200 metre freestyle saw Cuban Elisbet Gamez Matos earning the right to be seen
as the best from the CCCAN region at the global championships. She split 59.26
en route to a total time just over 2 minutes as she touched in 2:00.33.She
placed 20th overall. This is an upward movement for the region since
the 2017 Budapest Championships when Helen Moreno of Costa Rica was the top
regional athlete in 32nd spot. This is also the best world Champs
performance for Elisbet.The 2018 CAC Central American and Caribbean Silver
medallist had finished in 36th
in Barcelona in 2013 with a time of 2:05.54.
second on the regional rankings was Joanna Evans of The Bahamas. The fastest woman
ever from the English speaking Caribbean and reigning CAC Games Champion posted the fastest time ever by an English
speaking woman at these Championships with a swim of 2:02.76 (split time 58.05)
for 31st . That bettered the old record of 2:07.75 set by Lani
Cabrera of Barbados at the 2015 Kazan edition of the Championships. She also equaled
the best performance by a swimmer from the English speaking Caribbean.Shelly
Cramer has also placed 31st at the 1982 Guayaquil Championships .Cramer
had swum 2:12.66.
Santis of Guatemala just missed PB of 2:05.08 when she stopped the clock in a
time of 2:05.36 (split time 1:02.14) for 36th overall.This is an improvement
from 2017 when she had recorded 2:06.94 for 37th .
Reigning CARIFTA Champion and record holder in the 13-14 age Elan Daley of Bermuda was next on the CCCAN regional list .Already the her nation’s senior national record holder with swim at CARIFTA in Barbados of 2:06.13 she went even faster in South Korea. Swimming in heat 3 the 2019 CCCAN champion was fearless in taking the race to her older competitors and almost won but was touched out by Santis .Elan stopped the clock in a 13-14 and national record of 2:05.47 (split time 1:00.87) for 38th .Only legendary Jamaican Olympian Janelle Atkinson has swum faster from the English speaking Caribbean with her national 13-14 standard of 2:05.07 from 1997.
Rican Amanda Alfaro had a near miss with her personal best of 2:06.29.She hit
the pads in 2:06.60 for 39th.
Pastrana of Honduras was 40th in 2:06.76.
Treasure of Barbados was 46th in a time of 2:11.51.
US Virgin Islands Natalia Kuipers was 52nd in a time of 2:15.45
de Freitas of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines lowered her own PB and national
record of 2:19.10 when recorded a time of 2:15.48.That placed her 54th
Fuller of Antigua and Barbuda was 57th in a time of 2:19.71.
The best performances by the region are dominated by the Poll sisters Sylvia and Claudia of Costa Rica. Sylvia still holds the 13-14 CCCAN record with a super fast 2:00.49 from 1985.Claudia holds the 15-17 record at 2:02.12 set in 1989.
Joanna Evans of The Bahamas made her debut in the 400 metre freestyle on the opening day of the World championships. In her maiden performance where she placed 16th overall she became the fastest ever English speaking woman at the global champs. With a midway split of 2:02.37 she finished with a season best of 4:11.06. The previous English speaking Caribbean best was held by Lani Cabrera of Barbados who swam 4:28.31 for 41st at the 2015 Kazan World Champs. In addition to Evans is also the highest placing English speaking woman ever in the event with her top 20 finish. Joanna also had the highest placing among CCCAN swimmers in the event.
the region was Elisbet Gamez Matos of Cuba who recorded her country ‘s best
ever finish and time at these World Championships with a 4:18.19 clocking for
29th overall. The previous best t placing was held by Daniela
Benavides when she was 33rdth with a time of 4:21.36.
national record holder Sara Pastrana was 34th in a time of 4:27.65.Costa
Rican Amanda Alfaro was next in the ranking with a time of 4:29.91 just off her
personal and season best time of 4:28.80.
Daila Ismatul touched in 4:34.75 for 37th overall.
