JAMAICAN FALCON ANJUII BARRETT SHINES AT 2018 EASTERN CHAMPIONSHIPS

Jamaican Anjuii Barrett was among the star performers for the Peddie Falcons at the 2018 Eastern Championships held at the Germantown Academy  from Feb 16 to 17.

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

 

Barrett who was a member of Jamaica’s Golden Girls who swept the relays in the 15-17 age group at the 2017 CARIFTA Games earned a Silver medal in the 50 yard freestyle as well as the sprint freestyle relay.

In the morning heats Barrett eased into the final with a time of 24.28 , the then second best time of her career to make her second consecutive Championship in the 50 yard freestyle. The final would see her in a close battle for the Gold with Germantown Academy’s Erin Merke.  Merke would just out touch Anjuii 23.72 to 23.80. That Silver medal winning time was new personal best for Barrett also it was her first time under 24.00 seconds. Barrett also upheld the Peddie school tradition of being on the medal podium in the 50 yard freestyle. That streak that began in 2014.

She would earn another medal in the 200 yard freestyle relay. The Highstown New Jersey based institution would take the Silver medal. The team of Barrett 23.95, Ilana Price 24.83,Avery Best 24.50 and Sophia Furgay 24.03 touched in 1:37.31 to finish behind Germantown Academy who won the Gold in 1:36.47.

The leadoff leg by Anjuii became the second fastest of her career.

She would set a new personal best in the 100 yard freestyle during the preliminaries clocking 52.77 (split time 25.35) to earn yet another Championship berth. She would be just outside that time when  she placed seventh in 53.14. For both individual sprint events Anjuii was the top performer for her school.

When draftingthecaribean  got throught to the sprinter she gave her thoughts on the Championship

“Easterns is always a really exciting time for Peddie Aquatics and this year was no different. Leading up to the big meet the girls team was especially successful throughout the dual meet season and these successes only fueled our excitement for Easterns. Going into the meet I was of course nervous and anxious but I was confident that my training and hard work would in the end reap great results which would make myself and my team proud. Looking back at the meet my best race was, as usual, the 50 free in which I placed second in a personal best time of 23.80”.

The Peddie Falcons finished 7th overall with 327.5 points.

 

 

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RECORD BREAKING SUNDAY NATHANIEL THOMAS AND THE GOLDEN GIRLS OF THE MARLINS SWIM CLUB GIANI FRANCIS, KOKOLO FOSTER, SAIDAH BROWN AND CHRISTANYA SHIRLEY SET NEW NATIONAL MARKS

Sunday December 17 will be known as record breaking Sunday as the nation’s youngsters continued to excel in their last competitions for 2017 as they have done all throughout the year. Competitions in two different meets in two different islands yielded national age group records . In Jamaica at the ASAJ Christmas Open and Christmas Breezer Nathaniel Thomas of the Tornadoes swim club lowered his national mark in the 11-12 boys 50 metre butterfly twice in the morning heats and final . While the Golden Girls from the Marlins Swim Club Giani Francis, Kokolo Foster, Saidah Brown and Christanya Shirley continued their awesome record breaking run in the 9-10 200 metre freestyle relay at the Republic Bank Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago Invitational.

At his first CARIFTA in The Bahamas in April Nathaniel was 5th    in the 11-12 50 butterfly  in 29.22 .

Nathaniel Thomas Neville 2017 1
Nathaniel Thomas Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

Later in May in Jamaica Nathaniel would lower the 11-12 50 butterfly to 28.32. That just edged the old standard of 28.33 set by Olympian Timothy Wynter (Rio 2016) when he won the Silver medal at the 2009 CARIFTA Championships held in Aruba. At the CCCAN competition in Trinidad and Tobago in July he would top the region taking the Gold in 28.53. He would join the elites among the region when he became the first Jamaican  11-12 boy to break the 28 seconds barrier.

Nathaniel Christmas Open
Nathaniel Thomas Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

In the morning he was fantastic in breaking the meet record also set by Wynter in 2009 of 29.39 and lowering the national mark to 27.95. He would continue his record breaking feats in the final as he dropped time again to set a standard of 27.86.

