JAMAICA’S NICHOLAS VALE PREPARES FOR 2019 CARIFTA CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH PERSONAL BESTS IN PLANTATION

Jamaica’s Nicholas Vale signaled his intentions to qualify for this year’s CARIFTA Championships in Barbados with personal bests at the 2019 Long Course Sectional Qualifier in Plantation,Florida held from Feb 8 to 9.

Vale, representing the Pine Crest swim club topped the 200 metre freestyle field with a new personal best time of 1:57.03. Nicholas was the best of the 63 strong field. He will be aiming to be on the medal podium in Barbados as he is atop the Jamaican rankings for 15-17 boys in the event . In the last two editions of the Championships Nicholas placed 5th with times of 1:57.46 and 1:58.32. Setting a personal best ahead of the Championships puts him in good stead to make that a medal a reality.

Nico Campbell at CARIFTA Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The last time Jamaica was on the boys 15-17 200 freestyle medal podium was 2015 in Barbados when Nico Campbell recorded 1:54.62 for the Silver medal. That Championship was in Barbados and Campbell’s time is also the fastest time ever done by a Jamaican in the event at CARIFTA.

Comparison of personal best times

200 freestyle20182019
First 5027.0228.23
Second 5030.2630.17
Third 50 30.5529.03
Fourth 5029.6329.60
Final time1:57.461:57.03

Vale also lowered his personal best from the 2018 CARIFTA Kingston Championships in the 200 metre backstroke from 2:17.46 (split time 1:05.83) to 2:16.07 (split time 1:06.32) to place fourth. Looking at how Nicholas is pacing his races it can be seen that he is developing his back end speed. That was evidenced by his 400 metre freestyle when he negative split the race 2:10.10 and 2:07.88 to have a total time of 4:17.98 to place third overall.

In his other races he placed fifth in the 50 metre butterfly in 25.95 and the 100 metre freestyle saw him fifth again in 54.10 (split time 26.24) , just missing out on his personal best of 53.87

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Vale on February 16 he gave his thoughts on his performances

“I am really happy with my performances at the Sectional qualifier especially the 200 metre freestyle and 200 metre backstroke.They were both best times .I was really happy with the 200 metre freestyle because I had not dropped that time in a while. I know I can go faster in the 200 metre backstroke.I feel really good going into CARIFTA. I have some really big goals I hope to break the the CARIFTA record (54.87 set by Suriname’s Zuhayr Pigot in 2014)”.


Zuhayr Pigot Photo courtesy of Times of Suriname

In 2018 Vale had won the Silver medal in the 100 metre butterfly in a time of 56.29. The fastest ever time recorded by a Jamaican at CARIFTA

Nicholas Vale Silver medallist Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

The pool swimming segment of the CARIFTA Championships will be held from April 19 to 23.Championships is an approved qualifying meet for the 18th FINA World Championships 2019 – Gwangju, Korea, the Pan American Games 2019 – Lima, Peru and the XXXII Olympiad 2020 – Tokyo, Japan

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CARTER LEADS THE REGION IN THE 200 METRE FREESTYLE AT WORLD CHAMPS

The second day of the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships in Hangzhou China saw Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter as the top swimmer from the region in the 200 metre freestyle.

Dylan CarterPhoto courtesy of Walt Middleton/usctrojans.com

Carter topped the best from the region with a time of 1:43.74 (split time 49.43) to finish 12th overall. In 2016 Windsor he was the top swimmer as well as he had made the Championship final.  

Marcelo Acosta Photo courtesy of swimmingworld.com

Second from the region was El Salvador’s Marcelo Acosta shattered his national record from the 2014 Championships of 1:49.93 in Qatar with a swim of 1:47.00 to placed 29th overall.In Qatar he had placed 51st overall.

