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.

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 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



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.

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 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 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.


On Wednesday November 15 Jack Kirby and Luis Sebastian Weekes entered the record books as members of the fastest ever high school relay team in the American high school system in the 200 metre medley relay in a 25 metre pool.

The occasion was a duel meet against Hardin Valley at the Baylor Aquatic Center in Chattanooga Tennessee. It would not take only the second race for history to be created. This as the team of Jack Kirby backstroke 26.08, Luis Sebastian Weekes breaststroke 29.39, Zach Althoff butterfly 24.83 and Piotr Kurleto freestyle 23.67 crushed the opposition by more than ten seconds to win in a new national school record of 1:43.97.

Baylor record setters with Kirby and Weekes
The fastest high school 200 scm medley relay of all time The Baylor team of Jack Kirby, Luis Sebastian Weekes, Zach Althoff and Piotr Kurleto Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

That bettered the public school record of 1:44.47 by Princess Anne High School in Virginia and the overall and independent (private) school record held by Baylor of 1:44.34 set Nov 21,2008. In the leading off the relay team Kirby in turn lowered the national 15-17 age group record of 26.52 set Enrique Oxley November 2009.

Kirby just missed out being the fastest independent high school swimmer of all time in the 100 metre backstroke when he was out touched to the wall by team mate Althoff 55.68 to 55.92. Kirby, who had splits of 27.22 and 27.80 joined his teammate going under the old record of 56.26 held by Baylor alumnus Reese Shirey set the same meet in 2008.

Shawn clarke
Shawn Clarke Photo courtesy of Barbados Aquatic Centre

He would also crush the Barbados age group mark of 57.94 set by Shawn Clarke of 57.94 in Dec 2005

He would have more victories in the 200 metre individual medley and 400 metre freestyle relay. The medley race saw him touching first in a time of 2:06.86 (split time 58.84). In the relay he started off the team with a leg of 52.16 (split time 24.96). Teammates Piotr, Althoff and Chapman Varnell add splits of 51.62, 52.53 and 56.12 for winning total time of 3:32.43 beating the nearest team by over 15 seconds.

Jack Kirby Barbados Aquatic centre
Jack Kirby Photo courtesy of Barbados Aquatic Centre

Jack’s good form is a continuation of the 2016-2017 season where he lowered the 15-17 LCM 50 metre backstroke age group record four times and became the CCCAN Champion and also made his first international final at the Commonwealth Youth Games. His performances in Tennessee mean that he is the fastest age group sprint backstroker of all time from Barbados in the 25 as well as the 50 metre pool.

50 metre backstroke 26.08 26.88
100 metre backstroke 55.92 57.01
Jacky Kirby in action in the backstroke  Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to him on Saturday Nov 18 he had the following thoughts about his swim

“Before the meet, my mom told me that I had a chance at backstroke records. I told my coach the times and he told me I would kill the records easily and he let me suit up for the meet. For the relay, we didn’t know the time we were going for but coach convinced us that we could make the record. Since I was not rested at all or shaved and Coach (Dan) Flack was happy, I was happy with the times. But I know I could do better times”.

Luis Sebastian Weekes Photo courtesy of Tastey Blackman

Countryman Weekes who is the fastest active swimmer for Barbados would win the 100 metre breaststroke by over three seconds in a time of 1:07.48 (split time 31.78). He would place second in the 200 metre freestyle relay  with the Baylor B recording the fastest split of the competition of 24.48 to help them to a total time of 1:44.25. Luis Sebastian would place second to Kirby in the 200 metre individual posting a time of 2:11.58 (split time 1:00.99).

Luis Sebastian Weekes Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

Luis Sebastian gave his thoughts about his record breaking relay performance

“We did not prepare specifically for that meet; we even swam the morning before. It was abnormal duel meet for us where we face against different schools, but it was slightly special because it was in short course meters instead of yards. The breaststroke leg went really well, it was the fastest split I had ever done by over a second. Hence, I was very happy especially with the relay change over”.

The Baylor boys beat Hardin 280 to 80.


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 www.martinique.franceantilles.mobi
Heindrick Champrobert 13-14 boys 200 freestyle Gold medallist Photo courtesy of martinique.franceantilles.mobi
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 bernews.com
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.