Outgoing Missouri senior Aruba’s Mikel Schreuders is leaving the SEC Championships with his name in the record books and his first title in the 200 yard freestyle.
Last night in Georgia he reaffirmed his position as the best 200 yard freestyler that the Championships has ever seen when he won Gold in a new PB, school and SEC record time of 1:31.27 . That bettered his lead leg relay split of 1:31.61 on the opening day of the SEC Championships at the University of Georgia.Silver was won by Joey Reilman of Tennessee in 1:32.35 and the Bronze went to Khader Baqlah of Florida in 1:32.71. He is now the second fastest swimmer in the event across all divisions this year. Through determination and the goal to set higher standards for himself each year at these Championships Schreuders had swum faster all of the four years he has competed.
THE PATH TO GOLD
Schreuders now adds Aruba to the CARIFTA region nations that have won individual titles in the men’s 200 yard freestyle
Draftingthecaribbean spoke to the SEC Champion after his race and he shared his thoughts on the race
“The race was amazing .Before the race I was not trying to focus on any specific time.I was just trying to go out there and have fun and do the best I can. I felt good the entire way.Afterward of course it hurt a little bit but that always happens.It feels good not only to represent my school and my name but also Aruba and all the kids from the Caribbean”,
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 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.
Miss Alia Atkinson will formally be conferred with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander on Jamaica’s Heroes Day from Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, at King’s House tomorrow October 15. She is being recognized for outstanding representation of Jamaica in the field of swimming and being the first black woman to win a World Championships Title.
The sport of swimming will also be represented tomorrow by veteran swim Coach John Lopez who will be awarded the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer for his contribution to disability and paraplegic sports.Mr Lopez founded the Marlin Swim Club in 1959, and started a swimming programme at the Mona Rehabilitation Centre (now Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre) in 1963.
Alia covered herself in more glory by lowering her own world record in the 50 metre breaststroke ( 25 metre pool ) to 28.56 on October 6. With that record Atkinson extends her lead in having the most world record swims from the region. Also on this list are Olympians George Bovell III and Martinique’s Coralie Balmy.
George Bovell III
Trinidad and Tobago
200 metre IM (scm)
East Meadow NY USA
200 metre freestyle (scm)
100 metre breaststroke (scm)
100 metre breaststroke (scm)
50 metre breaststroke (scm)
50 metre breaststroke (scm)
Maureen Croes ,General Secretary of CCCAN , the regional governing body for swimming had the following thoughts on Atkinson’s World Record.
“Another very positive result for our region. Very proud to see Alia’s hard work and determination pay of and bring her in the well deserved spotlight. I hope that her story can bring excitement to our entire region, for the athletes, for our sport as a whole and maybe even for the administrators, leaders and coaches to see that it is possible to compete on the World stage”.
The President of the St. Lucia Amateur Swimming Association, Eddie Hazell also offered congratulations and spoke of Alia’s impact on the region
“We in St.Lucia are elated at the success and achievements of Alia. She is well known to quite a few of our swimmers who has had the honor of both speaking too and receiving words of encouragement from her. Not surprising, her personal journey now acts as an inspiration to many of our competitive swimmers. St. Lucia Amateur Swimming Association extends congratulations to Alia on such a superb performance. We stand with you in pursuit of your goals and wishes you all the best. Thank you Miss Atkinson – you are a true inspiration to all”.
Words of praise also came from the Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago through its Public Relations Officer Jason Wickham
“On behalf of the Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago we would like to extend our congratulations to Alia Atkinson on the establishment of a new world record. Alia has been flying the flag of Jamaica and the entire region for a number of years and this is testament to the hard work she has put in. She continues to bring glory to the Caribbean. Coming from this and the success of Caribbean athletes on the world stage including our Dylan Carter that there will be a region wide mentor ship initiative from our seasoned athletes so that will continue producing top class athletes that will excel on the global stage”.
