2017 U SPORTS CHAMPIONSHIPS THE CARIFTA REGION REPORT COURTIS SETS NATIONAL RECORD

Courtis in action at U Sports 2017
Christopher Courtis in action at the 2017 U Sports Championships Photo courtesy of Rick Pelletier

The CARIFTA region was again represented at the U Sports (Canadian College) Swimming Championships which was held in Quebec from the Feb 24-26. The meet which is contested in short course metres saw Calgary’s Barbadian swimmer Christopher Courtis leading the way for the region with a new national record and Silver medal in the 50 metre backstroke.

U Sports 2017 50 metre backstroke medal podium
2017 U Sports 50 metre backstroke medal podium from left to right Christopher Courtis (Calgary) Silver medallist, Gold Medallist Pascal-Hugo C.Cantin (Laval) and Markus Thormeyer (UBC)

Courtis won the Silver in a time of 24.73.He finished just behind Laval’s Pascal-Hugo C.Cantin who took the Gold in a time of 24.67.That Silver medal winning performance bettered the time and old national record of 24.79 Courtis swam win the heats on the 2016 Championships .He would win Bronze in the 2016 final which was contested in a 50 metre pool. Christopher has improved each time he has contested the event in the 25 metre pool as his record below shows

2017 24.73
2016 24.79
2015 26.00
2014 26.16

In the 100 metre event he was 4th in a time of 54.02 (split time 26.13) his best time ever at the Championships.

2017 54.02
2016 54.31
2015 55.06
2014 56.49

He was just off his national record of 53.94 set at the World Short Course Swimming Championships held in Windsor Canada in December. He placed 19th in the 200 metre event in a time of 2:01.85 (split time 59.07)

When draftingthecaribbean caught up with Courtis he gave his estimation of the meet.

I was very pleased with the 50 back and knew going into the final that I could be faster. I just needed to clean up my breakouts and turn. Setting a new Barbados national record and winning a silver medal was fantastic, I couldn’t be happier. I was also happy with my 100 back, being just 0.08 seconds off my best time. The 200 wasn’t quite what I was hoping for but overall I’m very pleased with the way I swam”.

When asked about his plans for the summer  the Economics Major said

“ I will definitely be swimming through the summer and will be competing next month at the Canadian Swimming Trails in Victoria. Here I hope to qualifying for Long Course Worlds in July and if all goes to plan, I’d be delighted to be representing Barbados once again on the world stage”.

Also in action at the meet was the University of Waterloo duo of Trinidad and Tobago’s Jonathan Ramkissoon and Jamaica Aidan Chow.

Ramkissoon made the final in the 50 metre breaststroke .In the final he recorded the 2nd fastest time of his career 28.08 to place 6th overall. The breaststroke ace would also make the Championship final in the 100 metre event where he stopped the clock in 1:00.93 for 7th overall. He was 23rd in the 200 metre event in a time of 2:19.23.

His Jamaican teammate Chow who was competing in his first Championships  placed 32nd in the 100 metre butterfly in a time of 56.43 (split time 27.06). In the 50 metre butterfly event for which he was the former national record holder he placed 22nd in a time of 25.33.

The Calgary men’s team placed 3rd with 405 points. Waterloo was 17th with 25 points.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AIDAN CHOW WINS RELAY SILVER AT OUA’S ,SETS PERSONAL BESTS IN BUTTERFLY AND SPRINT RACES

aidan-chow-uwaterloo-ca
Aidan chow Photo courtesy of uwaterloo.ca

Jamaica’s Aidan Chow won a relay Silver in school record time among a number of strong performances he registered at the recently concluded 2017 Ontario University Athletics OUA Championships held from February 9-11 at the University of Toronto. The meet was contested over short course metres (25 metre pool).

ramkissoon-200-free-relay-oua-2017
Silver medallists and new Waterloo record holders in the 200 metre freestyle relay from left to right Alex Lokjo ,Aidan Chow ,Jonathan Ramkissoon and Danyon Chu

Aidan, a second year Chemical engineering Student at the University of Waterloo won his Silver medal as a member of the Warriors 200 freestyle relay team. The team of Alex Lojko 23.78, Danyon Chu 22.83, Trinidad and Tobago representative Jonathon Ramkissoon 23.07 and Chow 22.99 combined for a total time and new school record of 1:32.67.That swim crushed the old standard of 1:34.30. It is an improvement for the Warriors and Chow from 2016.Last year the team was 4th in 1:34.94 and Chow’s split on the 2nd leg was 23.62.