Treasure of Barbados was 40th in 4:37.22.
first female swimmer from the Cayman Islands to contest this event and reigning
CARIFTA 13-14 Champion Raya Embury-Brown was 41st in 4:38.17.
Kuipers of the US Virgin Islands was 42nd with a time of 4:41.69.
The second day of the 2019 REV National Championships in Nassau saw yet another national standard falling by the wayside. Setting the new national mark was Zaylie Elizabeth Thompson of Alpha Aquatics in the 13-14 200 metre for girls.
Thompson, the reigning CARIFTA Silver medallist made her intentions very clear from the sounding of the starter’s gun. She had the field beaten by the first 50 metres. With the Gold decided the question now to be answered is what time would she record. When she touched the pads it would be the fastest time ever recorded by a Bahamian girl in the age group. Standards passed on the way were the Championship record of 2:12.59 set by Taryn Smith in 2011 and the overall national record of 2:09.74 set by countrywoman McKayla Lightbourn.
McKayla had set that national record at the 2007 edition of the CARIFTA Championships when she dominated the age group in what can only be described as an awe inspiring performance where she won 16 medals , 13 of which were Gold and 11 were won in individual events.
Draftingthecaribbean spoke to the new national standard bearer Thompson about her record breaking efforts
“Breaking the Bahamas record in the 200 metre freestyle was a great experience.I was happy that I was able to lower my time and set a new standard for out future Bahamian swimmers to strive for”.
TOP REGIONAL 200 METRE FREESTYLE PERFORMANCES
Dominating the event in the 15 and over event was Joanna Evans swimming unattached dominated the four lap freestyle race. She won in 2:01.55.That bettered her old Championship record of 2:01.73.Evans , who finished her career as at the University of Texas is the fastest English speaking woman from the CARIFTA region with her national record of 1:58.03.She has won this event for the last seven times she has contested it. The last time she was not atop the medal podium was in the 13-14 group when Taryn Smith had set the Championship record.
DID NOT SWIM
In the men’s equivalent Kohen Kerr defended his title to win in a new personal best of 1:57.99.The Mako Aquatics who finished his collegiate career with Delta State this year lowered bettered his old time of 1:58.20 from the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games in Colombia.He was the only swimmer under the 2 minute mark.
If Joanna Evans is the Queen of the 200 metre freestyle at the National Championships Elvis Burrows is the Emperor of the king of 50 metre butterfly.The Freeport Aquatics swimmer defended his title to bring his total to ten consecutive wins.
DID NOT SWIM
DID NOT SWIM
He was the only sub 25 seconds swimmer in the Championship final.Silver went 2019 CARIFTA Silver medallist DaVante Carey of Mako who touched in a new PB of 25.03. Incidentally the CARIFTA record is held by Joshua Romany in 25.06 and the 15-17 CCCAN record is held by Burrows from 2007 in 24.97. Two time defending CARIFTA Champion Izaak Bastian won Bronze in a time of 25.35. Bastian’s teammate from Florida State University Will Pisani won the B final with the fastest time of the night of 24.55.
Ariel Weech of Alpha Aquatics won the 15 and over event in a time of 29.22. That was not far off her 29.10 she did to win Bronze in Aruba at CCCAN in the 18 and over event.
Albury Higgs took the 15 and over title in the 100 metre backstroke stopping the clock in 1:07.57. As it was at CARIFTA so it was at these National championships with DaVante Carey winning Gold in 59.29 defending his title and Lamar Taylor of Freeport winning Silver. Taylor dipped under the minute barrier for the first time with a swim of 59.72.Peter Morley of Mako won Bronze in 1:02.69.
The 15 and over medley relay title went to the Alpha Aquatics team of Celia Campbell,Ariel Weech,Virginia Stamp and Jazmine Trotman in 4:50.40.The men’s title went to Mako with the team of Carey,Tyler Russell, Ina Pinder and Kohen Kerr in 3:58.82. They were chased by the Barracudas team than won Silver in 3:59.11.The meet record of 3:58.27 just made it to 2020.
