As it was in 2017 so it was at the 2018 NCAA Division I Championships in Minnesota which saw Trinidad and Tobago’s Joshua Romany anchoring the Indiana 200 freestyle relay to a new school record.
At the 2017 NCAA Division I Championships Romany anchored the Hoosiers relay to 1:16.53 during the heats of the event. His split at that time was 19.24.On Thursday March 22 during the heats he again anchored the team with a split of 19.35 to a time of 1:16.55, putting the school standard on notice.
That team performance gave the squad a second swim. In that B final the Hoosiers would ensure that time would be lowered . The quartet of Ali Khalafalla 19.40,Blake Pieroni 18.88,Bruno Blaskovic 18.83 and Romany 19.20 set a new school best of 1:16.31. His quicker split this year is further evidence of his progression as a swimmer in senior waters.
The University of Indiana’s Trinidad and Tobago Junior Joshua Romany continued his upward trajectory in senior waters with a number of personal bests in a winning cause for the Hoosiers at the 2018 BIG Ten championships.
The 2017 World Championship representative had a 100 yard butterfly personal best of 47.79 (split time 22.30) recorded in November at the Purdue Invitational. That standard would not stand beyond the heats of the Conference Champs which ran from Feb 21- to 24 at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Romany in the morning preliminaries took out the first 50 yards in 21.74, the fastest he has ever been in the opening stanza of the event. That early aggression helped him to a new personal standard of 47.18. That performance earned him a second swim in the C final. In the night’s final he turned up the pressure on the field going out in 21.48 . That early speed put him more than half a second ahead of competitors. Colter Allen of Iowa closed well but Romany did enough to win in yet another personal best of 47.02 to 47.07. Joshua bettered his 2017 placing when he finished fifth.
Joshua would better his time in the 100 yard freestyle as well. In the heats of that race he clocked 20.60 en route to a clocking of 43.32.His old personal best stood at 43.55. That performance earned him entry to the B final. That final saw him registering a time of 43.59 (split time 20.71) for the third best time of his career to place sixth. That performance bettered his 2017 placing where he was sixth in the C final.
In the 50 yard freestyle he recorded a season best of 19.88 (split time 9.37) to place second in the C final.Draftingthecaribbean got a Romany’s thoughts about his efforts
“I am extremely pleased that I can continue to improve, go best times and help my team to our common goal which was to be back to back champions. My 100 butterfly was not exactly what I wanted but with my more training and learning about the race I believe it will become as strong as my free style events. I am very happy with my 100 free it was close to a half a second drop and the race was executed very well. The race I was not happy with my 50 free but I will continue to work harder and get stronger. Special thank you to my head coach Ray Looze for the opportunity to swim for this great team and My group coach Coley Stickles for working with me and helping me continue to improve in my discipline”.
The Hoosiers topped the competition with 1658 points, Michigan placed second with 1617.5 and Ohio State third with 1,300.5.
The final day of the UANA Cup in Coral Springs Florida on Jan 21 saw Nigel Forbes of the Bahamas and Zarek Wilson of Trinidad and Tobago landing more titles. The two swimmers were the top individual swimmers in all the individual events.
Forbes would complete the sprint breaststroke double when he took the 100 metre breaststroke title in a time of 1:15.07. The race itself was a close battle between Forbes and Brazilian Breno Bespo as they had respective splits of 35.40 and 35.41. Forbes’ superior back end speed proved decisive as he turned in the only sub 40 second last 50 in the field to touch in 1:15.07. Bespo stopped the clock in 1:16.07. Mexican Nathan Ochoa Neurouth won the Bronze in 1:18.90.
Earlier in the day he would add the 50 metre butterfly Bronze to the 100 metre butterfly Silver he had won earlier. Forbes would stop the clock in 28.68.Nigel will certainly have the 2009 CARIFTA record of Dylan Carter in his sights .
Draftingthecaribbean got a few words from Nigel about his medal winning performances and UANA overall
“It was a good experience for me I enjoyed event and the competition was very tough. But in the end my hard work payed off because I ended up with Two Gold One Silver and a Bronze. It was a good meet for me and I hope to do even better next time”.
