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
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.

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”.



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

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
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

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.

201819.691st C final

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

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 Krebs


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.

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 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
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

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

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 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


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”.


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.


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


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


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




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.


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.


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!”.