On the third day of the Christmas Open Nathan Wright gave to Western Jamaica and himself a new national mark. Competing in the 9-10 50 metre freestyle on Saturday Dec 21 stroked his way to a new all-time Jamaica best of 29.18.He downed the old national mark of 29.27 set by Brady McPherson -Lewison at this meet in 2018. The youngster who represents the Sailfish Swim club also shattered the meet record of 32.04 by his teammate Benjamin Davis.Nathan is the only swimmer from the Western end of Jamaica to hold an individual national age group record.
THE ROAD TO THE NATIONAL RECORD
The 9-10 boys record stood for 28 years before falling in 2018.The mark was held by Tshaka Douglas who swam for the Y Speedos and dominated the 9-10 age group .
Nathan would also crush the 200 individual medley of 3:10.65 in a close battle with Zach Andre Johnson of the Y Speedos 2:55.42 to 2:55.47.
There would be a national record scare in the 50 metre breaststroke during the morning heats. This as Joseph Black of the Tornadoes swim club came close to taking down the nearly decade old senior national record of 29.38 set by Brad Hamilton.
Hamilton, who also represented Tornadoes set the mark at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games . Black, who is a sophomore at Kenyon College blitzed the field to set a mark of 29.62. He is the first Jamaican to break the 30 seconds mark in the event for the seven years. Black who scratched the final is also leading the North Atlantic Conference for the Lords with his 50 yard breaststroke time of 25.58. That time also has Black as the third fastest swimmer in the event for Division III.
Another notable highlight was the record set by the Swimaz Aquatic club quartet of twins Raine and Brooke Hopkins,Safiya Officer and Britney Williams. They took almost 30 seconds off the old meet record to set a new standard of 9:21.13.
Zarek Wilson of the Blue Dolphins of Trinidad and Tobago set the meet record in the 200 metre butterfly in the heats with a time 2:17.26 before securing the Gold in the final with a time of 2:21.65. Wilson has never lost the race in Jamaica and has swum faster on each occasion he has visited the island.His record in Jamaica now stands at five from five. Wilson set the fastest 11-12 mark in the race ever done in Jamaica in 2018.
A new 13-14 national record in the 50 metre butterfly by Campion College’s Nathaniel Thomas was the highlight of a record filled 2019 edition of the ISSA High Tertiary meet on Friday Nov 29.Immaculate Conception retained their title amassing 631 points while the boys title was won by Wolmer’s 465.5points
Under national record rules your age group is determined by your age at the 1st of January each year while for the ISSA meet the age group is determined by your age as at August 31st . Nathaniel competed in the 15-16 age group but is still eligible for the 13-14 record. The 2016 meet record of 27.22 was held by Jesse Marsh also of Campion College .
The 13-14 national record of 26.22 was set by another Campion College past student Olympian Timothy Wynter when he won Bronze at the 2011 CCCAN championships. Thomas became the fastest Jamaican of all time in that age caetgory when he stopped the clock in 26.04. He started the competition with a record in the 15-16 boys 50 metre backstroke winning in 27.76 almost 2 seconds faster than the old record of 29.67. Thomas is the reigning CARIFTA and CCCAN champion in this event.
He took the 200 individual medley in 2:23.13, almost ten seconds ahead of the field. He won the new open event ,the 100 metre butterfly in 58.84, not far off his 13-14 national record of 58.45 set at this summer’s World Junior Championships in Budapest Hungary. His lone defeat was in the 50 metre freestyle where he won the Silver in 24.86. The Gold was won by Kyle Sinclair of Wolmer’s Boys who eclipsed the 2012 record of Sidrell Williams of 24.66 with a 24.60 swim.
Thomas, the reigning 13-14 50 metre butterfly CARIFTA Silver medallist and CCCAN Bronze medallist gave his thoughts on his performances at the meet
“My performance today was very good.I think I could have done better in my 100 butterfly but in my 50 butterfly I got the national record which was very good.I wanted to drop time at this meet in the 50 butterfly. I think I can drop more time come Christmas open I think I can do 25 but for my other races I was not really focusing on that. My main goal was to drop time in the 50 butterfly and 50 backstroke.I did not do as well in the 50 metre backstroke but it is okay as it was still a good performance”.
