ZAYLIE ELIZABETH THOMPSON SETS NEW BAHAMIAN, NATIONAL CHAMPS RECORD IN 200 FREE ON DAY 2 OF REV CHAMPS

The second day of the 2019 REV National Championships in Nassau saw yet another national standard falling by the wayside. Setting the new national mark was Zaylie Elizabeth Thompson of Alpha Aquatics in the 13-14 200 metre for girls.

New Bahamian Reocrd holder in the 200 metre freestyle for 13-14 girls Zaylie-Elizabeth Thompson

Thompson, the reigning CARIFTA Silver medallist made her intentions very clear from the sounding of the starter’s gun. She had the field beaten by the first 50 metres. With the Gold decided the question now to be answered is what time would she record. When she touched the pads it would be the fastest time ever recorded by a Bahamian girl in the age group. Standards passed on the way were the Championship record of 2:12.59 set by Taryn Smith in 2011 and the overall national record of 2:09.74 set by countrywoman McKayla Lightbourn.

McKayla Lightbourn Photo courtesy of seminoles.com

McKayla had set that national record at the 2007 edition of the CARIFTA Championships when she dominated the age group in what can only be described as an awe inspiring performance where she won 16 medals , 13 of which were Gold and 11 were won in individual events.

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to the new national standard bearer Thompson about her record breaking efforts

“Breaking the Bahamas record in the 200 metre freestyle was a great experience.I was happy that I was able to lower my time and set a new standard for out future Bahamian swimmers to strive for”.

TOP REGIONAL 200 METRE FREESTYLE PERFORMANCES

BermudaElan Daley2:06.132019
JamaicaEmily MacDonald2:08.702018
The BahamasZaylie Elizabeth Thompson2:09.332019
Trinidad and TobagoKimberlee John-Williams2:09.512009
BarbadosHanna Gill2:09.992014
CaymanR Embury-Brown2:11.382019
15 and over 200 freestyle podium from left to right Katelyn Cabral,Evans and Anya MacPhail.Photo courtesy of Al Bominy

Dominating the event in the 15 and over event was Joanna Evans swimming unattached dominated the four lap freestyle race. She won in 2:01.55.That bettered her old Championship record of 2:01.73.Evans , who finished her career as at the University of Texas is the fastest English speaking woman from the CARIFTA region with her national record of 1:58.03.She has won this event for the last seven times she has contested it. The last time she was not atop the medal podium was in the 13-14 group when Taryn Smith had set the Championship record.

20182:01.73
2017DID NOT SWIM
20162:01.62
20152:06.20
20142:10.85
20132:11.60
20122:13.22

In the men’s equivalent Kohen Kerr defended his title to win in a new personal best of 1:57.99.The Mako Aquatics who finished his collegiate career with Delta State this year lowered bettered his old time of 1:58.20 from the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games in Colombia.He was the only swimmer under the 2 minute mark.

15 and over medal podium from left to right Carey, Burrows,young lady and Bastian.Photo courtesy of Al Bominy

If Joanna Evans is the Queen of the 200 metre freestyle at the National Championships Elvis Burrows is the Emperor of the king of 50 metre butterfly.The Freeport Aquatics swimmer defended his title to bring his total to ten consecutive wins.

201924.73
201824.30
201725.08
201624.38
201523.74
201425.41
2013DID NOT SWIM
2012DID NOT SWIM
201124.90
201025.47
200924.47
200825.22

He was the only sub 25 seconds swimmer in the Championship final.Silver went 2019 CARIFTA Silver medallist DaVante Carey of Mako who touched in a new PB of 25.03. Incidentally the CARIFTA record is held by Joshua Romany in 25.06 and the 15-17 CCCAN record is held by Burrows from 2007 in 24.97. Two time defending CARIFTA Champion Izaak Bastian won Bronze in a time of 25.35. Bastian’s teammate from Florida State University Will Pisani won the B final with the fastest time of the night of 24.55.

Ariel Weech of Alpha Aquatics won the 15 and over event in a time of 29.22. That was not far off her 29.10 she did to win Bronze in Aruba at CCCAN in the 18 and over event.

