ALBURY HIGGS CONTINUES CAC PREPARATIONS WITH YET ANOTHER RECORD BREAKING BREASTSTROKE SWIM

Albury Higgs continued her record breaking run from the 2018 REV National Swimming championships with another record  breaststroke swim at the 2018 Bulldog Grand Slam in Athens Georgia.

 

Competing in the 100 metre breaststroke at the Garbielsen Natatorium on July 6 Albury qualified for the B final with a time of 1:12.12 (split time of 33.42). In the final later that afternoon she used a different approach to the one she employed in record breaking swim in Nassau. She attacked the race from the start with a split of 33.31. That gave her an early advantage of more than a half a second.She would not be caught and split 37.46 on the second 50 metres to win the race in 1:10.77.

100 breaststroke nationals 2018
2018 REV National Swimming Championships 15 and over medal podium from left to right Lilly Higgs, Albury Higgs and Laura Morley Photo courtesy of Pleasants Parott Higgs

COMPARISON OF RECORD SWIMS

100 metre breaststroke 2018 REV National 2018 Bulldog GrandSlam
First 50 metres 36.65 33.31
Second 50 metres 34.52 37.46
Final Time 1:11.17 1:10.77

Albury who lowered the national standards in the 200 and 100 metre breaststroke last month has now bettered the automatic qualifying standards for the 2019 PAN AM Games of 1:11.11.She is also another step closer to going under the mythical 1:10 barrier . Also of note that time would have won the Gold medal at the 2014 CAC (Central American and Caribbean ) Games where she had placed fourth.

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Albury she gave us her impression of the race and spoke about her tactics

“I was trying to take out the first 50 faster than I had previously this summer. It went well considering I didn’t rest for this meet, so I am hoping that rest will help me bring the last 50 home a little better. Excited for CAC and to represent the Bahamas one more time this summer!”

Team Bahamas will also be represented at the 2018 CAC Games from July 20 to 25 in Barranquilla, Colombia by Olympian Joanna Evans (Rio 2016),Lilly Higgs,Laura Morley, Izaak Bastian, Kohen Kerr and N’Nhyn Fernander

Bahamas women
Bahamas women on 2018 CAC team from left to right Evans,Higgs and Morley
Bahamas men
Bahamas men on 2018 CAC team from left to righ Bastian, Fernander and Kerr

 

 

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ALBURY HIGGS MARKS A DECADE OF BEING UNBEATEN IN THE 100 METRE BREASTSTROKE AT NATIONALS WITH A NEW NATIONAL RECORD

Albury Higgs marked a decade of being unbeaten at the Bahamian national championships with a senior national record breaking swim in the 100 metre breaststroke.

Entering the 2018 REV National Swimming Championships it was expected to be a great race between the teammates of the former teammates at Swift Swimming Albury , her sister Lilly and Laura Morley now representing Makos.

Breaststroke trio
Leading Bahamian Breaststrokers that will be competing in the NCAA Division I next season Lilly Higgs, Albury Higgs and Laura Morley Photos courtesy of swimswam and iuhoosiers

All three young ladies will be competing in the NCAA Division I this September as Lilly will be an incoming freshman at the University of North Carolina. Older sister Albury attends the University of  South Carolina and Laura ,Indiana University. The trio also formed integral components of the CARIFTA 15-17 100 metre breaststroke fortress as The Bahamas has not lost that race at the annual regional Championships since 2014.

 

Going into the Championship final on June 19 Lilly held the national record with her swim at the 2017 World Junior Swimming Championships with a time of 1:11.18 (split time 33.89).Laura’s personal best stood at 1:11.46 (split time 33.92) from the 2017 Arena Pro Swim Series – Indianapolis. Albury had a best of 1:12.06 (split time 34.01) from the 2017 Charlotte UltraSwim.All three at one point in their career held the national standard.

NATIONAL RECORD PROGRESSION

Name Time Date
Albury Higgs 1:12.07 March 5,2016
Laura Morley 1:11.83 March 27,2016
Laura Morley 1:11.46 March 4,2017
Lilly Higgs 1:11.18 August 25,2017

When the gun sounded it was Lilly and Laura who attacked the race with splits of 33.66 and 34.84 respectively with Albury seemingly out the picture with a first 50 metres of 36.65. It was at the turn that Albury brought the fire to the race. She uncorked a split of 34.52 to take charge of the race and take her tenth consecutive Gold medal in a new national record of 1:11.17.