That would not be the only school record the sprinter would set. In the heats of the 50 metre butterfly he bettered the Warriors school record and U Sports (Canadian Collegiate Championships) qualifying of 25.09 and 25.08 with a 25.04 qualifying for the Championship final. That was an improvement from 2016 where he finished 7th in the B final in a then PB of 25.25.He would break new ground for Waterloo when he became the first sub 25 seconds butterflier. He stopped the clock in a new school standard of 24.88 for 7th place overall.

In the 50 metre freestyle he would set another personal best when he lowered his time of 24.04 to register 23.86. That swim placed him 17th overall and making him the 10 fastest Warrior of all time in the event.

In the 100 metre butterfly he finished 2nd in the B final in a time of 56.41. That is an improvement in his placing from 2016 where he was 3rd in the B final.

In the 400 metre medley relay the Warriors team of Leon Ouyang backstroke (59.90) ,Ramkissoon breaststroke (1:00.57), Chow butterfly (54.33)  and Peter Li freestyle (51.15) placed 4th overall in a time of 3:45.95. Aidan bettered his butterfly split from 2016 when he was timed in 54.36.

In the 200 metre medley relay the team of Ouyang backstroke (27.22), Ramkissoon breaststroke (27.53), Chow butterfly (24.61) and Chu freestyle (22.97) were again 4th in a time of 1:42.33.

When asked about the season so far and the upcoming U Sports Championships Aidan had the following thoughts

This season has been fun. The men’s team placed 6th for the 11th year in a row, but we took a pretty good run at fifth falling just short of McMaster in 5th by one point. I am on co op (Cooperative education is a structured method of combining classroom-based education with practical work experience ). So my training regime has not been as structured as it would be if I were on campus. But I think I swam pretty well this meet considering all of that. At U Sports, my goal is to final in one of my races.

David MacSporran
David MacSporran Photo courtesy of laurentina.ca

Fellow Jamaican David MacSporran of Laurentian Voyageurs recorded a personal best time in the 50 metre butterfly posting 28.13. He also had times of 1:03.49 and 2:33.06 in the 100 and 200 metre butterfly. In the 50 metre freestyle he stopped the clock in 26.52.

Waterloo finished 6th overall in the men’s competition with 250 points.Laurentian placed 7th overall with 226 points.

RAMKISSOON REPEATS AS OUA GOLD MEDALLIST IN THE 100 METRE BREASTSTROKE,RATTLES NATIONAL RECORD IN 200 METRE BREASTSTROKE

ramkissoon-gold-medal-oua-2017
100 metre breaststroke medal podium at 2017 OUA Championships from left to right Silver medallist Eli Wall (Toronto), Gold medallist Jonathan Ramkissoon (Waterloo) ,David Riley (Western). Photo courtesy of http://www.varsity.uwaterloo.ca

Trinidad and Tobago’s Jonathan Ramkissoon was in fine form at the recently concluded 2017 Ontario University Athletics OUA held from February 9-11 at the University of Toronto. The 4th year Mathematics student at the University of Waterloo won One Gold Two Silver and a Bronze medal while setting a number of school records and threatening the national mark in the 200 metre breaststroke.

 

The meet which was contested in a 25 metre pool saw Ramkissoon defending his title in the 100 metre breaststroke. In the final of that event he was closely marked by Eli Wall of Toronto as they turned in times of 28.68 and 28.75.He, however recorded the only sub 32 second split of 31.73 to pull away for the victory in 1:00.41, just off his Championship record of 1:00.18.Wall won the Silver in 1:00.94.Jonathan has medalled the last 4 years in the event winning Bronze in 2015 and Silver in 2014. That ranks Ramkissoon as the 2nd fastest swimmer in the Canadian College rankings heading to the U Sport Championships (Canadian College Championships) being held from Feb 24-26. He was well under the qualifying standard of 2:18.31

In the 50 metre breaststroke Ramkissoon set a new school record in the morning heats of 28.01.That beat his old school record of 28.26 when he won Silver at the 2016 OUA Championships. It was also well under the U Sport qualifying time of 29.23.In a very tight final he was pipped at the finish by Wall of Toronto 28.11 to 28.18 .He repeated his 2016 medal performance.Heading to U Sports Ramkissoon is the 2nd fastest performer in the event.

