MORLEY MAKES MAJOR MOVE!! LAURA LOWERS 200 BREAST RECORD, SECURES OLYMPIC B STANDARD

At the 2019 US Open held in December Bahamian Laura Morley made a major move to Olympic qualification with a personal best and new national record and an Olympic B standard time in the 200 metre breaststroke .Laura bettered the Olympic B standard twice. She stopped the clock in a new all time Bahamian best first in the heats in 2:27.83 in the heats and then later in the Championship final swam to a time of 2:28.38 .The Olympic B standard is 2:29.89. .Laura has now set the senior national record in the event 11 times.

Laura Morley

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Morley after the competition about competing as a professional swimmer.The last meet of her collegiate career was the NCAA Division I championships in March 2019.Morley ended her college tenure ended as the fourth fastest performer in Indiana school history in the 200 yards breaststroke with a time of 2:08.16.  The  Big Ten Distinguished Scholar gave her thoughts on how life is different as a professional swimmer compared  to college in terms of training and other areas.

“Thankfully Indiana Swimming allowed me to join the professional team after I graduated in May, so I still get to train with the collegiate team but now without school I have a lot more time to focus on recovery, nutrition and swimming as a whole. The transition has been made a lot easier than I expected and a lot of that is due to having the full support of my coaching staff, weight coaches and former teammates. Becoming a pro swimmer has been such an awesome experience because I can truly focus on my swimming goals and have learnt so much about myself since March”.

Morley en route to a new national record and Olympic B qualifying time

She also spoke smashing her 200 metre breaststroke national mark and getting the Olympic B cut, training and her preparations and expectations before the US Open.

 “I was rested and shaved for US Open! I recently swam at the TYR Pro Series meet in Greensboro the weekend of November 9th and swam right on my best times. That was very reassuring and gave me a lot of confidence in my training all fall. We have been putting in a lot of hard training since I got back to Bloomington in September, so getting some rest at US Open was an opportunity for me to see where my hard training has taken me. I have been working towards getting the B cut in the 200 breaststroke but that was not the expectation heading into US Open. We wanted to take the great racing opportunity at US Open to give me some great racing practice against higher level competition than I was used to.”

Laura bettered the Olympic B standard twice .She crushed the national standard from the heats 2:27.83 compared to 2:30.24.Her first 50 was very aggressive compared to her last national record 33.88 to 35.27 and her third 50 as well 37.65 versus 38.65.

Morley before the Championship final
200 metre breaststrokePan Am GamesUS Open
First 5034.7933.88
Second 5038.2637.18
Third 5038.5137.89
Fourth 5038.6538.88
Total Time2:30.212:27.83

Laura gave her insight if the race strategy to attack those two 50’s specifically and if she was very confident in her training to take it out so fast?

“Yes, I was in a very competitive heat in the morning and knew that the girls next to me would throw down some good times, so I took that opportunity to go out and race them. I did take it out more aggressively than normal, but still very control so I could have some speed on the back half of the race. We have been working a lot on 200 pace long course so I had confidence in my training and race strategy”.

Alia Atkinson

Laura is easily the number two all time in the event for the CARIFTA region. The A cut is 2:25.52 and  Olympian Alia Atkinson tops the all-time  CARIFTA ranking with  her national record 2:25.48. The Nassau native is currently faster than the best CARIFTA time posted at the Olympics Atkinson’s then national record of 2:28.77 at the London 2012 Olympic Games .

Adriana Marmolejo Photo courtesy of sala de prensa

She is also faster than the CCCAN best time at the Olympics of 2:28.10 by Adriana Marmolejo which was the then national record for Mexico.

Morley spoke about her next outing and if she had any specific times in mind?

“I am competing at the Knoxville TYR Pro Series meet in January but will be training through that meet and using as racing practice. I do not have any specific times in mind but just want to get more comfortable with my race strategy and racing in competitive heats. I am heading into another hard training block for a few months until I rest again sometime in the spring”.

In the 100 breast Morley was just off her best time of 1:10.44. She took us through that race and what adjustments she would need to make to go after the B cut of 1:09.08.

