Competing in his first Long Course World Championships in Budapest Hungary sprinter Jean Luc Zephir made his presence for his nation St Lucia and provided evidence of his talent.
Racing in the 100 metre freestyle he produced an effort of 51.98 (split time 24.61) to place 65th overall. That performance was the 3rd fastest for the CARIFTA region swimmers and the 8th fastest among the CCCAN sprinters. It is also the 2nd fastest time ever recorded by a St Lucian at the World Championships. The fastest time for St Lucia is the 51.39 set by Olympian Jordan Augier at the 2015 Kazan Championships.
He placed 4th among CARIFTA sprinters today July 28 in the 50 metre freestyle and 8th for the CCCAN region with a time of 23.76. The only St Lucian faster than Jean Luc again is Augier who produced a 23.30 clocking also in Kazan.
Zephir spoke about his performances at the biggest swim meet outside of the Olympics early today with draftingthecaribbean
“I had a range of emotions about the experience. I am happy and at the same time a little disappointed in my times. I think that for my first World Championship in long course it is satisfactory. All these steps will allow me to progress and learn. I had great races in the 100 freestyle, and the 50 freestyle where I finished 3rd in my heat but I think I can do even better. This week I was very proud to swim in the St Lucian colours. I think my father and mother and my club Plymouth Leander will also be very proud of me”.
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 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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
The third day of action at the 2016 ARENA PRO SWIM SERIES AT CHARLOTTE on Saturday May 14 saw yet another CARIFTA national mark being lowered. This time it was the Jamaican national senior mark in the 50 metre butterfly that was lowered. Justin Plaschka who held the mark of 24.89 prior to this meet when he won the Gold medal at the 2015 CCCAN championships on June 27 in Barbados. That record would not last beyond the morning heats as he stopped the clock in a time of 24.84. He would crush the record in the B final in the evening when he placed second in a time of 24.46 .Justin is the only Jamaican swimmer to swim under 25 seconds in this event.
He would also be the fastest CARIFTA region swimmer at the meet in the 50 metre freestyle. In the morning heats he would record a time of 23.66 just off his season best of 23.52.That time who would earn him a spot in the D final. Joining him in that final would be Trinidad and Tobago’s former University of Louisville standout Caryle Blondell who posted a time of 23.54. In the final Plaschka would be the victor winning the race in a time of 23.30.The 19 year old Irish Aquatics swimmer already boasts an Olympic B time in this event having swum 22.90 in a time trial at the Phillips 66 in San Antonio Texas in August 2015 bettering the B standard of 23.05. Blondell repeated his morning performance with yet another 23.54 clocking .That propelled him to 5th in the race. Blondell has a season best of 23.02 recorded in February of this year.
Roy Burch (SwimMac Carolina) , the fastest sprinter ever from Bermuda continued on the road to full fitness when he swam the 3rd fastest time of his season of 23.85 to place 36th overall. Jordan Augier (Sharks Swim Club) ,St Lucia’s national record holder opened his long course season with a 24.15 to place 47th overall.
The meet which will not see the swimmers in peak condition as the main focus remains the Rio Olympics Games. Swimmers will continue to be doing heavy weight training and intense conditioning and using these competitions to gauge different aspects of training.
Bahamian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (SwimMac Carolina) had her first start in the 50 metre butterfly in the morning when she posted a time of 27.09 to make the championship final .She finished 5th in the evening in a time of 26.49. She had won the title previously in 2015 in 25.93 and in 2014 in 26.28.
Jamaican national record holder in the 50 metre butterfly Alia Atkinson put in a 27.92 performance in the morning to make the B final in the event. She lowered that significantly to hit the pads in 27.17 for 2nd in the race. Atkinson had put a 2:36.26 to earn a second swim in the 200 metre breaststroke but scratched .Laura Morley who has the fastest recorded time for the Bahamas in the event worked for a second swim in the evening when she clocked 2:37.37 to make the final. She would win that race in the evening in 2:36.00 not far off her Bahamas best of 2:35.03.
Aruban national record holder in the 200 metre breaststroke Jordy Groters was 34th 2:29.59.
St Lucia’s Jordan Augier had the perfect ending to his NCAA Division 2 career when he won his very last collegiate race with his teammates from the University of Tampa.
Heading into the final Championships the Spartans had a 400 yard freestyle freestyle school record of 2:54.73At the 2015 Nationals Tampa had won Silver in a time of 2:55.11. In 2016 the returning Spartan team of Martin Hammer, Augier, Khalid Aldaboos and Jeremy Parker would not be denied. They made clear from the morning preliminaries that nothing else but the Gold medal would acceptable on March 12, the final day of the Championships. They grabbed the top spot, lane 4 with their combined time of 2:54.43. That was just off the Championship record of 2:54.37 set by the 2014 Drury team of Daniel Rzadkowski, Samuel Olson, Albert Lloyd, Nick McCarthy. Augier’s split on the second leg was 43.37. In the championship final the Spartans lowered their individual splits lead swimmer Martin Hammer dropped from 44.00 to 43.75. Augier lowered his split from 43.37 to 43.32 .Khalid Aldaboos dropped from 44.19 to 44.19 and anchorman Jeremy Parker moved from 42.87 to 42.82 .The total team effort was 2:54.07 a new school ,Championship and Division 2 record.
Earlier in the meet Augier earned a second swim in the 100 yard freestyle when he stopped the clock in 44.23 (split time 20.91) .In the consolation final he was just off that time finishing 7th with a time of 44.23. In the 100 yard backstroke he placed 21st overall with a time of 49.68 (split time 23.68).Fellow Spartan Suriname’s Wayne Denswil was 52nd in the 100 yard freestyle with a time of 46.17 (split time 22.94).
