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.

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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.

ALBURY HIGGS BOOKS TICKET TO FIRST NCAA FINAL WITH BEST CARIFTA REGION TIME IN 200 BREAST IN OVER A DECADE

The University of South Carolina’s Bahamian sophomore Albury Higgs booked her ticket for the NCAA finals at the March with a personal best in the 200 yard breaststroke at the South Eastern Swimming Championships.

Albury higgs
Albury Higgs

Competing at the Texas A &M Natatorium on Feb 18 Higgs recorded the best time ever for a female swimmer from the CARIFTA region with her morning swim 2:09.46 (split time 1:02.29) in over a decade.That performance earned her a second swim to the Championship final.

Alia
Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of Jamaica Olympics

The best time done in the event since 2009 when Alia Atkinson won the NCAA Silver in the event in 2:06.99. Higgs would have more left in the tank as she placed 8th in an even faster time of 2:09.23 (split time 1:01.75). Higgs topped her 2017 performance when she placed 5th in the B final in a time of 2:11.48 (split time 1:03.23).

Albury Higgs
Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of swimswam.com

Her progress in the event should come as no surprise as she was dominated the 15-17 age group in the 200 metre breaststroke at the CARIFTA level .Albury won the 200 metre breaststroke race in 2015,2016 and 2017.

She would also record personal bests in the 200 yard individual medley and 100 yard breaststroke. In the medley event she dropped a second from 2:01.42 to 2:00.41. The difference was due to being more aggressive in the first 100 yards as her split was 57.23 compared to the 58.41 that she did in November at the Georgia Tech Invitational when she recorded her then personal best.

In the sprint breaststroke she bettered her 2016 personal best of 1:01.64 to clock 1:01.02 (split time 28.56) to qualify for the B final. In that final she would record the second fastest time of her career to place fifth in 1:01.34. Again she bettered her 2017 placing when she stopped the clock in 1:02.81 for 25th overall.

Higgs offered a few words to draftingthecaribbean about her SEC efforts

“I had a great time representing the gamecocks at the SEC Championships and was pleased to go all best times in my events. I was really happy with my 200 breaststroke and looking forward to my first NCAA tournament”.

 

16 IS THE FINAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING TALLY AS GRUEST,ACOSTA, FLORES,ROMANY AND CRESPO BOOK TICKETS FOR HUNGARY

The total tally of World Championship qualifying performances achieved at the CCCAN Championships stands at 16 as Day 5 came to an end at the National Aquatic Centre in Couva, Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday July 2.The swimmers helped in running up the score on Sunday included Valerie Gruest of Guatemala, Marcelo Acosta of El Salvador, Luis Flores of Puerto Rico, Joshua Romany of Trinidad and Tobago and Edgar Crespo of Panama.

Valerie Gruest
Valerie Gruest Photo courtesy of guatemala.com

Olympian Gruest in the 15-17 400 metre freestyle won her race convincingly in a time of 4:16.42 well under the B standard of 4:19.34.That was her seventh Gold medal of the Championship and her second World Championship qualifying mark.

Marcelo Acosta swimming world
Marcelo Acosta Photo courtesy of swimmingworld.com

Marcelo Acosta won the 18 and over boys 400 metre freestyle in a Championship record time of 3:55.54. That bettered the Hungary World Championship B standard of 3:56.14. His swim was also faster than the 2011 meet record of 3:59.06 by Puerto Rico’s Raul Martinez. Silver went to Aruban Mikel Schreuders in a new national record of 3:58.38.The Bronze went to the English speaking fastest ever swimmer in the event Alex Sobers of Barbados in 4:00.17.

Luis Flores
Luis Flores Photo courtesy of Florida Southern College

In the battle to decide the fastest man at CCCAN the morning heats saw two men under the 50 metre freestyle B standard of 23.26.Luis Flores of Puerto Rico 22.85 to top the qualifiers heading into the final. Trinidad and Tobago’s Joshua Romany was the second seed with a time of 23.01.

