Keanan Dols Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Jamaica’s Keanan Dols was a member of the Riverview High school team that captured the boys’ titles at Florida 4A Championships title at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida on Saturday Nov 5.

Victorious Rams 200 yard medley relay team from left to right Keanan Dols, Tyler Carmichael,Austin Katz and Brett Riley Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Dols, who will be making his senior team debut at the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Windsor Canada next month had podium finishes in 3 of the 4 events that he contested. He was atop the podium in the first final contested in the evening, the 200 yard medley relay. His Rams team of Austin Katz backstroke (22.54), Brett Riley breaststroke (26.82), Keanan butterfly (22.29) and Tyler Carmichael freestyle (21.87) took top honours in a total team time of 1:33.52. This is the second consecutive title for the Rams in this event.

The influence of the CARIFTA region is seen in this event as the fastest ever medley relay in high school history was set by the 2014 Baylor team that included Olympian Dustin Tynes from The Bahamas and Christian Selby of Barbados that has the standard at 1:27.74.

Keanan Dols race start Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

It was in the 200 yard freestyle relay where Dols who is a senior had his best executed race. He clocked 21.44 to lead off his team that included Katz (20.69), Brendan Firlie (21.29) and Aye-Chan San Tun (21.70).The team’s final Silver medal winning time was 1:25.12.The winners were Fleming Island who won in 1:24.53.

Keanan Dols backstroke start Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

He would win yet another medal this time in the 100 yard backstroke. In the final he had the fastest 2nd 50 yards of 25.57 but was just out touched for the Gold by Mason Wilby 50.22 to 50.28. That time is the best ever for Keanan in a Championship final.

At the World Short Course Championships in the 25 metre pool he will be chasing the 100 metre backstroke record of 55.55 set by Timothy Wynter at the 2012 Istanbul Championships.

Keanan on breaststroke leg of 200 yard individual medley Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

In the 200 yard individual medley in a very tight finish Dols clocked a personal best of 1:49.74 to finish 4th overall. The top 4 finishers all dipped under the 1:50 mark with 1:49’s across the board. Robert Finke (Countryside), 1;49.34 Gold ,John Fulginiti (Hagerty) 1:49.53 Silver and John Hutton (Fleming Island) 1:49.55 Bronze.

The CARIFTA region has a say in the record books as the state record is held by Olympian Bradley Ally (St Thomas Aquinas) at 1:46.31 set in 2004.When he set that standard it was the fastest time ever by a high school swimmer.

In Windsor Keanan will be challenging the 200 metre individual medley record of 2:08.88 set by Dominic Walter in 2015.


Riverview took the male title with 276 points, Fleming Island 2nd with 189 points and Countryside 3rd with 160 points. When asked about the win Keanan had the following thoughts

“It’s pretty exciting to win our 3rd straight championship. It’s something we sometimes take for granted with how successful both our men’s and women’s teams have been but it’s still pretty meaningful”



Heindrick Champrobert 200 freestyle Gold medallist 13-14
Heindrick Champrobert 13-14 boys 200 freestyle Gold medallist Photo courtesy of
Alex Sobers receing award
Alex Sobers of Barbados(left) 15-17 boys champion in the 200 and 400 metre freestyle receing award Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Yael Touw Ngie Tjouw of Suriname receiving the award for being the top 13-14 boy
Yael Touw Ngie Tjouw of Suriname (far right) Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque


Chade Nercisio 13-14 breastroke Triple Gold medallist
Chade Nercisio 13-14 breaststroke Triple Gold medallist Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Lilly Higgs 15-17 100 metre breaststroke champion
Lilly Higgs 15-17 100 metre breaststroke champion Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Izaak Bastian CARIFTA page
Izaak Bastian 13-14 boys triple breaststroke Gold medallist all in record time Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Bermudan Medallists bernews
Bemudan medallists From left to right Shannon Hassell,Jesse Washington,Madelyn Moore and Sam Williamson Photo courtesy of
Team Grenada
Team Grenada Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Team Trinidad and Tobago
Team Trinidad and Tobago Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque



Charlotte  GuadeloupeCharlotte Backovic Bronze medallist Girls 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque



Team Suriname
Team Suriname Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Team St Vincent and the Grenadines
Team St Vincent and the Grenadines Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Team Aruba
Team Aruba Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Team Guadeloupe
Team Guadeloupe Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Team Martinique
Team Martinique Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Dustin Tynes Ohio State Swimming
Dustin Tynes Photo courtesy of Ohio State Swimming



Bahamian standout Izaak Bastian (Saint Andrews) accounted for 3 of the 8 records that fell on the final day of the 2016 CARIFTA swimming championships on Friday March 25.