50 metre breaststroke
100 metre breaststroke
100 metre butterfly
50 metre butterfly
Easily the most versatile CARIFTA region swimmer at the meet Zarek Wilson lead a Gold Rush for the boys in the 50 metre backstroke. Copping Gold as well were Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas 13-14 and Jack Kirby of Barbados 15-17. Zarek completed the sprint backstroke double when he won his race in 30.20.He will be looking to take down the 2014 CARIFTA record of 29.80 set by Suriname’s Yael Touw Ngie Tjouw. Zarek had a convincing victory as the Silver medallist from Mexico José Nangullasmú Arellane touched in 31.80 Simon Bermudez of Colombia won Bronze in 32.83.Wilson would be back to medal winning ways again in the very next event taking the Silver medal in the 100 metre freestyle in a time of 58.30.
Wilson’s strong performances follow in the same vein of top age group swimmers that we have seen from the twin island Republic to include Joshua Romany, Dylan Carter, Nicholas Bovell and George Bovell III to name just a few. Zarek gave draftingthecaribbean a few words about the competition overall
“The UANA Swim Cup provided excellent competition and it was also an opportunity to see where I am in my training. I am happy that I was able to contribute to Team TTO’s efforts and improve a few of my personal bests. My focus now returns to preparing for CARIFTA”.
The total tally of World Championship qualifying performances achieved at the CCCAN Championships stands at 16 as Day 5 came to an end at the National Aquatic Centre in Couva, Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday July 2.The swimmers helped in running up the score on Sunday included Valerie Gruest of Guatemala, Marcelo Acosta of El Salvador, Luis Flores of Puerto Rico, Joshua Romany of Trinidad and Tobago and Edgar Crespo of Panama.
Olympian Gruest in the 15-17 400 metre freestyle won her race convincingly in a time of 4:16.42 well under the B standard of 4:19.34.That was her seventh Gold medal of the Championship and her second World Championship qualifying mark.
Marcelo Acosta won the 18 and over boys 400 metre freestyle in a Championship record time of 3:55.54. That bettered the Hungary World Championship B standard of 3:56.14. His swim was also faster than the 2011 meet record of 3:59.06 by Puerto Rico’s Raul Martinez. Silver went to Aruban Mikel Schreuders in a new national record of 3:58.38.The Bronze went to the English speaking fastest ever swimmer in the event Alex Sobers of Barbados in 4:00.17.
In the battle to decide the fastest man at CCCAN the morning heats saw two men under the 50 metre freestyle B standard of 23.26.Luis Flores of Puerto Rico 22.85 to top the qualifiers heading into the final. Trinidad and Tobago’s Joshua Romany was the second seed with a time of 23.01.
In the final the positions remained the same with both men just off their morning swims. Flores took Gold in 22.85 and Romany the Silver in 23.06 with Schreuders winning Bronze in 23.49 in a new national record.
Bettering the World Championship B cut was Panamanian Edgar Crespo. In the morning preliminaries of the 18 and over men’s 100 metre breaststroke he lowered his 2009 Championship record of 1:03.83 by clocking 1:02.79. That performance topped the qualifiers and just missed the B standard of 1:02.46. In the final he underlined his number one seeding with Gold medal winning time and new Championship record of 1:02.37. Silver was won by Aruba’s Jordy Groters in 1:04.07 and the Bronze went Coast Rica’s Arnoldo Herrera in 1:04.89.
Also doing the Championship record double was Bahamian Albury Higgs. In the morning she lowered Jamaica Olympian Alia Atkinson’s (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016) 2005 15-17 girls 100 metre breaststroke record of 1:13.93 with a 1:12.93 effort. Higgs would lower that mark in the afternoon with a Gold medal winning time of 1:12.79.She was followed to the wall by Curaçao’s Chadé Nercisio who clocked 1:14.27. Marissa Lugo of Puerto Rico was timed in 1:15.58 and won the Bronze.