Romany swimswam
Joshua Romany Photo courtesy of swimswam.com

In the final the positions remained the same with both men just off their morning swims. Flores took Gold in 22.85 and Romany the Silver in 23.06 with Schreuders winning Bronze in 23.49 in a new national record.

Crespo La prensa
Edgar Crespo Photo courtesy of La Prensa

Bettering the World Championship B cut was Panamanian Edgar Crespo. In the morning preliminaries of the 18 and over men’s 100 metre breaststroke he lowered his 2009 Championship record of 1:03.83 by clocking 1:02.79. That performance topped the qualifiers and just missed the B standard of 1:02.46. In the final he underlined his number one seeding with Gold medal winning time and new Championship record of 1:02.37. Silver was won by Aruba’s Jordy Groters in 1:04.07 and the Bronze went Coast Rica’s Arnoldo Herrera in 1:04.89.

margaret-higgs-junior-pan-pacifics
Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of Rochelle Bastian and Bahamas Swimming

Also doing the Championship record double was Bahamian Albury Higgs. In the morning she lowered Jamaica Olympian Alia Atkinson’s (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016)  2005 15-17 girls 100 metre breaststroke record of 1:13.93 with a 1:12.93 effort. Higgs would lower that mark in the afternoon with a Gold medal winning time of 1:12.79.She was followed to the wall by Curaçao’s   Chadé   Nercisio who clocked 1:14.27. Marissa Lugo of Puerto Rico was timed in 1:15.58 and won the Bronze.

ELan Daley Royal Gazette
Elan Daley Photo courtesy of http://www.royalgazette.com

Also in Championship record mode was one half of the Bermudan 11-12 super duo Elan Daley. In the final of the 11-12 50 metre freestyle she lowered the 1995 Championship record of 27.55 set by another 11-12 star of yester year, Trinidad and Tobago’s Cerian Gibbes. Daley won in a new national record and English speaking Caribbean best of 26.82.No other English speaking Caribbean girl has ever swum faster than 27 seconds. Jamaican speedster Zaneta Alvaranga placed second in 27.78.The other half of the super duo Payton Zelkin won the Bronze is 28.01.

13-14 50 backstroke champion and senior natior record holder Danielle Titus of Barbados
13-14 100 backstroke champion and new senior national record holder Danielle Titus of Barbados

In the 13-14 girls 200 metre backstroke Danielle Titus of Barbados set a new Championship, age group and senior national record with her swim of 2:22.39. Titus lowered the 1985 record of 2:22.50 of Costa Rican Olympian Sylvia Poll (1988, 1992). Second went to Vanegas Yanci of Guatemala in 2:24.41 and the Bronze Jahmia Harley to 2:27.05.

Swimmers who achieved the regional Golden Double on the final day included

Golden Double medallists 50 freestyle
Regional Golden Double medallists in the 50 metre freestyle from left to right Elan Daley of Bermuda 11-12 girls Nathaniel Thomas of Jamaica 11-12 boys Amara Pilgrim of Trinidad and Tobago 15-17 girls Photos courtesy of Royal Gazette Bermuda,Cheser Adams and swimtt.com
Age Group Event Name Country
11-12 girls 50 metre freestyle Elan Daley Bermuda
11-12 boys 50 metre freestyle Nathaniel Thomas Jamaica
15-17  girls 50 metre freestyle Amara Pilgrim Trinidad and Tobago

 

Sam Williamson bernews
Regional Double Golden Double medallist Sam Williamson of Bermuda 11-12 boys Photo courtesy of Bernews
Age Group Event Name Country
11-12  boys 100 metre breaststroke Sam  Williamson Bermuda
D Titus Barbados Nation
Regional Double Gold medallist in the 13-14 200 metre backstroke Danielle Titus of Barbados Photo courtesy of Barbados Nation
Age Group Event Name Country
13-14  girls 200 metre backstroke Danielle Titus Barbados

CARTER AND ROMANY HIGHLIGHT ACTION ON DAY THREE OF THE CCCAN CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING SWIMS

Day three (June 30) of the CCCAN Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Trinidad and Tobago saw more exciting races and championship records and also more World Championship qualifying swims. Those World championship Qualifying performances came from the local stars Olympian Dylan Carter and Joshua Romany.