Wendy and Nathaniel Christmas open
Head Coach of the Tornadoes Swim Club and her record breaking swimmer Nathaniel Thomas Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

He now joins the likes of Evante Gibson of the Bahamas 27.77, Aruban Jordy Groters 27.85 as regional standouts under the 28 seconds barrier in the 11-12 age group.

Martin and Nathaniel
President of the Aquatics Sports Association of Jamaica Martin Lyn congratulating Nathaniel on his record breaking exploits Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

 

On the day he would also set new meet record in winning the 200 metre freestyle with a personal best of 2:12.77 and taking the Gold with the Tornadoes A team in the 400 metre medley relay.

The Golden Girls of the Marlins Swim club Gianna Francis, Kokolo Foster, Saidah Brown and Christanya Shirley have dominated the sprint freestyle relay this season and their last meet in Trinidad and Tobago would be no different.

Gianna Francis,Kokolo,Saidah Brown, christanya
Marlins Girls 9-10 team at the Neville Alexander meet from left to right Giani Francis,Kokolo Foster,Saidah Brown and Christanya Shirley Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

At the Neville Alexander meet they set a new national mark of 2:14.66 .That lowered the national record of 2:15.37 set way back on Aug 1, 1988. That mark was set by the national team of Kezia Stewart, Kerone Peat, Joanna Lee and Nicole Lowe at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships held in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic when 9 and 10 year olds were allowed to participate.

Marlins free relay record holders
National record holders in the 9-10 girls freestyle relay from left to right Back row Kokolo Foster,Gianna Francis Front row Saidah Brown ,Christanya Shirley

At the Dean Martin Memorial Meeting in October they crushed that mark with a swim of 2:10.52. In the twin Island Republic they would be even that much faster with a time of 2:05.52 .That performance takes almost ten seconds off from the 1988 record. That swim is among one of the fastest ever done by an English Speaking Caribbean team in that age group.

Golden girls
Marlins 9-10 Golden Girls from left to right Giani Francis, Saidah Brown, Kokolo Foster and Christanya Shirley Photo courtesy of Suzette Whyte

 

Three of the young ladies Francis, Foster will be pushing to make their first CARIFTA team in Kingston next year while Shirley has one more year in the 9-10 age group.

In 2017 at the CARIFTA Championships in the Bahamas the Jamaican ladies won the swept the 200 metre freestyle relays taking wins in the 11-12, 13-14 and 15-17 age groups

 

11-12 conquerors
2017 CARIFTA Gold medallists 11-12 200 metre freestyle relay from left to right Paig’e Lewis,Sabrina Lyn , Isabella Sierra and Zaneta Alvaranga Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn
13-14 conquerors
CARIFTA 2017 13-14 200 metre freestyle relay Gold medallists from left to right Gabrianna Banks,Simone Vale, Brianna Anderson and Emily MacDonald Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn
15-17 conquerors
CARIFTA 2017 15-17 200 metre freestyle relay Gold medallists from left to right Angara Sinclair, Bryanna Renuart , Shaun Johnson and Anjuii Barrett Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

EMILY MacDONALD’S GOLD MEDAL HIGHLIGHTS CCCAN CHAMPIONSHIP 100 METRE FREESTYLE MEDAL RUSH ON DAY FOUR

 

The fourth day of competition at CCCAN Championships in Trinidad and Tobago saw Team Jamaica winning One Gold , Three Silver and One Bronze for an overall total of Seven Gold, Six Silver and Three Bronze. The Jamaican contingent was in ninth position with 232 points. The overall tally of personal bests now stands at 34.  All the medals won on Day Four were in the 100 metre freestyle event. The Gold came from Emily MacDonald in the girls 13-14 race.

Emily MacDonald 100 freestyle Gold
Emily MacDonald 13-14 100 metre freestyle

For the second straight summer Emily MacDonald has crowned herself regional Champion in the 100 metre freestyle. At the 2016 Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships in the 11-12 100 metre freestyle she struck Gold in a then national record of 1:00.26. One year later in the 13-14 age group she has won CCCAN title in a time of 58.83. In the process she also lowered her personal best of 59.20 that she established in the heats. This is the first medal for Jamaica in the event in over a decade. The longstanding 1997 record of 57.54 set by Olympian Janelle Atkinson has been put on notice as Emily still has a year and a half in the age group.

