In 2017 it would be fair to say Bermuda’s Elan Daley had a great CARIFTA debut in the 11-12 age group . In The Bahamas she won 12 medals Six Gold ,Three Silver and Three Bronze on her way to winning the 11-12 High Point Trophy.She had accumulated more silverware in her first year than some swimmers had in their entire careers.It  was  expected that she would be at least as good as the previous year.

Elan 50 back heats
Elan Daley at the start of the 50 metre backstroke. An event which she set the CARIFTA record twice Photo courtesy of Sports of Jamaica

Elan proved everyone wrong as she was even better as she put on a masterclass in versatility, stamina and speed at the National Aquatic Centre in Kingston from March 31 to April 3.Her swims earned her the top swimmer trophy for the 11-12 girls.

200 free 11-12 girls podium
Medallists in the 200 metre freestyle from left to right Zoe Anthony of Trinidad and Tobago Silver medallist Gold medallist and championship record holder Daley and Bronze medallist Jillian Crooks of the Cayman Islands Photo courtesy of Sports of Jamaica


The figures are staggering 11 Gold , One Bronze medal,  CARIFTA Championship records broken 11 times and she now holds Eight of the fastest times ever recorded in Jamaica in the 11-12 age group.

Elan Daley checks her time after yet another record peformance
Elan Daley checks her time after yet another record breaking performance Photo courtesy of Bermuda CARIFTA Swim team 2018

Elan’s 11-12 CARIFTA records

Event CARIFTA record Year
50 metre freestyle 26.59 2018
100 metre freestyle 1:00.06 2018
200 metre freestyle 2:10.26 2018
50 metre butterfly 28.87 2018
100 metre butterfly 1:05.98 2018
50 metre backstroke 31.52 2018
200 metre backstroke 2:29.11 2018
400 metre freestyle relay 4:16.14 2017

After she had taught all the swimming lessons on the day of competition on April 3 draftingthecaribbean spoke to the age group star about her performances which included the best swim according to FINA points for the 11-12 girls and boys which was the 50 metre freeestyle where Elan scored 710 points.

Elan Daley powering her way to the top seed position 100 butterfly
Daley powering her way to the top seed position during the heats of the 100 metre butterfly Photo courtesy of Bermdua CARIFTA Swim Team 2018

“I tapered a little bit for CARIFTA. I was not happy with all my races .In some things I got what I wanted like the 50 metre freestyle ( she broke the Championship record of 27.42 twice with swims of 26.68 in the heats and 26.59 in the final, while leading off the Bermuda 200 freestyle relay in the preliminaries with times of 27.40 and 27.07).

11-12 breaststroke podium
11-12 breaststroke podium from left to right Silver medallist Naima Hazell St Lucia, Gold medallist Daley and Bronze medallist Anaika Charles Grenada Photo courtesy of Bermuda CARIFTA Swim Team 2018

I was a little disappointed in the 200 metre freestyle ( Championship record 2:10.26) 400 individual medley (5:26.47), 100 metre butterfly (Championship record 1:05.98) and 100 metre freestyle (she went under the Championship record of 1:00.58 leading off the Bermuda with a time of 1;00.06 and was again faster than those times in the individual 100 metre freestyle with times of 1:00.20 and then tying her own standard of 1:00.06).I wanted to break all the records in the events that I raced in as this was my last year in the age group.

11-12 400 IM
400 metre individual podium Silver medallist Anthony, Gold medallist Daley and Bronze medallist Gabrielle Hyson Grenada Photo courtesy of Bermuda CARIFTA Swim Team 2018

When asked about the experience in Jamaica and her immediate plans she said

top 11-12 Girl CARIFTA 2018
Daley with the CARIFTA 11-12 girls age group high point trophy Photo courtesy of Bermuda CARIFTA Swim Team 2018

“ I got see family here (Elan’s father is Jamaican) My parents and grandparents watched and it was good that they came to support me. I have a lot more meets going into summer Eastern Nationals,Canadian nationals and Junior nationals



As it was in 2017 in The Bahamas, so it was again in 2018 in Kingston as the Jamaican girls swept the sprint freestyle titles on the last day of the CARIFTA Championships on April 3.

