CARIFTA LADIES NIGHT IN COLOMBIA ATKINSON AND EVANS SET NEW NATIONAL MARKS ON THEIR TO BARRANQUILLA GOLD

It was CARIFTA region ladies on Day Two of the swimming competition at the CAC (Central American and Caribbean ) Games in Barranquilla Colombia asOlympians Joanna Evans of The Bahamas and Jamaican doubled their Gold medal count . Both ladies set national records on their way to winning the 200 metre freestyle and 50 metre butterfly events respectively.

Coming to the competition Joanna was already the best the CARIFTA region had ever produced in the 200 metre freestyle with a national record of 1:59.19. What would now be asked is how could the competition push to her to new levels of excellence. Last night’s final would not disappoint.When the race got underway Joanna took the lead at the first turn with a time of 28.13. She was however closely followed by 2014 Bronze medallist Elisbet Gamez Matos of Cuba with 28.45 and Mexican Lilianna Ibanez Lopez 28.65. Lilianna could not hold the pace leaving Joanna and Elisbet to record the only sub 59 seconds 100 metre splits of 58.18 and 58.69. It would be the third 50 metres where Evans had a split of 30.01 that broke the Cuban resistance. Although Elisbet made a push on the final 50 metres it would not be enough as Joanna won in a new PB, national record and Games record of 1:58.03. The old record of 2:00.19 belong to Olympic Gold medallist Claudia Poll . Poll was a dominant force in her time in the event as she won virtually every Gold medal that was on offer.

Claudia Poll panamerican world
Claudia Poll celebrates after winning Olympic Gold at Atlanta 1996 Photo courtesy of Panamerican world
Date and Venue Medal
1993 Pan Pacific  Champs Gold
1995 World Short Course Champs Gold
1996 Olympics Gold
1998 World Champs (LCM) Gold
2006 CAC Games Gold

This is a major jump up the standings for Evans as in 2014 she placed sixth in 2:04.07.With her win Evans becomes the FIRST Bahamian man or woman to win the 200 metre freestyle as well as first English speaking woman to win the event .Joanna is the FIRST Bahamian man or woman complete the 200 and 400 metre free Gold Double. She is also the first CARIFTA region swimmer man or woman to complete the double in record time. Olympian Carolyn Adel did the double in 1998 but only the 400 metre freestyle was a Games Record. Her record swim automatically qualifies her for the 2019 Lima PAN AM Games, 2018 Hangzhou World Short Course Swimming championships and 2019 Gwangju (LCM) World Championships.  Silver went Gamez Matos in 1:58.55 and Lilianna the Bronze in 2:01.36.

When draftingthecaribbean contacted new Games record holder she spoke about the race and her expectations

“Going in, I knew it would be a close race. It’s always exciting to be able to race. It’s hard to tell how fast your going because it’s a little on the warm side, but I felt good. It’s great to get Team Bahamas fired up”.

 

Evans 200 free Gold
Joanna Evans poses with 200 metre freestyle Gold medal Photo courtesy of Juegos Centroamericanos y del Caribe Barranquilla 2018

National record progression

Date and Venue First 100 Second 100 Final Time
Aug 24,2017 WUG 58.23 1:00.83 1:59.19
July 21,2018 58.18 59.85 1:58.03
Alia 50 metre butterfly
Alia Atkinson posing with 50 metre butterfly Gold Photo courtesy of Gillian Millwood

Colombia will hold special memories for Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson as it was in 2006 when the 50 metre butterfly was introduced to swimming schedule she was the first winner of the event in Cartagena in a time of 28.59. Fast forward to 2018 in Barranquilla and Atkinson has not lost her appetite for Colombian Gold. In the heats we saw  signs that the Gold would be heading to Kingston when she broke her three year old 50 national record of 26.65 with a time of 26.54.  She would not be top seed as that went to 2010  and 2014 Bronze medallist Jeserik Pinto of Venezuela who got Lane 4 with a time of 26.52. In the final however Alia would prevail with a time of 26.60. Pinto upgraded her Bronze to Silver with a time of 26.76. Mexican Lilianna Ibanez Lopez  returned to win another Bronze in 27.08. With that swim Atkinson closes in on the A standard for the 2019 Gwangju World Champs of 26.34.

