The final day of the FINA World Cup tour in Singapore saw lightning striking twice for Jamaica in the 50 metre breaststroke Championship final. The ladies from the land, wood and water were history makers again on Day Two and decided to do it again on the final day of the tour.
In the morning heats of the 50 metre breaststroke Roman and Russia’s Yulia Efimova went head to head .Roman did well against the seasoned European with a personal best time of 31.06. Yulia took the win in a time of 30.42. Alia took the final heat with with a time of 29.96 , the only sub 30 seconds time of the morning qualifiers.
Singapore has been a happy hunting for Atkinson having never lost a 50 metre breaststroke race and in the sensational form she has been in was in no mood to lose that winning record. When the starter’s gun went off it would be as it had been all tour long Alia with the fastest reaction time of 0.64 .It would be a case of “last one fast one” and Alia turned it up again in the final to beat the field by over a second and win in a time of 28.93.Teammate Roman was just off her newly minted personal best with a 5th place performance of 31.41. Silver went to Australian Australian Emily Seebohm in 30.25 and the Bronze went to Russian Vitalina Simonova in 31.11. Efimova was disqualified.
Analysis of the Alia’s performances in Singapore
With the reign of Atkinson and the rise of Roman on the international stage and other female swimmers such as Emily MacDonald,Gabrianna Banks, Bryanna Renuart, Shaun Johnson among others making a name for themselves it would not be be improbable to see Jamaica push for a relay medal at the PAN AM Games .
As it was on the first two days of the 2018 Dean Martin Memorial meet in Kingston Jamaica so it was on the final day Sunday October 28 where Jillian Crooks of Camana Bay Aquatics continued the constant assault on the Cayman Islands 11-12 age group records.
In her first event of the day she raised the bar for her age group in the 100 metre butterfly. The 11-12 meet record stood to Jamaican standout Zaneta Alvaranga at 1:08.85 in 2017 which was also the fastest time by a female swimmer at the meet, Jillian’s 11-12 Cayman record was 1:06.87 from her CCCAN Gold medal performance in Aruba and the best ever 11-12 time in Jamaica was 1:05.98 by another wunderkind Bermuda’s Elan Daley in her Gold medal winning performance at CARIFTA 2018. Jillian would blast through all of those times to record a winning time of 1:04.54. Her opening split of 30.21 almost broke her 50 metre butterfly record of 30.08.Crooks has made considerable progress since her first regional meet of 2018 which was UANA where she recorded a time of 1:12.43.
Still in only her first year of the 11-12 age group she is already faster than the Cayman Islands 13-14 record held by Olympian Heather Roffey (Athen 2004) of 1:05.62 and is closing fast on the senior record of Lara Butler (Rio 2016) of 1:04.10. Her winning time at Dean Martin would have won her the Silver medal in the boys race at CARIFTA earlier in the year
She would not finish with her record breaking in the butterfly but also extended that to the 200 metre backstroke. Jillian would slice a few hundredths off her PB and national record of 2:33.98 to register a winning time of 2:33.91 . That now stands at the 11-12 record and fastest ever female time of the meet. The old 11-12 meet record was held by Kendese Nangle of the Blue Seals swim club from 2007 who posted a time of 2:42.95.
She would close out the meet with a meet record in the 50 metre freestyle record of 27.78 just eclipsing the 2016 meet record of 27.79 by CAC and Youth Olympics representative Emily MacDonald of Swimaz Aquatics. Crooks now dominates the LCM record board for the Cayman Islands in the 11-12 age group and has a chance to lower the CARIFTA and CCCAN records in those events in 2019.
50 metre freestyle
100 metre freestyle
200 metre freestyle
50 metre backstroke
100 metre backstroke
200 metre backstroke
100 metre breaststroke
50 metre butterfly
100 metre butterfly
200 metre IM
Continuing his own meet record smashing streak was Zarek Wilson of the Blue Dolphins Swim club of Trinidad and Tobago. He recorded the fastest ever time at the meet of 4:30.45 while destroying the 11-12 record of Sean -Douglas Gooden of 4:51.45.In his final event of the competition he clocked 26.20 just missing the 2017 record of 26.16 set by Nathaniel Thomas of the Tornadoes swim club.