Zaneta Alvaranga 11-12 100 freestyle Silver
Zaneta Alvaranga 11-12 100 metre freestyle Silver medallist Photo courtesy of Tastey Blackman

 

Emily’s 11-12 national record would not survive Day Four. The 11-12 final pitted the Bermudan star duo of Elan Daley and Payton Zelkin against Jamaican speedster Zaneta Alvaranga to see how the medals would be decided. After speaking with her coach about working the last half of her race Zaneta dug deep in the last 15 metres to challenge Daley for the Gold and win Silver in 1:00.24 in a new national age group record. Daley would win Gold in a new Bermudan record of 59.65. Zelkin would take the Bronze in 1:00.56. That is the same order that the medals were won at CARIFTA earlier this year. The last time Jamaica last won a medal in this event was 2013 when Anjuii Barrett won the Bronze.

Nathaniel Thomas 11-12 100 free Silver
Nathaniel Thomas 11-12 100 metre freestyle Silver medallist Photo courtesy of Tastey Blackman

Nathaniel Thomas added another medal to his haul when he won Silver in the boys 11-12 race. He lowered his personal best set in the morning of 59.04 to 58.37. The medal is a set up the podium from CARIFTA where he had won the Bronze medal. No Jamaican had won a medal in the event for more than a decade. Thomas is now less than a second away from the 2002 national record of 57.43 set by Brad Hamilton.  The Gold was won by Bermuda’s Sam Williamson in 58.20.Bronze went to Gabriel Martinez of Honduras in 58.65.

Kelsie Campbell 100free Silver
Kelsie Campbell 18 and over 100 metre freestyle Silver medallist Photo courtesy of Tastey Blackman

Kelsie Campbell the only Jamaican female representative in the 18 and over at CCCAN Championships keeps adding to her personal medal account in Trinidad and Tobago. She won her fourth medal so far in the 100 metre freestyle stopping the clock in a time of 58.28. This is the first time Jamaica is medalling in the event since 2001 when Olympians Janelle Atkinson and Angela Chuck won Gold and Silver. Gold went Jumar Avila of Honduras in 57.79. Santis Gabriela of Guatemala won Bronze in 59.12.

Kyle Sinclair 100 metre freestyle Bronze
Kyle Sinclair 13-14 100 metre freestyle Bronze medallist Photo courtesy of Tastey Blackman

In the boys 13-14 race Kyle Sinclair dipped below the 56 seconds barrier for the first time to set a new personal best of 55.77 and establish himself as the number one seed heading into the final. In the Championship final he had to over a bad start and work overtime in the last 25 metres to come from behind to win the Bronze in 55.04. This is a big improvement for Sinclair who had failed to make to the final at CARIFTA placing 11th in 57.43. It also breaks a decade long medal drought in the event. Also making up for a disappointing CARIFTA 2017 where he was disqualified in the event was Trinidad and Tobago’s Aqueel Joseph who won gold in 54.85. Kevon Lockhart of The Bahamas won the Silver in 54.97.

Other finalists on the day were

Age Group Event Name Time heats Placing  FinalsTime Placing
13-14 girls 200 metre IM Gabrianna Banks 2:36.90 8th 2:37.88 7th
15-17 girls 200 metre IM Bryanna Renuart 2:29.61 6th 2:29.26 5th
11-12 girls 200 metre butterfly Sabrina Lyn N/A N/A 2:47.29 7th
15-17 boys 200 metre butterfly Jesse Marsh 2:11.94 7th 2:11.55 6th
15-17 girls 800 metre freestyle relay N/A N/A 9:03.51 5th

THOMAS AND ALVARANGA “FLY” TO NEW AGE GROUP MARKS AND FOSTER SETS MEDLEY RECORD ON DAY ONE OF NEVILLE ALEXANDER MEET

Zaneta Neville 2017
Zaneta Alvaranga 50 metre butterfly national record holder and fastest 11-12 girl ever in the  event for the English Speaking Caribbean. Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

On day one of the 2017 Neville Alexander Memorial Swim Meet Nathaniel Thomas and Zaneta Alvaranga set new 11-12 age group marks in the 50 metre butterfly event. The meet which runs from May 26 to 28 at the National Aquatic Centre serves as the last local qualifier for the CCCAN Championships to be held in Trinidad and Tobago from June 22 to July 2.