ramkissoon-oua-200-breast-2017
200 metre breaststroke medal podium from left to right Silver medallist David Riley (Western), Gold medallist Eli Wall (Toronto) , Bronze medallist Jonathan Ramkissoon (Waterloo). Photo courtesy of http://www.varsity.uwaterloo.ca

In the 200 metre breaststroke  Jonathan moved from 6th place in 2016 to earn the Bronze at this year’s Championships. The medal was unsure up to the last 50 metres of the race. This as the 4th year Warriors swimmer was in 5th place. He unleashed the fastest last 50 metres of 34.13 to stop the clock in a time of 2:15.52 well under the U Sports qualifying time of 2:18.31. That time puts the 2012 national record of 2:15.15 by Abraham McLeod on notice to be lowered. He heads to U Sports as the 6th fastest swimmer in Canada. He is also now the 4th fastest performer in Waterloo history.

ramkissoon-200-free-relay-oua-2017
Silver medallists and new Waterloo record holders in the 200 metre freestyle relay from left to right Alex Lokjo ,Aidan Chow ,Jonathan Ramkissoon and Danyon Chu

The 200 freestyle relay saw Jonathan earning Silver in a new school record. The Warriors team of Alex Lokjo (23.78), Danyon Chu (22.83), Ramkissoon (23.07) and Jamaican Aidan Chow (22.99) set a new Waterloo standard of 1:32.67 bettering the 1:34.30 set in Nov.

In the 200 and 400 medley relay events the Warriors were 4th with times of 1:42.33 and 3:45.90 respectively. In both races Ramkissoon had the fastest splits of 27.53 and 1:00.57 respectively.

In speaking about the Championships Jonathan had the following thoughts

“I thought the 100 was decent, could’ve been better technically but I have another shot at it in U Sports in 2 weeks. Came 2nd in the 50 , race was technically very off so I have some stuff to work on heading into U Sports”.

 When asked about the season overall and the upcoming U Sports Championships he said

“The season is over for most of the team, except the guys heading into U Sports. I think the general consensus is that it was a rewarding season, ups and downs as usual but ultimately everyone was happy with their performances. We have 3 U Sports qualifiers, me, Josie Andres and Aidan. Aidan is on a work term right now so he has to get the OK from his boss to get time off to be able to swim. Josie and I start fine tuning for U Sports on Monday. We’re excited to go to the meet and looking for some faster swims than in OUA’s”.

The Warriors finished 6th in the men’s competition with 250 points.

AIDAN CHOW LOWERS NATIONAL RECORD IN THE 100 SCM BUTTERFLY at deBRAY DIVISIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

 

aidan-chow-uwaterloo-ca
Aidan Chow Photo courtesy of uwaterloo.ca

Jamaica’s Aidan Chow lowered the national 100 metre butterfly recently at the 2016 OUA deBray Divisional Championships .The meet which was held from Nov 26 to 27 in a 25 metre pool at the Sudbury Laurentian Swim Club saw the University of Waterloo breaking his own national standard of 56.22.

 

Chow split 26.17 on his way to victory in the event in a time of 55.74.He also lowered the Warriors school record of 56.19.He just missed the qualifying mark for the U Sports national championships (Canandian College championships) of 55.47. That swim ranks him as the 18th fastest swimmer in the Canadian University rankings.

 Chow would go on to complete the butterfly sprint double when he won the 50 metre butterfly in a time of 25.46 .He just missed his PR and national record in the event of 25.25. He continues to get closer to the school record and U Sports national championships of 25.09 and 25.08 respectively.

There would more Gold medals for the 2nd year Chemical Engineering Student as his Warriors A took the 200 medley relay .The team of Leon Ouyang backstroke 27.08 , Trinidad and Tobago swimmer Jonathan Ramkissoon breaststroke 28.07,Chow butterfly 24.57 and Danyon Chu freestyle 23.22 took the title in a time of 1:42.94. They had a winning margin of more than 3 seconds . That team performance places the Warriors as the 5th fastest in the college rankings.

 


Aidan would set another school record this time in the 200 metre freestyle relay. This time the Warriors A team of Chu 23.86, Chow 23.18,Ramkissoon 23.78 and Mitchell Krafczek 23.48 won the Silver medal in a time of 1:34.30.That bettered the school best of 1:34.94.It also ranks the Warriors at the 7th fastest in Canada.

Chow would medal in all the butterfly events as he took the Silver medal in the 200 metre butterfly in a time of 2:08.61( split time 1:01.50).