100 metre breaststrokeMayDec
First 5033.2533.28
Second 5037.1937.18
Total Time1:10.441:10.46

“This fall we have been focusing on the 200 more so than the 100, but using the 100 as good practice for the 200. I was pleased with my morning swim of the 100 as it was just off my best time, which gave me a lot of confidence going into the 200. I have been working on getting my strength and speed up for the 100, but it is still a work in progress! The B cut in the 100 is a great goal to keep in mind!”

GABBY BANKS MOVES TO #5 ON ALL TIME LIST OF FEMALE JAMAICAN SPRINTERS AT FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPS

Cypress Bay senior Jamaican Gabrianna Banks continued show why she is among the best female sprinters Jamaica has ever produced with her swansong performance in the 50 yard freestyle at the 4A Florida high school championships.

Gabrianna Banks Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The meet which was held on on November 15,2019 at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida.She entered the competition with a season best of 24.20 in the splash and dash. She crushed that seasonal best with a swift 23.68. That morning swim challenged her personal standard of 23.53 . In the final she would show her sprinting abilities yet again setting a new personal best of 23.38.That would give her fifth place, her highest ever placing at the State level. This is an improvement from eight place in 2018 where she clocked 23.79. The race was won by Lexie Mulvihill in 22.46

Banks has been her school’s standard bearer in the race for the last four years. That swim also moves her to the fifth place in Jamaica’s all time list in the 50 yard freestyle.

JAMAICAN WOMEN OF SPEED

Natasha Moodie at the 2010 NCAA Division I Championships.Photo courtesy of gobluephotos.com
Name Time (Year)
Natasha Moodie22.26 (2011)
Alia Atkinson23.03 (2009)
Dawn Kane23.12 (2002)
Breanna Roman23.36 (2015)
Gabrianna Banks23.38 (2019)
Shaunie Johnson23.43 (2018)
Emily MacDonald23.43 (2019)
Kelsie Campbell23.53 (2017)

The top two swimmers Olympians Natasha Moodie and Alia Atkinson were conditioned at the Comets Swim club back in high school in the early 2000’s by Chris Anderson. Anderson, who now heads South Florida Aquatics Club where Banks now trains as does World Record holder Atkinson.

Gabrianna Banks in flight during a relay takeover at the UANA Cup Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Banks ,who is the reigning CCCAN Bronze medallist in the 15-17 50 metre freestyle, is arguably the most reliable relay swimmer Jamaica has produced at the age group with her swift relay splits continued show why she she is the “Transporter”. In the 200 yard medley relay B final she had the fastest anchor leg of 23.36 .That enabled her Cypress Bay to move from 7th to 2nd in 1:48.76. Lake Brantley’s anchor leg Elizabeth Linartas just held off Banks to help them touch in 1:48.17. This bettered the 2018 performance where the team finished 7th in the B final in 1:52.21

In the 200 yard freestyle relay the Weston Florida based institution deployed Banks on the opening leg to ensure the team was competitive in the Championship final.It worked as Gabby recorded 23.54 the fastest of the opening legs to help them tie with Venice in a total time of 1:37.21. The race was won by Oviedo in 1:33.68. This is much better than 2018 where the team won the B final in time of 1:41.11.

There would be yet another Championship final for the team as they placed seventh in the 400 yard freestyle relay in a time of 3:32.20.Banks anchored her Cypress quarter with a split of 51.62. Last year the team did not qualify for the Championship and in 2017 they were fourth in the B final. Gabby produced an anchor leg of 53.72.

Cypress Bay finished the competition for the girls in 11th spot with 79 points.The winners were Oviedo who amassed 333 points

Gabby Banks.Photo courtesy of sun- sentinel.com

DrafitingtheCaribbean spoke to Banks after her final Championships on November 21 about her performances as well as the outlook for the long course season and going under the 26 seconds barrier for the 50 metre race

“I am very happy with my best time in the 50 and my relay swims.I am working to train more mid distance so my 100 split in the 400 free relay which was a great reflection of my training . I am excited for long course season to hopefully go 25 in the 50 metre freestyle and lower my 100 best time”.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP REPRESENTATIVE JORDAN CROOKS OF CAYMAN TO HEADLINE DEAN MARTIN MEMORIAL

The competition at the upcoming Dean Martin Memoria swim meet which will be held this upcoming weekend from October 25 to 27 will be enhanced by the presence of World Championships representative Jordan Crooks of Camana Bay Aquatics from the Cayman Islands. Jordan who along with sister Jillian will be representing their club at the three day competition.

