Mikel Schreuders Photo courtesy of

Day 3 of the NCAA Division I Championships saw Aruban Olympian Mikel Schreuders and Jamaican Justin Plaschka achieving their best ever placings at the NCAA Division I championships in the 200 yard freestyle and 100 yard butterfly respectively.

Competing in the heats of the 200 yard freestyle at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis the Oranjestad native Schreuders split 46.38 on his way to a total time of 1:34.26 for 23rd place. That is a better placing position than 2016 when he finished 27th overall in a time of 1:35.27 (split time 46.24).  The improved time is clear indication of University of Missour improved sprint endurance. Mikel was also just off his personal best time of 1:34.06.

Justin Plaschka Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Plaschka’s best performance at the NCAA Division I championships was his 2016 debut effort of 47.26 9 (split time 21.73). That swim had placed him 41st overall. This year he was under the 47 seconds mark posting a time of 46.84 (split time 21.53). Plaschka is the fastest Jamaican of all time in the 100 butterfly in yards, short course metres (25 metre pool) and long course metres.

Event Time
100 yard butterfly 46.05
100 scm butterfly 52.31
100 lcm butterfly 54.71

The Fighting Irish 200 yard medley relay, with Justin on the butterfly leg (split 20.39) finished 24th in a time of 1:26.20. That is the fastest time by Notre Dame at the Championships in over 5 years.


Justin Plaschka und NCAA Division 1
Justin Plaschka Photo courtesy of

Day 2 of the 2017 NCAA Division I Swimming Championships in Indiana saw a number of the CARIFTA region’s top sprinters in action including Jamaica’s number 1 sprinter Justin Plaschka. Justin who is a Junior at the University of Notre Dame was in record setting form on Thursday March 23.

The first standard to fall was the 200 yard freestyle relay mark in the morning heats .The team of Plaschka 19.66 (split time 9.38),Daniel Speers18.85,Reed Fujan 19.37 and Tabahn Afrik 19.41 recorded a total time of 1:17.29. That performance placed them 13th overall and bettered their previous standard of 1:17.37.

In the individual 50 yard freestyle event Plaschka went faster than his lead off leg to place 33rd in a time of 19.58 (split time 9.34).

The second record to fall would be in the 400 yard medley relay. The team of Robert Whitacre backstroke 46.67, Trent Jackson breaststroke 52.06,Plaschka  butterfly 45.89 and Afrik freestyle 42.18  set a new school mark of 3:06.90.That bettered their old record of 3:07.99 set the ACC’s (Atlantic Coast Championships).Justin’s butterfly split then was 46.36.After the preliminaries in the event Notre Dame was 15th .

In the 200 yard freestyle relay B Finals in the afternoon Justin would set 2 records in one event. Leading off the relay Plaschka would lower his own school record of 19.38 with a time of 19.35 (split time 9.25). His teammates Speers 18.73, Fujan 19.50 and Afrik 19.39 helped Notre to a total effort of 1:16.97. It was also the best showing ever for the school at the Championships in the event as they placed 3rd .

The 400 yard medley relay team was disqualified in the B final.


Justin Nov
Justin Plaschka Photo Courtesy of

Jamaica’s Justin Plaschka continues to improve his form ahead of the World Short Course Swimming Championships to be held in Windsor Canada from Dec 6-11. He showed his increased speed at the North Carolina State Greensboro Aquatic Center Invitational held from Nov 17 to Nov 19.


In the 200 yard freestyle relay he led off the Notre Dame A team with a time of 20.09 under the NCAA B standard for the 50 yard freestyle of 20.19. It was just off his season best of 20.00. The other team members comprising of Daniel Speers (19.21), Tabahn Afrik (19.61) and Reed Fujan (19.79) combined for a total time of 1:18.70 to place 2nd . It was the 9th fastest time in the NCAA Division 1 this season. The team’s performance was just off the school record of 1:18.46 set at the 2016 ACC competition. That exact time is also the NCAA B standard for 2017. A time that should be beaten as the season goes on.

Plaschka’s season best in the 50 yard freestyle would fall in the A final of the event. He would better the 201.19 B standard for the 5th time this season and break the 20 second barrier when he record 19.91 (split time 9.56) for 4th place.