President of the Bahamas Aquatics Federation Algernon Cargill also lauded Atkinson
“The Caribbean has produced many firsts in sports certainly we know about all the successes in track and field and swimming has been producing the same level of outstanding results. The Bahamas Aquatics Federation extends sincere congratulations to Alia Atkinson and our friends in the ASAJ on Alia’s outstanding world record. She has demonstrated that aquatic sports in the Caribbean is among the best in the world.Not only because of Alia’s outstanding swim in the breaststroke but moreso because we are always overshadowed by the results of track and field. Alia has broken through and again has set another world record .Her performance in the 50 metre breaststroke will be an example for many Caribbean swimmers to emulate in the future. What is outstanding is that she is achieving these results in the latter stages of her career and she has demonstrated that when you continue to work hard and compete clean that you will be blessed with outstanding results.The Bahamas Aquatics Federation recognizes that Alia’s started during her CARIFTA years and continued during her college career and of course the The World Championships and Olympic Games.She has continued to work hard and her diversity in swimming other events positions for an outstanding performance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.So we congratulate Alia and wish her well and continue to pray that she will continue to represent the Caribbean of course Jamaica at the high standard as she has always done”.
King’s House serves both as the official residence of the Jamaican Head of State and as a Department of Government.
The summer of 2018 had proven to be hot but Suriname’s Olympian Renzo Tjon A Joe has proven to be to be just as hot in the pool in swimming’s fastest event the 50 metre freestyle taking titles at the South American Games, CCCAN in Aruba and now the CAC (Central American Games).
BOLIVIAN BLAST OFF
The summer sizzle started in Cochabamba Bolivia at the South American Games when he entered the competition with a career best placing of a Bronze medal in Chile in 2014 with a time of 22.88. But there were be no swimmer to best him in Bolivia as on May 29 he took the event in his best time at the Championships of 22.65.At the G.A.M.C. Aquatics Center at Mariscal Santa Cruz Park he staved off the challenges of Venezuelan Olympian Cristian Quintero 22.71 and Brazilian André Calvelo 22.80. The first stage of the regional tour was complete and the first Gold was in the chest.
ACCELERATING IN ARUBA
Renzo never stepped off the gas when competing at the CCCAN Championships at the Pisina Olimpico Roly Bisslik in Aruba. He treated the crowd at hand to a sub 23 clocking in the morning heats on July 3 with a time of 22.86. The audience at hand would get another opportunity of viewing elite speed when he took the final in a time of 22.88. Silver in the race went to Bahamian Gershwin Greene 23.52 and the Bronze to Panama’s Franco Reyes in 23.65.
When Renzo arrived in Barranquilla Colombia his appetite for regional Gold had not been satisified and he was a man on a mission to win all 50 metre freestyle races . In Veracruz, Mexico four years earlier he had the earned the second rung on the podium with a time of 22.62. Winning the Gold was regional legend and Olympic medallist Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell III who completed his own trifecta of CAC Gold medal wins in the event 2006 22.67,2010 22.23 and then 2014 22.30.
The morning heats gave him the top time of 22.28 , mere 5 hundredths of a second off the Championship record. History beckoned in the final. When the gun fired in the evening’s Championship final on Wednesday July 28 it would be another Olympian from the twin island republic that had the early lead as Dylan Carter worked his underwater kicks well to have the initial advantage. Renzo seeing that early surge being right beside him was building into his swim. He cut into that lead until the two CARIFTA region stars were about even at the 25 metre mark .
Renzo edged ahead after that and maintained that lead into the wall to win and crown himself the THE FASTEST MAN IN THE REGION and take the Gold in a new PB , national record and CAC Games record of 22.18. Silver went to Carter in 22.38 and the Bronze to Venezuela’s Alberto Mestre 22.47.
DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK
Don’t call it a comeback
I’ve been here for years
I’m rocking my peers
In the words of legendary rapper LL Cool J don’t call it a comeback . The victories by Renzo cannot be seen as a comeback but another highlight of Renzo’s sprint legacy and him leading his cohort from the CARIFTA region in this event from the junior ranks.
As juniors Renzo and Dylan had another hotly contested 50 metre freestyle at CARIFTA 2013 on a hot night in Kingston on April 2 .Renzo had set the then CARIFTA record of 23.37 in the heats before nipping Carter for Gold in the final 23.44 to 23.46. The victory a first for Suriname at the CAC Games was also the 20th fastest in the world.
