The second day of the SEC championships being held in Georgia. Mikel Schreuders and Albury Higgs both set new personal bests and recorded their highest ever placings in the 50 yard freestyle and 200 yard individual medley respectively.
Higgs of the Bahamas competing for the South Carolina Gamecocks earned her first ever spot in an SEC final in the 200 yard IM when she lowered her personal best from 2:00.37 to 1:58.30, an NCAA B qualifying time. In 2018 she had placed 38th overall. She would have more in store in the C final as she lowered that time further to place 6th overall in 1:58.24. This is a big improvement from November 2018 when she recorded her previous best heading into the SEC’s as seen by the splits below
With her SEC performance Higgs now moves from joint fourth to the third fastest performer in South Carolina history.
Aruban Mikel Schreuders of Missouri earned his best ever placing in the 50 yard freestyle when he won Bronze in the event in a new personal best time of 19.24. Coming to Georgia Mikel had a personal best time of 19.45. He lowered that in the morning heats to 19.31. Schreuders has swum faster each year he has contested this event.
1st C final
With that swim he now moves from fourth to second fastest all time in Missouri Tigers history. He moves to being the third fastest ever performer from the CARIFTA region . The list is headed by the legendary George Bovell III Trinidad and Tobago who is the region’s fastest ever swimmer in yards, short course metres and long course metres
In 2017 at the NCAA Championships during the heats Schreuders had anchored the 200 yard freestyle relay to a time of 1:16.78 , a new school record,with a split of 19.61.That enabled the Tigers to make the final . He never swum in the final and the team placed seventh with the exact same time. In Georgia he blew past the 19 seconds barrier to split 18.77 on the second leg. Mikel, along with Luke Mankus 19.48,Danny Kovac 19.14 and Kyle Leach 19.29 combined to swim to a new school record of 1:16.68 and place fourth.
The opening night of the SEC South Eastern Conference Championships got underway last night at the Gabrielsen Natatorium at the University of Georgia. The CARIFTA region was represented by Aruba’s Mikel Schreuders and Albury Higgs of The Bahamas. Both ensured that their names were in etched in the record books.
Albury Higgs representing the University of South Carolina joined her teammates on the 200 yard medley relay to place 11th and shatter the school record. The old record stood at 1:39.70 from the 2018 SEC competition.
In the 800 yard freestyle relay Schreuders representing Missouri set the pool alight with his opening 200 yard freestyle split. His time of 1:31.68 is a new PB, School record and SEC Championship record and it also propelled the Tigers to the Silver medal in a new school team record of 6:11.38. By the first 100 yards fans knew they were in for something special from the Oranjestad native as he had the only sub 44 seconds split of 43.91.When he touched he had given the Tigers a lead of almost a second. It took a new SEC record time of 6:10.50 by the Florida Gators to overhaul the Missouri team. The old Tigers record which was destroyed was from their 2018 SEC Silver medal winning performance. In 2018 Mikel had swum the second leg in a time of 1:33.45. It was Mikel’s aggression in the first half of the race that helped him to the record smashing performance as seen with a comparison of his splits, the old SEC record and his previous PB and school record
The old SEC record belonged to American Conor Dwyer who had set that standard leading off the 2011 Florida Gators team. He would later win Gold medals in the 800 metre freestyle relay at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai China and the 2011 PAN American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Schreuders had set the school record leading off the Tigers team at the 2018 NCAA Championships.
Mikel now stands at the 14th fastest swimmer ever in the event.He is now the second fastest swimmer from the CARIFTA region as he passes the Fraser brothers Shaune and Brett of the Cayman Islands who represented the Gators for that position. The number one spot belongs to Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter who with his opening leg blast for the USC Trojans at the 2017 NCAA Championships. On his school website Mikel who is the reigning Central American and Caribbean Games Bronze medallist in the 200 metre freestyle gave his thoughts on his performance ” We’ve all been preparing really well for this meet. I wanted to try and get the biggest lead that we could because we had strong opponents in that field. I just went for it and tried to do as much as I could. I didn’t even know I broke the record, but after hearing it on the podium, it was awesome. We’ve all been working so hard, it shows that it pays off. But we still have work to do.”