Dylan Carter
Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of usportt.com

Dylan competing in the 18 and over 200 metre freestyle crushed the 2009 Championship record Costa Rica’s Olympian Mario Montoya of 1:52.43 with a 1:48.91 clocking. That bettered the World Championship B qualifying mark of 1:51.50.Also under the record and just missing the B standard was El Salvador’s Olympian Marcelo Acosta who clocked 1:51.76 for the Silver. Aruban Olympian Mikel Schreuders took the Bronze in 1:51.76.

Romany swimswam
Joshua Romany Photo courtesy of swimswam.com

In the 18 and over 50 metre butterfly Joshua Romany bettered the 2011 championship record of countryman Joshua McLeod of 24.43 as well as the World Championship B standard time of 24.50 with a Gold medal winning time of 24.40. Winning the Silver was N’Nhyn Fernander of The Bahamas in 24.94 and the Bronze was won by Christian Awah  of Trinidad and Tobago in 25.06.

The winning times by Carter and Romany brought the World Championship qualifying tally to five.

Chade Nercisio 13-14 breastroke Triple Gold medallist
Chade Nercisio 13-14 CCCAN record holder Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque

In the girls 15-17 50 metre butterfly the crowd was treated to excellent sprinting by Curaçao’s  Chadé  Nercisio. She became the fastest woman of all time at CCCAN when she broke the 28 seconds barrier in the 50 metre butterfly when she clocked 27.99 in the morning heats. All her energy was not spent after that national record swim as she returned in the evening to destroy that mark and record a time of 27.59. that swim was not too far off the World championships B mark of 27.42. Silver went to Celismar Guzman of Puerto Rico won the Silver in 28.62 and the Bronze went to Celina Marquez of El Salvador in 28.65.

Valerie Gruest
Valerie Gruest Photo courtesy of guatemala.com

Valerie Gruest of Guatemala just missed out on another World Championships qualifying mark when she took Gold in the 15-17 400 metre individual medley in a time of 4:54.67. That swim bettered the 2009 meet record of 5:02.43 by Maria Coy.That was just off the B standard of 4:52.97. CARIFTA Champion Albury Higgs won Silver in 5:03.67. The Bronze went to Marissa Lugo of Puerto Rico in 5:11.77.

 

Other championship record to fall on the day went to Zaneta Alvaranga of Jamaica in the girls 11-12 50 metre butterfly. She lowered the meet record of 29.85 twice .She swam 29.32 in the heats before uncorking a 28.74 for the Gold in the final.

In the 13-14 age group Beatriz Padron of Costa Rica Gold 28.36,Katie Kyle of St Lucia Silver 28.80 and Trinidad and Tobago’s Gabriela Donahue Bronze 28.85 all bettered the 2011 record of 28.89 by Dorian McMenemy.

Swimmers who completed the Regional Gold Double on Day Three by winning their respective events at CARIFTA in The Bahamas and at CCCAN in Trinidad and Tobago include

Regional Golden Double
Regional Golden Double medallists from left to right Zaneta Alvaranga of Jamaica,Kael Yorke of Trinidad and Tobago and Danielle Titus of Barbados Photos courtesy of Michael C Lyn and swimtt.com

 

Age Group Event Name Country
11-12 girls 50 metre butterfly Zaneta Alvaranga Jamaica
15-17 boys 50 metre butterfly Kael Yorke Trinidad and Tobago
13-14 girls 100 metre backstroke Danielle Titus Barbados

 

TEAM JAMAICA OPENS ACCOUNT WITH 9 MEDALS ON OPENING DAY OF CARIFTA 2017 SWIM CHAMPS IN THE BAHAMAS

Team Jamaica got off to a good start on the opening day of the 32nd annual CARIFTA Swimming Championships in The Bahamas. The Jamaican contingent won 9 medals Four Gold Two Silver and Three Bronze medals and saw 24 personal best times established