Another swimmer in record breaking form was Nelson Denny of Hillel .He swam five races, winning Gold in Four and setting four new meet records. These are new marks he set in the 12 and under division
50 metre backstroke
50 metre freestyle
100 metre freestyle
50 metre butterfly
He placed fourth in the open 200 metre freestyle event in a new personal best time of 2:11.05. Only in the 100 metre freestyle did he not swim a new personal record. The freestyle and butterfly records were set by former World Championships representative and Kingston College past student Brad Hamilton.
Immaculate’s Zaneta Alvaranga also took down four meet records in the 13-14 girls age group
50 metre freestyle
50 metre breaststroke
100 metre freestyle
50 metre butterfly
Wolmerians Britney Williams 17 and over,Kyle Sinclair and Kaheem Lozer accounted for seven of the meet records to fall on the day
200 metre freestyle open
50 metre freestyle
100 metre freestyle
200 metre freestyle
50 metre freestyle
100 metre freestyle
50 metre butterfly
Paris Clare of St Andrew high school also got her name in the record books when she bettered Stefani Webley’s 31.37 to win a time of 30.96.
The relay records fell to Immaculate in the 13-14 and 17 and over girls 200 medley races. The younger age group had the team of Saifya Officer, Kokolo Foster, Alvaranga and Ireland Hunter erasing the record of2:13.52 to touch in t2:11.52. The senior team of Zadia Davis, Karci Gibson,Sage Sinclair and Chenille Haughton bettered the old mark of 2:21.38 to set a new standard of 2:21.18.
Leading the way for schools from the west was 11-12 CARIFTA Gold medallist in the 100 metre backstroke Leanna Wainwright for the Montego Bay High School. She won Gold in the 13-14 50 backstroke in 33.64.In the open 100 metre backstroke she won Silver in 1:14.33 with Gold going Immaculate’s Brianna Anderson in 1:13.42.
Teammate Mia Cunningham won Bronze in the 11-12 50 metre breaststroke in 41.61. For the boys ,Benjamin Davis of Cornwall College was third in the 100 metre free in the 12 and under division in 1:07.46.
The CARIFTA Championships are underway in beautiful Barbados and the region’s junior swimmers are putting on a show with great swims. Since the meet got started on Saturday at the Aquatic Centre in Wildey,St Michael the athletes have been also knocking on the door for senior representation at the PAN AM Games later this year in Lima Peru.
In the 800 metre freestyle it was Jada Chatoor who threw down the first marker with a time of 9:19.12 under the PAN AM B standard of 9:24.97.She won the Gold medal in the 15-17 age group .This continues the family tradition of distance freestyle excellence .Her older brother Graham won the 1500 metre freestyle in his final year of junior competition at the 2018 edition in Kingston Jamaica. He is also making a name for himself in the collegiate ranks this season as a freshman at NYU.
Interestingly since being eligible to swim the distance event she has only contested the race twice and has never been defeteated. First in 2017 in The Bahamas when she won in 13-14 in 9:24.69 and now in the Bahamas.It is also the fastest winning time since a certain Joanna Evans of The Bahamas and Texas Longhorns fame contested the event in 2015. Jada has now put the national record of 9:14.78 on notice.
The 1500 metre freestyle for the boys in the 15-17 age group saw Bahamian Luke Kennedy Thompson dipping under the PAN AM B mark .He swam under the time standard of 16:39.97 with a 16:37.95 effort.That is major improvement from his 2018 showing in Kingston Jamaica when he placed fifth in 17:05.64.Leader for most of that race Jake Bailey just got under the B time with a Silver medal performance of 16:39.20
In the 200 metre breaststroke overwhelming favourite from the Bahamas ,Izaak Bastian was easily under the B standard and gave his championship record of 2:17.78 and PAN AM A standard of 2:17.56 a scare with a 15-17 Gold medal winning effort of 2:18.03. The Florida State swimmer made a name for himself this NCAA season by making the Division I Championship final in the 200 yard medley relay.Bastian has only lost this race once in his CARIFTA career.
2:24.99 heats 2:2378
Also making a push for senior representation was Silver medallist in the 15-17 age group was Haiti ‘s Alexander Grand’Pierre.He stopped the clock in 2:25.40 just under the B standard of 2:25.79.
In the 100 metre butterfly it was another Bahamian who topped the podium who held up his name to be put on the plane to Lima. Ian Pinder registered a winning mark of 56.80 to better the B standard of 56.95.
It was in the 13-14 age group that the 100 metre butterfly standard was bettered.Jamaica’s fastest ever junior female swimmer in the event Sabrina Lyn bettered the B time of 1:04.93 twice.In the heats she clocked 1:03.47 and then 1:03.19 in the Championship final for new PB,age group record and Championship record and the fastest female time of the meet.
