MORLEY MAKES MAJOR MOVE!! LAURA LOWERS 200 BREAST RECORD, SECURES OLYMPIC B STANDARD

At the 2019 US Open held in December Bahamian Laura Morley made a major move to Olympic qualification with a personal best and new national record and an Olympic B standard time in the 200 metre breaststroke .Laura bettered the Olympic B standard twice. She stopped the clock in a new all time Bahamian best first in the heats in 2:27.83 in the heats and then later in the Championship final swam to a time of 2:28.38 .The Olympic B standard is 2:29.89. .Laura has now set the senior national record in the event 11 times.

Laura Morley

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Morley after the competition about competing as a professional swimmer.The last meet of her collegiate career was the NCAA Division I championships in March 2019.Morley ended her college tenure ended as the fourth fastest performer in Indiana school history in the 200 yards breaststroke with a time of 2:08.16.  The  Big Ten Distinguished Scholar gave her thoughts on how life is different as a professional swimmer compared  to college in terms of training and other areas.

“Thankfully Indiana Swimming allowed me to join the professional team after I graduated in May, so I still get to train with the collegiate team but now without school I have a lot more time to focus on recovery, nutrition and swimming as a whole. The transition has been made a lot easier than I expected and a lot of that is due to having the full support of my coaching staff, weight coaches and former teammates. Becoming a pro swimmer has been such an awesome experience because I can truly focus on my swimming goals and have learnt so much about myself since March”.

Morley en route to a new national record and Olympic B qualifying time

She also spoke smashing her 200 metre breaststroke national mark and getting the Olympic B cut, training and her preparations and expectations before the US Open.

 “I was rested and shaved for US Open! I recently swam at the TYR Pro Series meet in Greensboro the weekend of November 9th and swam right on my best times. That was very reassuring and gave me a lot of confidence in my training all fall. We have been putting in a lot of hard training since I got back to Bloomington in September, so getting some rest at US Open was an opportunity for me to see where my hard training has taken me. I have been working towards getting the B cut in the 200 breaststroke but that was not the expectation heading into US Open. We wanted to take the great racing opportunity at US Open to give me some great racing practice against higher level competition than I was used to.”

Laura bettered the Olympic B standard twice .She crushed the national standard from the heats 2:27.83 compared to 2:30.24.Her first 50 was very aggressive compared to her last national record 33.88 to 35.27 and her third 50 as well 37.65 versus 38.65.

Morley before the Championship final
200 metre breaststrokePan Am GamesUS Open
First 5034.7933.88
Second 5038.2637.18
Third 5038.5137.89
Fourth 5038.6538.88
Total Time2:30.212:27.83

Laura gave her insight if the race strategy to attack those two 50’s specifically and if she was very confident in her training to take it out so fast?

“Yes, I was in a very competitive heat in the morning and knew that the girls next to me would throw down some good times, so I took that opportunity to go out and race them. I did take it out more aggressively than normal, but still very control so I could have some speed on the back half of the race. We have been working a lot on 200 pace long course so I had confidence in my training and race strategy”.

Alia Atkinson

Laura is easily the number two all time in the event for the CARIFTA region. The A cut is 2:25.52 and  Olympian Alia Atkinson tops the all-time  CARIFTA ranking with  her national record 2:25.48. The Nassau native is currently faster than the best CARIFTA time posted at the Olympics Atkinson’s then national record of 2:28.77 at the London 2012 Olympic Games .

Adriana Marmolejo Photo courtesy of sala de prensa

She is also faster than the CCCAN best time at the Olympics of 2:28.10 by Adriana Marmolejo which was the then national record for Mexico.

Morley spoke about her next outing and if she had any specific times in mind?

“I am competing at the Knoxville TYR Pro Series meet in January but will be training through that meet and using as racing practice. I do not have any specific times in mind but just want to get more comfortable with my race strategy and racing in competitive heats. I am heading into another hard training block for a few months until I rest again sometime in the spring”.

In the 100 breast Morley was just off her best time of 1:10.44. She took us through that race and what adjustments she would need to make to go after the B cut of 1:09.08.

