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.
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.
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.
The third day of action of the 2018 Walter Rogers Age Group swimming National Championships was highlighted by national record breaking swims by Zaneta Alvaranga of the Kaizen Swim Club in the 50 metre butterfly.
After dominating the 50 metre butterfly event locally and regionally as 11-12 swimmer in 2017 and establishing herself as the CARIFTA region’s number best of all time she continued her unbeaten streak on Friday Feb 16. Competing in her first race in the 13-14 age group she started her career in the new age category on the best possible note by lowering the national record of 29.57 to 29.55.
The previous record was set by age group star Kendese Nangle when she won Silver at the 2008 Caribbean Islands Swimming championships in Kingston.The meet record of 29.68 was held by Emily MacDonald of Swimaz set in 2017 Zaneta would have more in the tank for the final as she reset the record again with a time of 29.19. That performance was the fastest time of the competition and the fastest time ever recorded by a girl at the Championships. That swim by Alvaranga would have won her the Bronze in the event at the 2017 CARIFTA championships.
Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Zaneta after her record breaking swim after the final and got her impressions of her swim
“My goal was to get as close to my ( 2017 Gold medal winning) CCCAN time and I did. I focused on the start so I could get out as have as little armstrokes as possible and have rested shoulders and breathe as little as possible so I would not break streamline.I expected the record because I broke it this morning and I came back prepared to do even better than this morning”. In 2017 Alvaranga was the most prolific female age group record breaker have setting the 11-12 50 metre butterfly record four times and the 100 metre freestyle once.
Brianna Anderson of the Y Speedos would take down another Boothe standard when she recorded 30.07 in the 15 and over butterfly heats.
Boothe had set the record in 2013 at 30.32. In the final Brianna took the Gold in 30.47.
Alvaranga’s 2015 9-10 50 metre butterfly record would fall to Christanya Shirley of the Marlins. She would win the event handily in a time of 33.35 well under the previous meet record of 34.86.
The second night of the Walter Rogers Age Group Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Jamaica on Feb 15 saw meet records falling to Brianna Anderson and Sabrina Lyn .
Brianna Anderson who represents the Y Speedos Swim club lowered the 2014 15 and over girls 50 metre backstroke meet record of 31.35 of former CARIFTA standout Danielle Boothe when she stopped the clock in 30.81.That time places the Brianna, who is in her first year of the 15-17 age group within striking range of the national 15-17 age group record of 30.55 set by Angara Sinclair at the 2017 CCCAN championships. That time would also have won the 15-17 Bronze medal at the 2017 CARIFTA championships held in The Bahamas. In 2017 she lowered another Sinclair mark when recorded 32.15. She gave her thoughts about the race to draftingthecaribbean
“My goals were to try to beat the record, try to qualify for CARIFTA and to do a 29.I am still trying my best to achieve that time with more training. Hopefully with the Swim Jamaica sprint I will do 29.My start was actually amazing especially my under waters, my breakout was good and my turnover was quite nice this time. My finish was not as it was I wanted it be because I want to finish like the Olympians so hopefully I fix those things at the sprint meet”.
Also lowering a meet record was Sabrina Lyn of the Tornadoes Swim Club who lowered the 2017 13-14 100 metre butterfly Championship record of 1:06.19 set by Emily MacDonald of Swimaz. That was the national record until MacDonald lowered it to 1:05.86 at the UANA Cup in Florida last month. Though Lyn is the second fastest girl of all time in the age group her 2017 11-12 national record is faster which stands at 1:05.69 when she won CCCAN Gold.
She gave her impressions on the race “ My goal was to make the CARIFTA team and to do that I had to come first. I knew that my competitors do not finish well I did not go as hard on the first lap but as soon I started the second I would have sprint all the way to the finish and that’s what I did and I won and broke the record”.
Sean Douglas Gooden made it three wins in three years in the 15 and over 200 metre breaststroke. He lowered his 2017 record of 2:37.15 to 2:33.71 in the heats before taking the Gold in the final in 2:42.45. He spoke about the race after his win
“I thought I executed my race as best as I could given my current fitness. Honestly I was working on the small things such as my turns and underwaters and dive.I have been told that I have a really strong last 50 metres so I worked on that today. The race was a good one I did not go out too hard due to my fitness. I was aware that and tried to build my momentum throughout the race and that strategy worked perfectly”.
Sunday December 17 will be known as record breaking Sunday as the nation’s youngsters continued to excel in their last competitions for 2017 as they have done all throughout the year. Competitions in two different meets in two different islands yielded national age group records . In Jamaica at the ASAJ Christmas Open and Christmas Breezer Nathaniel Thomas of the Tornadoes swim club lowered his national mark in the 11-12 boys 50 metre butterfly twice in the morning heats and final . While the Golden Girls from the Marlins Swim Club Giani Francis, Kokolo Foster, Saidah Brown and Christanya Shirley continued their awesome record breaking run in the 9-10 200 metre freestyle relay at the Republic Bank Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago Invitational.
