EMILY MacDONALD LOWERS OLYMPIAN CLAUDIA POLL’S 100 FREESTYLE MEET STANDARD TO RECORD REGIONAL GOLDEN DOUBLE (CARIFTA AND CCCAN TITLES)

Day Four of the CCCAN Swimming championships saw Team Jamaica adding Four more medals to their tally One Gold , One Silver and Two Silver to have Eighteen medals Six Gold ,Four Silver and Eight Bronze medals.

Getting the Gold for the land of wood and water was Emily MacDonald in the girls 13-14 100 metre freestyle. She bounced back from illness on Day Three to win the freestyle title.

Emily Mac 13-14 100 free podium
13-14 100 metre freestyle medal podium from left to right Watson-Brown Bermuda, MacDonald and Libreros Bolivar Colombia Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

In the Championship final she recorded the only sub 28 seconds split at the halfway mark and then pulled away from the field to record a new personal best and CCCAN meet record of 57.95. It was also the fastest 100 metre freestyle time recorded by a girl at the Championship.

Claudia Poll panamerican world
Claudia Poll Photo courtesy of panamericanworld

That lowered the the more than three decades old standard of 58.34 byCosta Rican Olympic Gold medallist Claudia Poll (1996,2000 and 2004). MacDonald also is closing in on the national age group record of 57.54 held by Olympian Janelle Atkinson (2000,2004). It was Poll who held off Atkinson to win the Bronze in the 400 metre freestyle at the 2000 Sydney Games . That fourth place position at the Olympics is the joint highest placing at the Games along with Alia Atkinson’s fourth place at the 2012 London Games.

 

Winning the Silver was Bermuda’s Logan Watson-Brown in 58.82 and the Bronze to Colombia’s  Manuela Libreros Bolivar 1:01.38.

100 free CARIFTA 13-14
13-14 100 metre freestyle medallists at CARIFTA 2018 in Kingston from left to right Watson-Brown Bermuda Silver ,MacDonald Gold, Alvaranga Bronze Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

 

It also  marked the regional Golden Double as she captured the same title at the CARIFTA Games in her hometown of Kingston in April . It marked the second time she is completing the double after doing so in the 11-12 age group in 2016

Regional record for the 100 metre freestyle

Date Meet Medal Time
March 2016 CARIFTA Gold 1:02.02 split 29.40
July 2016 CISC Gold 1:00.26 split 29.18
April 2017 CARIFTA Silver 59.28 split 28.33
July 2017 CCCAN Gold 58.83 split 27.89
April 2018 CARIFTA Gold 57.99 split 28.17
July 2018

 

CCCAN Gold 57.95 split 27.79

Emily spoke to draftingthecaribbean about her performance after the race

“Going the 100 I was a bit nervous at first. The meet has  not been great so far .In my 200 metre freestyle I got a cramp in my leg and ended up doing a bad time as I added 5 seconds to my personal best and I did not swim the Championship final of the 50 metre butterfly because of that injury and the 100 metre butterfly was not a good race overall.so going into this race I was very nervous as I did not know how I was going to perform because I had not done well so far but I was just going to try my best. That was my mindset heading into the final.I told myself I prepared for this meet and I have trained so hard for this and it does not make sense not swim my heart out. Going into the heats  said I am going to just try and hopefully come in the top 8 fand hopefully seed first for the final. That is what I did and ended up doing a 58.70 .Going into the final I was going up again Logan Watson-Brown from Bermuda who I know is a great swimmer and I was even more nervous.I knew I wanted to get a Gold medal but was still not sure because of how I was performing. Before I stepped on the blocks I knew I had done all that I can to get this far and I know that I have done all I could possibly do to achieve a best time in this race so I was going to do what my coach told me to do which was best time.As I swam the race I remembered doing the splits in training  and swimming the first 50 in a particular time and pushing hard on the last 25 metres into the wall which I did and recorded a personal best which I am very happy about and I got the Gold medal that I wanted”.

Cameron Brown 15-17 50 breaststroke medal ceremony
15-17 50 metre breaststroke medal podium from left to right Brown,Cheong and Russell Photo courtesy of CCCAN

In the Boys 15-17 50 metre breaststroke Cameron Brown ended a decade old medal drought for Team Jamaica when he secured the Silver in a new personal best of 30.23. He tied Brandon Cheong for the medal while the Gold was won by The Bahamas Tyler Russell in 30.16. The last time Jamaica got a medal in the 15-17 age group in this event was in 2007 in El Salvador when age group star Brad Hamilton won Silver in 30.59.