When asked about the meet and goals for the season Aidan said

Overall I think  I swam quite well at the meet. The only race I was a little disappointed in was the  50 fly. I was aiming for the Usports time but ended up coming just short. Goal times are under 25 seconds for 50 fly and und r 55 for 100 fly”.

 

The Warriors would win their 3rd straight Divisional title garnering 1057.5 points.

 

JONATHAN RAMKISSOON SETS MEET AND SCHOOL RECORDS EN ROUTE TO MEDAL HAUL OF THREE GOLD AND TWO SILVER MEDALS AT DIVISIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

jonathan-ramkissoon-2a
Jonathan Ramkissoon

Trinidad and Tobago’s Jonathan Ramkissoon had all podium finishes at the 2016 OUA deBray Divisional Championships in Sudbury, Canada. The meet which was contested in short course metres (25 metres) on saw the University of Waterloo swimmer setting a meet record in the 100 scm breaststroke.

Jonathan took the event in a season best time of 1:01.73 (split time 28.61). It was a convincing win for the Warriors swimmers as at the 50 metre mark he was almost a second faster than anyone. With that swim he went well under the qualification time of 1:03.29 for the 2016 U Sport Champs ( formerly Canadian Interuniversity Sport CIS)  in Sherbrooke in February.  It also ranks him as the 2nd fastest swimmer in the Canadian University rankings. Ramkissoon is also the school standard bearer in the event with his PR of 1:00.18.

He would complete the breaststroke sprint double when he won the 50 scm breaststroke in a time of 28.68.He was the only swimmer under the 29 seconds mark. He made bettered another U Sport Champs qualifying time as the standard is 29.23.It also places the 4th year student 8th in Canada. In this event Ramkissoon is again the best ever swimmer for the University of Waterloo as he holds the record at 28.26.

He just missed out on capturing the breaststroke trifecta as he was out touched at the finish in the 200 scm breaststroke by Warriors team mate Mackenzie Goodwin 2:20.17 to 2:20.90 (split time 1:06.50).

In the 200 scm freestyle relay the Warriors team of Danyon Chu (23.86),Jamaican Aidan Chow (23.18),Ramkissoon (23.78) and Mitchell Krafczek ( 23.48) won Silver in a time of 1:34.30. The same quartet set the school record of 1:34.94 earlier this year. The relay performance places the Warriors as the 7th fastest in Canada.

Jonathan would make his way to the top of the podium again , this time in the 200 scm medley relay. He turned the fastest breaststroke split of 28.07. That along with efforts from teammates Leon Ouyang backstroke (27.08) ,Chow butterfly (24.57) and Chu freestyle (23.22) contributed to a total time of 1:42.94. That was the 5th fastest time in Canada this season.

jon-ramkissson-3a
Jonathan Ramkissoon

When asked about the meet and the outlook for the rest of the season Ramkissoon said

“It was nice to get the meet record and the win, more importantly 1:01.7 is a great in season time for me so I’m excited to go back to training and how good I can be at OUA’s and U Sport Champs. I’d like to be 59.5 and 27.5 in CIS. It’s a short course meet this year and I’m much better short course than long course so hopefully I stay healthy and continue good training to be able to get those times.”

The Warriors topped the 7 team competition with 1057.5 points.

PLASCHKA CONTINUES TO IMPROVE AHEAD OF SENIOR DEBUT AT WORLD SHORT COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS IN DECEMBER

Justin Plaschka
Justin Plaschka Photo courtesy of Jamaica-star.com

Jamaica’s Justin Plaschka continues to round into form ahead of his senior team debut at the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Windsor Canada in December with a strong performance against Purdue on Friday October 28.

 

Plaschka was unbeaten in all 4 of the events that he contested. In the 50 yard freestyle he recorded a season best and NCAA Division I B time of 20.13 (split time 9.70).His previous season best standard was 20.51. Justin bettered the B cut of 20.19 with just his 3rd individual race of the season. It also ranks Plaschka 15th in Division I. At the World Short Course Championships which will be contested in a 25 metre pool he will be chasing the 50 metre freestyle mark of legendary Jamaican swimmer Sion Brinn. That Jamaican standard was set at 22.33 in his World Cup victory in Malmo Sweden in 1997.

In the 100 yard butterfly he posted a winning time of 48.86 (split time 22.39). He was again within striking distance of the NCAA B time of 48.29.His target in Windsor for the 100 metre butterfly will be 56.22. That mark was set by Aidan Chow in November 2015.

