GROTERS GETS IT DONE!!! PATRICK GETS OLYMPIC B STANDARD IN 200 MEDLEY

Patrick Groters Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Before 2019 became history Aruban Patrick Groters was making his own for Aruba and himself. Competing at the US Open in December Patrick lowered the national record in the 200 individual medley. He crushed the old standard of 2:03.33 set during the preliminaries of the 2019 Pan AM Games in Peru to take it down to 2:01.62  on Dec 5.He set that time during the morning heats of the meet bettering the 2020 Tokyo Olympic B standard of 2:03.26.
That historic swim would earn him a second swim in the B final where he would again be much better than the B standard placing sixth in a time of 2:01.84.

The meet which was held at the McAuley Natatorium , home of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games sees Patrick as fourth  on the all time rankings of the best from the CARIFTA region in the event.

Jeremy Knowles Photo courtesy of Bahamas swimming
NameCountryEventTime
Bradley AllyBarbados2008 Olympics1:58.57
George Bovell IIITrinidad and Tobago2004  Olympics1:58.80
Jeremy KnowlesThe Bahamas2008 Olympics2:01.35
Groters Brothers Patrick and Jordy

Patrick is being guided on his road to Tokyo by his older brother Jordy. Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Jordy after the competition and got his thoughts about Patrick’s progression since the PAN American Games in August

“During the taper Patrick was definitely swimming very confidently and doing some pretty good times. Swimming the same race seemed very reasonable. During the race, however, the splits he did were faster than what we had trained for. The butterfly was right on what he needed to be. The 29.9 backstroke and 35.4 breaststroke were absolutely unreal. We had trained to for 30-mids in backstroke and 36 in breaststroke. The freestyle was the only let down of the race, being the only split that was slower than his race at Pan AMs by about half a second. We tried to improve that freestyle in Finals and it was even more obvious in that race how crucial a good closing leg is. Patrick swam in between Will Licon (2019 US PAN AM Games Gold medallist in the 200 IM) and Caeleb Dressel (2016 Olympic Gold medallist,2019 50 metre freestyle World Champion)  in the B final and was ahead of Dressel and right behind Licon at the 150. Dressel’s monster freestyle leg almost won him the race, touching only 0.01 behind Licon. Patrick touched two seconds after them despite being “in the race” at the 150. To be fair, Patrick’s freestyle was a bit faster than the morning but he wasn’t under 30 seconds like he was at Pan AMs. Considering how much of the other splits he improved from Pan AMs, he could’ve been 29 low or maybe even 28 high. Had he done that then he could’ve even been 2:00“.

Record ComparisonPAN AM GamesUS Open
Butterfly26.6326.11
Backstroke30.5929.90
Breaststroke36.4935.47
Freestyle29.6230.14
Total Time2:03.332:01.62

Jordy also spoke about the way forward

“Regardless of all these hypotheticals, I was beyond ecstatic with the result. Another giant time drop so close to the last one is a huge confidence booster and a great sign for the coming months. There’s still about 6 months to go before the Olympic qualification window is closed. Six months to work on the back-half and make sure he can race the likes of Dressel and Licon until the end! I believe six months is more than enough time to make another 200 IM improvement and even challenge the A standard. He’ll definitely be challenging the B standards in both Backstrokes, as well. Those events were a little off this meet but the mission was a success. We came here to get a B cut and he was well beneath it”.

Andrew Phillips Photo courtesy of elitesportsphyschology.com

The CARIFTA region has enjoyed success in this event. In 1984 Jamaican Andrew Phillips became the first person to make the Olympic final placing sixth  in a then national record time of 2:05.60.

Bradley Ally Photo courtesy of panamerican world

In 2008 in Beijing China Bradley Ally of Barbados was just .10 outside the Olympic Final with a semi-final effort of 1:59.53 finishing ninth overall. He had set the CARIFTA region’s fastest time ever with a swim of 1:58.57.

George Bovell III Photo courtesy of theunbreakablebody.com

The crowning moment for this event was the Athens Bronze medal swim by Bovell in a time of 1:58.80.

The region is looking forward to seeing what the next few months will hold for Patrick as he looks to add to the Aruban and CARIFTA legacy at the Olympics.

2019 WORLD SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS 50 metre breaststroke women Commander Alia Atkinson continues to be the CCCAN standard bearer with fourth place Championship finish

When Jamaican and CCCAN swimming icon Alia Atkinson navigated her way to second place in her semi final breaststroke she ensured that there would be a swimmer from the region competing in a Championship final.

In that final Atkinson gave it her all and finished fourth in a season best time of 30.34. Gold was won by American Lilly King in 29.84, Silver to Benedetta Pilato of Italy in 30.00 and the Bronze to Russian Yulia Efimova 30.15.

Alia Atkinson prepares to compete

In making the Championship final she created more history. In making the the semi finals she is the only swimmer from the CCCAN region to make three semi finals in this event. In making the Championship final she is the only swimmer from the CCCAN region to make two Championship final in the race. In fact she is the only swimmer male or female to make it beyond the preliminary round of the event.