Zaneta, who competes for the Y Speedos Swim club had set the meet record last year with a time of 30.63.She blew that record out of the water and crushed the field when she touched in a new meet and national record of 28.95.

Zaneta Silver medallist and Alia Atkinson
Zaneta Alvaranga Gold medallist in the 50 metre butterfly and World Record holder and CARIFTA 2017 commentator and Olympian Alia Atkinson.Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Alvaranga, who won Gold in the event at the 2017 CARIFTA Games with a meet record 29.05, is the first Jamaican 11-12 girl under the 29 second barrier. She is already faster than the 13-14 mark of 29.57 by Kendese Nangle and is closing in on the 15-17 time of 28.87 by Olympian Alia Atkinson. Her record makes her the fastest 11-12 girl ever in the English speaking Caribbean region and the only one under 29 seconds. She is also almost a second faster than the CCCAN record of 29.85 set Venezuelan Ángela Ciccenia in 2007. Zaneta’s winning time would have won her the Silver medal in the boy’s race at the 2015 Championships held in Barbados.

Nathaniel Neville 2017
Nathaniel Thomas 11-12 boys 50 metre butterfly national record holder Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

The other national mark to fall would be in the very next event when Nathaniel Thomas of the Tornadoes Swim club edged the national record of Olympian Timothy Wynter  (2016) by the slimmest of margins .01 of a second when he touched the wall in 28.32. The old record was set at the CARIFTA Championships in 2009 . He also crushed the 2010 meet standard of 30.03 set by Swimaz’s Kevaughn  Campbell. This is tremendous improvement from Thomas who last year was 6th in 35.09 .He was a finalist at this CARIFTA Games in the event in 29.22 where the Gold medal was won in 28.75. THE CCCAN record in the event is held by another Venezuelan Andres Doria in a time of 27.30.

Kokolo Foster Neville 2017
Kokolo Foster meet record holder in the 9-10 girls 200 metre individual medley Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

Also setting a record in the opening session was Kokolo Foster of the Marlins Swim club. Competing in the 10 and under 200 metre individual medley she swam to a new personal best of 2:56.66. That broke the 2016 standard of 2:58.62 set by Morgan Cogle of the Jupiter Dragons Swim Team. Last year she was 8th in time of 3:27.59. A year later and more than half a minute faster she can set her sights on the national record of 2:52.62 set by Allison Bardowell back in 1997.

Brianna Neville 2017
Brianna Anderson Gold medallist in the girls 13 and over 50 metre butterfly Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

Just missing out on being among the record breakers on the day was Brianna Anderson of the Y Speedos. She won the 13 and over 50 metre butterfly in 30.38 just off the 2015 meet record of 30.36 set by Anjuii Barrett.

Naomi Neville 2017
Naomi Eaton Gold medallist in the 200 metre individual medley and 800 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

Other winners on the day included Naomi Eaton who won the tough 200 metre individual medley and 800 metre freestyle double in personal best times .She took the medley event in 2:41.94 dropping almost 4 seconds from her winning time last year. In the distance freestyle event she dropped more than 30 seconds to win by almost a minute in 10:22.11.

Sean -Douglas Gooden Neville 2017
Sean-Douglas Gooden Gold medallist in the 200 metre individual medley Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

Sean -Douglas Gooden of Tornadoes won the boys 200 metre individual medley in a time of 2:23.70.

Sidrell Neville 2017
Sidrell Williams Gold medallist in the 13 and over boys 50 metre butterfly Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

The 13 and over 50 metre butterfly event was won by Sidrell Williams of the Y Speedos in a time of 26.26.

Kyle Neville 2017
Kyle Sinclair Gold medallist in the 1500 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

The 1500 metre freestyle went to Kyle Sinclair of the Y Speedos in a time of 19:09.60.