Cameron gave his thoughts to draftingthecaribbean about the swim

“I knew it was going to be straight line line heading to the wall.I pushed to the very last second.I was suprised to see a new PB of 30.23 when I looked at the scoreboard”.

Morgan 100 free Harold Wilson
11-12 100 metre freestyle medallists from left to right Vickles Silver medallist,Crooks Gold medallist and Cogle Bronze medallist Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

11-12 dynamo Morgan Cogle secured  more precious metal at the Championship .She lowered her 100 metre freestyle from 1:03.11 to 1:02.59 to secure Bronze.The title went to Jillian Crooks of the Cayman Islands in a time of 1:01.72 and the Silver to Gabrielle Vickles of Trinidad and Tobago in 1:02.33.

Cogle 200 IM Bronze pict
11-12 200 IM medallists from left to right Crooks, Anthony and Cogle Photo courtesy of CCCAN

In the 200 metre individual medley she ended a more than decade old drought when she won Bronze in 2:37.44.That medal winning swim puts her within sight of the age group record of 2:36.26 set by Annabella Lyn in 2012. Gold was won by the another 11-12 standout Zoe Anthony of Trinidad and Tobago in 2:32.91 and Silver to Crooks in 2:36.70.

 

Bronze was won by the 15-17 800 metre freestyle relay team of Annabella Lyn ,Gabrianna Banks, Bryanna Renuart and Naomi Eaton who stopped the clock in 9:07.22. Gold went to Aruba in 8:48.55 and the Silver to Honduras in 8:59.65.

The personal best tally moved from 28 to 47 at the end of Day Four

Name Event Personal Best Previous Best
Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 200 IM 2:39.42 2:41.26
Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 200 IM 2:37.44 2:39.42
Joshua Mair Boys 11-12 200 IM 2:37.13 2:41.26
Jaedon Lynch Boys 11-12 200 IM 2:39.06 2:40.93
Sabrina Lyn Girls 13-14 200 IM 2:37.06 2:44.98
Sabrina Lyn Girls 13-14 200 IM 2:35.25 2:37.06
Nathaniel Thomas Boys 13-14 200 IM 2:29.56 2:29.83
Joshua Mair Boys 11-12 50 metre breaststroke 36.52 37.23
Joshua Mair Boys 11-12 50 metre breaststroke 36.14 36.52
Jaedon Lynch Boys 11-12 50 metre breaststroke 36.23 36.45
Sean-Douglas Gooden Boys 15-17 50 metre breaststroke 31.35 31.43
Cameron Brown Boys 15-17 50 metre breaststroke 30.23 30.64
Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 100 metre freestyle 1:03.10 1:03.11
Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 100 metre freestyle 1:02.59 1:03.10
Adrian Balfour Boys 11-12 100 metre freestyle 1:02.42 1:03.28
Emily MacDonald Girls 13-14 100 metre freestyle 57.95 57.99
Nathaniel Thomas Boys 13-14 100 metre freestyle 56.12 56.95
Daniel Mair Boys 11-12 100 metre freestyle 1:02.60 1:06.15
Jaedon Lynch Boys 11-12 200 metre butterfly 2:46.50 2:51.11
Jordane Payne Boys 15-17 200 metre butterfly 2:17.58 2:18.43

 

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GIRLS GOLD RUSH SUNDAY MORGAN COGLE WINS 11-12 200 FREE AND ANCHORS RELAY IN NATIONAL RECORD TIME,SABRINA LYN TAKES BUTTERFLY SPRINT DOUBLE AND BRYANNA RENUART TAKES REGIONAL GOLDEN DOUBLE WITH 400 IM WIN

It was the young ladies of Team Jamaica that provided the Gold medals on Day 3 of the 2018 CCCAN Swimming championships on  Sunday July 1. Team Jamaica won Four Gold medals along with One Silver and Two Bronze medals to have a Day Three total of 14 medals Five Gold Three Silver and Six Bronze medals.