The first Championship record actually fell to Kenzo Simons in the boys 13-14 age group as he bettered the 2011 record of Aruban Jordy Groters (Missouri) by the slimmest of margins 24.49 to 24.50.

He would return to swim the identical time in the final but that is when Bastian dropped more than a second from his preliminaries to time to record a new Championship record of 24.25. In setting the record he also lowered the 24.64 Bahamian age group record set Gershwin Greene (Baylor) in 2013.Simons would pocket the Silver while Julien Berol of Martinique took the Bronze in 24.69.

He would lower another Championship record in the 100 metre breaststroke .He would take out the first 50 in 32.46 and come home in the only sub 36 split of 35.30 to touch the wall in 1:07.76.That time bettered the 1:07.99 set by countryman Dustin Tynes (Ohio State) in 2011. Bastian swept the breaststroke events all in record time. Jeremie Delbois of St Maarten was second in 1:10.68 while Luke Gillette of Trinidad and Tobago was third in 1:11.17.

Izaak’s final Gold medal and Championship record was in the 200 metre freestyle relay. The team of Heindrick Champrobert 25.76, Samuel Gibson 25.45, Darren Laing 25.44 and Bastian with the fastest split of the relays 23.89 touched in a total time of 1:40.54.The old record of 1:40.90 was set by the 2010 Trinidad and Tobago team of Joshua Romany (Tennessee) Dylan Carter (USC), Blaine Sobrian and Keegan Boisson-Yates (Iona). The 2013 age record of 1:42.58 set by Jared Fitzgerald  (Peddie),Alexander Encinar (Peddie) Miller Albury (Cantebury) and Michael Hernandez. Martinique won the Silver medal in a time of 1:41.32 and Suriname the Bronze in 1:41.73.

McCallum Clarke of Barbados completed the breaststroke sweep in the 11-12 age group. He broke the Championship record of 1:13.81 by Aruba Brandon Cheong set in 2014 when he clocked 1:13.67.That time equalled his age group record set in February of this year. In the final he went out in 35.23 over a second and clocked the only sub 38 last 50 of 37.87 to win a new Championship and Barbadian age group record of 1:13.10.Silver went to Alexander Joachim of St Vincent and the Grenadines in 1:17.30 and the Bronze to Sam Williamson of Bermuda in 1:19.34.Sam broke Keegan Wooley’s Bermudan age group record of 1:22.23 set in December 2015.

It was yet another dominant display by the Higgs sisters Lilly and Margaret (SwimMAC Carolina) in yet another breaststroke event. Both ladies went out in hard in times of 33.87 (Margaret) and 33.97 (Lilly) respectively. Coming home Lilly split the only sub 39 time of 38.15 to edge her sister for the Gold 1:12.12 to 1:12.94.She also earned herself the Championship record as she beat the standard of 1:12.33 set by Trinidad and Tobago representative Alexandria Donahue (Brown) in 2013.Jamaican Bryanna Renuart won the Bronze in 1:16.58.

In the backstroke events it was Barbadian rising star Danielle Titus that took the spotlight in the 200 metre race .In the final she held off the challenge of Bermudan standout Emma Harvey 2:25.72 Silver and Yasmina Frederic of Guadeloupe Bronze 2:32.04 to take Gold in a new Championship record of 2:24.16. For Titus that breaks the Barbadian age group record of 2:27.75 set by Amara Gibbs set in 2011.It was also the fastest time done by a girl in the 200 metre backstroke race at the Championships. Harvey also lowered her age group record of 2:31.64.

Jamaican Olympic hopeful Keanan Dols lowered the 15-17 boys’ record of 2:07.48 set Cayman Islands Olympian Brett Fraser (2008, 2012) in 2007 to 2:07.26 in the morning heats. He would return to take the Gold medal in the final with a time of 2:07.30. The Silver medal was won by Patrick Groters (Pine Crest) in new Aruban age group and senior national mark of 2:08.95.Groters had set both previous standards at 2:09.34 set CARIFTA 2015 in Barbados.

In the 400 metre freestyle events Laureen Foumann of Guadeloupe completed the 11-12 200 /400 double when she won in 4:50.79.Silver was won by Danielle Treasure of Barbados in 4:52.17 while the Bronze went to Lamar Taylor of Trinidad and Tobago in 4:53.43.

