At the 2008 CARIFTA championships in Aruba the 13-14 Jamaica team of Kendese Nangle Backstroke 1:12.20, Victoria Ho breaststroke 1:20.05, Alexia Royal-Eatmon butterfly and Raynae Hall freestyle 1:03.00 turned in a Gold medal winning performance in the 400 metre medley relay of 4:46.29 .That performance was also a national record effort.
Ten years later in Kingston Jamaica the 13-14 line up for Jamaica read Simone Vale backstroke, Sabrina Lyn breaststroke, Zaneta Alvaranga butterfly and Emily MacDonald freestyle. The team was supposed to be fast but what the quartet produced on Sunday April 1 at the National Aquatic Centre was phenomenal.
It was expected for the young ladies to challenge the record and do sub 4:45. But they went well below that passing 4:42, 4;40, 4:38 and beyond 4:35 to smash the national standard. En route to lowering the Jamaican record the fab four also smashed the 2017 CARIFTA record held by Trinidad and Tobago of 4:36.43. The final total time for the Jamaicans was 4:33.81.
Lead off leg Vale saved the best for last in the 100 metre backstroke .She recorded two personal bests in the 100 metre backstroke from the heats and the relay moving from 1:10.02 to her first sub 1 :10 time of 1:09.46.Up next Lyn added a breaststroke blast of 1:21.13. Alvaranga produced a butterfly split of 1:04.54 and MacDonald dropped the hammer with a split of 58.68.Guadeloupe won the Silver in 4:40.01 and Martinique the Bronze in 4:44.13.
The 13-14 girls posted the fastest female time in the event just bettering the time of their countrywomen in the 15-17 age group that won the Gold 4:33.87.
Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas proved he is ready to navigate senior international waters when he recorded an eye opening 2:17.78 to win Gold yesterday in the Boy’s 15-17 200 metre breaststroke.
Bastian looked like he was in cruise control in the morning when he posted the second fastest time of the heats with a time of 2:27.85. The morning’s top time was secured by Luis Sebastian Weekes of 2:26.55.
In the final Izaak signalled his intentions from the starter’s gun and took the lead immediately. He blazed the first 100 metres in 1:05.33. At that point he was already some two body lengths ahead of the field. His split was so fast that it bettered the 100 metre breaststroke Youth Olympics B time of 1:05.93.
He kept turning on the pressure and pulled even further away from the chasing pack to record a new PB, Bahamian Age Group Record , Bahamian Senior National record , CARIFTA Championship record and Youth Olympics A qualifying time of 2:17.78. His old personal best stood at 2:20.52.
The CARIFTA record was set by Aruban age group standout Jordy Groters in 2014 in a time of 2:20.14.
The senior national record was held by Olympian Dustin Tynes (Rio 2016) at 2:18.13 at the 2015 PAN AM Games. The Youth Olympic Games A standard is 2:18.10.
In 2017 Izaak became the first Bahamian man to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games when he took Silver and Bronze in the 50 and 100 metre breaststroke at the Youth Games at home. The Florida State University commit will be heading to the Gold Coast in Australia after CARIFTA to make his senior international debut at the Senior Commonwealth Games.
Silver went to Weekes in a time of 2:23.63 just off his personal best and the Bronze to Bastian’s teammate Tyler Russell in 2:27.00.
Aruban Olympian Mikel Schreuders (Rio 2016) registered a career best placing in the 200 yard freestyle on Night Three of the 2018 NCAA Division I Championships.
Before the Championships got underway on Wednesday Mikel’s best placing in the event was 23rd from the 2017 Championships. He ensured a second swim on Friday March 23 when he stopped the clock in 1:33.21 during the heats.That got him a lane in the B final.
That race proved to be very close even up to the 150 yard as six swimmers flipped between 1:09.23 and 1:09.90. That is when Jeff Newkirk of Texas , Schreuders and Paul Delakis of Ohio State broke away from the pack. At the end it was the 6’5 Newkirk winning in 1:33.15 out touching the 6’2 Schreuders 1:33.16 . Delakis was just behind in 1:33.17.With those swims Schreuders has the top six fastest times in the event for the Tigers
Aruban Olympian Mikel Schreuders (Rio 2016) threatened his 50 yard freestyle PB leading off the Missouri 200 yard freestyle relay on Thursday March 22 at the Division I Championships in Minnesota.
Schreuders recorded the second fastest time of his career when he registered a lead leg of 19.59. That just missed his personal standard of 19.55. The team placed 24th in 1:18.70. In 2017 swimming in the heats of the event Mikel split 19.61 to anchor the team.That was the joint fifth fastest time in school history.
The 400 yard medley relay saw him anchoring the team in 41.90 to give the Tigers 17th overall in 3:06.66.
Olympian Mikel Schreuders (Rio 2016) impressed yet again for his school the University of Missouri on the opening day of the NCAA Division I Championships with a school record leading off the 800 yard freestyle relay.
Competing at the Jean K Freeman Aquatic Center in Minnesota yesterday March 21 Schreuders sped to his first swim under 1:33 when his opening leg was timed at 1:32.92. That swim broke his school record of 1:33.24 that he set at the Mizzou Invite and his SEC Bronze medal winning time that tied the record. The Oranjestad native now owns the four fastest times in the 200 yard freestyle in school history for the Tigers.
Aided by that quick opening swim fellow Tigers Giovanny Lima 1:34.20,Grant Reed 1:35.20 and anchor Sam Coffman 1:33.43 pushed the team to ninth overall in in 6:15.75. That time was just off the school record set at the Sec Championships won the Silver in 6:15.38.The five fastest 800 yard freestyle times in school history all have a contribution from Schrueders.
The 2018 SEC (Southeastern) Championships which got underway at the Texas A&M Natatorium on Feb 14 saw the CARIFTA region capturing a medal through the efforts of Aruban Olympian Mikel Schreuders (Rio 2016) and his Missouri Tigers 800 yard freestyle relay team .
The Tigers team of Giovanny Lima 1:34.22,Schreuders 1:33.45,Grant Reed 1:34.90 and Sam Coffman 1:32.81 crushed the old 2016 record of 6:18.25 registered a new school record time of 6:15.38 to win the Silver . Gold was won by the University of Florida in a new SEC record time of 6:12.06. This is Mikel’s first medal after the being part of the 2016 team that placed 4th in 6:19.97 and the 2017 that was disqualified. The team’s performance was well under the NCAA Division I automatic time of 6:20.05.
Teammate and country man Jordy Groters was also in action . He split 23.87 on the breaststroke leg of the 200 yard medley relay team to help them to seventh in a time of 1:25.58..
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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