Patrick warimg up Woodson
Patrick Groters warming up at the Woodson Invitational in Sep Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The year 2017 will remain in Aruban Patrick Groters mind as one of his best at the age group level with top performances at the CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas and a strong showing at the World Junior Championships. The run of good performances would continue in his final year of high school in Florida where he would repeat as the 100 yard backstroke champion in the 1A State Championships on November.

In 2016  he ended a more than decade long drought for the CARIFTA region when he took the victory in the event.

George Bovell III
George Bovell III Photo courtesy of

The last swimmer to win the event was the legendary Olympian George Bovell III of Trinidad and Tobago when he won the title for the Bolles School in 2000.

It would be a Golden path to double success in the event for the University school student at the State Championships in Stuart Florida. He would take the race on September 23 at the Woodson Invitational easily in a time of 51.77 (split time 25.80).

Patrick Groters and Jessica Nava of Westminister Academy
Top male and female performer at the 2017 Woodson Invitational Groters of the University School and Jessica Nava of Westminster Academy Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

He would also earn the accolade of top male performer of the meet for winning the 200 yard individual medley as well.

Patrick Groters top performer with Algernon Cargill
Top male performer at the 2017 CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas from left to right Algernon Cargill President of The Bahamas Swimming Federation presenting the award to Patrick Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Receiving the top performer award is not a new experience for Patrick who earned that honour as well at CARIFTA 2017.


He would take the district title on October 20 in 52.86 (split time 26.54) and a week later the regional title in 50.80 (split time 24.93).

100 back states.PNG

In the Championship final held at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center Patrick lay in 3rd place at the 50 yard mark with a split of 24.58.

Patrick in Denver shirt.PNG

The University of Denver commit then turned out a back half of 25.65 to which the field could not respond and he took the title again in 50.23.

The 200 yard individual medley saw him earning the Silver in a time of 1:49.02 (split time 49.56).That performance made it three consecutive medal winning performance for Groters after winning the title in 2015 and 2016.


Jacobs and Groters
University School top performers Arubans Daniel Jacobs and Patrick Groters Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

In the relays it was the powerful combination of Groters and countryman Daniel Jacobs that aided the team to strong positions. In the 200 yard freestyle relay Patrick had the fastest opening leg split of both the preliminaries and finals of 20.51. The unit of Groters and Jacobs had the 2nd fastest 100 yards of the competition and that propelled their school to 3rd in the  B final in a total time of 1:29.42.It would be that same Aruban one –two punch at the front half of the 400 yard freestyle that pushed the University school to 6th in the Championship final in a time of 3:15.38. Patrick’s first leg split was timed at 45.97 (split time 22.28).

The University School boys finished 6th overall with 108 points.



When the Florida High School Class 1A Championships kick off later today at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida the CARIFTA region will be represented by Patrick Groters and Christopher Dieffenthaller. Aruban Groters will be donning the colours of the University School and Trinidad and Tobago’s Dieffenthaller will be lining up behind the blocks for Berkley.

Patrick Groters 100 metre backstroke Gold
Patrick Groters at 2017 Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Groters will start the day as the second seed with a time of 1:53.47. Patrick ended his CARIFTA this year in the best way possible this year in The Bahamas in the 200 metre individual medley by winning Gold in a new Personal Best, Championship Record, Aruban Age group and Senior National record. He won the 15-17 race in a time of 2:04.69. This season he has kept up the momentum for a second state Title after capturing the crown for the first time in 2015.

Bradley Ally gettyimages
Bradley ally Photo courtesy of gettyimages


Patrick will aim to join Olympian Bradley Ally as a multiple winner of the event. Ally won the event three times and holds the state record of 1:46.31. That 1:46.31 performance  was also the fastest performance by a high school swimmer at that point in 2004.


Patrick on podium
Patrick Groters on podium Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Groters had Golden performances at the Woodson Invitational as well the District and Regional Championships.

