LAMAR TAYLOR ,THE FASTEST 13-14 SWIMMER THIS YEAR IS READY FOR THE 15-17 CHALLENGE IN 2019

Lamar Taylor C.C.C.A.N
Lamar Taylor posing with the 13-14 CCCAN Gold medal in the 50 metre freestyle after setting a new championship record of 23.94 Photo courtesy of CCCAN

Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas has blazed a fiery trail in the 50 metre freestyle this year to earn the moniker of the “English Speaking Caribbean’s fastest swimmer in the 13-14 age group”

He earned this title with with a number of top performances at major competitions. His first meet the UANA Cup  In January in Coral Springs Florida saw him just edged for the Gold with a time of 24.57. The Gold went to Mexican Victor Salcedo Carrillo who clocked 24.56. Taylor’s swim saw him as the best from the CARIFTA region. He ensured that his favorite’s tag heading into the CARIFTA championships in April in Jamaica was no mistake as he won with the only sub 25 seconds clocking of 24.27. He took the sprint freestyle to a another level when he dipped under the 24 seconds barrier with a new national record  of 23.79 at his national championships in June. The CCCAN championships in Aruba in July would see him with another sub 24 clocking this time  recording a Championship record of 23.94.

When draftingthecaribbean caught up with Lamar Taylor we spoke about 2018 , how he trains and expectations heading into the 15-17 age group

“Currently I train nine times for the week four morning sessions and five afternoons. That DQ at CCCAN 2017 in Trinidad and Tobago changed me a lot and motivated me to train harder in practice , change my diet and watch tapes of my races more often. I looked at the slight imperfections I made to try and improve my stroke. The year started off well at UANA with a lot of the countries like Brazil. With God’s help I came home with a number of medals.The rest of the season I was focused and training hard  and going after my goal of making the Youth Olympic Games team. Unfortunately that did not happen as I only had one B cut but it has not stopped me from still training hard for the 2018-2019 season”

Lamar and Joshua Newry
Lamar and teammate Joshua Newry about to start a training set Photo courtesy of Gena Culmer -Taylor

 

“Going into the 15-17 age group I will not be thinking about who I will be racing against. I dive into the water , swim to the best of my ability and try to get the best outcome. My theory is when people overthinking a race they end up “choking ” and not achieving the best results. I just watch videos or play games on my phone before a race to get my mind off the race and my competitors. I know they are all amazing swimmers and I know that the slightest mistake will determine the color of my medal. In 2019 I will be entering my new age group with a lot of confidence in  100 metre freestyle and especially my 50 metre freestyle. At My national championships this summer my winning time was faster than the winning time in the 15 and over age group. That proved to me that age was just a number and that does not determine how fast you can swim and I have no worries at all going into 15-17″.

 

“I honestly think CCCAN was my best meet this year. The flight leaving Freeport got delayed and we did not leave until 4 am and Marvin Johnson and I  did had little warmup time before the first race which was the mixed relays. Despite that rough buildup to the meet I still performed well (Five Gold medals  and one Silver medal)

COACHES CORNER

Lamar and Bert Bell
Coach Bert Bell and Lamar Photo courtesy of Gena Culmer -Taylor

Draftingthecaribbean also spoke to Mr Bert Bell who taught Lamar how to swim at the age of three at the Freeport Aquatic club and has been his only competitive coach since. Mr Bell, a fan of  Olympic Gold medallist and Czechoslovakian distance legend Emil Zátopek who originated interval training , spoke about expectations  of Lamar in the tougher 15-17 age group, his swims for 2018 and how he trains him to split his 100 metre races so well

Zapotek
Emil Zátopek Photo courtesy of wikipedia

2018 Rev National Champs race analysis

100 metre backstroke
First 50 30.11
Second 50 31.46
Final time 1:01.57
100 metre butterfly
First 50 29.97
Second 50 29.75
Final time 59.72

 

“There is no way to predict the future. We just have to encourage every individual to do the best they can with their God given potential.Lamar trains  nine times for the week four morning sessions and five afternoons.I ask my swimmers to set short term goals in the events they are interested in. Then we figure out the pace they need to swim = goal + 3 sec (adjust for dive) divide by number of 50’s Then they swim sets based on pace for the upcoming 2-3 months.We may do one or two sets (race/time specific) in every work out.We usually do 400 up free Mondays 200 Wednesday Timed swim Friday.The number of repeats and the rest interval will vary in each practice.We do similar sessions for alternate strokes Tuesday and Thursday.Saturday mornings we will work all strokes.

Lamar with Rommel and Ethan
Resting between sets from left to right Lamar and teammates Rommel Ferguson and Ethan Moxey Photo courtesy of Gena Culmer-Taylor

 

Pace specific (high intensity) is worked every day but the sets are limited and different every workout.Aim – set specific, doable goals with specific pace objectives.eg we r working at 200 or 100 etc race pace sets limited to 15 to 20 minutes.”WE ARE TRAINING THE MIND” be intellectual – remember the best results come from maintaining your best consistent pace from start to finish at whatever distance beyond 20 seconds.Concept – what is your PR – where do you want to go – what pace do you need?Design sets that are based on specifics – involve the swimmer in the calculations.