Top 200 yard freestyle swimmers from the CARIFTA region
On that night on Feb 16,2011 it was Dwyer who gave the lead to Brett Fraser (1:32.77) to help the Gators to the Gold and a then SEC record time of 6:13.74. They had combined for 200 yard medley relay Gold as well also in an SEC record time of 1:24.94. Dwyer had swum the breaststroke in 23.56 and Brett had anchored in 19.08. At the PAN AM Games in Mexico later that year Brett and older brother Shaune gave the Cayman Islands their first ever Gold and Silver finish in the 200 metre freestyle.
Also on that night in 2011 the CARIFTA region had Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace of The Bahamas and Auburn anchoring her school team with a split of 21.04 for a then SEC record of 1:36.11 in the 200 yard medley relay. Also Jamaican standout and current coach at Saint Andrews Ramon Walton led off the Kentucky team medley relay with a time of 22.46.
The second day of the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships in Hangzhou China saw Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter as the top swimmer from the region in the 200 metre freestyle.
Carter topped the best from the region with a time of 1:43.74 (split time 49.43) to finish 12th overall. In 2016 Windsor he was the top swimmer as well as he had made the Championship final.
Second from the region was El Salvador’s Marcelo Acosta shattered his national record from the 2014 Championships of 1:49.93 in Qatar with a swim of 1:47.00 to placed 29th overall.In Qatar he had placed 51st overall.
Another swimmer in record smashing form was Alex Sobers from Barbados. He lowered the 2001 national mark of 1:48 .98 with a time of 1:47.55 (split time 52.60) to place 32nd overall.Damian Alleyne. Damian was one of the most dominant swimmers from the region in the late 1990’s to early 2000’s. In 2016 at the Windsor Championships Sobers had placed 57th with a time of 1:49.69 (split time 53.27).
Yeziel Morales of Puerto Rico was just off his national record of 1:50.58. He placed 44th overall in a time of 1:50.73 (split time 53.81).
Noah Mascoll-Gomes set a new national record when he placed 45th overall. He stopped the clock in a time of 1:51.60 (split time 54.58).
Regional standard bearers Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson and Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter continued to fine tune their preparations for the upcoming World Short course Swim Championships in Hangzhou China with top performances on the final day of the World Cup stop in Tokyo Japan.
Atkinson maintained her scintillating form with another world breaking performance in the 50 metre breaststroke.After the morning preliminaries Yulia Efimova from Russia would be the top seed with an effort of 30.23 followed by Atkinson in 30.30. It would not be a time that would be of concern to Atkinson as she had been sub 30 seconds for her split in the 100 metre event. In the Championship final of the 100 Efimova had matched Alia’s reaction time at the start .This time Commander would not yield any quarter . Her reaction to the gun was 0.64 to the Russian’s 0.68. With an advantage already from the gun and her underwater work impeccable alleyes would now be on the time Atkinson would produce as that was the same reaction time she produced to set the world record in Hungary and this pool was the site of her World record performance in 2016. With the field well beaten she stopped the clock in 28.95 , just off her world record but continuing to dominate the all time rankings in the event. Efimova placed second with a time of 29.56 and Australian Emily Seebohm taking the Bronze in 29.99.
Also put on notice was the national record in the 100 metre butterfly as Atkinson put up a time of 57.79 (split time 27.17) to make the Championship final in the event. In the final she produced a time of 58.90 to place eighth overall.
Dylan Carter continues to make this debut tour stop a very successful one for himself , the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the entire region by qualifying for two Championship finals.
In the heats of the 50 metre butterfly he rattled his national record of 22.53 when he led the qualifiers to the final with a time of 22.66. That was the second fastest time Carter has ever recorded in the event. He would replicate that time in the final and finish 4th overall. The Gold went to man of the moment Russian Vladimir Morozov in 22.29, Silver to American sprint sensation Michael Andrew in 22.39 and the Bronze to 2016 World Championship finalist Takeshi Kawamoto in 22.60. At the 2016 world Championships Carter had placed seventh in 22.68. This performance puts Dylan on steady bearing for an even faster performance in China next month.
His second Championship final would be in the 200 metre freestyle. In qualification he would put in the third fastest performance in his life of 1:44.44 (split time 50.92). In the final he posted a time of 1:48.42.This is another event that could see his national record and unofficial CCCAN region best of 1:42.48 that being on borrowed time.
Cuba’s Elisbet Matos turned in another good performance in the 100 metre freestyle. She placed 24th overall .She registered a time of 55.26( split time 26.90).
