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.
On Friday March 23,2018 Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympian Dylan Carter (Rio 2016) and his University of Southern California team won the school’s first ever 200 yard medley relay title in school record time.On the way to that maiden relay title Carter established himself as the second fastest performer on the butterfly leg in that event.
The then record stood at 1:23.90 from the preliminaries of the 2015 NCAA Division I championships. The personnel at that time included Carter and fellow Olympian Canadian Santo Condorelli (Rio 2016)
In the final that year the Trojans finished sixth in 1:24.08 and Dylan narrowly missed breaching the 20 seconds barrier again on the butterfly leg with 20.04 effort.
Fast forward to 2018 and that landmark would be breached as the 2018 team crushed the school standard with a total time of 1:22.76 to be the number one seed heading into the Championship final. The returning members of the record team would be Carter and Condorelli
In the final there would be a change in the lineup with Robert Glinta doing lead off backstroke duties. The race started with Glinta touching in 21.15 to see the Trojans in sixth place. Breaststroker Vissering provided a game changing leg of 22.58, the fastest ever to put the Trojans ahead. Carter responded with the third fastest butterfly leg of all time 19.60 and fastest on the night to give Condorelli the lead he needed to seal the win in a new school and pool record of 1:21.82. That was just enough to hold off California in 1:21.88 and Florida with a rampaging Caleb Dressel of Florida who recorded a mind boggling 17.37 split for a total time of 1:22.33.
That butterfly split has the Dylan as the second fastest performer behind Singaporean Olympic Gold medallist Joseph Schooling who owns the top 2 times from the 2016 and 2017 Championships
That relay win also moves Carter
800 yard freestyle relay
400yard freestyle relay
800 yard freestyle relay
200 yard medley relay
from a tie with the Cayman Islands’ Olympian Shaune Fraser (Beijing 2008, London 2012) for the most NCAA crowns .
200 yard freestyle
200 yard butterfly
200 yard butterfly
He is now equal with Suriname’s 1988 Olympic Gold medallist in the 100 metre butterfly Anthony Nesty( LA 1984, Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992) with four titles. Both swimmers represented Florida.
100 yard butterfly
100 yard butterfly
100 yard butterfly
200 yard butterfly
The record is held by another legendary regional swimmer, his countryman 2004 Olympic Bronze medallist in the 200 IM George Bovell III (Sydney 2000,Athens 2004,Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016) ,who competed for Auburn.
George Bovell III
200 yard IM
George Bovell III
200 scm freestyle relay
George Bovell III
400 scm freestyle relay
George Bovell III
200 scm IM (former World record)
George Bovell III
200 yard freestyle relay
The 200 yard freestyle saw the outgoing senior making yet another Championship final. He made his way to the medal race with a season best time of 1:32.30 (split time 44.56). In that final he would finish seventh in a time of 132.68 (split time 44.29) . He still remains however the third fastest performer of all time with a time of 1:30.95(split time 43.79 ) leading off the Trojans 800 yard freestyle relay team last year.
The 2018 Atlantic Coast Championships came to a close on Feb 24 at the Greensboro Aquatics Centre, Greensboro North Carolina which saw Notre Dame’s star sprinter Justin Plaschka blazing to new all-time Jamaican standards in his final conference meet.
Plaschka, who was already Jamaica’s fastest swimmer of all time in the 25 yard pool, added a bit more shine to his crown. On the first day of competition Wed he gave a glimpse of his speed when he rocketed to the fastest butterfly in the 200 medley relay of 20.21.That propelled the Fighting Irish team to a news season best of 1:25.37 and an NCAA B time standard.
In the 50 yard freestyle the senior bettered his season best time of 19.60 and made his third consecutive Championship final in the event. In the final he would blaze to new school record and Jamaica best time of 19.30. It also bettered the time standard of 19.43 to be invited to the NCAA Division I final.