Justin Plaschka ACC 1
Justin Plaschka

Another season best would be realized in the 100 yard butterfly. In the final he broke the 22 seconds barrier in the 1st 50 with a split of 21.85. He stopped the clock in a time of 46.82 well under the NCAA B standard of 48.29. He was not far off his personal best and school record of 46.37.

In the 100 yard freestyle heats Justin lowered his season best from 44.84 to 44.74 to make the B final. In that race he went under the 44 seconds barrier and NCAA B time of 44.29 to record a win in a time of 43.96 (split time20.60).

In the 100 yard backstroke he was 33rd in a time of 49.73(split time 23.21). That was his fastest ever collegiate performance and his best time since May 2014.

The Fighting Irish seem set to break a number of school records in the relays this season. In the 400 yard medley relay the team of Rob Whitacre backstroke (47.81), Trent Jackson breaststroke (53.83), Plaschka butterfly (46.81) and Afrik freestyle (42.98) clocked a season best time of 3:11.43 for 3rd place. It was just off the 2016 school best time of 3:11.42 and closes in on the school record of 3:09.50.

Justin Plaschka ACC 3
Notre Dame’s record breaking 400 yard freestyle relay team at the back from left to right Daniel Speers and Tabahn Afrik In front Justin Plaschka and Reed Fujan

The 400 yard freestyle relay saw the team of Afrik 43.31, Speers 43.43, Reed Fujan 43.76 and Justin 43.74 recording a total time of 2:54.24 for 2nd. It was just off the NCAA B time of 3:53.68.It places them at number 10 in the nation.

The 200 yard medley relay saw Justin turning a freestyle split of 19.43 to help the A team to 6th in 1:27.43. When asked about his performances Justin said

“I’m just overall very happy with the times that I was able to put up at the invitational. We had only suited up and rested for about three days and the fact that I was able to go 43, 19 and 46 were all awesome as I’ve never done that besides on a full taper.”

Notre Dame placed 2nd of the 8 competing teams with 1593 points.


Justin Plaschka
Justin Plaschka Photo courtesy of

Jamaica’s Justin Plaschka continues to round into form ahead of his senior team debut at the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Windsor Canada in December with a strong performance against Purdue on Friday October 28.


Plaschka was unbeaten in all 4 of the events that he contested. In the 50 yard freestyle he recorded a season best and NCAA Division I B time of 20.13 (split time 9.70).His previous season best standard was 20.51. Justin bettered the B cut of 20.19 with just his 3rd individual race of the season. It also ranks Plaschka 15th in Division I. At the World Short Course Championships which will be contested in a 25 metre pool he will be chasing the 50 metre freestyle mark of legendary Jamaican swimmer Sion Brinn. That Jamaican standard was set at 22.33 in his World Cup victory in Malmo Sweden in 1997.

In the 100 yard butterfly he posted a winning time of 48.86 (split time 22.39). He was again within striking distance of the NCAA B time of 48.29.His target in Windsor for the 100 metre butterfly will be 56.22. That mark was set by Aidan Chow in November 2015.

In relay action his Fighting Irish A team of Daniel Speers (20.54), Reed Fujan 20.51 and Tabahn Afrik (19.72) posted the 7th fastest time in Division 1 of 1:20.71. Plaschka’s 2nd  leg split of 19.94 was his best freestyle performance of the season.

Notre Dame also put in their best team performance in the 200 yard medley relay posting a time of 1:29.77. The splits for that effort were Robby Whitacre backstroke 23.23, Trent Jackson breaststroke 25.43, Justin butterfly 21.26 and Speers freestyle 19.85.

Notre Dame won the contest 165 to 135.


Justin Plaschka ACC 2
Justin Plaschka Diving off the blocks

The University of Notre Dame’s Jamaican sophomore Justin Plaschka continued to improve his form leading up the World Short Course Swimming championships in Windsor in December. Competing in a 2 day meet (Friday Oct 21 to Oct 22) against Georgia Tech at the Herb McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta saw Justin registering big time drops.