Lamar ended the summer with national records in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle freestyle 23.79 and 53.09 as well as 23 medals from the four Championship meets UANA,CARIFTA, Nationals and CCCAN 17 Gold,  Silver and One Bronze. He is also within striking distance of four national records

Event NR PB
200 metre freestyle 2:02.72 2:03.33
50 metre butterfly 25.98 26.09
50 metre backstroke 27.61 27.66
100 metre backstroke 1:00.57 1:01.41
Romany roster pic iuhoosiers
Joshua Romany Photo courtesy of iuhoosiers.com

One mark that will be on Taylor’s mind as he heads to the 15-17 age group will be the overall 13-14 English speaking mark of 23.77 held by Trinidad and Tobago’s Joshua Romany who was member of the Fantastic Four that won Bronze at the CAC Games in Colombia this summer. Team Bahamas with Taylor in their ranks will continue to be a regional age group powerhouse for the year 2019.

 

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NIGEL FORBES STANDS TALL AT CCCAN,WINS REGIONAL BREASTSTROKE TRIPLE CROWN (UNANA,CARIFTA AND CCCAN TITLES) EN ROUTE TO FIVE GOLD AND TWO SILVER

At the recently concluded CCCAN swimming Championships held in Aruba Nigel Forbes continued his epic season in an 11-12 age group division which was brimming with talent. Forbes stood tall among his peers in the breaststroke for 2018 and was unbeaten for the season in that stroke .

50 metre breaststroke medallists
50 metre breaststroke medallists from left to right Blackman, Forbes and Trejos Photo courtesy of CCCAN

It would be the 50 metre breaststroke in  which he would make put together a masterpiece of a swim .Already the fastest Bahamian 11-12 breaststroker of all time with 32.54 he now had his sights on the 2005 CCCAN record of Panamanian Arturo Medina of 32.42 .That time tied Bermudan Sam Williamson 11-12 national mark of 32.42 as the second fastest of all time in the CCCAN region. The unofficial record was held by  Aruba Jordy Groters at 32.41. Things looked promising for young Forbes when he clocked the fastest time of the preliminaries of 32.99. In the championship Final Forbes  took off from the sounding of the starter’s gun and was more than a body length of the field by the 25 metre mark.With the question of the Gold answered what needed to be determined was what the record would be lowered to . Forbes continued to blaze towards the wall and slapped the pads in a time of 32.15 , a new PB, Bahamian , CCCAN Championship  record and he can officially hold the moniker of the fastest the region had ever seen in the event. Winning the Silver was Trinidad and Tobago Nikoli Blackman in 34.74 and the Bronze to Edu Trejos in 34.75. It was this event that he created history for the CARIFTA region by winning the first ever Gold medal at the  inaugural UANA Championships so it is fitting that he would take the regional Triple Crown UANA , CARIFTA and CCCAN titles in the fastest swim of all time.

Forbes 11-12 Gold
Nigel Forbes of The Bahamas First Gold Medallist for The Bahamas and the CARIFTA region 11-12 breaststroke Gold at the 2018 UANA cup
UANA 34.20
CARIFTA 34.05
CCCAN 32.15

The 100 metre breaststroke would see Nigel putting another show of scintillating speed.As with the 50 metre breaststroke he was already the best The Bahamas had ever produced with his 1:12.24 clocking from the REV nationals and was within a hair’s breadth of the CCCAN record time of 1:12.18 set by  Olympian Carlos  Claverie of Venezuela  (Rio 2016) .

Carlos Claverie panamerican world
Carlos Claverie waving to the crowd after being presented with Bronze medal at the 2014 Youth Olympics Photo courtesy of panamericanworld

Claverie  won Bronze at the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing China in the 100 metre breaststroke in a time of 1:01.56.

After easing into the final with a time of 1:14.78  he decided to turn on the thrills in the final. When the race started Nigel again separated himself by some distance by the halfway mark turning in 33.13, a split that would have would the Silver in the 50 metre race. He kept applying the pressure and touched in a new PB,Bahamian record and CCCAN Championship record of 1:11.16.  Forbes is now the fastest ever swimmer the CARIFTA region has produced in the event.He just missed the unofficial CCCAN 2014 record of 1:10.94 held by Puerto Rico’s Daniel Chevere. The win also marked another Triple Crown performance ( UANA, CARIFTA and CCCAN). Silver went to Panamanian Trejos in 1:13.24 and Blackman won Bronze in 1:16.24.