100 metre breaststrokeMayDec
First 5033.2533.28
Second 5037.1937.18
Total Time1:10.441:10.46

“This fall we have been focusing on the 200 more so than the 100, but using the 100 as good practice for the 200. I was pleased with my morning swim of the 100 as it was just off my best time, which gave me a lot of confidence going into the 200. I have been working on getting my strength and speed up for the 100, but it is still a work in progress! The B cut in the 100 is a great goal to keep in mind!”

GLORIOUS GAMES DEBUT FOR TTO’S GURSOY,GISELLE LOWERS MARKS IN THE 200 AND 400 FREE AT PAN AMS

Giselle at the Aquatic Centre in Lima

When any swimmer gets the opportunity to don their national colours at the elite they will do their very best to make their mark to make their nation proud.This was certainly the case of the Giselle Gursoy who took on the honourable challenge of representing Trinidad and Tobago and the region at the recently concluded PAN AM Games in Lima. She was given the task of competing in the 200 and 400 metre freestyle and representing the twin island republic well. Was it mission accomplished ?The answer can only be resounding Yes as by the conclusion of the Games she established herself as the fastest woman of all times in both races.

Tyla Martin Photo courtesy of pinecrestswimming.com

In her very first race she lowered the national mark in the 400 metre freestyle of 4:30.94 of Tyla Martin set almost 4 years ago with her morning heat swim of 4:28.63.That qualified her for the B final.Giselle had a lot more left in the tank as she shattered her hours old national record to out duel  Peruvian Azra Avdic Pinto 4:24.17 to 4:24.99 to place second in the race.  The race was won by ColombianMaria Alvarez in 4:21.44.

COMPARISON OF RECORD SWIMS

400 freestyleOld recordHeatsB final
First 100 1:04.461:04.231:03.23
Second 1001:07.661:07.891:07.23
Third 1001:08.931:08.751:07.63
Fourth 1001:09.891:07.761:06.08
Final Time4:30.944:28.634:24.17

The record breaking would continue with the 200 metre freestyle. In the morning heats of the race she was mere .29 outside of the national record of 2:07.09 with a final time of 2:07.38. That effort earned her a lane in the B final.

This time she would ensure that the record belonged to her .She was behind national record pace until the final 50 metres where she closed in 32.34 to set the new national standard of 2:06.98 and be the first woman from Team TTO under 2 minutes and seven seconds  of 2:06.98. She placed sixth overall with the Mexican Maria Mata Cocco winning in 2:03.32.

Karen Dieffenthaller Donahue 1986 Ivy League champion in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle and mother of Garbeiela Donahue Photo courtesy of http://wavecampcaribbean.com/

The old record was set by Olympian Karen Dieffenthaller at the 1988 Seoul Olympics three decades ago. Karen had placed sixth in heat three with a time of 2:07.09. She had taken a semester off from Brown University where she was a standout swimmer to prepare for the Games . Karen Dieffenthaller finished 31st and as the top swimmer from the  CCCAN region. A year earlier at the 1987 PAN AM Games in United States she had placed sixth in a then national record of 2:07.15. The swimming tradition continues at the PAN AM Games as daughter Gabrielle Donahue was  a member of the 2019 PAN AM team.

Giselle Gursoy Photo courtesy of lima2019.com


Draftingthecaribbean contacted Giselle and got her thoughts on her record breaking swims

