The 2017 edition of the USA College challenge saw the CARIFTA region represented by Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter. The meet format has members of the United States National Team competing against college swimmers from a specific conference in a 25 yard pool. The conference chosen this year was the PAC-12. That conference comprises of 12 schools from the Western United States, of which the University of Southern California USC is one where Carter is a standout performer on the team.
Dylan would be a member of two winning relay teams at the meet which ran from October 21 to 22 at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center, the home pool of the USC Trojans. In the 800 yard freestyle relay PAC 12 A teammate Grant Shoults 1:35.64 gave the team a lead of the USA B team of 0.36 of a second. Carter on second leg duties would give the team an insurmountable lead of 3.17 seconds when he recorded the fastest split on the day of 1:33.76.Cameron Craig 1:34.67 and Zheng Quah 1:35.89 helped the PAC 12 A team to a total time of 6:19.96, a winning margin of just over five seconds. The USA B finished second in 6:24.97 and USA A third in 6:27.11
It would be a much closer affair in the 400 yard freestyle relay as the PAC12 A won in a time of 2:51.58 .They just turned back the challenge of the USA B team who stopped the clock in a time 2:51.77. Carter had a 2nd leg split of 43.72. The USA B team included Olympic Gold medallists Matt Grevers, Tom Shields and Jack Conger. The USA A team was 3rd in 2:54.09.
Dylan would have two 2nd places finishes in the 200 and 100 yard freestyle races. In the 200 he recorded a time of 1:34.16 (split time 45.78). His time is the second fastest in the NCAA so far this season. The winner was USA Team member Tom Shields who clocked 1:33.70. Craig placed 3rd in 1:35.13. In the 100 yard freestyle Dylan would clock the fastest collegiate time of 42.95 (split time 20.39) .That time would be bettered later in the meet by Justin Lynch who clocked 42.65 leading off the PAC 12 B team in the 400 yard freestyle relay. Shields won the event in a time of 42.73. Daniel Krueger of the USA national team was 3rd in 43.17.
The 400 yard medley relay saw Carter posting the 2nd fastest butterfly split of 45.13 and the best butterfly split in the two year history of the meet by a collegiate athlete. The PAC 12 A team would finish third in 3:07.09, that is the fastest time by a college team since the inception of the meet. USA B and A topped the field with times of 3:06.26 and 3:07.00 respectively.
The 50 yard freestyle saw Dylan touching in a time of 20.16 for 7th which places 25th in the NCAA so far this season.
The PAC -12 Conference would take the overall meet honours 326.50 to 286.50.
Three meets deep into the 2017-2018 season the University of Southern California remain unbeaten. Their efforts have been aided by Trinidad and Tobago senior Dylan Carter whose record is almost as good as his team. He has won four of the five individual races he has competed in so far. He has also established himself as the fastest swimmer in the NCAA Division in the early segment of the season in the 200 yard freestyle.
University of California Santa Barbara
California Polytechnic State University
California State University ,Bakersfield
On Sep 30 in the Trojans win over California Polytechnic State University he recorded 47.10 (split 21.86) in the 100 yard butterfly to win the race by over two seconds and become in the top ten in the NCAA.
On October 6 when racing against California State University, Bakersfield he dropped exactly two seconds from his season opener on September 29 to record the best collegiate time in the 200 yard freestyle of 1:36.66.
100 yard butterfly
200 yard freestyle
The Trojans with Dylan in their ranks has also established top five performances in the 200 and 400 yard medley relays with Carter doing butterfly duties
200 yard medley relay
400 yard medley relay
Carter who holds four individual school records will be back in action from October 22-22 when Team USA which will include in its lineup Olympic Gold medallists Ryan Murphy and Matt Grevers will compete against the PAC-12 conference in the 2017 USA vs. College Challenge.
On the sixth day of competition (July 28) of the 2017 World Swimming championships in Budapest Hungary Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympian Dylan Carter (2016) topped the CCCAN and CARIFTA rankings in the 100 metre butterfly with a time of 52.73 (split time 23.98) to place 28th. He was the only one from both regional groupings to be under the 53 seconds barrier.
He had established himself as the joint fastest CARIFTA swimmer of all time in the event when he won Gold at the CCCAN Championships last month with a time of 52.73. He holds this accolade with Olympian Barbadian Bradley Ally (2004, 2008, and 2012) who recorded that time in 2009. When Carter touched the timing pads he bettered the best time by a CARIFTA region swimmer at the World championships.
The previous best time was 53.29 set by 1988 Olympic Gold medallist in the event Suriname’s Anthony Nesty (1984, 1988,1992). Nesty, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago won the event with that time at the 1991 Perth Australia World Championships.
Dylan’s placing of 28th is the best all time World Championships placing by a male swimmer from the twin island republic. The previous best placing was 41st by Joshua McLeod at the 2013 Barcelona, Spain World Championships. It is also the best placing for a CCCAN or CARIFTA swimmer since 2003.
As it has been for the entire 2016 -2017 one name has stood out among the region’s elite male swimmer in the swimmers in the 200 freestyle event. Whether it was the 200 metre freestyle at the World Short Course Swimming championships or the 200 yard freestyle at the prestigious NCAA Division 1 Championships Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter has been region’s man to be the standard bearer. So it was no surprise when he again led the region with 200 metre freestyle at the World Long course swimming championships in national record time.
The national mark of 1:48.44 set at the Caribbean Islands Swimming championships was on borrowed time from the Mesa Swim meet when Carter touched in a winning time of 1:48.45. At his home meet the CCCAN Championships in Trinidad and Tobago he again got the job done in sub 1:50 this time 1:48.91.