The event has been dominated by the CARIFTA region ladies as no swimmers other than Atkinson and recently retired Olympian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace have won this race.Additionally Vanderpool-Wallace holds the Games record at 26.46

Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace Photo courtesy of fitterandfaster.com
Year Winner Time
2006 Alia Atkinson 28.59
2010 Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace 26.92
2014 Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace 26.46
2018 Alia Atkinson 26.60
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EMILY MacDONALD LOWERS OLYMPIAN CLAUDIA POLL’S 100 FREESTYLE MEET STANDARD TO RECORD REGIONAL GOLDEN DOUBLE (CARIFTA AND CCCAN TITLES)

Day Four of the CCCAN Swimming championships saw Team Jamaica adding Four more medals to their tally One Gold , One Silver and Two Silver to have Eighteen medals Six Gold ,Four Silver and Eight Bronze medals.

Getting the Gold for the land of wood and water was Emily MacDonald in the girls 13-14 100 metre freestyle. She bounced back from illness on Day Three to win the freestyle title.

Emily Mac 13-14 100 free podium
13-14 100 metre freestyle medal podium from left to right Watson-Brown Bermuda, MacDonald and Libreros Bolivar Colombia Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

In the Championship final she recorded the only sub 28 seconds split at the halfway mark and then pulled away from the field to record a new personal best and CCCAN meet record of 57.95. It was also the fastest 100 metre freestyle time recorded by a girl at the Championship.

Claudia Poll panamerican world
Claudia Poll Photo courtesy of panamericanworld

That lowered the the more than three decades old standard of 58.34 byCosta Rican Olympic Gold medallist Claudia Poll (1996,2000 and 2004). MacDonald also is closing in on the national age group record of 57.54 held by Olympian Janelle Atkinson (2000,2004). It was Poll who held off Atkinson to win the Bronze in the 400 metre freestyle at the 2000 Sydney Games . That fourth place position at the Olympics is the joint highest placing at the Games along with Alia Atkinson’s fourth place at the 2012 London Games.

 

Winning the Silver was Bermuda’s Logan Watson-Brown in 58.82 and the Bronze to Colombia’s  Manuela Libreros Bolivar 1:01.38.

100 free CARIFTA 13-14
13-14 100 metre freestyle medallists at CARIFTA 2018 in Kingston from left to right Watson-Brown Bermuda Silver ,MacDonald Gold, Alvaranga Bronze Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

 

It also  marked the regional Golden Double as she captured the same title at the CARIFTA Games in her hometown of Kingston in April . It marked the second time she is completing the double after doing so in the 11-12 age group in 2016

Regional record for the 100 metre freestyle

Date Meet Medal Time
March 2016 CARIFTA Gold 1:02.02 split 29.40
July 2016 CISC Gold 1:00.26 split 29.18
April 2017 CARIFTA Silver 59.28 split 28.33
July 2017 CCCAN Gold 58.83 split 27.89
April 2018 CARIFTA Gold 57.99 split 28.17
July 2018

 