Plaschka’s evolution of speed
His performance ranks as the second fastest collegiate performance of all time by a CARIFTA region swimmer
He would gain another automatic invitation to the Championships when the Notre Dame team placed fourth in the 200 yard freestyle relay in a season best of 1:17.61. That just under cut the A standard of 1:17.62.
In the 100 yard butterfly Justin was just off his season best of 46.84 when he stopped the clock in 46.92. It earned him a second swim in the C final. Knowing he was in a different class than the field he was to race he demonstrated that from the firing of the starter’s gun.He blitzed the field with an opening leg of 20.97, an advantage of more than a half a second. With the field defeated it would be a question of what time he would post. He did not disappoint as he registered his first sub 46 seconds swim touching in 45.41.A swim that would have earned the Bronze medal. It blew away his school record and Jamaica best of 46.05 and also went under the 2017 NCAA invitation time of 46.10.
It also pushes him past 45.82 Cayman Olympian Shaune Fraser (Beijing 2008, London 2012) as the second fastest CARIFTA collegiate swimmer of all time.
He would help the 400 yard medley team to fourth and a season best and NCAA B time of 3:08.32 with a butterfly split of 45.34 .
In the 100 yard freestyle he would lower his season best twice .In the morning he recorded 43.48. Competing in the C final he easily topped the competition with a swim of 43.02. He had taken the wind out of the sails of the competition with a split of 20.01.In his final event the Notre Dame team recorded a season best and A qualifying time of 2:51.62.
When draftingthecaribbean caught up with Plaschka he gave his thoughts about his swims
“I was relatively happy with my swims in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly. I was glad I was able to take off in both and hit times that would send me to NCAA’s. Only thing I was disappointed in and know that I have to work on in the future is racing better in the mornings. It’s something I know I will be working on the next few weeks in preparation for NCAA’s”.
Notre Dame finished fourth overall with 941 points.North Carolina State topped the
The final day of competition at the UANA Cup at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex on Jan 21 saw Keianna Moss of The Bahamas and Zoe Anthony of Trinidad and Tobago earning medals .
Moss added to the 100 metre backstroke Bronze she had won earlier in the competition when she won the Silver in the 50 metre backstroke in 33.71. The Gold went to Luiza Lima of Brazil in 33.30 and the Bronze to Emilia Julieta Gutierrez Merino of Mexico in 34.16. When draftingthecaribbean spoke to her after the race she had the following thoughts
“In the 50 backstroke I got Silver I executed my race how my coach wanted me to but on my start I went a little too deep. I missed by PB by hundredths of a second. I am proud to bring home the Silver for The Bahamas”.
Zoe Anthony of Trinidad and Tobago showed grit and determination to win her first medal of the competition in the last individual race of the meet , the 50 metre butterfly .Anthony had a number near misses before stepping on to the medal podium stopping the clock in 31.44 to win Bronze. Silver went to Paraguay’s Astrid Caballero in 31.42 and the Gold to Mexican Sofia Laureano Perez in 30.14. Anthony was the best placed CARIFTA region garnering 29 points to place 6th overall.When draftingthecaribbean spoke to the versatile youngster she gave her impression of her performances in Florida
“I certainly felt relieved to finish in third place in the 50 fly you don’t want to attend a swim meet of this calibre and go home empty handed I had three 4th places finished in the 400 free, 200 free and a heartbreaker in the 100 freestyle (she was out touched for the Bronze by 0.25 of a second) so my third place finish was indeed very satisfying. Overall the meet was a tough one for me. The competition from the Mexicans and Brazilians was really challenging and the weather on Day One was a significant challenge. My times were much slower than normal for the 400 free and 200IM but overall it was a fantastic experience”.
Nigel Forbes of The Bahamas and Zarek Wilson of Trinidad and Tobago were the standout performers in the 11-12 age group for the CARIFTA region on Day 2 of the UANA Cup in Coral Springs Florida.