The boys 9 -10 200 metre individual medley went to Israel Allen of Tornadoes in a time of 3:09.52.

JAMAICAN SPRINT FIRE POWER ON DISPLAY ON FINAL NIGHT OF CARIFTA 11-12 , 13-14 AND 15-17 GIRLS SWEEP THE 200 FREESTYLE RELAYS THOMAS CROWNED FASTEST 11-12 BOY IN CARIFTA REGION

Team Jamaica 2017
CARIFTA 2017 Team (not all members present) Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The final night of competition on Tuesday April 18 at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Aquatic Centre in the pool events was a very successful one for Team Jamaica .The team swept all the girls 200 freestyle relays, the 11-12 ,13-14 and 15-17 age categories. This is the first time that all the girls 200 metre freestyle relays were swept by one nation in over a decade. The last time was at the 2005 CARIFTA Championships in Curaçao by a powerful French Antilles team.  In addition to that all the relay teams won in both new CARIFTA and National record times except for the 15-17 girls team that were outside the CARIFTA record time. The girls in the 15-17 were none the less outstanding having swept all the relay in their age group the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle relays as well the 400 medley relay. That was the first time one nation has dominated the 15-17 age group in that fashion in almost a decade. The last time was the 2008 CARIFTA Championships in Aruba by strong Bahamian team that included Olympian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace. Nathaniel Thomas ensured the Jamaican boys were represented on top of the podium as he crowned himself the fastest 11-12 boy in the CARIFTA region. The final day medal haul was Four Gold, Two Silver and Three Bronze medals for an overall medal tally of 12 Gold, Eight Silver and 10 Bronze medals for 30 medals for the Championship. The best medal total since 2014. The team also equalled their best Gold medal total of 12 in a decade which they achieved at the Kingston Championship in 2013.Team Jamaica placed sixth overall with 530.50 points. The tally for personal bests increased to 92 with 17 new personal standards on the last day with 21 top eight performances.