CCCAN Gold 57.95 split 27.79

Emily spoke to draftingthecaribbean about her performance after the race

“Going the 100 I was a bit nervous at first. The meet has  not been great so far .In my 200 metre freestyle I got a cramp in my leg and ended up doing a bad time as I added 5 seconds to my personal best and I did not swim the Championship final of the 50 metre butterfly because of that injury and the 100 metre butterfly was not a good race overall.so going into this race I was very nervous as I did not know how I was going to perform because I had not done well so far but I was just going to try my best. That was my mindset heading into the final.I told myself I prepared for this meet and I have trained so hard for this and it does not make sense not swim my heart out. Going into the heats  said I am going to just try and hopefully come in the top 8 fand hopefully seed first for the final. That is what I did and ended up doing a 58.70 .Going into the final I was going up again Logan Watson-Brown from Bermuda who I know is a great swimmer and I was even more nervous.I knew I wanted to get a Gold medal but was still not sure because of how I was performing. Before I stepped on the blocks I knew I had done all that I can to get this far and I know that I have done all I could possibly do to achieve a best time in this race so I was going to do what my coach told me to do which was best time.As I swam the race I remembered doing the splits in training  and swimming the first 50 in a particular time and pushing hard on the last 25 metres into the wall which I did and recorded a personal best which I am very happy about and I got the Gold medal that I wanted”.

Cameron Brown 15-17 50 breaststroke medal ceremony
15-17 50 metre breaststroke medal podium from left to right Brown,Cheong and Russell Photo courtesy of CCCAN

In the Boys 15-17 50 metre breaststroke Cameron Brown ended a decade old medal drought for Team Jamaica when he secured the Silver in a new personal best of 30.23. He tied Brandon Cheong for the medal while the Gold was won by The Bahamas Tyler Russell in 30.16. The last time Jamaica got a medal in the 15-17 age group in this event was in 2007 in El Salvador when age group star Brad Hamilton won Silver in 30.59.

Cameron gave his thoughts to draftingthecaribbean about the swim

“I knew it was going to be straight line line heading to the wall.I pushed to the very last second.I was suprised to see a new PB of 30.23 when I looked at the scoreboard”.

Morgan 100 free Harold Wilson
11-12 100 metre freestyle medallists from left to right Vickles Silver medallist,Crooks Gold medallist and Cogle Bronze medallist Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

11-12 dynamo Morgan Cogle secured  more precious metal at the Championship .She lowered her 100 metre freestyle from 1:03.11 to 1:02.59 to secure Bronze.The title went to Jillian Crooks of the Cayman Islands in a time of 1:01.72 and the Silver to Gabrielle Vickles of Trinidad and Tobago in 1:02.33.

Cogle 200 IM Bronze pict
11-12 200 IM medallists from left to right Crooks, Anthony and Cogle Photo courtesy of CCCAN

In the 200 metre individual medley she ended a more than decade old drought when she won Bronze in 2:37.44.That medal winning swim puts her within sight of the age group record of 2:36.26 set by Annabella Lyn in 2012. Gold was won by the another 11-12 standout Zoe Anthony of Trinidad and Tobago in 2:32.91 and Silver to Crooks in 2:36.70.

 

Bronze was won by the 15-17 800 metre freestyle relay team of Annabella Lyn ,Gabrianna Banks, Bryanna Renuart and Naomi Eaton who stopped the clock in 9:07.22. Gold went to Aruba in 8:48.55 and the Silver to Honduras in 8:59.65.

The personal best tally moved from 28 to 47 at the end of Day Four

Name Event Personal Best Previous Best
Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 200 IM 2:39.42 2:41.26
Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 200 IM 2:37.44 2:39.42
Joshua Mair Boys 11-12 200 IM 2:37.13 2:41.26
Jaedon Lynch Boys 11-12 200 IM 2:39.06 2:40.93
Sabrina Lyn Girls 13-14 200 IM 2:37.06 2:44.98
Sabrina Lyn Girls 13-14 200 IM 2:35.25 2:37.06
Nathaniel Thomas Boys 13-14 200 IM 2:29.56 2:29.83
Joshua Mair Boys 11-12 50 metre breaststroke 36.52 37.23
Joshua Mair Boys 11-12 50 metre breaststroke 36.14 36.52
Jaedon Lynch Boys 11-12 50 metre breaststroke 36.23 36.45
Sean-Douglas Gooden Boys 15-17 50 metre breaststroke 31.35 31.43
Cameron Brown Boys 15-17 50 metre breaststroke 30.23 30.64
Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 100 metre freestyle 1:03.10 1:03.11
Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 100 metre freestyle 1:02.59 1:03.10
Adrian Balfour Boys 11-12 100 metre freestyle 1:02.42 1:03.28
Emily MacDonald Girls 13-14 100 metre freestyle 57.95 57.99
Nathaniel Thomas Boys 13-14 100 metre freestyle 56.12 56.95
Daniel Mair Boys 11-12 100 metre freestyle 1:02.60 1:06.15
Jaedon Lynch Boys 11-12 200 metre butterfly 2:46.50 2:51.11
Jordane Payne Boys 15-17 200 metre butterfly 2:17.58 2:18.43