Event Time Split
UANA 1:15.07 35.40
CARIFTA 1:15.81 35.50
CCCAN 1:11.16 33.13
boys 11-12 200 metre breaststroke medal podium
Boys 11-12 200 metre breaststroke medallists from left to right Trejos, Forbes and Bonati Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The 200 metre breaststroke which was Forbes first individual race saw a colossal battle between himself and Trejos. The Panamian started the race with a split of 35.67 followed by Nigel with a 36.50 . They were the only swimmers under 37 seconds for the first 50 metres and well ahead of the rest of the field. Nigel kept closing the gap on Edu until he was ahead by .01 ahead of him coming off the final wall.

Forbes pushing for Gold in the 200 breast
Forbes pushing for Gold in the 200 metre breaststroke Photo courtesy of CCCAN

 

He then stepped on the gas to take the win in a new PB and Bahamas record 2:36.00.  Forbes just missed another Claverie standard of 2:35.89 but is now the fastest ever 11-12 200 metre breaststroke swimmer from the CARIFTA region. Edu was close behind winning Silver in 2:36.32. Bronze went to Stefan Bonati of the Cayman Islands in 2:49.08.

Boys 11-12 100 metre butterfly podium
Boys 11-12 100 metre butterfly podium from left to right Wilson,Forbes and Gossmann Photo courtesy of CCCAN

There would be more Gold for Forbes in Aruba in the sprint butterfly events. In the 100 metre butterfly he won the Gold based on a strong back half. This, as he was behind at the 50 metre mark as the early leaders Christopher Gossmann of Guatemala 29.23 and Trinidad and Tobago standout Zarek Wilson 29.44. Nigel’s split was 30.05. He however provided the fastest last 50 metres to take the Gold in 1:01.95 a new PB and Bahamian record taking almost a second off the 2014 Evante Gibson standard of 1:02.83 .that completed the regional Golden Double as he won the CARIFTA Gold in 1:04.05 earlier this year in Kingston. Silver went to Wilson in a new PB of 1:02.16 and the Bronze to Gossmann in 1:02.23.The same trio finished in the exact same order earlier at the UANA cup with times of 1:03.34,1:03.48 and 1:04.19 respectively

CARIFTA 1:04.09 30.47
CCCAN 1:01.95 30.05
boys 11-12 50 metre medal podium
Boys 11-12 50 metre butterfly medal podium from left to right Sealy, Forbes and Gossmann Photo courtesy of CCCAN

In the 50 metre butterfly he posted the only sub 28 seconds time in the final to win 27.73. Omari Sealy of Barbados took the Silver in 28.17 and Gossman 28.25. He holds the national record at 27.67.

100 freestyle podium 11-12 boys
Boys 11-12 100 metre freestyle medal podium from left to right Forbes,Blackman and Johnson Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

In the 100 metre freestyle he dipped under the 58 seconds barrier for the first time to win Silver in a PB and national record time 57.79.Gold went to Blackman in 57.61 and the Bronze to his teammate Marvin Johnson in 58.75. The old 11-12 record of 57.99 belonged to Lamar Taylor .

 

11-12 mixed 200 metre freestyle relay
11-12 mixed 200 metre freestyle relay medallists from left to right The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago and the Cayman Islands Phoot courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would be another Silver for Forbes and Team Bahamas in the 200 metre mixed freestyle relay.The team of Johnson (27.98),Keianna Moss (28.72) ,Devin Cuffy-Bethel 28.98 and Forbes (25.76) stopped the clock in 1:50.64 just behind Team Trinidad and Tobago 1:50.29 .The Bronze went to the Cayman Islands in 1:52.64. Nigel placed 9th in the 400 metre freestyle.

When draftingthecaribbean contacted the young swimmer he gave his thoughts on his breaststroke Gold medals . He said that he felt great about all the breaststroke races his favourite was the 100 metre race. When questioned about the 200 metre event if he knew about the record and if he could have gone faster he said he did not think he could have gone any faster because he had great competition from his Panamanian competitor (Edu Trejos) and he gave it his all. Forbes now owns 7 of the 16 individual Bahamian national records for the 11-12 age group

Event Record
100 metre freestyle 57.79
50 metre breaststroke 32.15
100 metre breaststroke 1:11.16
200 metre breaststroke 2:36.00
50 metre butterfly 27.67
100 metre butterfly 1:01.95
400 metre IM 5:18.05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EMILY MacDONALD COMPLETES REGIONAL GOLDEN RECORD DOUBLE (CARIFTA AND CCCAN TITLES), BECOMES FASTEST 13-14 GIRL OF ALL TIME, HELPS 13-14 MEDLEY RELAY TO GOLD ,NATIONAL RECORDS FALL MORGAN COGLE AND THE 11-12 GIRLS MEDLEY RELAY TEAM

The final day of competition at the CCCAN swimming Championships in Aruba  on July 2  saw Team Jamaica adding Two Gold, Three Silver and Three Bronze medals.