Jordan and Jillian Crooks

Jordan, whose parents are Jamaicans had a breakout season for the calendar year 2019. At the CARIFTA Championships held in Barbados in April he won five individual medals including Gold in the 200 metre freestyle in a then season best of 1:57.45.

After that he was handed his first individual senior cap when he was selected for the Island Games in Gibraltar in July. The island Games .The Games are a multisport event held by International Island Games Association whose members include Alderney, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Froya, Gibraltar, Gotland, Guernsey, Greenland, Hitra, Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, Jersey, Menorca, Orkney, Rhodes, Saaremaa, St. Helena, Sark, Shetland, Western Isle, Ynys Mon and Åland.

He justified the faith shown in him by his nation’s selectors with a five medal haul ..His medal tally in the meet contested in the 25 metre pool saw him being crowned the champion in the 100 metre freestyle in a time of 49.94 .

Jordan posing with Island Games Gold medal .Photo courtesy of CIASA swimming
EventTime Place
100 metre freestyle49.94Gold
200 metre mixed freestyle relay1:38.41Silver
100 metre backstroke56.40Bronze
50 metre backstroke25.45Bronze
50 metre freestyle22.96Bronze

Later that month he was given his biggest assignment to date ,the World Championships in Gwangju South Korea. He raced to personal best times in both individual events he contested the 100 and 200 metre freestyle touching the wall in 52.36 and 1:56.33.

For his accomplishments he was recently awarded the 15-18- National Junior Swimmer of the Year and Open National Junior Swimmer of the Year on October 6.

President of CIASA Michael Lockwood presenting Jordan with one of his awards.Photo courtesy of CIASA swimming

Crooks spoke about the year 2019 so far and what his expectations are for the meet in Jamaica

“My experience at the Island Games and the World Championships was amazing.I was able to compete with elite and professional swimmers who pushed me  to swim faster.I was satisfied with my performances this past year and Iam grateful for the awards that I received from CIASA ( Cayman Islands Aquatic Sports Association)At the Dean Martin meet this weekend I will be swimming the 100 metre backstroke , the 50, 100, 200 and 400 metre freestyle  and the 100 metre butterfly.My hopes are to achieve some personal best times during the competition”.

Jordan who is no stranger to the meet already holds the 15-16 records in the 100 metre butterfly, 200 metre freestyle and 50 metre freestyle.

Event Best timesMeet records
100 metre backstroke1:02.271:03.75
50 metre freestyle23.4924.60
100metre freestyle52.3654.42
200 metre freestyle1:56.332:01.75
100metre butterfly59.3059.83

In 2018 Y Speedos won the overall trophy with 845 points, followed by Tornadoes with 768 points and then the Marlins with 256 points. The meet serves as the first swim meet for the local 2019-2020 season .The meet starts at 6pm on Friday with starting times for Saturday 8:30 am and 1pm and 9am on Sunday.

GUNNING GETS READY FOR TOKYO BID WITH NEW NATIONAL RECORD

Jamaica’s Michael Gunning opened the 2019-2020 season in the best possible fashion by setting a new national record.  The 25 year old who competes for Stockport Metro competing in the 2019 Manchester International Swim Meet  set a new national standard in the 200 metre butterfly.

The meet which ran from October 18 to 19 which was contested in short course metres saw Gunning qualifying seventh for the final in a time of 2:05.27.In the final he blew past his opening salvo in the morning heats to win the Bronze in a time of 1:59.98. In doing so he became the first Jamaican under the 2 minutes. He bettered his old national standard of 2:00.07 set in 2017.

Michael Gunning

By going out aggressively Gunning ensured himself a new national standard .

Comparison of record splits

Year20192017
First 5026.6326.98
Second 5030.3631.02
Third 5031.0432.31
Fourth 5031.9529.76
Total time1:59.982:00.07

Gold went Richard Nagy of City of Sheffield in 1:58.67 and the Silver to Tom Beely of Plymouth Leander in 1:58.84.

