CAREY WINS HISTORIC MEDLEY RELAY GOLD AT SHORTENED NCAA DII CHAMPS

DaVante Carey .Photo courtesy of mckbearcats.com

Bahamian DaVante Carey has been having a dream season in his freshman year for McKendree University. Though the Division II Championships was shortened due to the worldwide pandemic there was still enough time for DaVante to dazzle in the 200 yard medley relay.

The Bearcats came to the Championships with a school standard of 1:26.31 from the GLVC Conference Champions.They were just off that time with a swim of 1:26.84. Carey, however again lowered the 50 yard backstroke record. He carried the Bearcats to new heights with the lowering of his time from 21.88 to 21.84.

The defending CARIFTA Champion in the 50 metre backstroke would prove he had more speed to burn in the final on March 11 at the SPIRE Institute. In the final he took off after a 10.65 25 yards split to touch in yet another school record of 21.45.This gave his teammates a lead that they would not relinquish.John Heapy with his breaststroke gave a leg of 23.82. On the butterfly Gregg Lichinsky recorded a time of 20.57 and then Namibian Alexander Skinner brought it home in a time of 19.45. They took off a second to record a new time of 1:25.29. They were just off the NCAA Championship record of 1:24.83.

CAREY’S IMPACT ON THE HISTORY BOOKS

History makers from left to right Head Coach Jimmy Tierney,Gregg Lichinsky, John Heapy, Carey,Alexander Skinner and Assistant Coach Nathan Townsend. Photo courtesy of mckbearcats.com

The Gold for McKendree is the first in program history for the University in the event. Carey continues to push The Bahamas and the Bearcats into new speed zones as he continues to break the yards record and exert his dominance as the best ever in this event. This Gold represents the first relay Championship title for the CARIFTA in the NCAA Division II .

SCHOOL RECORD SWIMS

DateTime
October 26,201922.96
November 22,201922.42
Feb 12,202021.88
March 11,202021.84
March 11,202021.45
Paul Pijulet .Photo courtesy of zimeo

He also recorded the second fastest time done in the last 10 years in the Championship finals of the event. Only Frenchman Paul Pijulet of Queens has been faster in recent years with his blast of 21.41. Pijulet was a senior in 2018 when he recorded his personal best and Queens went on to win the national title in a record time of 1:24.83.

Siobhan Cropper Photo courtesy of GettyImages

Carey now joins an small elite group swimmers of to have lifted the NCAA title in this event .Those are the Olympians from Team Trinidad and Tobago Siobhan Cropper in 1998 and 2001 with Stanford and Dylan Carter (Rio 2016) with the University of Southern California.Both swimmers won their titles at the NCAA Division I champs

Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of Dylan Carter

CARIFTA REGION PRESENCE IN THE FINAL

Alex Sobers 2019 500 yard freestyle Champion Photo courtesy of goeclions

Carey was not alone flying the regional colours with pride . Earning the Silver was the Terrific Two from Team TTO . Representing the University of Indianapolis Greyhounds Jeron Thompson and Kael Yorke’s team had a total time of 1:25.80. Reigning 500 yard freestyle champion Alex Sobers of Emmanuel College anchored the Lions to 5th for a total time of 1:26.42.

The 15-17 50 metre backstroke finalists in the 2019 and 2018 edition of the CARIFTA Championships that competed in yard have all improved this season . DaVante again was the leader in this shortened season

NameTimeCountry
DaVante Carey21.45BAH
Jeron Thompson21.61TTO
Jack Kirby21.85BAR
Patrick Groters23.13ARU
Tristan Pragnell24.38BAR
Jack Harvey24.50BER
Nicholas Vale24.64JAM
Zachary Moore24.91CAY
2018 CCCAN 15-17 50 metre backstroke medal podium from left to right Thompson Team TTO, Carey and Juan Morales Restrepo of Colombia. Photo courtesy of CCCAN

Carey who has been undefeated at the CCCAN level for the last three years and gave his impressions of his performance

“Going into the morning swim I was not feeling well. I did not swim the day before due to food poisoning. So really I did not know what I was getting myself into. But after my morning swim I knew that I was going to be fine in the night due to me going a PB in the morning. Furthermore, coming back in the night the my teammates and I just set our eyes on that first place position and we did that. I started it off with the 50 backstroke split of 21.45, the fastest time in DII this season and that was really exciting for me due to me only being a freshman. But overall I am really proud of my times in the past season and I hope I can continue the trend into next season”.