100 breaststroke nationals 2018
2018 REV National Swimming Championships 15 and over medal podium from left to right Lilly Higgs, Albury Higgs and Laura Morley Photo courtesy of Pleasants Parott Higgs

 

Sister Lilly touched  1:12.95 for Silver and Morley 1:13.07 for the Bronze.

DECADE OF GOLD MEDALS

Year Time Age Group
2018 1:11.17NR 15 and  over
2017 1:12.18 15 and  over
2016 1:13.81 15 and  over
2015  1:13.46 15 and  over
2014 1:15.67 13-14
2013 1:19.80 13-14
2012 1:21.88 11-12
2011 1:24.36 11-12
2010 1:35.08 9-10

That time would have won the Bronze medal at the 2014 CAC Games. Albury would had actually competed in that Championship final in Mexico was fifth in 1:14.06 which  shows the progress she has made in the last four years. She also falls just short of the automatic qualifying standard  0F 1:11.11for the 2019 PAN AM Games to be held in Lima Peru. She is also closing in on the 2018 Hangzhou China World  Short Course Swimming Championships and 2019 Gwangju Korea World Championships B standard of 1:09.79. That swim also saw her doing the breaststroke national record double as she also set the 200 metre breaststroke standard earlier in the competition.

When draftingthecaribbean contacted Higgs she spoke about her race strategy

“I was pleasantly surprised when I went a personal best and broke the national record in the 100 breast. I knew I couldn’t swim all out on the first 50, so I swam my race plan and it went well!”.

TWO RACES, TWO GOLD MEDALS, TWO PAN AM QUALIFYING TIMES JOANNA EVANS WINS 200 IM IN NATIONAL RECORD AND TAKES FIFTH 200 FREE GOLD

Joanna Evans at the Rio Olympic Games
Joanna Evans at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Days 2 and 3 of the 2018 REV National Swimming Championships at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Aquatic Centre saw  Olympian Joanna Evans (Rio 2016)  setting a new national record in the 200 individual medley and winning her fifth straight 200 metre freestyle senior title all in 2019 PAN AM Games automatic qualifying times.

The 200 metre individual medley contested on Monday saw Joanna Evans unattached taking out the race faster than her former teammates at the now defunct Swift Swimming Club sister Albury and Lilly Higgs unattached and Laura Morley Makos. Her former  clubmates are national record holders in the breaststroke and would make the challenge on their favoured stroke in the medley. With a split of 1:05.98 at the half way mark and her country women splitting 1:09’s the expected push came . This as they out split her on that section of the race as their splits were Albury 38.69,Laura 39.33 and Lilly 39.78.Joanna was timed at 40.55. But they would not overcome her early advantage as she won the race in a new personal best and national record time of 2:18.10.

Lightbourn
McKayla Lightbourn Photo courtesy of seminoles.com

 

That bettered the 2011 Championship record of 2:20.11 by McKayla Lightbourn, a standout for Florida State University . It was also faster than Lightbourn’s national record of 2:19.72 set March 12,2011.Joanna’s Gold medal swim  was also faster than the PAN AM A time of 2:19.99 and Evans’ old PB of 2:20.71 when she won the crown in 2017 .

Personal bests were recorded by the Silver and Bronze medallists Albury Higgs and Morley with times of 2:21.50 and 2:21.72 . Lilly Higgs finished fourth in a time of 2:24.15. That trio were well under the PAN AM B time of 2:28.92.

Evans celebrating breaking 1650 yard freestyle record
Joanna celebrating her win in the 1650 yard freestyle and new school record at the Texas Invite Photo courtesy of texassports

The 200 metre freestyle saw the University of Texas standout winning her fifth consecutive senior crown .She just missed her Championship meet record of 2:01.62 set at the 2016 edition of the national championships. She would however be well under the PAN Am A qualifying mark of 2:03.55.

Year Time Split Medal
2018 2:01.73 59.31 Gold
2016 2:01.62 59.68 Gold
2015 2:06.22 1:00.88 Gold
2014 2:10.85 1:03.07 Gold
2013 2:11.60 1:02.91 Gold
claudiapoll hirsit.org
Claudia Poll Photo courtesy of http://www.hirsit.org

At the CAC 2014 Games in Mexico Evans placed seventh in the 200 metre freestyle in 2:04.07. Her national record in the event currently stands at 1:59.19 which is faster than the current Games record of 2:00.19 by Costa Rican Olympian Claudia Poll (Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004).

Silver went to Laura Morley who stopped the clock in 2:09.45 .The Bronze was won by Lilly in 2:09.49. Both swimmers were under the PAN AM B time of 2:10.96.