Gunning spoke to draftingthecaribbean about the national record swim after the race

“I am really happy to set that Jamaican record in the 200 metre butterfly tonight. Now that it is the Olympic cycle everyone wants to swim fast.Everyone is going for the fast times.To get a Bronze medal at the Manchester International I am really pleased with that as I did not expect it. My coach Sean Kelly has been pushing me in training. This meet was just to swim through it and see what times I could post when I am in hard training. I am excited for things to come”

Gunning who placed 16th in the 200 metre freestyle in a time of 1:53.10 .He is also the national record holder with a time of 1:48.28.

He also spoke about his training programme

Michael Gunning

“I am currently training out here in the United Kingdom,Training is going very well. I am in the water 10 times a week and each session is about two and a half hours.I am covering a lot of metres  .I averaging 75 to 80,000 metres a week.I also have three gym sessions as well.Training is going well .I am really training very hard . The result came as a surprise because I am not rested or tapered. The result came after a week of 80,000 metres. Things are looking good for the Olympic cycle so I can qualify for Tokyo”.

2019 World Championships 100 metre breaststroke men Mexican Miguel Chavez Gonzalez tops CCCAN region in South Korea, National records fall for Sanes and Joachim

Miguel Chavez Gonzalez photo courtesy of minersathletics.com

The 100 metre breaststroke for men contested on the opening day of the World Swimming Championship in Gwangju South Korea saw Mexican Miguel Chavez Gonzalez as the top CCCAN swimmer .He dropped more than a second from his personal best to record a time of 1:02.37. An aggressive first 50 metres of 28.99 helped him to achieve the top regional placing of 45th overall.

Edgar Crespo Photo courtesy of http://www.panamaamerica.com

Panama’s  national record holder Edgar Crespo recorded a 2019 best time of 1:02.62 (split time 28.83) for 48th overall. This is the eighth consecutive World Championships Crespo has contested this event .

YearTimePlace
20191:02.6248th
20171:01.7432nd
20151:02.3740th
20131:01.9537th
20111:01.9440th
20091:02.9264th
20071:06.0067th
20051:08.2271st
Adriel Sanes .Photo courtesy of University of Denver athletics

Adriel Sanes of the US Virgin Islands recorded a new national record to place 48th overall. He lowered his old national standard of 1:03.71 (split time 29.27) from the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games to 1:02.91 (split time 29.18). His performance is also the best performance. The previous fastest time was done by Abraham McLeod of Trinidad and Tobago who clocked 1:03.47 for 49th overall at the 2013 Barcelona Championships. This is a big improvement for Adriel who had placed 63rd in the 2015 Kazan Championships with a time of 1:07.16.It is also the first top 50 performance by a swimmer from the US Virgin Islands in the event.

National record holder from Honduras Julio Horrego was just off his national record of 1:03.30 when he touched in a time of 1:03.55.That is the fastest time a Honduran swimmer has ever recorded at these championships. He placed 57th.

The 2019 CARIFTA Champion and record holder Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas recorded a swim of 1:03.60 to place 58th in his World Champs debut.

Fausto Huerta of the Dominican Republic was 63rd in a time of 1:04.65.

Rainer Rafaela of Curacao recorded a personal best of 1:06.41 (split time 31.15) to finish 71st overall.

Costa Rican Arnoldo Herrera was just behind him with a time of 1:06.42 for 72nd .

Alex Joachim .Photo courtesy of iwnsvg.com

There was a new national record for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as Alex Joachim clocked 1:08.14 (split time 31.78) for 80th . The previous national standard was set by Shane Cadogan just this year at the 2019 CARIFTA Championships during the heats of the 15-17 age group.

2019 World Championships 400 metre freestyle women Joanna Evans of The Bahamas leads CCCAN region

Joanna Evans Fastest woman ever from the English speaking CARIFTA region

Joanna Evans of The Bahamas made her debut in the 400 metre freestyle on the opening day of the World championships. In her maiden performance where she placed 16th overall she became the fastest ever English speaking woman at the global champs. With a midway split of 2:02.37 she finished with a season best of 4:11.06. The previous English speaking Caribbean best was held by Lani Cabrera of Barbados who swam 4:28.31 for 41st at the 2015 Kazan World Champs.  In addition to Evans is also the highest placing English speaking woman ever in the event with her top 20 finish. Joanna also had the highest placing among CCCAN swimmers in the event.