Also in Championship record mode was one half of the Bermudan 11-12 super duo Elan Daley. In the final of the 11-12 50 metre freestyle she lowered the 1995 Championship record of 27.55 set by another 11-12 star of yester year, Trinidad and Tobago’s Cerian Gibbes. Daley won in a new national record and English speaking Caribbean best of 26.82.No other English speaking Caribbean girl has ever swum faster than 27 seconds. Jamaican speedster Zaneta Alvaranga placed second in 27.78.The other half of the super duo Payton Zelkin won the Bronze is 28.01.
In the 13-14 girls 200 metre backstroke Danielle Titus of Barbados set a new Championship, age group and senior national record with her swim of 2:22.39. Titus lowered the 1985 record of 2:22.50 of Costa Rican Olympian Sylvia Poll (1988, 1992). Second went to Vanegas Yanci of Guatemala in 2:24.41 and the Bronze Jahmia Harley to 2:27.05.
Swimmers who achieved the regional Golden Double on the final day included
Saturday July 1 at the CCCAN Championships in Trinidad and Tobago saw two more swimmers Olympians Edgar Crespo of Panama (2012,2016) and Aruban Mikel Schreuders (2016) bettering the World Championships B standards.Those swims bought the overall World Championship qualifying performances to eight.
Competing in the 18 and over category at the National Aquatic Centre in Couva Crespo was faster than the World Championship B standard of 28.47 when he recorded 28.08 to top the qualifiers for the final with a time of 28.08. He was also under the 2013 Championship record of 28.61 set by Trinidad and Tobago’s Abraham McLeod . Edgar would be even faster in the final when he became the first swimmer under the 28 seconds barrier when he won the Gold in 27.94. Following him to the wall for the Silver in a new Aruban national record of 28.57 and just outside the B time was Jordy Groters. His old national record was 28.60 .Winning the Bronze in 28.97 was his countryman Mikel Schreuders.
Mikel would lower an Aruban national mark of his own and better the B time for the Hungary World Championships when he won Gold in the 100 metre freestyle in a time of 50.55. The B standard is 50.64. Winning the Silver was Trinidad and Tobago’s Joshua Romany in personal best of 50.75. Bronze went to Olympian Avila Kevin (2012) in 51.68.
There were a number of near misses with the World championship cuts as well. In the 18 and over category Suriname’s Olympian Evita Leter (2016) hit the pads in 32.72 for the win in the 50 metre breaststroke. The time to beat was 32.31. In the 15-17 200 metre butterfly Guatemalan Olympian Valerie Gruest stopped the clock in 2:14.59, a new Championship record but just shy of the B time of 2:14.31.
Other meet records to fall included the 15-17 200 metre butterfly for girls. That was the result of another Gruest effort as she bettered the 1987 standard of Olympian Silvia Poll of 2:23.23 with a 2:20.42 swim to take the Gold.
Another Olympian’s record would fall in the 13-14 equivalent as Daniela Alfaro of Costa Rica bettered Mexican Rita Medrano’s (2012) 2005 standard of 2:19.75 with a 2:18.65 clocking.
In the boys 15-17 age group Crespo lost his 2007 15-17 record of 29.33as local standout Jeron Thompson won Gold in 29.26. Winning the Silver and also under the record was Fausto David Heron of the Dominican Republic who swam 29.32.
Thompson was one six swimmers that completed the regional Golden Double winning at the CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas in April and again in Trinidad and Tobago.
Day three (June 30) of the CCCAN Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Trinidad and Tobago saw more exciting races and championship records and also more World Championship qualifying swims. Those World championship Qualifying performances came from the local stars Olympian Dylan Carter and Joshua Romany.
Dylan competing in the 18 and over 200 metre freestyle crushed the 2009 Championship record Costa Rica’s Olympian Mario Montoya of 1:52.43 with a 1:48.91 clocking. That bettered the World Championship B qualifying mark of 1:51.50.Also under the record and just missing the B standard was El Salvador’s Olympian Marcelo Acosta who clocked 1:51.76 for the Silver. Aruban Olympian Mikel Schreuders took the Bronze in 1:51.76.