Name Event Age Group heats Placing  FinalsTime Placing
1 Dominic Mullings 400 metre freestyle 13-14 boys 4:34.75 7th
2 Annabella Lyn 400 metre freestyle 15-17 girls 4:38.36 6th
3 Britney Williams 400 metre freestyle 15-17 girls 4:39.65 7th
4 Nicholas Vale 400 metre freestyle 15-17 boys 4:16.76 6th
5 Zaneta Alvaranga 50metre freestyle 11-12 girls 28.54 2nd 27.53 Silver
6 Nathaniel Thomas 50metre freestyle 11-12 boys 27.13 3rd 26.52 Gold
7 Emily MacDonald 50metre freestyle 13-14 girls 27.80 3rd 27.60 4th
8 Gabrianna Banks 50metre freestyle 13-14 girls 27.61 2nd 27.35 Bronze
9 Kyle Sinclair 50metre freestyle 13-14 boys 25.37 3rd 25.16 Bronze
10 Anjuii Barrett 50metre freestyle 15-17 girls 27.55 4th 27.81 7th
11 Shaun Johnson 50metre freestyle 15-17 girls 28.06 7th 27.72 5th
12 Bryanna Renuart 100 metre breaststroke 15-17 girls 1:19.37 3rd 1:16.90 Bronze
13 Annastazia chin 100 metre breaststroke 15-17 girls 1:20.85 8th 1:20.71 8th
14 Simone Vale 200 metre backstroke 13-14 girls 2:39.19 8th 2:35.89 7th
15 Kyle Sinclair 200 metre backstroke 13-14 boys 2:26.85 6th 2:22.99 4th
16 Angara Sinclair 200 metre backstroke 15-17 girls 2:32.82 8th 2:32.61 6th
17 Paig’e Lewis,Isabella Sierra,Sabrina Lyn,Zaneta Alvaranga 200 metre freestyle relay 11-12 girls 1:55.77 Gold CR NR
18 Joshua Alleyne,Nikolos Gordon Somers,Jaleel Samms,Nathaniel Thomas 200 metre freestyle relay 11-12 boys 1:53.80 Silver
19 Gabrianna Banks,Simone Vale,Brianna anderson,Emily MacDonald 200 metre freestyle relay 13-14 girls 1:50.77 Gold CR NR
20 Angara Sinclair,Bryanna Renuart,Shaun Johnson,Anjuii Barrett 200 metre freestyle relay 15-17 girls 1:49.07 Gold NR
21 Nicholas Vale,Sean Douglas-Gooden,Adrian Grant and Jesse Marsh 200 metre freestyle relay 15-17 boys 1:40.83 7th
Day 4,April 18,2017
Personal Bests Age Group Event Name Time
1 11-12 girls 400 metre freestyle Zaneta Alvaranga 5:16.33
2 15-17 girls 400 metre freestyle Annabella Lyn 4:38.36
3 400 metre freestyle Britney Williams
4 11-12 girls 50 metre freestyle Zaneta Alvaranga 28.54
5 11-12 boys 50 metre freestyle Joshua Alleyne 28.23
6 13-14 boys 50 metre freestyle Kyle Sinclair 25.37
7 15-17 boys 50 metre freestyle Adrian Grant 25.72
8 13-14 boys 50 metre freestyle Akeem Alleyne 1:16.21
9 15-17 boys 100 metre breaststroke Adrian Grant 1:10.41
10 11-12 boys 200 metre backstroke Jaleel Samms 2:58.50
11 13-14 girls 200 metre backstroke Simone Vale 2:39.19
12 13-14 boys 200 metre backstroke Kyle Sinclair 2:26.85
13 11-12 girls 50 metre freestyle Zaneta Alvaranga 27.53
14 11-12 boys 50 metre freestyle Nathaniel Thomas 26.52
15 13-14 girls 50 metre freestyle Kyle Sinclair 25.16
16 13-14 girls 200 metre backstroke Simone Vale 2:35.89
17 13-14 boys 200 metre backstroke Kyle Sinclair 2:22.99
Nathaniel Thomas 50 free Gold
11-12 boys CARIFTA 50 freestyle Champion Nathaniel Thomas Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Thomas earned the lone individual Gold medal of the night when he clocked an impressive personal best of 26.52 to capture Gold. Nathaniel’s win placed him as the fastest 11-12 boy in the CARIFTA region as well as putting him with striking distance of Jamaican age group star Brad Hamilton’s age group mark of 26.29. The mark was set in 2002 before Thomas was born. The last time Jamaica won the event was in 2002 when Hamilton won in a time of 27.24.

11-12 Girls CARIFTA and national record holders
New CARIFTA and National record holders in the 11-12 200 metre freestyle relay from left to right Paig’e Lewis, Sabrina Lyn, Isabella Sierra and Zaneta Alvaranga Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The impressive relay Gold rush started with the win by the 11-12 girls team. The squad of Paig’e Lewis, Isabella Sierra, Sabrina Lyn, and Zaneta Alvaranga were without equal as they stormed to the victory in a new CARIFTA and National time of 1:55.77. They won by over a second. The old national standard of 1:57.60 was set back at the 2012 CARIFTA Championships by the team of Angara Sinclair, Anjuii Barrett, Tiara Myrie and Annastazia Chin. That team had equalled the 2009 record held by the Barbados team of Z Holder, D Small, I Sherry, and A Gibbs. The last time Jamaica had won Gold in the event was at the Kingston Championship when a 2013 team of Anjuii Barrett, Annabella Lyn, Jada Newel and Llori Sharpe clocked 1:57.76.

13-14 girls 200 freestyle relay CARIFTA and National record holders
CARIFTA and National record holders in the 13-14 200 metre freestyle relay from left to right Gabrianna Banks,Simone Vale,Brianna Anderson and Emily MacDonald Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The 13-14 team of Gabrianna Banks, Simone Vale, Brianna Anderson and Emily MacDonald were in similar destructive win in the 200 metre freestyle relay. They crushed the field by more than two seconds to win a new CARIFTA and National record time of 1:50.77.They bettered the Jamaican mark of 1:52.78 set by the Bronze medal winning team of Anjuii Barrett, Annabella Lyn, Bryanna Renaurt, and Britney Williams at the 2015 CARIFTA Games in Barbados. The regional standard of 1:51.30 was also set in Barbados by the Aruban team of, Keeley Maduro,  Elisabeth Timmer ,Anahi Schreuders  and Florence  Kock.