When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Renzo he spoke about the CAC victory and training leading up to this moment
“It’s been a long road to getting back in race shape post Rio 16. I had taken a small “break” from the sport to focus on my academics. I credit my past 3 victories to training with Sergio Lopez and Tyler McGill. I officially got back in the pool January 2018 and my goal honestly this summer was just getting back to swimming fast. I had no idea it would’ve happened this quickly. Dylan played a huge role in my swim last night, It’s always exciting racing against him because of our shared history.
Getting George Bovell’s record also meant a lot since he’s some I’ve always looked up to and still do.He’s an Olympic medalist and has a legendary status.The trifecta and a best time just sealed a perfect summer”.
He also elaborated about his future training plans
I will be moving down to South Florida to train with Olympians Australian Coach Brett Hawke and Brazilian Bruno Fratus (2017 World Championships 50 metre freestyle Silver medallist )”.
On the horizon for the rest of the year will be the South American championships November 8-12 Trujillo,Peru, Swim Cup Amsterdam October 19 to 21 Amsterdam Netherlands and the 2018 World Short Course Swimming championships Hangzhou China Dec 7 -11.
In another wonderful night of swimming by the CARIFTA region at the 23rd CAC (Central American and Caribbean) CAC)Games at the Eduardo Movilla Aquatic Complex in Colombia, it was Team Trinidad and Tobago that lead the medal performance with Gold and Bronze by Dylan Carter in the 50 metre backstroke and a Bronze medal won by the 400 metre freestyle relay team .
The fourth day of action got under way on a good note in the heats with David McLeod returning a personal best in the 50 metre backstroke heats with a time of 25.85 to place third . It was also for that time the fastest swim ever by a Team TTO member at the CAC Games The meet record was broken by 2014 Silver medallist Venezuela’s Robinson Molina who topped the heat with a time of 25.21. That would not last very long as those record would fall to Carter who record a new PB, national record , and Games record of 25.01. The old national record had stood to Olympic Gold medallist George Bovell III set almost exactly 4 years ago at 25.39.It also stood as the fastest time ever from the CARIFTA region. Carter’s heat swim was also the 17th fastest time in the World this year. With Carter a clear favourite the question now was would Team TTO be able to get two swimmers as they had done in the 50 metre butterfly With past Champions and medallists such Colombia’s Omar Pinzon and Molina set to contest the medal race.
In the Championship final it was a matter of question asked and emphatically answered. Carter would take the Gold in a another new PB, NR and Games record of 24.83, the first man under 25 seconds at the CAC Games and also the 10th fastest time in the world this year . It obviously qualified him for the 2018 Hangzhou World Short Course Swimming championships and 2019 Gwangju World Championships as the A standard is 25.17 Silver went Molina in 25.25 and the Bronze to McLeod in a personal best of 25.55 with 2010 Champion Pinzón placing fourth in 25.71. It is a big improvement for David as he placed seventh in Veracruz Mexico with a time of 26.87.
See video by TEAM TTO
With the Gold and Bronze in the race Team TTO have a complete set of medals with Bovell’s Silver in 2010 (26.08) and Bronze in 2014 (25.91) and have begun work on a another set. It is also first time Team TTO has placed two persons on the podium and second CARIFTA region victory with Olympian Nicky Neckles winning the first Gold in 2006 (26.44). Team TTO has won a medal at every edition of the Games as Barbados Olympian Nicholas Bovell won Bronze in 2006 (26.82).
The 400 metre freestyle relay team easily qualified for the final with a time of 3:27.77. With the lineup of swimmers assembled in Barranquilla it would always be a question of how much the national record of 3:25.73 set at the 2010 edition of the Games would be lowered by and if it could get them a podium place.
The final had them using Carter on the opening leg to give them a lead and keep them in medal contention . The strategy worked as the splits of Carter 48.79 , Jabari Baptiste 51.74, McLeod 51.44 and Joshua Romany’s anchor leg of 50.86 sealed the Bronze with an overall time of 3:22.83. Dylan’s opening leg also lowered his 100 metre freestyle Games record set on the opening day and ranks him 14th in the world
100 FREESTYLE GAMES RECORD PROGRESSION
First 50 metres
Second 50 metres
Silver went to Venezuela in 3:20.43 and the Gold to Mexico in 3:18.60, Games record.
