Jamaica’s Emily MacDonald won Bronze in her first year competing at the prestigious 1A Florida State High School State Championships. Competing for the Bolles School on Saturday November 4 at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida Emily’s Bolles 200 yard freestyle relay turned in a medal winning performance.
Emily led off the team with a split of 23.91 to help her teammates Stefanie Mendizabal 23.97, Kate Wilkerson 24.15 and Sasha Ramey 23.64 to a Bronze medal time of 1:35.67. MacDonald’s opening leg was the fastest by Bolles swimmer in the Championship final since 2013.The team returned to medal winning form in the event after missing the podium in 2016 with a 4th place finish.
In the individual 100 yard freestyle she made the Championship final in her very first attempt setting a new personal best of 52.13 (split time 25.00). That bettered her previous personal record of 52.67 (split time 25.47). In the final she would record the 2nd fastest time of her career to place 7th overall in a time of 52.60 (25.11).Her performance was the best placing in the event for the Jacksonville based institution since 2014.
The reigning 2017 CCCAN 13-14 Double sprint freestyle Champion would make it Three Championship finals from three events when she made the final of the 50 yard freestyle. In the morning heats she would set a personal best when she stopped the clock in 23.76 .It lowered her previous record of 23.88 set at Regionals in October. In the final she would place 8th in a time of 23.97. The performance was again the best performance for Bolles since 2014.
Three of the CARIFTA region’s top sprinters will be in action tomorrow in the 50 yard freestyle at the 2017 Florida High School Athletic Association 1A state championships to be held at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida. The swimmers are Chadé M. Nersicio from Curaçao representing Trinity Christian, Jamaica’s Emily MacDonald representing the Bolles School and Lauren Hew of the Cayman Islands representing Saint Andrew’s.
Chadé will enter the preliminaries as the top seed in the event with a time of 23.47. Last season at the CCCAN Championships in Trinidad and Tobago she set a new national record to win the Silver medal in the 15-17 age group in 26.45. She would go on to record 26.91 at the World Championships in Budapest Hungary . This season in the 25 yard pool she has been in good form recording wins at the Palm Beach County championships,1A District 10 and 1A Region 4 Championships. At the County championships she lowered her 2016 of 23.42 to 23.10.
Palm Beach County Champs
1 A District 10 Champs
1A Region 4 Champs
She has been on the podium the last previous two years and will seek to be on the top of the podium for the first time tomorrow.
50 yard freestyle
50 yard freestyle
The third seed will be Jamaica’s Emily MacDonald. The Bolles recruit in her first season underlined her sprint credentials by winning at the 1A District 2 Champs and the 1A Region champs.
1 A District 2 Champs
1A Region 1 Champs
Emily who was ill at CARIFTA in The Bahamas placed 4th in a time 27.60. Regular service was resumed at CCCAN in Trinidad and Tobago when she won the 13-14 50 metre freestyle title 27.20. in 2016 on her way to the freestyle sprint double. In her last year of the 11-12 age group in 2016 she had completed the Golden double capturing the freestyle double at CARIFTA and CISC.
Hew of the Cayman Islands who in 2016 made the Championship final in the 100 yard freestyle has made the move to the 50 yard race this season. She is ranked 8th on the heat sheet with a time of 24.09.Lauren has put up good performances in the event leading up to Saturday’s grand finale with top 3 performances at Palm Beach County, Districts and Regional champs.
Palm Beach County Champs
1 A District 10 Champs
1A Region 4 Champs
These swimmers along with other in the upcoming 2A, 3A and 4A championships will be trying to get their names alongside other CARIFTA region swimmers who have won 50 yard freestyle titles and laid claim to being the fastest high school swimmer in Florida.
CARIFTA 50 yard freestyle Florida High School State Championships winners
The recently concluded Commonwealth Youth Games in The Bahamas saw swimmers Jesse Marsh and Emily MacDonald recording the best times ever swum by Jamaicans at the competition in their respective events.
Competing in the 200 metre butterfly Marsh lowered his personal best from 2:11.47 to 2:10.31 to place 13th overall. That bettered the previous Jamaican best time of 2:22.06 at the competition set by Dominic Walter at the 2008 Pune India Games. It is also the second fastest time recorded by a Jamaican at the Commonwealth Games at either the senior or junior level. The top time by a Jamaican is held by Jesse’s father Allan-Roy at the senior level . Allan-Roy recorded 2:06.89 at the 1982 Brisbane Australia Games.