“I found out about making the PAN AM Team in the middle of May and it was really exciting as it would be my first time representing Team TTO and my first time being on a national team and I decided it was time for me to crack down on my swimming and really focus on that until the Games. I ended up doing a lot of extra practises and dry land just to prepare myself .I made sure that I was not tapering, even for the qualifying meets for the Games just so that I would be able to swim as best as I could as PAN AMs. I knew of the national records coming in and I felt fairly confident with some training I could break them .It was a goal of mine making the team to see if I could break those barriers. After my  400 on the first day in the prelims I really happy with it because I was able to break that national record. It was really exciting because I felt I had a little bit more in me .I felt the prelim was very smooth .I think that brought me a lot of confidence going into my night swim .I knew I just needed to go out just a little bit faster and that’s what I did .To come second was just such an amazing experience. Being able to break those national barriers twice was awesome, not only for my goals but to make such a big impact on Team TTO swimming has really been an honour .In the 200 metre freestyle I knew that Mrs Donahue still held the national record from the 1988 Olympics .I raced as hard as I could and I was glad that I was able to break that second record .I think the records have lot more to do with the team than me personally. Obviously they were goals of mine but I had so much support. I think the national records that were broken were just the start for this team . I know that there is more to come and that is really good feeling. Now that the meet is over I am thinking about the future and whatever upcoming meets .I do plan to be competitive going into 2024 and I want to continue competing for Team TTO as much as I can and I am really blessed with that opportunity”.

2019 World Swimming Championships 100 metre breaststroke women Atkinson tops region with yet another semi final showing

Alia Atkinson

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson added to her legacy by reaching yet another semi final at the Championships. The Commander is the only athlete from the CCCAN region to do this. In the heats of the event she produced a time of 1:07.25 (split time 31.44) to be eighth overall, a season best. In the semifinals she would be even faster , stopping the clock in 1:07.11 ( split time 31.64) to be joint 11th overall with Switzerland  Lisa Mamie. She has now provided with three consecutive World Championships top 16 placings. She did not participate at the 2017 edition in Budapest.

YearTimePlace
20191:07.2511th
20151:06.42Bronze
20131:07.639th
Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

Albury Higgs of The Bahamas in her World Championships debut created history for herself and her nation. In addition to being the second fastest swimmer from the Region in the event she rattled her own national record from the 2018  CAC (Central American and Caribbean Games)  of 1:10.03 with  a swim of 1:10.65 to place 35th.

 ALL Time Best Swims

Year1st 502nd 50Final time
201832.9637.691:10.03
201932.9537.691:10.65

That performance puts her as the fastest Bahamian woman of all time at these Championships. She lowers the previous Bahamas best of 1:12.60 by Alicia Lightbourne recorded at the 2009 Rome meet.Her swim also marks the first time a Bahamian woman has been among the top 40 swimmers in this race. Additionally she is the second fastest ever swimmer from the region to compete at the World Championships.

CCCAN Top performers

YearNameTimeCountry 
2013Alia Atkinson1:06.21JAM
2019Albury Higgs1:10.65BAH
2013Erica Dittmer1:10.82MEX
2015Daniela Carrillo1:11.22MEX
2011Danielle Beaubrun1:11.34LCA
Albury Higgs SEC 2019

Higgs is enters the long course Championship season off the strength of a great NCAA collegiate season for the University of South Carolina . This year she became only the third CARIFTA region woman to break the minute barrier in the 100 yard breaststroke behind  Jamaicans Alia Atkinson  and Breanna Roman.

Yards Top Performers

YearNameTime
2016Alia Atkinson57.61
2018Breanna Roman59.50
2019Albury Higgs59.69
Maria Jimenez Peon Photo courtesy of linkedin

Maria Jimenez Peon of Mexico lowered her six year old personal standard of 1:12.70 to record a time of 1:11.83 (split time 33.55).

Evita Leter Photo courtesy of Florida Gulf Coast Swimming and Diving

Competing for the fourth consecutive time in the event at these World Championships national record holder Evita Leter of Suriname posted a time of 1:20.89 to be ranked 51st.

2019 World Championships 100 metre breaststroke men Mexican Miguel Chavez Gonzalez tops CCCAN region in South Korea, National records fall for Sanes and Joachim

Miguel Chavez Gonzalez photo courtesy of minersathletics.com

The 100 metre breaststroke for men contested on the opening day of the World Swimming Championship in Gwangju South Korea saw Mexican Miguel Chavez Gonzalez as the top CCCAN swimmer .He dropped more than a second from his personal best to record a time of 1:02.37. An aggressive first 50 metres of 28.99 helped him to achieve the top regional placing of 45th overall.