In the 100 yard butterfly dropped from 51.00 to win the race in 48.37 (split time 22.40). It also bettered the NCAA B standard time of 48.49

The Fighting Irish A team of Plaschka 20.63, Daniel Speers 19.87, Tabahn Afrik 20.11 and Reed Fujan 20.51 posted a winning time of 1:21.12 in the 200 yard freestyle relay. That beat the season best of 1:22.84 and puts the team as 5th fastest in Division I. Justin also set a season best with his opening leg time which also doubled as the fastest opening split of the relay.

The A team would again be on top of the podium in the 400 yard freestyle relay. The splits for that event were Afrik 44.49, Speers 44.41, Fujan 44.94 and Plaschka 44.58. The total time was 2:58.49 which put them well clear of Georgia Tech A who touched in 3:01.89. It also ranks the team as the 8th fastest in Division I.


Plaschka’s season best of 20.63 would not last long as he clocked 20.51 for 2nd in the individual event. He would be on the podium again in the 100 yard freestyle when he hit the pads in 44.83 for 2nd place. In the 400 yard medley relay Justin swimming the butterfly leg for the B team clocked 48.61 to help them to 3rd in 3:20.55.

The Fighting Irish beat the Yellow Jackets 181-172.

Justin had the following thoughts about his performance

“I was happy with my times as they’ve been some of my best in season times in my college career. And I was happy that I was able to go these times and compete even though we are in the middle of intense training. It makes me excited for the rest of the year and makes me look forward to racing at Short Course Worlds”.


Joanna Evans
Joanna Evans Photo courtesy of

jordy mikel

Dustin Tynes Ohio State Swimming
Dustin Tynes Photo courtesy of Ohio State Swimming
Justin Plaschka und NCAA Division 1
Justin Plaschka Photo courtesy of


The NCAA recently held their Division 1 Swimming championships for both men and women, 5 of the CARIFTA region’s best competing at the collegiate level were selected for this prestigious meet.

Those 5 were Joanna Evans (Bahamas) University of Texas, Jordy Groters (Aruba) University of Missouri, Mikel Schreuders (Aruba) University of Missouri, Dustin Tynes (Bahamas) Ohio State University Justin Plaschka (Jamaica) University of Notre Dame.


Evans, a Longhorns freshman had a fantastic debut season. In her main events during the regular season she never finished less than 5th in her strongest events the 500, 1000 and 1650 yard freestyle. Also that 5th place only occurred once. In the 500 yard freestyle she finished either won or finished 2nd 7times.In the  7 1000 yard freestyle races she contested  she won all but one race where she finished 2nd.In the 1650 yard freestyle she won 2 of her 3 races while she finished 2nd in the other.

At the NCAA Division championships which was held from March 16-19 at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology. Evans contested the 200, 500 and 1650 yard freestyle events.  In the 200 yard freestyle race she went out in 51.87 and came back to stop the clock in 1:46.26 for a new personal best .She would place 34th overall and be the highest placed Longhorn in that event.

The 500 yard freestyle saw the Evans splitting the race at 2:17.49 .She finished the race in a total time of 4:40.65.Joanna was just off her season and personal best of 4:39.97.The Bahamian distance standout missed the consolation finals by a mere 0.18 of second. She would finish 17th overall. She was yet again the highest placed swimmer from the University of Texas. The 1650 freestyle saw her placing 19th overall in the second fastest time in her career of 16:09.90.


Jordy Groters continues to raise the bar for Aruba swimming by lowering his breaststroke times in yards. The Missouri sophomore earned his first invite to this year’s NCAA Division 1 Championships held March 23-26 also in Georgia.

Prior to the Championships he had a career best of 52.85.In the morning heats he turned at the halfway mark at 25.16 slower than his split of 24.72 when he recorded his personal best. Jordy would however come home in 27.54 to touch the pads in a new personal standard of 52.70. It also earned him a place in the consolation finals in his first Championship swim. In the final in the evening he would finish 5th in the second fastest time of his career of 52.80. His preliminaries time of 52.70 places him as the third fastest Tiger in school history.

In his final event of the meet the 200 yard breaststroke Jordy’s personal best of 1:56.84 would be a target. Groters went out in 56.05, a split that was faster than when he did 1:56.84 at the SEC championships. It would prove to be a good indicator as he touched the final wall in a new personal best of 1:56.60.That swim puts as the 6th fastest swimmer in Missouri history.