11-12 girls Gold medallists
11-12 Gold Medallists from left to right Cogle,Heaven,Sierra and Officer Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

The 11-12 girls started the Golden streak in record fashion. Starting the relay for Jamaican was Safiya Officer who touched in 29.35 with the chasing pack. First to the wall on the opening leg was Bermuda’s Elan Daley who was in awesome form throughout the competition. That advantage was eaten up by Isabella Sierra, a member of last year’s record setting team who was timed in 29.02.It was the final legs of the relay that changed the structure of the medal podium as Morgan Cogle with a leg of 28.96 and Aliyah Heaven who dropped the hammer with the fastest anchor leg, 28.14 that sealed the victory and record. The total team time was 1:55.47 .

11-12 gold medallists 2017
2017 Gold medallists from left to right Lewis,Lyn,Sierra and Alvaranga Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

That bettered the  Championship and national age group record of 1:55.77 set by P’aige Lewis, Sierra Sabrina Lyn and Zaneta Alvaranga. Trinidad and Tobago won the Silver in 1:57.37. Martinique earned the Bronze in 1:59.54.

13-14 Gold medallists
13-14 Gold Medallists from left to right Alvaranga,Hunter,Lyn and MacDonald Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

The 13-14 category saw the opening leg contested keenly between the Silver medallist in the flat 50 Naele Portecop of Guadeloupe and Bronze medallist Zaneta Alvaranga of Jamaica . It was the French Speaking territory that held the early advantage, with Portecop timed in 27.06 to Zaneta’s 27.65.Second leg swimmer Amore Hunter regained the advantage with a 28.46 clocking. Sabrina Lyn maintained the  edge with a time of 28.51. Anchor leg and  50 freestyle Gold medallist Emily MacDonald removed all doubts as to who the winners would be with the fastest split of the relay 26.17 to push the team to a time of 1:50.79 just off the 1:50.77 Championship record .

13-14 gold medallists 2017
2017 13-14 Gold medallists from left to right Banks,Vale,Anderson and MacDonald Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn


15-17 gold medallists
15-17 Gold medallists from left to right Eaton ,Johnson, Banks and Anderson Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

In the final category the 15-17 age group Shaun Johnson got the proceedings under way with a 27.51 leg. The early advantage however, was held by the Bermudans who front loaded their relay with Bronze medallist Madelyn Moore who was timed in 26.44. Brianna Anderson took control of the event and took the lead for the Black , Green and Gold with a 27.17 effort. Naomi Eaton 27.58, withstood a charge from the Arubans in the form of Anahi Schreuders 27.17.It was now left to Gabrianna Banks to complete the sweep. She did not disappoint. She recorded the fastest split of the night 26.16 to help the Jamaicans to a Gold medal winning time and new  national age group record of 1:48.42.

15-17 gold medallists 2017
2017 Gold medallists from left to right Anjuii Barrett,Johnson, Bryanna Renuart and Angara Sinclair Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

The old national age age group and senior national record of 1:49.07 was set last year.Silver went to Aruba in 1:49.68 and the Bronze to Bermuda in 1:51.09


At the 2018 CARIFTA in Kingston Jamaica  it seemed fitting if not almost poetic that Izaak Bastian of the Bahamas would win the  50 metre freestyle in a Championship record and crown himself the fastest of all time in a country known for its sprinting abilities. Added to that the previous Championship record was also set in Jamaica five years earlier .

Proud Bastian with free Gold
Izaak Bastian Championship record holder in the 50 metre freestyle and CARIFTA’s fastest ever swimmer Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

In 2017 Bastian had made the medal podium with a Silver medal winning effort in front of his home crowd with a time of 23.76 in the 15-17 age group. That was his PB and his only entry under the 24 seconds barrier. He posted 24.35 to be the fourth fastest heading into the Championship final.That morning swim on April 3 pointed towards another sub 24 clocking as he was 24.33 in the heats in 2017. He would be well under 24  seconds and would be the only swimmer under 23.50 as he took the title and wrote another page in the history books as set a new PB , Championship record and earned himself the moniker of the fastest swimmer at the CARIFTA Championships when he stopped the clock in 23.25. Silver went to Kai Legband of Bermuda in 23.93 and the Bronze to Jack Kirby of Barbados in 24.03.

