HISTORIC FIRSTS FOR THE BAHAMAS AND JAMAICA AS ALBURY HIGGS, JOANNA EVANS AND ALIA ATKINSON WIN MEDALS ON DAY 4 OF THE CAC GAMES

The fourth night of action the at the 23rd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Barranquilla, Colombia on Saturday night at the Eduardo Movilla Aquatic Complex saw three CARIFTA region ladies as they won the first ever medals for their nations in their respective events.

Higgs breaststroke bronze
200 metre breaststroke Bronze medallist Albury Higgs

Starting the medal run Was Albury Higgs of The Bahamas. Albury has been having quite the summer lowering the national records in the 100 and 200 metre breaststroke right before the Games . She was expected to be in form at the meet and she was. She qualified for the 200 metre breaststroke Championship final with a time of 2:32.90 just her national standard of 2:32.30 set at the Bahamian REV national championships in June. Joining in her in the final was countrywoman  2:33.90 Laura Morley who made the Championship finals in all the breaststroke events, the 50,100 and 200 .

With increased  speed evidenced by her national record of 1:10.77 in the 100 metre event in  the United States Albury pushed the pace in the final turning at the 100 metre mark in a time of 1:12.59 in the Silver medal position.She held that placing until the last couple of metres when Mexico’s Esther Gonzalez Medina passed her. That early front end speed would pay off as she just just held off Morley to take the Bronze in 2:30.83 to 2:31.02 .Both ladies went well under the old national mark and were well under the 2019 Lima PAN AM Games automatic qualifying standard of 2:34.43. Both swimmers achieved the 2018 Hangzhou World Short Course Swimming Championships and 2019 Gwangju World  Championships B standard of 2:31.02. With her Bronze medal she becomes the first Bahamian man or woman to win a medal in the event.She also becomes the fastest ever CARIFTA region swimmer at the Games as she bettered Alia Atkinson’s 2006 effort of 2:30.99.  Only Atkinson and now Higgs have ever medalled in the event for the ladies. It also marks the first medal for Albury in the senior ranks

Higgs offered this reaction to her historic swim

“It was an exciting swim and I was very happy with the best time and record, as well as a bronze for team Bahamas!”

Gold went to the Mexican duo of Byanca Melissa Rodriguez Villanuez in a Games record of 2:25.60 and the Silver to Gonzalez Medina in 2:29.72.

Puerto rico 400 im
400 IM medallists Photo courtesy of the Puerto Swimming federation

Known primarily for her distance exploits Joanna Evans has taken the opportunity to add a few other events to her schedule and it has resulted in medal winning performances.In the 100 metre freestyle she set a new personal best to win the Silver medal. She had set the national record of 4:59.25  in the 400 metre individual medley as a junior swimmer at the 2015 CARIFTA Games in Barbados which still stands today. in qualification she  cleared that mark  with a time of 4:57.56. In the final she blew that mark away with a swim of  4:50.38 to land the Silver. Joanna becomes the first Bahamian woman to medal in the event. Both record breaking swims were under the  2019 LIMA PAN AM Games mark of 4:57.99. The only other swimmers  from the CARIFTA  region to medal at the Games are Gold was won by Puerto Rico’s Kristen Romano in 4:46.31 and the Bronze by Monika Gonzalez Hermosillo in 4:52.13. She gave an assessment of the race and the  humid conditions to draftingthecaribbean

“Honestly there was not much of a strategy except to go out and race and see what I can do.It is really hot .We are just hydrating and trying to stay out of the sun”.