FOUR GOLDS FOR FLYING FITZGERALD, JARED HELPS SPARTANS TO CONFERENCE CHAMPS

One of the CARIFTA region’s stars whose has been using the momentum of a great long course season to do well on the college level is Jared Fitzgerald of The Bahamas . He is known as Flying Fitzgerald after his national record breaking exploit in the 100 metre freestyle. He set the national record at the 2019 PAN AM Games in a time of 50.81.

Jared Fitzgerlad before his historic 100 metre freestyle record at the 2019 PAN AM Games

Jared who represents the Tampa University Spartans was fantastic form at at the Sunshine State Conference Championships which was held from Feb 13 to 16 at the Clearwater Aquatic Center in Florida.

In his first event the 50 yard freestyle he made the championship final and recorded a personal best for fifth in 20.46.

200 yard freestyle relay.From left to right Yannick Smith, Hene,Fitzgerald and James

The next day is when Jared took off with his medal account taking Gold in the 200 yard freestyle relay.The quartet of Luke Hene 20.26, Yannick Smith 20.13, Fitzgerald 19.85 and Aaron James 19.64 took the title in 1:19.88.They ran down the Nova Southern University who clocked 1:20.00.St Leo won Bronze in a time of 1:21.56.

Jordan Augier Photo courtesy of tampaspartans.com

The CARIFTA region has its imprint on the overall conference record and Championship records at St Lucian Jordan Augier was a member of the 2016 Spartan teams that set the standards of 1:19.09 and 1:17.27.

In the 200 yard freestyle Jared who was already the fastest Bahamian of all time in the event consolidated his position as the best ever.The third 50 yards was were Fitzgerald showed his class. His split of 24.71 broke the field.When he made that move there was no response from the field and he would take the Gold in a time of 1:37.05, winning by over a second. Silver and Bronze were won by the NSU Shark teammates Vincent Lijoi and Alex Dawson in times of 1:38.00 and 1:38.34.

Jamaican Nico Campbe;;

This a move up for the podium for the CARIFTA region after Jamaican Nico Campbell won the Silver in 2019 for the Florida Southern College in 1:37.23

The longest relay the 800 yard freestyle relay saw the Spartans calling on the warrior spirit of Fitzgerald. Given the responsibility of anchor duties Fitzgerald was behind the leaders NSU sharks by over a second . Jared bided his time and cut the deficit to .06. He went to his big kick and ensured the Crown with a split of 25.93. That secured the Gold in a time of 6:31.72. The NSU Sharks won Silver in 6:33.18 and Saint Leo the Bronze in 6:37.04. The Spartans also lowered the school standard of 6:33.09 set in 2019.

200 yard freestyle relay Gold medal from left to right Brett Saunders,Luke Hene, Aaron James and Fitzgerald

The Conference record has roots in the CARIFTA region as Campbell’s team had set the Championship record last year in 209 at 6:30.02

100 yard freestyle medal podium from left to right Bronze medallist Smith, Fitzgerald Gold and Alec Dawson Silver NSU

In the 100 yard freestyle Jared buoyed by his great performances in the meet and with the confidence of being the national record holder for The Bahamas in the Olympic pool took the Sunshine State title easily.The victory was never in doubt as he lead from the starter’s gun to the final. He raised his hands as Champion with a new personal best time of 43.93. Only Olympian Chris Murray with his blast of 43.83 from the 2001 SEC Conference Championships while representing the Georgia Bulldogs

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to the Fitzgerald last month and got his thoughts about his performances. We asked him first about his mindset heading to the Conference Champs

“Training heading into conference champs was very tough because the men’s team knew we had a chance to do something special .We wanted win for the first time in Tampa’s history so everyone had tunnel vision”.