13-14 50 free medal podium
13-14 50 metre freestyle medallists from left to right Watson-Brown ,MacDonald and Farro Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The highlight of the day was Emily MacDonald who completed the freestyle sprint double .A day after she completed the record regional Golden Double (CARIFTA and CCCAN titles) in the 100 metre freestyle she did the same in the 50 metre freestyle. She took the race in a time of 26.48 a new PB, CCCAN and CARIFTA all time best.It was a mere .03 of a second outside of the automatic Youth Olympic qualifying mark of 26.45.

This makes her unbeaten for the 13-14 age group at CCCAN as she took the title in Trinidad and Tobago as well last year in 27.20. In April of this year in her hometown of Kingston she won the splash and dash in  a  time of  26.76 lowering the record of 26.81 held by Bermudan Madelyn Moore. In Aruba she would take down another Moore standard of 26.65 , the unofficial all time regional record. Emily has been Golden in all but one meet at the regional level since 2016.

GOLDEN RUN

Date Meet Medal Time
March 2016 CARIFTA Gold 28.15
July 2016 CISC Gold 27.64
April 2017 CARIFTA 4th 27.60
July 2017 CCCAN Gold 27.20
April 2018 CARIFTA Gold 26.76 Record26.81
July 2018 CCCAN Gold 26.48 record 26.65
thrillson.blogspot.com Chinyere
Chinyere Pigot Photo courtesy of thrillson.blogspot.com

MacDonald had the second fastest time of the competition. That accolade went to none other  than Madelyn Moore who lowered the 15-17 meet of  26.13 by Suriname’s Olympian Chinyere Pigot (Beijing 2008 and London 2012) when she stopped the clock in 25.97.

Silver went to Bermuda’s Logan Watson -Brown in 27.24  and the Bronze to Aruba Chloe Farro 27.67.

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Emily she gave her thoughts on her performances

“I’m very happy about winning events in the meet for my age group and breaking Championship record for both events .It gives me the assurance that I have the potential to be a great sprinter”.

Girls 13-14 400 metre medley relay medallists
13-14 400 metre medley relay medallists from left to right Colombia,Jamaica and Aruba Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would almost  be another regional record Golden Double in the 400 metre medley relay as the team of Simone Vale, Sabrina Lyn, MacDonald and Amore Hunter just missed the CCCAN record of 4:34.23 held by the 2005 Mexico team and their own national age group record of 4:33.81 when they won Gold in 4:34.48.Silver went to Colombia in 4:38.89 and Bronze to Aruba in 4:52.40.

CCCAN Relay Gold medallists
13-14 CCCAN Gold medallists from left to right Hunter,MacDonald, Lyn and Vale Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

 

Names CARIFTA Record Names CCCAN 2005 Names CCCAN 2018
backstroke Vale 1:09.46 backstroke Gonzalez 1:08.21 backstroke Vale 1:10.15
breastroke Lyn 1:21.13 breastroke Delgado 1:19.31 breastroke Lyn 1:18.26
butterfly Zaneta Alvaranga 1:04.54 butterfly Medrano 1:06.18 butterfly MacDonald 1:04.46
freestyle MacDonald 58.68 freestyle Barjas 1:00.53 freestyle Hunter 1:01.61
4:33.81 4:34.28 4:34.48
Girls 11-12 200 metre backstroke medallists
Girls 11-12 200 metre backstroke from left to right Crooks, Jimenez Garrido and Cogle Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would be another national record for Morgan Cogle in the 11-12 200 metre backstroke.She lowered the 2007 Kendese Nangle record of 2:36.00 set at CCCAN 2007 in El Salvador in the morning heats with a time of 2:35.21. She would go on to win Bronze in the final in 2:35.29. Jillian Crooks of the Cayman Islands took the Silver in 2:33.98 with Gold going to  Elizabeth Jimenez Garrido of the Dominican Republic in 2:33.23.

In the 400 medley relay Cogle backstroke ,Brooke Hopkins breaststroke ,Ireland Hunter butterfly and Safiya Officer won the Silver in a new national age group record of 4:56.06. That bettered the old 2007 record of 4:58.67 set in by the 2007 CARIFTA team Brittany Kenney, Kendese Nangle, Raynae Hall and Alexia Royal-Eatmon.

COMPARISON OF TIMES

Names CCCAN 2018 Names CARIFTA 2007
backstroke Cogle 1:12.37 backstroke Kenney 1:16.37
breaststroke Hopkins 1:24.50 breaststroke Nangle 1:23.96
butterfly Hunter 1:15.97 butterfly Hall 1:12.08
freestyle Officer 1:03.22 freestyle Royal-Eatmon 1:06.26
4:56.06 4:58.67
Girls 11-12 400 metre medley relay medallists
Girls 11-12 400 metre medley relay medallists from left to right Jamaica ,Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Gold went to Trinidad and Tobago in 4:51.10 and the Bronze to Barbados in 5:06.93.