Albury Higgs took the 15 and over title in the 100 metre backstroke stopping the clock in 1:07.57. As it was at CARIFTA so it was at these National championships with DaVante Carey winning Gold in 59.29 defending his title and Lamar Taylor of Freeport winning Silver. Taylor dipped under the minute barrier for the first time with a swim of 59.72.Peter Morley of Mako won Bronze in 1:02.69.

The 15 and over medley relay title went to the Alpha Aquatics team of Celia Campbell,Ariel Weech,Virginia Stamp and Jazmine Trotman in 4:50.40.The men’s title went to Mako with the team of Carey,Tyler Russell, Ina Pinder and Kohen Kerr in 3:58.82. They were chased by the Barracudas team than won Silver in 3:59.11.The meet record of 3:58.27 just made it to 2020.

13-14 50 butterfly podium from left to right Jared Reckly,Forbes and Brayden Dam.Photo courtesy of Al Bominy

Nigel Forbes continues to show why has been the best 50 metre butterflier amongst his peers in the region when he lowered the 2018 Championship record of 25.98 set by Rommel Ferguson to 25.96.

He is only in his first year of the 13-14 age group and the 2019 CARIFTA Champion has shown tremendous improvement since his Gold medal winning performance of 26.47.

RECORDS IN DANGER

MeetTimeRecord holderYear
CARIFTA25.66Cadell Lyons2007
Bahamas25.60Lamar Taylor2018
CCCAN25.35Dylan Carter2011
11-12 50 butterfly podium from left to right,Asher Johnson,Marvin Johnson and Amauri Bominy.Photo courtesy of Al Bominy

Nigel’s Waverunners teammate Marvin Johnson is making his final year of the 11-12 age group memorable.The CARIFTA champion set a new personal best of 27.70 just outside Forbes record of 27.67.He will be looking to keep the CCCAN title in the Bahamas as Nigel won Gold in 2018 in 27.73.

Other winners

EventNameAgeTime
200 freestyleSeleste Gibson8&U2:50.40 CR
200 freestyleKaylan Williams8&U2:47.77
200 freestyleZoe Williamson9-102:32.79
200 freestyleAyden Bain9-102:33.79
200 freestyleLeylah Knowles11-122:22.26
200 freestyleTristin Ferguson11-122:12.22
200 freestyleErald Thompson III13-142:06.96
50 butterflySkylar Smith8&U40.02 CR
50 butterflyKaylan Williams8&U38.51
50 butterflyZoe Williamson9-1032.91
50 butterflyTristen Hepburn9-1032.72
50 butterflySeann Norville-Smith11-1231.75
50 butterflyRachel Lundy13-1430.27
100 backstrokePassion Daniel9-101:26.03
100 backstrokeTristen Hepburn9-101:17.27
100 backstrokeKeianna Moss13-141:09.50
100 backstrokeIshan Roy13-141:05.83

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DAVANTE CAREY’S NATIONAL RECORD HIGHLIGHTS DAY 1 OF REV BAHAMIAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

The first day of the 2019 Rev Bahamian National Championships got underway on Thursday June 20 at the Betty Kelly- Kenning Pool in Nassau.

Davante Carey

The highlight of the day was the new national and Championship record in the 15 and over 50 metre backstroke set by Davante Carey of the Mako Aquatics Club.

Carey ,who is the reigning CARIFTA 15-17 and 2018 Nationals Champion went into the the meet in Good form. At CARIFTA earlier this year he had lowered his own national record from the 2018 National Championships from 26.75 to 26.66 to take the Gold. He lowered that mark even further as he stopped the clock in a time of 26.46. Winning the Silver was Lamar Taylor of Freeport in Aquatic club in 271.14. Taylor had won the Silver at CARIFTA in 27.41.The Bronze went to Armando Moss of Alpha Aquatics in 28.02. Reigning UWI Games champion, former national record and older brother of Davante ,Dionisio was eighth in 29.21.

Davante, who will swimming for the senior team later this summer in Peru for the PAN American Games is steadily climbing the all time rankings in the 50 metre backstroke for the 15-17 age group.