When asked about his experience Jesse, who holds the 13-14 200 metre butterfly national record had the following thoughts
“Well the experience wasn’t really what I expected because of all the challenges we faced getting to the games and not being able to stay at the hotel with the rest of the team among other things. As for my performances I was disappointed not being able to swim the 50 and 100fly as I thought I had a pb in me in the 50 and in the 100 I had a good chance of being in the top 8. The 200fly I was satisfied but not entirely pleased with my performance as I knew if I was more mentally there I could’ve been a lot faster but I got a pb and now I’m looking forward to racing the events that I missed and the 200fly again in a few days.I will be racing at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Champs in Coral Springs this weekend July 28-30 and then at the Futures championships in Nashville, TN on the following weekend August 3-6”.
Emily who competed in the 50 metre freestyle recorded a time of 27.60 to place 15th overall. That is the best time and placing for Jamaica at this level for the Commonwealth Games. The previous best was 29.02 and 25th place by Annabella Lyn at the 2015 Samoa Games. Her performance also doubles at the best placing for a Jamaican woman at both junior and senior level in the event as the previous best was 22nd by Angela (Dawn) Kane at the 2002 Manchester Games. Her 27.60 is also the third fastest by a Jamaican woman at either the senior or junior. The list is headed by times recorded at the senior level at the 2002 Manchester Games .Olympian Angela (Dawn) Kane (2000,2004) tops the list with a time of 27.09 .Kane is followed on the chart by Tamara Swaby with her effort of 27.25 at the same Games.
MacDonald who is the reigning CCCAN Champion in the 13-14 girl’s 50 metre freestyle gave her impression of the experience to draftingthecaribbean recently
“It was definitely a thrill to compete against athletes from countries that have such big reputations in swimming. It is a joy for me to compete against people who are always going to push me. I felt I could have done better but some accreditation issues had me quite anxious until the night before my race. Overall though I’m pleased because my time was still within my normal range”
This is the fourth contingent of swimmers Jamaica has sent to the Games
The final day of the CCCAN Championships July 2 in Trinidad and Tobago at the National Aquatic Centre in Couva saw Team Jamaica finishing ninth overall with 304 points. They added Two Gold, Two Silver and Three Bronze for a final total of Nine Gold , Eight Silver and Six Bronze medals. Throughout the meet 44 new personal best times were established. The national age group record book was rewritten Seven times .Also the Championship standards were adjusted Three times by the Jamaican delegation.
The last day saw the contingent put another great display of sprinting power. Nathaniel Thomas , the CARIFTA Champion completed another regional Golden Double when he landed the CCCAN 50 metre freestyle to underline his credentials as the fastest 11-12 boy in the region. In April he won his first sprint title in 26.52 in The Bahamas. In Trinidad and Tobago he won his second crown and became the fastest 11-12 Jamaican swimmer of all time when he clocked a new national record of 26.28. That lowered the national mark by the slimmest of margins as the old standard belonged to Brad Hamilton at 26.28 set in 2002. This is the first medal won in the event since two sport star Xavier Boland won Silver in 2007.The Silver medal went to Bermudan star Sam Williamson in 26.58. The Bronze went to Kai Trotman of Barbados in 26.65.
In 2016 in the Bahamas at the Caribbean Islands Swimming championships Emily MacDonald completed the 11-12 freestyle sprint double. In 2017 in Trinidad and Tobago it was a case of different age group same result. This as MacDonald crowned herself the fastest 13-14 girl in the region with a new personal best of 27.20. Pushing her all the way to the wall was teammate Gabrianna Banks who won the Silver in 27.28.It was the first podium finish for Jamaica in over a decade. The Bronze went to Bermuda’s Logan Watson-Brown in 27.87.
The girls 11-12 50 metre freestyle saw the exact podium finish from CARIFTA in April as Elan Daley of Bermuda winning Gold, Zaneta Alvaranga taking the Silver and Bermudan Payton Zelkin winning Bronze. Zaneta won her medal in a time of 27.78 while Payton was timed in 28.01.Daley, whose father is Jamaican, recorded the fastest time ever done by an 11-12 girl from the English speaking Caribbean when she hit the wall in 26.82 crushing the 1995 meet record of Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympian Cerian Gibbes of 27.55.