In one of the most exciting races of the day in the 13-14 age group in the 100 metre butterfly which saw the 2018 CARIFTA Silver medallist Zaneta Alvaranga of the Kaizen Swim Club in a head to head battle with the 2018 CCCAN Gold medallist and national record holder Sabrina Lyn of the Tornadoes. It would be Alvaranga’s fast opening 50 metres that proved to be the difference as she held off a late charge from Lyn. They would finish in times of 1:05.24 and 1:05.56 well under the 2008 record of 1:10.86. Also finishing under the record was P’aige Lewis of the Y Speedos who recorded a time of 1:10.57.
Alvaranga would return to close out her individual races with an emphatic win in the 50 metre freestyle in a time of 27.23 . That shattered the 2016 meet record of 28.38 by 2018 Commonwealth Games competitor Alison Jackson of the Stingrays Swim Club of the Cayman Islands.The performance will also stand as the fastest ever female time at the meet.
Also in record standard setting mode was Thomas of the Tornadoes Swim Club in the 13-14 age category. In the 100 metre butterfly he set a new personal best time of 1:00.54 to take the win and break the meet record of 1:01.80. He would top the 13-14 field in the 50 metre freestyle with a time of 25.12 ,just under the old record of 25.16 in yet another personal best.He will be targeting the 2004 national record of 24.47 set by another Tornadoes swimmer Brad Hamilton.
In the 15-16 category Jordan Crooks of Camana Bay Aquatics produced the meet’s first ever sub minute swim in the 100 metre butterfly when he touched the pads in 59.83.In the 15 and over category of the 50 metre freestyle he held off two members of Jamaica’s national record setting 15-17 200 metre freestyle team at CARIFTA Jordan Hines of the Tornadoes Swim Club and Kyle Sinclair of the Y Speedos to be the fastest sprinter in the history of the meet. He cut through the water to touch in 24.60. Hines was a touch back in 24.61 and Sinclair ,the final sub 25 seconds swimmer with a 24.80. Both Jordans won their respective 15-16 and 17-18 age groups.
The Y Speedos Swim club retained their crown with 845 points followed by the Tornadoes Swim club with 745 and the Marlins swim club third with 256 points.
There will be more international talent on display at this year’s edition of the Dean Martin Memorial meet at the National Aquatic Centre (50 metre pool) in Kingston Jamaica as siblings Jillian and Jordan Crooks will be representing Camana Bay Aquatics Bay Club from the Cayman Islands. Brother Jordan is coming from a successful 2018 Youth Olympics Games campaign today draftingthecaribbean will feature sister Jillian .
As the year has gone on Jillian has put in faster and faster performances in the pool. At her most recent meet the CBAC Fall meet from the 12th to the 14th she set eight new short course metres national age group records at the Camana Bay Sports Complex
50 metre butterfly
50 metre freestyle
100 metre backstroke
100 metre butterfly
200 metre butterfly
100 metre individual medley
100 metre breaststroke
200 metre freestyle
The 50 metre butterfly also doubled as the senior record . The previous record of 29.24 was held by Cayman Islands standout and current Florida State University freshman Lauren Hew.
Jillian has seen constant improvement since her first regional outing in 2018 at the UANA swimming Cup in Coral Springs in January. One of those events is the 50 metre freestyle where her last long course meet saw her producing a new 11-12 national record of 27.25 which is faster than the meet record of 27.70 held by Jamaican standout Emily MacDonald
In the 100 metre freestyle fans on hand at the meet may see not only a new meet record but also the fastest 11-12 girls time produced on Jamaica.This as her personal best and Cayman National record stands at 59.93 , a time that few in the region at her age have ever swum. The meet record stands to MacDonald at 1:01.66 and the Jamaica best time 1:00.06 to Bermuda’s Elan Daley when she Gold in the event at CARIFTA here in Kingston earlier this year.Crooks won the CCCAN title in 1:01.72.
Another meet record that looks to be on borrowed time is the 11-12 100 metre butterfly of 1:08.85 .Jillian has a personal best and national record time of 1:06.87. She recorded that when winning the CCCAN title in Aruba this summer.The Jamaica best time may also be on the cards as the Elan Daley standard from CARIFTA is 1:05.98.
