Another successful staging of the Karl Dalhouse Memorial was held this past weekend at the National Aquatic Centre in Kingston Jamaica. The meet had an international flair with the presence of teams from the United  States, The Cayman Islands and Bolivia. The Y Speedos hosted event saw a number of record breaking performances and top swims.

Jillian Crooks Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

Leading the way was Jillian Crooks of Camana Bay Aquatics from the Cayman Islands. The 13 year old took down two national 13-14 records. In the 50 metre freestyle she lowered the 26.97 record held by Allison Jackson to 26.83.

Alison Jackson with one her Gold medals won at the 2017 CARIFTA Championships held in The Bahamas Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

She also lowered the meet record held by Zaneta Alvaranga of 27.70. It is also the fastest time ever recorded at the meet by a girl.

Emily MacDonald CARIFTA record holder

In her sights will be the CARIFTA record of 26.73 held by Emily MacDonald and the CCCAN record also held by Emily at 26.48.

Zaneta Alvaranga , the English speaking Caribbean’s fastest 13-14 girl Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

. The fastest time by an English speaking swimmer from the CARIFTA region is 26.34 set by Alvaranga in November at the Dean Martin Memorial in Kingston. It was also the best FINA points rated individual swim of the meet. Her sprint earned her 686 points.

Lauren Hew Photo courtesy of

Jillian also took the down 100 metre backstroke record of Lauren Hew with a new record of 1:05.74. Hew had set a national standard of 1:07.21 in winning the event in a then Championship record at the 2014 CARIFTA Games in Aruba.

Former record holder in the 15- 17 girls 100 metre backstroke Kendese Nangle in 2011 Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Falling along the wayside was the meet record of 1:09.23 set by Jamaican age group standout Kendese Nangle from 2009 .

McKayla Lightbourn

.Also bettered was the fastest time ever done by 13-14 girl in the event of 1:08.00 set by Bahamian McKayla Lightbourn at the 2007 CARIFTA Games in one of the most dominant individual displays at the Championships.

Event TimeMedalRecord
800 metre freestyle9:18.65GoldCR
200 metre breaststroke2:38.67GoldCR
200 metre freestyle2:09.74GoldCR
100 metre backstroke1:08.00GoldCR
400 metre IM5:00.35GoldCR
200 metre IM2:22.80Gold CR
50 metre breaststroke35.04GoldCR
200 metre butterfly2:25.43Gold 
400 metre freestyle4:31.05GoldCR
100 metre breaststroke1:16.24Gold 
200 metre backstroke2:26.05Gold CR
13-14 100 backstroke champion and senior national record holder Danielle Titus of Barbados

Jillian will have a chance to go after the CARIFTA record and fastest English speaking record for the region held by Barbadian star Danielle Titus of 1:05.61. Also on notice will be the CCCAN record of 1:05.11 set by Celismar Guzman of Puerto Rico set in 2015.

Jordan Crooks

In the land of the sprinters older brother Jordan crushed the 50 freestyle meet record of 24.44 by Sidrell Williams by almost a second .He stopped the clock in 23.50. That time was just off his 23.48 set recently at the TYR Pro swim series in Knoxville Tennessee that would have in the top 100 swims by 18 and under swimmers globally.  He also had the most FINA points at the meet for a single event with that swim amassing  744 with 51.60  100 metre freestyle blast. At CARIFTA in 2019 he won the Silver with an effort of 53.24 Jordan will be looking to take the title of CARIFTA’s fastest swimmer in Barbados.

Shaune Fraser Photo courtesy of

The last time the Cayman Islands lifted the crown was when CARIFTA legend Shaune Fraser won in the 15-17 title 2005 in Curacao with a time of 24.38. That year saw another outstanding and dominant display of versatility by Shaune at the annual regional Championships.