CountryTimeNameYear
Trinidad and Tobago25.99Dylan Carter2013
Barbados26.07Jack Kirby2018
The Bahamas26.46Davante Carey2019
Aruba26.66Patrick Groters2017
Jamaica26.71Timothy Wynter2013

Carey will also be competing at CCCAN in Barbados also holds the Championship record at that competition with a time of 26.84 from 2018. Draftingthecaribbean asked Davante today about his reaction to his new national record

“Overall the 50 backstroke was a good race seeing that I came off a bit of a struggle in the prelims as I did not have a good start and I went straight to the bottom.But despite all of that I came back in the night for finals ready to defend my title and possibly even breaking my record and that was what I did.I had a great start.I came up a little bit early out my underwater but I made it work and then I really finished strong”.

Ariel Weech

In the female equivalent Ariel Weech of the Alpha Aquatics team put the 2011 national record of 29.40 by Alana Dillette on notice when she recorded the fourth fastest time in Bahamian history of 29.84. She becomes only the second Bahamian woman under the 30 seconds barrier. First to the wall was visitor Maddie McDonald who touched in 28.61

Davante Carey butterfly

It would be Double gold for Carey as he took the 100 metre butterfly title in a new personal best of 55.54.In the process he defended his title that he won in 2018 in 56.26. He came from behind to nip N’Nhyn Fernander of Barracudas at wall who won the Silver in 55.85. Fernander who won the B final of this event at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games. Bronze to reigning CARIFTA 15-17 Champion Ian Pinder in 56.80. Visitor Will Pisani touched first in 54.92. Carey will now be eyeing the 15-17 CCCAN record of 55.25 held by Puerto Rico’s Arsenio López from the 1997 edition of the meet held in Cuba.

The women’s 15 and over race went to Katelyn Cabral of the YMCA Waverunners in a time of 1:05.80. She topped the field easily by over four seconds.

In the distance freestyle events Zaylie -Elizabeth Thompson of Alpha topped the girls 13-14 800 metre race with a time of 9:35.07.The 15 and over event went to Anya Macphail of Mako in 10:00.01. The 13-14 1500 metre race was won by Hodari Prince of Barracudas in 18:44.39.

Luke-Kennedy Thompson

The 15 and over race went to another Thompson , CARIFTA 15-17 Champion Luke Kennedy in 17:20.76. He was followed to the wall by brother Mark-Anthony in 17:28.16.

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

In the women 15 and over 200 metre breaststroke the top two spots were dominated by the Higgs family as Albury defended her title to win the Gold in a time of 2:34.09.Sister Lily won the Silver in 2:39.99 and the Bronze to Jemilah Hepburn of Mako in a time of 2:50.88.

The men’s equivalent was won by Andre Walcott of Mako in 2:30.88.Silver went to teammate Tyler Russell in 2:31.78 and the Bronze to Mark Anthony Thompson in 2:31.95.

The Alpha Aquatics quartet of Jazmine Trotman,Virginia Stamp,Ariel Weech and Celia Campbell set a new Championship record of 1:50.48.That lowered their 2017 mark of 1:50.97.

Marvin Johnson

CARIFTA 2019 standout Marvin Johnson dominated the field in the 11-12 50 metre backstroke to win in a time of 30.92 just off the Championship record held by Carey of 30.76.At CARIFTA he won Gold in a personal best 30.75 . In the 100 metre butterfly he would lower the Championship record of 1:03.27 set by teammate Nigel Forbes with a winning time of 1:02.10. He took the 2019 CARIFTA title in 1:03.27 .The CCCAN record which stands at 1:01.83 set by Emir Quintero by Mexico from 2005 seems set to go in Barbados later this summer.

Nigel Forbes en route to Gold at UANA in 2018

Forbes has improved tremendously from 2018 after winning the 11-12 National Championship title in 1:03.27 he won convincingly in his first year of the 13-14 in a new personal best of 57.98. His performance is the the second fastest all time in the age group. The National and Championship record is 57.81 held by Ian Pinder.He will have more than a year to lower that mark.At CARIFTA he won the Silver in a time of 59.45.