Nigel Forbes continues to show why has been the best 50 metre butterflier amongst his peers in the region when he lowered the 2018 Championship record of 25.98 set by Rommel Ferguson to 25.96.
He is only in his first year of the 13-14 age group and the 2019 CARIFTA Champion has shown tremendous improvement since his Gold medal winning performance of 26.47.
RECORDS IN DANGER
Nigel’s Waverunners teammate Marvin Johnson is making his final year of the 11-12 age group memorable.The CARIFTA champion set a new personal best of 27.70 just outside Forbes record of 27.67.He will be looking to keep the CCCAN title in the Bahamas as Nigel won Gold in 2018 in 27.73.
Aruban Olympian Allyson Ponson announced her readiness for top performances at this summer’s World Championships in Korea and ultimately the Tokyo Olympics with national record performances in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle.
The occasion was the Puerto Rico International Swimming Open held from April 25 to 28 at the San Juan Natatorium . In her first sprint event the 100 metre freestyle Allyson, representing Azura Florida Aquatics rattled her national mark of 56.84 in the morning heats.She swam 56.86 to claim the top seed heading into the Championship final. In that final in the afternoon she relegated the 56.84 to the history books when she swam the only sub 57 time of 56.78. Allyson had set the old national record during the heats of the 18 and over category at the now defunct Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships. Silver went to Daniela Gutierrez Zapata of Colombia in 57.66.The Bronze was won by Julimar Avila of Honduras in 58.26.
Ponson was just off the 2019 Lima A standard of 56.56.In her sights for the rest of the season will be the World Championships B time of 56.40 and Olympic B standard of 56.01.
The record breaking was not limited to the 100 metre freestyle as she turned her attention to the fastest event in swimming , the 50 metre freestyle. In that event she blasted through a number of standards as well as her national record in her morning swim. She exerted her dominance with a new Aruban mark of 25.61. That blew away her old national standard of 25.84 set in 2016. Also bettered was the Lima Peru PAN AM A standard of 25.89 and the World Championships B standard of 25.92.
In the night’s final her speed proved too much for her rivals as she stopped the clock in a time of 25.70.Second went to club mate Mariel Mencia in 26.56 and the Bronze to Olympian and 2007 PAN AM Games Silver medallist in the event Puerto Rico’s Vanessa García Vega in 26.50.
Allyson who is now training in Florida with Azura Florida Aquatics spoke to us earlier this month about that move
” So I left February 2 to train with Azura my goals where to do the Pan American A cut in the 50 (25.89) and swim a personal best in the 100 free. In regards with the training I was expecting to do a lot of sprint focused training which I did and I think that really helped me a lot”.
She also gave draftingthecaribbean some insight about her races in San Juan
” Well during the heats of the 50 I really just tried to stay calm and not focus on the fact that I needed to still qualify with a Pan Am A cut. I felt confident because during warm up I felt really good and I really believed that the training I did during Azura would help me qualify with the A time. So during the race I was just focused on doing what I practiced and not thinking of the time. How ever I wasn’t expecting to go 25.61 yet. For the 100 finals I was already so happy to have done 56 in the morning that my mind set was basically just put on lets try to go a little faster than the morning .I can definitely improve my second 50 in the 100 going back.I also need to make sure I don’t breathe as much in the last few metres”.
Allyson along with twin sister Gabrielle provided the backbone of Aruba’s sprint force during their junior years at the CARIFTA swimming championships
Allyson’s CARIFTA record
Those swims are putting her in elite company among the top sprinters of all time from the region. In the 50 metre freestyle she is the second fastest active swimmer and fifth overall.
Vanderpool-Wallace The Bahamas
Metella French Guiana/France
In that group Vanderpool-Wallace,Martindale and Metella have all made the Olympic final in the event. Metella won the Silver in 2004 in Athens,Martindale was the first female swimmer from the CARIFTA region to make the sprint final in 1996 at the Atlanta Games. Arianna showed her dominance during her era to make the final in 2012 in London.