Age Group Event Name Time Placing Old time
1 15-17  Girls 800 metre freestyle Annabella Lyn 9:40.98 4th 9:48.72
2 11-12 Girls 200 metre breaststroke Sabrina Lyn 3:12.82 11th 3:20.37
3 11-12 Girls 200 metre breaststroke Isabella Sierra 3:32.84 15th 3:38.96
4 15-17 boys 200 metre breaststroke Adrian Grant 2:39.17 12th 2:39.76
5 11-12 girls 50 metre backstroke Zaneta Alvaranga 33.50 4th 34.29
6 11-12 girls 50 metre backstroke Paig’e Lewis 35.91 16th 37.31
7 11-12 boys 50 metre backstroke Nathaniel Thomas 32.02 2nd 32.78
8 11-12 boys 50 metre backstroke Joshua Alleyne 32.72 3rd 34.57
9 13-14 girls 50 metre backstroke Brianna Anderson 31.47 3rd 31.90
10 13-14 boys 50 metre backstroke Kyle Sinclair 30.17 5th 31.18
11 13-14 boys 50 metre backstroke Akeem Alleyne 31.68 12th 33.38
12 15-17 boys 50 metre backstroke Mattheau Bonner 30.11 17th 30.41
13 11-12 Girls 100 metre butterfly Sabrina Lyn 1:08.91 2nd 1:09.92
14 11-12 Girls 100 metre butterfly Zaneta Alvaranga 1:08.95 3rd 1:11.01
15 13-14 boys 100 metre butterfly Kyle Sinclair 1:03.70 8th 1:05.57
16 13-14 boys 200 metre breaststroke Cameron Brown 2:34.39 Bronze 2:34.43
17 15-17 boys 200 metre breaststroke Sean Douglas-Gooden 2:33.71 8th
18 11-12 girls 50 metre backstroke Zaneta Alvaranga 33.34 4th 33.50
19 11-12 boys 50 metre backstroke Nathaniel Thomas 32.02 Gold 31.64
20 13-14 boys 50 metre backstroke Kyle Sinclair 29.77 4th 30.17
21 15-17 girls 50 metre backstroke Shaun Johnson 31.57 6th 31.09
22 11-12 Girls 100 metre butterfly Sabrina Lyn 1:07.22 Gold 1:08.91
23 11-12 Girls 100 metre butterfly Zaneta Alvaranga 1:08.02 Silver 1:08.95
24 15-17 boys 100 metre butterfly Jesse Marsh 57.83 5th

57.97

Nathaniel Thomas 11-12 Boys 50 metre backstroke Gold
Nathaniel Thomas 11-12 Gold medallist in the 50 metre backstroke.Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The First Gold medal came from Nathaniel Thomas in the 50 metre backstroke. Competing in his first ever Championship final he stormed to victory in a new personal best time of 31.64.This broke the more than 5 year medal drought Jamaica had in the event .The last medal was won by Timothy Wynter in 2009 when he took Gold in then a Games record time of 30.37 .That time still stands as the 11-12 national record.

Sabrina Lyn 11-12 100 metre butterfly Gold
Sabrina Lyn reacts to winning the 11-12 100 metre butterfly Gold medal in anew national record time
Zaneta Silver medallist and Alia Atkinson
Zaneta Alvaranga Silver medallist in the 100 metre butterfly and World Record holder and CARIFTA 2017 commentator Alia Atkinson.Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The next CARIFTA title would come again in the 11-12 age group. This time from the girls. Sabrina Lyn also competing in her first ever Championship final had put the 100 metre butterfly national record of 1:08.87 by countrywoman Simone Vale under threat with a heats time of 1:08.91. In the final she became the first 11-12 Jamaican girl under 1:08.00 when she took Gold in a personal best time of 1:07.22.Teammate Zaneta Alvaranga was also well below the old national standard winning the Silver in a personal best time of 1:08.02. This was the first time Jamaica was winning better than a Bronze medal in the event in over a decade.

