Night two of the 2019 CARIFTA 2019 swimming Championships provided yet another session of medals, records and excitement for Team Jamaica.The team at the end of Day Two had recorded 40 new personal bests and were in second place with 690 points and had 34 medals 11 Gold,16 Silver and Seven Bronze medals
The top performance again came from the 13-14 girls . This time it was Zaneta Alvaranga leading the way in the 50 metre butterfly.She gave Team Jamaica and fans on hand a signal of what was to come in the final when she eased to a time of 28.32 ,the fastest female time of the morning heats regardless of age group.
SPEED AND POWER
In her signature event , the one lap butterfly sprinted she demonstrated why she is Jamaica’s fastest junior swimmer ever in the event.When the starter’s gun fired Zaneta worked her underwaters utilizing almost all of the 15 metres allowable to gain a tremendous advantage when she surfaced. After her breakout it was all about the clock as the field was well beaten. When she hit the pads it revealed a new personal best and national age group record of 27.84. Zaneta lowered her regional mark as the 13-14 fastest English speaking girl in the event. It would prove also be the fastest time by a girl on the night. That performance stands as the second fastest time ever done at CARIFTA by a girl as the 13-14 mark is held by Naele Portecop of Guadeloupe in 2018.She set that mark in Kingston in an epic championship final with Alvaranga where both young ladies recorded sub 28 seconds times of 27.78 and 27.94 respectively for Gold and Silver.In another podium dominated by Jamaica ,Sabrina Lyn won the Silver in a time of 29.13. The outstanding Bermudan swimmer Elan Daley , who broke Zaneta’s CARIFTA 11-12 record in 2018 and is of Jamaican parentage won the Bronze in 29.59.
HOW THE WEST WON
Leanna Wainwright showed no fear in her international outing and Championship final on Day one of these CARIFTA Championships to earn Bronze in the 50 metre backstroke. That confidence from winning that medal carried over to the morning heats of the 100 metre backstroke .She topped the girls 11-12 qualifiers with a morning effort and new PB of 1:12.23. In the evening she displayed that fearless attitude once again when she opened an early lead on the field heading into the turn.Displaying a level of determination well beyond her years Leanna held her nerve when the Cayman Islands Lila Higo made a late charge to win in another PB of 1:11.65. Higo won the Silver in 1:11.76. Imojen Judd, the 50 metre backstroke champion took the Bronze in 1:12.84. Leanna’s countrywoman Giani Francis placed fourth in 1:13.41.
Wainwright,who is a product of Western Jamaican swimming put Jamaica back on top of the medal podium 12 years after age group record holder Kendese Nangle (1:08.49) who in front of a home crowd in 2007
GIRLS RELAY GOLD RUSH
On the 11-12 400 medley relay team only the very confident Kokolo Foster (breaststroke) had previous CARIFTA experience . The other members Leanna Wainwright (backstroke) Giani Francis (butterfly) and Christanya Shirley (freestyle) swam as the uninitiated do , with no inhibitions and not in awe of the occasion. That proved to pay great dividends as they dominated the final to win in a national and Championship record of 4:49.77. That crushed the old mark of 4:52.00 set by the 2002 CARIFTA team of Gillian Stewart,Tamari Farquharson,Kheri Ann Robinson and Rene Wright .Bermuda took the Silver in 4:52.93 with Cayman winning the Bronze in 4:59.98.
That sparked a chain reaction and the girls relay team went on a Golden hot streak.In the 13-14 Championship final Morgan Cogle gave the team a solid start with her backstroke split of 1:15.08. Sabrina Lyn recorded the fastest breaststroke split of her life of 1:15.23 to have Jamaica challenging for the lead. Alvaranga dropped the hammer on the field with her butterfly split of 1:04.23 give Safiya Officer an insurmountable lead . Bahamian Delaney Mizell turned on the jets on the anchor leg but Officer had too much of an advantage as Jamaica won in 4:38.85. Team Bahamas took the Silver in 4:39.15 with Barbados taking the Bronze in 4:41.99.This is the second consecutive Gold for Jamaica in the event.
.Simone Vale backstroke 1:10.37 and Naomi Eaton breaststroke 1:23.27 gave Jamaica the platform for the second half of the relay to challenge for the medals. Emily MacDonald ‘s 1:04.42 butterfly leg ran down all the teams except for Trinidad and Tobago. It was left up to Britney Williams to keep the streak alive and she did not disappoint. She recorded the fastest 100 freestyle of her life of 58.77 to take the win in a total team time of 4:36.83.The swimmers from the twin island republic were second in 4:37.55 and Barbados third in 4:40.55.
MEDLEY MORNING GLORY
When debutante Brady MacPherson Lewison won the 11-12 boys 400 metre individual medley he created history for himself .He had won his first Gold medal in a time of 5:30.63, a time drop of over ten seconds. It was also the first time Jamaica had been been on podium in over two decades much less winning the Gold. The fastest time recorded by a Jamaican boy in the event was in recent years was 2010 when Kevaughn Campbell placed fourth in 5:37.89.
PUTTING UP RESISTANCE
The boys also swam well out of their comfort zones to land podium places in the medley relays.In the 13-14 boys relay legs done Nathaniel Thomas backstroke 103.73, Jaedon Lynch breaststroke 1:14.77,Jaleel Samms 1:05.34 seemed to have Jamaica outside of medal contention. Cometh the moment,cometh Daniel Mair. Known primarily for his distance and open water freestyle exploits Mair presented his sprint credentials on the anchor freestyle leg .He swam a lifetime best split 56.42 to give Jamaica the Bronze medal edging French Guiana by mere .09 of a second 4:20.26 to 4:20.35. Team TTO won in 4:13.76 with Bahamas taking the Silver in 4:16.65.
In the 15-17 category it was always going to be an uphill task against the mighty Bahamians who had the 100 metre backstroke champion in Davante Carey,CARIFTA record holder in the 100 metre breaststroke Izaak Bastian, 100 metre butterfly champion Ian Pinder and Kevon Lockhart. Nicholas Vale gave Jamaica a good shot a medal with his opening 100 metre backstroke split of 1:01.33, almost a new PB. What made the difference for Jamaica to break out the the chasing pack was a lifetime best effort of 1:06.62 by Cameron Brown on the breaststroke leg.That allowed Jordane Payne butterfly 1:00.66 and Kyle Sinclair freestyle 54.08 to push for the Silver with no real challenge in a total team time of 4:02.69. That was just off the national record of 4:01.27.
Other medals won on Day Two
|15-17||200 metre freestyle||Emily MacDonald||2:08.72||Silver|
|15-17||200 metre freestyle||Britney Williams||2:08.79||Bronze|
|15-17||200 metre freestyle||Nicholas Vale||1:58.09||Silver|
|11-12||50 metre butterfly||Giani Francis||30.86||Silver|
|11-12||50 metre butterfly||Brady Macpherson-Lewison||29.77||Bronze|
|13-14||50 metre butterfly||Nathaniel Thomas||26.73||Silver|
|15-17||50 metre butterfly||Emily MacDonald||28.96||Silver|
|13-14||100 metre backstroke||Nathaniel Thomas||1:02.88||Silver|