In the 200 metre freestyle the entire podium party of Bermuda’s Logan Watson-Brown and the Jamaican duo of Emily McDonald and Britney Williams who bettered the PAN AM B mark.The 15-17 trio finished with times of 2:07.86,2:08.72 and 2:08.79 respectively.
The quickest time in the 200 metre freestyle on the day belonged to Bermuda’s Elan Daley .She registered a new 13-14 Championship record of 2:08.03 before crushing that time with a final swim of 2:06.13
It was almost the case in the 15-17 girls 100 metre backstroke as local girl Danielle Titus won the event in a new Championship record and senior national record of 1:04.60.She broke her old Barbados record of 1:04.79 set in 2018 in Jamaica.
Titus was pressed to the wall by Gabriela Donahue of Trinidad and Tobago who also set a new 15-17 and senior national record of 1:05.09.She lowered the mark of 1:05.38 by Kimberlee John -Williams of 1:05.38. Gabriela joins mother Olympian Karen Dieffenthaller Donahue (Seoul 1988) and sister Alexandria as senior national record holders for the twin island republic
If Gabriela chooses to go to Brown she can continue the family tradition of becoming an Ivy League champion
Double sprint backstroke champion at these championships Davante Carey continued the strong showing by the defending champions The Bahamas with his effort in the 100 metre backstroke.He stopped the clock in 59.83.That time was under the B mark of 59.99.
Night two of the 2019 CARIFTA 2019 swimming Championships provided yet another session of medals, records and excitement for Team Jamaica.The team at the end of Day Two had recorded 40 new personal bests and were in second place with 690 points and had 34 medals 11 Gold,16 Silver and Seven Bronze medals
The top performance again came from the 13-14 girls . This time it was Zaneta Alvaranga leading the way in the 50 metre butterfly.She gave Team Jamaica and fans on hand a signal of what was to come in the final when she eased to a time of 28.32 ,the fastest female time of the morning heats regardless of age group.
SPEED AND POWER
In her signature event , the one lap butterfly sprinted she demonstrated why she is Jamaica’s fastest junior swimmer ever in the event.When the starter’s gun fired Zaneta worked her underwaters utilizing almost all of the 15 metres allowable to gain a tremendous advantage when she surfaced. After her breakout it was all about the clock as the field was well beaten. When she hit the pads it revealed a new personal best and national age group record of 27.84. Zaneta lowered her regional mark as the 13-14 fastest English speaking girl in the event. It would prove also be the fastest time by a girl on the night. That performance stands as the second fastest time ever done at CARIFTA by a girl as the 13-14 mark is held by Naele Portecop of Guadeloupe in 2018.She set that mark in Kingston in an epic championship final with Alvaranga where both young ladies recorded sub 28 seconds times of 27.78 and 27.94 respectively for Gold and Silver.In another podium dominated by Jamaica ,Sabrina Lyn won the Silver in a time of 29.13. The outstanding Bermudan swimmer Elan Daley , who broke Zaneta’s CARIFTA 11-12 record in 2018 and is of Jamaican parentage won the Bronze in 29.59.
HOW THE WEST WON
Leanna Wainwright showed no fear in her international outing and Championship final on Day one of these CARIFTA Championships to earn Bronze in the 50 metre backstroke. That confidence from winning that medal carried over to the morning heats of the 100 metre backstroke .She topped the girls 11-12 qualifiers with a morning effort and new PB of 1:12.23. In the evening she displayed that fearless attitude once again when she opened an early lead on the field heading into the turn.Displaying a level of determination well beyond her years Leanna held her nerve when the Cayman Islands Lila Higo made a late charge to win in another PB of 1:11.65. Higo won the Silver in 1:11.76. Imojen Judd, the 50 metre backstroke champion took the Bronze in 1:12.84. Leanna’s countrywoman Giani Francis placed fourth in 1:13.41.