The third Gold medal would come via the 13-14 girls 400 metre freestyle relay. They demolished the old national standard of 4:12.73. That mark was set before anyone  of the members of the team were born was set at the Caribbeean Islands Swimming Championships in 1996 in San Juan Puerto Rico by Olympians Angella Chuck and Janelle Atkinson, her sister Jilandre Atkinson and Kerrie Ann Steer , a coach at the Tornadoes Swim Club. The team of Gabrianna Banks, Brianna Anderson, Simone Vale and Emily MacDonald took the title in 4:06.08.MacDonald held off a spirited challenge from Trinidad and Tobago’s Gabriella Donahue who was looking for her 3rd Gold medal of the night. This is the first medal for Jamaica of any kind in the event for over a decade.

15-17 Golden girls
15-17 Golden Girls from left to right Anjuii Barrett , Shaun Johnson,World Record Holder and CARIFTA 2017 commentator Alia Atkinson ,Annabella Lyn and Britney Williams.Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The senior Girls in the 15-17 age group replicated the Gold medal performance. The team of Anjuii Barrett, Shaun Johnson, Annabella Lyn and Britney Williams took the relay title in a time of 4:02.11. They were just off the national record of 4:01.62. This is the first win for Jamaica in the event since 2013 when the national record was established at the Kingston championships.

Cameron Brown 13-14 200 breatstroke Silver
13-14 200 metre breaststroke Silver medallist Cameron Brown .Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The evening’s final started with a Silver medal winning performance from Cameron Brown in the boys 13-14 200 metre breaststroke. He swam to a new personal best of 2:34.39. This is a major improvement from 2016 where he was 6th in 2:39.43. He continues to track the national standard in this event of 2:33.55.The last time Jamaica won a medal in this event was 2005 when Matthew Hilton won Silver.

15-17 200 metre breaststroke podium
15-17 200 metre breaststroke from left to right Lilly Higgs The Bahamas Silver medallist, Albury Higgs The Bahamas Gold medallist and Bryanna Renuart Jamaica Bronze medallist

In the 15-17 girls event Bryanna Renuart repeated her 2016 Bronze medal winning performance with a 2:47.05 effort in The Bahamas. She kept the Jamaican streak alive of medalling in the event every year since 2011.

Brianna Anderson 13-14 50 back Bronze
Brianna Anderson 13-14 Girls Backstroke Bronze medallist

Brianna Anderson would win her individual medal in the 50 metre backstroke when stopped the clock in 31.47. That is the first medal for Jamaica in the event since Angara Sinclair won the Gold in 2104 in the national record  time of 31.02.

The 13-14 boys team of Kyle Sinclair, Dominic Mullings, Akeem Alleyne and Cameron Brown won the Bronze in the 400 metre freestyle relay in a time of 3:50.90. That is the first medal in the event for Jamaica since 2014.

