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.
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.
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.
There would be another relay Gold when the team of Officer,Heaven,Ireland Hunter and Cogle took the victory in 4:19.13.
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!”
At the 2008 CARIFTA championships in Aruba the 13-14 Jamaica team of Kendese Nangle Backstroke 1:12.20, Victoria Ho breaststroke 1:20.05, Alexia Royal-Eatmon butterfly and Raynae Hall freestyle 1:03.00 turned in a Gold medal winning performance in the 400 metre medley relay of 4:46.29 .That performance was also a national record effort.
Ten years later in Kingston Jamaica the 13-14 line up for Jamaica read Simone Vale backstroke, Sabrina Lyn breaststroke, Zaneta Alvaranga butterfly and Emily MacDonald freestyle. The team was supposed to be fast but what the quartet produced on Sunday April 1 at the National Aquatic Centre was phenomenal.
It was expected for the young ladies to challenge the record and do sub 4:45. But they went well below that passing 4:42, 4;40, 4:38 and beyond 4:35 to smash the national standard. En route to lowering the Jamaican record the fab four also smashed the 2017 CARIFTA record held by Trinidad and Tobago of 4:36.43. The final total time for the Jamaicans was 4:33.81.
Lead off leg Vale saved the best for last in the 100 metre backstroke .She recorded two personal bests in the 100 metre backstroke from the heats and the relay moving from 1:10.02 to her first sub 1 :10 time of 1:09.46.Up next Lyn added a breaststroke blast of 1:21.13. Alvaranga produced a butterfly split of 1:04.54 and MacDonald dropped the hammer with a split of 58.68.Guadeloupe won the Silver in 4:40.01 and Martinique the Bronze in 4:44.13.
The 13-14 girls posted the fastest female time in the event just bettering the time of their countrywomen in the 15-17 age group that won the Gold 4:33.87.
The third day of action of the 2018 Walter Rogers Age Group swimming National Championships was highlighted by national record breaking swims by Zaneta Alvaranga of the Kaizen Swim Club in the 50 metre butterfly.
After dominating the 50 metre butterfly event locally and regionally as 11-12 swimmer in 2017 and establishing herself as the CARIFTA region’s number best of all time she continued her unbeaten streak on Friday Feb 16. Competing in her first race in the 13-14 age group she started her career in the new age category on the best possible note by lowering the national record of 29.57 to 29.55.
The previous record was set by age group star Kendese Nangle when she won Silver at the 2008 Caribbean Islands Swimming championships in Kingston.The meet record of 29.68 was held by Emily MacDonald of Swimaz set in 2017 Zaneta would have more in the tank for the final as she reset the record again with a time of 29.19. That performance was the fastest time of the competition and the fastest time ever recorded by a girl at the Championships. That swim by Alvaranga would have won her the Bronze in the event at the 2017 CARIFTA championships.
Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Zaneta after her record breaking swim after the final and got her impressions of her swim
“My goal was to get as close to my ( 2017 Gold medal winning) CCCAN time and I did. I focused on the start so I could get out as have as little armstrokes as possible and have rested shoulders and breathe as little as possible so I would not break streamline.I expected the record because I broke it this morning and I came back prepared to do even better than this morning”. In 2017 Alvaranga was the most prolific female age group record breaker have setting the 11-12 50 metre butterfly record four times and the 100 metre freestyle once.
Brianna Anderson of the Y Speedos would take down another Boothe standard when she recorded 30.07 in the 15 and over butterfly heats.
Boothe had set the record in 2013 at 30.32. In the final Brianna took the Gold in 30.47.
Alvaranga’s 2015 9-10 50 metre butterfly record would fall to Christanya Shirley of the Marlins. She would win the event handily in a time of 33.35 well under the previous meet record of 34.86.
The recently concluded Commonwealth Youth Games in The Bahamas saw swimmers Jesse Marsh and Emily MacDonald recording the best times ever swum by Jamaicans at the competition in their respective events.
Competing in the 200 metre butterfly Marsh lowered his personal best from 2:11.47 to 2:10.31 to place 13th overall. That bettered the previous Jamaican best time of 2:22.06 at the competition set by Dominic Walter at the 2008 Pune India Games. It is also the second fastest time recorded by a Jamaican at the Commonwealth Games at either the senior or junior level. The top time by a Jamaican is held by Jesse’s father Allan-Roy at the senior level . Allan-Roy recorded 2:06.89 at the 1982 Brisbane Australia Games.
When asked about his experience Jesse, who holds the 13-14 200 metre butterfly national record had the following thoughts
“Well the experience wasn’t really what I expected because of all the challenges we faced getting to the games and not being able to stay at the hotel with the rest of the team among other things. As for my performances I was disappointed not being able to swim the 50 and 100fly as I thought I had a pb in me in the 50 and in the 100 I had a good chance of being in the top 8. The 200fly I was satisfied but not entirely pleased with my performance as I knew if I was more mentally there I could’ve been a lot faster but I got a pb and now I’m looking forward to racing the events that I missed and the 200fly again in a few days.I will be racing at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Champs in Coral Springs this weekend July 28-30 and then at the Futures championships in Nashville, TN on the following weekend August 3-6”.