MAGNIFICENT MORGAN

Cogle medal ceremony 200 free
Girls 11-12 200 metre freestyle medallists Anthony Silver medallist Trinidad and Tobago, Cogle Gold medallist and Crooks Cayman Islands Bronze medallist Photo courtesy of CCCAN

Leading the way was 11-12 standout Morgan Cogle who started the proceedings in the 200 metre freestyle. She eased in to the finals taking some four seconds off her personal best to be seeded third with a PB of 2:19.47. In the Championship final it was close  until the first 50 metres then Morgan and Trinidad and Tobago age group star Zoe Anthony separated themselves from the field .At the 100 it was Zoe with a slight edge 1:04.58 to Cogle’s 1:04.76. She increased that lead at the 150 metre mark 1:39.76 to 1:40.27. Then came an awesome battle on the last 50 metre Morgan came roaring back with a final 50 of   33.89 to Anthony’s 35.01 to win in a new PB and age group record of 2:14.16 to 2:14.77 for Anthony which was also  a PB. The Bronze went to the Cayman Islands standout Jillian Crooks in 2:16.95. Both Anthony and Crooks are the reigning CARIFTA Silver and Bronze medallists with times of 2:17.64 and 2:19.09 recorded in Kingston earlier this year.

Morgan Cogle 200 free heats CCCAN
Cogle looking at her time after the heats of the 200 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of CCCAN

Morgan lowered the age group mark of 2:15.29 set by teammate Emily MacDonald at the 2016 Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships (CISC) in the Bahamas and become the first Gold medallist for Jamaica in the event  in over a decade

Emily 2016 Morgan 2018
First 50 30.48 30.46
Second 50 34.01 34.30
Third 50 35.66 35.51
Fourth 50 35.14 33.89
2:15.29 2:14.16
11-12 400 free relay girls
Girls 400 metre freestyle relay medallists from left to right Silver medallists Trinidad and Tobago ,gold medallists Jamaica, Bronze medallists Barbados Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

 

Her record breaking exploits would continue in the 400 metre freestyle relay as she anchored the team of  Safiya Officer ,Isabella Sierra ,Ireland Hunter  to the Gold in a total time of 4:13.74. The Silver went to Trinidad and Tobago in 4:17.32 and the Bronze to Barbados in 4:25.20.

The old record  of 4:18.42 belonged to the 2012 CISC team of Angara Sinclair,Tiara Myrie,Annabella Lyn and Annastazia Chin that competed in Aruba

Jamaica 2012 Splits Jamaica 2018 Splits
Angara Sinclair 1:04.08 Safiya Officer 1:03.61
Tiara Myrie 1:07.98 Isabella Sierra 1:05.21
Annabella Lyn 1:03.15 Ireland Hunter 1:03.45
Annastazia Chin 1:03.21 Morgan Cogle 1:01.47
Total Time 4:18.42 Total Time 4:13.77

NO LIMITS FOR LYN

Lyn 50 fly podium
Girls 13-14 50 metre butterfly podium from left to right Watson-Brown Bermuda Silver medallist, Lyn Gold, Reyes Briceno, Bronze medallist Colombia Photo courtesy of CCCAN

Sabrina would complete the butterfly sprint double when she won the 13-14 50 metre butterfly. She came to Aruba with a personal standard of 30.43 . Lyn who is normally know for her back end speed is showing versatility by adding the the sprint fly to her better events. She lowered her personal standard in the morning heats with a time of 30.03 to be the fifth seed heading into the Championship final. The first four finishers clocked 29 s. With teammate Emily MacDonald out the final due to illness Jamaica’s hopes lay solely with Lyn to get a medal. The faith put in her was not misplaced as she destroyed her old personal best and turned in the only sub 29 seconds performance of the race to win in 28.66. Silver went to Bermuda’s Logan Watson-Brown in 29.07 and the Bronze to Colombia’s  Laura Catalina Reyes Briceno 29.42

BREAKOUT FOR BRYANNA

400 IM 15-17 Girls
Girls 15-17 400 IM medallists from left to right Alondra Ortíáz Costa Rica Silver medallist, Bryanna Renuart Gold medallist and Bronze medallist Ana Pastrana Honduras Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The year 2018 will be one to remember for Bryanna Renuart. When the year started she  never won any individual Gold but turned that around at CARIFTA when she took the hardest route to Gold and captured the 15-17 400 individual medley title.

renuart 400 IM CCCAN heats 2
Bryanna Renuart swimming in the heats of the 400 IM Photo courtesy of CCCAN

A two sport standout in both swimming and cross country track she dropped the latter to focus on swimming. That singular focus has continued to reap big dividends as she won her second career Gold in 5:12.42 holding off the challenges from Alondra Ortíáz of Costa Rica 5:13.30 Silver and  Ana  Pastrana Honduras 5:14.38 Bronze.