The Spartans finished the 2016 competition with 192 points. Queens University of Charlotte topped the men’s competition with 449 points
The second day of the NCAA Division 2 got underway Thursday March 10 at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Indiana. Representing the CARIFTA region would be the University of Tampa duo of Suriname’s Wayne Denswil and St Lucia’s Jordan Augier.
Thursday would see the Tampa Spartans competing in the 200 yard freestyle relay. That event saw them being the top seeds and heavy favourites for the Gold medal based on their entry time of 1:18.82. That time which is the programme record was set at the Spartan Invitational in December where Augier had provided the fastest split of 19.57.That performance also stood as the Division 2 record. The Championship record was held by Wayne state with a time of 1:18.89. Both records would fall to the wayside as the Spartans blew away the competition with the only time under 1:19.00 as they powered away to a time of 1:17.78. A new School, Championship and Division 2 record.
In the championship final Martin Hammer got the Spartans underway with a 19.71 split. He was trailed closely to the wall by Drury’s Daniel Rzadkowski who touched in 19.76. First to the wall however was Lindenwood. They front loaded the relay by putting 50 freestyle champion and Division 2 record holder Serghei Golban first. He broke his record of 19.35 with a 19.18 swim. Going second for the Spartans was the 6’4 man from Gros Islet Jordan Augier. He scorched the field to record the fastest relay split of the final, 19.15 to move the Spartans to first place. He also provided the only sub 19.40 split. When he touched the wall the time was 38.86. No other team went under 39.20 at that point. The Spartans never looked back as Runar Borgen 19.23 and Jeremy Parker 19.18 sealed the victory. Their total time was yet another School, Championship and Division 2 Record of 1:17.27. Drury won Silver in 1:19.23 and Lindenwood the Bronze in 1:19.73.
His Spartans would place 2nd in the 400 yard medley relay B final. He started the relay with a 49.59 his second fastest backstroke time of the season .Teammate Denswil recorded a 55.67 breaststroke split to push the team to a time of 3:16.25.
On the first day of the meet the duo placed 4th in the 200 yard medley relay. Augier swam the backstroke in his fastest time of the season of 22.67.Denswil again handled the breaststroke duties clocking his second fastest breaststroke split of the season of 25.07. The team’s overall time was 1:27.68.
In the 50 yard freestyle the Economics Major recorded the 2nd fastest time of his career and the best at Nationals .He clocked 20.39 (split time 9.82) to place 23rd. In 2014 he was 33rd with 20.75 time and in 2015 he was 29th with a time of 20.56.
St Lucia’s Jordan Augier made his last swim at the SSC championships count as his Tampa Spartans won the 400 freestyle relay for the second time in the last 4 years on Sunday Feb 21. The team of Martin Hammer 44.77, Augier 43.85, Khalid Aldaboos 44.24 and Jeremy Parker 43.98 won Gold in 2:56.84. That brought his medal count for the conference Championships to four. This as he had won titles in the 200 yard medley and freestyle relays as well as the Silver medal in the 400 yard medley relay. In individual action Jordan was a Championship finalist in the 100 yard freestyle where he finished 6th in 44.41.
His teammate Suriname’s Wayne Denswil lowered his personal best in the 200 yard breaststroke from 2:06.22 to 2:05.46 in the morning heats. In the B final he was marginally off that personal best as he placed 2nd in 2:05.51.Wayne would also place 2nd in the B final of the 400 yard freestyle relay. He started off the Spartans B team with a 45.74 split in a 3:02.76 performance.
Nico Campbell swam under the 46 second barrier twice to better his 100 yard freestyle personal best of 46.04. His personal standard stands at 45.28 from the morning heats. That performance made him progress to the B final. He placed 2nd in a time of 45.44. In the 400 yard freestyle relay his Florida Southern College finished 4th in a time of 2:58.51. Nico’s split on the second leg was 44.52.
FIT Panther’s Bahamian freshman also recorded a personal best. Swimming in the 200 yard breaststroke he lowered his from 2:11.28 to 2:10.75 to finish 20th overall.
Campbell’s Florida Southern College were crowned men’s Champions for a fourth consecutive year with a total of 792.5 points. Tampa finished third with 722.5 points while Florida Institute of Technology was fourth with 541 points.
Jamaica’s Nico Campbell earned his first medal of the SSC Championships as a member of the Florida Southern College 800 yard freestyle relay on Saturday. Swimming on the second leg Campbell clocked 1:39.24 to help the team to a total time of 6:35.75. His teammates on the Moccasins A team were lead leg Jesus Marin 1:37.69, third leg Antonio Nunez-Alvarez 1:39.09 and anchor Mathew Holmes1:39.70. Campbell bettered his relay performance in this event as his best prior to the championships was 1:40.88 done in December.
Earning his way to a championship final was Tampa’s Surinamese Spartan Wayne Denswil in the 100 yard breaststroke. He downed his season best 56.78 with his morning swim of 56.27. He would lower that further in the evening when he clocked 55.90 for 5th place. Drew Bastian of the FIT Panthers also competed in the event making it to the B Final. Having clocked 58.14 in the morning he earned an evening swim. He recorded a new personal best time of 57.49 to win the B final.
Tampa’s St Lucian Spartan Jordan Augier also won a B final as he took the 100 yard backstroke B final in 49.94.He was the only swimmer in the field to crack the 50 second barrier.