In the 13-14 girls age group Titus of Barbados won in 4:40.37 ahead of Franelly Angele of Guadeloupe 4:45.60 and Jada Chatoor of Trinidad and Tobago 4:45.89 who repeated her .Bronze medal performance in the 200 race.

The senior girls race went to Barbadian Hannah Gill (Baylor) in a time of 4:29.76.Lilly Higgs won yet another medal placing second in a time of 4:34.89.The Bronze was won by Vanessa Esposito of Bermuda in 4:35.50 in a new Bermudan 17-18 record. The previous record was set by Nicole Yearwood at the 2009 CARIFTA championships.

In the 11-12 boys age group it was the exact same order from the 200 race as Mitch Bourgeouis won in 4:32.94.His teammate Tom Lerno took the Silver in 4:38.86 and Clarke of Barbados the Bronze in 4:44.00.

In the 13-14 age group Anaique Zachelin of Guadeloupe 4:15.03 Gold switched places with Heindrick Champrobert of Martinique 4:19.11Silver from the 200 event, The Bronze was won by Anthony Mercury of Guadeloupe in 4:21.15.

Alex Sobers of Barbados repeated his 2015 feat of being the senior boys 200/400 freestyle champion as he won in 4:02.01.He killed of the race as a contest with his 200 split of 1:57.25, the only sub 2minute split of the competition. Second was his teammate Damon St Prix in 4:07.94.The Bronze went Aruban Daniel Jacobs in a time of 4:08.87.

In the sprint event Jamaican Emily MacDonald was crowned the fastest 11-12 girl in the CARIFTA region when she touched the wall in 28.15.In winning the race she also lowered the 2001 record of 28.23 set by Olympian Alia Atkinson (2004, 2008, 2012).The Silver went Naele Portecop of Guadeloupe in 28.80 and the Bronze to Logan Watson-Brown of Bermuda in 28.83.

Chade Nercisio of Curacao is the fastest 13-14 girl in the CARIFTA region as she stopped the clock in 26.98. She finished ahead Harvey of Bermuda 27.17 and Analia Pigree of French Guiana 27.29.

The senior girls title went to Bermudan Madelyn Moore in a time of 26.75.She held off Jamaican Kelsie Campbell who touched in 27.13 and Charlotte Backovic of Guadeloupe 27.32.

The fastest 11-12 boy in the CARIFTA region is Youris Geran of Guadeloupe who clocked 27.07.The Silver was won by Leandro Berenstein of Suriname in 27.22 and Lamar Taylor of the Bahamas won Bronze in 27.68.

Jared Fitzgerald of the Bahamas crowned himself the senior boys sprint king with his clocking of 24 .00.He was pushed to the win by teammate N’nhyn Fernander 24.11and Steven Aimable of French Guiana 24.15.

In the 100 metre breaststroke races Sabine Ellison of the Cayman Islands proved she was the best female breaststroker in the 11-12 age group when she completed the sweep and won the 100 in a time of 1:23.67. Kate-lye Brivet of Guadeloupe won the Silver in 1:24.99. Audrey Moore of the US Virgin Islands took the Bronze in 1:25.27.

Nercisio of Curacao confirmed she had no equal in the 13-14 when she took the 50,100 and 200 treble. She won the 100 metre race in a time of 1:15.89. Willi-insha-marie Jules-Marthe of Martinique won the Silver in 1:17.54.Guadeloupe’s Farah Sheikboudhou took the Bronze in 1:18.77.

Adriel Sanes of the USVI took the senior boys title in the 100 metre breaststroke. His opening 50 split of 30.49 proved to be the major  difference as he held off Trinidad and Tobago’s Jeron Thompson 1:05.45 to 1:06.23.The Bronze went Alexander Encinar of the Bahamas in 1:07.15.

In the 200 metre backstroke races Treasure of Barbados held off a fast finishing Anouk Kamise of Guadeloupe to take the 11-12 title 2:30.03 to 2:30.73.She also prevented Kamise from sweeping the event .Kamise’s teammate Foumann won Bronze in 2:37.71.

Lauren Hew of the Cayman Islands prevented yet another sweep of the top spots by the Higgs sisters when she took the senior girls event in 2:27.12.Margaret took the Silver in 2:29.33 while sister Lilly was a touch behind in 2:29.51.

Yael Touw Ngie Tjouw of Suriname completed his marathon individual programme when he completed the 13-14 boys backstroke sweep. He took the event in 2:14.83 ahead of teammate Simons in 2:16.58 and Peter Morley of the Bahamas 2:17.80.