Event TimeMedal
50 metre freestyle24.38Gold
100 metre freestyle 52.08Gold
200 metre freestyle1:54.94Gold
400 metre freestyle4:08.46Gold
1500 metre freestyle17:10.31Gold
50 metre backstroke28.20Gold
100 metre backstroke1:00.36Gold
200 metre backstroke2:11.42Gold
50 metre butterfly26.10Silver
100 metre butterfly56.74Gold
200 metre butterfly2:07.16Gold
200 metre IM2:09.23Gold
400 metre IM4:44.60Gold

This year’s CARIFTA again promises to be the stage when we see names such as Jordan, Lamar Taylor and DaVante Carey of the Bahamas, Jayhan Odlum Smith among the protagonists likely to break the 23 seconds barrier.

The meet was won by the hosts with 862.50 points. They were followed by Tornadoes with 673 points and Camana Bay Aquatic Club.341

Meet records broken

Sabrina Lyn CARIFTA record holder in the 13-14 100 metre butterfly
EventNameClubAge groupTimeRecord
1500 metre freestyleZachary RandleSpeedosopen18:19.2118:30.81
50 metre freestyleLilla HiggoCamana11-1227.9628.17
100 metre freestyleLilla HiggoCamana11-121:02.061:02.61
200 metre IMLilla HiggoCamana11-122:33.252:45.04
200 metre backstrokeLilla HiggoCamana11-122:33.192:44.07
50 metre freestyleJillian CrooksCamana13-1426.8327.70
100 metre freestyleJillian CrooksCamana13-1459.261:01.06
200 metre freestyleJillian CrooksCamana13-142:12.502:18.47
100 metre backstrokeJillian CrooksCamana13-141:05.741:09.23
200 metre backstrokeJillian CrooksCamana13-142:28.172:34.89
50 metre freestyleZaneta AlvarangaKaizen15-2427.0227.07
50 metre freestyleJordan CrooksCamana15-2423.5024.44
100 metre freestyleJordan CrooksCamana15-2451.6053.82
200 metre freestyleJordan CrooksCamana15-241:56.942:01.78
100 metre backstrokeJordan CrooksCamana15-241:00.551:02.37
100 metre breaststrokeJessica DennistonSwimmaz10 and under1:41.141:46.14
100 metre breaststrokeKai RadcliffeAquamarine10 and under1:28.711:36.51
100 metre breaststrokeKai RadcliffeAquamarine9-1039.8639.91
200 metre breaststrokeAiden KohanyiTS Aquatics13-142:34.062:44.08
200 metre freestyleAiden KohanyiTS Aquatics13-142:04.002:05.76
100 metre breaststrokeAiden KohanyiTS Aquatics13-151:08.621:13.15
100 metre freestyleSabrina LynTornadoes15-2459.5859.77
100 metre butterfluSabrina LynTornadoes15-241:04.161:04.38
50 metre backstrokeLuke HiggoCamana9-1037.2537.79
200 metre butterflyKyra RabassStingraysopen2:34.132:37.27
200 metre freestyleKyra RabassStingrays15-242:12.702:12.76
100 metre butterflyJose QuintanillaBolivia15-2456.4459.53
100 metre breaststrokeKito CampbellSpeedos15-241:10.961:11.15


There will be more international talent on display at this year’s edition of the Dean Martin Memorial meet at the National Aquatic Centre (50 metre pool) in Kingston Jamaica as siblings Jillian and Jordan Crooks will be representing Camana Bay Aquatics Bay Club from the Cayman Islands. Brother Jordan is coming from a successful 2018 Youth Olympics Games campaign today draftingthecaribbean will feature sister Jillian .

As the year has gone on Jillian has put in faster and faster performances in the pool. At her most recent meet the CBAC Fall meet from the 12th to the 14th she set eight new short course metres national age group records at the  Camana Bay Sports Complex

Event Time
50 metre butterfly 29.20
50 metre freestyle 27.05
100 metre backstroke 1:06.77
100 metre butterfly 1:05.59
200 metre butterfly 2:31.33
100 metre individual medley 1:10.51
100 metre breaststroke 1:23.18
200 metre freestyle 2:14.31

The 50 metre butterfly also doubled as the senior record . The previous record of 29.24 was held by Cayman Islands standout and current Florida State University freshman Lauren Hew.