Elisbet Matos Photo courtesy of desdeesteladodelaisla

Second for the region was Elisbet Gamez Matos of Cuba who recorded her country ‘s best ever finish and time at these World Championships with a 4:18.19 clocking for 29th overall. The previous best t placing was held by Daniela Benavides when she was 33rdth  with a time of 4:21.36.

Honduran national record holder Sara Pastrana was 34th in a time of 4:27.65.Costa Rican Amanda Alfaro was next in the ranking with a time of 4:29.91 just off her personal and season best time of 4:28.80.

Guatemala’s Daila Ismatul touched in 4:34.75 for 37th overall.

Danielle Treasure of Barbados was 40th in 4:37.22.

The first female swimmer from the Cayman Islands to contest this event and reigning CARIFTA 13-14 Champion Raya Embury-Brown was 41st in 4:38.17.

Natalia Kuipers of the US Virgin Islands was 42nd with a time of 4:41.69.

GOLD AT LAST !! ALIA WINS 50 METRE BREASTSTROKE WORLD TITLE

Alia Atkinson making a surge for the the lead Photo courtesy of fina.org

Signed, Sealed ,Delivered!! Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson finally captures the 50 metre breaststroke World Title at the  14th FINA World Swimming Championships in Hangzhou China. Atkinson won the event in which she set the world record this season in a time of 29.05.Somewhat fittingly she would the take  title from her rival in the early years of the FINA World Cup Tour Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte  and the woman who denied her the Gold twice in 2012 and 2014 . 

The race itself saw the European taking the lead from the start with a reaction time of 0.60 to Atkinson’s 0.62. On the two occasions that the two ladies battled for the World Title in the 50 metre breaststroke Ruta had the faster reaction time and won the race . 

Analysis of Reaction times in Championship finals

2014 50 metre breaststroke podium from left to right Atkinson,Meilutyte and Nijuis .photo courtesy of FINA.org
VenueRutaAlia
World champs 2012 Turkey0.610.66
World Champs 2014 Qatar0.600.66
Atkinson off to a fast start in the heats of the 50 metre breaststroke

The story would not be the same in China as Alia put on another display of excellent underwater work at the 25 metre mark to pull away and win her first global title in the 50 metre breaststroke in 29.05. Ruta won the Silver in 29.38. Italy’s Martina Carraro won the Bronze in 29.59.

In the words of  Jamaican superstar Buju Banton “It is not an easy road many see the glammer and glitter so dem tink  a bed of rose”. The path to Gold has not been easy and has been one where she has overcome many struggles since her debut at the 2004 Indianapolis Championships  to earn the title as the fastest sprint breaststroker in the world

THE ROAD TO GOLD

World champs 2004 Athens33.1717th
World Champs 2010 United Arab Emirates30.22Sixth
World champs 2012 Turkey29.67Silver
World Champs 2014 Qatar28.91Silver
World Champs 2016 Canada29.11Silver
World Champs 2018 China29.05Gold

Now taking Command of the 50 metre breaststroke she has charted a new course for the region’s swimmers to follow. Atkinson now  has the most medals for either men or women from the CCCAN at the World Short Course swimming Championships with eight to her name. 


Cameron van der Burgh .Photo courtesy of The South African

No other woman has won as many medals as Atkinson in the event as she now has four medals. Ruta trails her on that medal count with three. She is also tied with South Africa’s  Cameron van der Burgh  and the Ukraine’s Oleh Lisohor as all time top medallists in World Championships history in the event.


Rodolfo Falcón 

DATE WITH DESTINY

Alia is half way en route to Matching Cuba’s Rodolfo Falcón who won World Championships backstroke sprint Gold in the 50 and 100 metres at the 1999 Hong Kong Championships. With her current form and mindset forged by the steel of many tough Championships it would be hard to bet against her doing the Golden Double in the breaststroke sprint events.

Chris Anderson and Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of Tweedsmuir Atkinson

Alia’s coach and coach of the Jamaican delegation Chris Anderson had the following thoughts about her historic win shortly after the race 

‘It was a sweet swim by Alia Atkinson. The 50 metre breaststroke has always been a difficult race to start off the World Championships. By having a great turn and solid finish I think it is really going to build confidence for the 100 metre breaststroke. Great swim for her and looking forward to more swimming at Worlds”

ALIA’S IMPACT

Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of straitimes

Team Leader Dr Brian James spoke to draftingthecaribbean about Alia’s impact “All the swimmers in Hangzhou appear to really love her. When her name is called there is a resounding cheer and everyone is encouraging her and pushing her to do her best.At the training venue people come up to her all the time, all the swimmers from all the countries not confined to to the Caribbean islands everyone loves Alia”.