20182014
First 5025.0425.39
Second 5026.6627.90
Third 5027.2928.72
Fourth 5028.0127.92
Final time1:47.001:49.93
Alex Sobers Photo courtesy of Barbados Aquatic Centre

Another swimmer in record smashing form was Alex Sobers from Barbados. He lowered the 2001 national mark of 1:48 .98  with a time of 1:47.55 (split time 52.60) to place 32nd overall.Damian Alleyne. Damian was one of the most dominant swimmers from the region in the late 1990’s to early 2000’s.  In 2016  at the Windsor Championships Sobers had placed 57th with a time of 1:49.69 (split time 53.27).

Yeziel Morales Photo courtesy of primerahora

Yeziel Morales of Puerto Rico was just off his national record of 1:50.58. He placed 44th overall in a time of 1:50.73 (split time 53.81).

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

Noah Mascoll-Gomes set a new national record when he placed 45th overall. He stopped the clock in a time of 1:51.60 (split time 54.58).

OTHER REGIONAL RESULTS

Kohen KerrThe Bahamas1:56.5254th
Cruz HalbichSt Vincent and the Grenadines2:00.0959th
Daniel ScottGuyana2:00.8460th

ALIA ATKINSON MAKES FIFTH CONSECUTIVE 50 BREASTSTROKE CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL, MARCELO ACOSTA LEADS NATIONAL RECORD BREAKERS ON DAY ONE OF WORLD CHAMPS

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson was the regional standard bearer on the first day of competition of the 14th FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships underway in Hangzhou China. Atkinson made her fifth consecutive World Championship final in the 50 metre breaststroke.A feat no other woman has ever achieved.

Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of fina.org

This morning local time Atkinson progressed to the final  with a time of 29.54 but what was different this occasion is that she will contest the final as the fastest seed. This looks to be a good indicator that she will take the Global title in this event after winning three consecutive Silver medals.She has always made the final in the event five of the six times she has entered the event. In her debut in Athens in 2004 she had placed 17th in a time of 33.17.

Analysis of Atkinson’s semi final performances

World Champs 2010 United Arab Emirates30.194th seed
World champs 2012 Turkey29.622nd seed
World Champs 2014 Qatar28.992nd seed
World Champs 2016 Canada29.092nd seed
World Champs 2018 China29.541st
Anahi posing with 50 metre breaststroke Silver at the CCCAN Championships Photo courtesy of C.C.C.A.N

Other ladies representing the region in that race were Victoria Russell of The Bahamas who registered a time of 32.94 for 34th. Anahi Schreuders lowered her own national record of 34.46 to place 39th in 33.90.

Marcelo Acosta Photo courtesy of usatoday.com

The region’s top middle and long distance freestyler El Salvador’s Marcelo Acosta solidified that position with a new national record of 3:42.74 (split time  that shattered his old national record set in 2014 in Qatar of 3:53.11. That swim ranked Acosta 13th overall a big jump from 2014 when he placed 51st .Antigua and Barbuda’s Stefano Mitchell placed 40th with a swim of 4:06.94.

Elisbet Matos Photo courtesy of desdeesteladodelaisla

Elisbet Gamos of Cuba was the region’s top swimmer in the women’s 200 metre freestyle placing 21st with a time of 1:58.37 (split time 58.33).

Other regional 200 metre freestyle results

GuatemalaGabriela Santis2:05.7640th
USVILidia Boguslawska2:13.8948th
Antigua and  BarbudaBianca Mitchell2:15.1751st

Bryan Alvarez Photo courtesy of diario extra

In the 200 metre butterfly there were national records for Cuban Luis Vega Torres (27th) 1:57.45(split time 56.51),Bryan Alvarez of Costa Rica (34th) 2:01.57 (split time 57.96), Guatemala’s Fernando Ponce (35th) 2:04.91 (split time 59.71)

Puerto RicoJarrod Arroyo1:58.2230th
Dominican RepublicZeniel Guzman2:05.5437th
Cadell Lyons Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Cadell Lyons was the top swimmer for the men in the 100 metre backstroke placing 36th in a time of 54.92 (split time 26.07). He was just off his national record of 54.36

Other regional 100 metre backstroke results

CubaArmando Barrera55.0738th
US Virgin IslandsMatthew Mays56.0940th

In the 400 metre individual medley Costa Rica’s Daniela Alfaro lowered the 1986 national record of 5:12.86 by Olympian Sylvia Poll to 5:01.36. That swim placed her 30th overall.