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Renuart and asked her about her accomplishments

Renuart on way to 400 IM gold
Bryanna Renuart powering her way to 400 IM Gold Photo courtesy of CCCAN

“I was really excited to get another gold in the 400 IM. I wasn’t tapered for this meet as I have a few more this summer, so I was very proud to have found the strength to win it, especially because it is my longest and hardest event. Even though it wasn’t a best time for me, my consistency in that race gives me a lot of confidence for my future competitions with the Jamaican team.I don’t see myself as a natural distance swimmer because I have done better in sprints in the past. Knowing that I am swimming so well in that event right now makes me confident that my training is working. I’m excited to have more event flexibility in the future”.

 

Vale 50 fly bronze CCCAN
Boys 15-17 50 metre butterfly medal podium from left to right Payne Curaçao Silver medallist, Yorke Gold medallist ,Vale Bronze medallist Photo courtesy of CCCAN

Nicholas Vale would rattle the 15-17 age group record in the 50 metre butterfly when he won the Bronze in a personal best of 25.59. The national record stands at 25.55 to Olympian Timothy Wynter (Rio 2016) set the 2012 CISC . Gold went Trinidad and Tobago’s Kael Yorke who won in 25.17 and the Silver to Curaçao’s Mauricio Payne in 25.50.

400 metre free relay 15-17
Girls 15-17 400 metre freestyle relay podium from left to right Jamaica Silver medallists,Aruba Gold medallists and Honduras Bronze medallists Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Silver was won by the girls 15-17 400 metre freestyle relay team of Annabella Lyn (1:01.28),Bryanna Renuart (1:01.09),Naomi Eaton (1:02.09) and Gabrianna Banks (1:00.95)  in time of of 4:05.37. Gold was won by Aruba in 3:57.72 and the Bronze by Honduras in 4:08.21.

400 freestyle relay 11-12 Boys
Boys 11-12 400 metre freestyle medallists from left to right Aruba Silver medallists,Trinidad and Tobago Gold medallists and Jamaica Bronze medallists Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The 11-12 boys 400 metre freestyle relay won the Bronze in a time of 4:11.59.The team of Daniel Mair (1:02.98),Joshua Mair (1:02,81),Jaedon Lynch 1:03.61 and Adrian Balfour (1:02.19) finished behind Trinidad and Tobago 4:01.48 and Aruba 4:11.56.

The Personal best count went to 27 at the end of of Day Three

Day Name Event Personal Best Previous Best
Three Safiya Officer Girls 11-12 200 metre freestyle 2:27.39 2:28.88
Three Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 200 metre freestyle 2:19.47 2:23.89
Three Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 200 metre freestyle 2:14.16 AGR 2:19.47
Three Joshua Mair Boys 11-12 200 metre freestyle 2:20.82 2:22.47
Three Isabella Sierra Girls 11-12 50 metre butterfly 31.21 32.32
Three Aliyah Heaven Girls 11-12 50 metre butterfly 31.76 32.23
Three Joshua Mair Boys 11-12 50 metre butterfly 30.80 33.03
Three Jaedon Lynch Boys 11-12 50 metre butterfly 30.82 31.27
Three Sabrina Lyn Girls 13-14 50 metre butterfly 28.66 30.43
Three Nathaniel Thomas Boys 13-14 50 metre butterfly 26.85 26.91
Three Nicholas Vale Boys 15-17 50 metre butterfly 25.59 25.67
Three Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 100 metre backstroke 1:11.72 1:13.55
Three Safiya Officer Girls 11-12 100 metre backstroke 1:16.27 1:18.45
Three Amore Hunter Girls 13-14 100 metre backstroke 1:15.24 1:16.46
Three Annabella Lyn Girls 15-17 100 metre backstroke 1:10.17 1:10.85
4:13.74 4:18.02

 

 

 

 

MORGAN COGLE ENDS 11-12 CARIFTA BACKSTROKE MEDAL DROUGHT

Cogle Bronze medal
Morgan Cogle celebrating her 100 metre backstroke Bronze medal Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

Of the debutantes on this year’s CARIFTA team Morgan Cogle in the 11-12 age group led the medal charge for that group with Six medals.She swam her way to Two Gold , Two Silver and Two Bronze medals.