The second day of the Tokyo leg of the FINA World Cup was another successful day for the Caribbean at the Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center with Commander Alia Atkinson leading the way with yet another breaststroke Gold, Dylan Carter shattering his national backstroke record and recording the best ever time form the CCCAN region and Elisbet Matos swimming under 2 mins in the 200 metre freestyle.
Alia Atkinson , world record holder in the 100 metre breaststroke was back at her irrepressible best in the championship final of the event.The race was always going to be a battle between Atkinson and her Russian rival Yulia Efimova. With the sounding of the starter’s gun it was an identical reaction time between Alia and Yulia with both registering a response of 0.67. That would be where the similarities would end. Atkinson known for her excellent underwater work displayed that and took the early advantage. It would be a lead she would not lose as she took the first half of the race out in 29.67 shadowed by Efimova in 29.78. There would be no waning of strength on the second 50 metres as Alia outsplit the field again with a time of 33.42 to win a time of 1:03.09. This her second consecutive win in the event this season.
Video courtesy of FINA
Yulia won the Silver in a time of 1:03.42. The Bronze went to Siobahn O’Connor who clocked 1:05.07. Atkinson took out the race in her fastest split for the season and still had the speed endurance to take the win which augurs well for the defence of her title at the World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou China from Dec 11 to 18.
When Dylan Carter flew into Tokyo his nation’s national record for the 50 metre backstroke stood at 25.14 held by Jeron Thompson.That time would be committed to the pages of history as he lowered the Republic’s national record as well as the unofficial CCCAN record to become the first from the region under 24 seconds in the event with a clocking of 23.73.
He bettered the CCCAN best of 24.32 set by another icon from the region Rodolfo Falcon of Cuba.Falcon had set that time on Mar 17,2000 when he won the Bronze medal in the event at the World Championships in Athens Greece. Carter’s newly minted standard from the heats would get the same record breaking treatment in the Championship final as he placed fourth in a time of 23.43.
The Gold went to Jiayu Xu of China in 22.87. The silver to American Michael Andrew in 23.17 and Japanese Takeshi Kawamoto in 23.36. Carter’s time would have made the World Championship final in event in every edition from 2000.
There would be another Championship final for Carter as he qualified for the final of the 100 metre freestyle with a time of with a time of 48.06 (split time 23.08). In that final he would place 5th in a time of 47.75( split time 22,79) .Carter had the fastest reaction time of the field of 0.59 of a second.
The race was won by Russian Vladimir Morozov in 45.16,in yet another World Cup record, Silver to Australian Kyle Chalmers in 45.78 and the Bronze to American Blake Pieroni in 46.79.
Cuba’s Elisbet Matos remains on pace for good performances at the upcoming World Championships with her performance in the 200 metre freestyle.She recorded a time of 1:58.80. At the last edition of the Championship in 2016 she had placed 30th in a time of 2:01.08.
The nations of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba were well represented on the first day of the Tokyo leg of the 2018 FINA World Cup tour. They were represented by Alia Atkinson, Dylan Carter and Elisbet Matos respectively.
Atkinson again set a season best time in the 100 metre individual medley. She recorded her best time outside of a World Short Course Championships when she recorded 58.96 in the heats of the event. In the final she would return to place 6th in the Championship final. Gold went to World record holder Hungarian Katinka Hosszu in
Comparison of best in season times
First 50 metres
Second 50 metres
The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago saw their return to the World Cup tour since the legendary George Bovell III swam his last race in November 2014 at the Singapore stop when Dylan Carter lined up behind the blocks in the 50 metre freestyle and 100 metre individual medley. It would not be an easy path to the Championship final of the freestyle. After the morning heats Carter was in a dead heat with New Zealand’s Daniel Hunter as they recorded identical times of 21.93 for 8th place. Dylan would win the swim off 21.85 to 21.95. In the final he would place 6th in a time of 21.68 .
The race was won by a fellow University of Southern California alum Vladimir Morozov in a World Cup record time of 20.49. Second went American sprint sensation Michael Andrew in 21.05 and the Bronze to Australian Olympic Champion Kyle Chalmers in 21.09.
Dylan would just be off the pace in the medley as he touched in a time of 54.02 ( split time 24.34) for 13th overall. The race went to Morozov in a new World Record of 51.26 , more than a second ahead of the field.
Cuba’s Matos would record time of 4:08.86( split time 2:03.03) to qualify for the Championship final in the 400 metre freestyle . She was not that fast in the final and placed eighth in a time of 4:15.47. The race was won by Dutch swimmer Femke Heemskerk in a time of 4:01.29.