In Budapest his intentions were made clear from the opening 50 metres with an opening split time of 24.93 that set the tone for the entire race. He would touch in 1:47.77 for 24th overall, the best time at the World championships for both CCCAN and CARIFTA region swimmers. It is also the best ranking at the Championship for the CCCAN region since 2011.
A very aggressive approach led to the new national record as seen through the analysis of his races below
CISC July 2016
Mesa April 2017
WC July 2017
CCCAN rankings for the 200 metre freestyle in Budapest
Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter continued to lead the way for the CCCAN and CARIFTA regions with a 23.73 performance in the 50 metre butterfly the Budapest world Championships currently underway.
On the first day of competition Carter clocked 23.73 to place 19th overall . In 2015 at the Kazan Championships Dylan had made the semi- finals and touched in a national record of 23.60 to finish 15th overall. That performance was also the top performance for the CCCAN and CARIFTA regions.
Analysis of CCCAN performance in the 50 metre butterfly
Jamaica’s Justin Plaschka got the proceedings for the three man swim Jamaica contingent underway at the 2017 FINA World Swimming Championships being held in Budapest Hungary from Sunday July 23 to Sunday July 30th when he competed in the Men’s 50 metre butterfly.
Justin who is the national record holder in the event with a time of 24.21 clocked a season best’s time of 24.63 to place 41st overall. That placed him as the second fastest person from the CCCAN region behind Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter who posted a time of 23.73.
Justin’s time ranks him as the fastest ever Jamaican to compete at the Long Course World Championships bettering the 25. 68 recorded by former national record holder Brad Hamilton at the 2009 World Championship. His performance also puts him as the best placed Jamaican man by passing Hamilton’s 77th placing at the 2005 Montreal Championship. He is also the best placed Jamaican ever in the event as the previous highest ranking was 46th by Olympian Alia Atkinson (2004,2008, 2012 ,2016) at the same competition.
Plaschka gave his thoughts on second senior international Championship following his debut at the 2016 World Short Course Championships held in Windsor Canada in December
“I was relatively happy with my times considering my circumstances. My flights were all delayed yesterday so I did not arrive in Budapest until 2:30 in the morning. I was very tired and getting my accreditation took longer than expected so I did not have a lot of time to warm up. I know that they are things that happen and I was glad I was able to stay as composed under the pressure and compete as I did. I know it will be much better in the 50 free. In terms of being at worlds I’m just extremely happy for the opportunity to be here and get to race and racing at the highest level is giving me more and more experience every time”.
The swim team is completed by Coach Chris Anderson, swimmer Michael Gunning who will be competing in the 200 metre freestyle and 200 metre butterfly. The full Aquatics delegation includes diver Olympian Yona Knight –Wisdom (2016).
Day three (June 30) of the CCCAN Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Trinidad and Tobago saw more exciting races and championship records and also more World Championship qualifying swims. Those World championship Qualifying performances came from the local stars Olympian Dylan Carter and Joshua Romany.
Dylan competing in the 18 and over 200 metre freestyle crushed the 2009 Championship record Costa Rica’s Olympian Mario Montoya of 1:52.43 with a 1:48.91 clocking. That bettered the World Championship B qualifying mark of 1:51.50.Also under the record and just missing the B standard was El Salvador’s Olympian Marcelo Acosta who clocked 1:51.76 for the Silver. Aruban Olympian Mikel Schreuders took the Bronze in 1:51.76.
In the 18 and over 50 metre butterfly Joshua Romany bettered the 2011 championship record of countryman Joshua McLeod of 24.43 as well as the World Championship B standard time of 24.50 with a Gold medal winning time of 24.40. Winning the Silver was N’Nhyn Fernander of The Bahamas in 24.94 and the Bronze was won by Christian Awah of Trinidad and Tobago in 25.06.
The winning times by Carter and Romany brought the World Championship qualifying tally to five.
In the girls 15-17 50 metre butterfly the crowd was treated to excellent sprinting by Curaçao’s Chadé Nercisio. She became the fastest woman of all time at CCCAN when she broke the 28 seconds barrier in the 50 metre butterfly when she clocked 27.99 in the morning heats. All her energy was not spent after that national record swim as she returned in the evening to destroy that mark and record a time of 27.59. that swim was not too far off the World championships B mark of 27.42. Silver went to Celismar Guzman of Puerto Rico won the Silver in 28.62 and the Bronze went to Celina Marquez of El Salvador in 28.65.
Valerie Gruest of Guatemala just missed out on another World Championships qualifying mark when she took Gold in the 15-17 400 metre individual medley in a time of 4:54.67. That swim bettered the 2009 meet record of 5:02.43 by Maria Coy.That was just off the B standard of 4:52.97. CARIFTA Champion Albury Higgs won Silver in 5:03.67. The Bronze went to Marissa Lugo of Puerto Rico in 5:11.77.
Other championship record to fall on the day went to Zaneta Alvaranga of Jamaica in the girls 11-12 50 metre butterfly. She lowered the meet record of 29.85 twice .She swam 29.32 in the heats before uncorking a 28.74 for the Gold in the final.
In the 13-14 age group Beatriz Padron of Costa Rica Gold 28.36,Katie Kyle of St Lucia Silver 28.80 and Trinidad and Tobago’s Gabriela Donahue Bronze 28.85 all bettered the 2011 record of 28.89 by Dorian McMenemy.
Swimmers who completed the Regional Gold Double on Day Three by winning their respective events at CARIFTA in The Bahamas and at CCCAN in Trinidad and Tobago include