UANA CUP DAY TWO 15-17 AGE GROUP JACK KIRBY OF BARBADOS WINS GOLD IN 100 METRE BACKSTROKE IN AGE GROUP AND YOUTH OLYMPICS A TIME,BAHAMIAN BASTIAN WINS 50 METRE BREASTSTROKE, KAEL YORKE OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO COPS BUTTERFLY BRONZE

Day Two of the UANA Cup saw outstanding performances from the CARIFTA region’s swimmers in the 15-17 age group. The names Jacky Kirby of Barbados Gold 100 metre backstroke, Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas Gold 50 metre breaststroke and Kael Yorke of  Trinidad and Tobago Bronze 100 metre butterfly were the headline acts.

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

Kirby, who was named Junior Athlete of the Year for 2017

 

was sensational in winning the 100 metre backstroke in a time of 56.34.That broke his age group record of 57.01 set at the Commonwealth Youth Games in July in The Bahamas.

Bradley Ally panamerican world
Bradley Ally Photo courtesy of panamerican world

It also brings him closer the senior national record of 55.88 Olympian Bradley Ally (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008,London 2012) set at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai China .Ally splits then were 27.38 and 28.50. Not only did Jack establish a meet record for the event he also beat the Youth Olympics A qualifying mark of 56.96. He went out in 27.40 and came back in 28.94. No other swimmer at the meet had Jack’s back end speed in the event as he recorded the only sub 30 seconds second 50 metre split. Silver went to Guillermo Cruz Zuniga of Mexico who clocked 58.80 and the Bronze to Anthony  Rincón Velasco of Colombia  who was timed in  59.25.Jack gave his impressions of the race to draftingthecaribbean after the race

“The goal for the 100 metre backstroke was to make the 56 low.I had no idea about the senior national record I was just really focusing on the 56 low. I really wanted to get that time because by summer I want to get into the 55 range.Also in terms of competing in 2020 this helps in getting me to 53”.

Izaak Bahamas Nationals
Izaak Bastian  Photo courtesy of Bahamas Swimming

Also winning Gold and establishing a  new meet record was Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas who touched in a time of 29.23 just out touching Cruz Zuniga of Mexico won another Silver in 29.32. Andre Martijena Díaz of the Dominican Republic took the Bronze in 30.19.Izaak gave his thoughts about the race after his win

“The 50 breaststroke was much better than I expected it to be.I did not expect to feel as good as I did in the water.There were a few small things I felt I could fix.I felt I was rushing my stroke a little bit but that just comes with more practice and experience in the race and getting up and going in the morning.That was what this meet was all about for me trying to go as fast as I can in the morning so I can get used to those other big meets like the Commonwealth Games coming up where I am used to swimming fast at night and not in the morning.I am trying to change that to swimming fast in the morning so those swims actually count for something instead of just holding back for the night.I know when I go those bigger meets I wont be able to hold back and maybe not even get a second swim.The race itself was pretty good I got to race some really fast guys.It was a close one this morning I don’t know how I pulled it off my last 5 metres I tried to hold it all together and come in as I fast as I could and finish on a full stroke”.

Kael UANA
Kael Yorke Bronze medallist in the 100 metre butterfly

Kael Yorke won the Bronze in the 100 metre butterfly. He spoke to draftingthecaribbean about his races

“ For my first event the 50 freestyle it wasn’t as good as I expected it to be because I added on time and I wasn’t feeling myself in the water I didn’t let it get to me because I have not been training for while. I took a long break for the Christmas holidays and I only started back training nine days ago so it was a good attempt at the 50 freestyle. I put the focus on my 100 metre butterfly today and tried to do my best. For training for only nine days I thought I did well I swam a 56 not far from my personal best off 55 which was a tapered time. Overall the UANA Cup experience has been a good one so far.The weather conditions are not what my teammates and I are used to because we are accustomed to warmer weather but  just being able to compete at this level with the Mexicans, the Colombians and Central Americans is a great experience and I continue to strive to do better in my other events”

Other top CARIFTA region swimmers for the day included

 

 

sam bailey uana cup cayman swimming
Sam Bailey of the Cayman Islands Top CARIFTA 15-17 swimmer in the 400 IM Photo courtesy of Cayman Swimming
Britney williams UANA day 2
Britney Williams top CARIFTA 15-17 swimmer in the 200 metre freestyle