He also spoke about his strategy in the 200 yard freestyle

“For the 200 attacking the third 50 was apart of my plan and something
I have been working on a lot more this year. I was very happy to seeit pay off”.

He told us about the 100 yard freestyle where he had another personal best in taking the Crown and how confident he has been in this event been since setting the national 100 metre record

“My confidence in the 100 yards is getting better and better. Honestly I don’t think I have hit my full potential in it especially after seeing what I can do long course”.

He also told us how he felt heading to the NCAA Division II championships

“Honestly really excited, looking forward to racing some competition & seeing some friends. Especially excited to race like Alex Sobers again, just like the CARIFTA days”.

2020 Conference Champions the Tampa Spartans

The Spartans won the men’s Championships with a total of 952 points.Second went to the NSU Sharks with 809 points and Florida Southern third with 548 points.

Alex Sobers 500 yard freestyle Champion Photo courtesy of goeclions

The NCAA Division II championships gets underway and will feature stars from the CARIFTA region to include defending 500 yard freestyle Champion Alex Sobers of Barbados representing Emmanuel College, the Terrific two from Team TTO Jeron Thompson and Kael Yorke representing the University of Indianapolis,Fitzgerald’s countryman DaVante Carey from The Bahamas representing McKendree.

Jeron Thompson

2019 World Swimming Championships 200 metre freestyle men Aruban Mikel Schreuders is CCCAN leader in Korea

Mikel Schreuders Photo courtesy of mutigers.com

Since he made his debut at the 2016 Rio Olympics Aruban Mikel Schreuders has made it an excellent habit of creating history for himself and his country in international competitions. This competition was no different as he bettered his 2017 time and placing to be the fastest and placed Aruban ever in this event . One can see the improvement from Budapest as he timed at 1:49.66 (split time 53.66) for 39th  and in 2019 he covered the course in 1:48.92 (split time 53.10)  for 32nd . Added to the accolade of being the fastest ever from Aruba at the meet he topped the region in an Olympic qualifying time , just off his historic 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games Bronze medal winning national record of 1:48.63. He is also among the fastest ever swimmers to compete at the World Championships from the region.

Shaune Fraser Photo courtesy of shaunefraser.com
YearNameTimePlaceCountry
2009Shaune Fraser1:46.1310thCAY
2017Dylan Carter1:47.7724thTTO
2009Brett Fraser1:48.1824thCAY
2009Lennox Silva1:48.8135thPUR
2019Mikel Schreuders1:48.9232ndARU
2017Michael Gunning1:50.0043rdJAM
Michael Gunning

Michael Gunning of Jamaica continues to be the leader for his nation in this race . He is the only Jamaican to go under 1:52..He produced yet another such performance in South Korea with a time of 1:51.14 (split time 53.47).

Alex Sobers

Alex Sobers produced the best ever showing by a swimmer from his country by bettering his standards from 2017. In Gwangju the 2019 18 and over CCCAN champion produced an effort of 1:51.89 (split 53.83) to finish 46th. This is an improvement of ten places when he clocked 1:52.50.

Noah Mascoll-Gomes Photo courtesy of espn.uol.com.br/

Noah Mascoll-Gomes of Antigua and Barbuda also produced  best ever performance for his country. The 2019 CCCAN 18 and over Bronze medallist set the standard in 2017 in Budapest when he clocked 1:55.32 for 62nd . On the Asian continent he was 56th in a time of 1:54.20 (split time 55.23).

Jordan Crooks

Reigning CARIFTA Champion in the 15-17 age group Jordan Crooks of the Cayman Islands lowered his Gold medal winning time and personal best of 1:57.45 to 1:56.33 (split time 55.57). He placed 59th in his World Championships debut.

ALEX SOBERS WINS HISTORIC 500 FREE GOLD, NICO CAMPBELL ADDS TO LEGACY WITH RELAY SILVER

It was a memorable night for the CARIFTA region on March 15 as Alex Sobers and Nico Campbell won Gold and Silver on Day Three of the NCAA Division II championships.