15-17 50 metre freestyle medallists
Girls 15-17 50 metre freestyle medallists from left to right Banks,Moore and Russell Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

In the 15-17 Girls 50 metre freestyle it was Gabrianna Banks getting the medal for Team Jamaica . She stopped the clock in a new PB of 26.69 for the Silver. The performance marks consecutive Silver medals for Banks who won Silver in her last year of 13-14 in the twin island republic last year in 27.28. The Bronze went to Victoria Russell of The Bahamas in a new PB of 26.93. This is the first medal for Jamaica in 2017 since Breanna Roman won Bronze in 27.59 at CCCAN 2011 in Puerto Rico.

boys 13-14 50 freestyle medallists
Boys 13-14 50 metre freestyle medallists from left to right Williams, Taylor and Thomas Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would be a Bronze for Nathaniel Thomas in the 13-14 age group in the 50 metre freestyle as his effort was timed in a PB of 25.33. This is a step up from his performance at CARIFTA where he placed ninth in 26.19. Silver went to Malik Nelson of Trinidad and Tobago in 24.50. Gold went to the fastest 13-14 swimmer of the season Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas who won in a new CCCAN record of 23.94 to add to his CARIFTA title which he won in 24.27 and  as well as National title in 23.79.

Safiya Officer 11-12 50 metre Bronze
Saifiya Officer Bronze medallist in the Girls 11-12 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would be Bronze for Safiya Officer in the girls 11-12 race  she touched in 27.71.Silver went to St Lucia’s Naima Hazell in 27.61 .

Cerian Gibbes
Cerian Gibbes competing in the 100 metre breaststroke at the 1996 Olympics Photo courtesy of gettyimages

The Gold went to the Cayman Islands Jillian Crooks who lowered the 1995 meet standard of 27.55 set  by Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympian Cerian Gibbes who went to the Atlanta 1996 Games as a 13 year old.

Boys 11-12 400 metre medley relay medallists
Boys 11-12 400 metre medley relay medallists from left to right Jamaica,Trinidad and Tobago and Aruba Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The 11-12 boys 400 metre medley relay team won Silver . The team of Daniel Mair (backstroke) 1:16.61,brother Joshua (breaststroke)1:20.15 ,Jaedon Lynch( butterfly) ( 1:10.15) and Adrian Balfour (freestyle) 1:01.55 touched in 4:48.55 to finish behind the Trinidad and Tobago team that won in 4:41.05.the Bronze was won by Aruba in 4:53.76.

Boys 15-17 400 metre medley relay
Boys 15-17 400 metre medley relay medallists from left to right Trinidad and Tobago,The Bahamas and Jamaica Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The 15-17 boys won the Bronze in their medley relay. The team of Nicholas Vale (backstroke) 1:01.47 ,Sean-Douglas Gooden (breaststroke) 1:09.48 ,Jesse Marsh (butterfly) 56.91 and Cameron Brown (freestyle) 55.86 touched in 4:03.72. Gold was won by The Bahamas in 3:59.57 and the Silver to Trinidad and Tobago in 4:01.63.

 

 

 

 

2018 REV National Swimming Championships LAMAR TAYLOR CLOSES IN ON BECOMING THE FASTEST 13-14 SWIMMER IN THE ENGLISH SPEAKING CARIFTA REGION OF ALL TIME, LOWERS THREE NATIONAL RECORDS IN SIX GOLD MEDAL PERFORMANCE

When Lamar Taylor had been disqualified in the Championship final in the boys 13-14 50 metre freestyle at the 2017 CCCAN Championships after qualifying with a time of 25.18  in  July  he told draftingthecaribbean would be using that moment as inspiration to be even faster . Less than than a year later he has been true to his word by breaking the national record in the 50 metre freestyle and closing in on being the fastest 13-14 swimmer from the English speaking CARIFTA region OF all time.

Lamar Taylor UANA
CARIFTA region’s top 13-14 boy at the UANA Cup Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas

Since last summer the Freeport Aquatics swimmer has blazed a trail to become the fastest regional swimmer this season in the 13-14 age category. At the inaugural  UANA Cup in Coral Springs Florida he was the top CARIFTA swimmer as he won Silver in a time of 24.57, the Gold went to Mexican Victor Salcedo Carrillo who out touched him with a 24.56.

At the CARIFTA Championships in Kingston Jamaica he took the Gold medal in a then personal best of 24.27 . He took the title convincingly as he was more than half a second ahead of the field . In that race he was just short of the national and CARIFTA record of  24.25 set by countryman Izaak Bastian.

Izaak celebrates
Bastian celebrates Record swim Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

At the 2018 Rev national he would make no mistake as he clocked a new PB, Championship record and age group national record of 24.06. In the final he was in scintillating form as he took the title in a time of 23.79. Lowered in the process was the Bastian’s 2016 meet record of 24.56.

Joshua Romany
Joshua Romany

The next milestone is getting past the 23.77 of Trinidad and Tobago’s Joshua Romany which stands as the fastest performance by a 13-14 swimmer from the English speaking CARIFTA region.