 

Ileana Bocage
Ileana Bocage top 15 -17 CARIFTA swimmer in the 50 metre breaststroke
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Sam Bailey Cayman Islands 400 metre IM 15-17 5:23.05 7th
Chadé M. Nersicio Curacao 100 metre butterfly 15-17 1:05.97 8th
Britney Williams Jamaica 200 metre freestyle 15-17 2:09.74 7th
Graham Chatoor Trinidad and Tobago 200 metre freestyle 15-17 1:59.43 12th
Ileana Bocage Trinidad and Tobago 50 metre breaststroke 15-17 34.70 4th
Danielle Titus Barbados 100 metre backstroke 15-17 1:06.30 5th
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UANA CUP DAY TWO 13-14 AGE GROUP ROAN BAKER,McCALLUM CLARKE, TRISTAN PRAGNELL OF BARBADOS, EMILY MacDONALD OF JAMAICA AND BAHAMIAN JAMILAH HEPBURN EARN PODIUM POSITIONS

 

The CARIFTA region got on the medal podium FIVE times on Day Two. Leading the medal charge were swimmers from Barbados , Jamaica and The Bahamas.

Roan Baker UANA Day 2
Roan Baker Silver medallist in the 400 IM

Roan Baker of Barbados opened the CARIFTA region medal account with a Silver in the 400 metre individual medley. He touched the wall in 4:56.55 (split time 2:22.94) to complete the medley. He won the Silver in the 200 individual medley on the first day. When draftingthecaribbean spoke to him after the race he had the following thoughts

“For my 400 IM I was very nervous. I swam the 200 IM yesterday it gave me a little bit of confidence but I was still super tired .When I started swimming I felt pretty good. The first 100,the butterfly was pretty good and the backstroke was pretty good, the breaststroke leg was the best I think I have ever done. In the freestyle I need to improve a little bit because I started falling behind. When I touched the wall I was pretty happy that I got the Silver. I was more happy that I got I got the Silver because I did not drop time. Overall it was a pretty good race.”

Clarke UANA Day 2
McCallum Clarke Bronze medallsit in the 50 metre breaststroke

His countryman McCallum Clarke would earn the Bronze medal in the 50 metre breaststroke in a time of 31.74. He spoke to draftingthecaribbean about his medal winning performance

“I was nervous because there were a lot of fast people in the race and those who were behind me were close in time to me .I got a bad start but I was able to recover. Based on the results I was still happy even though it was not a best time”.

Tristan Pragnell
Tristan Pragnell Silver medallist in the 100 metre backstroke

Tristan Pragnell completed the hat trick of medals for Barbados when he won Silver with a closely bunched podium party. Tristan touched the wall the in 1:02.23 (split time 29.79).  Tristan had the fastest opening split of The Gold went to Gabriel Nascimento of Brazil in 1:02.12.Bronze went to Argentina’s Ramiro Faya in 1:02.38. He gave his impressions of the race

“Going into the 100 metre backstroke I was a little nervous because it is my best stroke and there were a lot of high expectations for me but I knew that my last personal best was done last year and I had a good chance of dropping time. Also I was seeded quite high so I had a good chance of medalling. Entering the race I started out fast. My teammates told me I was first after the first 50 metres. I may have gone out a little too fast because passed in the last 15 metres. But I know for future races to save a little more for the end but I am happy for medalling”.

Emily Day 2
UANA Cup Bronze medallist in the 13-14 100 metre butterfly and new 13-14 record holder Emily MacDonald

Jamaica’s Emily MacDonald earned Bronze in the 100 metre butterfly in a new age group record of 1:05.86 (split time 30.34) just off the Youth Olympics B qualifying time of 1:05.71. She lowered her own national mark of 1:06.19 that she set last year on March 2 at the National Stadium. She was just off the Youth Olympics B qualifying mark of 1:05.71 and was the fastest CARIFTA region swimmer in the event. She expressed the following thoughts about her swim

“I was very happy when I found that I broke my own national record for the 100 metre butterfly. It was very surprising since I never tapered for this meet and I hope to break it again”.