CARIFTA REGION MEDALLISTS THROUGH THE YEARS

Year Name Time Country Medal
1986 Rhett Chee Ping 4:39.14 Trinidad and Tobago Bronze
1998 Carolyn Adel 4:52.42 Suriname Gold
2006 Jeremy Knowles 4:23.83 The Bahamas Silver
2006 Bradley Ally 4:22.86 GR Barbados Gold
2010 Bradley Ally 4:21.49 GR Barbados Gold
100 metre butterfly
100 metre butterfly medallists Photo courtesy ofadiimages

Competing in her third CAC Games Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson created another first by medalling in the 100 metre butterfly. No Jamaican man or woman has ever made it to the podium in the event . Last night she took the Bronze medal in the event in a time of 1:00.13 (split time 27.34). Silver went to Venezuela’s Isabella  Paez 1:00.04 and Gold to Miriam Guevara Hernandez in 59.13. Alia’s medal winning time was the second best effort of her career as her national record stands at 59.94 (split time 28.44) when she beat Paez (1:00.47) for the Gold at the 2017 Southern Zone Sectional Championship.

FEMALE CARIFTA REGION MEDALLISTS THROUGH THE YEARS

Year Name Time Country Medal
1978 Shelly Cramer 1:05.64 ISV Silver
1982 Shelly Cramer 1:04.20 ISV Silver
1982 Judy Lawaetz 1:05.10 ISV Bronze
1993 Siobhan Cropper 1:03.01 Trinidad and Tobago Gold
2010 Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace 59.74 GR The Bahamas Gold
2014 Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace 1:00.17 The Bahamas Gold
Advertisements

ANOTHER CARIFTA CHAMPION AND RECORD HOLDER RISES TO THE CHALLENGE AT CAC GAMES JACK KIRBY LOWERS BACKSTROKE AGE GROUP RECORD IN CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL

Another of the region’s top junior swimmers showed the class of swimmer the CARIFTA region is producing by making a major senior international final. It was the turn of Jack Kirby of Barbados who qualified for the 100 metre backstroke final.

Jack morning heats
Kirby preparing to swim in the morning heats

Coming to the championships Kirby was a known quantity regionally  in the junior ranks .This was evidenced by his season where he set the Championship record at the UANA Cup with a national record of 56.34 and a Championship record and the fastest time ever at CARIFTA of 56.59.

Jack and DaVante on podium
Jack Kirby and DaVante Carey push off the blocks in the Championship final of the 15-17 50 metre backstroke at CARIFTA 2018. Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

He would break his 15-17 age group national record with a time of 56.22 to place second in heat 1 . His speed endurance was seen with the fastest second 50 metres of all the swimmers as he moved from fourth to second with a 28.64 clocking. The swim also moved him to the top of the list in terms of Barbadian 100 metre backstroke performances as he bettered the previous best time of CAC legend Nicky Neckles in his Silver medal winning performance at the 2010 Games.

Nicky neckles 2010
Nicky Neckles with Silver in the 100 metre backstroke at the 2010 Games Photo courtesy of swimbarbados.com

Neckles won a complete set of medals in the event Bronze in 2002, Gold in 2006 when he swept the 50, 100 and 200 events and Silver in 2010.

In the final he changed tactics and went out hard and was second at the turn in 26.77. He could not withstand the charge from the field and placed a creditable fifth in yet another national age record time 56.19.

NATIONAL AGE GROUP RECORD PROGRESSION

UANA 2018 CAC 2018 heats CAC 2018 Final
First 50 metres 27.40 27.58 26.77
Second 50 metres 28.94 28.64 29.42
Final Time 56.34 56.34 56.19

Draftingthecaribbean contacted Kirby and got his reaction about his swim

” I was hoping for 55 but my finals event wasn’t executed properly. The race was exciting though as everyone was close”. His record swims were all under the automatic A standard for the Youth Olympics of 56.96 ,and the 2019 PAN AM a standard of 56.49. It also brings him closer to the 2018  Hangzhou World Short Course Championships and 2019 Gwangju World Championships  (LCM)  B standard of 55.95 and the  2011 national senior record of 55.88 held by Olympian Bradley Ally.

 

LUIS SEBASTIAN WEEKES COMPLETES CARIFTA 15-17 MEDLEY SWEEP THE FIRST FOR BARBADOS IN OVER A DECADE, ENDS JUNIOR CAREER AS HIS NATION’S FASTEST CARIFTA BREASTSTROKER

Weekes on his way to 200 Silver Lyn 2018
Luis Sebastian Weekes on his way to 200 metre breaststroke Silver Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

When the pool swimming component of the CARIFTA Championships ended on April 3 Luis Sebastian Weekes had won the  Silver in the 200 metre breaststroke, Silver in the 100 metre breaststroke and placed fourth in the 50 metre breaststroke .