Crox Acuna rtve.es
Crox Acuña Photo courtesy of rtve.es

 

Already the top seed in the race for the upcoming CCCAN Championships in Aruba he is now faster the meet record of 24.10 held by Venezuela’s  Olympian Crox Acuña (Beijing 2008 and London 2012).

Event CCCAN 2017 UANA CARIFTA Nationals
50 metre freestyle DQ 25.18 heats 24.57 Silver * 24.27 Gold 24.06,23.79 Gold

The national age group record in the 100 metre freestyle would not be spared as it went down as well. In the heats of the event he had splits of 26.24 and 27.72 for a total time  of  53.96 to go under 54 seconds for the first time. The old national and Championship record of 54.25 had belonged to Kevon Lockhart. In the final he even split the race 27.60 and 27.51 to win in a time of 55.11.

_John Bradley Bahamasswimmingfederation
John Bradley Photo courtesy of bahamasswimmingfederation

The 200 metre freestyle saw another easy win for Taylor as he took Gold in 2:03.33 (split time 1:00.47) to be just outside the Championship record of 2:03.28 by John Bradley .

Swimming for  exhibition he broke the 50 metre butterfly meet record and age group record of 26.16 and 26.18 respectively by Bastian with a blast of 26.09. His club mate Rommel Ferguson would lower that in the final with time of 25.98.

The 100 metre butterfly final would be a battle between the clubmates. Ferguson struck the first blow when he went out to a lead of 28.52 to Taylor’s 29.97. But in great display of negative splitting Lamar had the only sub 30 seconds split of 29.75 to lead his teammate to the wall 59.75 to 59.95. That would be the first time under the 1 minute mark for both swimmers.

Event UANA CARIFTA Nationals
100 metre butterfly 1:01.87 7th 1:00.01 Gold 59.72 Gold
13-14 100 back podium
CARIFTA 13-14 100 metre backstroke medal podium from left to right Tristan Pragnell Barbaos Silver medallist, Taylor Gold and Youris Geran Guadeloupe Bronze medallist Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

The sprint back stroke events the 50 and 100 metres saw him winning Gold in 28.05 and 1:01.57 respectively.

Event UANA CARIFTA Nationals
50 metre backstroke 28.62 Gold 28.38 Gold 28.05 Gold

The 100 metre backstroke effort lowered the Championship record of 1:01.82 held by DaVante Carey.  A sub minute performance in the event could be on the cards for Lamar as his splits at CARIFTA and REV nationals suggest that he could  be much faster

reacting after a close win
Taylor reacts to coming from behind to win the 100 metre backstroke Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

CARIFTA 30.94 and 30.47 Gold 1:01.41

Rev Nationals  30.11 and 31.46 Gold 1:01.57.

Chris-Vythoulkas Bahamas Olympic Committee
Chris Vythoulkas Photo courtesy of Bahamas Olympic Commitee

The 1999 national record of 1:00.82 is held by Olympian Chris Vythoulkas (Athens 2004)  .

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Lamar he gave us his impression of nationals

“I feel really good about breaking the national records. I came to Nationals with the goals of setting the national marks in the 50 and the 100 freestyle and if I was lucky even more. It felt amazing to go 53 in the heats of the 100 metre freestyle. After my DQ in the 200 individual medley I felt I had to play it safe and that caused me to slow down a lot.So I just came up early (before the 15 metre mark and played it safe). In the 50 metre freestyle I knew that people were watching me on the 15 metre mark so in the heats I popped up early and went as fast as I could. In the final I stayed down a little longer and came up right before the 15 metre. I felt really good about the time and how I broke the record. In my mind during training for Nationals my goals were to better all my times and go under 24 and 54 for my 50 and 100 freestyle. I do have to say I was a little disappointed with my 50 freestyle time as I wanted to get the Youth Olympics Games A cut of 23.56″.

 

UANA CUP DAY THREE 15-17 BOYS JACK KIRBY OF BARBADOS WINS 50 METRE BACKSTROKE COMPLETES SPRINT DOUBLE,SMASHES THREE AGE GROUP RECORDS

The final day of the UANA CUP in Coral Springs Florida saw Jack Kirby of Barbados completing the backstroke sprint double.  Kirby  would be the best placed swimmer from the CARIFTA region as he placed second overall with 26.5 points. Kirby, who was fittingly named Junior Athlete of the Year for 2017 for his nation lived up to that accolade by producing yet another  another stellar performance.

Jack UANA
Jack Kirby UANA Gold medallist and Barbadian age group in the 50 metre backstroke

He started his run of good performances by completing the CARIFTA region trifecta in the 50 metre backstroke. Earlier Zarek Wilson of Trinidad and Tobago and Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas captured the 11-12 and 13-14 crowns respectively.

wilson Day 2 UANA
Trinidad and Tobago’s first Gold medallist at the UANA Cup Zarek Wilson 11-12 50 metre backstroke Gold  medallist
Lamar Taylor UANA
Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas 13-14 50 metre backstroke gold medallist

He won the event in a time of 26.63 holding off Mexican standout Guillermo Cruz Zuniga who stopped the clock 26.73 .Matheus Zacharias of Brazil won the Bronze in 27.16. Kirby’s effort lowered his previous 15-17 national record of 26.88 set at the World Junior Championships in Indianapolis on August 25.It also bettered the Youth Olympic Games A qualifying standard of 26.73.He completed the backstroke double after winning the 100 metre in an new age group and Youth Olympic A standard time of 56.34.