Jamilah Hepburn
13-14 50 metre breaststroke medallist Jamilah Hepburn

Jamilah Hepburn of The Bahamas earned the Bronze in the 50 metre breaststroke in a time of 35.65.Inspeaking about her performance she

“I was mentally prepared for my race and I was focused on executing the start and finish properly”

Other top performances from the CARIFTA region in this age included a new age group record by Grenada’s Jenebi Benoit who placed fourth in a time of 1:00.77 (split time 27.67).

Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Logan Watson-Brown Bermuda 200 metre freestyle 13-14 2:11.10 5th
Brian Desmond Bermuda 200 metre freestyle 13-14 2:03.75 6th
Danielle Treasure Barbados 100 metre backstroke 13-14 1:10.76 6th
Sabine Ellison Cayman Islands 400 metre IM 13-14 5:26.64 5th

 

LOOKING BACK AT THE WINTER JUNIOR CHAMPS BARBADOS BOYS AT BAYLOR SET PERSONAL BESTS ON FINAL DAY KIRBY AND WEEKES RECORD NEW STANDARDS IN BACKSTROKE AND BREASTSTROKE

With the inaugural UANA Cup set for Coral Springs almost upon us draftingthecaribbean looks back at the strong performances of the Barbados boys of Baylor Jack Kirby and Luis Sebastian Weekes on the final day of the Winter Junior Championships –East .Both young men will feature prominently in Florida for their country in the next coming days.

jack-kirby-baylor-swimming
Jacky Kirby in action Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

Competing in Knoxville Tennessee on Dec 9 Jack Kirby , who was recently named his country’s Junior Athlete of the Year for 2017 recorded personal best twice in the 200 yard backstroke. Heading into the competition his personal standard stood at 1:49.84.He would crush that mark to record a new best time of 1:47.19. That would qualify him for the B final. In that race there would be another considerable time drop as he won that race in a time of 1:45.35.

Link to race

Analysis of Kirby’s best 200 yard backstroke times

Date First 100 Second 100 Final Time
Dec 2016 53.11 56.37 1:49.84
Dec 2017 52.61 54.58 1:47.19
Dec 2017 52.08 53.27 1:45.35

 

Kirby along with teammates Zach Althoff, Piotr Kurleto, and Trey Freeman would crush the old Baylor 400 yard freestyle relay record of 3:02.14 with a time of 3:00.78 to place 5th overall. Jack’s first leg split was 45.21 (split time 21.55).That shattered his personal record of 47.59 (split time 23.22) set in November.

Kirby CYG 2017
Jack Kirby Photo courtesy of Bahamas Commonwealth Youth Games 2017

For the UANA Cup in the 15-17 division Kirby is ranked 1st in the 100 metre backstroke and 3rd in the 50 metre backstroke

Event Ranking Time
50 metre backstroke 3rd 26.88
100 metre backstroke 1st 57.01
luis-sebastian-weekes
Luis Sebastian Weekes Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

Country man Weekes also had a big time drop in the breaststroke. Luis had a personal best of 2:06.46 in the 200 yard breaststroke set in Feb 2017 at the Southeastern Regional Championships . Weekes dropped more than 4 seconds to record a time of 2:02.17 (split time 58.94).That would qualify him for the C final .It would mark his first final at the top competition for  18 and under swimmers. He would just be off that time in the race placing 7th in a time of 2:02.57 (split time 59.08).

Link to race

luis sebastian weekes im m lyn
Weekes s Photo courtesy of Micheal C Lyn

Weekes is ranked 5th  in the 100 metre breaststroke and 8th in the 50 metre breaststroke for the 15-17 age group for the UANA Cup

Event Ranking Time
50 metre breaststroke 8th 30.88
100 metre breaststroke 5th 1:06.66

SOBERS UNSTOPPABLE AT ECAC WINTER CHAMPS NAMED SWIMMER OF THE MEET AND DIVISION II SWIMMER OF THE WEEK

Yet another swimmer from the CARIFTA region continues to display the quality coming from the Caribbean . From Dec 1-3 it was the turn of Barbados Olympian (Rio 2016) Alex Sobers.

He reigned supreme at the ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) Winter championships.

Sobers before block dec
Sobers getting ready to swim Photo courtesy of goeclions.com

Representing Emmanuel College in Georgia he travelled to New York for the Championships and returned with 8 Gold medals.The Bajan presence on the competition was felt from Alex’s first event , the 1650 yard freestyle. He took the event in a personal best of 15:43.23. The performance was a Division II B qualifying time and less than a second off the school record of 15:42.40. It also places him 16th overall in that Division.