Other Gold medallists

EventAgeName TimeTeam
200 metre breaststroke11-12Rhanishka Gibbs3:01.21Barracudas
200 metre breaststroke11-12Caden Wells2:56.69Mako
200 metre breaststroke13-14Delaney Mizell2:59.90Lyford Cay
200 metre breaststroke13-14Erald Thompson III2:32.41Mako
50 metre backstroke8& underSkyler Smith39.46Waverunners
50 metre backstroke8& underDavid Singh40.46Barracudas
50 metre backstroke9-10Rayven Ward36.77Mako
50 metre backstroke9-10Tristen Hepburn33.98Waverunners
50 metre backstroke11-12Leylah Knowles33.33Alpha
50 metre backstroke13-14Keianna Moss30.87Mako
100 metre butterfly13-14Joshua Newry30.31Freeport
100 metre butterfly9-10Zoe Williamson1:14.79Freeport
100 metre butterfly9-10Tristen Hepburn1:13.20Waverunners
100 metre butterfly11-12Seann Norville-Smith1:12.05Waverunners
100 metre butterfly11-12Marvin Johnson1:02.10Waverunners
100 metre butterfly13-14Rachel Lundy1:08.56Mako
100 metre butterfly13-14Nigel Forbes57.98Waverunners

Relay winners

200 metre freestyle relay8&underBarracudas Girls2:34.24
200 metre freestyle relay Waverunners2:30.81
200 metre freestyle relay9-10Waverunners Girls2:13.33
200 metre freestyle relay Mako2:14.15
200 metre freestyle relay11-12Lyford Cay Girls2:01.92
200 metre freestyle relay Mako1:53.28
200 metre freestyle relay13-14Mako Girls1:55.91
200 metre freestyle relay Mako1:44.69
200 metre freestyle relay15 and overMako1:36.61

ALBURY HIGGS BECOMES FASTEST BAHAMIAN WOMAN IN 200 YARD BREASTSTROKE AT SEC’S

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.

Albury Higgs warming up at the 2018 CAC Games Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

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.

Albury Higgs SEC 2019

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.

Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of Jamaica Olympics
NamesAtkinsonHiggsRutqvist
200  yard breast200920192011
First 50 29.0528.7929.39
Second 5033.1332.3032.11
Third 50 32.1833.1332.80
Fourth 5032.6333.1833.16
Final time2:06.992:07.402:07.86

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.

CARIFTA standouts representing the region at the 2019 SEC’s Higgs of South Carolina and The Bahamas and Mikel Schreuders of Missouri and Aruba

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.

names20192018
BackstrokeEmily Cornell25.08Emily Cornell25.21
BreaststrokeAlbury Higgs27.23Kersten Dirrane28.13
ButterflyHallie Kinsey23.65Kathleen Shannahan24.32
FreestyleChristina Lappin21.92Christina Lappin22.04
Total Time1:37.881:39.70

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

Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

“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”.

SCHREUDERS AND HIGGS EARN CAREER BEST PLACINGS AT SEC’S ON DAY TWO, MIKEL WINS FREESTYLE BRONZE

The second day of the SEC championships being held in Georgia. Mikel Schreuders and Albury Higgs both set new personal bests and recorded their highest ever placings in the 50 yard freestyle and 200 yard individual medley respectively.

Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of swimswam.com

Higgs of the Bahamas competing for the South Carolina Gamecocks earned her first ever spot in an SEC final in the 200 yard IM when she lowered her personal best from 2:00.37 to 1:58.30, an NCAA B qualifying time. In 2018 she had placed 38th overall. She would have more in store in the C final as she lowered that time further to place 6th overall in 1:58.24. This is a big improvement from November 2018 when she recorded her previous best heading into the SEC’s as seen by the splits below

Albury Higgs
butterfly26.4926.02
backstroke29.8329.68
breaststroke34.5733.53
freestyle29.4829.01
Total time2:00.371:58.24

With her SEC performance Higgs now moves from joint fourth to the third fastest performer in South Carolina history.

Mikel Schreuders Photo courtesy of mutigers.com

Aruban Mikel Schreuders of Missouri earned his best ever placing in the 50 yard freestyle when he won Bronze in the event in a new personal best time of 19.24. Coming to Georgia Mikel had a personal best time of 19.45. He lowered that in the morning heats to 19.31. Schreuders has swum faster each year he has contested this event.