15-17 girls 200 freestyle Gold medallists and national record holders
Gold medallists and National record holders in the 15-17 200 metre freestyle relay from left to right Angara Sinclair, Bryanna Renuart, Shaun Johnson and Anjuii Barrett Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The 15-17 girls team of Angara Sinclair, Bryanna Renuart, Shaun Johnson and Anjuii Barrett also had a convincing win in their age group winning by over a second. They stopped the clock in 1:49.07. That bettered the Silver medal winning performance from 2016 in Martinique. That team of Kelsie Campbell, Bryanna Renuart, Shaun Johnson, Angara Sinclair had set the Jamaican standard of 1:50.85.The Gold medal represents the first time a Jamaican team has been on top of the podium in over 15 years.

Zaneta Alvaranga CARIFTA 2017 head shot
Zaneta Alvaranga

Zaneta Alvaranga rattled the national 11-12 record in the 50 metre freestyle when she clocked 27.56 for the Silver medal. The national record is held by Emily MacDonald at 27.53 set at the 2016 Caribbean Islands Swimming championships.

11-12 boys 200 freestyle Relay Silver medallists
Silver medal winning 11-12 boys 200 metre freestyle relay team from left to right Jaleel Samms,Nathaniel Thomas,Nikolos Gordon-Somers and Joshua Alleyne Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The Silver medal winning 11-12 boys 200 metre freestyle relay team of Joshua Alleyne, Nikolos Gordon Somers, Jaleel Samms, Nathaniel Thomas touched in a total time of 1:53.80.It the first medal in the age group since the national record was set by the Bronze medal winning team of Keegan Rose, Chay Stewart, Jesse Marsh and Jordon Hines at the 2013 CARIFTA Championship.

Renuart 100 breaststroke Silver
Bronze medallist in the the 15-17 girls 100 metre breatststroke Bryanna Renaurt Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Bryanna Renuart repeated her 2016 Bronze medal winning performance in the 100 metre breaststroke when she hit the pads in 1:16.90. She continued the Jamaican streak of medalling in the event annually since 2012.

Kyle Sinclair 50 free Bronze
Bronze medallist in the 13-14 boys 50 metre freestyle Kyle Sinclair Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Kyle Sinclair won the first medal in the boy’s 13-14 50 metre freestyle in over 5 years when he won the Bronze medal in a personal best of 25.16.

Gabrianna Banks 50 free Bronze
13-14 girls 50 metre freestyle Bronze medallist Gabrianna Banks Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Teammate Gabrianna Banks ended an even longer medal drought when she won Bronze in the 13-14 girls age group in a time of 27.35.It has been over a decade since Jamaica won a medal. The last time was 2006 when Lanessa Downs Won Silver in 28.47.

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

SHAUN JOHNSON AND ANJUII BARRETT STRIKE GOLD AT 2017 EASTERNS

The 117th Annual Eastern Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships which was held from February 24-25, 2017 saw a number of the swimmers from the CARIFTA region participating at the prestigious Championships. In the girls category Jamaica was represented well by Shaun Johnson of Suffield Academy and Anjuii Barrett of the Peddie School. Both young ladies would earn Gold medals at the Championships venue Kunkel Aquatic Center at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster Pennsylvania.

200 freestyle relay champions
200 yard freestyle relay Champions front row from left to right Eva Crouse and Shaun Johnson back row Devina Bhalla and Sydney Winters

Johnson would win 2 Gold medals and 1 Bronze medal. She would win her first medal in 200 yard freestyle relay .The team of Devina Bhalla 24.81, Eva Crouse 23.95, Johnson 23.39 and Sydney Winters 23.13 combined for a total effort of 1:35.28.The team won the event by over a second. That team performance was a new school and New England Prep School record.  The previous school record was 1:37.66 .It was also the fastest winning time since 2014. Shaun had the 2nd fastest relay split of the 3 finals contested in the afternoon.