Alex Sobers 500 yard freestyle Champion Photo courtesy of goeclions

Alex Sobers created history for himself, the Emmanuel College Lions , Barbados and the CARIFTA region when he topped the field to lift the 500 yard freestyle crown. He cruised in the morning heats to record a time of 4:25.37 to be fifth heading into the Championship final. It was in that the night’s final that Sobers brought the fire to the event. He signalled his intentions from the opening 100 yards when he clocked 48.40. No one else was under the 49 seconds barrier. The 6,2 junior from Bridgetown kept turning on the pressure on the field opening up a lead of more than a body length lead .Adrian VanderHelm , a senior from Simon Fraser tried to make a late charge on the final 50 yards but Alex had done all the work already to secure the Lions first Division II title as he won in 4:21.09. VenderHelm won the Silver in 4:22.23 and the Bronze went to Adam Rosipal of Indy Grehounds in 4:23.23.

Alex and teammate Joao Santos who also made history by getting a Silver in the 100 yard breaststroke Photo courtesy of goeclions
First 100 48.40
Second 10052.47
Third 100 52.57
Fourth 10053.10
Fifth 10054.55
Total Time4:21.09

Alex’s win created a number of milestones . One was the first title for Emmanuel College in their first season in Division II. It also marked the time a swimmer from the CARIFTA region has won the 500 yard freestyle in Division II.In fact no other swimmer man or woman has won the title in this event in Division I or III. Alex also recorded the fifth fastest winning time in the 55 years has been contested in Division II.

Draftingthecaribbean spoke Alex about his race and he gave his thoughts on his historic swim

“Winning the 500 yard freestyle was really exciting for me and my team.This is our first year in the NCAA’s so me winning this made the first All american and National champion.It is really cool for me and my team. I really feel very proud about this accomplishment”.

Jamaican senior Nico Campbell add to his legacy at the NCAA Division II with a second consecutive Silver medal in the 800 yard freestyle relay. His Florida Southern College team earned their spot in the medal podium with a time of 6:29.64. The Gold went to Queens in 6:25.13 and the Bronze to Simon Fraser in 6:32.00.

Nico Campbell Photo courtesy of fscmocs.com
LegNameSplit
FirstMatthew Holmes1:36.16
SecondMatias Lopez1:38.05
ThirdCharlesenry Gotsch1:38.92
AnchorNico Cambell1:36.51

Campbell had the fifth fastest leg of all the competing 18 teams. It was also the fastest time Nico had ever produced at Nationals.

Nico Campbell in competition earlier in the season Photo courtesy of fscmocs.com
Year20182017
Split1:37.371:38.78
Team time6:29.64 6:33.85
PlaceSilverSixth

Draftingthecaribbean contacted Campbell who is the best Jamaica has ever produced in the 200 yard freestyle and got his thoughts about the Silver medal winning performance

“Going into the 800 yard freestyle relay we were seeded second going into the meet and it was our goal to keep that second place. We went into the race knowing that Queens were probably going to win the race but like all races anything could happen so we went in with an open mind.We all executed the race as we should have and it lead to a second place finish.It was really great as I had some fellow senior teammates that were finishing their last race on that relay.I t was really nice to be along them and win that Silver and it was really a great achievement”.

ALEX SOBERS WINS 200 FREE SILVER AND KOHEN KERR WINS FREESTYLE RELAY BRONZE ON DAY TWO OF NCAA D2 CHAMPS

The second night of action at the NCAA Division II championships saw the CARIFTA region nations of Barbados,The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica all involved in finals. Medals were earned by Alex Sobers of Barbados and Emmanuel College and Kohen Kerr of The Bahamas and Delta State University.

In the morning heats the Statesmen team of Giulio Brugnoni,Alex Zolotuhkin,Mattia Schirru and Kerr lowered the school record of 1:19.98 to 1:19.36. The same quartet had finished fourth in the 2018 Championship final in a time of 1:20.33. The final would prove to memorable as the team from Cleveland,Mississippi went even faster to claim the Bronze in a tight final in a new school record of 1:19.11. That is the best result for Delta State for more than a decade.