In his sights for the CARIFTA Games will be the Championship record of 26.31 set by Trinidad and Tobago’s David McLeod at the 2014 Aruba Championships.

In the 100 metre freestyle he placed 4th in a time of 52.04 (split time 25.70) .He was just out touched by Zacharias who punched the clock in 51.96. Kirby’s strong back end speed was evidenced yet again as he produced the fastest last 50 metres of the competition of 26.34.

Alex Sobers receing award
Alex Sobers of Barbados( 15-17 boys champion in the 200 and 400 metre freestyle receiving award Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque

His effort earned him yet another age group record as he lowered the 52.25 (split time 25.42) set by Olympian Alex Sobers (Rio 2016) when he won Gold at the 2016 CARIFTA Championships in Martinique.

In the very last event of the day the mixed 200 metre freestyle relay Kirby lead off the Barbados team with a time of 23.68. That broke yet another Sobers age group standard of 24.14. Alex had set the record in the heats of the 50 metre freestyle at the 2016 CARIFTA championships. That also puts Kirby within striking distance of the Youth Olympics A standard time of 23.56. The other members of the team Danielle Titus 27.79, McKayla Treasure 29.31 and Luis Sebastian Weekes helped to produce a total time of 1:45.39 just missing the age group record of 1:45.16 to place 8th overall. The national age group record was set by the team of Sobers, Hannah Gill, Damon St Prix and Treasure set at the 2016 Caribbean Island Swimming championships in The Bahamas.

Renzo rio
Renzo Tjon A Joe photo courtesy of Renzo Tjon A Joe

With that swim Kirby has put his name in the conversation to swim the event at CARIFTA in Jamaica and possibly go after the Championship record of 23.37 set by Olympian Renzo Tjon A Joe (Rio 2016) of Suriname at the 2013 Kingston Championships. Kirby gave his thoughts about his final day performances to draftingthecaribbean

“To me the race (50 metre backstroke) didn’t feel that great but the outcome was good. For the 100 free, the plan was to make the same time or better from the day before. For the 50 free, the goal was just to make the 23 from the start of the meet so making it on the second attempt was a great feeling”.

Top Regional Performances

Izaak on his way to 100 breaststroke Gold at CARIFTA
Izaak Bastian Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Izaak Bastian The Bahamas 50 metre breaststroke 15-17 29.23 Gold
Izaak Bastian The Bahamas 100 metre breaststroke 15-17 1:04.37 Gold
Izaak Bastian The Bahamas 50 metre freestyle 15-17 24.08 Bronze
Nicholas Vale CARIFTA pic
Nicholas Vale Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Nicholas Vale Jamaica 400 metre IM 15-17 4:56.85 Bronze
Kael UANA
Kael Yorke Bronze medallist in the 100 metre butterfly
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Kael Yorke Trinidad and Tobago 50 metre butterfly 15-17 25.52 Silver
Kael Yorke Trinidad and Tobago 100 metre butterfly 15-17 56.53 Bronze
Chatoor and crew uana
Top Carifta performer in the 11-12 and 15-17 age group Zoe Anthony , Graham Chatoor top performer in the 15-17 400 metre freestyle and Zarek Wilson
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Graham Chatoor Trinidad and Tobago 200 metre freestyle 15-17 1:59.43 12th
Graham Chatoor Trinidad and Tobago 400 metre freestyle 15-17 4:15.18 12th
luis sebastian weekes im m lyn
Luis Sebastian Weekes Photo courtesy of Micheal C Lyn
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Luis Sebastian Weekes Barbados 200 metre IM 15-17 2:13.97 4th

UANA CUP DAY THREE 13-14 BOYS LAMAR TAYLOR OF THE BAHAMAS TOPS REGION IN HIS AGE GROUP WINNING THREE MEDALS ON FINAL DAY

The final day of the UANA Cup in Coral Springs Florida on January 21 started with Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas with a Silver medal from the 50 metre freestyle. By the end of the competition he would be the CARIFTA region’s top performer in the boy’s 13-14 age group winning three more medals of each colour Gold, Silver and Bronze.

Taylor got the day got off in the best possible manner as he took the 50 metre backstroke Gold in a new personal best of 28.62 bettering his old record 29.20. In fact he was the only person under the 29 seconds barrier as Gabriel Nascimento of Brazil won the Silver in 29.21 and Ramiro Faya of Argentina won the Bronze in 29.33.