400 freestyle relay champions
400 yard freestyle relay champions from left to right Devina Bhalla,Shaun Johnson,Eva Crouse and Sydney Winters

The Suffield Junior would double her Gold medal count in the 400 yard freestyle relay. The same quartet of Bhalla 52.97, Crouse 51.36, Johnson 51.48 and Winters 50.27 recorded a winning time of 3:26.08.  That was a new Suffield school record and just off the New England Prep School record of 3:25.70. The previous school record was 3:29.64.It was also the fastest winning time since the Championship record was set in 2013.Shaun had the 4th fastest relay split of all the relay legs swum.

Her individual medal would be garnered in the 100 yard backstroke. Her season best had stood at 59.93 heading to Pennsylvania. She would crush that time to post 57.13 (split time 27.97). That time would again be lowered significantly as she took the Bronze medal in the Championship final with a swim of 55.89 (split time 26.76).

She would make another Championship final in the 100 yard butterfly. Johnson recorded a personal best of 58.37 (split time 26.73) to earn a second swim .In that final she swam 59.16 (split time 26.79) to place 8th.

Shaun offered these thoughts on her Eastern championships experience after the meet

“This meet was definitely more turbulent than I am used to. Being the first time in three years my school has participated in this championship; it was filled with unexpected competition and energy. My first day didn’t go as well as I’d anticipated; I gained time in my 100 Fly instead of dropping time. I really had to get it together after this disappointment, and focus my energy to the upcoming 200 freestyle relay, which definitely made up for my previous swim. Our 200 free relay now has our school’s 3 year old record, and the New England Prep School league one.

The following day, I raced the 100 backstroke and the 400 freestyle relay. I hadn’t expected much for the backstroke event, seeing as I had focused more of my energy into butterfly throughout the season. However, I surprised my teammates and myself with a personal best time by almost two full seconds in prelims, and another second and a half for finals to take the current school record. A 55.8 100 backstroke is definitely a next level step for me, and a very promising stride I believe. My 400 freestyle relay finished up the swim meet with a New England Prep School record and new school record.

Overall this meet was a great and very assuring experience, however I do hope to have faster relay splits this coming weekend ( New England New England Prep School Championships Marc 3-5)  with more rest . With more than a month to prepare for CARIFTA, I definitely have to get back into full swing training by then. I set some goals for myself after last year’s Carifta Martinique so those are truly what I’m focusing on this spring”.

fastest woman at Easterns 2017
50 yard freestyle Champion Anjuii Barrett Photo courtesy of peddie.org

Her country woman Anjuii Barrett who is in her first season training in the United States lowered her personal best time in the preliminaries and Championship final to be crowned the Fastest female  swimmer at Easterns. The time progression was 24.87 before Easterns to 24.27 to her Gold medal winning time of 24.00.

Barrett would also make it to three more Championship finals. In the 200 yard freestyle relay final she would give the Falcons the early lead as she had the fastest opening leg of 24.39. The team would finish 5th overall with a time of 1:39.31.

In the 100 yard freestyle heats she would drop more than a second off her seed time of 54.69 to post 53.42 (split time 26.11) to earn a second swim. In that final she placed 7th in 53.74 (split time 25.89).

The Falcons would finish 8th in the Championship final of the 400 yard freestyle relay .The total team time was 3:37.65 with Barrett on anchor leg duties which saw her recording a split of 53.69.She was faster in the heats with a time of 53.50.

Barrett speaking to draftingthecaribbean elaborated on her Gold medal winning performance at the championships

“I am just a sophomore, so after the prelims my coach told me that I am seeded 1 for the finals I was ecstatic. The other girls are seniors, how could it be I was in disbelief. To be honest I did not feel prepared for Easterns I was tired I had a major assignment to complete, my upcoming exams weighing heavily on my mind. For the past 3 years Peddie has won this event so I am happy I could carry on that legacy. I train hard I work on my stroke so I guess it all paid off”.

Suffield finished 4th in the girls category with 426 points. The Peddie School was 10th with 263.5 points.