See video of race by Team TTO
Team TTO is the only CARIFTA region team to medal in this relay. This follows on Silver medal winning performances of the 1986 team of Mark Andrews, Rhett Chee Ping,Bruce Kaufmann and Andre Dieffenthaller (3:33.08) and the 2010 team of George Bovell III, Caryle Blondell, Joshua McLeod and Jarryd Gregoire (3:25.73). This medal performance also raises hopes of the team swimming more often to get into a World top 16 position and make 2020 Olympic relay qualification possible . Team TTO Bronze medal winning time is currently the 11th fastest time in the world by a country.
Kael Yorke became yet another CARIFTA 2018 Champion to make a medal final as he continues to put together an impressive final year as a junior. He rose to the challenge of competing in senior waters to record a personal best in both the heats and Championship and place seventh. He was timed in 54.27 just outside off the 15-17 age group record of 54.21 held by Carter.
Friday July 21 at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean saw three of the CARIFTA region’s biggest stars Olympians Joanna Evans of The Bahamas , Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago and Alia Atkinson of Jamaica win Gold in Games Record times.
The historic Gold Rush was started by Evans in the 400 metre freestyle.She easily qualified for the Championship final with a time of 4:16.63 . Her medal final saw her putting on masterclass on how to swim the event.The race was effectively over as a contest when Joanna took out the first 50 metres in 28.80. At the 100 metre mark when she split 59.59 the question on everyone’s mind was how much she would lower the 2010 Games record of 4:11.36 Venezuelan Olympian Adreina Pinto. With a final 50 metres of 31.61 she would just get by the record with a time of 4:11.15. With her win she becomes only the Second woman from the CARIFTA region to win Gold in the event following Suriname’s Carolyn Adel victory in 1998. Evans also upgrades her Silver medal from 2014 to Gold and moves from a tie with Jamaican Olympian Janelle Atkinson as the best placed English speaking swimmer in the event. She also joins Mexican Maria Souza as the only women to have won Silver and Gold in the event. Souza took Silver in 1959 before going on to win Gold in 1962 in Kingston Jamaica.
Silver went to Mexico’s Allyson Macias Alba in 4:14.74 and the Bronze to Costa Rica’s Helena Moreno Hernandez in 4:15.51
Carter ensured the CARIFTA Golden streak with his own historic swim .After making the final as the second seed with a time of 49.24 . It would be time to bring SHOWTIME to Barranquilla Colombia Team TTO style. When the gun started it be another CARIFTA region star that would take out the first 50 metres as Suriname’s Olympian Renzo Tjon A Joe split 23.03. However Carter split 23.29 worked his underwaters and when he popped up it was SHOWTIME . He came home in the second fastest 50 metres of 25.66 to take the Gold in a new Games Record of 48.95 , the first CAC Games swimmer under 49 seconds. That bettered the 2014 Games record of 49.00 held by Cuban Olympian Hanser Garcia. With his record swim he became the first Man to win the 100 metre freestyle crown from the CARIFTA region as the previous best placing had been Silver medals won by countryman Olympian Mark Andrews in 1986 and Cayman Islands Olympian Shaune Fraser in 2006. Team TTO now has a complete set of medal in the events rounded out by Olympic medal winner George Bovell III’s Bronze in 2006. Silver went Aruban Olympian Mikel Schreuders in yet another national record time of 49.17 , the first medal ever for Aruba in the event. Bronze went to Jorge Andres Iga Cesar in 49.28. Tjon A Joe placed fifth in a time of 49.38 and Barbados Olympian Alex Sobers eighth in a personal best time of 50.51. Both swimmers were just off their respective national records of 49.29 and 50.40. Carter spoke about this journey to 100 metre freestyle Gold to TEAM TTO
Anchoring this Golden run on the opening day of the CAC Games was Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson . After bettering her old Games record of 1:10.24 in the morning heats she 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. Atkinson is also the 11th fastest woman in the world with that swim.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. The deep talent pool spread across the region was evident at The Bahamas duo of Lilly Higgs 1:11.32 and Laura Morley 1:12.34 placed fifth and sixth respectively in the Championship final