On day 4 of the 13th World Short Course Swimming Championships in Windsor Canada Lauren Hew completed the sprint backstroke record double.
Hew had already established anew mark in the 100 metre backstroke by edging Lara Butler’s mark of 1:03.36 to 1:03.35. In the 50 metre event she would lift the standard of swimming from the Cayman Islands by lowering her own personal best and national record of 29.82. In the morning heats Lauren had the 7th fastest reaction time of 0.56 of the 81 competitors that assisted greatly in producing a time of 28.86 to place 42nd .That performance bettered the old record by almost a second .In the process she bettered her own Cayman Islands best placing and time at the World Championships of 29.82 and 43rd .Lauren was also the highest placed Caribbean swimmer at the competition. Her performance also moves the Cayman Islands to 4th fastest English speaking national record in the event as seen in the table below.
Trinidad and Tobago
Speaking after her record performance Hew said
“My backstroke start and finish didn’t go how I planned however, I was still happy with my time in the race but I know with fine tuning I could have been faster. 50 back is always a fun race especially in such a nice pool that is deep enough and has the backstroke ledge”.
Alison Jackson in her debut World Short Course Swimming championships was 63rd in the event in a time of 31.25. Her thoughts about her swim were as follows
“50 back is always exciting to swim, even though I was only slightly under my personal best I was happy with my time. It wasn’t what I hoping for but it’s still an improvement”.
Bahamian swimmer Keith Lloyd was among the first swimmers in a competitive meet in the US collegiate system. His Delta State University challenged the University of Alabama in Alabama on Friday September 9.
In the 400 yard medley relay his Statesmen B team was the 6th fastest on the day with a time of 3:38.87. The 6ft Junior was 7th in the 100 yard backstroke in 58.10.In the 100 yard butterfly he was 12th fastest in a time of 55.68. In the 400 yard freestyle his A team had won with a time 3:10.94. Alabama won the contest 211 to 83.
Over the summer he combined with his Barracudas teammates to set a new national record of 1:34.77 in the 200 metre freestyle relay at the 2016 RBC Nationals Championships.
Margaret Higgs of The Bahamas raised the profile of the CARIFTA region in age group swimming when she made the final of the 200 metre breaststroke event at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Hawaii on Saturday August 27.She was the only swimmer from the region to qualify for a Championship final at the 2016 edition of the age group meet which featured top swimmers from aquatic powerhouses The United States of America, Japan and Australia.
Coming into this competition Margaret already had a stellar season in the event as she won the 15-17 CARIFTA title in Martinique in Championship record and personal best of 2:35.33. Later in her home country she added the CISC (Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships) title, which she won in a time of 2:36.83, yet another Championship record. Based on her impressive CARIFTA record in the event, her feat should come as no surprise. Except when she made her debut at CARIFTA in 2011 when she won a Bronze medal Margaret has never lost.
Host Country & year
Younger sister Lilly also earned a second swim in the 200 metre breaststroke. Lilly who won the Silver medals in the 200 metre breaststroke at both CARIFTA and CISC in the 15-17 category posted 2:40.91 to place 16th overall in the morning heats. In the final she split 1:16.96 and 1:21.95 for a final time of 2:38.91, two seconds faster than in the morning.
Margaret placed 30th in the 200 metre individual medley in a time of 2:26.33 (split time 1:11.44). Lilly was 18th in 2:24.35 (split time 1:09.27).
The final day of action of the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming championships in Hawaii saw the entire male contingent from The Bahamas in action in the 50 metre freestyle. It would be Gershwin Greene and Jared Fitzgerald who would make it to the final in the event.
Greene entered the meet with a 23.71 which he registered at the RBC national championships when he won Bronze in the 15 and over category. He equalled that time of 23.71 to place 13th overall and earn a second swim. In the B final he went faster to clock 23.68 to finish 7th overall. He had the following thoughts about the competition
“Overall I have been learning from the top swimmers in the World. This is my first meet outside of the Caribbean regional meets and some the United States (mainland) meets I .It is really motivating me to learn from them and be the best I can be.”
Fitzgerald who recently committed to the University of Indiana (https://swimswam.com/bahamas-national-teamer-jared-fitzgerald-commits-indiana-2017) and is the reigning 15-17 CARIFTA champion continued his quest for his first sub 24 seconds performance. After taking the CARIFTA title in Martinique in 24.00, he would log 24.06 for 4th at the Caribbean Islands Swimming championships CISC. In the heats he would post 24.02. The B final saw him placing 8th in 24.05.
Izaak Bastian who is the 2016 13-14 boys CARIFTA champion in the event equalled his Gold medal winning time and personal best time of 24.25 to place 24th .
The 15-17 Silver medallist N’nhyn Fernander was 25th in 24.27.
Bastian would just miss a second swim in the 200 metre breaststroke when he placed 17th in 2:26.08 (split time 1:09.59).