In the 200 metre backstroke she ended a five year medal drought when she took the Silver when she touched in a time of 2:38.19. The last medallist was teammate Annabella Lyn who won Silver as in front of a home crowd as well  in 2013 That also is the fastest time recorded by a Jamaican girl in that age group in over a decade at CARIFTA.

100 metre backstroke Bronze 11-12
11-12 metre backstroke medal podium from left to right Silver medallist Keianna Moss of The Bahamas, Gold medallist Milli-jo MacDonald of Barbados and Bronze medallist Cogle Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

The 100 metre backstroke saw her ending a more than five year long medal drought as she won the Bronze in 1:13.55.The last podium finish was in 2012 by age group backstroke standout Angara Sinclair in The Bahamas.

11-12 girls Gold medallists
11-12 Gold Medallists from left to right Cogle,Heaven,Sierra and Officer Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

Three medals were won in the relays. The 200 metre freestyle relay was a national record as she joined teammates  Safiya Officer,Isabella Sierra and Aliyah Heaven in winning in a Championship record of 1:55.47.

400 metre freestyle Gold 11-12
400 metre freestyle Gold champions from left to right Cogle, Hunter ,Officer and Heaven Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

There would be another relay Gold when the team of Officer,Heaven,Ireland Hunter and Cogle  took the victory in 4:19.13.

mixed 400 free relay team
Mixed 400 metre freestyle Bronze medallists from left to right Robe,Cogle,Balfour and Officer Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

In the mixed 400  metre freestyle relay Devaughn Robe  and Adrian Balfour joined Cogle and officer to take the Bronze in 4:13.73.

The 100 metre freestyle saw her continuing a strong Jamaican tradition of medalling almost every year in the sprint freestyle events when she won the Silver in 1:03.11.

When Draftingthecaribbean spoke to the young swimmer on April  7 about her debut in the Jamaican colours “I was happy for the opportunity to represent Jamaica.  I was also glad to be able to help the team by winning the medals. I am excited for more to come!”

SPRINTING IS IN THEIR DNA JAMAICAN GIRLS SWEEP SPRINT FREESTYLE RELAY TITLES AGAIN

As it was in 2017 in The Bahamas, so it was again in 2018 in Kingston as the Jamaican girls swept the sprint freestyle titles on the last day of the CARIFTA Championships on April 3.

11-12 girls Gold medallists
11-12 Gold Medallists from left to right Cogle,Heaven,Sierra and Officer Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

The 11-12 girls started the Golden streak in record fashion. Starting the relay for Jamaican was Safiya Officer who touched in 29.35 with the chasing pack. First to the wall on the opening leg was Bermuda’s Elan Daley who was in awesome form throughout the competition. That advantage was eaten up by Isabella Sierra, a member of last year’s record setting team who was timed in 29.02.It was the final legs of the relay that changed the structure of the medal podium as Morgan Cogle with a leg of 28.96 and Aliyah Heaven who dropped the hammer with the fastest anchor leg, 28.14 that sealed the victory and record. The total team time was 1:55.47 .

11-12 gold medallists 2017
2017 Gold medallists from left to right Lewis,Lyn,Sierra and Alvaranga Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

That bettered the  Championship and national age group record of 1:55.77 set by P’aige Lewis, Sierra Sabrina Lyn and Zaneta Alvaranga. Trinidad and Tobago won the Silver in 1:57.37. Martinique earned the Bronze in 1:59.54.