LegNameheatsfinal
First legGiulio Brugnoni20.0719.83
Second legAlex Zolotuhkin19.7819.84
Third legMattia Schirru19.5519.77
Fourth legKohen Kerr19.9619.67
Total time1:19.361:19.11

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Kerr this morning about his team’s record breaking feats

Kohen Kerr Photo courtesy of gostatesmen.com

” My relay teammates and I really enjoyed our morning swim.We did not expect to go that fast as we did in the morning.Not all of our relay team swam as fast as they could.In the night we decided we were going to do better.We tried to come second but unfortunately it did not happen but we all went close to our best times in our 50 splits. We came third which is a school record and the third fastest time in the nation so we were pretty happy about that”.

In the 200 yard freestyle Championship final Sobers created history for Emmanuel College Lions as he became the first swimmer from the Franklin Springs Georgia based team to win a medal in the event . Alex lowered his personal best and school record from 1:35.32 to 1:34.76 to win the Silver medal.

Alex Sobers receiving award for Silver medal performance Photo courtesy of goeclions.com
First 50 22.4021.78
Second 50 24.0123.76
Third 50 24.6224.23
Fourth 5024.2924.99
Total time1:35.321:34.76
Alex and Coach Allen Gilchrest Photo courtesy of goeclions.com

Gold was won by Alex Kunert of Queens in 1:33.56 and the Bronze to his teammate Alec Mosic in 1:36.00. Sobers is the fastest ever swimmer from Barbados in this event.

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Sobers he had the following thoughts on his medal winning performance
“I was really excited to swim the 200 freestyle yesterday .I knew I had to push with the guy from Queens (kunert) as he is a really good competitor.Overall it was a really good race and I improved my time.This is my team’s first time at Nationals so we are really here to do our best and have fun”.

Kael Yorke

Kael Yorke’s Greyhounds rattled their school record in the 400 yard medley Championship final when the recorded a time of 3:12.87 for fifth place. Yorke had split 48.02 and then 48.05 in the morning heats and Championship final respectively for his butterfly leg.

Nico Campbell Photo courtesy of fscmocs.com

Jamaica’s best 200 yard freestyler Nico Campbell equalled his best ever placing in the event at the National championships with a third place finish in the B final. Campbell’s best time at these Championships stood at 1:38.09. He was faster than that in the heats and final with times of 1:37.24 and 1:37.43 , the third and sixth fastest performances of his career. No other Jamaican swimmer has dipped under the 1:38 barrier other than Nico. In the 200 freestyle relay his Florida Southern College placed sixth in the B final with a time of 1:21.72 .In the morning heats they had recorded a time of 1:21.29. Nico’s splits in the morning and evening were 20.03 and 19.83 respectively.

Jordan Augier Photo courtesy of tampaspartans.com

The record in the 200 yard freestyle relay belongs to Tampa at 1:17.27 set in 2016 . Included in that lineup was St Lucia’s Jordan Augier who had a game changing leg to propel the Spartans to the Gold and the Division II record

https://draftingthecaribbean.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/st-lucian-sprinter-jordan-augier-has-game-changing-relay-leg-to-help-tampa-spartans-set-new-championship-record-at-division-2-championships/

NEW SCHOOL RELAY RECORDS FOR KAEL YORKE AND ALEX SOBERS HIGHLIGHT DAY ONE OF NCAA D2 CHAMPS

The first day of action at the 2019 NCAA Division II Champs on March 13 at the IU Natatorium, Indianapolis saw three CARIFTA region nations with the participation of Kael Yorke from Trinidad and Tobago representing University of Indianapolis, Alex Sobers of Barbados representing Emmanuel College and Nico Campbell of Jamaica representing Florida Southern College.

Yorke’s Greyhounds would be the best placed 200 yard medley relay of the morning finishing fifth to advance to the Championship final with a new school record of 1:27.65.