Emily who competed in the 50 metre freestyle recorded a time of 27.60 to place 15th overall. That is the best time and placing for Jamaica at this level for the Commonwealth Games. The previous best was 29.02 and 25th place by Annabella Lyn at the 2015 Samoa Games. Her performance also doubles at the best placing for a Jamaican woman at both junior and senior level in the event as the previous best was 22nd by Angela (Dawn) Kane at the 2002 Manchester Games. Her 27.60 is also the third fastest by a Jamaican woman at either the senior or junior. The list is headed by times recorded at the senior level at the 2002 Manchester Games .Olympian Angela (Dawn) Kane (2000,2004) tops the list with a time of 27.09 .Kane is followed on the chart by Tamara Swaby with her effort of 27.25 at the same Games.
MacDonald who is the reigning CCCAN Champion in the 13-14 girl’s 50 metre freestyle gave her impression of the experience to draftingthecaribbean recently
“It was definitely a thrill to compete against athletes from countries that have such big reputations in swimming. It is a joy for me to compete against people who are always going to push me. I felt I could have done better but some accreditation issues had me quite anxious until the night before my race. Overall though I’m pleased because my time was still within my normal range”
This is the fourth contingent of swimmers Jamaica has sent to the Games
On the third night of competition (June 30) held at the CCCAN Championships Team Jamaica added Two Gold ,One Silver and Two Bronze medals to have a total so far Six Gold, Three Silver and Two Bronze. A total of 21 personal best times have also been established over the Three days .The Jamaican delegation are now in ninth position with 164 points. Headlining the performances was the Gold medal by Zaneta Alvaranga in the girls 11-12 50 metre butterfly.
Heading into the Championships she was already the English speaking Caribbean’s fastest ever girl in that age group with the only sub 29 clocking, the national record of 28.97.Added to that she is the reigning CARIFTA Champion in the event
.In the morning preliminaries the 2007 record of 29.85 set by Venezuela’s Ángela Ciccenia was erased from the record books when she hit the wall in 29.32. With the Championship record gone it was just a question of how much she would lower her time by. In the final she took the lead from the gun and went on to win emphatically in a new National Record ,Championship Record and best ever time for the English speaking Caribbean of 28.74. The Bermudan standouts Elan Daley and Payton Zelkin finished with the Silver and Bronze in times of 29.49 and 30.11.Zaneta’s time is faster that the national records in the 13-14 age group of 29.57 and the 15-17 standard of 28.87. Zaneta’s time would have won the Bronze in the boys race. She also completed the regional Golden Double taking both the CARIFTA and CCCAN titles joining Sabrina Lyn and Nathaniel Thomas who did the same in the 100 metre butterfly and 50 metre backstroke respectively.It is the first medal in the age won by Jamaica since 2007 when Kendese Nangle won Silver
Thomas ,who had placed 5th in the 11-12 boys 50 metre butterfly at the CARIFTA Championships had been in great form recently as he had lowered the national record to 28.32 prior to the Championships.He had to battle hard for his victory. Nathan 28.53 eked out a close win over Bermuda’s Sam Williamson 28.56 and CARIFTA Champion Trinidad and Tobago’s Kadon Williams 28.74. Jamaica had never won a medal in this age group before for Thomas’ victory.
Kelsie Campbell added 50 metre butterfly Silver to her Gold in the 100 metre butterfly when she touched the wall in a new personal best of 28.60. She was just out touched for the Gold by Patricia Casellas of Puerto Rico who won in 28.53.This is the first medal won by Jamaica in the age group.
The girls 11-12 400 metre freestyle was given a scare by the team of Alvaranga, Lyn, P’aige Lewis and Isabella Sierra when they won Silver in a time of 4:18.65.The 2012 record stands at 4:18.02. Gold went to the Bermudans in a time of 4:13.71 . The Bronze was won by Barbados in 4:19.38. Jamaican has not won a medal in this event in over a decade.
The lone representative in the boys 13-14 age group Kyle Sinclair opened his medal account in the 100 metre backstroke. At CARIFTA this year he had finished outside the medals by .05 of a second in a time of 104.08 a personal best.This time he took the Bronze in a new personal best of 1:03.08 beating the CARIFTA Bronze medallist by .27 of a second. The Gold was won by Mekhayl Engel of Curaçao 1:02.26 and the Silver to DaVante Carey of The Bahamas 1:02.80.
The morning session of day two (June 29) of the CCCAN Championships in Trinidad and Tobago was highlighted by national record performances by Nathaniel Thomas, the 11-12 relay team of Thomas, Alvaranga, Lewis and Alleyne and Angara Sinclair.
Competing in the 50 metre backstroke Thomas became the first 11-12 swimmer from Jamaica to break the 30 seconds barrier. He topped the qualifiers with his new age group mark of 29.99. That swim is not far off the 2011 Championship record of 29.83 set by Panamanian Olle Harrison. The old Jamaican record of 30.25 was set by Olympian Timothy Wynter in 2009.He would combine talents with Zaneta Alvaranga, P’aige Lewis and Joshua-Daniel Alleyne to set a new national mark in the 11-12 mixed 200 metre freestyle relay with a time of 1:51.59. That time was also under the championship record of 1:54.99 set by Barbados in 2015. The team will be the second seed heading into the final as Bermuda set the new record at 1:51.42.