At his first CARIFTA in The Bahamas in April Nathaniel was 5th in the 11-12 50 butterfly in 29.22 .
Later in May in Jamaica Nathaniel would lower the 11-12 50 butterfly to 28.32. That just edged the old standard of 28.33 set by Olympian Timothy Wynter (Rio 2016) when he won the Silver medal at the 2009 CARIFTA Championships held in Aruba. At the CCCAN competition in Trinidad and Tobago in July he would top the region taking the Gold in 28.53. He would join the elites among the region when he became the first Jamaican 11-12 boy to break the 28 seconds barrier.
In the morning he was fantastic in breaking the meet record also set by Wynter in 2009 of 29.39 and lowering the national mark to 27.95. He would continue his record breaking feats in the final as he dropped time again to set a standard of 27.86.
He now joins the likes of Evante Gibson of the Bahamas 27.77, Aruban Jordy Groters 27.85 as regional standouts under the 28 seconds barrier in the 11-12 age group.
On the day he would also set new meet record in winning the 200 metre freestyle with a personal best of 2:12.77 and taking the Gold with the Tornadoes A team in the 400 metre medley relay.
The Golden Girls of the Marlins Swim club Gianna Francis, Kokolo Foster, Saidah Brown and Christanya Shirley have dominated the sprint freestyle relay this season and their last meet in Trinidad and Tobago would be no different.
At the Neville Alexander meet they set a new national mark of 2:14.66 .That lowered the national record of 2:15.37 set way back on Aug 1, 1988. That mark was set by the national team of Kezia Stewart, Kerone Peat, Joanna Lee and Nicole Lowe at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships held in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic when 9 and 10 year olds were allowed to participate.
At the Dean Martin Memorial Meeting in October they crushed that mark with a swim of 2:10.52. In the twin Island Republic they would be even that much faster with a time of 2:05.52 .That performance takes almost ten seconds off from the 1988 record. That swim is among one of the fastest ever done by an English Speaking Caribbean team in that age group.
Three of the young ladies Francis, Foster will be pushing to make their first CARIFTA team in Kingston next year while Shirley has one more year in the 9-10 age group.
In 2017 at the CARIFTA Championships in the Bahamas the Jamaican ladies won the swept the 200 metre freestyle relays taking wins in the 11-12, 13-14 and 15-17 age groups
The second night of finals at the 2017 CCCAN Championships saw Team Jamaica winning Four Gold One Silver and a Bronze. The team also set five national records in the afternoon. That bettered the record count of three in the morning preliminaries.
The first medal won the night was Gold by Nathaniel Thomas in the boys 11-12 50 metre backstroke race. After establishing himself as the favourite from the morning with his national record swim of 29.99 he won Gold in a time of 30.36 .That win was almost a second faster than the Silver medallist. It also gave him the Golden Double as he also won this event at the CARIFTA Games in The Bahamas earlier this year in 31.64. It is also the first medal Jamaica has won in the event for over a decade.
As expected in the girls 11-12 100 metre butterfly the national record of 1:07.22 set by Sabrina Lyn was not expected to survive beyond today. And it did not. In a very good race new ground was again broken for Jamaican swimmers as 11-12 girls swam faster than 1:07 seconds. The Gold would go to Lyn in yet another national record time of 1:05.69 and nearly the fastest time ever done by an English speaking girl in that age group. The Silver went to Bermudan star Elan Daley in 1:06.12 and teammate Zaneta Alvaranga won the Bronze in a personal best of 1:06.29. Daley set the Championship record in the morning of 1:05.55 which equaled her national record and the fastest time ever done by an English speaking girl in that age group. Lyn came very close to taking that accolade for herself. In copping Gold she landed the regional Golden Double as she had won the event at CARIFTA . The last time Jamaica won a medal in this event was 2007 when Kendese Nangle won the Bronze.
Heading into this meet Thomas had a number of close misses with the national record the boys 11-12 record of 1:04.27 held by Ramon James. He would have no such close call in the final of the event. He would win the Silver in a new national record of 1:03.65 just behind Panamanian winner Sebastian Lares 1:03.47. He again broke another decade old medal drought in the event.
In the 18 and over event Kelsie Campbell resisted a strong Challenge from Puerto Rico’s Patricia Casellas to win Gold in a new personal best of 1:03.23 to 1:03.65. That was just off the Championship record of 1:03.18 by Puerto Rico’s Debra Rodriquez. That is the first medal won by Jamaica since 2005 when Tamara Swaby won the Silver medal.