Edgar Crespo Photo courtesy of La Prensa

In the men’s 100 metre breaststroke Panama’s Edgar Crespo led the region with a sub minute performance of 59.40 (split time 27.40). Costa Rica’s Arnoldo Herrara lowered his own national record from 1:02.39 to 1:02.20 to place 51st overall.

Photo courtesy of Northern Michigan University

Other regional results

US Virgin IslandsAdriel Sanes1:01.8747th
CuracaoSerginni Marten1:01.8747th
ArubaBrandon Cheong1:05.4864th
St Vincent and the GrenadinesShane Cadogan1:05.7866th
Krystal Lara Photo courtesy of womenintheworld

It was Krystal Lara of the Dominican Republic that had the region’s top time in the 100 metre backstroke. She stopped the clock in a time of 1:00.28 (split time 29.17) to finish 32nd overall

Other regional results

CubaAndrea Becali1:03.9641st
PanamaNimi Murua1:05.0945th
BarbadosDanielle Treasure1:06.7447th
GrenadaKimberly Ince1:07.6849th
HaitiBritheny Joassaint1:09.5852nd
Jarrod Arroyo

2018 CAC Champion Jarrod Arroyo of Puerto Rico was the top performer in the 200 metre individual medley with a time of 2:00.97 placing 32nd , just missing the national record of 2:00.49 (split time 57.12).  Patrick Groters of Aruba shattered the Aruban national record of 2:17.86 when he finished 35th in a time of 2:02.16 (split time 55.77).

Patrick Groters courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Other regional results

Cuba Luis Vega Torres 2:03.61 36th

 

SPEEDO WINTER JUNIOR CHAMPS -EAST DAY 3 REPORT JACK KIRBY MAKES CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL IN 100 BACKSTROKE

The third day of competition on Friday Dec 7 at the 2018 SPEEDO Winter Junior Championships in North Carolina saw Jack Kirby of Barbados and the Baylor Swim Club as the highest ranked swimmer from the CCCAN region.

Jack UANA
Jack Kirby UANA Gold medallist and Barbadian age group in the 100 metre backstroke

Kirby recorded a big personal best in the 100 yard backstroke heats. This as he dipped below the 48 seconds barrier for the first time in his career to record a time of 47.88. It also puts as him only the third swimmer from Baylor to break 48 seconds.

Baylor 100 backstroke Top Three All Time

Luke Kaliszak  March 2014 46.47
Sam McHugh March 2014 47.74
Jack Kirby Dec 2018 47.88

That time would propel him to the Championship final as he had the second fastest time from the morning swim. In that final he would challenge the 48 second barrier to place 48.13. That bettered his 2017 performance where he had placed sixth in a time of 48.67.His heats time was the 10th fastest time produced at both the East and West competitions.

Analysis of 100 back personal bests

100 back Dec 2018 Feb 2018
First 50 23.13 23.46
Second 50 24.75 24.59
Final Time 47.88 48.05

There would be another big time drop for Kirby in the 100 yard butterfly. He dropped more than a second in the event to set his first sub 50 seconds swim of 49.30.  That bettered the 50.68 he did in a time trial at last year’s Championships. It also moved him from 16th to third  overall in Baylor history.It also places him as the fastest ever Caribbean swimmer from Baylor beating Jamaican Brad Hamilton’s time of 50.36 in 2008.

Bayor 100 butterfly Top Three All Time

Sam McHugh March 2014 48.24
Greg Roop Feb 2009 48.92
Jack Kirby Dec 2018 49.30

That earned him a spot in the C final . He recorded the second fastest time of his career when he placed 8th in a time of 49.66.