Analysis of final times and places

Name Event Age Group heats Placing  FinalsTime Placing
Cameron Brown 200 metre breaststroke 13-14 2:37.16 4th 2:34.39 Silver
Bryanna Renuart 200 metre breaststroke 15-17girls 2:48.53 3rd 2:47.05 Bronze
Annastzaia Chin 200 metre breaststroke 15-17girls 2:54.82 4th 2:57.50 6th
Sean Douglas-Gooden 200 metre breaststroke 15-17 boys 2:34.46 8th 2:33.71 8th
Zaneta Alvaranga 50 metre backstroke 11-12 girls 33.50 4th 33.34 4t
Nathaniel Thomas 50 metre backstroke 11-12 boys 32.02 2nd 31.64 Gold
Joshua Alleyne 50 metre backstroke 11-12 boys 32.72 3rd 32.99 7th
Brianna Anderson 50 metre backstroke 13-14 girls 31.47 3rd 31.59 Bronze
Kyle Sinclair 50 metre backstroke 13-14 boys 30.17 5th 29.77 4th
Shaun Johnson 50 metre backstroke 15-17 girls 31.57 6th 31.09 5th
Sabrina Lyn 100 metre butterfly 11-12 girls 1:08.91 2nd 1:07.22 Gold NR
Zaneta Alvaranga 100 metre butterfly 11-12 girls 1:08.95 3rd 1:08.02 Silver
Nathaniel Thomas 100 metre butterfly 11-12 boys 1:05.79 2nd 1:07.16 4th
Emily MacDonald 100 metre butterfly 13-14 girls 1:10.25 6th 1:08.41 5th
Kyle Sinclair 100 metre butterfly 13-14 boys 1:03.70 8th 1:04.17 8th
Angara Sinclair 100 metre butterfly 15-17 girls 1:06.95 5th 1:07.71 7th
Jesse Marsh 100 metre butterfly 15-17 boys 58.07 5th 57.83 4th
11-12 girls 400 freestyle relay 11-12 girls 4:30.26 6th 4:29.79 7th
11-12 boys 400 freestyle relay 11-12 boys 4:22.19 8th
13-14 girls 400 freestyle relay 13-14 girls 4:06.08 Gold NR
13-14 boys 400 freestyle relay 13-14 boys 3:50.90 Bronze
15-17 girls 400 freestyle relay 15-17 girls 4:02.11 Gold
15-17 boys 400 freestyle relay 15-17 boys 3:42.29 7th

SEC CHAMPIONSHIPS THE BAHAMAS REPORT ALBURY HIGGS SETS PERSONAL BESTS AND MAKES B FINAL IN FIRST CHAMPIONSHIPS

Albury Higgs
Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of swimswam.com

The University of South Carolina’s Albury Higgs of The Bahamas competed in the SEC (Southeastern Championships) in her first year of college making a B final and lowering her personal bests in the 200 yard breaststroke and the 400 yard individual medley.

The meet which took place from Feb 14-18 at the Allan-Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center in Knoxville Tennessee saw the freshman competing in the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke and the 400 yard individual medley in her SEC debut.

It would be the 200 yard breaststroke where she would make her greatest impact. Heading to the conference she had a season best time of 2:18.76 (split time 1:05.96) and a personal best time of 2:14.06 (split time 1:03.99). In the heats of the event it was clear that both times would be committed to history as she covered the first 100 yards in a time of 1:03.34. When she touched the final wall Albury would have a new season and personal best time of 2:12.67. That would be good enough to earn her an evening swim in the B final. In that final the first 100 yards was again the indicator of the personal best to come. Higgs went out even faster with a split time of 1:03.23. The question was now how much she would lower her personal standard by. When she hit the pads the time registered was 2:11.49 for 5th place .Another personal best by more than a second.

Margaret Higgs
Margaret Higgs Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque

Her success in the longer breaststroke event is a continuation of her form in 2016 when she was crowned the 15-17 CARIFTA champion in March and the 15-17 CISC Champion in June in the 200 metre breaststroke. Also bettered in both her heats and final swim was the NCAA Division B standard of 2:15.99.

In the 400 yard individual medley Higgs would again better her season best of 4:22.79 and personal best of 4:19.56. Albury would register a time of 4:18.65 to better the NCAA Division I B standard of 4:19.39 for 28th overall. This is yet another event in she reigned supreme in regional age group waters for 2016 .This, as she took the CARIFTA title in the 400 metre individual medley in Martinique and later took the CISC title in The Bahamas in the summer.

The 100 yard breaststroke saw Albury bettering her season best of 1:03.99 when she clocked 1:02.81 (split time 29.19) for 25th overall.

albury-higgs-gamecocks
Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of gamecocksonline.com

When asked about her first SEC experience by draftingthecaribbean Albury had these thoughts

“It was an amazing experience representing the gamecocks at my first SEC Championships!  I was happy to go best times in both my 200 Breaststroke and 400 IM, and had so much fun with my teammates. Mostly I was glad to be able to score some points for the team”.

The Gamecocks finished 9th in the women’s competition with 505,