Crooks after 50 heats at CCCAN
Jillian Crooks exiting the pool after the heats of the 50 metre freestyle at CCCAN Photo courtesy of CCCAN

Jillian has seen constant improvement since her first regional outing in 2018 at the UANA swimming Cup in Coral Springs in January. One of those events is the 50 metre freestyle where her last long course meet saw her producing a new 11-12 national record of 27.25 which is faster than the meet record of 27.70 held by Jamaican standout Emily MacDonald

Meet Time Place
UANA 30.52 14th
CARIFTA 28.72 4th
CCCAN 27.46 Gold CR
TYR meet 27.25 Gold NR

In the 100 metre freestyle fans on hand at the meet may see not only a new meet record but also the fastest 11-12 girls time produced on Jamaica.This as her personal best and Cayman National record stands at 59.93 , a time that few in the region at her age have ever swum. The meet record stands to MacDonald at 1:01.66 and the Jamaica best time 1:00.06 to Bermuda’s Elan Daley when she Gold in the event at CARIFTA here in Kingston earlier this year.Crooks won the CCCAN title in 1:01.72.

thumbnail_Crooks CCCAn warmup
Jillian in the marshalling area at CCCAN Photo courtesy of CCCAN

Another meet record that looks to be on borrowed time is the 11-12 100 metre butterfly of 1:08.85 .Jillian has a personal best and national record time of 1:06.87. She recorded that when winning the CCCAN title in Aruba this summer.The Jamaica best time may also be on the cards as the Elan Daley standard from CARIFTA is 1:05.98.

The  meet record  in the 11-12 100 metre backstroke stands at 1:14.97 and Jillian boasts a best time of 1:10.45 which is also a national age group record. She will also be vying to record the fastest time record at the meet as the fastest overall female time of 1:13.72  was recorded last year by Brianna Anderson in the 13-14 age group.

Other meet standards under threat by Jillian are

Event Time Meet record
200 metre freestyle 2:16.95 2:19.16
200 metre backstroke 2:33.98 2:42.95
200 metre Individual medley 2:36.70 2:42.65


Crooks is not stranger to Jamaica having set four 10 and under records last year. Her improvement can be seen in the sport as her 200 metre freestyle record time last year was 2:31.43.

thumbnail_cogle and crooks cccan day 3 cccan
CCCAN 11-12 200 metre freestyle podium from left to Zoe Anthony Trindad and Tobago Silver medallist, Morgan Cogle Jamaica Gold medallist and Crooks Cayman Islands Bronze medallist Photo courtesy of CCCAN

The three days of action from October 26 to 28 should be quite interesting as Crooks will be trading strokes with Morgan Cogle of Jupiter Sea Dragons from Florida who she has shared the podium with at CCCAN and CARIFTA this year in a number of races . That duo along will a strong local contingent including Safiya Officer, the CCCAN 50 metre freestyle Bronze medallist  will ensure that the races are entertaining.


Titus in record breaking form
15-17 CARIFTA Champion and record holder in the 100 metre backstroke Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

After being denied the 50,100 and 200 metre backstroke sweep in her final year of the 13-14 age group in The Bahamas last year Danielle Titus of Barbados looks on course to achieve that here in  Kingston Jamaica in national record breaking fashion .


In The Bahamas Titus earned the Silver in an age group and senior national record of 30.82 in the 50 metre event on the first day competition. Jamaica would prove  to offer  no problem at the first hurdle as the national standard was lowered to 30.22 in the heats. She would come close to that time in the final stopping the clock in 30.30 finishing ahead of Bermuda’s Madelyn Moore 30.90  and Jamaica’s Brianna Anderson 31.01.

15-17 100 back podium
15-17 100 metre backstroke podium from left to right Stamp,Titus and Johnson Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

Stage two of the mission was the 100 metre backstroke. She got through the morning heats easily posting the top time of 1:06.03, just missing the Championship record of 1:05.94 set by Lauren Hew of the Cayman Islands in 2017.

Lauren Hew  Photo courtesy of

The final would witness the registering of a new PB, age group, senior national record and Championship record of 1:04.79.That performance bettered her national record of 1:05.61 and the Youth Olympics B time of 1:05.65. Silver went to Virginia Stamp of The Bahamas in 1:07.52 and Jamaica’s Shaun Johnson who recorded a new personal best time of 1:08.45.