201919.24Bronze
201819.691st C final
201720.1728th
201620.7139th

With that swim he now moves from fourth to second fastest all time in Missouri Tigers history. He moves to being the third fastest ever performer from the CARIFTA region . The list is headed by the legendary George Bovell III Trinidad and Tobago who is the region’s fastest ever swimmer in yards, short course metres and long course metres

Goerge Bovell III Photo courtesy of sportsmax.tv
2009George Bovell III18.98
2017Dylan Carter19.04
2019Mikel Schreuders19.24
2018Justin Plaschka19.30
2009Shanune Fraser19.30
Justin Plaschka Photo courtesy of und.com

In 2017 at the NCAA Championships during the heats Schreuders had anchored the 200 yard freestyle relay to a time of 1:16.78 , a new school record,with a split of 19.61.That enabled the Tigers to make the final . He never swum in the final and the team placed seventh with the exact same time. In Georgia he blew past the 19 seconds barrier to split 18.77 on the second leg. Mikel, along with Luke Mankus 19.48,Danny Kovac 19.14 and Kyle Leach 19.29 combined to swim to a new school record of 1:16.68 and place fourth.

Mikel Schreuders in action Photo courtesy of mutigers.com/Mike Krebs

RECORDS DOWNED BY CARIFTA STARS ON DAY 1 OF SEC CHAMPS, ARUBAN SCHREUDERS LOWERS MEET AND SCHOOL RECORD IN 200 FREE, BAHAMIAN HIGGS HELPS SET SCHOOL RELAY RECORD

The opening night of the SEC South Eastern Conference Championships got underway last night at the Gabrielsen Natatorium at the University of Georgia. The CARIFTA region was represented by Aruba’s Mikel Schreuders and Albury Higgs of The Bahamas. Both ensured that their names were in etched in the record books.

Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of gamecocksonline

Albury Higgs representing the University of South Carolina joined her teammates on the 200 yard medley relay to place 11th and shatter the school record. The old record stood at 1:39.70 from the 2018 SEC competition.

Splits20192018
backstrokeEmily Cornell25.08Emily Cornell25.21
breaststrokeAlbury Higgs27.23Kersten Dirrane28.13
butterflyHallie Kinsey23.65Katie Shannahan24.32
freestyleChristina Lappin21.92Christina Lappin22.04
Total time1:37.881:39.70
Mikel Schreuders in action Photo courtesy of mutigers.com/Mike Krebs

In the 800 yard freestyle relay Schreuders representing Missouri set the pool alight with his opening 200 yard freestyle split. His time of 1:31.68 is a new PB, School record and SEC Championship record and it also propelled the Tigers to the Silver medal in a new school team record of 6:11.38. By the first 100 yards fans knew they were in for something special from the Oranjestad native as he had the only sub 44 seconds split of 43.91.When he touched he had given the Tigers a lead of almost a second. It took a new SEC record time of 6:10.50 by the Florida Gators to overhaul the Missouri team. The old Tigers record which was destroyed was from their 2018 SEC Silver medal winning performance. In 2018 Mikel had swum the second leg in a time of 1:33.45. It was Mikel’s aggression in the first half of the race that helped him to the record smashing performance as seen with a comparison of his splits, the old SEC record and his previous PB and school record

Splits2019SEC recordSchool record
First  5021.2121.3621.77
Second 5022.7023.4123.40
Third 5023.3823.4823.69
Fourth 50 24.3223.7924.06
Final time1:31.611:31.731:32.92

Conor Dwyer .Photo courtesy of zimbio

The old SEC record belonged to American Conor Dwyer who had set that standard leading off the 2011 Florida Gators team. He would later win Gold medals in the 800 metre freestyle relay at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai China and the 2011 PAN American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Schreuders had set the school record leading off the Tigers team at the 2018 NCAA Championships.

Mikel Schreuders CAC 200 metre freestyle Bronze medal

Mikel now stands at the 14th fastest swimmer ever in the event.He is now the second fastest swimmer from the CARIFTA region as he passes the Fraser brothers Shaune and Brett of the Cayman Islands who represented the Gators for that position. The number one spot belongs to Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter who with his opening leg blast for the USC Trojans at the 2017 NCAA Championships. On his school website Mikel who is the reigning Central American and Caribbean Games Bronze medallist in the 200 metre freestyle gave his thoughts on his performance ” We’ve all been preparing really well for this meet. I wanted to try and get the biggest lead that we could because we had strong opponents in that field. I just went for it and tried to do as much as I could. I didn’t even know I broke the record, but after hearing it on the podium, it was awesome. We’ve all been working so hard, it shows that it pays off. But we still have work to do.”