Team (Trinidad and Tobago) TTO’s Zarek Wilson who will be representing his club Blue Dolphins will return to Jamaica to compete at the 2018 edition of the Dean Martin Memorial Swim meet at the National Aquatic Centre in Kingston from October 26 to 28.
The last time Wilson was here for the CARIFTA championships he led a dominant 11-12 youth brigade from the twin island republic. Zarek dominated the competition winning 12 Gold and One Silver from 13 events , a near flawless winning percentage. During that competition from March 31 to April 3 he lowered the 400 metre freestyle record to 4:27.78.
Wilson will enter the competition having earned 21 Gold 6 Silver and 4 Bronze medals in the calendar year 2018 across the three major regional age group competitions UANA, CARIFTA and CCCAN. He will also be in good form for the three day meet having lowered the 11-12 national records at home in 3 events at the October Classic Invitational in at the Marlins Swim Pool in Westmoorings in early October.
400 metre freestyle
200 metre butterfly
1500 metre freestyle
The previous records were 400 metre freestyle 4:23.66 by Joshua Romany in 2008 200 metre butterfly 2:21.68 and 1500 metre freestyle 17:50.31 by Kael Yorke in 2013.
The 1500 metre freestyle record was subsequently lowered at the same meet by another 11-12 star Nikoli Blackman who took it to 17:36.90 at the same meet.
Zarek ,though untapered will have a much lighter work load swimming a mere “six” events.
The first event he will tackle is the 1500 metre freestyle where the meet record and fastest time ever recorded in Jamaica by an 11-12 boy is 18:51.65 set by the Cayman Islands’ Zachary Moore while representing the Stingray Swim Club in 2015 . So the fans on Friday will have a chance to see the first sub 18 minutes swim on local swim by an 11-12 swimmer.
Three events later he will have his final race for the day the 200 metre individual medley. That meet record of 2:31.18 was set by another rising star from the Cayman Islands and the Stingray Swim Club Corey Fredrick- Westborg. The fastest ever 11-12 time posted in Jamaica is 2:24.55 held by another member of Team TTO ,Jabari Baptiste. That time was set at CARIFTA 2010 when he won Gold. This past summer he was a member of Team TTO’s CAC Games 400 metre freestyle relay team that won the Bronze in a new national record of 3:22.83.
On Saturday his first event will be the 200 metre butterfly.The 11-12 200 metre butterfly record stands at 2:33.52 by the Tornadoes Nathaniel Thomas and the fastest ever 11-12 time in Jamaica is 2:22.71 set by Damon St Prix of Barbados when he won Gold at CARIFTA 2013. With the event being open the sporting public may see Zarek be pushed to under the 2:20 mark.
The 400 individual medley, also an open event sees the 2015 Moore standard of 5:24.99 under threat. Zarek may also get the push needed to go under the Jamaica best mark of 5:09.20 set by recent 2018 Youth Olympic Games competitor Luis Sebastian Weekes of Barbados. Weekes set that mark at CARIFTA 2013 when he topped the 11-12 field for the Gold.
The final day sees the 400 metre freestyle as the opening event. The meet record stands at 4:51.13 by the Tornadoes Sean- Douglas Gooden . It is no surprise that Zarek holds the fastest time ever swum in 11-12 as he set the CARIFTA Championship record of 4:27.78 earlier this year. As he prepares to go into the stronger 13-14 age group he will be using this meet to post a sub 4:20 time and set yet another national record. The fastest time ever swum across all age groups at the meet is 4:30.93 by John Bodden of the Stingrays Swim Club of the Cayman Islands in 2016.
His final race in Jamaica will be the 50 metre freestyle where he saw the a big improvement at his last meet from 27.03 to 25.67. The meet record of 26.16 is held by Jamaica’s Nathaniel Thomas who dominated the region in 11-12 in the event when he both the CARIFTA and CCCAN titles.
The best 11-12 time recorded in Jamaica is 25.90 by French Guyana’s Dilan Nunez Green at CARIFTA this year when he lowered the long standing record of 26.00 Team TTO’s Olympian Dylan Carter. The 11-12 national record for Team TTO is 25.58 held by Carter. So Wilson could end his Jamaican adventure with a national mark.
The 2018 Dean Martin Memorial meet with the inclusion of Wilson and other CARIFTA,CCCAN and Goodwill Games champions promises to be yet another exciting meet with many closes races and records set to fall.