The final leg of the sweep voyage will be the 200 metre backstroke and Titus will expect strong challenges from the Cayman Islands duo of Ella Plunkett and Sam Bailey as well as Stamp from The Bahamas.


As some of the CARIFTA region top age swimmers prepare for themselves for competition at the inaugural UANA Swimming Cup in Coral Springs Florida starting tomorrow January 19 draftingcaribbean looks back at the region’s youngsters efforts at the 2017 SPEEDO Winter Junior Championships -EAST in December. The UANA Cup is designed for athletes from Central America, South America, and the Caribbean that are in UANA Zones 1 and 2. Hence Americans and Canadians will not be invited

On December 8 in Knoxville Tennessee Lilly Higgs of The Bahamas who represents SwimMac Carolina was the most outstanding female CARIFTA performer. Lilly, who was voted The Nassau Guardian’s Junior Female Athlete of the Year made her first Championship final in the 100 yard breaststroke.

Link to Women’s 100y Breast A Final | 2017 Speedo Winter Junior Championships – East


She placed 8th of the 102 competitors in the field with a time of 1:01.86. Her previous placings were 9th in 2015 and 11th in 2016.

Higgs on way to sprint breaststroke double at CARIFTA 2017
Lilly en route to the 100 metre breaststroke Gold medal at the 2017 CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas Photo courtesy of Micheal C Lyn

Higgs has been unbeaten at the CARIFTA level in the  100 metre breaststroke for the last three years and holds the 15-17 age group record at 1:11.92.

Higgs finished 57th in the 400 yard individual medley in a time of 4:26.97 just off her personal best of 4:25.49.

Lauren Hew Saint andrews aquatics
Lauren Hew Photo courtesy of Saint Andrews Aquatics

Lauren Hew of the Cayman Islands and Saint Andrew’s Aquatics was 66th in the 100 yard backstroke in a time of 56.37. Hew, won the CARIFTA Gold medal in her final year of the 15-17 age group in 2017 in the 100 metre backstroke and holds the record at 1:05.94. She also finished 80th in the 200 yard freestyle in 1:52.27. Lauren also won the 200 metre freestyle at the 2017 CARIFTA Championships in 2:05.98 finishing ahead of Higgs.

Chadé Nercisio before her race Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Curacao’s Chade Nersicio was 17th in the 200 yard freestyle relay team in a time of 1:34.93.She was just off her best time of 57.98 in the 100 yard butterfly as she hit the wall in 58.01. It would be another close miss for a personal record for the East Coast Aquatics swimmer in the 100 yard breaststroke as she stopped the clock in 1:05.72 and her personal record is 1:05.48. Nersicio is ranked 3rd in the 15-17 100 metre breaststroke with a time of 1:14.61.



Lilly Higgs of The Bahamas representing SwimMac Carolina got yet another medal for the CARIFTA region on Thursday December 7, Day 2 of the 2017 Speedo Winter Junior Championships East .Swimming the breaststroke leg of the 400 yard medley relay at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville Tennessee the ladies of SwimMac Carolina won Bronze. The team of Julia Menkhaus backstroke 54.21, Higgs 1:01.14, Sophie Lindner butterfly 53.89 Olywin Bartis freestyle 49.31 had total time of 3:38.55.

Higgs on way to sprint breaststroke double at CARIFTA 2017
Lilly en route to the 50 metre breaststroke Gold medal at the 2017 CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas Photo courtesy of Micheal C Lyn

When the results are combined with the competition being held in the West Higgs, who is the reigning 15-17 100 metre breaststroke champions had the 7th fastest overall breaststroke split of the 107 competing teams. The Gold medal in the East went to Nashville Aquatics in 3:36.88 and the Silver to Cardinal Aquatics in 3:37.39.

Chade in action
Chade Nercisio Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Chade Nercisio of Curacao who represents East Coast Aquatics earned a second swim in the 50 yard freestyle  qualifying for the C final .In that night’s final she topped the field with a time of 22.97 just of her personal best of 22.93.