100 butterfly Dec 2018 Dec 2017
First 50 22.93 23.88
Second 50 26.37 26.88
Final Time 49.30 50.68

Vale on way to record swim
Nicholas  Vale Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Jamaica’s Nicholas Vale representing Pine Crest Swim club continued to close in on a sub 49 seconds swim when he recorded a personal best and club record of 49.37. That beat his previous team record set in the the heats of Florida 1A State Championships in November and placed him 28th overall. The 100 yard backstroke saw him stopping the clock in 52.14.

Jan Collazo Torres Trinity Prep aquatics
Jan Collazo Torres Photo courtesy of Trinity Prep Aquatics

Puerto Rico’s Jan Collazo Torres representing Trinity Prep Aquatics recorded a personal best in the 200 yard freestyle of 1:41.26 (split time 48.26) to place 53rd overall. That bettered his PB of 1:42.50 set in Dec 2017. It is also a major improvement on his performance at the 2017 Championships where he placed 100th in 1:44.59.

Also recording a big time drop was Curaçao’s Chadé Nersicio who represents East Coast Aquatics. She moved from a best time of 57.46 in the 100 yard butterfly done at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships in March to a time of 55.82 (split time 25.96) to finish 67th overall. In the 100 yard breaststroke she improved upon her 2017 performance where she touched 1:05.72 to stop the clock in 1:05.57 this year.

Jamaica’s Emily MacDonald of Bolles recorded a personal best of 58.08 (split time 27.07) in the 100 yard butterfly.

In the 200 yard freestyle relay the region was represented by three swimmers Gabrianna Banks of South Florida Aquatics, MacDonald and Nercisio.

Banks anchored her team with a split of 23.55 to help them to 15th overall in 1:34.13. MacDonald also had anchor leg duties for Bolles A team. She finished the relay with a leg of 23.86 to help them to a total time of 1:34.41 and 18th place. Nersicio broke the anchor leg trend by starting the relays. She posted the eighth fastest opening time of 23.01 of 43 competing teams to help the East Coast Aquatics to a total time of 1:35.04.

 

 

 

 

SPEEDO WINTER JUNIOR CHAMPS -EAST DAY 2 REPORT NERSICIO MAKES C FINAL IN 50 FREE

The second day of the SPEEDO Winter Junior Championships in North Carolina on Thursday Dec 6 saw Curaçao’s Chadé Nersicio earning a finals berth in the 50 yard freestyle for the second consecutive year.

chade-50-free-m-lyn
Chadé Nercisio starts her race Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Nersicio placed third in the C final of the event in a time of 23.05 to be the the only CARIFTA region swimmer earning a second swim in an individual event.The Florida 1A state champion in the 50 free anchored the East Coast Aquatics team  400 yard medley relay team to 32nd with a split time of 50.35, the 13th fastest freestyle split of the 41 competing teams.The team’s total time was 3:49.43.

Jamaicans Emily MacDonald of the Bolles School and Gabrianna Banks of South Florida Aquatics had times of 24.00 and 24.25 in the 50 yard freestyle.

Puerto Rico’s Jan Collazo Torres of Trinity Prep Aquatics was the top swimmer from the CCCAN region in the 50 yard freestyle for the boys as he clocked 20.74 to place 25th. It was his third best  ever performance . This as he  had won the Florida 1A State Championships with personal best times in the heats and final of 20.47 and 20.38.

Jack Kirby of the Baylor School and Barbados recorded a new personal best in the event of 20.89. That bettered his previous best of 20.92 registered earlier this year in February and it also placed him 43rd overall.