In his next race the 800 yard freestyle relay the Lions shut down the race as a competitive event by putting the Big man from Bridgetown on the opening leg as he lead off with a 1:38.63, the only swimmer under 1:40. That propelled the  team to a winning time of 6:48.72. They were also ten seconds ahead of the second placed team.That team performance gave them yet another NCAA B cut and ranks them 25th .

Sobers preparing to win another Gold medal
Sobers preparing to win another Gold medal Photo courtesy of goeclions.com

The 500 yard freestyle saw Sobers winning by by over 2 seconds in a new Championship record of 4:29.65. The old record 4:31.94 was set in 2012 by Wesley Elford of Stevens Institute of Technology. That swim gave him another B cut and places him 12th overall in the division.
Another 2012 Stevens Institute of Technology would fall during the meet in the 200 yard freestyle. The Lions team of Sobers,Rafael Mendes, Adrian  Aleksandrowicz  and  Thiago Rosa would take the race in a new Championship and school record of 1:22.27. The old school record was set earlier in 2017 was 1:22.55 .

Appalachian MVP
Appalachian Swimming Conference Championship Male MVP Photo courtesy of goeclions.com

That team which included Sobers set the record at the Appalachian Swimming Conference Championship.  At that Championship he was the male MVP.The old ECAC record was 1:22.97 set back in 2013.Sobers set a  new 50 yard personal best of 20.80 leading off the relay team that is ranked 17th nationally.

Alex would crush the Championship record in the 200 yard freestyle with a time of 1:36.85 (split time 45.93). The old record of 1:40.51 was set in 2010 by Lukaz Ochmanski of Stony Brook University .Such was his dominance that second place touched some 5 seconds after Alex won the race. Sobers is ranked 5th in the nation based on that performance.

The Lions A team of Thiago Rosa backstroke 49.60 , Theo Courteaux breaststroke 58.40, Pedro Illescas butterfly 48.48  and Sobers freestyle 43.55 continued to impose themselves on the competition with another commanding performance. The Lions A team total time of 3:20.03 broke the Championship record of 3:20.66 set by the 2014 New York University Team of Adam Betts, Timothy Kou, Chad Moody and Jeremiah Crowley. The Lions were also 11 seconds faster than the next team.The swim ranks 17th nationally.

The 100 yard freestyle saw Sobers winning by more than a second in a time of 44.83 (split time 21.64). That B standard swim places him 25th nationally.

The Lions A team of Rosa, Aleksandrowicz, Illescas and Sobers won again by over 10 seconds in relay action. They won the 400 yard freestyle relay 3:00.76 ,just off the school record of 3:00.26. That broke yet another Championship record, the 2014 New York University standard of 3:01.61. It placed them 10th in the nation.

Emmanuel at ECAC Champs.PNG

Sobers for his fantastic effort was named Men’s Swimmer of the Meet. Emmanuel captured the Men’s Title with  1685 points. The accolades would continue for that standout performance as he was named Division II Swimmer of the Week on Dec 5.

 

DAY 3 OF 2017 SPEEDO WINTER JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS EAST BLACK WIN 200 FREE RELAY BRONZE, BASTIAN AND KIRBY MAKE CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS IN BREASTSTROKE AND BACKSTROKE, PERSONAL BESTS RECORDED BY AIMABLE , WEEKES ,GROTERS AND HOOST

 

The third day of the 2017 Speedo Winter Junior Championships East on Friday Dec 8 saw the CARIFTA region picking up yet another medal. This time it was Jamaican Joseph Black as a member of the Peddie team that won Bronze in the 200 yard freestyle relay.

Peddie Bronze medallist in the 200 yard freestyle relay
Bronze medal winning team from Peddie from left to right front row Nathan Stern,Joseph Black Back row Michael Blank and Troy Ike Photo courtesy of Peddie swimming

The team of Nathan Stern 20.55, Michael Blank 20.47, Trey Ike 20.45 and Black 20.24 clocked 1:21.71 to for their medal winning performance.  That bettered their 2017 Gold medal winning time at the Eastern Championships of 1:21.99 which is also the Championship, school and New Jersey State record.