Jamaica and the CCCAN region’s once in a generation athlete Alia Atkinson promises to deliver more in China as the competition continues.

DYLAN CARTER WINS HISTORIC SILVER MEDAL

 

The twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago made their first foray into swimming at the Commonwealth Games when the contingent of Laura de Neef , Geoffrey Ferriera and Johny Littlepage competed at the 1966 Games in Kingston Jamaica. Some 52 years later which has seen the participation 17 swimmers at 11 Games the  the medal podium breakthrough  has been made in the 50 metre butterfly.

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games: Day 2
2018 Commonwealth Games 50 metre butterfly podium from left to right Carter,Le Clos and Coetzee Photo courtesy of teamsa.co.za

After posting times of 23.62 in the heats and 23.90 in the semis ,Carter got the job done with a Silver medal winning performance of 23.67 to finish behind South African Chad Le Clos who took Gold in 23.37. The Bronze medal went to another South African Ryan Coetzee in 23.73.

World junior 50 fly medal podium
World Junior Swimming championships 50 metre butterfly podium from left to right Carter Silver medallist,Gold medallist Cameron Jones Australia, Bronze medallist Takaya Yasue Japan Photo courtesy of Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

Just as Carter had held his hand to be counted as one of the best with a Trinidad and Tobago and CARIFTA region first at the 2013 World Junior Championships in Dubai,United Arab Emirates where he won Silver in the same event he provided that chapter changing moment again at Optus Aquatic Centre on April 6 in Gold Coast Australia.  Coetzee, is another swimmer successfully navigating senior waters had placed fifth in the 2013 World Junior Championships in the same event.

Draftingthecaribbean spoke General Secretary of CCCAN Maureen Croes today and for asked her thoughts about the progress being made in Caribbean swimming and of Carter’s accomplishments

“Indeed a historic moment!

CCCAN is incredibly proud and excited about this medal. Over the past years, there have been several athletes in the aquatic disciplines from our region who have been able to break into the top. This is an indication that the aquatic disciplines are developing and improving and that our leaders, our coaches, our parents and our athletes are able to find ways to continue their development beyond the age group levels. I think that the combination of the financial help and the availability of clinics, schools and scholarships from FINA and Olympic Solidarity, the cooperation between CCCAN and UANA, and the more professional way that the federations in our region are approaching the aquatics, all contribute to the development.  I look forward to seeing more of our athletes winning medals and making finals at big meets like this one”.

CCCAN REGION’S BEST MIDDLE DISTANCE SWIMMER EL SALVADOR MARCELO ACOSTA CONTINUES DEMOLITION OF SCHOOL RECORD IN 500 YARD FREESTYLE

When the 2018 NCAA Division I championships started on Wednesday March 21 at the Jean K Freeman Aquatic Center in Minneapolis Minnesota El Salvador’s Olympian Marcelo Acosta (Rio 2016) was already Louisville’s school record holder, and the CCCAN number one of all time in the 500 yard freestyle with a Bronze medal winning performance of 4:13.70 at the 2018 ACC’s. There would be more in store for the region to celebrate at the Championships.

Marcelo Acosta gocards
Marcelo Acosta Photo courtesy of Louisville swimming and diving

In the morning heats of the event on Thursday March 22 he lowered the time marginally to record a new personal best of 4:13.64. That would earn him a  second swim in the event at the elite meet . The junior earned the second seed in the B final with that performance. In the final that evening he would continue his record breaking streak. The first 300 yards saw a close battle between Acosta, Notre Dame’s Zach Yeadon and Fynn Minuth of South Carolina .

Marcelo Acosta NCAA Div I pic
Marcelo Acosta CCCAN standard bearer in the 500 yard freestyle Photo courtesy of NCAA.com

 

It was at that point that Acosta gained the ascendancy and pulled away from the pack to crush his morning swim’s time and register a new personal , school and CCCAN standard of 4:11.61. Yeadon would place second in the race in 4:13.95, a school record with Minuth third in 4:14.05.This is a major improvement for the Sports Administration Major at the Championships as his best placing was 27th in 2017 with a time of 4:18.04. In the last 5 years no other Cardinal has placed higher.

FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS BASTIAN BROWN, DIEFFENTHALLER AND GRANT LEAD REGIONAL CHARGE FOR 100 YARD BREASTSTROKE 1A STATE TITLE.

The battle for 100 yard breaststroke 1A State Championship title will see the CARIFTA region represented by three territories The Bahamas with Izaak Bastian swimming for Saint Andrews, Jamaica with duo of Cameron Brown and Adrian Grant turning out for Sagemont and The Bolles School respectively and Trinidad and Tobago’s Christopher Dieffenthaller suiting up for Berkley.

bastian-in-action-1-a-champs
Bastian Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Yet again the at the 1A Championships to held today the top seed going into the morning heats will be a swimmer from the CARIFTA region as Izaak Bastian holds down the top spot with a seed time of 56.43. The FSU commit will be the man to beat tomorrow given the successes of the past season. At the CARIFTA level he extended his unbeaten streak in the 100 metre breaststroke with a winning time of 1:04.68, winning a historic Silver medal for his country at the Commonwealth Youth Games in a personal best time of 1:03.71 and recording the time by a Bahamian man at the World Junior championships with a time of 1:04.67. His build up to his last high school championships has been good with record breaking swim at the Palm Beach county championships where he smashed his 2016 meet record of 57.55 and the county record of 56.87 set by one of his coaches Quinn Cassidy with a 56.27 performance. He would follow up with wins at the district and Regional Champs

Date Meet Time
Oct 7 Palm Beach County Champs 56.27
Oct 20 1 A District Champs 57.73
Oct 27 1A Region 4 Champs 56.43

Izaak will be seeking to end his career with a win in the event following two 3rd place finishes previously

Year Event Time Placing Split
2016 100 yard breaststroke 55.68 3rd 26.46
2015 100 yard breaststroke 57.19 3rd 27.06

Cameron Brown 13-14 200 breatstroke Silver
13-14 CARIFTA 200 metre breaststroke Silver medallist Cameron Brown .Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Cameron Brown who is a Sagemont recruit will be competing in his first Championship meet. Brown is the 8th seed with a time of 1:00.21 He owns the Jamaican national long course record for 13-14 boys setting it this past summer with a time of 1:09.48 . That record swim represented the 4th time he set the record in the 13-14 age group. He has been getting faster with each competition and will be looking to go well beyond the minute mark today.

Date Meet Time Placing
Oct 20 1 A  District 10 Champs 1:00.67 2nd
Oct 27 1A Region 4 Champs 1:00.21 5th

Chris D
Christopher Dieffenthaller Photo courtesy of swimtt.com

Dieffenthaller  is the reigning 13-14 CCCAN 100 metre breaststroke champion He earned that title when he won that event at home in the twin island republic in a time of 1:09.10.Christopher will enter the water today as the number 15 seed with a time of 1:00.82. He seems set to better his 3rd place showing in the B final last year. Christopher will be looking to go under the 59 seconds barrier after posting 59.43 in the heats of last year’s champs.

Date Meet Time Placing
Oct 21 1A District 7 1:01.85 3rd
Oct 28 1A Region 3 1:00.82 3rd

Adrian Grant CARIFTA
Adrian Grant CARIFTA 2017 Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Adrian Grant of Bolles will be making his debut at the Championships like his Jamaican countryman Brown. Grant was a member of the 2017 CARIFTA team and posted a time of 1:10.41 for 10th overall. A swimmer poised for big time drops in his first year of training in the States as evidenced by his swims at the District and Regional Championships

Date Meet Time Placing
Oct 17 1A District 2 1:03.75 4th
Oct 26 1A District 1 1:01.44 6th

Today the quartet will look to add their name to the list of the regional standouts who have claimed Florida High School State Championships

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

 

Name Country School Division Year Time
Jordy Groters Aruba University School 1A 2013 54.76
Wayne Denswil Suriname St Brendan 2A 2013 56.97
Diguan Pigot Suriname Doral 1A 2011 56.44
Bradley Ally Barbados St Thomas Aquinas 3A 2004 54.79
Ansel Tam Suriname Bolles 4A 1997 57.12