Forbes etched his name in the history books by becoming the first CARIFTA region Gold medallist at the competition when he won the 50 metre breaststroke in a time of 34.20. Nigel won the race handily turning back the challenge of Mexican duo of Juan Valverde Sánchez 35.56 and Nathan Ochoa Neurouth 35.70.He would also claim Silver in the 100 metre butterfly in a time of 1:03.34 (split time 29.08). In speaking to draftingthecaribbean the Bahamian expressed the following thoughts about his showing on Day Two.
“I was very pleased with my performances and I enjoyed all my races”
Trinidad and Tobago’s Zarek Wilson continued his magnificent form at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex winning Three more medals, Gold and Two Bronze for an overall total of Six ,One Gold One Silver and Four Bronze medals. He got Trinidad and Tobago’s first ever Gold medal at the competition when he won the 100 metre backstroke in 1:07.63. He was easily ahead of Silver medallist Mexican José Nangullasmú Arellane 1:08.80 and Simon Bermudez of Colombia 1:11.80. He started the Day with a Bronze medal in the 100 metre butterfly in 1:03.48 (split time 29.28) . He would win another Bronze medal in the 200 metre freestyle in 2:09.05 (split time 1:03.38).
When draftingthecaribbean spoke the young speedster he gave his impressions of the meet and his performances so far
“ I am really happy with my performances on Day Two and looking forward to the final day of competition. Today’s races were challenging. I am happy with my personal best in the 100 metre butterfly and 200 metre freestyle. While I was just off my personal best in the 100 metre backstroke I am elated with my first Gold medal of this competition. I have to give thanks to God first and my coaches, teammates and my supportive family and friends.
Keianna Moss of The Bahamas ensured a podium spot of Day Two after finishing fourth in the 50 metre freestyle a day earlier. She took the Bronze medal in the 100 metre backstroke in a time of 1:12.50 . Moss actually had the fastest opening split with a time of 35.10. Speaking about her swim she said
“I was mentally and physically focused on my race and I executed my race just like how my coach expected me to and I am very proud to represent the Bahamas”
The US Virgin Islands would win their first medal at the Cup ,a Bronze in the girls 200 metre freestyle relay . The team of Lindsey Barr 31.05, Victoria Sperber 31.50,Fairley Maltby 32.04 and Gabriela Brunt 30.61 stopped the clock in 2:05.25.
The top CARIFTA regional performers in the 11-12 age group in other events included
The CARIFTA region’s swimmer performed well on the opening day of the UANA Cup . The meet which being held in Coral Springs Florida is designed for athletes from Central America, South America, and the Caribbean that are in UANA Zones 1 and 2. Despite the temperature reaching as low as 14 degrees Celsius the Regions swimmers still brought the heat winning EIGHT medals on the day Three Silver and Four Bronze medals. Leading the way in the 11-12 age group was Zarek Wilson who won a Silver and Two Bronze medals.
Zarek became not only the first medallist from Trinidad and Tobago but the Region when he won the Bronze in the 400 metre freestyle in a time of 4:33.49.He would also win the Region’s second medal when he won yet another Bronze in the 200 metre individual medley in a time of 2:31.50. He would complete the medal hat trick when he won the Silver in the 50 metre freestyle in a time of 27.32. He had the following thoughts about his performances
“The first day was a bit tough because the weather was colder than what I am accustomed to. I am happy to have won medals for Trinidad and Tobago. The competition was stiff, which is what Coach Edmund Pouchet wanted me to face. The UANA Cup is a chance to face quality swimmers so I can see all the areas I have to improve. I am looking forward to the rest of my races where I hope to challenge my best times.”
Zarek’s Silver lead to a medal rush with the region winning medals as well in the 13-14 and 15-17 races. In the 13-14 race it was The Bahamas Lamar Taylor who also took the Silver in a time of 24.57 and earned The Bahamas first medal of the competition.He was edged by the narrowest of margins by Mexican Victor Salcedo Carrillo who clocked 24.56. Lamar spoke to draftingthecaribbean about his performance
“After the disappointment at CCCAN (he was disqualified in the final) I basically just wanted to regain my title and swim my heart out.The race went pretty well .My start was not the best but it was good enough for me to get enough momentum.During the race I looked once and saw the boy in Lane 3 and swam harder . I was kind of disappointed by the one hundredth defeat but to be honest I wasn’t really focused on the place I was focused on the time”.