Joseph Black Kenyon College.PNG

At that competition Black, a Kenyon commit had anchored the team in a time of 20.31.  Silver at the Winter championships went to Dayton Raiders in 1:20.58 and the Gold to Allegheny North in 1:19.83. When the times are combined with the competition in the West the boys from Peddie retained their third place position from a combined 89 competing teams in the event.

Izaak Bastian CARIFTA page
Izaak Bastian Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque

Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas, who is representing Saint Andrew’s made the championship final in the 100 yard breaststroke. Izaak had recorded a personal best in the event winning the Florida High school 1A title in 54.54 (split time 25.80). He would lower that mark with a time of 54.48 (split 25.54). That  time placed him 5th in the East and 8th with the combined results.Bastian is the reigning CARIFTA 15-17 100 metre breaststroke champion. He took Gold in a time of 1:04.68.He will join a number of the region’s best in Kingston Jamaica in 2018 seeking to lower the Championship record of 1:04.25 held by Aruban Jordy Groters.

jack-kirby-baylor-swimming
Jacky Kirby in action in the backstroke at the 2017 Tennessee State Championships Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

After lowering his personal best in the 100 yard backstroke Jack Kirby of Barbados and Baylor Swim club was at it again with another new personal standard. After qualifying for the Championship with a time of 48.97 he lowered his all-time best to 48.67 (split time 23.51) to place 6th overall. His previous best was 48.79 (split time 23.72).Kirby who won the Silver medal at CARIFTA in the 100 metre backstroke in the 15-17 backstroke in The Bahamas will be seeking to lower the Championship record in 2018 in Jamaica. That mark was set this year by Aruban Patrick Groters at 57.17. Kirby has a personal best of 57.01 set at this summer’s Commonwealth Youth Games.

Steve Aimable and Azura Florida coach GianLuca Alberani
Steve Aimable and Azura Florida coach GianLuca Alberani

Also bettering his personal best on the day was French Guiana’s Steven Aimable representing Azura Florida Aquatics. Competing in the 100 yard butterfly Steve lowered his personal best of 50.73 to 49.57(split time 22.87) to place 25th .Aimable  was the  15-17  Bronze medallist in the 100 metre butterfly in his final year at the CARIFTA Championships in a time of 57.22.

 

Suriname’s Irvin Hoost representing Metro Aquatics also bettered his personal best in the event. He went from an all-time best of 50.49 in 2016 to 50.17 (split time 23.11) for 54th spot. Hoost also competed in his last CARIFTA Games this year and placed 5th in the 100 metre butterfly in a time of 57.97.

Patrick on podium
Patrick Groters on podium Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Aruban Patrick Groters who represents the Pine Crest Swim club who had phenomenal final CARIFTA Championship bettered his 400 yard individual medley time of 3:58.74 set in 2015 with a 3:58.12 performance of 3:58.12.

Bradley Ally panamerican world
Bradley Ally Photo courtesy of panamerican world

 

In the Bahamas this year he won the 400 metre individual medley in 4:27.69 breaking the 2004 meet record of 4:31.95 Olympian Barbadian Bradley Ally.

luis-sebastian-weekes
Luis Sebastian Weekes Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

Baylor’s Barbadian breaststroker Luis Sebastian Weekes continued the trend of bettering personal records with his efforts in the 100 yard breaststroke. Weekes lowered his personal best to 56.90 (split time 26.90) to place 35th overall. His previous record was 57.56 (split 26.68). He registered that time in a 6th place performance at the 2017 Tennessee State Champs.At CARIFTA this year he was mere 9 hundredths outside of podium place when he swam 1:06.66. He will be seeking to top the field in that race next year in Jamaica .

Other individual performances on the day were

Name Country Club Event Time Placing
Daniel Jacobs Aruba Pine Crest 200 yard freestyle 1:42.97 89th
Patrick Groters Aruba Pine Crest 100 yard backstroke 50.67 63rd
Steven Aimable French Guinana Azura 100 yard backstroke 51.58 103rd

In the 200 yard freestyle relay the Baylor team of Piotr Kurleto 20.82,Kirby 21.05, Zachariah Althoff 20.82 and  Robert Freeman 19.77 recorded the 5th best time of the meet of 1:22.32. It was also the 5th best time of the 89 competing team in both the East and West.