Luis with CARIFTA medal M Lyn
Weekes on the medal podium  Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

He also ended his last CARIFTA Championships as the fastest breaststroker from Barbados to compete at the meet. With times of 30.60 (2018), 1:06.37 (2018)  and 2:23.53 (2017) no other person from his country has been as quick in these events.

To add to his legacy at the regional competition he also took the Gold medals in the 200 and 400 metre individual medley races in times of 2:08.97 and 4:42.71 .

In the 400 IM  he has won a complete set of medals 2016 Bronze 4:47.76, 2017 Silver 4:45.41. No other swimmer from Barbados has won a medal in this event for the 15-17 boys other than Weekes since Bradley Ally won Gold in The Bahamas in 2004.

Bradley Ally panamerican world
Bradley Ally Photo courtesy of panamerican world

The shorter medley witnessed the first time Barbados was winning two medals in the 15-17 age group  with teammate and Baylor school mate Jack Kirby stopping the clock in 2:09.56 to win the Silver.

Barbados boys
Barbados boys at Baylor from left to right Luis Sebastian Weekes and Jack Kirby

The last time this happened was again in 2004 when Ally completed the medley double and countryman Shawn Clarke collected the Bronze.

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Weekes he described the 100 metre breaststroke as being his best event at the Championships as he improved his time. In his words, “the 200 was little bit stressful as because I haven’t really trained for it. I was training more for the Individual medleys”.  He also described the 200 IM as a very fun race as he won from Lane one thought it was a second or two slower than what he wanted.

He also  described his  CARIFTA experience

“It’s been a fun ride with a lot of ups and downs, but I wouldn’t have traded the experiences for the world. I also made friendships that will last forever and I am eternally grateful”.

Luis weekes Kenyon shirt
Luis Sebastian Weekes

This September he will also be leaving ranks of high school and the  Baylor School to be competing at NCAA Division III powerhouse Kenyon College. He will be joined by CARIFTA region standouts for their respective countries Joseph Black (Jamaica) and Eddie Weber (The Cayman Islands).

SOBERS SETS 200 METRE FREESTYLE NATIONAL RECORD, NAMED ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AT EMMANUEL COLLEGE

Olympian Alex Sobers (Rio 2016) added a second senior national record to his name when he lowered the more than decade old record of 1:52.30 in the 200 metre freestyle held by Olympian  Bradley Ally (Athens 2004,Beijing 2008,and London 2012).

alex sobers Gold coast 2018
Alex Sobers at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

Sobers powered his way to a time of 1:51.87 in the 4 lap event to place 20th overall. That swim was also the number 1 CARIFTA region performance in the event at the Commonwealth Games held in Gold Coast Australia. The previous fastest Barbadian performance at the Commonwealth Games  was by another Olympian Damian Alleyne (Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004) at the  2002 Manchester Games who recorded a time of 1:53.61.

Bradley Ally panamericanworld
Bradley Ally Photo courtesy of PanamericanWorld.com

Comparative splits

Sobers Ally
26.27 26.14
27.81 28.27
28.63 28.62
29.16 29.27
1:51.87 1:52.30

He would record another personal best and put the 100 metre freestyle record on notice when he stopped the clock in a time of 51.12 (split time 24.59). The national record stands at 50.40 to Shawn Clarke in 2009.

Damian Alleyne
Damian Alleyne Barbados Olympian (2000,2004) Photo courtesy of Khalil Goodman for Better Health Magazine June 2011

It was also the fastest time by a swimmer from Barbados at the Commonwealth Games as he bettered Alleyne’s 2002 effort of 52.48. Sobers was second fastest swimmer from the region placing 29th. It would be a hattrick of personal bests as he clocked 23.75 in the 50 metre freestyle to place 28th.

