Albury Higgs of the Bahamas and the University of South Carolina had a great SEC( Southeastern Conference Championships) recording all personal bests . The highlight was her performance in the 200 yard breaststroke where she established herself as the fastest Bahamian woman in the event.
Heading to the Southeastern Championships held from Feb 19 to 24 at the Gabrielsen Natatorium at the University of Georgia Albury had a best personal of 2:08.90 from the 2018 NCAA’s . Also her 2019 season best of 2:10.44 was significantly faster than the 2:14.63 she had going into the 2018 SEC championships so something special was on the cards.She showed her hand in the morning heats when she qualified for the Championship final with a time of 2:09.03.
In the final she produced her best career placing and went under the 2:08 barrier to become the fastest Bahamian in the history of the event when she touched in a time of 2:07.40 for fourth place. This is an improvement from eighth place in 2018. Albury also became the first Gamecock to record under 2:08 at the SEC’s in addition to lowering the 2011 school record of 2:07.86 held by Amanda Rutqvist. Higgs is now tantalizingly close to become the fastest ever swimmer from English speaking Caribbean and the CARIFTA region as the standard is held by Olympian and swimming icon Jamaican Alia Atkinson with her Silver medal winning performance at the 2009 NCAA’s when swimming for Texas A & M.
|200 yard breast||2009||2019||2011|
Gold went to Anna Belousova of Texas A&M in 2:04.80 and the Silver to her teammmate Sydney Pickrem in 2:0.89 and Bailey Bonnet of Kentucky who out touched Higgs with a clocking of 2:07.19.
Higgs started the competition earlier on the right note as a member of the 200 yard medley relay that set a new school record of 1:37.88. The 2019 SEC team bettered the record of 1:39.70 set by the 2018 SEC team.
|Backstroke||Emily Cornell||25.08||Emily Cornell||25.21|
|Breaststroke||Albury Higgs||27.23||Kersten Dirrane||28.13|
|Butterfly||Hallie Kinsey||23.65||Kathleen Shannahan||24.32|
|Freestyle||Christina Lappin||21.92||Christina Lappin||22.04|
In her 100 yard breaststroke her personal best had stood at 1:01.34 from the 2018 competition. She bettered that time from the heats with 1:00.67 and was even faster in the B final to place 3rd in 1:00.30 (split time 28.30) more than a second faster than year and up to two places .
In the 200 yard individual medley she would shatter her personal best of 2:00.37 with a heats swim of 1:58.30. That would earn her a second swim for the first time ever at SECs in the event earning a berth in the C final. She bettered her personal best again to record a time of 1:58.27.
When draftingthecaribbean contacted Albury on March 5 she gave her thoughts on her expectations heading into the Conference Championships and how the races unfolded for her
“I was confident with the training I had done this semester .I had worked really hard and you always have goals to go best times every season or improve and to score points for your team.I was really proud of my training and how it was going so I was confident that SEC’s was going to be a good meet. SEC’s was not my end goal qualifying for NCAA’s and going on to that meet and doing well is the ultimate goal.SEC was going to be the stepping stone but I still wanted to do well and score points and contribute in that way. We started the week with my 200 yard IM .I had struggled with this event in the past but I was really proud of the results. I went under 2 minutes for the first time and did 1:58 and that set up the week and gave me confidence for my other events. My 100 yard breaststroke I also went a best time .It was not really what I was expecting I was hoping to go a bit faster but going a best time is always a good feeling.That was the day before the 200 yard breaststroke.I was most excited about the 200 yard breaststroke at SEC’s as it has been my best event for a while.I did well last year and I was hoping to go another best time this year. In the morning I did right around my best time that I did at the end of the season last year and it got me seventh into finals.It was good morning swim but I was expecting more at night.The 200 yard breaststroke is a tough race so I always have game plan going in. I knew I had to go out hard but smooth at the same time and work the third 50.It is hard as you halfway through the race and want it to be over but you have to work really hard in the middle.In the Championship final I ended up coming fourth.I went a 2:07.40 ,a best time by a second and a half.I was really proud of that of that.I got eighth last year so being able to move up in a year’s time is pretty exciting and that time puts me in a good place for NCAA’s.So overall I was really pleased with my swims at SEC’s.I was happy to go three lifetime bests.So going into the next month leaving for Austin Texas and the NCAA competition there in 2 and a half weeks.I am extremely proud of my swims at SEC’s I was glad to contribute to the points scored by my team and I can’t wait to see how NCAA’s goes so I am working towards that”.