In the 18 and over 50 metre butterfly Joshua Romany bettered the 2011 championship record of countryman Joshua McLeod of 24.43 as well as the World Championship B standard time of 24.50 with a Gold medal winning time of 24.40. Winning the Silver was N’Nhyn Fernander of The Bahamas in 24.94 and the Bronze was won by Christian Awah of Trinidad and Tobago in 25.06.
The winning times by Carter and Romany brought the World Championship qualifying tally to five.
In the girls 15-17 50 metre butterfly the crowd was treated to excellent sprinting by Curaçao’s Chadé Nercisio. She became the fastest woman of all time at CCCAN when she broke the 28 seconds barrier in the 50 metre butterfly when she clocked 27.99 in the morning heats. All her energy was not spent after that national record swim as she returned in the evening to destroy that mark and record a time of 27.59. that swim was not too far off the World championships B mark of 27.42. Silver went to Celismar Guzman of Puerto Rico won the Silver in 28.62 and the Bronze went to Celina Marquez of El Salvador in 28.65.
Valerie Gruest of Guatemala just missed out on another World Championships qualifying mark when she took Gold in the 15-17 400 metre individual medley in a time of 4:54.67. That swim bettered the 2009 meet record of 5:02.43 by Maria Coy.That was just off the B standard of 4:52.97. CARIFTA Champion Albury Higgs won Silver in 5:03.67. The Bronze went to Marissa Lugo of Puerto Rico in 5:11.77.
Other championship record to fall on the day went to Zaneta Alvaranga of Jamaica in the girls 11-12 50 metre butterfly. She lowered the meet record of 29.85 twice .She swam 29.32 in the heats before uncorking a 28.74 for the Gold in the final.
In the 13-14 age group Beatriz Padron of Costa Rica Gold 28.36,Katie Kyle of St Lucia Silver 28.80 and Trinidad and Tobago’s Gabriela Donahue Bronze 28.85 all bettered the 2011 record of 28.89 by Dorian McMenemy.
Swimmers who completed the Regional Gold Double on Day Three by winning their respective events at CARIFTA in The Bahamas and at CCCAN in Trinidad and Tobago include
After two days of competition at the CCCAN Championships in Trinidad and Tobago a third World Championship B standard was recorded. That achievement came through the performance of local star Dylan Carter in the 18 and over age group. Dylan actually bettered the 100 metre butterfly B standard of 54.12 twice in the 100 metre butterfly.
In the morning preliminaries Carter bettered the 2003 Championship record of 54.94 set by Olympian Joshua Ilika of Mexico with a time of 53.87.In the evening’s final he would better that mark with a national record swim of 52.73. His previous national standard was 52.88 set in 2016. Teammate Christian Awah won the Silver in 55.78 and the Bronze went to N’Nhyn Fernander in a time of 56.07.
In the 200 metre breaststroke it was a tight battle between US Virgin Islands Adriel Sanes, Panama’s Edgar Crespo and Arnoldo Herrera of Costa Rica for the top spot. Sanes would prevail in a Championship record of 2:19.97 breaking his morning heats record swim of 2:21.64.Crespo won Silver in 2:20.01 and Herrera the Bronze in 2:20.83.
The 50 metre backstroke saw Christopher Courtis from Barbados winning in a time of 26.48 , not far off his national record of 26.21. Awah of Trinidad and Tobago again took the Silver .This time he posted a time of 26.93. The Bronze went Yeziel Morales of Puerto Rico in 26.95.
The 18 and over 200 metre freestyle mixed relay went to Trinidad and Tobago. Their team of Carter, Joshua Romany ,Kristin Julien and Cherelle Thompson crushed the previous meet record with a winning time of 1:38.40. The previous mark was 1:44.04. The team from Puerto Rico won Silver in a time 1:42.04 also under the old record .Panama won Bronze in 1:44.63.