The quartet would combine their efforts for 7th in the 400 metre medley relay. The splits for each leg were Greene backstroke 1:05.17, Bastian breaststroke 1:06.82, Fernander butterfly 55.89 and Fitzgerald freestyle 52.49 for a total time of 4:00.17. The day before in the 400 metre freestyle relay they were also 7th. In relay order the splits were Fitzgerald 52.19, Fernander 52.64, Bastian 54.79 and Greene 53.44 for a final time of 3:33.06.
The third day of swimming action of the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming championships on Friday August 26 saw N’nhyn Fernander earning a second swim in the 100 metre butterfly.
Fernander who is the reigning CARIFTA 15-17 100 metre butterfly champion with a Gold medal winning time of 56.36 qualified for the B final of the event in Hawaii with a new personal best time .N’nhyn had splits of 26.25 and 29.78 for a total time of 56.03 for 15th place. He lowered his personal standard of 56.27 set at the Bahamian Nationals in June. In the B final he clocked the 3rd fastest time of his career when he placed 7th in a time of 56.31. His splits this time were 26.06 and 30.25. Fernander had the following thoughts on the competition.
Overall the meet has been really great. It is good to socialize and get out and experience new things and experience a new place and a different time zone. Being a swim meet like this it allows you to realize that soon it may be possible to achieve greater things. These kids are really fast so it gives you great competition and push. This swim meet I have dropped a bit of time and I am really happy with that .I am really happy that I got to race before I go to Ohio State to train. Although we got to socialize and go to the pool every day and be in a new place, itis always good to be with people you want to be close with for the rest of your life and hang out with people that really matter to you and basically be a team and that’s what Team Bahamas is all about.
Teammate Izaak Bastian set yet another age group record this season when he placed 28th in a time of 59.13. That broke the nearly 2 decades old standard of 59.23 by Olympian Nicholas Rees set at the CCCAN Championships on July 5, 1997. Rees attended Ohio State University from 2000 to2003 .With that record performance Bastian now holds national marks in the 13-14 age group in the 50 metre freestyle, 50 ,100 and 200 metre breaststroke and 50 metre butterfly.
Bahamian sisters Margaret and Lilly Higgs were the first swimmers to earn a second swim at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships on Friday August 25th in Hawaii. The sisters who have dominated the 100 breaststroke event regionally in the 15-17 category by sweeping Gold and Silver both at CARIFTA in Martinique and CISC (Caribbean Islands Swimming championships) in their home country. Lilly booked her spot with a 1:13.08 effort (split time 34.69) for 13th overall. Older sister Margaret qualified for another swim with a time of 1:13.79 (split time 34.70) .She placed 15th overall.
In the B final later that day Margaret would place 4th in a time of 1:13.65 (split time 34.83). She had this to say after her swim
“It is always an honour to represent the Bahamas, but this trip is really special since it’s the first time the Bahamas has sent a team to Junior Pan Pacs. It is a great feeling making history. My first event was the 100 breast, and although I didn’t go a best time, I came 4th in the B final swimming alongside my sister. I’m looking forward to my next two events on Saturday”
Her sister Lilly had splits of 35.22 and 38.91 to finish 6th in a time of 1:14.13. Speaking after that swim she said
I am proud to have had the opportunity to be on the first Bahamian team taken to Jr Pan Pacific Championships. Before my first event, the 200 free, I had a technical difficulty but still performed as well as I could. The 100 breaststroke was my second event. In the prelims I went one of the fastest times I’ve swam this season, enabling me to swim in the B final and place 6th.
Bermudan standout Madelyn Moore was 44th in the 100 metre freestyle in a time of 1:01.57.
The CARIFTA region’s talented youngsters are currently displaying their skills at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Hawaii. Two countries will represent the region at this meet, The Bahamas and Bermuda.
The Bahamas contingent includes sisters Albury and Lilly Higgs, N’nhyn Fernander, Gershwin Greene and Jared Fitzgerald. The team from Bermuda consists of Jesse Washington and Madelyn Moore.
The meet which also features teams from the United States of America, Japan, Canada and Australia has seen a number of competitors and meet record holders that have gone to perform well in senior waters. Those names include Rio 2016 Gold medallists Townley Haas and Simone Manuel.
On the first day of competition on Wednesday August 24 Fernander and Fitzgerald set personal bests.
In the 200 metre freestyle Jared dropped time by more than a second to stop the clock in 1:58.96 (split 57.57) and finish 26th.
Teammate Fernander lowered his personal best time by almost time by almost 2 seconds to register a time of 1:01.88 (split time 29.81) for 18th .
Lilly was 42nd in the 200 metre freestyle with a time of 2:12.12.Washington was 29th in the male equivalent in 2:02.67.His teammate Moore was 28th in the 100 metre backstroke in 1:09.23.