Renzo CARIFTA 2013
Renzo Tjon A Joe reacts to winning Gold in the 15-17 metre freestyle in 2013 Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

In 2013   future Olympian Renzo Tjon A Joe (Rio 2016) set the 50 metre freestyle record with a heat swim of 23.37 on April 2.He would take the Gold just off that time as he touched in 23.44 turning back the challenges of the Trinidad and Tobago duo of another future Olympian Dylan Carter (Rio 2016) 23.46 and Joshua Romany 24.27. A year later he would take the Silver in the same event at the CAC Games in Veracruz Mexico with a time of 22.62.

Speaking to Draftingthecaribbean today Bastian recounted that historic swim in Jamaica

final preparations for free final Izaak
Bastian makes last minute preparations for the 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Rochelle Bastian

“The 50 free was pretty good for me.I knew that I had to get out in front of everyone from the start to get out of the waves and get clear water.I wanted to see what I could do at the start and build on that momentum throughout the race.I did not have a goal time  I just wanted to give the race my all and focus on the things we have been working on in practice coming off the block fast , fast breakout. I did not really look at the record before I did not really think I would get the record.It was a big surprise to look up  see that I went 23.2”


Titus in record breaking form
15-17 CARIFTA Champion and record holder in the 100 metre backstroke Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

After being denied the 50,100 and 200 metre backstroke sweep in her final year of the 13-14 age group in The Bahamas last year Danielle Titus of Barbados looks on course to achieve that here in  Kingston Jamaica in national record breaking fashion .


In The Bahamas Titus earned the Silver in an age group and senior national record of 30.82 in the 50 metre event on the first day competition. Jamaica would prove  to offer  no problem at the first hurdle as the national standard was lowered to 30.22 in the heats. She would come close to that time in the final stopping the clock in 30.30 finishing ahead of Bermuda’s Madelyn Moore 30.90  and Jamaica’s Brianna Anderson 31.01.

15-17 100 back podium
15-17 100 metre backstroke podium from left to right Stamp,Titus and Johnson Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

Stage two of the mission was the 100 metre backstroke. She got through the morning heats easily posting the top time of 1:06.03, just missing the Championship record of 1:05.94 set by Lauren Hew of the Cayman Islands in 2017.

Lauren Hew  Photo courtesy of

The final would witness the registering of a new PB, age group, senior national record and Championship record of 1:04.79.That performance bettered her national record of 1:05.61 and the Youth Olympics B time of 1:05.65. Silver went to Virginia Stamp of The Bahamas in 1:07.52 and Jamaica’s Shaun Johnson who recorded a new personal best time of 1:08.45.


The final leg of the sweep voyage will be the 200 metre backstroke and Titus will expect strong challenges from the Cayman Islands duo of Ella Plunkett and Sam Bailey as well as Stamp from The Bahamas.


There were doubts about how well Jamaica’s Emily MacDonald would do in the 200 metre freestyle as she was known in the region for sprinting exploits in the 11-12 age group .Her record underlined her sprint credentials 2016 CARIFTA Gold in the 50 and 100 free, Silver in the 100 freestyle last year.  She had never made a Championship final in the 200 metre freestyle before now.

On April 1 her PB stood at 2:14.70 and she crushed that to post the top time of 2:10.81 and claim the number one seed and Lane 4.Still doubt remained ,as surely the Championship final would be different as questions would be asked  of her sprint endurance over the last 100 metres. When the starter’s gun fired as expected it was MacDonald that surged to the front taking the early lead with the a split of 1:02.82 . She flipped and proceeded on the last 100 metres and persons awaited waning speed despite smooth and controlled swimming. They waited and waited. The only thing changing was the distance between Emily and the field .On the final turn she brought in her legs and changed gears and powered to the wall crushing her personal best and the 2009 CARIFTA record of Kimberlee John Williams of 2:09.51 to register a time 2:08.70 , the fastest time by a 13-14 girl at the CARIFTA Championships.

girls 200 free podium
13-14 200 metre freestyle podium from left to right Watson-Brown, MacDonald and Moore Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

Silver went to Logan Watson-Brown of Bermuda in 2:10.60 and the Bronze to Audrey Moore of the US Virgin Islands in 2:12.23.