For the 100 metre freestyle the all time list is as follows
Malia Metella French Guiana/France
Vanderpool-Wallace The Bahamas
Evans The Bahamas
Alia Atkinson Jamaica
Coralie Balmy Martinique/France
Leah Martindale Barbados
With Allyson already faster than her 2016 Olympic debut swim in Rio of 26.00 she is one of the most exciting prospects to watch her heading to the 2020 Tokyo Games.
The CARIFTA Championships are underway in beautiful Barbados and the region’s junior swimmers are putting on a show with great swims. Since the meet got started on Saturday at the Aquatic Centre in Wildey,St Michael the athletes have been also knocking on the door for senior representation at the PAN AM Games later this year in Lima Peru.
In the 800 metre freestyle it was Jada Chatoor who threw down the first marker with a time of 9:19.12 under the PAN AM B standard of 9:24.97.She won the Gold medal in the 15-17 age group .This continues the family tradition of distance freestyle excellence .Her older brother Graham won the 1500 metre freestyle in his final year of junior competition at the 2018 edition in Kingston Jamaica. He is also making a name for himself in the collegiate ranks this season as a freshman at NYU.
Interestingly since being eligible to swim the distance event she has only contested the race twice and has never been defeteated. First in 2017 in The Bahamas when she won in 13-14 in 9:24.69 and now in the Bahamas.It is also the fastest winning time since a certain Joanna Evans of The Bahamas and Texas Longhorns fame contested the event in 2015. Jada has now put the national record of 9:14.78 on notice.
The 1500 metre freestyle for the boys in the 15-17 age group saw Bahamian Luke Kennedy Thompson dipping under the PAN AM B mark .He swam under the time standard of 16:39.97 with a 16:37.95 effort.That is major improvement from his 2018 showing in Kingston Jamaica when he placed fifth in 17:05.64.Leader for most of that race Jake Bailey just got under the B time with a Silver medal performance of 16:39.20
In the 200 metre breaststroke overwhelming favourite from the Bahamas ,Izaak Bastian was easily under the B standard and gave his championship record of 2:17.78 and PAN AM A standard of 2:17.56 a scare with a 15-17 Gold medal winning effort of 2:18.03. The Florida State swimmer made a name for himself this NCAA season by making the Division I Championship final in the 200 yard medley relay.Bastian has only lost this race once in his CARIFTA career.
2:24.99 heats 2:2378
Also making a push for senior representation was Silver medallist in the 15-17 age group was Haiti ‘s Alexander Grand’Pierre.He stopped the clock in 2:25.40 just under the B standard of 2:25.79.
In the 100 metre butterfly it was another Bahamian who topped the podium who held up his name to be put on the plane to Lima. Ian Pinder registered a winning mark of 56.80 to better the B standard of 56.95.
It was in the 13-14 age group that the 100 metre butterfly standard was bettered.Jamaica’s fastest ever junior female swimmer in the event Sabrina Lyn bettered the B time of 1:04.93 twice.In the heats she clocked 1:03.47 and then 1:03.19 in the Championship final for new PB,age group record and Championship record and the fastest female time of the meet.
In the 200 metre freestyle the entire podium party of Bermuda’s Logan Watson-Brown and the Jamaican duo of Emily McDonald and Britney Williams who bettered the PAN AM B mark.The 15-17 trio finished with times of 2:07.86,2:08.72 and 2:08.79 respectively.
The quickest time in the 200 metre freestyle on the day belonged to Bermuda’s Elan Daley .She registered a new 13-14 Championship record of 2:08.03 before crushing that time with a final swim of 2:06.13
It was almost the case in the 15-17 girls 100 metre backstroke as local girl Danielle Titus won the event in a new Championship record and senior national record of 1:04.60.She broke her old Barbados record of 1:04.79 set in 2018 in Jamaica.