When draftingthecaribbean contacted Evans yesterday she gave her thoughts about training heading into the Championships

“Basically I took a break after the Commonwealth Games and I have been trying to get back to where I want to be.I did not rest coming into the Championships so I am happy with swims. It is a nice prep for the CAC Games in a few weeks’ time”.

2018 REV National Swimming Championships Albury Higgs wins 200 metre breaststroke in national record time, Laura Morley takes Silver as both women swim under PAN AM A standard

Albury higgs profile gamecocks online
Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of gamecocksonline

The quality in Bahamian swimming was on display in the women’s 15 and over 200 metre breaststroke on Day One of the 2018 REV National Swimming Championships on Saturday June 16.This as Albury Higgs won Gold in a new national record time and former record holder Laura Morley won Silver , both ladies were faster than the PAN Games A standard time.

Laura Morley
Laura Morley Photo courtesy of iuhoosiers.com

Higgs got her hand to the wall first in a time of 2:32.30  (split time 1:13.31) . Laura  representing  Makos was second in 2:33.92 (split time 1:14.56) and the Bronze to  Katherine Slatter of Barracudas in a personal best time of 2:53.89. The PAN AM A time stands at 2:34.43.The top two swimmers also are in striking distance of the 2019 World Championship  B standard in the event of 2:31.01 and the initial Olympic qualifying  B standard of event of 2:29.89.  Earlier in the morning session her cousin Miller Albury became the first Bahamian under the 27 seconds barrier in the 50 metre backstroke.

Miller and Albury
Record breaking family on Day One of Bahamian nationals Miller record breaker in the 50 metre backstroke and cousin Albury who set the national record in the 200 metre breaststroke

Albury spoke to draftingthecaribean about her recordbreaking feat yesterday and said

“I am very pleased with my swim and national record in the 200 breaststroke! I have been training at school in South Carolina this summer and I didn’t really rest for this meet. so I was not sure how my swims would go, but I am happy with the results so far!”.

Higgs and Morley, who both compete for NCAA Division I Universities University of South Carolina and Indiana University respectively  have been at the helm of raising the standards in the event over the last few years

Higgs and Morley
Albury Higgs and Laura Morley in action for their universities University of South Carolina and Indiana University Photos courtesy of gamecocks online and iuhoosiers.com

200 metre breaststroke National Record Progression

Time Name Location and Date
2:36.42 Laura Morley Nanjing August 22,2014
2:36.37 Laura Morley Indianna Dec 5,2015
2:35.64 Albury Higgs Knoxville March 5,2016
2:35.03 Laura Morley Ohio March 27,2016
2:34.00 Laura Morley Indianna March 2 2017
2:32.98 Laura Morley Indianna March 2 2017
2:32.30 Albury Higgs Nassau June 16,2018

 

2018 REV National Swimming Championships Miller Albury becomes first Bahamian under 27 seconds in 50 backstroke

Miller Albury 2
Miller Albury first Bahamian under 27 seconds in the 50 metre backstroke

Miller Albury became the first Bahamian under the 27 seconds mark in the 50 metre backstroke on Day One of the 2018 REV National Swimming Championships on Saturday June 16. In the preliminary heats of the event Miller who trains with Performance Aquatics in Florida but swims for Alpha Aquatics at home made a big breakthrough dropping from 27.99 to 26.83. That lowered the senior national record of DaVante Carey 27.04. DaVante had set the national mark in Silver medal winning performance at CARIFTA 2018 in Kingston Jamaica.

In the final Miller would record the second fastest time of his career as he won Silver in 27.34. Gold went to DaVante Carey of Makos who regained his record in a time of 26.75 to make it two swimmers for The Bahamas under 27 seconds and the Bronze  went to Tyler Russell also of Makos who stopped the clock in a personal best time of 28.05.

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Miller we asked about his historic achievement on the same day cousin Margaret Higgs took the 200 metre breaststroke in a new national record

Miller and Albury
Record breaking family on Day One of Bahamian nationals Miller record breaker in the 50 metre backstroke and cousin Albury who set the national record in the 200 metre breaststroke

“It is always awesome coming home to swim in the Bahamas national swimming championship. The morning session was a solid swim for me in the 50 back, setting a new Bahamas and national record. I’ve been working hard with my backstroke so I was pleased with the PB in the 50”.

Alpha Aquatics
National Champions in the 200 metre freestyle relay from left to right Perez Moss,Luke Kennedy Thompson standing in for Armando Moss, Miller and Jared Fitzgerald

Miller would also earn Gold in the 200 metre freestyle relay as he provided a game changing third leg split of 23.86 to help his team gain the lead and take the title of national sprint relay champions. The team that included Perez Moss 24.04, Jared Fitzgerald 23.65 and anchor Armando Moss clocked a total time of 1:35.53. Silver went Barracudas in 1:36.32 and Bronze to the Makos in 1:38.11.