Lauren Hewe Photo courtesy of

The Cayman Islands Lauren Hew representing Saint Andrews recorded the 3rd fastest time of her career in the 50 yard freestyle when she stopped the clock in 23.44 to finish 32nd . Higgs recorded the 2nd fastest time of her career when she stopped the clock in 24.15 to place 125th .

In the 200 yard individual medley Higgs recorded her 3rd fastest time ever when she hit the wall in 2:03.06 to place 33rd.

In the 400 yard medley relay Nersicio put in another strong performance to help her East Coast Aquatics team to 25th overall. She split 50.25 on the freestyle leg  to help the team to 3:49.15


The 2017 edition of the Florida High School 1A Championships saw Lauren Hew of the Cayman Islands closing out her high school career with a Silver medal in the 200 yard medley relay. She would reaffirm her position as the fastest female swimmer to represent Saint Andrews.

The competition which was held on November 4 at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida saw Lauren being drafted in for the final of the 200 yard medley relay. She was given the responsibility of handling the butterfly duties. After the backstroke and breaststroke legs of teammates of Gabby Beltrano 27.28 and Shayna Fetes 28.86 the Boca Raton based institution lay in third place.

Hew fly split
Lauren powering through the butterfly leg in the 200 yard medley relay


Normally known for her backstroke Hew proved she can sprint in butterfly as well clocking the 2nd fastest split of 25.12 to put the Scots in the Silver medal position. Teammate Hannah Trieschmann 23.38 would push the Bolles anchor leg Adair Sand all the way to the final to get the Silver medal in a total time of 1:44.64.

Hew with relay team
Saint Andrews Aquatics Silver medal winning relay team from left to right Shayna Fetes,Hew,Gabby Beltrano and Hannah Trieschmann

Bolles would just take the win in a time 1:44.48. That is the best performance by the Scots women since 2012 when they won the Gold in 1:42.77.

Hew with 200 medley relay Silver Shelly bas
Lauren Hew poses with medley relay medal Photo courtesy of Shelly Bastian

Hew’s performance for the butterfly was the best split for the school in the Championship final since Megan Moroney clocked 24.50 on that Gold medal winning team.

The 50 yard freestyle was put on Hew’s agenda for the school year. Hew would not disappoint her coaches belief in her freestyle sprint abilities.

Lauren Hew Saint andrews aquatics
Lauren Hew reacts to setting a new school record 50 yard freestyle at the 2017 Palm Beach County Championships Photo courtesy of Saint Andrews Aquatics

On October 7 she would lower a decades old school record in the event when she won the Silver in a time of 23.46.That swim bettered the 23.58 standard of Vicki Stemper set in 1987. In the heats of the event at the State championships she would be even faster as she touched in a time of 23.24 to make the medal final. In the night’s Championship she would record the 2nd fastest time of her career when she hit the wall in 23.42 to place 4th. She was just off the bronze medal winning time of 23.33 clocked by Abby Burke of Lakeland Prep. The Gold went to Kaitlyn Schorr of Montverde in 22.93. That 4th place was the best performance by Saint Andrews since 2012 when Brenna Ruth placed 4th in 23.81.Hew’s Saint Andrews legacy  will include being the fastest female swimmer ever and the fastest ever in the Championship final. This was possible after just one season of focusing on the event.


100 back takeoff Hew
Hew competing in the final of the 100 yard backstroke

In the 100 yard backstroke her build-up to the state final included podium performances at the Palm Beach County championships, District and Regional Championships.

Date Meet Time Place
October 6 Palm Beach County champs 56.16 Gold
October 20 District Champs 59.14 Gold
October 27 Regional champs 56.33 Silver

In the heats of the event she would record her fastest time of the season of 56.01 (split time 26.81).Hew finished 6th in the final with a time of 56.77 (split time 26.39).That swim marked her second straight Championship final. Before Hew’s arrival at Saint Andrews the last Championship finalist was in 2012.

50 metre backstroke
Hew with the 50 metre backstroke Gold on her way to doing the 50,100, 200 metre backstroke treble Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

At the 2017 CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas Lauren swept the backstroke events in the 15-17 age group.