Edgar Crespo Photo courtesy of http://www.panamaamerica.com

Panama’s  national record holder Edgar Crespo recorded a 2019 best time of 1:02.62 (split time 28.83) for 48th overall. This is the eighth consecutive World Championships Crespo has contested this event .

YearTimePlace
20191:02.6248th
20171:01.7432nd
20151:02.3740th
20131:01.9537th
20111:01.9440th
20091:02.9264th
20071:06.0067th
20051:08.2271st
Adriel Sanes .Photo courtesy of University of Denver athletics

Adriel Sanes of the US Virgin Islands recorded a new national record to place 48th overall. He lowered his old national standard of 1:03.71 (split time 29.27) from the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games to 1:02.91 (split time 29.18). His performance is also the best performance. The previous fastest time was done by Abraham McLeod of Trinidad and Tobago who clocked 1:03.47 for 49th overall at the 2013 Barcelona Championships. This is a big improvement for Adriel who had placed 63rd in the 2015 Kazan Championships with a time of 1:07.16.It is also the first top 50 performance by a swimmer from the US Virgin Islands in the event.

National record holder from Honduras Julio Horrego was just off his national record of 1:03.30 when he touched in a time of 1:03.55.That is the fastest time a Honduran swimmer has ever recorded at these championships. He placed 57th.

The 2019 CARIFTA Champion and record holder Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas recorded a swim of 1:03.60 to place 58th in his World Champs debut.

Fausto Huerta of the Dominican Republic was 63rd in a time of 1:04.65.

Rainer Rafaela of Curacao recorded a personal best of 1:06.41 (split time 31.15) to finish 71st overall.

Costa Rican Arnoldo Herrera was just behind him with a time of 1:06.42 for 72nd .

Alex Joachim .Photo courtesy of iwnsvg.com

There was a new national record for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as Alex Joachim clocked 1:08.14 (split time 31.78) for 80th . The previous national standard was set by Shane Cadogan just this year at the 2019 CARIFTA Championships during the heats of the 15-17 age group.

DAVANTE CAREY’S NATIONAL RECORD HIGHLIGHTS DAY 1 OF REV BAHAMIAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

The first day of the 2019 Rev Bahamian National Championships got underway on Thursday June 20 at the Betty Kelly- Kenning Pool in Nassau.

Davante Carey

The highlight of the day was the new national and Championship record in the 15 and over 50 metre backstroke set by Davante Carey of the Mako Aquatics Club.

Carey ,who is the reigning CARIFTA 15-17 and 2018 Nationals Champion went into the the meet in Good form. At CARIFTA earlier this year he had lowered his own national record from the 2018 National Championships from 26.75 to 26.66 to take the Gold. He lowered that mark even further as he stopped the clock in a time of 26.46. Winning the Silver was Lamar Taylor of Freeport in Aquatic club in 271.14. Taylor had won the Silver at CARIFTA in 27.41.The Bronze went to Armando Moss of Alpha Aquatics in 28.02. Reigning UWI Games champion, former national record and older brother of Davante ,Dionisio was eighth in 29.21.

Davante, who will swimming for the senior team later this summer in Peru for the PAN American Games is steadily climbing the all time rankings in the 50 metre backstroke for the 15-17 age group.

CountryTimeNameYear
Trinidad and Tobago25.99Dylan Carter2013
Barbados26.07Jack Kirby2018
The Bahamas26.46Davante Carey2019
Aruba26.66Patrick Groters2017
Jamaica26.71Timothy Wynter2013

Carey will also be competing at CCCAN in Barbados also holds the Championship record at that competition with a time of 26.84 from 2018. Draftingthecaribbean asked Davante today about his reaction to his new national record

“Overall the 50 backstroke was a good race seeing that I came off a bit of a struggle in the prelims as I did not have a good start and I went straight to the bottom.But despite all of that I came back in the night for finals ready to defend my title and possibly even breaking my record and that was what I did.I had a great start.I came up a little bit early out my underwater but I made it work and then I really finished strong”.