Kael Yorke
BackstrokeRodrigo Codo Berti22.19
BreaststrokeJan Zuchowicz23.95
ButterflyKael Yorke21.53
FreestyleVictor Antonon19.98
Total Time1:27.65

That bettered the old record of 1:28.11 they established in the 2018 Championship when they finished sixth. The 2019 team finished fifth again in the final with a time just below their record breaking morning swim of 1:27.68. Yorke had a butterfly split of 21.81 in the night.Gold went to Queens in a time of 1:25.22.

Sobers’ Lions had a morning heats swim of 1:29.20 .Alex provided an anchor leg of 20.22 .In the consolation final they placed third in a new school record of 1:28.24

Emmanuel College record setting relay team from left to right Mendes.Sobers,Santos and Rosa Photo courtesy of goeclions.com
BackstrokeThiago Rosa22.25
BreaststrokeJoao Santos24.07
ButterflyRafael Mendes21.73
FreestyleAlex Sobers20.19
Total Time1:28.24

They bettered the record they set in a time trial at the 2019 Bluegrass Mountain / Carolinas Conference Championships .

Nico Campbell Photo courtesy of fscmocs.com

Campbell’s team finished just outside the top 16 with a time of 1:29.76 to place 19th. Nico anchored the team in a time of 20.26. In the individual 50 yard freestyle Campbell placed 42nd in a time of 20.73

ALEX THE GREAT!!!SOBERS SETS NEW PB, SCHOOL AND CONFERENCE RECORDS AT CAROLINAS MEET

Alex Sobers of Barbados continues to add to his swimming legacy with another five star performance for the Emmanuel College Lions at the 2019 Conference Carolinas Men’s Swimming Championship  at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center in Charlotte,North Carolina. Sobers laid waste to all his personal bests and conference records in every single event that he contested.

The opening battle in the 200 yard medley relay saw the Lions disqualified. With a moniker such as Lions the team from Franklin Springs would not be deterred or bowed and swam a time trial in the event . And what time trial it was as the Lions shattered the school record , the Carolinas record and recorded the eighth fastest time in the NCAA Division II so far.

Lions record setting 200 medley relay team Rosa, Santos,Coach Gilchrest,Sobers and Mendes.Photo courtesy of goeclions.com
LegNameTime
BackstrokeThiago Rosa22.60
BreaststrokeJoao Santos24.46
ButterflyRafael Mendes22.05
frreestyleAlex Sobers19.69
Total Time1:28.80

The previous school and conference records previously stood at 1:30.43 in 2017 and 1:30.08 by the 2018 Limstone College team.

Sobers denied a Gold medal with the disqualification would certainly make up for it with his performances in his remaining events.

Sobers competing in the heats of the 500 yard freestyle .Photo courtesy of goeclions.com

Coming to the Conference Championships Alex was the holder of the 500 yard freestyle mark with a time of 4:27.56 set in 2017. The 2018 conference record belonged to Robert Zamarano of Barton who had stopped the clock in 4:42.09. Both marks were swept away with disdain in Sobers’ preliminary swim as he touched in 4:22.74. Now already the best his school and the conference had ever seen in the event the final served to be a coronation ceremony as he lowered that time to win by over 20 seconds and record a time of 4:19.41 , the fastest time currently in Division II . The Division II record of 4:17.09 held by Dutch Olympian Dion Dreesens while competing for Queens University of Charlotte can officially be put on notice.

Sobers celebrating with Gold medal in the 500 yard freestyle

Comparison of Personal best splits

20192017
48.9250.67
52.3655.17
52.3255.18
53.1354.00
52.6852.54
4:19.414:27.56

Sobers is now the fastest ever English speaking Caribbean and CARIFTA region swimmer in the event bettering the 4:25.03 set by countryman and Olympian Damian Alleyne in Nov 1999. Alleyne set that time as 16 year old swimming for the world renowned Bolles school in Jacksonville Florida . He still holds the Bolles record for the 15-16 age group .He set that time at the 1999 4A state when it was a then record performance.The girls record is held by Jamaican Olympian Janelle Atkinson . The record board also includes names such as US Olympic gold medallist Caleb Dressel.