Top 200 yard freestyle swimmers from the CARIFTA region

Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of usctrojans.com
2017Dylan CarterUSC1:30.95
2019Mikel SchreudersMissouri1:31.61
2009Shaune FraserFlorida1:31.70
2011Brett FraserFlorida1:32.21
Shaune and Brett Fraser displaying ther 200 metre freestyle medals at the 2011 PAN AM Games.Photo courtesy of reuters.com

On that night on Feb 16,2011 it was Dwyer who gave the lead to Brett Fraser (1:32.77) to help the Gators to the Gold and a then SEC record time of 6:13.74. They had combined for 200 yard medley relay Gold as well also in an SEC record time of 1:24.94. Dwyer had swum the breaststroke in 23.56 and Brett had anchored in 19.08. At the PAN AM Games in Mexico later that year Brett and older brother Shaune gave the Cayman Islands their first ever Gold and Silver finish in the 200 metre freestyle.

Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace Photo courtesy of theswimpictures.com

Also on that night in 2011 the CARIFTA region had Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace of The Bahamas and Auburn anchoring her school team with a split of 21.04 for a then SEC record of 1:36.11 in the 200 yard medley relay. Also Jamaican standout and current coach at Saint Andrews Ramon Walton led off the Kentucky team medley relay with a time of 22.46.

ALBURY HIGGS CAPS GREAT YEAR WITH YET ANOTHER 100 METRE BREASTSTROKE RECORD AT CAC GAMES

Albury higgs contemplating CAC
Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

The 2017-2018 season will be the one that Bahamian Albury Higgs will remember especially for her exploits in the 100 metre breaststroke. When she celebrated a decade of being unbeaten in the event at her country’s national championships she was just outside of  2019  Lima PAN AM Games  automatic qualifying mark of 1:11.11 when she won in 1:11.18.  That would fall to her  when she competed at the 2018 Bulldog Grand Slam in Georgia recording another national record mark of 1:10.77.  Her last opportunity for long course action would come by way of a time trial at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla Colombia.As the saying in swimming circles goes “last one fast one” and Albury did not disappoint. She crushed her old record to post a time of 1:10.03 on July 21. That put her on the verge of being the first Bahamian woman under the 1:10. mark. She is also dangerously close to the 2019 Gwangju LCM World Championships B standard of 1:09.79. That mark also doubles as the 2018 Hangzhou   SCM World Championships . Albury is also in sight of the initial Tokyo 2020 B qualifying mark of 1:09.08. The times will be confirmed by FINA  in December.

Record Progression
100 metre breaststroke 2018 REV National 2018 Athens Grand slam 2018 CAC Games
First 50 metres 36.65 33.31 33.11
Second 50 metres 34.52 37.46 36.92
Final Time 1:11.17 1:10.77 1:10.03

 

Draftingthecaribbean contacted Higgs on Aug 10 and she spoke about her record swim, coping with the heat in  Colombia and the 2017-2018 season

Albury Higgs CAC warmup
Albury Higgs warming up at the 2018 CAC Games Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

“I decided to time trial the 100 breast on the second day of competition since I was not in the 100 breast event the day before, so I could try to swim a best time while I was tapered. I was happy with the outcome of going a best time and a new national record! (My splits were 33.11 / 1:10.03). Sometimes it is difficult swimming a time trial, since you swim the event on your own, but I stuck to my race plan and was able to push myself, even though no one was in the lane next to me. Coping with the heat in Colombia was somewhat difficult, but being used to swimming outside, for example in Nassau at the Bahamas Nationals, helped us prepare. Staying in the shade and making sure we stayed hydrated were most important. I was very happy overall with my 2017-18 season. Going best times both short course at school and long course for the Bahamas this summer, as well as setting national records, is a great feeling. I am looking forward to this upcoming season and ready to work ever harder!

Albury higgs profile gamecocks online
Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of gamecocksonline

Albury will be entering her junior year at the University of South Carolina  where is she is third fastest swimmer in school history in the 100 yard breaststroke with a time of 1:01.02

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