Kyle Sinclair repeated his 13-14 CARIFTA Bronze medal performance with a new Personal best in Trinidad and Tobago .In a very tight finish Kyle bettered his time by .01 to touch the wall in 25.15. Sinclair’s podium finish breaks another decade old medal drought. Kevon Lockhart of The Bahamas won the Silver in 25.10 and Antigua and Barbuda’s Lleyton Martin took top honours with a swim of 25.02.
Kelsie Campbell recorded a personal best in the 18 and over 50 metre race. She stopped the clock in 26.91 to win the Bronze medal. Campbell finished just behind the hometown ladies Cherelle Thompson 26.69 and Kristin Julien 26.74.The last time Jamaica won a medal in this age group was in 2005 when Tamara Swaby won Bronze.
The only medal won outside the sprints was in the 13-14 200 metre backstroke. Kyle Sinclair recorded a personal best of 2:18.91 to be the third seed heading into the final. He maintained that position to win the Bronze in a time of 2:19.25. The time Jamaica won a medal in the event was 2011 when Olympian Timothy Wynter won Gold.The event was won by Jeims Caita of Costa Rica in 2:15.10 and the Silver went to Tristan Pragnell of Barbados in 2:15.80
The second night of finals at the 2017 CCCAN Championships saw Team Jamaica winning Four Gold One Silver and a Bronze. The team also set five national records in the afternoon. That bettered the record count of three in the morning preliminaries.
The first medal won the night was Gold by Nathaniel Thomas in the boys 11-12 50 metre backstroke race. After establishing himself as the favourite from the morning with his national record swim of 29.99 he won Gold in a time of 30.36 .That win was almost a second faster than the Silver medallist. It also gave him the Golden Double as he also won this event at the CARIFTA Games in The Bahamas earlier this year in 31.64. It is also the first medal Jamaica has won in the event for over a decade.
As expected in the girls 11-12 100 metre butterfly the national record of 1:07.22 set by Sabrina Lyn was not expected to survive beyond today. And it did not. In a very good race new ground was again broken for Jamaican swimmers as 11-12 girls swam faster than 1:07 seconds. The Gold would go to Lyn in yet another national record time of 1:05.69 and nearly the fastest time ever done by an English speaking girl in that age group. The Silver went to Bermudan star Elan Daley in 1:06.12 and teammate Zaneta Alvaranga won the Bronze in a personal best of 1:06.29. Daley set the Championship record in the morning of 1:05.55 which equaled her national record and the fastest time ever done by an English speaking girl in that age group. Lyn came very close to taking that accolade for herself. In copping Gold she landed the regional Golden Double as she had won the event at CARIFTA . The last time Jamaica won a medal in this event was 2007 when Kendese Nangle won the Bronze.
Heading into this meet Thomas had a number of close misses with the national record the boys 11-12 record of 1:04.27 held by Ramon James. He would have no such close call in the final of the event. He would win the Silver in a new national record of 1:03.65 just behind Panamanian winner Sebastian Lares 1:03.47. He again broke another decade old medal drought in the event.
In the 18 and over event Kelsie Campbell resisted a strong Challenge from Puerto Rico’s Patricia Casellas to win Gold in a new personal best of 1:03.23 to 1:03.65. That was just off the Championship record of 1:03.18 by Puerto Rico’s Debra Rodriquez. That is the first medal won by Jamaica since 2005 when Tamara Swaby won the Silver medal.
The mixed quartet of Zaneta Alavaranga, P’aige Lewis, Joshua –Daniel Alleyne and Nathaniel Thomas proved yet again they are the best sprint freestyle combination in their age group regionally. They took the 200 metre freestyle relay in a record time of 1:49.70.that bettered their morning mark of 1:51.59. This adds to the CARIFTA 400 mixed freestyle relay crown they won in April.
In a very tight final in the girls 50 metre backstroke Angara Sinclair just missed with a 4th place finish and new national record of 30.55.