Wainwright,who is a product of Western Jamaican swimming put Jamaica back on top of the medal podium 12 years after age group record holder Kendese Nangle (1:08.49) who in front of a home crowd in 2007
GIRLS RELAY GOLD RUSH
On the 11-12 400 medley relay team only the very confident Kokolo Foster (breaststroke) had previous CARIFTA experience . The other members Leanna Wainwright (backstroke) Giani Francis (butterfly) and Christanya Shirley (freestyle) swam as the uninitiated do , with no inhibitions and not in awe of the occasion. That proved to pay great dividends as they dominated the final to win in a national and Championship record of 4:49.77. That crushed the old mark of 4:52.00 set by the 2002 CARIFTA team of Gillian Stewart,Tamari Farquharson,Kheri Ann Robinson and Rene Wright .Bermuda took the Silver in 4:52.93 with Cayman winning the Bronze in 4:59.98.
That sparked a chain reaction and the girls relay team went on a Golden hot streak.In the 13-14 Championship final Morgan Cogle gave the team a solid start with her backstroke split of 1:15.08. Sabrina Lyn recorded the fastest breaststroke split of her life of 1:15.23 to have Jamaica challenging for the lead. Alvaranga dropped the hammer on the field with her butterfly split of 1:04.23 give Safiya Officer an insurmountable lead . Bahamian Delaney Mizell turned on the jets on the anchor leg but Officer had too much of an advantage as Jamaica won in 4:38.85. Team Bahamas took the Silver in 4:39.15 with Barbados taking the Bronze in 4:41.99.This is the second consecutive Gold for Jamaica in the event.
.Simone Vale backstroke 1:10.37 and Naomi Eaton breaststroke 1:23.27 gave Jamaica the platform for the second half of the relay to challenge for the medals. Emily MacDonald ‘s 1:04.42 butterfly leg ran down all the teams except for Trinidad and Tobago. It was left up to Britney Williams to keep the streak alive and she did not disappoint. She recorded the fastest 100 freestyle of her life of 58.77 to take the win in a total team time of 4:36.83.The swimmers from the twin island republic were second in 4:37.55 and Barbados third in 4:40.55.
MEDLEY MORNING GLORY
When debutante Brady MacPherson Lewison won the 11-12 boys 400 metre individual medley he created history for himself .He had won his first Gold medal in a time of 5:30.63, a time drop of over ten seconds. It was also the first time Jamaica had been been on podium in over two decades much less winning the Gold. The fastest time recorded by a Jamaican boy in the event was in recent years was 2010 when Kevaughn Campbell placed fourth in 5:37.89.
PUTTING UP RESISTANCE
The boys also swam well out of their comfort zones to land podium places in the medley relays.In the 13-14 boys relay legs done Nathaniel Thomas backstroke 103.73, Jaedon Lynch breaststroke 1:14.77,Jaleel Samms 1:05.34 seemed to have Jamaica outside of medal contention. Cometh the moment,cometh Daniel Mair. Known primarily for his distance and open water freestyle exploits Mair presented his sprint credentials on the anchor freestyle leg .He swam a lifetime best split 56.42 to give Jamaica the Bronze medal edging French Guiana by mere .09 of a second 4:20.26 to 4:20.35. Team TTO won in 4:13.76 with Bahamas taking the Silver in 4:16.65.
In the 15-17 category it was always going to be an uphill task against the mighty Bahamians who had the 100 metre backstroke champion in Davante Carey,CARIFTA record holder in the 100 metre breaststroke Izaak Bastian, 100 metre butterfly champion Ian Pinder and Kevon Lockhart. Nicholas Vale gave Jamaica a good shot a medal with his opening 100 metre backstroke split of 1:01.33, almost a new PB. What made the difference for Jamaica to break out the the chasing pack was a lifetime best effort of 1:06.62 by Cameron Brown on the breaststroke leg.That allowed Jordane Payne butterfly 1:00.66 and Kyle Sinclair freestyle 54.08 to push for the Silver with no real challenge in a total team time of 4:02.69. That was just off the national record of 4:01.27.
The morning session of qualifying heats was highlighted by Sabrina Lyn’s new personal best, 13-14 national record and CARIFTA Championship record and PAN AM GAMES B time of 1:03.47 in the 100 metre butterfly. She bettered her old national record and personal best of 1:03.82 , the Championship record of 1:03.50 set in 2016 held by Bermuda’s Emma Harvey and the PAN AM Games B standard of 1:04.93. She is now the fastest ever female age group swimmer from Jamaica as the 15-17 record of 1:03.48 set by Kelsie Campbell in 2016.