Ariel Weech

In the female equivalent Ariel Weech of the Alpha Aquatics team put the 2011 national record of 29.40 by Alana Dillette on notice when she recorded the fourth fastest time in Bahamian history of 29.84. She becomes only the second Bahamian woman under the 30 seconds barrier. First to the wall was visitor Maddie McDonald who touched in 28.61

Davante Carey butterfly

It would be Double gold for Carey as he took the 100 metre butterfly title in a new personal best of 55.54.In the process he defended his title that he won in 2018 in 56.26. He came from behind to nip N’Nhyn Fernander of Barracudas at wall who won the Silver in 55.85. Fernander who won the B final of this event at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games. Bronze to reigning CARIFTA 15-17 Champion Ian Pinder in 56.80. Visitor Will Pisani touched first in 54.92. Carey will now be eyeing the 15-17 CCCAN record of 55.25 held by Puerto Rico’s Arsenio López from the 1997 edition of the meet held in Cuba.

The women’s 15 and over race went to Katelyn Cabral of the YMCA Waverunners in a time of 1:05.80. She topped the field easily by over four seconds.

In the distance freestyle events Zaylie -Elizabeth Thompson of Alpha topped the girls 13-14 800 metre race with a time of 9:35.07.The 15 and over event went to Anya Macphail of Mako in 10:00.01. The 13-14 1500 metre race was won by Hodari Prince of Barracudas in 18:44.39.

Luke-Kennedy Thompson

The 15 and over race went to another Thompson , CARIFTA 15-17 Champion Luke Kennedy in 17:20.76. He was followed to the wall by brother Mark-Anthony in 17:28.16.

CAC 100 metre breaststroke championship finalists in 2018 and 2014 Lilly and Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

In the women 15 and over 200 metre breaststroke the top two spots were dominated by the Higgs family as Albury defended her title to win the Gold in a time of 2:34.09.Sister Lily won the Silver in 2:39.99 and the Bronze to Jemilah Hepburn of Mako in a time of 2:50.88.

The men’s equivalent was won by Andre Walcott of Mako in 2:30.88.Silver went to teammate Tyler Russell in 2:31.78 and the Bronze to Mark Anthony Thompson in 2:31.95.

The Alpha Aquatics quartet of Jazmine Trotman,Virginia Stamp,Ariel Weech and Celia Campbell set a new Championship record of 1:50.48.That lowered their 2017 mark of 1:50.97.

Marvin Johnson

CARIFTA 2019 standout Marvin Johnson dominated the field in the 11-12 50 metre backstroke to win in a time of 30.92 just off the Championship record held by Carey of 30.76.At CARIFTA he won Gold in a personal best 30.75 . In the 100 metre butterfly he would lower the Championship record of 1:03.27 set by teammate Nigel Forbes with a winning time of 1:02.10. He took the 2019 CARIFTA title in 1:03.27 .The CCCAN record which stands at 1:01.83 set by Emir Quintero by Mexico from 2005 seems set to go in Barbados later this summer.

Nigel Forbes en route to Gold at UANA in 2018

Forbes has improved tremendously from 2018 after winning the 11-12 National Championship title in 1:03.27 he won convincingly in his first year of the 13-14 in a new personal best of 57.98. His performance is the the second fastest all time in the age group. The National and Championship record is 57.81 held by Ian Pinder.He will have more than a year to lower that mark.At CARIFTA he won the Silver in a time of 59.45.