The 200 metre freestyle relays which was the last event of the competition saw the ladies of Guadeloupe being crowned the fastest in the 11-12 age group with a time of 1:58.86.They finished ahead of Martinique and the Bahamas who were timed at 1:59.55 and 1:59.97 respectively. The fastest split was provided by Guadeloupe’s anchor Naele Portecop who clocked 28.38.

The ladies from Trinidad and Tobago are the fastest in CARIFTA region for the 13-14 age group as they took top hours in a time of 1:53.57.They held of the challenges of Barbados 1:55.30and Martinique 1:56.95 respectively. The fastest split was recorded by Danielle Williams of Trinidad and Tobago who anchored her team in a time of 27.82.

The senior girls relay was won by the Martinique team in a time of 1:50.75.Team Jamaica finished with the Silver in a new national age group record of 1:50.85 and Guadeloupe took the Bronze in 1:51.09.The fastest split was recorded by Mika Heideyer of Martinique who recorded 26.91 on third leg duties.

In the 11-12 boys race Guadeloupe were crowned Champions with their time of 1:50.24.Bahamas won the Silver in a time of 1:54.73 with Barbados taking the Bronze in a time of 1:55.31. The 50 freestyle Champion Geran ensured that he left the meet with a sub 27 clocking .He led off his team with a time of 26.97, the fastest of the relays.

The final race saw the Bahamas team confirmed as the fastest in the CARIFTA region with their winning time of 1:37.48.Trinidad and Tobago won the Silver in 1:38.08 and the Bronze went to Martinique in 1:39.28.The fastest split was record by N’nhyn Fernander who posted 23.78 on the 3rd leg for the Bahamas.

Guadeloupe topped the medal standings winning 23 Gold, 25 Silver and 18 Bronze medals. Bahamas finished second overall with 22 Gold, 22 Silver and 12 Bronze medals. Barbados was third with 18 Gold, 11 Silver and 15 Bronze medals.



15-17 girl 200 metre breaststroke podium.PNG
15-17 girl 200 metre breaststroke podium from left to right Lilly Higgs Silver , Margeret Higgs Gold Bahamas ,Bryanna Renuart Jamaica Bronze Photos courtesy of carifta2016mque


13-14 boys breaststroke podium
13-14boys 200 metre breaststroke podium from left to right Nkosi Dunwoody Barbados Silver,Izaak Bastian Bahama Gold Championship record holder, Luke Gillette Trinidad and Tobago Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
11-12 boys 200 metre breaststroke podium
11-12 200 metre breaststroke podium from left to right Rajiv Redhi Silver Jamaica,Mccallum Clarke Barbados championship record holder Gold,Roan Baker Barbados Bronze Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Opening Ceremony
opening ceremony photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
opening ceremony 2
opening ceremony Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque

The opening day of the 2016 CARIFTA swimming championship records Games in Martinique on Tuesday March 22 saw 7 Championship records being lowered. Bermuda’s Emma Harvey was responsible for 2 of those while competing in the 13-14 age group.

As it was in 2015 so it would be in 2016 where Harvey would crown herself the 13-14 50 metre backstroke Champion. She would top last year’s performance by winning the title in a new Championship and Bermudan age group record of 30.43.En route to Gold she broke Trinidad and Tobago swimmer Kristin Julien’s (Florida Gulf Coast University) meet record of 30.57.She also lowered her Bermudan record of 31.11 set in Canada in July. Tying for the Bronze medal was Danielle Titus of Barbados and Virginia Stamp of the Bahamas in a time of 31.52.For Titus that was a new age record as she lowered Inayah sherry’s 2011 mark of 31.89.