13-14 Gold medallists
13-14 Gold Medallists from left to right Alvaranga,Hunter,Lyn and MacDonald Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

The 13-14 category saw the opening leg contested keenly between the Silver medallist in the flat 50 Naele Portecop of Guadeloupe and Bronze medallist Zaneta Alvaranga of Jamaica . It was the French Speaking territory that held the early advantage, with Portecop timed in 27.06 to Zaneta’s 27.65.Second leg swimmer Amore Hunter regained the advantage with a 28.46 clocking. Sabrina Lyn maintained the  edge with a time of 28.51. Anchor leg and  50 freestyle Gold medallist Emily MacDonald removed all doubts as to who the winners would be with the fastest split of the relay 26.17 to push the team to a time of 1:50.79 just off the 1:50.77 Championship record .

13-14 gold medallists 2017
2017 13-14 Gold medallists from left to right Banks,Vale,Anderson and MacDonald Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

 

15-17 gold medallists
15-17 Gold medallists from left to right Eaton ,Johnson, Banks and Anderson Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

In the final category the 15-17 age group Shaun Johnson got the proceedings under way with a 27.51 leg. The early advantage however, was held by the Bermudans who front loaded their relay with Bronze medallist Madelyn Moore who was timed in 26.44. Brianna Anderson took control of the event and took the lead for the Black , Green and Gold with a 27.17 effort. Naomi Eaton 27.58, withstood a charge from the Arubans in the form of Anahi Schreuders 27.17.It was now left to Gabrianna Banks to complete the sweep. She did not disappoint. She recorded the fastest split of the night 26.16 to help the Jamaicans to a Gold medal winning time and new  national age group record of 1:48.42.

15-17 gold medallists 2017
2017 Gold medallists from left to right Anjuii Barrett,Johnson, Bryanna Renuart and Angara Sinclair Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

The old national age age group and senior national record of 1:49.07 was set last year.Silver went to Aruba in 1:49.68 and the Bronze to Bermuda in 1:51.09

IZAAK BASTIAN BECOMES CARIFTA’S FASTEST EVER SWIMMER IN THE LAND OF THE SPRINTERS

At the 2018 CARIFTA in Kingston Jamaica  it seemed fitting if not almost poetic that Izaak Bastian of the Bahamas would win the  50 metre freestyle in a Championship record and crown himself the fastest of all time in a country known for its sprinting abilities. Added to that the previous Championship record was also set in Jamaica five years earlier .

Proud Bastian with free Gold
Izaak Bastian Championship record holder in the 50 metre freestyle and CARIFTA’s fastest ever swimmer Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

In 2017 Bastian had made the medal podium with a Silver medal winning effort in front of his home crowd with a time of 23.76 in the 15-17 age group. That was his PB and his only entry under the 24 seconds barrier. He posted 24.35 to be the fourth fastest heading into the Championship final.That morning swim on April 3 pointed towards another sub 24 clocking as he was 24.33 in the heats in 2017. He would be well under 24  seconds and would be the only swimmer under 23.50 as he took the title and wrote another page in the history books as set a new PB , Championship record and earned himself the moniker of the fastest swimmer at the CARIFTA Championships when he stopped the clock in 23.25. Silver went to Kai Legband of Bermuda in 23.93 and the Bronze to Jack Kirby of Barbados in 24.03.

Renzo CARIFTA 2013
Renzo Tjon A Joe reacts to winning Gold in the 15-17 metre freestyle in 2013 Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

In 2013   future Olympian Renzo Tjon A Joe (Rio 2016) set the 50 metre freestyle record with a heat swim of 23.37 on April 2.He would take the Gold just off that time as he touched in 23.44 turning back the challenges of the Trinidad and Tobago duo of another future Olympian Dylan Carter (Rio 2016) 23.46 and Joshua Romany 24.27. A year later he would take the Silver in the same event at the CAC Games in Veracruz Mexico with a time of 22.62.

Speaking to Draftingthecaribbean today Bastian recounted that historic swim in Jamaica

final preparations for free final Izaak
Bastian makes last minute preparations for the 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Rochelle Bastian

“The 50 free was pretty good for me.I knew that I had to get out in front of everyone from the start to get out of the waves and get clear water.I wanted to see what I could do at the start and build on that momentum throughout the race.I did not have a goal time  I just wanted to give the race my all and focus on the things we have been working on in practice coming off the block fast , fast breakout. I did not really look at the record before I did not really think I would get the record.It was a big surprise to look up  see that I went 23.2”

BRYANNA RENUART CLOSES CARIFTA CHAPTER BY ENDING JAMAICAN GOLD MEDAL DROUGHT IN 400 MEDLEY

 

CARIFTA  2018 in Kingston Jamaica would be the last for University of Miami Ohio bound Bryanna Renuart.t would also  in front of her home crowd. Renuart who had been a mainstay in the Jamaican team since the 11-12 age group  had been a major points contributor in the breaststroke and individual medley events but had never tasted Gold in an individual event. That would all change on April 1.