The meet record in the 11-12 100 metre backstroke stands at 1:14.97 and Jillian boasts a best time of 1:10.45 which is also a national age group record. She will also be vying to record the fastest time record at the meet as the fastest overall female time of 1:13.72 was recorded last year by Brianna Anderson in the 13-14 age group.
Other meet standards under threat by Jillian are
200 metre freestyle
200 metre backstroke
200 metre Individual medley
Crooks is not stranger to Jamaica having set four 10 and under records last year. Her improvement can be seen in the sport as her 200 metre freestyle record time last year was 2:31.43.
The three days of action from October 26 to 28 should be quite interesting as Crooks will be trading strokes with Morgan Cogle of Jupiter Sea Dragons from Florida who she has shared the podium with at CCCAN and CARIFTA this year in a number of races . That duo along will a strong local contingent including Safiya Officer, the CCCAN 50 metre freestyle Bronze medallist will ensure that the races are entertaining.
Jamaica’s Emily MacDonald will take part in her fourth and last international championship for the year today at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires Argentina. Today October 8 she will be competing in the 100 metre freestyle event. Emily has represented the island at the UANA Championships in Coral Springs Florida in January, the Carifta Championship at home in Kingston late March to early April, the CCCAN Championships in Aruba June 25 to July 6 and then her first senior international meet in Barranquilla ,Colombia.
When draftinghthecaribbean spoke to Emily on September 28 she spoke about qualification for the Games
“I am very happy to have made the A qualifying time at the CAC Games held over the summer which allowed me to be picked for the Youth Olympic Games.This competition is a really big deal for me as the Youth Olympic Game is one of the most prestigious games in the world and I am very excited to be apart of it”.
In addition to the 100 metre freestyle she will also compete in the 50 metre freestyle on Thursday.Her best times in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle are 26.44 and 57.95 both the 13-14 age group records for Jamaica.Emily is the second girl to represent the island at the Youth Olympic Games following Kendese Nangle’s particpation in 2010 in Singapore. Other swimmers who have represented Jamaica at the Youth Olympics include Brian Forte (2010 Singapore), and Sidrell Williams and Olympian Timothy Wynter in 2014 in China.
Day One of the 2018CAC ( Central American and Caribbean) Games saw Olympian Alia Atkinson leading the way for Team Jamaica with Gold in the 100 metre breaststroke in Games Record time. Setting new national marks would be Keanan Dols as well as the 400 metre mixed medley relay team of Dols ,Atkinson,Luke Gunning and Emily MacDonald.
After bettering her old Games record of 1:10.24 in the morning heats Atkinson was the second seed with a 1:08.00. Also under the record was Byanca Rodriquez Villanuev who just edged Alia with a time of 1:07.99.The two ladies swam in the last of the morning heats side by side.Rodriquez Villanuev had gained the early advantage then with a split of 31.28 to Atkinson’s 31.32. So the setting was clear for the final as it would be between Byanca and Alia. In the Championship final there would be no synchronized swimming as Alia got her customary bullet start and gave the field too much to handle with a split of 30.85. After an excellent pullout she also turned in the best last 50 metre of 35.98 to ensure that the CAC Games record remained in Jamaica with a final time of 1:06.83.With the that win she breaks the tie with Mexico’s Silvia Rivero who won the titles in 1982 and 1986 as she now has crowned herself Queen on three occasions 2006, 2010 and now 2018. She is still the only woman from the CARIFTA region to medal in the event. Silver went to Rodriquez Villanuev in 1:07.80 and her countrywoman Esther Gonzalez Medina in 1:10.60. Her record swim also puts her as the 11th fastest swimmer in the world so far.Her swim qualifies her automatically for the 2019 Lima PAN AM Games as well as the 2019 Gwangju World Champs and 2018 Hangzhou World Short Course Champs.
In the morning heats of the 400 mixed medley relay the team of Dols, Atkinson ,Luke Gunning and MacDonald established a new national mark of 4;02.47 to qualify for the Championship final. In leading off the team with his backstroke leg Dols became the Jamaican swimmer under 56 seconds as he clocked 55.78.
That lowered the mark of 56.15 set by Olympian Timothy Wynter at 2016 Caribbean Islands Swimming championships.It automatically qualifies him for the 2019 PAN Games. It was just off the CAC 100 metre backstroke Games record of 55.48. It is also under the B standard of 55.95 for the 2019 World Championships The team would be even faster in the final as they had a total time of 4:01.90 to place fifth.