Date Meet Time Placing
Sep 23 Woodson Invitational 1:51.43 1st
Oct 20 1A District 11 1:56.44 2nd
Oct 27 1A Region 4 1:53.44 3rd
Year Time Placing Split
2016 1:48.52 Silver 50.31
2015 1:50.22 Gold 51.44
Chris D
Christopher Dieffenthaller Photo courtesy of

Berkley’s Dieffenthaller had a fantastic CCCAN in Trinidad and Tobago where was a top the podium in a number of races to include the 13-14 200 metre individual medley. He won the race in front of his home crowd in a time of 2:13.75. This season he took the District title then finished runner up in the event at Regionals. Each swim was progressively faster which points to him bettering the 1:55.82 he recorded when he placed 3rd in the B final at the 2016 Championship.

Date Meet Time Placing
Oct 21 1A District 7 1:59.86 1st
Oct 28 1A Region 3 1:58.07 2nd

The list of regional Florida state Champions include Olympians George Bovell III of Trinidad and Tobago, his brother Nicholas , Bradley Ally of Barbados and Branden Whitehurst of the US Virgin Islands.

Im winners 1
Past regional winners from left to right George Bovell III, Bradley Ally,Nicholas Bovell, Branden Whitehurst Photos courtesy of panamericanworld,,
IM winners 2
Past regional winners from left to right Wayne Denswill and Patrick Groters Photo courtesy of and Michael C Lyn
Name Country School Division Year Time
George Bovell III Trinidad and Tobago Bolles A 2000 1:48.51
Bradley Ally Barbados St Thomas Aquinas 2A 2002 1:49.37
Nicholas Bovell Trinidad and Tobago Bolles A 2002 1:50.57
Bradley Ally Barbados St Thomas Aquinas 3A 2003 1:49.71
Bradley Ally Barbados St Thomas Aquinas 3A 2004 1:46.31
Branden Whitehurst US Virgin Islands Bolles 1A 2007 1:50.82
Wayne Denswill Suriname St Brendan 2A 2013 1:52.47
Patrick Groters Aruba University School 1A 2015 1:50.22


Carter NCAA 2017
Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of usctrojans and Walt Middleton

On Day 2 of the 2017 NCAA Division I Championships being held in Indiana the CARIFTA region sprint force was on show with top swimmers from Aruba, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago in action. It would be Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago who would become the fastest ever swimmer CARIFTA Region to compete at the collegiate level in the 50 yard freestyle.


Heading to Indiana Carter who represents the University of Southern California Trojans was tied with legendary Olympian George Bovell III as the fastest sprinters from the twin island republic at the collegiate level with identical times of 19.32. Dylan recorded that time at the Texas Invite in Dec 2016.

On Thursday March 23 during the heats of the 200 yard freestyle relay Dylan led off the Trojans with a split of 19.08 (split time 9.31). The team was unfortunately disqualified.

In the heats of the individual 50 yard freestyle he would subsequently swim faster. Carter would clock a CARIFTA region best of 19.04 (split time 9.18).This would allow the 6’3 junior to make his first ever NCAA Championship final .It also bettered his best showing and time at the meet.His previous best was 19th in 2014 in a time of 19.41 (split time 9.39). He would maintain that position in the night posting a time of 19.08 (split 9.21). The previous best time from the region was 19.30 by Shaune Fraser of the Cayman Islands who recorded 19.30 while representing the University of Florida in 2009. Dylan’s swim also marked the first Championship finalist in the event for the Trojans since 2013 when Vlad Morozov won the event. Carter is now the 2nd fastest swimmer of all time at USC.

In the 400 yard medley relay Championship final the Trojan team of Ralf Tribuntsov backstroke 44.76, Carsten Vissering breaststroke 51.23, Carter butterfly 44.81 and Santo Condorelli freestyle placed 4th in a new school record of 3:02.20. That crushed the old mark of 3:04.51 set at the PAC -12 championships earlier this month. Carter’s butterfly split then was 45.23. It is the best placing for the Trojans at Championships since 2013 when they placed 4th in 3:04.98.


Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson, the standard bearer for regional swimming continued to enhance the reputation of Caribbean swimming by winning the Bronze medal tonight in the 100 individual medley. The 13th World Short Swimming Championships in Windsor Canada would prove to be the venue for her first medal in the event and her 6th overall.

Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

The road to her medal success can be likened to Alia’s determination to excel in her sport as seen by the results from her first time of competition to this medal winning moment.

Date Venue Event Time Medal/Place RT Split
2016 Windsor 100 IM 58.04 Bronze 0.65 27.60
2014 Doha 100 IM 58.58 4th 0.66 27.59
2012 Turkey 100 IM 1:00.99 13th 0.69 28.87
2010 Dubai 100 IM 1:04.64 41st 0.74 30.29
2004 Indianapolis 100 IM 1:06.13 22nd 0.76 31.12
2016 World Short Course Swimming Championships 100 individual medley medallists From left to right Silver medallist Emily Seebohm,Gold medallist Katinka Hozzsu,Bronze medallist Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

In the race itself it was Atkinson who had a fantastic last 50 metres of 30.44 to move from 7th to earn Bronze in a time of 58.04.She was not far off her national record time of 57.84 set in August this year. The Gold was won by Katinka Hozzsu in 57.24 and the Silver by Australian Emily Seebohm in 57.97.

Atkinson joins George Bovell III as the only medallist from the region in the event .George won Bronze at the 2012 Championships in a time of 51.66.


Alia Atkinson

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson and Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter had historic swims last night on Day 2 of the 13th World Short Course Swimming Championships in Windsor Canada in the 50 metre breaststroke and 200 metre freestyle respectively.


Alia Atkinson won Silver in the 50 metre breastroke in 29.11. The gold was won by Lilly King in a time of 28.92. World Record Holder Atkinson extends her record as the most decorated swimmer from Jamaica and the English Speaking Caribbean at the World Short Course Swimming Championships. Her overall medal count stands at One Gold and Four Silver medals. With her historic swim in the event she becomes the only swimmer ever to win THREE consecutive medals in the event. She, at this point is the only swimmer from Jamaica to medal at the World Short Course Swimming Championships.

Dylan Carter 13th World short Course Swimming Championships Windor Canada Photo courtesy of Gregory Shamus/gettyimages

Carter placed 4th in the Championship final of the 200 metre freestyle in a time of 1:42.48 (splits 49.97 and 52.51). That bettered his national record of 1:42.90 set in the morning heats. With that performance Dylan has become the best placed English speaking Caribbean swimmer ever at these World Championships in the event.  Carter bettered the previous national best placing and time of 14th when George Bovell III clocked 1:47.62 at the 2002 Championships in Moscow. The previous best English speaking CARIFTA region  placing in the event was the Cayman Islands Shaune Fraser’s 8th spot at the 2010 Championships .At those Championships Fraser clocked 1:43.91 in the final. In the heats he had set a mark of 1:42.8.

Through the efforts of these standard bearers the quality of swimming from the region is lifted and our reputation enhanced.


Alia on her way to 50 metre gold in Berlin
Alia on her way to 50 metre Gold in Berlin Photo courtesy of FINA
Dylan Carter Texas Invite Photo courtesy of Walt Middleton/

The CARIFTA region will have two representatives in Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson and Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter Championship finals on Day 2 of the 13th World Short Course Swimming Championships in Windsor Canada today Wednesday Dec 7, 2016. Alia will have the first chance to win Gold when she competes at approximately 7:11pm Jamaica time in the 50 metre breaststroke final. She will be followed immediately by Carter who will contest the final of the 200 metre freestyle at 7:23 Jamaica time.



For the 5 time World Championships veteran Atkinson this will be her 4th consecutive 50 metre breaststroke Championship Final .

2014 Doha 50 metre breaststroke 28.91 Silver
2012 Turkey 50 metre breaststroke 29.67 Silver
2010 Dubai 50 metre breaststroke 30.22 6th

After medalling in the last 2 Championships she will be looking to be atop the podium tonight. She entered the meet with # 1 ranking and World Record of 28.64. Throughout qualifying she has topped the field with heats and semi-finals times of 29.48 and 29.09 respectively. She will be  in Lane 4 in the final. She will be flanked by Americans Lilly King and Molly Hannis who qualified with times 29.17 and 29.88.