Up next was the 100 metre freestyle where he recorded yet another personal best of 54.77 (split 26.56) to take the Bronze. His previous personal standard was 55.09.In that race the first five finishers were all within a second of each other . Victor Salcedo Carrillo of Mexico won the race in 54.00 and Gustavo Saldo of Brazil won Silver in 54.24.

In his final event the 50 metre butterfly he and eventual winner Gabriel Dias of Brazil were the only sub 27 seconds swimmers as they touched in 26.59 and 26.46. It would be yet another personal best for Lamar as his old record was 26.97.

Lamar Taylor
50 metre backstroke Champion at the UANA Cup Lamar Taylor

In speaking to draftingthecaribbean after his swims he had the following thoughts

“I went three for three in PRs and medals in all my events today. My races were good today. In my 50 metre backstroke I was just trying to turn over as fast as I could and have some good underwater kicks. In the 100 metre freestyle I had my sights set on 54.78 and I went 54.77 and I was happy about that time because I know I gave it my best. It is  a great feeling to PR and medal at a high class meet like this during the season. In the 50 metre butterfly it my aim to go 26 and I did it and came second. I feel great about my swims and hope that I can do even better as the year progresses”. Taylor was third overall with in the high point rankings with 37 points. Barbados had the best placed relay team of the competition with a fourth place finish in the 200 metre medley relay in a new national age group record time. The team of Tristan Pragnell,McCallum Clarke ,Roan Baker and Kai Trotman touched in a total time of 1:58.81. That bettered the national standard of 2:03.83 set way back in 1993.

Top CARIFTA performances at the UANA Cup

Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Lamar Taylor The Bahamas 50 metre backstroke 13-14 28.62 Gold
Lamar Taylor The Bahamas 50 metre butterfly 13-14 26.59 Silver
Lamar Taylor The Bahamas 50 metre freestyle 13-14 24.57 Silver
Lamar Taylor The Bahamas 100 metre freestyle 13-14 54.77 Bronze
Roan Baker UANA Day 2
Roan Baker Silver medallist in the 400 IM
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Roan Baker Barbados 200 metre IM 13-14 2:18.23 Silver
Roan Baker Barbados 400 metre IM 13-14 4:56.55 Silver
Clarke UANA Day 2
McCallum Clarke Bronze medallist in the 50 metre breaststroke
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
McCallum Clarke Barbados 50 metre breaststroke 13-14 31.74 Bronze
Tristan Pragnell
Tristan Pragnell Silver medallist in the 100 metre backstroke
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Tristan Pragnell Barbados 100 metre backstroke 13-14 1:02.23 Silver
Jenebi Benoit 2018
New Grenadian 13-14 national record holder in the 100 metre butterfly Jenebi Benoit
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Jenebi Benoit Grenada 100 metre butterfly 13-14 1:00.77 4th
Brian Desmond bernews
Brian Desmond Photo courtesy of bernews
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Brian Desmond Bermuda 200 metre freestyle 13-14 2:03.75 6th
Brian Desmond Bermuda 400 metre freestyle 13-14 4:29.25 9th

UANA CUP DAY THREE BOYS 11-12 AGE GROUP NIGEL FORBES OF THE BAHAMAS AND ZAREK WILSON OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO WIN BUTTERFLY AND BACKSTROKE MEDALS RESPECTIVELY

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.

forbes on his way to 50 metre butterfly Bronze
Nigel Forbes of The Bahamas on his way to 50 metre butterfly Bronze Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

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”.

Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Nigel Forbes The Bahamas 50 metre breaststroke 11-12 34.20 Gold
Nigel Forbes The Bahamas 100 metre breaststroke 11-12 1:15.07 Gold
Nigel Forbes Bahamas 100 metre butterfly 11-12 1:03.34 Silver
Nigel Forbes The Bahamas 50 metre butterfly 11-12 28.68 Bronze
11-12 high point trophy winner Zarek wilson recieving trophy UANA M Lyn
Zarek Wilson being presented with the 11-12 high point trophy Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

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.

Zarek with 8 medals
Zarek Wilson with his Eight medals won at the UANA Cup

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”.

Zrek with trophy
Zarek Wilson with the 11-12 high point trophy
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Zarek Wilson Trinidad and Tobago 100 metre backstroke 11-12 1:07.63 Gold
Zarek Wilson Trinidad and Tobago 50 metre backstroke 11-12 30.20 Gold
Zarek Wilson Trinidad and Tobago 50 metre freestyle 11-12 27.32 Silver
Zarek Wilson Trinidad and Tobago 100 metre freestyle 11-12 58.30 Silver
Zarek Wilson Trinidad and Tobago 400 metre freestyle 11-12 4:33.49 Bronze
Zarek Wilson Trinidad and Tobago 200 metre IM 11-12 2:31.50 Bronze
Zarek Wilson Trinidad and Tobago 100 metre butterfly 11-12 1:03.48 Bronze
Zarek Wilson Trinidad and Tobago 200 metre freestyle 11-12 2:09.05 Bronze