 

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

Alex recently earned the honour of being named the Male Athlete of the Year for his school Emmanuel College at the annual 4th Annual Leo  Athletic Awards for his accomplishments which included being

  • a Six time Sun Coast Swimming Conference Champion
  • a Nine time Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Champion
  • Having an undefeated 26-0 dual  meet record
  • Being the holder of Seven school records
  • Earning NCAA National Championship qualifying times in 9 different events this season
  • His performance at the 2017 World Aquatic Championships
  • His national record breaking performance at the 2018 Commonwealth Games

When draftingthecaribbean got in touch with the record holder on April 26th he spoke about the 200 metre race and expectations heading into the competition

” I felt really good before the 200 free because I was confident in the training I put in .The heat had James Guy (2015 World champion in the event)  in it so that really gave me a good push to do a best time. I didn’t necessarily set expectations for the meet .I was really excited to go Australia. The atmosphere was really exciting ,it was my first big (multisport) games since the Rio 2016 Olympics.

sobers and Coach Aisha
Alex Sobers and Coach Aisha Norville

Coach at the Commonwealth Games Aisha Norville also spoke to draftingthecaribbean and gave her impressions of Sobers personal best swims and the outlook for her nation heading to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“Alex gave a commendable performance at the Games. His focus will shift to the Cac games where it is hoped that he makes a few finals.Looking towards 2020 I believe swimming in Barbados should be well represented but it’s still a bit early to say because a lot can still happen in 2 years. Jack Kirby continues to improve extremely well in his backstroke events and I’m sure he would be looking for an ‘A’ qualifying time for Tokyo. As for Alex I believe he would want to convert his ‘B’ time from Rio as a then 16 year old to an ‘A’ time. Barbados would also have backstroker Danielle Titus and Luis Sebastian Weekes aiming for qualifying times for Tokyo”

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

Bradley Ally panamerican world
Bradley Ally Photo courtesy of panamerican world

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

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

Izaak Bahamas Nationals
Izaak Bastian  Photo courtesy of Bahamas Swimming

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

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

Kael UANA
Kael Yorke Bronze medallist in the 100 metre butterfly

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

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

Other top CARIFTA region swimmers for the day included

 

 

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

 

Ileana Bocage
Ileana Bocage top 15 -17 CARIFTA swimmer in the 50 metre breaststroke
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Sam Bailey Cayman Islands 400 metre IM 15-17 5:23.05 7th
Chadé M. Nersicio Curacao 100 metre butterfly 15-17 1:05.97 8th
Britney Williams Jamaica 200 metre freestyle 15-17 2:09.74 7th
Graham Chatoor Trinidad and Tobago 200 metre freestyle 15-17 1:59.43 12th
Ileana Bocage Trinidad and Tobago 50 metre breaststroke 15-17 34.70 4th
Danielle Titus Barbados 100 metre backstroke 15-17 1:06.30 5th

IZAAK BASTIAN OF THE BAHAMAS WINS 100 YARD BREASTSTROKE TITLE AT 1A STATE CHAMPS, SETS SCHOOL RECORDS IN 50 FREE , FREESTYLE AND MEDLEY RELAYS

Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas captured the 100 yard breaststroke title at the Florida at his final high school meet on November 4 at the 1A State championships in Stuart Florida.

Saint Andrews coaches Sid and Quinn Cassidy and Jamaican Ramon Walton cheering on their young charges at Regionals
Saint Andrews coaches Sid and Quinn Cassidy and Jamaican Ramon Walton cheering on their young charges at Regionals Photo courtesy of Saint Andrew’s Aquatics

The road to Gold had been a four year road under the tutelage of his coaches at Saint Andrew’s in Boca Raton.

In his first individual Championship final in 2014 competing in the 100 yard breaststroke ,which would be the source of his greatest  individual high school  triumph he placed 8th in the B final in a time of 1:00.83 (split time 28.94).The next year would see a turnaround in fortunes as he would earn a place on the medal podium taking the Bronze in 57.19 (split time 27.06).