Christian Selby
Christian Selby Photo courtesy of http://www.olympic.org.bb

 

They also just missed the 2013 school record of 1:22.23 by the team of Luke Kaliszak, Sam McHugh,Chandler Hinson and Barbadian Christian Selby.

irvin-hoost
Irvin Hoost Photo courtesy of Saint Brendan High school

Hoost and his Metro Aquatics team were 10th in a time of 1:23.06. Of the 356 swimmers who swam that event Irvin had the 6th fastest leg with his anchor leg split of 20.02.

DAY 2 OF 2017 SPEEDO WINTER JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS HOOST OF RECORDS PERSONAL BEST TO MAKE 50 YARD FREESTYLE C FINAL, PERSONAL STANDARDS SET BY BAJAN DUO KIRBY IN BACKSTROKE AND MEDLEY AND WEEKES IN MEDLEY

Day 2 of the 2017 Speedo Winter Junior Championships East saw the boys of the CARIFTA region turning out strong performances. Leading the charge on December 7 at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville Tennessee was Florida High school 2A State Champion Irvin Hoost of Suriname.

50 free Irvin 2 Andrew Garcia Mourning 3 Chris Jennings Jesuit Kenneth MacDonald
2 50 yard freestyle medal podium from left to right Silver medallist Andrew Garcia Mourning, Gold Medallist Irvin Hoost,Bronze medallist Chris Jennings Photo courtesy of Kenneth MacDonald

Hoost, who is representing the Metro Aquatics Club lowered his 2016 personal best of 20.72 when he clocked 20.55 in the morning heats to earn a berth in the C final. He would record the 2nd fastest time of his career when he touched in 20.60 for 6th place.

Kirby CYG 2017
Jack Kirby Photo courtesy of Bahamas Commonwealth Youth Games 2017

Also bettering his personal best was Jack Kirby of Barbados representing Baylor Swim club. He crushed his 200 yard individual medley best of  1:54.48 (split time 52.84) that he recorded at the 2017 Tennessee State championships with a time of 1:51.16(split time 51.15). That performance placed the 2017 CARIFTA 15-17 Bronze medallist in the 200 metre IM 34th overall.

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

 

Also lowering his personal best was countryman and club mate and 2017 CARIFTA Silver medallist Luis Sebastian Weekes and . Luis lowered his personal standard of 1:52.17 (split time 53.91) a 4th place performance at the 2017 Tennessee State Championships to 1:51.36 (split time 52.72). That swim ranked him 39th overall.

Patrick 200 im gold medal
Groters with 200 IM Gold at the 2017 CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The top regional performance was recorded by the 15-17 2017 CARIFTA Champion and record holder in the 200 metre individual medley Aruban Patrick Groters representing the Pine Crest Swim club. He was timed at 1:50.91 (split time 50.22) to finish 30th overall.

Kirby would continue to lower his personal bests when he recorded 48.79 (split time 23.72) leading off the Baylor 400 yard medley relay team. That represented a significant time drop for the 2017 15-17 CARIFTA Silver medallist in the 100 metre backstroke. His personal best of 50.14 (split time 24.48) recorded at the State Championships when he placed 4th. The Baylor team finished 6th in 3:18.55.

Daniel Jacobs.PNG

Aruban Daniel Jacobs who stated that he will be going after the CARIFTA 15-17 400 metre freestyle record of 3:59.79 at his last CARIFTA 2018 clocked 4:36.15 in the 500 yard freestyle to place 74th. At the 2017 CCCAN Championships in Trinidad and Tobago the Georgia Tech commit won the 400 metre freestyle title in 4:01.85.

In the 50 yard freestyle Izaak Bastian (The Bahamas/Saint Andrew’s) ,Groters, Steve Aimable (French Guiana/Azura Florida Aquatics) and Joseph Black(Jamaica/Peddle Aquatics) turned out good performances not far off from their personal bests.