Titus was pressed to the wall by Gabriela Donahue of Trinidad and Tobago who also set a new 15-17 and senior national record of 1:05.09.She lowered the mark of 1:05.38 by Kimberlee John -Williams of 1:05.38. Gabriela joins mother Olympian Karen Dieffenthaller Donahue (Seoul 1988) and sister Alexandria as senior national record holders for the twin island republic
If Gabriela chooses to go to Brown she can continue the family tradition of becoming an Ivy League champion
Double sprint backstroke champion at these championships Davante Carey continued the strong showing by the defending champions The Bahamas with his effort in the 100 metre backstroke.He stopped the clock in 59.83.That time was under the B mark of 59.99.
With the conclusion of her BIG 12 career on March 2 at the Lee and Jamail Center in Texas Bahamian Joanna Evans can be conclusively described as a legend in the Conference. The Texas Longhorn has been undefeated in the conference in the 1650 and 500 yard freestyle events. Except for 2018 when she did not compete Evans has turned back all challenges and 2019 was no different.
In the 1650 yard freestyle she maintained her winning margin of at least ten seconds .She took the Gold in a time of 15:57.28 breaking the 2012 meet record of Maureen McLaine of 16:00.70. Joanna already owns the Conference mark with her personal best and school record of 15:51.74 from 2017
In the 500 yard freestyle no swimmer has come within 2 seconds of her.She capped her 500 yard freestyle with second record setting win in a time of 4:36.87. The overall conference record is also the property of Evans and the Texas Longhorns with her personal standard of 4:35.05.
4:36.97 CR ,PB
For good measure she also added crowns in the 200 yard freestyle 1:44.82 and the 800 yard freestyle relay .
When she first came to the Conference in 2016 she was awarded Women’s newcomer of the meet and she left it on March 2 as the Swimmer of the Meet to help Texas win easily with 1073.5 points.
Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Evans about her expectations heading into Conference and how it played out from Feb 27 to March 2
“So going into conference we did not rest too much because our conference is not that competitive we got a day or two off from lifting weights and we had one morning practice off but nothing too serious as we are looking forward to Nationals.I think all of my races the morning swims were not fabulous simply because there was not too much work to do and then in the evening obviously the swims were a little better”.
Evans will enter the NCAA Division I Championships at her home pool ranked fourth in the 500 yard freestyle , 11th in the 1650 yard freestyle and 14th in the 200 yard freestyle.
Lynval Lowe , coach of Jamaican Britney Williams is confident of her successfully defending her 15-17 200 metre freestyle title in Barbados in April.
Lowe,the head coach of Swimaz Aquatics expressed this sentiment after his charge swimming for Wolmer’s Girls set the meet record twice in that event at the 2019 ASAJ High school & Tertiary Championships held Feb 8 -9. Williams recorded times of 2:14.95 in the heats then a season best of 2:13.10.Currently seeded second in the rankings Williams is a big meet performer and will use the Walter Rogers Age Group championships which the last local qualifier to gain pole position.
When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Coach Lowe he said ” Britney is really working hard. At the last meet she trained in the morning then she represented her school in the afternoon and did a season best of 2:13.10. We are looking to lower that time to 2:08 or 2:09 by Age Group championships.Her winning time at CARIFTA last year was 2:10.We are looking at 2:08 or 2:07 which will make her very competitive and would enable her to defend her 200 metre freestyle title.Right now she is in good shape and so far so good and we will continue the work and we expect to do very well at the age group championships coming up at the end of the month”.
Britney will be looking to be the first 15-17 female swimmer to defend the title since CARIFTA great and record holder in the event Joanna Evans of The Bahamas did so in 2015 in Barbados with the existing record 2:03.00. She took the title in 2014 in 2:05.52 outside of the then record of 2:03.72 of the legendary Janelle Atkinson of Jamaica.
The pool swimming segment of the CARIFTA Championships will be held from April 19 to 23.Championships is an approved qualifying meet for the 18th FINA World Championships 2019 – Gwangju, Korea, the Pan American Games 2019 – Lima, Peru and the XXXII Olympiad 2020 – Tokyo, Japan