Dols would be swim in another Championship final as swam in the 200 metre butterfly event. He qualified for the medal race with a new personal best of 2:01.32 (split time of 58.06). In the final he would place eighth in the second best time of his career of 2:02.41. National record holder in the event Michael Gunning still feeling the effects of jet lag clocked 2:03.23 in the heats to qualify for the B final. In that race he was fourth in a time of 2:03.64.Both Keanan and Michael were well under the 2019 PAN AM B time of 2:07.77
Making her senior international debut Bryanna Renuart made her first final in the 100 metre breaststroke. The University of Miami (Ohio) bound swimmer recorded the second fastest time of her career 1:15.13 (split time 34.65) to qualify for the B Final. In that race she was just off her morning swim to place fifth in 1:15.50, the fourth best time in her life.Her morning swim was under the 2019 PAN AM B time of 1:15.38.
Luke Gunning who was a member of the national record breaking relay team swam his first individual race in the Black,Green and Gold in the 100 metre freestyle placed 33rd in a time of 53.42 (split time 25.73).He was just off the 2019 PAN Games B time of 52.79
When action gets underway tomorrow July 20 in Barranquilla Colombia at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games Team Jamaica will be led by Olympian Alia Atkinson (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 , London 2012 and Rio 2016). The team will seek to add to their overall medal count of 20 after not being present at the 2014 Veracruz Mexico Games.
Atkinson leads the CARIFTA region with the most Gold medals at the oldest regional Games with Seven Gold medals from participating in two Championships 2006 and 2010.
Second on that list is another legend of the CARIFTA region Olympian Carolyn Adel (Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000) of Suriname who won Six Gold medals at the 1998 Maracaibo Venezuela Games.
Atkinson is also two medals away from the highest CARIFTA region medal total held by another regional swimming icon Olympian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016) of The Bahamas who also has Six Gold medals and an overall medal total of 11. Atkinson was also the first Gold medallist in the 50 metre breaststroke and 50 metre butterfly events when they were introduced at her 2006 debut at the Games also in Colombia but at that time in Cartegena. Atkinson holds the Championship records in the 50 metre breaststroke 31.91,100 metre breaststroke 1:10.24 and 200 IM 2:17.31.
Joining her on the team will be Keanan Dols and Michael Gunning who have represented Jamaica at the senior team level but making their CAC Games. Keanan represented Jamaica at the 2016 World Short Course Swimming Championships in Windsor Canada where he set three national records. At the junior level he has represented the country at the 2015 World Junior Championships in Singapore and also at the CARIFTA level where he set many Championship records.
Michael Gunning has represented the Black , Green and Gold at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest Hungary and the 2017 World University Games. he holds national records in the 200 and 400 metre freestyle as well as the 200 metre butterfly events.
Also making his debut at the multi sport Games will be Michael’s brother Luke Gunning who will be donning the national colours for the first time at any level.
Fresh from outstanding regional junior performances in 2018 and making their senior team debuts will be Bryanna Renuart and Emily MacDonald. Both claimed regional Golden Doubles (CARIFTA and CCCAN) Renuart in the 15-17 400 metre individual medley and MacDonald in the 13-14 50 and 100 metre freestyle events.For MacDonald both Gold were claimed in Championship record time.
The team is being coached by Miss Gillian Millwood
The final day of competition at the CCCAN swimming Championships in Aruba on July 2 saw Team Jamaica adding Two Gold, Three Silver and Three Bronze medals.
The highlight of the day was Emily MacDonald who completed the freestyle sprint double .A day after she completed the record regional Golden Double (CARIFTA and CCCAN titles) in the 100 metre freestyle she did the same in the 50 metre freestyle. She took the race in a time of 26.48 a new PB, CCCAN and CARIFTA all time best.It was a mere .03 of a second outside of the automatic Youth Olympic qualifying mark of 26.45.
This makes her unbeaten for the 13-14 age group at CCCAN as she took the title in Trinidad and Tobago as well last year in 27.20. In April of this year in her hometown of Kingston she won the splash and dash in a time of 26.76 lowering the record of 26.81 held by Bermudan Madelyn Moore. In Aruba she would take down another Moore standard of 26.65 , the unofficial all time regional record. Emily has been Golden in all but one meet at the regional level since 2016.