Harvey would not be satisfied with only one championship record as she also took out the 100 metre butterfly record .The record belonged to another swimmer from the twin island Republic Tyla Martin who held the standard at 1:03.81. Emma would better that time as well as her own mark of 1:03.77 to win in a new 13-14 mark of 1:03.50.Silver went to St Lucia’s Katie Kyle in 1:06.68 and Aruba’s Elisabeth Timmer copped the Bronze in 1:07.34.
Another of Tyla Martin’s records would go but this time it would be in the 11-12 age group. Naele Portecop of Guadeloupe lowered Martin’s mark of 1:07.46 to win Gold in 1:06.27. Chaemael Griffit of Martinique won Silver in 1:11.32.Jamaica’s Simone Vale won Bronze in 1:12.17.
Yael Touw Ngie Tjouw of Suriname would lower the Championship record in the 13-14 boys 100 metre butterfly. He bettered countryman Zuhayr Pigot’s (University of North Carolina) 2012 record of 57.96 to 57.49. Samuel Gibson of the Bahamas won the Silver medal in a time of 1:00.52 while Bronze when to Heindrick Champrobert of Martinique in 1:005.57.
Izaak Bastian of the Bahamas, the 2015 Champion did not wait until the final to set his record .He destroyed the mark from the morning heats. He clocked a fantastic 2:23.78 split time 1:09.56 to become the fastest swimmer ever in the 13-14 age group in 200 metre breaststroke in that event and at the fastest Bahamian of all time in that age group. The championship record of 2:27.25 belonged to countryman Dustin Tynes (Ohio state University) while the age group record Auburn alumnus Olympian Jeremy Knowles (2000,2004,2008 ) at 2:27.04.He would win the final in a time of 2:24.99.Silver was won Nkosi Dunwoody in a time of 2:36.02 while Trinidad and Tobago’s Luke Gillette won Bronze in 2:36.26.
In the 15-17 girls category the battle was set to be between sisters Margaret and Lilly Higgs (SwimMAC North Carolina). Lilly was the 13-14 champion in 2015 while older sister Margaret won the 15-17 title. The title would remain in the Higgs household as older sister Margaret took the crown in a record time of 2:35.33.she broke another Bahamian’s record to win .The mark was held by Mckayla Lightbourn (FSU) in a time of 2:37.97. Lilly won the Silver in a time of 2:38.54.Jamaica’s Bryanna Renuart won the Bronze in a personal best time of 2:44.87.
Another 200 metre breaststroke would go .this time it would be in the boys 11-12 200 metre breaststroke. Mccallum Clarke of Barbados just edged the Championship record held by Aruba’s Jordy Groters from 2009 2:37.84 to 2:37.82.That performance also bettered the Barbados age group record of Luis Sebastian Weekes of 2:38.41. He would take another slice out of the record in the final when he took the gold medal in a time of 2:37.78.Jamaica’s Rajiv Redhi won Silver in a time of 2:45.69 dropping 15 seconds from his entry time .Roan baker of Barbados took the Bronze in 2:49.01.
The final record to fall was in the final event the boys 15-17 400 metre freestyle. The race which went down to the final touch was won by the Bahamas team of Jared Fitzgerald ( Peddie) 52.41,Gershwin Greene (Baylor) 53.39,Albury Miller (Cantebury) 55.08 and N’nhyn Fernander 52.66for a total time 3:33.54. Pressing them all the way to the finish was the Barbados team of Alex Sobers 52.83,Jack Kirby (Baylor) 54.03 ,Luis Sebastian Weekes 54.43and Damon St prix 52.37 ( age group fastest relay fastest relay split) who stopped the clock in 3:33.66.Both teams were under the 2013 record set by Trinidad and Tobago of 3:33.73.the members of that team were Emiro Goossen (university of Florida) Jabari Baptiste (North Carolina state ) Joshua Romany (Tennessee) and Dylan Carter (USC).The Barbados team also bettered the age group record set way back in 2001 by Andrei Cross ,Terence Haynes (Toronto),Cliff Gittens and Georgia alumnus Olympian Damian Alleyne (2000 and 2004).The twin island republic won Bronze this year in a time of 3:38.02.
Other winners on Tuesday were
The Barbados duo of Danielle Titus and Hannah Gill (Baylor) won their respective 800 metre freestyle races. Titus won the 13-14 age group in a time of 9:36.21 while Gill won the 15-17 age group in 9:18.27. In the 1500 metre freestyle the 13-14 crown went to Anaique Zachelin of Guadeloupe in 16:38.76.Leegan Dupros of Martinique won the senior crown in 16:47.79.
Sabine Ellison of the Cayman Islands won the 11-12 200 metre breaststroke title in a time of 2:56.73. Chade Nercisio of Curacao won the 13-14 age group in 2:46.12.Adriel Sanes of the US Virgin Islands won the senior 200 metre breaststroke in the fastest time of the day of 2:22.66.
In the 11-12 girls 50 metre backstroke Anouk Kamise of Guadeloupe won in 32.29.for the senior girls Madelyn Moore won in 30.72.Lamar Taylor of the Bahamas won the 11-12 boys title in 31.41.Matthew Mays of the US Virgin Islands won the 15-17 boys crown in 27.65.
In the girls 15-17 100 metre butterfly Kelsi Campbell of Jamaica won in 1:04.99 in her time representing that island. The 11-12 boys crown was won by Mitch Bourgeouis of Guadeloupe in 1:05.66.N’nhyn Fernander won the senior boys title in a time of 56.36.
In the 11-12 girls 400 metre freestyle relay Martinique won Gold in 4:20.95.The fastest split was done by the Bahamas anchor Katelyn Cabral in a time of 1:03.62.
The 13-14 relay title went to Trinidad and Tobago in a time of 4:15.38. The fastest split was recorded by Barbados anchor Danielle Titus in a time of 1:00.98.
The senior crown went to the Bahamas in a time of 4:02.28.The fastest split was recorded by Jamaica’s anchor Kelsie Campbell in a time of 59.19.
The 11-12 boys freestyle relay title went to Guadeloupe in a time of 4:04.75.the fastest time was recorded their second leg Youris Geran in a time of 59.75.
Martinique crowned themselves 13-14 boys champions with a total time of 3:44.07. Yael Touw Ngie Tjouw of Suriname had the fastest split with his anchor leg of 53.19.