Other finalists on the day included
200 metre breatstroke
50 metre backstroke
50 metre backstroke
50 metre backstroke
100 metre butterfly
100 metre butterfly
Jamaica was in seventh position at the end of Day two with 86 points
A 17 member Jamaican delegation will be in action in the swimming pool from the 28th of June to July 2 at the Aquatic Centre, Balmain, Couva in Trinidad. The Championship which membership comprises federations from the Central American and Caribbean region has seen a number of outstanding performances from Jamaican athletes. Seven existing records at the meet are held by swimmers from the land of wood and water.
Leading the record tally is Olympian Janelle Atkinson with three. She holds marks in the 18 and over 800 metre freestyle 8:39.16, 400 metre freestyle 4:13.11 and 200 metre freestyle 2:02.57. All of those Championship standards were set at the 2001 edition of the meet in the Dominican Republic where she won Six Gold, One Silver and One Bronze.
Olympian Alia Atkinson has two 15-17 records from the 2005 Championships still standing. As expected they are in the breaststroke events. In the 50 metre race it is 33.12 and the 100 metre breaststroke race 1:13.93.The meet was again held in the Dominican Republic. Alia won an impressive Seven Gold ,One Silver and one Bronze.
Yet another Olympian Timothy Wynter has two records in his favoured backstroke events at the 2011 Puerto Rico meet in the 13-14 age group. His 50 metre standard stands at 26.96 and his 200 metre record at 2:09.55.His medal haul would consist of Two Gold, Two Silver and a Bronze.
In 2017 the Jamaican team have 24 individual medal chances based upon the heat sheet.
In the 18 and over girls Kelsie Campbell has five good chances in the 50,100 and 200 metre freestyle events as well as the 50 metre butterfly races. In the 100 metre butterfly she is seeded first. Her time of 1:03.48 is in striking range of the Championship record of 1:03.18 by Puerto Rico’s Debra Rodriquez.
Next up for a potentially large medal haul are the 11-12 sprinters Nathaniel Thomas and Zaneta Alvaranga. Both are in medal winning positions based on their entry times in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle races and 50 and 100 metre butterfly events. In the 50 metre butterfly in which both swimmers are ranked number 1 they will be seeking to lower their respective national records of 28.32 for Thomas and 28.95 for Alvaranga. Zaneta’s best time is almost a full second faster than the championship record of 29.85 by Venezuela’s Ángela Ciccenia.
Other swimmers in medal contention and aiming to break national records are
Sabrina Lyn the 2017 CARIFTA Champion who will be looking to lower her mark of 1:07.22 in the 100 metre butterfly.
Brianna Anderson will be looking to break the girls 13-14 50 metre backstroke record of 31.02
Emily MacDonald will be looking to better her national mark of 1:06.19 in the 13-14 100 metre butterfly
Gabrianna Banks will be racing for the 13-14 record of 26.86
The final day of the Neville Alexander Memorial Swim Meet saw the sprinters putting on a show. There would be yet another national record as the Marlins 9-10 girls added to their tally from Saturday morning. This time they lowered the national standard in the 200 freestyle relay.
The young ladies of the Marlins who lowered a record set almost 30 years. The team of Kokolo Foster, Saidah Brown, Giani Francis and Christanya Shirley touched in a time of 2:14.66, more than 10 seconds ahead of the field. That lowered the national record of 2:15.37 set way back on Aug 1, 1988. That mark was set by the national team of Kezia Stewart, Kerone Peat, Joanna Lee and Nicole Lowe at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships held in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic when 9 and 10 year olds were allowed to participate. Also falling by the wayside was the meet record of 2:18.69 by the 2012 Marlins team of Deandra Reynolds, Karci Gibson, Ahkira Brown and Britney Williams.
The 50 metre freestyle meet records fell by the wayside in the following races 8 and under boys, 11-12 girls and boys and the 13 and over boys’ events. That meet record rush continued in the 200 metre freestyle relays 8 and under girls, the 11-12 girls and boys and 13 and over girls events.
The record breaking spree was started in the 8 and under boys’ race by the Y Speedos’ Zack –Andre Johnson. He lowered a more than a decade old record when he touched the wall in 34.13. The old record of 34.21 was held by former Speedos swimmer Robert Marshall. Johnson topped the field by more than 5 seconds.