In the 15-17 girls 50 metre backstroke Angara recorded a big personal best of 30.75 to lower the 2009 national record of 30.85 held by Kendese Nangle. That swim seeds her as the third fastest in the event in contention for the Gold and 2011 Championship record of 30.48 held by Trinidad and Tobago’s Kimberlee John Williams
In Nathaniel’s next event ,the 100 metre butterfly he qualified second fastest with a time of 1:04.63 close to his personal best of 1:04.39 and the 11-12 national record of 1:04.27 set by Ramon James on Nov 18,1995.
In the 11-12 girls age group Sabrina Lyn and Zaneta Alvaranga qualified third and fourth respectively with times of 1:07.42 and 1:07.87 respectively. Lyn’s national mark of 1:07.22 looks set to be lowered in the final later this evening. Alvaranga will be in another individual final as she qualified third fastest in the 50 metre backstroke in a time of 33.65.
In the 13-14 age group Kyle Sinclair and Brianna Anderson qualified 8th and 4th respectively for their respective 50 metre backstroke finals. Sinclair touched in 30.10 while Anderson stopped the clock in 32.31. In the 100 metre butterfly Emily MacDonald will contest the final after posting a time of 1:07.64 for 6th place.
In the 15-17 age group Bryanna Renuart and Jesse Marsh made the finals of the 200 metre breaststroke and 100 metre butterfly. Renuart is seeded third for the final after she touched in 2:46.54. Marsh got his hands to the wall in the two lap butterfly race in 58.10.
In the women’s 18 and over 100 metre butterfly Kelsie Campbell underlined her number one entry time when she topped the qualifiers with a time of 1:03.67.She will be looking to challenge the 2011 Championship record of 1:03.18 set by Puerto Rico’s Debra Rodriguez.
The 2017 edition of the Mayberry Championships was held at the National Aquatic Centre on April 28, 2017. The 13-14 age group saw a number of championship records being broken. The new standard bearers are Brianna Anderson of the Immaculate Conception High school, Kyle Sinclair of Wolmer’s Boys’ School and Adrian Grant of Jamaica College.
Anderson was the only girl at the meet under the 33 second mark in the 50 metre backstroke as she stroked her way to a new a record of 31.51 .That lowered the 2009 record of 31.84 set by Campion College’s national age group standout Kendese Nangle .In fact Anderson’s time is the fastest time ever recorded at the Mayberry championships.
Brianna, who is the reigning 13-14 CARIFTA Bronze medallist from the CARIFTA 2017 championship in the event, has in her sights the national mark of 31.02 of Angara Sinclair, a former Immaculate High student. She would take Gold in the 50 metre butterfly in a time of 30.68 just missing the 2009 mark of 30.23 set by Nangle. A third individual Gold was secured in the 50 metre freestyle which she won in 28.54.
Sinclair of Wolmer’s saw his 11-12 record in the 50 metre freestyle fall before his race. He made up for that lost record by setting a new one in the 13-14 boys race.
Kyle, who is the reigning CARIFTA Bronze medallist in this event bettered the 2014 standard of 25.93 set by Campion College’s Joseph Black with a swim of 25.59. The Wolmerian not only crowned himself the fastest boy in 13-14 but the entire meet as he recorded the fastest time of all age groups. He had a number of meet record misses on his way to a medal haul of Four Gold and a Silver. In the 200 metre individual medley he just missed the 2011 record of 2:26.14 by Campion College’s Olympian Timothy Wynter when he recorded a time of 2:26.89. In the 100 metre freestyle he was again the fastest boy at the meet when he touched in 56.92.That effort was just off the 2005 record of 56.00 by Jamaican and Kingston College standout Brad Hamilton. Kyle would also win the 50 metre backstroke in 30.92, again the fastest time recorded at the meet.
He would be beaten on the day by Jamaica College’s Jevaun Jackson who won the 50 metre butterfly in a personal best time of 28.57.Sinclair would win the Silver medal in a time of 28.63.
In the 50 metre breaststroke , another member of the 2017 CARIFTA team, Adrian Grant would lower the 2005 of 33.33 set by Brad Hamilton in 2005 by clocking 32.58. Joining him in breaking the record would be Jackson who recorded a personal best time of 32.81.
The 200 metre freestyle events were won by Naomi Eaton of Campion College and Chester Adams of Jamaica College in times of 2:20.68 and 2:21.17 respectively. Eaton would also take the Gold in the 50 metre breaststroke in 38.52.
The Immaculate duo of Karci Gibson and Thandiwe McDonald won the 200 individual medley and 100 metre freestyle in times of 2:45.78 and 1:05.64 respectively.
Immaculate would also sweep the 200 metre freestyle and medley relays with swims of 1:59.71 and 2:22.57
Jamaica College would take both relays also in 1:48.74 and 2:04.96.