Atkinson still retains the CCCAN record for the best placing in a 50 metre event at the 2015 Kazan World championships with her Silver medal and national record swim of 30.11.Other swimmers who have earned the distinction of making a World Championship final in a 50 metre race include fellow legends George Bovell III of Trinidad and Tobago and Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace of The Bahamas.

CCCAN 50’s HALL OF FAME

Goerge Bovell III Photo courtesy of sportsmax.tv
NameEventTime YearPlace
Alia Atkinson50 breaststroke30.112015Silver
George Bovell III50 freestyle21.512013Bronze
Alia Atkinson50 breaststroke30.3420194th
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace50 freestyle24.4420156th
George Bovell III50 freestyle22.0420117th
  Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace 50 butterfly25.9320157th
George Bovell III50 freestyle21.5320097th
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace Photo courtesy of Mike Lewis

National record holder Evita Leter recorded her second best performance at the World Champs when she placed 41st in a time of 34.58.

Evita Leter

This is Leter’s fourth consecutive World champs competing in this race.

Naima Hazell Photo courtesy of Eddie Hazell

St Lucian Naima Hazell who was fifth in this event at CARIFTA in the 13-14 age group with a time of 35.85 shattered that time with a new PB and St Lucian 13-14 record to place 42nd overall in a time of 34.79. . Hazell who has one more year in the age group will be aiming for the CARIFTA Championship record which stands at 34.29. It was set by Shne Joachim of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in 2015.

Naomy Grand’Pierre

Haiti’s first female Olympian Naomy Grand’Pierre who is back in the water after a significant time recovering from injury was 46th in a time of 37.02.

LIGHTNING JACK KIRBY STRIKES AGAIN,SETS ANOTHER NATIONAL BACKSTROKE RECORD

The fans at the Aquatic Centre in Wildey, St Michael Barbados were on hand to witness a lightning quick national record performance in the 15 and over 100 metre backstroke by Jack Kirby. The occasion was the 28th Aquatic Centre International Invitational Swim Meet.

Jack Kirby Photo courtesy of Pirates Swim Club Barbados

Before second day of the competition on May 25 the fastest a Barbadian swimmer had ever navigated the two back stroke race was 56.19 . That mark was set by Kirby in a fifth place finish in the Championship final at the 2018 CAC (Central American and Caribbean Games)in Barranquilla Colombia. But this is new year with new standards to be achieved and Jack certainly did that .

When the starter’s gun sounded two swimmers separated themselves from the field with their excellent underwater work Kirby of the Pirates Swim club and Nicky Neckles Olympian (1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney and Athens and CAC 100 metre backstroke medallist (Bronze 2002,Gold 2006,Silver 2010).

Barbados Backstroke Stars Jack Kirby and Olympian Nicky Neckles Photo courtesy of Pirates Swim Club

Jack gained the ascendancy and pushed his way to the lead with a split of 27.77. Kirby’s underwater work was almost as good if not better than the start . He used that to gain a sizeable lead and all eyes were now on the clock. He did not disappoint with a final 50 metres timed at 28.03 which helped to a total time of 55.80.

There was a change of tactics for this record swim as he went out more conservatively to bring it home faster. As evidenced by his splits in 2018 which were 26.77 and 29.42

The first swimmer under 56 seconds in the event in Barbados lowering the meet and open record of 56.76 set by Venezuela’s Luis Rojas in 2012. Second went to Neckles of Flying Fish Masters in 1:01.29 and Bronze to Nkosi Dunwoody of Alpha Swim club in 1:07.37.

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Kirby about his achievements and he gave us the following thoughts.He first spoke about why the race was special

” The race was special because I was able to achieve my goal at home in front of my friends and family”.

He also spoke about the training behind his great underwater work

” For the underwaters, I practice them everyday in warm up. We always have these 8 50s and as I go through them, I do 4 kicks off the turn for 3 50s, 6 kicks off the turn for 3 50s, and 8 kicks off the turn for the last two. The goal is to work on going far with those kicks. So by time I get to the 8 kicks, I break out at 15 metre mark. In the race, I do 8 kicks off the turn, hoping to get to the 15 metre mark”.

He also told draftingthecaribbean about his mindset before the race

” I kept my thoughts pretty relaxed before the 100 back. I planned to go after it the same way I always do. Back half it because I’m pretty good with easy speed, so I had to trust my wall and back end speed”.

His new personal best and national record also moves him past Jamaican record holder Olympian Timothy Wynter, a recent USC (University of Southern California) graduate on the best all time English speaking CARIFTA region list. That list is headed by another USC graduate Trinidad and Tobago Olympian Dylan Carter.Jack now holds two of the three senior national backstroke records to include the 50 metre backstroke at 26.07. The last remaining record he does not own is the 200 . That mark was set by Neckles in 2006 in a time of 2:00.85.