The mixed quartet of Zaneta Alavaranga, P’aige Lewis, Joshua –Daniel Alleyne and Nathaniel Thomas proved yet again they are the best sprint freestyle combination in their age group regionally. They took the 200 metre freestyle relay in a record time of 1:49.70.that bettered their morning mark of 1:51.59. This adds to the CARIFTA 400 mixed freestyle relay crown they won in April.
In a very tight final in the girls 50 metre backstroke Angara Sinclair just missed with a 4th place finish and new national record of 30.55.
Other finalists on the day included
200 metre breatstroke
50 metre backstroke
50 metre backstroke
50 metre backstroke
100 metre butterfly
100 metre butterfly
Jamaica was in seventh position at the end of Day two with 86 points
A 17 member Jamaican delegation will be in action in the swimming pool from the 28th of June to July 2 at the Aquatic Centre, Balmain, Couva in Trinidad. The Championship which membership comprises federations from the Central American and Caribbean region has seen a number of outstanding performances from Jamaican athletes. Seven existing records at the meet are held by swimmers from the land of wood and water.
Leading the record tally is Olympian Janelle Atkinson with three. She holds marks in the 18 and over 800 metre freestyle 8:39.16, 400 metre freestyle 4:13.11 and 200 metre freestyle 2:02.57. All of those Championship standards were set at the 2001 edition of the meet in the Dominican Republic where she won Six Gold, One Silver and One Bronze.
Olympian Alia Atkinson has two 15-17 records from the 2005 Championships still standing. As expected they are in the breaststroke events. In the 50 metre race it is 33.12 and the 100 metre breaststroke race 1:13.93.The meet was again held in the Dominican Republic. Alia won an impressive Seven Gold ,One Silver and one Bronze.
Yet another Olympian Timothy Wynter has two records in his favoured backstroke events at the 2011 Puerto Rico meet in the 13-14 age group. His 50 metre standard stands at 26.96 and his 200 metre record at 2:09.55.His medal haul would consist of Two Gold, Two Silver and a Bronze.
In 2017 the Jamaican team have 24 individual medal chances based upon the heat sheet.
In the 18 and over girls Kelsie Campbell has five good chances in the 50,100 and 200 metre freestyle events as well as the 50 metre butterfly races. In the 100 metre butterfly she is seeded first. Her time of 1:03.48 is in striking range of the Championship record of 1:03.18 by Puerto Rico’s Debra Rodriquez.
Next up for a potentially large medal haul are the 11-12 sprinters Nathaniel Thomas and Zaneta Alvaranga. Both are in medal winning positions based on their entry times in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle races and 50 and 100 metre butterfly events. In the 50 metre butterfly in which both swimmers are ranked number 1 they will be seeking to lower their respective national records of 28.32 for Thomas and 28.95 for Alvaranga. Zaneta’s best time is almost a full second faster than the championship record of 29.85 by Venezuela’s Ángela Ciccenia.
Other swimmers in medal contention and aiming to break national records are
Sabrina Lyn the 2017 CARIFTA Champion who will be looking to lower her mark of 1:07.22 in the 100 metre butterfly.
Brianna Anderson will be looking to break the girls 13-14 50 metre backstroke record of 31.02
Emily MacDonald will be looking to better her national mark of 1:06.19 in the 13-14 100 metre butterfly
Gabrianna Banks will be racing for the 13-14 record of 26.86
The final day of the Neville Alexander Memorial Swim Meet saw the sprinters putting on a show. There would be yet another national record as the Marlins 9-10 girls added to their tally from Saturday morning. This time they lowered the national standard in the 200 freestyle relay.
The young ladies of the Marlins who lowered a record set almost 30 years. The team of Kokolo Foster, Saidah Brown, Giani Francis and Christanya Shirley touched in a time of 2:14.66, more than 10 seconds ahead of the field. That lowered the national record of 2:15.37 set way back on Aug 1, 1988. That mark was set by the national team of Kezia Stewart, Kerone Peat, Joanna Lee and Nicole Lowe at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships held in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic when 9 and 10 year olds were allowed to participate. Also falling by the wayside was the meet record of 2:18.69 by the 2012 Marlins team of Deandra Reynolds, Karci Gibson, Ahkira Brown and Britney Williams.
The 50 metre freestyle meet records fell by the wayside in the following races 8 and under boys, 11-12 girls and boys and the 13 and over boys’ events. That meet record rush continued in the 200 metre freestyle relays 8 and under girls, the 11-12 girls and boys and 13 and over girls events.