In relay action his Fighting Irish A team of Daniel Speers (20.54), Reed Fujan 20.51 and Tabahn Afrik (19.72) posted the 7th fastest time in Division 1 of 1:20.71. Plaschka’s 2nd  leg split of 19.94 was his best freestyle performance of the season.

Notre Dame also put in their best team performance in the 200 yard medley relay posting a time of 1:29.77. The splits for that effort were Robby Whitacre backstroke 23.23, Trent Jackson breaststroke 25.43, Justin butterfly 21.26 and Speers freestyle 19.85.

Notre Dame won the contest 165 to 135.

RECORDS FALL BY THE WAYSIDE ON DAY 2 OF OUA CHAMPIONSHIPS TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO’S JONATHAN RAMKISSOON LOWER CHAMPIONSHIP RECORD IN 100 METRE BREASTSTROKE TWICE TO WIN GOLD JAMAICANS DOMINIC WALTER AND AIDAN CHOW LOWER NATIONAL STANDARDS IN THE 1500 METRE FREESTYLE AND 50 METRE BUTTERFLY RESPECTIVELY

Jonathan Ramkissoon
Jonathan Ramkissoon Photo courtesy of varsity.uwaterloo.ca
Dominic Walter
Dominic Walter Photo courtesy of Tedra and Elise Bolger
Aidan Chow
Aidan Chow Photo courtesy of varsity.uwaterloo.ca

 

Day 2 of the OUA championships on Friday February 12 proved to be a good day for the swimmers of the CARIFTA region. Waterloo’s Trinidad and Tobago swimmer Jonathan Ramkissoon started off the day’s competition with his eyes on a new personal best in the 100 metre breaststroke. His personal best at the start of the competition stood at 1:02.13. The 5’11 Financial Analysis & Risk Mgt student blew that out the water with a 1:00.81 clocking. In the process he also lowered the 2011 Championship record of 1:01.17 set by Western Bryn Jones. He would not leave the record breaking only for the morning session. In the heats his split time was 28.80 .In the night he went out hard clocking 28.19 at the half way more than a half a second ahead of the field .He would go on to win the title in a new record time of 1:00.18 easily under the CIS qualifying standard of 1:03.51.The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago would also be represented in the championship final by Ross Phillips (Toronto).Ross finished 5th in 1:04.03.
For McMasters’ Jamaican distance freestyle King Dominic Walter it was the case of another day another national record. Having not swum the event this season, Walter, a graduate of Wolmer’s Boys’ proceeded to become the first Jamaican under 16 minutes. He clocked 15:58.43 for 6th place. It was under his 2013 national mark of 16:02.94 and the CIS qualifying standard of 16:02.06.
Not to be left out of the record breaking was Aidan Chow of Waterloo. The national mark in the 50 metre butterfly had stood at 25.28 set by Nico Campbell on December 5, 2015 at the World Championships in Doha Qatar. After the morning heats it was lowered by the narrowest of margins to 25.27.A time that enabled Aidan to qualify for the B finals. In the B finals the 5’8 Chemical Engineering student finished 7th with another record breaking swim of 25.25.That time matched the 25.25 needed to qualify for the CIS Championships.
Older brother Cameron of the McMaster Marauders was 8th in the B final of the 200 metre backstroke in 2; 21.98.He was much faster in the heats having clocked a season best time of 2:05.65.
In relay action The Warriors team of Graeme Kemp backstroke (56.63), Ramkissoon breaststroke (1:00.17) ,Aidan Chow butterfly (54.36) and Danyon Chu freestyle (51.22) earned the Bronze medal in the 400 metre medley relay with a total time. Ramkissoon had the fastest breaststroke split of the relays while Aidan’s time was the third fastest butterfly leg.
The Marauders medley relay was led off by Cameron with a backstroke split of 56.25 the third fastest of the relays. They finished 4th in a time of 3:43.24.
The Laurentian team had Jamaican David MacSporran handing the butterfly duties for the team .He clocked 1:02.07 to help the team to 9th in a total time of 4:03.16.
MacSporran had finished 32nd in the 200 metre individual medley in 2:23.66. He swam to a personal best time of 28.54 in the 50 metre butterfly for 37th overall.
His Jamaican teammate Linda Ferguson was 8th in the B final of the 50 metre butterfly in 29.51.