CARIFTA region swimmers at TISCA
CARIFTA region swimmers at TISCA From left to right Jack Kirby,Hannah Gill,Gershwin Greene,Tremaine Allen ,Barak Goren In front Leanne McMaster Photo courtesy of Leanne McMaster
Hannah Gill
Hannah Gill Photo courtesy of Leanne McMaster


Leanne McMaster Photo courtesy of Gillian Haughton


Coach Stan Corcoran  and Barak Goren
Coach Stan Corcoran and Barak Goren Photo courtesy of Nadav Goren



The 2016 TISCA (Tennessee Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association) was held February 12-13 in Nashville with a number of good performances from swimmers from the CARIFTA region. Gershwin Greene of the Bahamas who represented the Baylor was the most outstanding performer winning Gold and Bronze.

Greene won his Gold medal as a member of Baylor’s 200 yard freestyle relay. The team of Matthew Boyer 21.74, Greene 20.67, Jack Best 20.78 and Trey Freeman 19.99 combined for a time of 1:23.18.In the 200 yard medley relay Greene anchor 20.02 combined with Zach Althoff backstroke 23.65 ,Matthew Boyer breaststroke 25.99 and Peter Lochmaier butterfly 22.33 to win the Bronze .In a race where the first 3 teams finished with 1 :31’s Baylor clocked 1:31.99.

In the individual events 50 yard freestyle Gershwin lowered his personal best twice. He moved from 21.28 to 21.14 in the heats. Gershwin dropped it further to 21.13 to place 5th in the Championship final. In the 100 yard freestyle he lowered his 100 yard freestyle personal best to 46.59.In the final he recorded 47.11 for 8th in the final.

His team mates Barbadian Hannah Gill and Jamaican Leanne McMaster won Bronze in the 200 yard freestyle relay. The team of Emily Gill 25.03, Hannah Gill 24.53,Sam Suer 25.10 and Leanne McMaster 24.35 recorded a total time of 1:39.01.

Gill made her way into two championship finals. In the 500 yard freestyle she lowered her personal best twice. In the heats she moved from 4:59.00 to 4:58.88.In the final she lowered again in the final to 4:58.77 to finish 4th .Hannah lowered her season best of 1:57.94 to 1:55.80 in the morning preliminaries. In the final she clocked 1:54.30 for 8th overall. Her Baylor team would finish 5th in the 400 yard freestyle relay in a time of 3:36.29.Gill’s split on the second leg was timed at 53.87

McMaster’s 200 yard medley relay finished 4th with a time of 1:47.95. Her anchor leg freestyle split was 24.18.In the 50 yard freestyle she finished 6th in the B final in a time of 24.96 .she had been faster in the morning heats with a time of 24.92. Leanne finished 21st in the 100 yard freestyle in a time of 54.55.

Jamaican Barak Goren who represents McCallie had strong performances at the meet. Goren lowered his personal best in the 200 yard freestyle from 1:46.43 to1:45.59 in the morning preliminaries. Making his way to the B final he would lower it again to 1:44.30 for 6th.  The 500 yard freestyle saw him again bettering his personal best in the morning and the evening .His best heading into the Championships was 4:55.70. Goren crushed that time with a 4:50.12 clocking. Earning a spot in the B final he would register another big time drop as he stopped the clock in a time of 4:47.12 for 4th. In the 400 yard freestyle relay action Barak recorded 49.30 to help McCallie win the B final in a time of 3:14.48.In the 200 freestyle relay McCallie was 7th in a time of 1:29.39 .Goren clocked 22.79 for 3rd leg duties. Head Coach of McCallie Stan Corcoran was quite happy with Goren’s performances over the weekend. He said that last year he was unwell last year but this season he has been healthy and had been training well .He also said Barak’s underwater work has really improved. If selected for the Jamaican team to the CARIFTA Games in Martinique he expects Barak to be under the 2minute mark for the 200 metre freestyle and near 4:12 for the 400 metre freestyle.