The record breaking spree was started in the 8 and under boys’ race by the Y Speedos’ Zack –Andre Johnson. He lowered a more than a decade old record when he touched the wall in 34.13. The old record of 34.21 was held by former Speedos swimmer Robert Marshall. Johnson topped the field by more than 5 seconds.
In the 11-12 girls event it was Zaneta Alvaranga of the Y Speedos who recorded the fastest time by a girl at the meet and lowered the meet record with her quick time of 27.68. Her margin of victory was more than 2 seconds. In winning she lowered the 2016 meet record of 28.09 by Swimaz’s Emily MacDonald .Zaneta was just off her Silver medal winning CARIFTA personal best of 27.56.She continues to track the national record of 27.53 of MacDonald when she won Gold at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships.The record for the 11-12 girls age group at the upcoming CCCAN championships to be held in Trinidad and Tobago is 27.55 set their Olympian Cerian Gibbes in 1995.
For the boys event it was Nathaniel Thomas of the Tornadoes who again dominated the field. He recorded the only sub 27 seconds time of 26.57. He crushed the meet record of 27.58 by the Y Speedos Alford Green set in 2003.He was more than a second ahead of the field. He was barely off his personal best time of 26.52. Last year he was In his sights for the rest of the year will be the national record of 26.29 held by another Tornadoes age group standout Brad Hamilton. That mark was set in 2002.
In the boys 13 and over race it was Sidrell Williams of the Y Speedos who recorded the fastest time of the meet and the only sub 25 seconds clocking when he touched the wall in 24.29. That lowered his 2012 meet standard of 24.74.
The 11-12 girls Y Speedos relay team of Paig’e Lewis, Callier Maxwell, Jadean Dixon and Zaneta Alvaranga lowered the meet record of 2:04.24 with a swim of 2:03.82.
The 11-12 Tornadoes boys Jaleel Samms, Zachary Jackson-Blaine, Nikolos Gordon-Somers and Nathaniel Thomas set their meet record with a time of 1:56.25.
The 13 and over girls of Y Speedos team of Leanne McMaster, Naomi Eaton, Paris Clare and Brianna Anderson set a record of 1:57.54.
Anderson would sweep the backstroke events 50-100-200 when she claimed the open 200 backstroke crown in 2:43.51.She would also add the 13 and over 50 metre freestyle title in 28.08.
The boys open 200 metre backstroke title went to her teammate Kyle Sinclair in a personal best of 2:20.51.
The crowd was treated to good contests between national record breaking teammates Kokolo Foster and Christanya Shirley of the Marlins in the 50 breaststroke and 50 metre freestyle races.
The older Foster edged her younger teammate 40.14 to 40.71 in the breaststroke race and 31.42 to 31.74 in the freestyle event.
David Morris of the Y Speedos won the boys 9-10 50 metre breaststroke in 43.21.Israel Allen who had an outstanding showing at the meet won the 50 metre freestyle in a pb of 31.86.Allen won five of the six 9-10 individual age group events on offer all in personal record times. The 200 metre freestyle relay in this age group was won by the Marlins team of Josh Johnson, Jayden Campbell, Josh Wilkinson and Kajuan Haughton in 2:20.35.
In the 11-12 age group it was the Tornadoes duo of Sabrina Lyn and Nikolos Gordon –Somers who took top honours in the 100 metre breaststroke in 1:27.72 and 1:22.49 respectively.
In the 13 and over age group Naomi Eaton of the Y Speedos in addition to her relay win had victories in the 100 metre breaststroke 1:22.67 and 400 metre freestyle 4:53.09.
Adrian Grant of the Tornadoes also did the breaststroke/freestyle double for the 13 and over boys. He won the 400 metre event in 4:53.09. In the breaststroke race he held off teammate Sean-Douglas Gooden for the victory 1:11.84 to 1:11.97.
In the 8 and under category Renae Chung of the Y Speedos was a double winner for the girls taking the 50 metre breaststroke and freestyle races in personal best times of 52.25 and 36.61. Chung won all the 8 and under individual races on offer at the meet. The boys breaststroke race went to Waldon McIntosh in 49.46.
The masters’ races for the ladies were again dominated by the Tornadoes Swim club. Lisa Griffith won the 50 metre breaststroke in 48.22. Annelies Denny won the 50 metre freestyle in 35.41.Stefan Braeger won the men’s 50 metre breaststroke in 41.78. Rohan Whyte of the Sailfish Swim Academy won the freestyle race in 30.29.
The meet was brought to a conclusion with the boys 13 and over 200 metre freestyle relay by the Tornadoes team of Sean-Douglas Gooden, Joshua Craigie, Adrian Grant and Jordan Hines in 1:43.38