Dylan Carter
Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of

Dylan Carter came to these World Championships from a very impressive Texas Invitational and in great form. The coaching decision to scratch from the 100 metre backstroke and focus on the 200 metre freestyle today proved a very wise one as he topped the qualifiers heading into the final with national record breaking performance of 1:42.90.

splits by 50 cumulative time
1 24.24 24.24
2 26.15 50.39
3 26.41 1:16.80
4 26.10 1:42.90

That broke the record of 1:44.81 that George Bovell III recorded when leading off the Auburn University to 4th place at the 2004 NCAA finals when meet was contested in short course metres. It is also the 5th fastest performance of the year. He was the only swimmer to break 1:43 seconds this morning. He will swim from Lane 4 tonight he will be flanked by South African Myles Brown and Russian Aleksandr Krasnykh. He has already made history for his nation by becoming the first Championship final qualifier in the event.

Tonight promises to be a very special night not only Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago but the wider Caribbean.


Mehdy Metella Rio 100 butterfly final
Mehdy Metella Photo courtesy of Mehdy Metella

The 6th day of swimming saw Mehdy Metella (French Guiana/France) becoming the fastest swimmer from the CARIFTA region with his heats swim in the 100 metre butterfly .Going out in 24.10 he came home in 27.61 to record a time of 51.71. That bettered the Gold medal winning time of 53.00 by Suriname’s Anthony Nesty done in 1988 Seoul Games. He would be just off that time in the semi-finals when he clocked 51.73 split time 24.17 to qualify for the final. He became the first swimmer to qualify for the 100 metre butterfly since Nesty accomplished that feat at the 1992 Barcelona Games.


Renzo rio
Renzo Tjon A Joe photo courtesy of Renzo Tjon A Joe

Renzo Tjon A Joe became the fastest swimmer from Suriname ever at the Olympics when he clocked a national record of 22.23. With his placing of 21st he also became the highest placed swimmer from his country in the event. Renzo was just 0 .13 of a second outside of qualification for the semi finals. The previous Olympic best was 23.74 by Enrico Linscheer who placed 33rd at the 199s Barcelona Games. Enrico was the youngest athlete for Suriname at the Games being 17 years 283 days.

George Bovell
Goerge Bovell III Photo courtesy of

George Bovell III of Trinidad and Tobago was 27th with a time of 22.30. George remains the fastest swimmer ever from the region in the race with times of 21.77 done at the London 2012 Games and the 2008 Beijing Games.

Jordan Augier D2 400 free relay
Jordan Augier Photo courtesy of Jamie Peterkin

Jordan Augier became the fastest swimmer from St Lucia with his time of 23.28. His placing of 45th also makes him the highest placed male swimmer from that nation. The fastest time and ranking was held by Jamie Peterkin who was 59th in the 2000 Sydney Games with a time of 25.33.

Joanna Evans Day 2 Nationals
Joanna Evans 800 metre freestyle  Fastest woman ever from the English speaking CARIFTA region

In the 800 metre freestyle Joanna Evans became the 3rd  fastest swimmer from the region at the Olympics. Evans stopped the clock in 8:42.93 (split time 4:15.93) to finish 23rd overall.  The overall record is held by Coralie Balmy with her time of 8:27.15 done at the London 2012 Games. The fastest English speaking time is held by Jamaica’s Janelle Atkinson who clocked 8:34.51 at the Sydney Games.

Nikolas Sylvester
Nikolas Sylvester Photo courtesy of

Nikolas Sylvester became the fastest swimmer from St Vincent and the Grenadines when he clocked 25.64 for 61st  in the 50 metre freestyle . He bettered the time of 26.27 done by Tolga Akcayli at the 2012 Games.


Hannibal Gaskin
Hanniabl Gaskin Photo courtesy of

Guyana’s Hannibal Gaskin clocked 58.57 in the 100 metre butterfly for 42nd place. That tied the best placing at the Olympics by a Guyanese swimmer at the Games. In 2012 Britney Van Lange placed 42nd in the 100 metre freestyle.