Izaak Bastian swimswam
Izaak Bastian Photo courtesy of swimswam

Bastian, a Florida State commit would drop two seconds but he maintained his medal position taking the Bronze again in 55.68 (split time 26.46)

Izaak on his way to 100 breaststroke Gold at CARIFTA
Izaak on his way to 100 metre breaststroke Gold at the 2017 CARIFTA Championships Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Then came 2017 at  the CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas he extended his Gold medal winning streak in the 100 metre breaststroke with a near record performance .

Izaak and Lilly Shelly Bas productions
History makers for the The Bahamas at the Commonwealth Youth Games Medallists Bastian and Lilly Higgs Photo courtesy of Shelly Bastian

 

Later in the year he would create history he would become the only Bahamian male medallist in the 100 metre breaststroke at the Commonwealth Games when he won the Bronze at the Youth Games in his home country. In his final long course meet for the year he recorded the best time and placing for a Bahamian at the World Junior championships.

It was that form that he brought to his last high school season. It would be an unbeaten run leading up the to the state Championships. He would take the Palm Beach County title in 56.27. At that competition he would also be named outstanding male performer. He added the District title in a time of 57.73 breaking his year old record of 58.25. A week later at the Regional meet on October 27 he would win in 56.43.

On the day of reckoning he eased into the final with 55.67 (split time 26.18) performance. That just lowered his 2016 school record of 55.68 when he won the Bronze medal. In the final it was 2016 Silver Medallist Paul DeGrado of the Bolles school and Izaak that separated themselves from the field with 50  splits of 25.99 and 25.80 respectively. There would be no denying Bastian as he split 28.71 on to take the Gold in 54.54 in a personal best, school record and the second fastest time in Florida high school history . The state record stands at 54.33 set by  James Daugherty of the Bolles School.DeGrado repeated as the Silver medallist with a time of 54.90.

Year Time Placing
2017 54.54 Gold
2016 55.68 Bronze
2015 57.19 Bronze
2014 1:00.83 8th B final

Bastian’s name will join the names such Olympian Bradly Ally of Barbados and Ansel Tjin-A-Tam who be crowned state Champions in the 100 yard breaststroke.

breast florida swimnetwork tampaspartns uconnhuskies
Past Regional 100 yard breaststroke champions from left to right Jordy Groters,Wayne Denswil ,Diguan Pigot Photos courtesy of floridaswimnetwork,tampaspartans.com and uconnhuskies.com
breast boys panamericanworld linkedin
Past regional 100 yard breaststroke champions from left to right Bradley Ally and Ansel Tjin-A-Tam Photos courtesy of panamericaworld and linkedin

 

There would be more records and medals earned on the day for Izaak. In the 200 yard medley relay Izaak along with Jamaican Jesse Marsh continued the Scots CARIFTA region medal winning streak for the consecutive year. The Boca Raton based school won their third Silver medal in the event in a school record time of 1:31.86.

Caribbean connect Bastian and Marsh Saint andrews Aquatics
Saint Andrews 200 yard medley relay Caribbean Connection from left to right Marsh and Bastian Photo courtesy of Saint Andrew’s Aquatics

All three teams that won medals had Bastian on breaststroke duties and Marsh handling the butterfly leg. This year’s team lowered the 2016 Silver medal winning record time of 1:33.21.

Bastian en route to the fastest 50 split in Florida high school history
Bastian en route to the fastest 50 split in Florida high school history Photo courtesy of Shelly Bastian

 

 

Bastian created history when he recorded the fastest breaststroke split in the history of the Championships of 24.48. That bettered the time of 24.49 done by Daugherty in 2016.

Silver medal 50 free Shelly Bas
Izaak Bastian with Silver medal Photo courtesy of Shelly Bastian

The third school record in the 50 yard freestyle of 20.86 would fall in the Championship final of the event. Izaak would clock 20.53 to win the Silver . The Gold went to Cole Crane of Episcopal in 20.40.