Barbadian Jack Kirby also smashed his personal bests at the Championships. In the 100 yard backstroke he moved from a lifetime best of 53.59 to 51.13 to make the Championship final. That performance is a Baylor freshman school record. Kirby finished 8th in the final in a time of 53.22. He broke the 2 minute barrier in the 200 metre individual medley as he recorded 1:58.20 to make it to the B final. He would finish 8th in a time of 1:58.28.His Bahamian teammate Tremaine Allen had season bests in the 200 yard individual medley and 100 yard breaststroke with times of 2:29.45 and 1:14.44 respectively.

Baylor finished 2nd in the boys competition with 295 points .McCallie was 4th with 132 points. On the girls side Baylor was 3rd with 163.5 points.


Leanne McMaster and Britney Williams
Leanne McMaster and Britney Williams Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe


Nicholas Haughton, Jordane Payne, Chester Adams
Nicholas Haughton, Jordane Payne, Chester Adams Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe


Britney Williams of the Swimaz Aquatic Swim Club was the top performer on the first day of the 2015 Christmas Open Swimming championships on Thursday Dec 17 when she set a meet record in the 800 metre freestyle at the National Stadium Pool.

Williams, a 3rd form student at the Wolmer’s Girls High School, swam 10:12.19 lowering the old mark of 10:13.15.  This is a major improvement from last year’s Championships when Williams won the Silver in 10:59.19.Winning the Silver medal was Leanne McMaster (unattached Y Speedos) in 10:33.92. McMaster, the former record holder represents Baylor Swimming in the United States. McMaster had a win streak in this event from 2010 to 2013 setting the record twice. Third was Immaculate High School student Karci Gibson of the Marlins Swim Club stopped the clock in 10:39.74.


In the men’s distance event the 1500 metre freestyle title went to Howard University freshman Nicholas Haughton. Haughton who represents the Tornadoes Swim Club won in a time of 18:44.11.This is Haughton’s first 1500 freestyle title after finishing third on three occasions in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Winning the Silver and Bronze medals were the Y Speedos duo of Jordane Payne and Chester Adams .Both swimmers recorded personal best times . Payne, a student at Wolmer’s Boys clocked 19:18.05 and Adams who attends Jamaica College registered a time of 19:29.88.


Raiz Tjon A Joe
Raiz Tjon A Joe Photo courtesy of Azura Florida Aquatics
Albury Higgs,Dad, Lilly Higgs
Albury Higgs,Dad, Lilly Higgs Photo courtesy of the


Suriname’s Raiz Tjon A Joe qualified for his second Championship final in the yard breaststroke in Atlanta Georgia when he stroked his way to a new season and personal best of 54.45.His split time was 25.25 on his way to qualifying third fastest for the final .His previous season best was 54.64 done at the Florida 1A State Championships. In the final the 18 year old Azura Florida Aquatics standout finished 8th in 55.59.His time done in the morning would have placed him 4th. Raiz had won the 100 metre breaststroke Silver medal in the 15-17 age group at the 2015 CARIFTA championships in 1:07.71

The second CARIFTA region swimmer who advanced to a championship final was SwimMac Carolina’s Bahamian swimmer Albury Higgs. She blasted her season best of 1:06.24 as well as her personal best of 1:03.17 to clock a new standard of 1:02.24.Her split time was 29.52 .She had been the 9th fastest swimmer overall but with the scratch by Alex Walsh of Nashville aquatics she advanced to the final .In the final she placed 8th with a 1:02.49.Higgs won the 100 metre breaststroke Gold medal in the 15-17 age group at CARIFTA in Barbados earlier this year in 1:15.18. She also competed in the same event at the World Junior Championships in Singapore where she clocked 1:13.02.

Team mate and sister Lilly won the B final of the 100 yard breaststroke .she came from behind for the win. Trailing the field in the 5th place at the halfway way mark with her split of 29.46 she came back to win in 1:01.94. Higgs won the 13-14 100 metre breaststroke at this year’s CARIFTA in 1:14.35.At the World Junior Championships she posted a time of 1:13.00.
Countryman Izaak Bastian of Saint Andrews clocked his 3rd fastest ever 100 yard breaststroke of 57.36 to finish 53rd .His 50 yard split was 26.75. Bastian won the 13-14 100 metre breaststroke at CARIFTA in 1:08.27.
Another Bahamian Jared Fitzgerald of Peddie was 105th in 1:00.49 .His split time was 28.97.Jared was 7th at this year’s CARIFTA in 15-17 100 metre breaststroke in 1:11.11.