Top times from the Region

CountryName Time
ArubaMikel Schreuders4:25.31
ArubaDaniel Jacobs4:25.82
The BahamasJeremy Knowles4:26.00
Cayman IslandsShaune Fraser4:27.56

The Lions would roar to an emphatic win of more than five seconds in the 400 yard medley relay. Falling by the wayside was the school record of 3:18.77 and the Carolinas conference record of 3:17.84

Lions Gold medal relay medallists 3:17.21
LegName Split
backstrokeThiago Rosa49.05
BreaststrokeJoao Santos54.49
ButterflyRafael Mendes50.37
freestyleAlex Sobers43.30
Total time3:17.21

Sobers had the fastest time of the relay that bettered his 43.68 when he was the anchor on the team that set the school record in 2017. It also puts the Lions as the 16th fastest team in Division II.

In the 200 yard freestyle relay the same quartet put up a gold medal winning time of 1:21.53 . That places them 16th in Divison II and broke the Conference record.

The 200 yard freestyle saw the 2018 Carolinas record of 1:40.43 set by Saint Leo ‘s Fridtojov Mork taken down in the heats when Sobers touched in a time of 1:37.94. He crowned himself King and the best the conference has ever since when he set a new PB, School record and conference record of 1:35.32 (split time 46.41). That ranks him as the second fastest in Division II.He crushed the field by more than five seconds.

In the 100 yard freestyle he again took down the Conference record in the heats with a swim of 44.25. The old record belonged to Mork of Saint Leo with a time of 45.06.The final saw the Lions going 1-2 as Sobers recorded his first sub 44 seconds clocking of 43.65 (split time 20.86).Silver went to teammate Rose in 44.01. Sobers bettered his PBof 44.20 and Rosa’s school record of 44.00.The swim places Sobers ninth overall in the Division.

Sobers and his teammates capped the meet with yet another school and conference record in the 400 yard freestyle relay and a winning margin of almost ten seconds.They stopped the clock in a time of 2:57.90

LegNameSplit
FirstJoao Santos44.49
SecondThiago Rosa43.59
ThirdRafael Mendes46.13
FourthAlex Sobers43.69
Total time2:57.90

The old school and conference records stood at 2:58.24 and 3:00.34.

For his tremendous efforts Sobers was named Carolinas Co -swimmer of the Year along with his teammate Joao Santos. The Lions finished second to Barton College amassing 732 points.

Nicky Neckles with Silver in the 100 metre backstroke at the 2010 Games Photo courtesy of swimbarbados.com

Sobers continues to raise the bar for his country with record breaking exploits. In December draftingthecaribbean spoke with Damian Alleyne, a leader in the freestyle events in his time from the late 90’s to early 2000’s, after Sobers lowered his national record in the 200 metre freestyle at the World Short Course Swimming Championships in in China from 1:48.98 to 1:47.55. Alleyne belonged to a Golden era of male swimming in Barbados that included such names asNicky Neckles, Bradley Ally, Cliff Gittens, Martyn Forde, Shawn Clarke,Andrei Cross among others. We spoke to Alleyne about his record breaking swim in 2001 and what
what Alex’s swim in China meant in the context of swimming in Barbados moving forward

Damian Alleyne Barbados Olympian (2000,2004) Photo courtesy of Khalil Goodman for Better Health Magazine June 2011

” To be honest, I don’t remember the exact details of my swim, I believe I was home for SC Nationals at Christmas and managed to squeeze that time out. As far as what Alex has accomplished, I believe it shows a positive progression for the sport of swimming in Barbados and the Caribbean. I am very proud of Alex and what he has been able to accomplish in his swimming career and I can’t wait to see what more he can achieve! I always had the mindset that I wanted to set the bar for swimming in Barbados. I wanted to make sure that bar was so high that the next swimmer to come along and challenge it would be a legitimate, world class, athlete and Alex has displayed this. I wish him all the best in any future endeavors and can’t wait to see how much further he takes the sport for the next generation to aspire to”.