CARIFTA backstrokers at USC from left to right Carter,Kirby and Wynter Photo courtesy of swimmingworld
NameFirst 50 Second 50100Year
Dylan Carter TTO26.4127.6854.092019
Rex Tullius USVI26.6128.4655.072016
George Bovell III TTO26.1829.0455.222012
Jack Kirby Bar27.7728.0355.802019
Bradley Ally Bar27.3828.5055.882011
Timothy Wynter Jam26.9329.2256.152016
Shaune Fraser Cay28.0628.9356.992011
Jack Kirby Bar26.7729.4256.192018


LAST ONE FAST ONE MIKEL SCHREUDERS WINS SEC 200 FREESTYLE TITLE, RESETS CHAMPIONSHIP RECORD

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.

Mikel Schreuders the best 200 yard freestyler the SEC Championships has ever seen.Photo courtesy of Madeline McKernan

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

200 yard freestyleGoldBronzeFourth Fifth
Splits2019201820172016
First  5021.2022.1722.1222.92
Second 5023.0323.9323.9223.99
Third 5023.2723.5424.0323.56
Fourth 50 23.7723.6024.0023.88
Final time1:31.271:33.241:34.061:34.35

Schreuders now adds Aruba to the CARIFTA region nations that have won individual titles in the men’s 200 yard freestyle

Shaune Fraser Photo courtesy of shaunefraser.com

2004George BovellAuburn1:34.54Trinidad and Tobago
2007Shaune FraserFlorida1:35.05Cayman Islands
2008Shaune FraserFlorida1:34.23Cayman Islands
2009Shaune FraserFlorida1:33.73Cayman Islands

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”,

Mikel Scrhreuders.Photo courtesy of mutigers

SCHREUDERS AND HIGGS EARN CAREER BEST PLACINGS AT SEC’S ON DAY TWO, MIKEL WINS FREESTYLE BRONZE

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.

Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of swimswam.com

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

Albury Higgs
butterfly26.4926.02
backstroke29.8329.68
breaststroke34.5733.53
freestyle29.4829.01
Total time2:00.371:58.24

With her SEC performance Higgs now moves from joint fourth to the third fastest performer in South Carolina history.

Mikel Schreuders Photo courtesy of mutigers.com

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.

201919.24Bronze
201819.691st C final
201720.1728th
201620.7139th

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

Goerge Bovell III Photo courtesy of sportsmax.tv
2009George Bovell III18.98
2017Dylan Carter19.04
2019Mikel Schreuders19.24
2018Justin Plaschka19.30
2009Shanune Fraser19.30
Justin Plaschka Photo courtesy of und.com

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.

Mikel Schreuders in action Photo courtesy of mutigers.com/Mike Krebs

ATKINSON BLASTS WAY TO BREASTSTROKE GOLD,CARTER CRUSHES BACKSTROKE NATIONAL RECORD SETS CCCAN BEST EVER TIME

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 in Berlin after competition
Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of FINA Swimming World Cup – Berlin / Official Fanpage

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.

Dylan Carter
Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of Dylan Carter

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.

rodolfofalcon3 columnadeportiva.files.wordpress.com
Rodolfo Falcon Photo courtesy of columnadeportiva.files.wordpress.com

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.

elisbet-gamez-matos www.vanguardia.cu
Elisbet Matos Photo courtesy of http://www.vanguardia.cu

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.

 

 

 

 

 

ALIA ATKINSON AND JOHN LOPEZ TO BE RECOGNIZED ON JAMAICAN NATIONAL HEROES DAY, ATKINSON HAILED BY REGIONAL FEDERATIONS FOR WORLD RECORD EXPLOITS

Alia-Atkinson
Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of heppdesigns.com

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.

John-Lopez-640x425
John Lopez Photo courtesy of Jamaica Information Service

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.

George Bovell
Goerge Bovell III Photo courtesy of sportsmax.tv

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.

Coralie Rio
Coralie Balmy Photo courtesy of Coralie Balmy

Name Country Event Time Date Location
George Bovell III Trinidad and Tobago 200 metre IM (scm) 1:53.93 March 25,2004 East Meadow NY USA
Coralie Balmy Martinique/France 200 metre freestyle (scm) 1:53.18 December 6,2008 Angers,France
Alia Atkinson Jamaica 100 metre breaststroke (scm) 1:02.36 December 2,2014 Doha, Qatar
Alia Atkinson Jamaica 100 metre breaststroke (scm) 1:02.36 August 26,2016 Chartes,France
Alia Atkinson Jamaica 50 metre breaststroke (scm) 28.64 October 26,2016 Tokyo,Japan
Alia Atkinson Jamaica 50 metre breaststroke (scm) 28.56 October 6,2018 Budapest ,Hungary

Maureen Croes
Maureen Croes General Secretary of CCCAN

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”.

Eddie Hazell
The President of the St. Lucia Amateur Swimming Association, Eddie Hazell

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”.

Jason Wickham
ASATT PRO Jason Wickham

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”.

Algernon Cargill Bahamas
President of The Bahamas Aquatics Federation Algernon Cargill

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.