In the 11-12 girls event it was Zaneta Alvaranga of the Y Speedos who recorded the fastest time by a girl at the meet and lowered the meet record with her quick time of 27.68. Her margin of victory was more than 2 seconds. In winning she lowered the 2016 meet record of 28.09 by Swimaz’s Emily MacDonald .Zaneta was just off her Silver medal winning CARIFTA personal best of 27.56.She continues to track the national record of 27.53 of MacDonald when she won Gold at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships.The record for the 11-12 girls age group at the upcoming CCCAN championships to be held in Trinidad and Tobago is 27.55 set their Olympian Cerian Gibbes in 1995.
For the boys event it was Nathaniel Thomas of the Tornadoes who again dominated the field. He recorded the only sub 27 seconds time of 26.57. He crushed the meet record of 27.58 by the Y Speedos Alford Green set in 2003.He was more than a second ahead of the field. He was barely off his personal best time of 26.52. Last year he was In his sights for the rest of the year will be the national record of 26.29 held by another Tornadoes age group standout Brad Hamilton. That mark was set in 2002.
In the boys 13 and over race it was Sidrell Williams of the Y Speedos who recorded the fastest time of the meet and the only sub 25 seconds clocking when he touched the wall in 24.29. That lowered his 2012 meet standard of 24.74.
The 11-12 girls Y Speedos relay team of Paig’e Lewis, Callier Maxwell, Jadean Dixon and Zaneta Alvaranga lowered the meet record of 2:04.24 with a swim of 2:03.82.
The 11-12 Tornadoes boys Jaleel Samms, Zachary Jackson-Blaine, Nikolos Gordon-Somers and Nathaniel Thomas set their meet record with a time of 1:56.25.
The 13 and over girls of Y Speedos team of Leanne McMaster, Naomi Eaton, Paris Clare and Brianna Anderson set a record of 1:57.54.
Anderson would sweep the backstroke events 50-100-200 when she claimed the open 200 backstroke crown in 2:43.51.She would also add the 13 and over 50 metre freestyle title in 28.08.
The boys open 200 metre backstroke title went to her teammate Kyle Sinclair in a personal best of 2:20.51.
The crowd was treated to good contests between national record breaking teammates Kokolo Foster and Christanya Shirley of the Marlins in the 50 breaststroke and 50 metre freestyle races.
The older Foster edged her younger teammate 40.14 to 40.71 in the breaststroke race and 31.42 to 31.74 in the freestyle event.
David Morris of the Y Speedos won the boys 9-10 50 metre breaststroke in 43.21.Israel Allen who had an outstanding showing at the meet won the 50 metre freestyle in a pb of 31.86.Allen won five of the six 9-10 individual age group events on offer all in personal record times. The 200 metre freestyle relay in this age group was won by the Marlins team of Josh Johnson, Jayden Campbell, Josh Wilkinson and Kajuan Haughton in 2:20.35.
In the 11-12 age group it was the Tornadoes duo of Sabrina Lyn and Nikolos Gordon –Somers who took top honours in the 100 metre breaststroke in 1:27.72 and 1:22.49 respectively.
In the 13 and over age group Naomi Eaton of the Y Speedos in addition to her relay win had victories in the 100 metre breaststroke 1:22.67 and 400 metre freestyle 4:53.09.
Adrian Grant of the Tornadoes also did the breaststroke/freestyle double for the 13 and over boys. He won the 400 metre event in 4:53.09. In the breaststroke race he held off teammate Sean-Douglas Gooden for the victory 1:11.84 to 1:11.97.
In the 8 and under category Renae Chung of the Y Speedos was a double winner for the girls taking the 50 metre breaststroke and freestyle races in personal best times of 52.25 and 36.61. Chung won all the 8 and under individual races on offer at the meet. The boys breaststroke race went to Waldon McIntosh in 49.46.
The masters’ races for the ladies were again dominated by the Tornadoes Swim club. Lisa Griffith won the 50 metre breaststroke in 48.22. Annelies Denny won the 50 metre freestyle in 35.41.Stefan Braeger won the men’s 50 metre breaststroke in 41.78. Rohan Whyte of the Sailfish Swim Academy won the freestyle race in 30.29.
The meet was brought to a conclusion with the boys 13 and over 200 metre freestyle relay by the Tornadoes team of Sean-Douglas Gooden, Joshua Craigie, Adrian Grant and Jordan Hines in 1:43.38