 

TEAM TTO’S RISING STAR ZAREK WILSON RETURNS TO JAMAICA FOR 2018 DEAN MARTIN MEMORIAL MEET

 

 

Zarek Wilson in action at the October Classic Invitational Swimming classic
Zarek Wilson in action at the October Classic Invitational Swimming classic Photo courtesy of Harold Robert Wilson

Team (Trinidad and Tobago)  TTO’s Zarek Wilson who will be representing his club Blue Dolphins will return to Jamaica to compete at the 2018 edition of the Dean Martin Memorial Swim meet at the National Aquatic Centre in Kingston from October 26 to 28.

Elan and Zarek hrold wilson photos
11-12 high point winners girls and boys Elan Daley of Bermuda and Zarek Wilson Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The last time Wilson was here for the CARIFTA championships he led a dominant 11-12 youth brigade from the twin island republic. Zarek dominated the competition winning 12 Gold and One Silver from 13 events , a near flawless winning percentage. During that competition from March 31 to April 3 he lowered the 400 metre freestyle record to 4:27.78.

Wilson will enter the competition having earned 21 Gold 6 Silver and 4 Bronze medals in the calendar year 2018 across the three major regional age group competitions UANA, CARIFTA and CCCAN. He will also be in good form for the three day meet having lowered the 11-12 national records at home in 3 events at the October Classic Invitational in at the Marlins Swim Pool in Westmoorings in early October.

400 metre freestyle 4:21.16
200 metre butterfly 2:20.25
1500 metre freestyle 17:46.74

Kael off the blocks
Kael Yorke diving off the blocks in the heats of the 50 metre butterfly Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The previous records were  400 metre freestyle 4:23.66 by Joshua Romany in 2008  200 metre butterfly 2:21.68 and  1500 metre freestyle 17:50.31 by Kael Yorke in 2013.

The 1500 metre freestyle record was subsequently lowered  at the same meet by another 11-12 star Nikoli Blackman who took it to 17:36.90 at the same meet.

Zarek ,though untapered will have a much lighter work load swimming a mere “six” events.

Zachary-Moore caymansportsbuzz
Zachary Moore Photo courtesy of caymansportsbuzz

The first event he will tackle is the 1500 metre freestyle where the meet record and fastest time ever recorded in Jamaica by an 11-12 boy is 18:51.65 set by the Cayman Islands’ Zachary Moore while representing the Stingray Swim Club in 2015 . So the fans on Friday will have a chance to see the first sub 18 minutes swim on local swim by an 11-12 swimmer.

 

Three events later he will  have his final race for the day the 200 metre individual medley. That meet record of 2:31.18  was set by another rising star from the Cayman Islands and the Stingray Swim Club Corey Fredrick- Westborg. The fastest ever 11-12 time  posted in Jamaica is 2:24.55  held by another member of Team TTO ,Jabari Baptiste. That time was set at CARIFTA 2010 when he won Gold. This past summer he was a member of Team TTO’s  CAC Games 400 metre freestyle relay team that won the Bronze in a new national record of 3:22.83.

400 free relay TTO
Team TTO at the 2018 CAC Games

On Saturday his first event will be the 200 metre butterfly.The 11-12 200 metre butterfly record stands at 2:33.52 by the Tornadoes Nathaniel Thomas and the fastest ever 11-12 time in Jamaica is 2:22.71 set by Damon St Prix of Barbados when he won Gold at CARIFTA 2013. With the event being open the sporting public may see Zarek be pushed to under the 2:20 mark.

luis sebastian weekes im m lyn
Weekes competing in the heats of the 200 individual medley at the 2017 CARIFTA championships Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The 400 individual medley, also an open event sees the 2015 Moore standard of 5:24.99 under threat. Zarek may also get the push needed to go under the Jamaica best mark of 5:09.20 set by  recent 2018 Youth Olympic Games competitor Luis Sebastian Weekes of Barbados. Weekes set that mark at CARIFTA 2013 when he topped the 11-12 field for the Gold.