Bryanna Renuart.PNG

Swimming in the second heat of the timed finals of the  400 individual medley in the afternoon she broke free of the field from the opening butterfly leg with a split of 1:10.10. she would not relinquish that lead at any point in the race and in fact built on it to win by more than seven seconds in a new PB of 5:07.30. The Silver went Lilly Higgs of The Bahamas in 5:14.30 and the Bronze to Sam Bailey of The Cayman Islands in 5:19.11.

Zara Bailey with 400 Im Gold
Zara Bailey 2013 400 IM Gold medallist Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

That ended a five year Gold medal drought for Jamaica as the last time the country was  a top of the long medley podium in this category was in  2013 in front of a home crowd through the efforts of Zara Bailey.It was only the third time in the last 20 years that a Jamaican had won the 400 Individual medley in the  category for girls. Olympian Alia Atkinson had won Gold as well in 2006.

When Draftingthecaribbean contacted her on April  14 she had this reaction to her Gold medal winning performance

renuart 400 IM Gold M Lyn
15-17 medal podium from left to right Higgs Silver, Renuart Gold and Bailey Bronze Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

“I really wasn’t expecting to win any individual CARIFTA events because Lilly Higgs is such a dominant swimmer so I was completely shocked. Even during the race I had no idea I was winning. Standing on the top of the podium and hearing the Jamaican anthem playing because of something I accomplished was incredible.The atmosphere at this CARIFTA from my perspective was the most electric swim meet I’ve ever been to. Having a home crowd reminded the Jamaican team how meaningful it is to represent our country and the extra people cheering for us led to some stand-out swims.”

 

 

JAMAICA’S SHAUN JOHNSON SETS FIRST INDIVIDUAL NATIONAL RECORD AT LAST CARIFTA CHAMPIONSHIPS

No stranger to setting national relay records  since making her first national team in 2016 Shaun Johnson had not set any individual national age group records. All that changed in a Bronze medal winning performance in the 50 metre butterfly on Sunday April 1 at the National Aquatic Centre in Kingston Jamaica at the 2018 CARIFTA Championships.

Shaun Johnson flag bearer UANA M Lyn
Shaun Johnson UANA Cup Flag bearer Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The Georgetown University bound student entered the competition with a personal best time of 29.24. She would register her first sub 29 seconds swim and do that in great fashion as she would also lower the 15-17 national record. The morning heats saw  her swimming to a time of 28.72. In making the Championship final  she lowered the 15-17 age group record of 28.87 set by Alia Atkinson  at the CCCAN Championships in August 2005.

Johnson on podium
Johnson on medal podium Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

She would have more to offer in the final as she went faster clocking 28.52 to earn the Bronze medal.Silver went Elinah Philip of the British Virgin Islands in 28.29 and the Gold to Curacao’s Chade Nercisio. This performance shows marked improvement since 2017 when she placed eighth in the Championship final in 29.24

15-17 50 fly podium
15-17 50 metre butterfly podium from left to right Philip,Nercisio and Johnson Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Johnson today and got her opinion about her record breaking performance and her last CARIFTA Championships .

“This CARIFTA was probably my best one yet- I was selected to be a team captain which was made to be a very easy job with the help of the other swimmers, coaches, and team managers. I’ve spent the past few weeks training at Pinecrest with their phenomenal coaches, and they really helped to make this CARIFTA a great one for me- I was able to get early exposure to swimming in LCM and swim alongside other CARIFTA swimmers from other countries as well as Jamaica.

I think it would be an understatement to say how surprised I am about how the butterfly events turned out for me;  I haven’t been a flyer for some time now as I have had issues with accommodating stroke rate/strength with my height but Mariusz Podkoscielny  really helped me out with that and after working persistently I had great results. I think I performed towards to the level that I have been training to but I will have to continue to work harder for Jamaica and I’m excited to see what that will look like in the future”.