Jamaica will occupy 18 lanes in individual finals tonight. There will be a national age record watch in the girls 50 metre backstroke event for all three age groups 11-12,13-14 and 15-17.Britney Williams topped the early morning heats in the 15-17 800 metre freestyle for girls with a season best of 9:39.41.Countrywoman Naomi Eaton recorded a personal best of 10:02.80.Daniel Mair had a personal best of more than 10 seconds in the 13-14 boys 1500 metre freestyle of 18:34.56 There were 15 personal best times recorded this morning.
The morning session of Day Three of the Walter Rogers Age Group Champs had as the highlight the obliteration of the girls 13-14 400 metre freestyle relay record by the Tornadoes team.
Since 2011 the old record had stood to the visiting Stingrays Swim Club of the Cayman Islands .The standard had stood to the team of Bethany Cleaver,Coral Tomascik,Lois Moody and Danielle Boothe. On Saturday Feb 23 the Tornadoes team of Isabella Sierra, Ireland Hunter, Aliyah Heaven and Sabrina Lyn laid waste to that time as they stopped the clock in a time of 4:16.80.They recorded the fastest female relay time of the day as well as beating back their opposition by more than 30 seconds.
Their teammates in the 13-14 boys age category got in on the record breaking act with a new standard setting swim of their own.The record in their sights belonged the 2015 Tornadoes team of Alex Mignott,Sean -Douglas Gooden,Jonathan Lyn and Jesse Marsh of 3:58.91.The team of Zachary Jackson-Blaine,Adrian Balfour,Daniel Mair and Nathaniel Thomas lowered that time to 3:57.85.
The fastest relay time of the day was posted by the Y Speedos team of Jordane Payne,Chester Adams, Akeem Alleyne and Kyle Sinclair of 3:52.33.
In the 200 metre series Sean Douglas-Gooden of Tornadoes won his seventh title breaststroke in the event over the last eight years in a time of 2:40.57. Since his last year of 11-12 Gooden has been unbeaten save for a disqualification in 2015.
Britney Williams of Swimaz Aquatics , the fastest ever locally trained mid to long distance freestyler and the defending CARIFTA champion ensured she was unbeaten in her three years of the 15-17 category as she took her event in a season best of 2:12.61.
There were also a number of close races as Safiya Officer of Swimaz just outlasted Sierra of Tornadoes in the girls 13-14 200 metre freestyle 2:22.52 to 2:22.98.Nathaniel Thomas got the decision over teammate Daniel Mair in the boys 13-14 race 2:08.35 to 2:08.85.
The fastest times of the day came from Y Speedos duo of Kyle Sinclair and Chester Adams who battled to the wall in times of 2:03.72 and 2:04.14 respectively.Other Gold medals decided in the morning were
The opening day of the Walter Rodgers Age Group Championships got underway yesterday and saw Jamaica’s fastest ever locally trained female distance freestyler Britney Williams of the Swimaz Aquatics Club lowering the 15 and over 800 metre freestyle championship record.
Williams set a new mark of 9:52.46 lowering the 2012 standard of 9:53.97 by another Swimaz Aquatic athlete Breanna Roman . The win makes it five years that Britney has been unbeaten at the biggest championships of the year. She won the race by over 40 seconds to her nearest rival. Britney gave her thoughts about her record breaking performance
” I am really happy for the win and the record, The swim was amazing. This just sets the pace for the rest of the meet to be an amazing and successful one”.
WILLIAMS AGE GROUP CHAMPS WINNING STREAK
Chester Adams of the Y Speedos was the top swimmer in 1500 metre freestyle .He topped the field in a time of 18:36.21.
Other Gold medallists on the opening night included
Age Group Name Event Time Club 13-14 Zaneta Alvaranga 800 metre freestyle 10:42.76 Kaizen 11-12 Leanna Wainwright 800 metre freestyle 11:12.40 Sailfish Swim Academy 15-17 Brianna Anderson 200 metre backstroke 2:42.15 Y Speedos 13-14 Safiya Officer 200 metre backstroke 2:46.68 Swimaz Aquatic Club 11-12 Leanna Wainwright 200 metre backstroke 2:43.46 Sailfish Swim Academy
Age Group Name Event Time Club 13-14 Zachary Randle 1500 metre freestyle 19:05.27 Y Speedos 11-12 Israel Allen 1500 metre freestyle 20:18.12 Tornadoes 15-17 Kyle Sinclair 200 metre backstroke 2:21.58 Y Speedos 13-14 Nathaniel Thomas 200 metre backstroke 2:26.58 Tornadoes 11-12 Nelson Denny 200 metre backstroke 2:43.62 Tornadoes