Her final race the 400 yard freestyle relay saw her swimming an opening leg of 51.48 to help the Scots to 4th spot in 3:29.92.That was the best ranking for the school since 2014.

100 free Gold Pilgrim,Hew and Lyn
The CARIFTA 15-17 100 metre freestyle podium from left to right Silver medallist Amira Pilgrim Trinidad,Hew Gold medallist, Annabella Lyn Bronze medallist Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Lauren is the reigning CARIFTA 15-17 100 metre freestyle champion

The girls from Saint Andrews placed 3rd overall with 208 points.





Three of the CARIFTA region’s top sprinters will be in action tomorrow in the 50 yard freestyle at the 2017 Florida High School Athletic Association 1A state championships to be held at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida. The swimmers are Chadé M. Nersicio from Curaçao representing Trinity Christian, Jamaica’s Emily MacDonald representing the Bolles School and Lauren Hew of the Cayman Islands representing Saint Andrew’s.

Chadé Nercisio before her race Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Chadé will enter the preliminaries as the top seed in the event with a time of 23.47. Last season at the CCCAN Championships in Trinidad and Tobago she set a new national record to win the Silver medal in the 15-17 age group in 26.45. She would go on to record 26.91 at the World Championships in Budapest Hungary . This season in the 25 yard pool she has been in good form recording wins at the Palm Beach County championships,1A District 10 and 1A Region 4 Championships. At the County championships she lowered her 2016 of 23.42 to 23.10.

Date Meet Time
Oct 7 Palm Beach County Champs 23.10
Oct 20 1 A District 10 Champs 23.31
Oct 27 1A Region 4 Champs 23.47

She has been on the podium the last previous two years and will seek to be on the top of the podium for the first time tomorrow.

Year Event Time Placing
2016 50 yard freestyle 22.96 3rd
2015 50 yard freestyle 23.41 2nd

The third seed will be Jamaica’s Emily MacDonald. The Bolles recruit in her first season underlined her sprint credentials by winning at the 1A District 2 Champs and the 1A Region champs.

Date Meet Time
Oct 17 1 A District 2 Champs 24.64
Oct 26 1A Region 1 Champs 23.88

Emily MacDonald 100 freestyle Gold
Emily MacDonald 13-14 50 metre freestyle Gold Medallist Photo courtesy of Tastey Blackman

Emily who was ill at CARIFTA in The Bahamas placed 4th in a time 27.60. Regular service was resumed at CCCAN in Trinidad and Tobago when she won the 13-14 50 metre freestyle title 27.20. in 2016 on her way to the freestyle sprint double. In her last year of the 11-12 age group in 2016 she had completed the Golden double capturing the freestyle double at CARIFTA and CISC.

Laure Hew 2017 Saint andrews.PNG

Hew of the Cayman Islands who in 2016 made the Championship final in the 100 yard freestyle has made the move to the 50 yard race this season. She is ranked 8th on the heat sheet with a time of 24.09.Lauren has put up good performances in the event leading up to Saturday’s grand finale with top 3 performances at Palm Beach County, Districts and Regional champs.

Date Meet Time
Oct 7 Palm Beach County Champs 23.46 2nd
Oct 20 1 A  District 10 Champs 24.25 2nd
Oct 27 1A Region 4 Champs 24.09 3rd

These swimmers along with other in the upcoming 2A, 3A and 4A championships will be trying to get their names alongside other CARIFTA region swimmers who have won 50 yard freestyle titles and laid claim to being the fastest high school swimmer in Florida.

Past 50 yard freestyle winners
Past Regional Florida High school 50 yard champions from left to right Alexandria Donahue,Natasha Moodie and Chinyere Pigot Photos courtesy of swimmingworld

CARIFTA 50 yard freestyle  Florida High School State Championships winners

Name Country School Division Year Time
Alexandria Donahue Trinidad and Tobago Tampa 4A 2013 23.60
Chinyere Pigot Suriname Doral 1A 2010 23.52
Natasha Moodie Jamaica Miramar 3A 2005 23.72