Other Gold medallists

EventAgeName TimeTeam
200 metre breaststroke11-12Rhanishka Gibbs3:01.21Barracudas
200 metre breaststroke11-12Caden Wells2:56.69Mako
200 metre breaststroke13-14Delaney Mizell2:59.90Lyford Cay
200 metre breaststroke13-14Erald Thompson III2:32.41Mako
50 metre backstroke8& underSkyler Smith39.46Waverunners
50 metre backstroke8& underDavid Singh40.46Barracudas
50 metre backstroke9-10Rayven Ward36.77Mako
50 metre backstroke9-10Tristen Hepburn33.98Waverunners
50 metre backstroke11-12Leylah Knowles33.33Alpha
50 metre backstroke13-14Keianna Moss30.87Mako
100 metre butterfly13-14Joshua Newry30.31Freeport
100 metre butterfly9-10Zoe Williamson1:14.79Freeport
100 metre butterfly9-10Tristen Hepburn1:13.20Waverunners
100 metre butterfly11-12Seann Norville-Smith1:12.05Waverunners
100 metre butterfly11-12Marvin Johnson1:02.10Waverunners
100 metre butterfly13-14Rachel Lundy1:08.56Mako
100 metre butterfly13-14Nigel Forbes57.98Waverunners

Relay winners

200 metre freestyle relay8&underBarracudas Girls2:34.24
200 metre freestyle relay Waverunners2:30.81
200 metre freestyle relay9-10Waverunners Girls2:13.33
200 metre freestyle relay Mako2:14.15
200 metre freestyle relay11-12Lyford Cay Girls2:01.92
200 metre freestyle relay Mako1:53.28
200 metre freestyle relay13-14Mako Girls1:55.91
200 metre freestyle relay Mako1:44.69
200 metre freestyle relay15 and overMako1:36.61

NATIONAL RECORDS CONTINUE TO FALL AT 2018 DEAN MARTIN ZAREK WILSON LOWERS ENGLISH SPEAKING CARIBBEAN BEST BUTTERFLY MARK, CROOK BETTERS FREESTYLE RECORD

The afternoon session of the Dean Martin Memorial Swim meet on October 27 saw Jillian Crooks  of Camana Bay Aquatics again breaking more Cayman Islands 11-12 national records. Joining her in the record breaking party was Zarek Wilson of the Blue Dolphins of Trinidad and Tobago who also lowered the English speaking record 11-12 butterfly record.

Zarek Wilson
Zarek Wilson Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

It would be Wilson who started the record breaking in the 200 metre butterfly. Zarek already held the fastest English speaking Caribbean mark  in the 11-12 age group when he had set the bar at 2:20.25 at meet earlier in the month. As the race was open he would test his skills with older swimmers . He did not waste the opportunity as he and Jordane Payne of the Y Speedos battled for the majority of the race for supremacy. In the end it would Wilson prevailing and becoming the first 11-12 English speaking swimmer under 2:20. He touched in a time of 2:17.82 .

Race analysis

200 butterfly Splits
First 50 30.50
Second 50 35.30
Third 50 37.41
Fourth 50 34.61
Final Time 2:17.82

Damon-St.-Prix swimbarbados
Damon St Prix Photo courtesy of swimbarbados.com

Records bettered on the way to his new mark was the meet standard of 2:33.52 set by Nathaniel Thomas and the fastest time set in Jamaica by an 11-12 boy of 2:22.71 in 2013 by Damon St Prix at CARIFTA 2013. Also downed was the fastest time recorded at the meet of 2:20.91 by Payne in 2017. When he was in Jamaica for the  CARIFTA Championships  and won this event  he had recorded a time of 2:23.22. In his sights before he enters the 13-14 age group will be the all time 11-12 CCCAN record of 2:15.69 set by Mexico’s Joshua Laisequilla in 2011. Payne would top the 15-16 swimmers and better his own record with a clocking of 2:20.86.

Zarek would also record the fastest time for the meet when he won the 400 IM in a time of 5:18.30. That bettered the 2015 mark of 5:24.99 held by Zachary Moore of the Stingray Swim Club of the Cayman Islands.

Jillian Crooks 200 free
Jillian Crooks 11-12 200 metre freestyle record holder Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

Crooks would set her national marks in the 200 metre freestyle and 100 metre breaststroke. In  the freestyle event  would see Crooks, the 2018 CCCAN Bronze medallist in event battling with the CCCAN Gold medallist and national record  holder Jamaican Morgan Cogle of Jupiter Dragons. Crooks would take the win in Kingston as both swimmer went under the 2016 record of 2:19.16  held by the former Jamaican national record holder in the event  Emily MacDonald of Swimaz. Crooks would touch in 2:15.17 with Cogle second in 2:17.00. Crooks previous best and national record  from CCCAN stood at 2:16.95.

