.82 and the Bronze to Graham Chatoor of Trinidad and Tobago in 1:57.15.

The road to victory in the 400 metre freestyle on April 3 was not as smooth as he battled Chatoor for all 8 laps before out sprinting him to the wall 4:05.64 to 4:06.10.The Bronze went to John Bodden of the Cayman Islands in 4:12.20

THE PATH TO CARIFTA 200 AND 400 METRE FREESTYLE GOLD

400 free 200 free
2018 4:05.64 G 1:55.85 G
2017 N/A N/A
2016 4:08.87 Bronze 1:58.04 5th
2015 4:16.45 Silver 1:59.27 Silver
2014 4:27.84 9th 2:06.04 10th
2013 4:42.63 Silver 2:11.71 Bronze
2012 4:58.12 10th 2:21.20 10th

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to the Oranjestad native about representing Aruba at CARIFTA,heading to Georgia Tech to start his college career and what the future now holds for him

Georgia Tech Daniel Jacobs
Daniel Jacobs Photo courtesy of swimswam.com

“I did not participate at last year’s CARIFTA  as Aruba decided to go to another competition, so I am happy to have participated this year as CARIFTA is one of my favorite competitions in our region. To have ended my CARIFTA career and winning Gold in my two main events and hearing Aruba’s anthem play while standing on the podium was a great feeling. My CARIFTA career started as an 11 year old representing Aruba. It has been and always will be an honor to represent my country and I will take great memories with me for a life time. I have made many great friends over the years at CARIFTA and am sure we will continue this friendship into our next stage of our careers. Even though my CARIFTA career has ended, I am very excited to go on to the next level in my career, being college swimming. I will be swimming for Georgia Tech starting in August of this year and can’t wait to get started. Currently I am preparing for CCCAN which will be held in Aruba the end of June and afterwards hopefully I will be preparing for Youth Olympics 2018. So my summer will be mostly spend in the pool and gym”.