Albury Higgs competing in the 400 yard Individual medley finished 25th in 4:22.94. The 16 year old beat her season best of 4:34.89 as well as her personal best of 4:29.89.She won the CARIFTA Silver medal in the 15-17 age group in the 400 metre individual medley in 5:07.81. At the World Junior Championships she stroked her way to 5:04.13.
Aruban Patrick Groters who is representing Pine Crest Swimming was 27th in male equivalent in 3:58.74.He was the CARIFTA 15-17 Silver medallist in the 400 metre individual medley in 4:40.16.At the World Junior Championships he was timed in 4:43.26 for the same event.
In 100 yard backstroke Groters recorded a big time drop. Heading into these Championships he had a 100 yard backstroke season best of 55.03 and a personal best of 54.35 .He crushed those standards to record 51.05 for 66th . His 50 yard split was 24.87.At the 2015 CARIFTA championships he won Bronze in the 15-17 100 metre backstroke in 1:00.63. In Singapore at the World Junior Championships he registered a time of 59.88.
In the 200 yard freestyle Raiz clocked the 3rd fastest relay split of the competition of 19.96 on his 2nd leg to help Azura to 15th overall in 1:24.40.
Bahamian Gershwin Greene’s second leg of 20.55 helped Baylor to 16th overall in 1:24.42.
Groters 2nd leg for Pine Crest was timed at 20.65 .Pine Crest finished 21st in1:24.91.
Bastian produced a 21.16 second leg effort for Saint Andrews .Jamaican teammate Jesse Marsh split his 3rd leg at 22.25. Saint Andrews finished 23rd overall in 1:25.04.
Fitzgerald had an opening time of 21.71 to help Peddie to 30th overall in a total time of 1:26.24.


Raiz Tjon A Joe
Raiz Tjon A Joe Photo courtesy of Azura Florida Aquatics


Albury Higgs
Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of


Azura Florida Aquatics sprinter Suriname’s Raiz Tjon A Joe stood out  yesterday among the CARIFTA region swimmers as he was the only person to make an A final on Day 2 of the 2015 Speedo Short Course Junior Nationals East. Raiz blasted to his first sub 20 second 50 yard freestyle in the morning heats. Raiz rocketed to the first wall of the race in 9.61 to finish in 19.94 and be the top seed heading in to the final. His previous season and personal best was 20.10 recorded at the Florida 1A State championships in November. In the final his first 25 was not as fast, 9.75 and he finished 4th in 20.36 . That final performance was his  3rd fastest of the 2015-2016  season.  His preliminary time would have placed him 2nd .


The next best placed CARIFTA region swimmer was Bahamian Albury Higgs. Higgs who is representing SwimMac Carolina dropped 2 seconds from her season best of 2:04.47 set earlier this month to post a time of 2:02.46.That performance also beats her personal best of 2:02.54.  The University of South Carolina bound Higgs finished 8th in the C final in a time of 2:03.01. Higgs is the defending CARIFTA champion in the girls 15-17 200 metre individual medley .She won the title in 2:23.24 just beating out country woman and University of Texas freshman standout Joanna Evans who won Silver in 2:23.40.

Aruban Patrick Groters who is representing Pine Crest Swimming finished 56th in the 200 yard individual medley in 1:53.66. Groters won the Silver medal in the 15-17 age group in the 200 metre individual medley at the 2015 CARIFTA championships in Barbados behind country man and University of Missouri’s top freshman Mikel Schreuders.

Jared Fitzgerald of the Bahamas who is representing Peddie was 74th in the 50 yard freestyle in 21.48.

In relay action the Saint Andrews 400 yard medley relay team with Bahamian Izaak Bastian breaststroke 56.62 and Jamaica’s Jesse Marsh butterfly 51.60 finished 21st in 3:23.03.

Peddie A with Fitzgerald doing anchor freestyle duties finished 25th in 3:24.42. Fitzgerald split 46.99.

Speedster Raiz Tjon A Joe dropped a quick 45.27 freestyle leg to help Azura A to 3:25.64 and 29th place.

Bahamas Gershwin Greene anchored Baylor to 30th in a total time of 3:25.91 with his anchor time of 46.31.

Groters produced a 50.82 butterfly effort to help Pine Crest A to 3:28.62 and 37th overall.