200 freestyle CCCAN Dean Martin
First 50 30.89 31.95
Second 50 35.21 33.98
Third 50 35.78 34.90
Fourth 50 35.07 34.34
Final Time 2:16.95 2:15.17

Kokolo foster 100 breast
Kokolo Foster 11-12 100 metre breaststroke record holder Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

In the 100 metre breaststroke she was not the first to wall as Kokolo Foster of the Tornadoes Swim club lead her to the pads in a time of 1:23.18. Jillian touched just behind in 1:23.60. Both swimmers bettered the 2008 record of 1:24.19 held by Octivia Gray of the Marlins Swim Club. Crooks bettered the 2015 national  record of Alison Jackson of 1:24.96.

alison-jackson-wsc-2016
Alison Jackson Photo courtesy ofcaymansportsbuzz.com

100 breaststroke Jackson 2015 Crooks 2018
First 50 39.62 39.07
Second 50 45.34 44.53
Final Time 1:24.96 1:23.60

Jordan and Jillian
Jordan and Jillian Crooks Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

Brother Jordan , a 2018 Youth Olympics competitor and flag bearer  would  also  set meet marks in Kingston . He took down the record in the 15-16 boys 100 metre freestyle of 55.48 with a time of 54.42. Battling him to the wall was Kyle Sinclair of the Y Speedos timed in 55.02. In the same race teammates from the Tornadoes Swim Club Jordan Hines and Sean -Douglas Gooden topped the 17-18 division with swims of 57.41 and 58.26 respectively and were both under the meet standard of 59.26.

The 200 metre freestyle would see Jordan lowering the 15-16 mark of 2:05.00 by Stingrays Jonathan Key and recording the best time ever done at Dean Martin with a  2:01.05 performance (split time 58.68).

Morgan cogle
Morgan Cogle 11-12 400 IM winner Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

Cogle would bounce back from the 200 freestyle to record the fastest time ever done by a girl at the meet when she stopped the clock in 5:39.56. that swim broke the 11-12 record of 5:47.56 by Ria Plunkett of the Stingrays Swim Club in 2015.It is also faster than the best mark ever at the meet , the 15-16 record of 5:39.99 by Breanna Roman of Swimaz Aquatics.

Other notable records on the day saw the Tornadoes duo of Sabrina Lyn and Sean -Douglas Gooden taking down the breaststroke records in the 13-14 and 17-18 age groups respectively with swims of 1:19.74 and 1:11.45.

Sabrina Lyn Neville 2017
Sabrina Lyn of the Tornadoes Swim club .  13-14 200 metre butterfly meet record holder  Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

Lyn also lowered the 200 metre butterfly record for good measure in a time of 2:41.67 .Last year she had set the 11-12 record with a time of 2:46.66.

HISTORIC FIRSTS FOR THE BAHAMAS AND JAMAICA AS ALBURY HIGGS, JOANNA EVANS AND ALIA ATKINSON WIN MEDALS ON DAY 4 OF THE CAC GAMES

The fourth night of action the at the 23rd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Barranquilla, Colombia on Saturday night at the Eduardo Movilla Aquatic Complex saw three CARIFTA region ladies as they won the first ever medals for their nations in their respective events.

Higgs breaststroke bronze
200 metre breaststroke Bronze medallist Albury Higgs

Starting the medal run Was Albury Higgs of The Bahamas. Albury has been having quite the summer lowering the national records in the 100 and 200 metre breaststroke right before the Games . She was expected to be in form at the meet and she was. She qualified for the 200 metre breaststroke Championship final with a time of 2:32.90 just her national standard of 2:32.30 set at the Bahamian REV national championships in June. Joining in her in the final was countrywoman  2:33.90 Laura Morley who made the Championship finals in all the breaststroke events, the 50,100 and 200 .