There would be another medal for The Bahamas as Izaak Bastian won the Bronze in the 15-17 age group.He won Bronze in a time of 24.08.That swim was under the Youth Olympic B qualifying time of 24.38. He gave his analysis of his race
“The 50 was a pretty good race for where I am in my training.I took some more time off than I usually do because I knew coming into the next 2 or 3 years in my training I know I will have to be very focused and not take off that much time.This winter break I took off 18 days so I could mentally reset before going into the next 2 years and decompress from 2017.This was only my second week back in training so to get up and go 24.0 with only two weeks of training was pretty impressive for me so I was really happy with the time.It was also great to see the swimmers I don’t normally race from Argentina and Brazil.I felt I had a good race the breakout was good I felt like I getting on it in my first couple of strokes which is something I have been working on a lot in practice”
Roan Baker of Barbados in the 13-14 age group earned his country’s first medal when he won the Silver in the 200 metre individual medley in a time of 2:18.23.
Barbados would earn the last medal for the region when the Boys 15-17 200 metre medley relay team of Jack Kirby backstroke 27.47,Nkosi Dunwoody breaststroke 31.93 ,Luis Sebastian Weekes butterfly 27.16 and Damon St Prix freestyle freestyle won the Bronze in a new senior national and 15-17 age group record of 1:51.99. That lowered decades old record of 2:02.88 set back April 1993.That team had in their line up Dean Durant doing backstroke and Chris Moseley doing anchor leg duties.
The young ladies winning medals on the day included Jamaica’s Emily MacDonald who won the Silver in the 13-14 50 metre freestyle in 27.42.She gave draftingthecaribbean an assessment of her performance on Day One
“Medalling at UANA was a very big accomplishment for me especially swimming against the best swimmers from Central and South America who I am not used to competing against. Winning the very first medal for Jamaica at this meet was also a big accomplishment for me”.
Winning the only medal for the Region’s 15-17 girls
was Curacao sprint princess Chadé M. Nersicio. She won the Silver in the event in 26.72 under the Youth Olympics B qualifying time of 27.39
Lilly Higgs of The Bahamas representing SwimMac Carolina got yet another medal for the CARIFTA region on Thursday December 7, Day 2 of the 2017 Speedo Winter Junior Championships East .Swimming the breaststroke leg of the 400 yard medley relay at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville Tennessee the ladies of SwimMac Carolina won Bronze. The team of Julia Menkhaus backstroke 54.21, Higgs 1:01.14, Sophie Lindner butterfly 53.89 Olywin Bartis freestyle 49.31 had total time of 3:38.55.
When the results are combined with the competition being held in the West Higgs, who is the reigning 15-17 100 metre breaststroke champions had the 7th fastest overall breaststroke split of the 107 competing teams. The Gold medal in the East went to Nashville Aquatics in 3:36.88 and the Silver to Cardinal Aquatics in 3:37.39.
Chade Nercisio of Curacao who represents East Coast Aquatics earned a second swim in the 50 yard freestyle qualifying for the C final .In that night’s final she topped the field with a time of 22.97 just of her personal best of 22.93.
The Cayman Islands Lauren Hew representing Saint Andrews recorded the 3rd fastest time of her career in the 50 yard freestyle when she stopped the clock in 23.44 to finish 32nd . Higgs recorded the 2nd fastest time of her career when she stopped the clock in 24.15 to place 125th .
In the 200 yard individual medley Higgs recorded her 3rd fastest time ever when she hit the wall in 2:03.06 to place 33rd.
In the 400 yard medley relay Nersicio put in another strong performance to help her East Coast Aquatics team to 25th overall. She split 50.25 on the freestyle leg to help the team to 3:49.15