 

 

HIGGS AND RUSSELL PREPARE TO DEFEND 15-17 BREASTSTROKE FORTRESS

Since 2014 no other nation other than The Bahamas has won a breaststroke event in the 15-17 girls age group. Thanks to sweeps by Laura Morley in 2014, Albury Higgs in 2015 and the joint efforts of the Higgs sisters Albury and Lilly in the years 2016 and 2017 all other nations have been kept out.

Albury higgs profile gamecocks online
Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of gamecocksonline
Laura Morley Indiana University Swimming and Diving
Laura Morley Photo courtesy of Indiana Swimming and Diving

With Laura and Albury now navigating in senior water the defence of the Bahamian streak is left to Lilly and  teammate Victoria Russell.

Victoria Russell
Victoria Russell finalist in the women’s 100 metre breaststroke at the  2017 Commonwealth Youth Games

Russell who made her first international final at last summer’s Commonwealth Youth Games will be looking to make her mark at her final year at CARIFTA. She is ranked second in the 50 and 100 metre events and fourth in the 200.

Lilly Higgs 15-17 100 metre breaststroke champion
Lilly Higgs looks back at the clock after capturing the 15-17 100 metre breaststroke title at the 2016 CARIFTA Championships

Lilly who has committed to swim for the University of North Carolina this September will be looking to lower the Championship record in all three races. Higgs who has is undefeated at these Championships will be looking to lower her records in the 50 and 100 as well as her sister’s in the 200.

Year Stroke Time
2016 200 2:35.33
2017 100 1:11.70
2017 50 32.70

Higgs and Russell will be looking to turn back the expected challenges of Aruba’s Anahi Schreuders, Curacao’s Chade Nercisio and Jamaica’s Bryanna Renuart along with other outstanding swimmers from around the region. After competing in Kingston, Higgs will jet off to make her senior international debut at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in GoldCoast Australia. Currently she is the only Bahamian swimmer to medal at the Commonwealth Games when she copped the Silver medal at the Youth Games at home in 2017.

ALBURY HIGGS RECORDS PERSONAL BEST IN 200 YARD BREASTSTROKE BECOMES THIRD FASTEST PERFORMER IN SCHOOL HISTORY,CLOSES IN ON CARIFTA REGION’S BEST TIME

At the start of the  2017 -2018 season The University of South Carolina’s Albury Higgs had a 200 yard breaststroke  personal best of 2:11.49. Such was the improvement that has occurred throughout the season she brought down that personal standard to 2:08.90. Not only is she  the top ranked CARIFTA region swimmer throughout the NCAA but also the first female swimmer to earn a second swim at the NCAA Division I championships in over six years.

Albury higgs profile gamecocks online
Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of gamecocksonline

The Bahamian sophomore added to her own swimming legacy competing in the 200 yard breaststroke on Saturday March 17 in Columbus Ohio during the morning heats.Albury split 1:01.59 on her way to 2:08.90. That swim bettered her 2:09.23 PR set the 2018 SEC Championships.With that performance she qualified for the B final. In that race would record the third fastest time of her career to place seventh in 2:09.45.

Albury higgs gamecocksonline
Albury Higgs in action Photo courtesy of gamescocksonline

With her morning heats swim Albury became the first Gamecock to earn a second swim at one of the world’s toughest meets since 2014. She also moved to number three on the school’s list as top performers. Higgs has also closed the gap between herself and the CARIFTA region’s best time of 2:06.99 set at the 2009 NCAA Championships by CARIFTA legend Alia Atkinson

Amanda Rutqvist
Amanda Rutqvist Photo courtesy of gamecocksonline

South Carolina Best All Time Performers

Name Year Time split
Amanda Rutqvist 2011 2:07.86 1:01.90
Kersten Dirrane 2017 2:08.58 1:01.79
Albury Higgs 2018 2:08.80 1:01.59
Alia on her way to 50 metre gold in Berlin
Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of FINA

CARIFTA Region Best All Time Performers

Name Year Time split
Alia Atkinson 2009 2:06.99 1:02.18
Albury Higgs 2018 2:08.80 1:01.59

The 100 yard breaststroke saw her placing 43rd in 1:01.27 (split time 28.67) ,just off her personal best of 1:01.02.The Gamecocks finished 20th with 46 points.