With increased  speed evidenced by her national record of 1:10.77 in the 100 metre event in  the United States Albury pushed the pace in the final turning at the 100 metre mark in a time of 1:12.59 in the Silver medal position.She held that placing until the last couple of metres when Mexico’s Esther Gonzalez Medina passed her. That early front end speed would pay off as she just just held off Morley to take the Bronze in 2:30.83 to 2:31.02 .Both ladies went well under the old national mark and were well under the 2019 Lima PAN AM Games automatic qualifying standard of 2:34.43. Both swimmers achieved the 2018 Hangzhou World Short Course Swimming Championships and 2019 Gwangju World  Championships B standard of 2:31.02. With her Bronze medal she becomes the first Bahamian man or woman to win a medal in the event.She also becomes the fastest ever CARIFTA region swimmer at the Games as she bettered Alia Atkinson’s 2006 effort of 2:30.99.  Only Atkinson and now Higgs have ever medalled in the event for the ladies. It also marks the first medal for Albury in the senior ranks

Higgs offered this reaction to her historic swim

“It was an exciting swim and I was very happy with the best time and record, as well as a bronze for team Bahamas!”

Gold went to the Mexican duo of Byanca Melissa Rodriguez Villanuez in a Games record of 2:25.60 and the Silver to Gonzalez Medina in 2:29.72.

Puerto rico 400 im
400 IM medallists Photo courtesy of the Puerto Swimming federation

Known primarily for her distance exploits Joanna Evans has taken the opportunity to add a few other events to her schedule and it has resulted in medal winning performances.In the 100 metre freestyle she set a new personal best to win the Silver medal. She had set the national record of 4:59.25  in the 400 metre individual medley as a junior swimmer at the 2015 CARIFTA Games in Barbados which still stands today. in qualification she  cleared that mark  with a time of 4:57.56. In the final she blew that mark away with a swim of  4:50.38 to land the Silver. Joanna becomes the first Bahamian woman to medal in the event. Both record breaking swims were under the  2019 LIMA PAN AM Games mark of 4:57.99. The only other swimmers  from the CARIFTA  region to medal at the Games are Gold was won by Puerto Rico’s Kristen Romano in 4:46.31 and the Bronze by Monika Gonzalez Hermosillo in 4:52.13. She gave an assessment of the race and the  humid conditions to draftingthecaribbean

“Honestly there was not much of a strategy except to go out and race and see what I can do.It is really hot .We are just hydrating and trying to stay out of the sun”.

CARIFTA REGION MEDALLISTS THROUGH THE YEARS

Year Name Time Country Medal
1986 Rhett Chee Ping 4:39.14 Trinidad and Tobago Bronze
1998 Carolyn Adel 4:52.42 Suriname Gold
2006 Jeremy Knowles 4:23.83 The Bahamas Silver
2006 Bradley Ally 4:22.86 GR Barbados Gold
2010 Bradley Ally 4:21.49 GR Barbados Gold

100 metre butterfly
100 metre butterfly medallists Photo courtesy ofadiimages

Competing in her third CAC Games Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson created another first by medalling in the 100 metre butterfly. No Jamaican man or woman has ever made it to the podium in the event . Last night she took the Bronze medal in the event in a time of 1:00.13 (split time 27.34). Silver went to Venezuela’s Isabella  Paez 1:00.04 and Gold to Miriam Guevara Hernandez in 59.13. Alia’s medal winning time was the second best effort of her career as her national record stands at 59.94 (split time 28.44) when she beat Paez (1:00.47) for the Gold at the 2017 Southern Zone Sectional Championship.

FEMALE CARIFTA REGION MEDALLISTS THROUGH THE YEARS

Year Name Time Country Medal
1978 Shelly Cramer 1:05.64 ISV Silver
1982 Shelly Cramer 1:04.20 ISV Silver
1982 Judy Lawaetz 1:05.10 ISV Bronze
1993 Siobhan Cropper 1:03.01 Trinidad and Tobago Gold
2010 Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace 59.74 GR The Bahamas Gold
2014 Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace 1:00.17 The Bahamas Gold