Another top breaststroker from the CARIFTA swimmer making a name for himself, Ohio State and the Bahamas is sophomore Dustin Tynes. Dustin is at the forefront of great breaststroking talent coming from the Bahamas .He continued to demonstrate his leadership in this stroke at this year’s Championships. In his debut Tynes helped the Buckeyes qualify for the 400 yard medley relay consolation final with a 52.64 split. In the final Dustin went out in 24.09 to split a swift split of 51.94. His teammates Matthew McHugh backstroke (45.63), Ching Lim butterfly (46.65) and Andrew Appleby freestyle (42.20) also made sterling contributions to record a total time of 3:06.42.That placed the team 3rd and also broke the school record of 3:06.63 by the 2014 team of Connor McDonald, DJ MacDonald, McHugh and Michael DiSalle. In the 100 yard breaststroke he was just outside his career best of 52.93 when he touched in 53.16 (split 25.16) for 25th overall.


When Justin Plaschka made his first NCAA Division Championships as freshman he competed for Notre Dame only in the 200 medley relay. Since that time he went on to represent Jamaica internationally and be the sprint leader in an increasingly competitive cadre of talent from the land of wood and water. He would carry over that national success into the 2015-2016 NCAA season by qualifying for the Championships in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle, 100 yard butterfly and 400 yard freestyle and medley relays.

In the 50 yard freestyle he crowned himself the Fighting Irish sprint king as lowered his personal best of 19.69 and the 2014 school record of Frank Dyer of 19.57. Swimming in the morning heats he went out in 9.35 and powered through the last 25 yards to record a time of 19.56. He finished 20th overall missing the consolation final by .08 of a second.

In the 200 yard freestyle relay he put up the 3rd fastest time of his career of 19.74 to start off the Notre Dame team. The total time for the team was 1:18.62 for 18th overall. Justin was also the lead swimmer in the 400 yard freestyle relay. He went out in 43.34 just off his personal best of 43.05 to help the team to 2:53.72.In the individual 100 yard freestyle he recorded the 5th fastest time of his career of 43.58 to place 38th overall. In the 100 yard butterfly he recorded the 3rd fastest of his career when he clocked 47.26 for 41st overall.

Mikel Schreuders has made a big impact at the University of Missouri in the regular season and the NCAA Division 1 Championships would not be any different. In the very first event, the Tigers team of Michael Chadwick 1:33.64 ,Schreuders 1:34.60, Carter Griffin 1:34.52 and Fabian Schwingenschlogbian 1:35.49 lowered the 800 yard freestyle relay school record from 6:19.17 to 6:18.25.It also placed them 11th overall.

In 400 freestyle relay he clocked 43.28 to help the Tigers to the consolation final. In that final he went a bit faster splitting 43.26 to help the team to 6th in a time of 2:52.26.In the individual 200 yard freestyle he recorded the 2nd fastest time of his life of 1:35.27 to finish 27th overall. He finished the season as the 2nd fastest Tiger all time in that event.



Justin Nov
Justin Plaschka Photo Courtesy of

On Friday Feb 26 the CARIFTA region celebrated winning a medal at the 2016 ACC Championships as Jamaican Justin Plaschka won Silver in the 100 yard butterfly.

Before the Championships started Justin had a season best of 47.85.His personal standard stood at 46.98 from the 2015 Championships where 5th in the B final in 46.98 .That time was just off the programme record of 46.92 set by Frank Dyer. In the morning heats he lowered his season best to 47.04 with a split time of 22.11 just qualify in 8th place for the Championship final. In the final he went out in 21.79 compared to the 22.02 en route to sub 47 in 2015. But in 2016 he came home faster in 24.58 to win Silver in 46.37 well under the NCAA Division 1 B standard of 48.29 .That performance was a new school record and equals the time the NCAA invited swimmers to the Championships in 2015.
In the 400 yard medley relay he anchored the Notre Dame with a split of 42.51. That helped them to a total time of 3:11.42 and 7th overall. Plaschka’s anchor leg was the 2nd fastest anchor leg.
Rafael Van Leeuwaarde of Florida State had a personal and season best of 55.61. The Surinamese swimmer would lower that time in the morning heats to 55.59 .He would finish 25th overall. Aruban team mate Jemal LeGrand placed 44th in the 200 yard freestyle in 1:41.50