26.48 record 26.65
MacDonald had the second fastest time of the competition. That accolade went to none other than Madelyn Moore who lowered the 15-17 meet of 26.13 by Suriname’s Olympian Chinyere Pigot (Beijing 2008 and London 2012) when she stopped the clock in 25.97.
Silver went to Bermuda’s Logan Watson -Brown in 27.24 and the Bronze to Aruba Chloe Farro 27.67.
When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Emily she gave her thoughts on her performances
“I’m very happy about winning events in the meet for my age group and breaking Championship record for both events .It gives me the assurance that I have the potential to be a great sprinter”.
There would almost be another regional record Golden Double in the 400 metre medley relay as the team of Simone Vale, Sabrina Lyn, MacDonald and Amore Hunter just missed the CCCAN record of 4:34.23 held by the 2005 Mexico team and their own national age group record of 4:33.81 when they won Gold in 4:34.48.Silver went to Colombia in 4:38.89 and Bronze to Aruba in 4:52.40.
butterfly Zaneta Alvaranga
There would be another national record for Morgan Cogle in the 11-12 200 metre backstroke.She lowered the 2007 Kendese Nangle record of 2:36.00 set at CCCAN 2007 in El Salvador in the morning heats with a time of 2:35.21. She would go on to win Bronze in the final in 2:35.29. Jillian Crooks of the Cayman Islands took the Silver in 2:33.98 with Gold going to Elizabeth Jimenez Garrido of the Dominican Republic in 2:33.23.
In the 400 medley relay Cogle backstroke ,Brooke Hopkins breaststroke ,Ireland Hunter butterfly and Safiya Officer won the Silver in a new national age group record of 4:56.06. That bettered the old 2007 record of 4:58.67 set in by the 2007 CARIFTA team Brittany Kenney, Kendese Nangle, Raynae Hall and Alexia Royal-Eatmon.
COMPARISON OF TIMES
Gold went to Trinidad and Tobago in 4:51.10 and the Bronze to Barbados in 5:06.93.
In the 15-17 Girls 50 metre freestyle it was Gabrianna Banks getting the medal for Team Jamaica . She stopped the clock in a new PB of 26.69 for the Silver. The performance marks consecutive Silver medals for Banks who won Silver in her last year of 13-14 in the twin island republic last year in 27.28. The Bronze went to Victoria Russell of The Bahamas in a new PB of 26.93. This is the first medal for Jamaica in 2017 since Breanna Roman won Bronze in 27.59 at CCCAN 2011 in Puerto Rico.
There would be a Bronze for Nathaniel Thomas in the 13-14 age group in the 50 metre freestyle as his effort was timed in a PB of 25.33. This is a step up from his performance at CARIFTA where he placed ninth in 26.19. Silver went to Malik Nelson of Trinidad and Tobago in 24.50. Gold went to the fastest 13-14 swimmer of the season Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas who won in a new CCCAN record of 23.94 to add to his CARIFTA title which he won in 24.27 and as well as National title in 23.79.
There would be Bronze for Safiya Officer in the girls 11-12 race she touched in 27.71.Silver went to St Lucia’s Naima Hazell in 27.61 .
The Gold went to the Cayman Islands Jillian Crooks who lowered the 1995 meet standard of 27.55 set by Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympian Cerian Gibbes who went to the Atlanta 1996 Games as a 13 year old.
The 11-12 boys 400 metre medley relay team won Silver . The team of Daniel Mair (backstroke) 1:16.61,brother Joshua (breaststroke)1:20.15 ,Jaedon Lynch( butterfly) ( 1:10.15) and Adrian Balfour (freestyle) 1:01.55 touched in 4:48.55 to finish behind the Trinidad and Tobago team that won in 4:41.05.the Bronze was won by Aruba in 4:53.76.
The 15-17 boys won the Bronze in their medley relay. The team of Nicholas Vale (backstroke) 1:01.47 ,Sean-Douglas Gooden (breaststroke) 1:09.48 ,Jesse Marsh (butterfly) 56.91 and Cameron Brown (freestyle) 55.86 touched in 4:03.72. Gold was won by The Bahamas in 3:59.57 and the Silver to Trinidad and Tobago in 4:01.63.