 

The fourth Scots record would fall in the 200 yard freestyle relay . The team which included Bahamian countryman Samuel Gibson set a new mark of 1:24.73 to win the Silver .Trinity Prep won the Gold in a time of 1:23.64.

For his efforts he would earn the CBS 12 Athlete of the week honours

http://cbs12.com/sports/athlete-of-the-week/athlete-of-the-week-saint-andrews-izaak-bastian

Bastian and Gibson holding the trophy after placing 2nd overall in the boys competition
 Bastian and Gibson holding the trophy for placing 2nd overall in the boys competition

The boys from Saint Andrew’s would place 2nd overall with 202 points.

FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS GROTERS AND DIEFFENTHALLER TO RACE FOR 1A 200 YARD IM GOLD TODAY

When the Florida High School Class 1A Championships kick off later today at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida the CARIFTA region will be represented by Patrick Groters and Christopher Dieffenthaller. Aruban Groters will be donning the colours of the University School and Trinidad and Tobago’s Dieffenthaller will be lining up behind the blocks for Berkley.

Patrick Groters 100 metre backstroke Gold
Patrick Groters at 2017 Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Groters will start the day as the second seed with a time of 1:53.47. Patrick ended his CARIFTA this year in the best way possible this year in The Bahamas in the 200 metre individual medley by winning Gold in a new Personal Best, Championship Record, Aruban Age group and Senior National record. He won the 15-17 race in a time of 2:04.69. This season he has kept up the momentum for a second state Title after capturing the crown for the first time in 2015.

Bradley Ally gettyimages
Bradley ally Photo courtesy of gettyimages

 

Patrick will aim to join Olympian Bradley Ally as a multiple winner of the event. Ally won the event three times and holds the state record of 1:46.31. That 1:46.31 performance  was also the fastest performance by a high school swimmer at that point in 2004.

 

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

Groters had Golden performances at the Woodson Invitational as well the District and Regional Championships.

Date Meet Time Placing
Sep 23 Woodson Invitational 1:51.43 1st
Oct 20 1A District 11 1:56.44 2nd
Oct 27 1A Region 4 1:53.44 3rd
Year Time Placing Split
2016 1:48.52 Silver 50.31
2015 1:50.22 Gold 51.44
Chris D
Christopher Dieffenthaller Photo courtesy of swimtt.com

Berkley’s Dieffenthaller had a fantastic CCCAN in Trinidad and Tobago where was a top the podium in a number of races to include the 13-14 200 metre individual medley. He won the race in front of his home crowd in a time of 2:13.75. This season he took the District title then finished runner up in the event at Regionals. Each swim was progressively faster which points to him bettering the 1:55.82 he recorded when he placed 3rd in the B final at the 2016 Championship.

Date Meet Time Placing
Oct 21 1A District 7 1:59.86 1st
Oct 28 1A Region 3 1:58.07 2nd

The list of regional Florida state Champions include Olympians George Bovell III of Trinidad and Tobago, his brother Nicholas , Bradley Ally of Barbados and Branden Whitehurst of the US Virgin Islands.

Im winners 1
Past regional winners from left to right George Bovell III, Bradley Ally,Nicholas Bovell, Branden Whitehurst Photos courtesy of panamericanworld,auburntigers.com, texassports.com
IM winners 2
Past regional winners from left to right Wayne Denswill and Patrick Groters Photo courtesy of tampaspartans.com and Michael C Lyn
Name Country School Division Year Time
George Bovell III Trinidad and Tobago Bolles A 2000 1:48.51
Bradley Ally Barbados St Thomas Aquinas 2A 2002 1:49.37
Nicholas Bovell Trinidad and Tobago Bolles A 2002 1:50.57
Bradley Ally Barbados St Thomas Aquinas 3A 2003 1:49.71
Bradley Ally Barbados St Thomas Aquinas 3A 2004 1:46.31
Branden Whitehurst US Virgin Islands Bolles 1A 2007 1:50.82
Wayne Denswill Suriname St Brendan 2A 2013 1:52.47
Patrick Groters Aruba University School 1A 2015 1:50.22