Name Country Club Event Time Placing
Izaak Bastian The Bahamas Saint Andrew’s 50 yard freestyle 20.90 55th
Patrick Groters Aruba Pine Crest 50 yard freestyle 20.97 61st
Steven Aimable French Guiana Azura 50 yard freestyle 21.03 66th
Joseph Black Jamaica Peddie Association 50 yard freestyle 21.27 93rd

The 400 yard medley relay saw Hoost of Metro Aquatics putting in a 44.63 freestyle split to help them to 9th overall in a time of 3:18.99. Black of Jamaica had a 56.79 to help Peddie to 20th in 3:21.67

KIRBY AND HIGGS PUT CARIFTA REGION ON THE MEDAL PODIUM BY WINNING BRONZE MEDALS ON DAY ONE OF 2017 SPEEDO WINTER JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS – EAST

On the first day of the 2017 SPEEDO Winter Junior Championships – East at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville Tennessee on Dec 6 the CARIFTA region had reason to celebrate through the medal winning performances of regional standouts Lilly Higgs of The Bahamas representing SwimMac Carolina and Jack Kirby of Barbados representing Baylor Swim Club.

Lilly Higgs North Carolina

Higgs , a University of North Carolina commit, swimming as a member of the 200 yard medley relay A team won the Bronze medal. The squad of Julia Menkhaus backstroke 25.05, Higgs breaststroke 28.07, Sophie Lindner butterfly 23.96 and Olywyn Bartis 22.64 recorded a total time of 1:39.07. Being held simultaneously in University of Iowa Recreation Center in Iowa City Iowa is the competition for the West. When the results from meets in both the East and West are combined the SwimMac time was the 4th fastest of the 104 competing teams. Lilly also recorded the 8th fastest breaststroke split overall.

Lilly Higgs 15-17 100 metre breaststroke champion
Lilly Higgs looks back at the clock after capturing the 15-17 100 metre breaststroke title at the 2016 CARIFTA Championships

She is also the reigning 15-17 CARIFTA champion in the 50 metre breaststroke and has been unbeaten in the sprint breaststroke events  for the last three years.

Kirby would win the same colour medal as his regional counterpart as his Baylor team won the Bronze in the 200 yard medley relay as well. With the combined results the team was also the 5th fastest overall.

jack-kirby-baylor-swimming
Jacky Kirby in action in the backstroke  Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

Jack crushed his previous personal best of 23.70 in the 50 yard backstroke with a lead off swim of 23.03.His teammates Piotr Kurleto breaststroke 25.28, Zachariah Althoff butterfly 22.32 and Robert Freeman freestyle 19.92 finished in a time of 1:30.55.

jacky-kirby-tastey-photo
Jack Kirby Photo courtesy of Tastey Blackman

Kirby, who is the reigning CARIFTA Silver medallist in the 15-17 50 metre backstroke had the 18th fastest backstroke split of 101 competing teams.

Bronze medal winning Baylor team
Kirby with members of his Baylor relay team Photo courtesy of Baylor swimming

There would be more success for Kirby as his 800 yard freestyle relay team the held the 800 yard freestyle championship record briefly before their time was bettered by two other teams to finish with the Bronze medal. The same team from the medley relay team Althoff 1:39.20,Kirby 1:39.17,Kurleto 1:37.84 and Freeman 1:34.44 stopped the clock in 6:30.65. That bettered the 2016 Scottsdale Aquatics meet record 6:31.93. Silver went Mason Manta Rays in 6:28.95 and Gold to the Carmel Swim Club in 6:28.25.

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Chadé Nercisio  Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Others in action from the region on the day was Curaçao’s star sprinter Chadé Nercisio who anchored her East Coast Aquatics Swim club to 29th spot in the East Championships with a quick split of 22.92. The 20 fastest overall anchor from both meets. The final team time was 1:45.52.At her last CARIFTA Championship in 2016 she won the 13-14 50 metre freestyle.

Irvin via Rafael
Irvin Hoost Photo courtesy of Rafael Van Leeuwaarde

Irvin Hoost of Suriname provided the 7th fastest freestyle anchor split of both meets with his time of 20.01 .That powered his Metro Aquatics Swim club to 10th in the East with a time of 1:31.55.Hoost recently won the Florida 2A State Championship in the 50 yard freestyle and was 6th in the 50 metre freestyle at his last CARIFTA Championships.

Joseph black M Lyn
Joseph Black .Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

In the 800 yard freestyle relay Jamaican Joseph Black gave his Peddie Aquatics team a second leg of 1:42.84 to help to 6:51.92 and 27th overall in the East. Black was a member of the 800 metre freestyle team that won Jamaica’s first Gold medal in the 15-17 age group.