 

The final day sees the 400 metre freestyle as the opening event. The meet record stands at 4:51.13 by the Tornadoes Sean- Douglas Gooden . It is no surprise that Zarek holds the fastest time ever swum in 11-12  as he set the CARIFTA Championship record of 4:27.78 earlier this year. As he prepares to go into the stronger 13-14 age group he will be using this meet to post a sub 4:20 time and set yet another national record. The fastest time ever swum across all age groups at the meet is 4:30.93 by John Bodden of the Stingrays Swim Club of the Cayman Islands in 2016.

Dylan Carter trinidad express
Dylan Carter at the 2013 CARIFTA swimming championships Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

His final race in Jamaica will be the 50 metre freestyle where he saw the a big improvement at his last meet from 27.03 to 25.67. The meet record of 26.16 is held by  Jamaica’s Nathaniel Thomas who dominated the region in 11-12 in the event when he both the CARIFTA and CCCAN titles.

Nathaniel Thomas Neville 2017 1
Nathaniel Thomas  2017 CARIFTA and CCCAN in the 11-12 boys 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

The best 11-12 time recorded in Jamaica is 25.90 by French Guyana’s Dilan Nunez Green at CARIFTA this year when he lowered the long standing record of 26.00 Team TTO’s Olympian Dylan Carter. The  11-12 national record for Team TTO is 25.58 held by Carter. So Wilson could end his Jamaican adventure with a national mark.

The 2018 Dean Martin Memorial meet with the  inclusion of  Wilson and other CARIFTA,CCCAN and Goodwill Games champions promises to be yet another exciting meet with many closes races and records set to fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALEX SOBERS OF BARBADOS CRUSHES NATIONAL RECORD TO LEAD ENGLISH SPEAKING CARIBBEAN IN THE 400 METRE FREESTYLE

Barbadian Olympian Alex Sobers established himself as the best from  the English speaking Caribbean in the 400 metre freestyle when he had won the 15-17 crown at the now defunct Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships with a time of 3:57.30 in 2016 in The Bahamas.

scoreboard-on-alex-sobers-swim
Scoreboard showing the results of the 15-17 400 metres freestyle final at the 2016 CISC

 

He would dip under the 4 minute mark again on his Olympic debut at the Rio Games with a time of 3:59.97. Since then it he would have a number of close shaves with that barrier recording 4:00.17 at the 2017 CCCAN Championships in Trinidad and Tobago and 4:00.50 at the 2017 Budapest World Championships.

sobers final 400 metre final
Sobers gets ready to compete in the 400 metre freestyle final Photo courtesy of Aisha Norville

On July 23 at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla Colombia he registered a preliminary round time of 4:01.42.That propelled him to Championship final. In the final that afternoon he destroyed his old national mark to place seventh in 3:55.50.

Record Progression
400 metre freestyle 2016 CISC 2018 CAC Games
First 100 metres 57.04 56.70
Second 100 metres 1:00.81 59.67
Third 100 metres 1:00.22 59.29
Fourth 100 metres 59.23 59.84
Final Time 3:57.30 3:55.30

Speaking to draftingthecaribbean after his record swim Sobers said “I am really proud and excited to do 3:55 which is a best time and to break my national record as I was struggling to produce a sub 4 minute swim for a really long time”

Alex bettered the 2019  Gwangju LCM World Championships and 2018 Hangzhou SCM World Championships B standard of 3:56.14. He is closing in on the the 2019 Lima PAN AM Games automatic qualifying standard of 3:54.44 and as well as the provisional Tokyo 2020 B standard 3:53.58. The final Olympic standards will be ratified in December by FINA.

sobers EC Athletics Athlete of the year
Alex Sobers Emmanuel College’s Athlete of the Year Photo courtesy of goeclions.com

Alex will be in his junior college at Emmanuel College which is now a full member of the Division II and will be a member of the Conference Carolinas. For the 2017-2018 season he was named by his school as the Male Athlete of the Year Annual Leo  Athletic Awards. He hold the school records in the 200 and 500 yard freestyle with times of 1:35.95 and 4:27.56.