Emily 200 free
Emily MacDonald 200 metre freestyle Gold medallist and Championship record holder Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

With expectations of her endurance firmly changed she is now closing in on a steady bearing on the national record of fellow Bolles alumna CARIFTA legend Olympian Janelle Atkinson (Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004) of 2:05.07 set way back on Dec 5,1997


The final day of the UANA Cup in Coral Springs Florida on January 21 started with Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas with a Silver medal from the 50 metre freestyle. By the end of the competition he would be the CARIFTA region’s top performer in the boy’s 13-14 age group winning three more medals of each colour Gold, Silver and Bronze.

Taylor got the day got off in the best possible manner as he took the 50 metre backstroke Gold in a new personal best of 28.62 bettering his old record 29.20. In fact he was the only person under the 29 seconds barrier as Gabriel Nascimento of Brazil won the Silver in 29.21 and Ramiro Faya of Argentina won the Bronze in 29.33.

Up next was the 100 metre freestyle where he recorded yet another personal best of 54.77 (split 26.56) to take the Bronze. His previous personal standard was 55.09.In that race the first five finishers were all within a second of each other . Victor Salcedo Carrillo of Mexico won the race in 54.00 and Gustavo Saldo of Brazil won Silver in 54.24.

In his final event the 50 metre butterfly he and eventual winner Gabriel Dias of Brazil were the only sub 27 seconds swimmers as they touched in 26.59 and 26.46. It would be yet another personal best for Lamar as his old record was 26.97.

Lamar Taylor
50 metre backstroke Champion at the UANA Cup Lamar Taylor

In speaking to draftingthecaribbean after his swims he had the following thoughts

“I went three for three in PRs and medals in all my events today. My races were good today. In my 50 metre backstroke I was just trying to turn over as fast as I could and have some good underwater kicks. In the 100 metre freestyle I had my sights set on 54.78 and I went 54.77 and I was happy about that time because I know I gave it my best. It is  a great feeling to PR and medal at a high class meet like this during the season. In the 50 metre butterfly it my aim to go 26 and I did it and came second. I feel great about my swims and hope that I can do even better as the year progresses”. Taylor was third overall with in the high point rankings with 37 points. Barbados had the best placed relay team of the competition with a fourth place finish in the 200 metre medley relay in a new national age group record time. The team of Tristan Pragnell,McCallum Clarke ,Roan Baker and Kai Trotman touched in a total time of 1:58.81. That bettered the national standard of 2:03.83 set way back in 1993.

Top CARIFTA performances at the UANA Cup

Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Lamar Taylor The Bahamas 50 metre backstroke 13-14 28.62 Gold
Lamar Taylor The Bahamas 50 metre butterfly 13-14 26.59 Silver
Lamar Taylor The Bahamas 50 metre freestyle 13-14 24.57 Silver
Lamar Taylor The Bahamas 100 metre freestyle 13-14 54.77 Bronze
Roan Baker UANA Day 2
Roan Baker Silver medallist in the 400 IM
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Roan Baker Barbados 200 metre IM 13-14 2:18.23 Silver
Roan Baker Barbados 400 metre IM 13-14 4:56.55 Silver
Clarke UANA Day 2
McCallum Clarke Bronze medallist in the 50 metre breaststroke
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
McCallum Clarke Barbados 50 metre breaststroke 13-14 31.74 Bronze
Tristan Pragnell
Tristan Pragnell Silver medallist in the 100 metre backstroke
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Tristan Pragnell Barbados 100 metre backstroke 13-14 1:02.23 Silver
Jenebi Benoit 2018
New Grenadian 13-14 national record holder in the 100 metre butterfly Jenebi Benoit
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Jenebi Benoit Grenada 100 metre butterfly 13-14 1:00.77 4th
Brian Desmond bernews
Brian Desmond Photo courtesy of bernews
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Brian Desmond Bermuda 200 metre freestyle 13-14 2:03.75 6th
Brian Desmond Bermuda 400 metre freestyle 13-14 4:29.25 9th



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