 

TWO RACES, TWO GOLD MEDALS, TWO PAN AM QUALIFYING TIMES JOANNA EVANS WINS 200 IM IN NATIONAL RECORD AND TAKES FIFTH 200 FREE GOLD

Joanna Evans at the Rio Olympic Games
Joanna Evans at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Days 2 and 3 of the 2018 REV National Swimming Championships at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Aquatic Centre saw  Olympian Joanna Evans (Rio 2016)  setting a new national record in the 200 individual medley and winning her fifth straight 200 metre freestyle senior title all in 2019 PAN AM Games automatic qualifying times.

The 200 metre individual medley contested on Monday saw Joanna Evans unattached taking out the race faster than her former teammates at the now defunct Swift Swimming Club sister Albury and Lilly Higgs unattached and Laura Morley Makos. Her former  clubmates are national record holders in the breaststroke and would make the challenge on their favoured stroke in the medley. With a split of 1:05.98 at the half way mark and her country women splitting 1:09’s the expected push came . This as they out split her on that section of the race as their splits were Albury 38.69,Laura 39.33 and Lilly 39.78.Joanna was timed at 40.55. But they would not overcome her early advantage as she won the race in a new personal best and national record time of 2:18.10.

Lightbourn
McKayla Lightbourn Photo courtesy of seminoles.com

 

That bettered the 2011 Championship record of 2:20.11 by McKayla Lightbourn, a standout for Florida State University . It was also faster than Lightbourn’s national record of 2:19.72 set March 12,2011.Joanna’s Gold medal swim  was also faster than the PAN AM A time of 2:19.99 and Evans’ old PB of 2:20.71 when she won the crown in 2017 .

Personal bests were recorded by the Silver and Bronze medallists Albury Higgs and Morley with times of 2:21.50 and 2:21.72 . Lilly Higgs finished fourth in a time of 2:24.15. That trio were well under the PAN AM B time of 2:28.92.

Evans celebrating breaking 1650 yard freestyle record
Joanna celebrating her win in the 1650 yard freestyle and new school record at the Texas Invite Photo courtesy of texassports

The 200 metre freestyle saw the University of Texas standout winning her fifth consecutive senior crown .She just missed her Championship meet record of 2:01.62 set at the 2016 edition of the national championships. She would however be well under the PAN Am A qualifying mark of 2:03.55.

Year Time Split Medal
2018 2:01.73 59.31 Gold
2016 2:01.62 59.68 Gold
2015 2:06.22 1:00.88 Gold
2014 2:10.85 1:03.07 Gold
2013 2:11.60 1:02.91 Gold
claudiapoll hirsit.org
Claudia Poll Photo courtesy of http://www.hirsit.org

At the CAC 2014 Games in Mexico Evans placed seventh in the 200 metre freestyle in 2:04.07. Her national record in the event currently stands at 1:59.19 which is faster than the current Games record of 2:00.19 by Costa Rican Olympian Claudia Poll (Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004).

Silver went to Laura Morley who stopped the clock in 2:09.45 .The Bronze was won by Lilly in 2:09.49. Both swimmers were under the PAN AM B time of 2:10.96.

When draftingthecaribbean contacted Evans yesterday she gave her thoughts about training heading into the Championships

“Basically I took a break after the Commonwealth Games and I have been trying to get back to where I want to be.I did not rest coming into the Championships so I am happy with swims. It is a nice prep for the CAC Games in a few weeks’ time”.