The third day of swimming action of the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming championships on Friday August 26 saw N’nhyn Fernander earning a second swim in the 100 metre butterfly.
Fernander who is the reigning CARIFTA 15-17 100 metre butterfly champion with a Gold medal winning time of 56.36 qualified for the B final of the event in Hawaii with a new personal best time .N’nhyn had splits of 26.25 and 29.78 for a total time of 56.03 for 15th place. He lowered his personal standard of 56.27 set at the Bahamian Nationals in June. In the B final he clocked the 3rd fastest time of his career when he placed 7th in a time of 56.31. His splits this time were 26.06 and 30.25. Fernander had the following thoughts on the competition.
Overall the meet has been really great. It is good to socialize and get out and experience new things and experience a new place and a different time zone. Being a swim meet like this it allows you to realize that soon it may be possible to achieve greater things. These kids are really fast so it gives you great competition and push. This swim meet I have dropped a bit of time and I am really happy with that .I am really happy that I got to race before I go to Ohio State to train. Although we got to socialize and go to the pool every day and be in a new place, itis always good to be with people you want to be close with for the rest of your life and hang out with people that really matter to you and basically be a team and that’s what Team Bahamas is all about.
Teammate Izaak Bastian set yet another age group record this season when he placed 28th in a time of 59.13. That broke the nearly 2 decades old standard of 59.23 by Olympian Nicholas Rees set at the CCCAN Championships on July 5, 1997. Rees attended Ohio State University from 2000 to2003 .With that record performance Bastian now holds national marks in the 13-14 age group in the 50 metre freestyle, 50 ,100 and 200 metre breaststroke and 50 metre butterfly.
The 2016 RBC Bahamas Nationals Swimming Championships got off to a fantastic start at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Aquatic Centre in Nassau on Thursday June 23. The region’s most impressive distance freestyler Joanna Evans provided the highlight for the day when she made the automatic qualifying mark in the 800 metre freestyle by swimming a sensational 8:32.19 to be crowned national champion.Her performance now ranks her 40th in the world for the 2015-2016 season. That time blew away the Rio Olympics A standard of 8:33.97. She also destroyed her personal best and national record of 8:37.18. With that incredible swim the Swift Swimming competitor now passes CARIFTA legend Jamaican Janelle Atkinson’s 8:34.51 as the fastest English speaking woman from the region. Atkinson clocked her national record in a 9th place finish at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. The University of Texas standout who is not tapered for the meet raced stroke for stroke with exhibition swimmer Guatemalan Valerie Gruest who also went under the Olympic A standard` when she stroked 8:33.28.
Joanna had the following thoughts about the race “I’m thrilled to have made my Olympic A cut in my home pool and in front of my Bahamian fans. I am not tapered for this meet and just went out and raced”
The Barracudas men team were responsible for setting a new senior national record in the 200 metre freestyle relay. The old record of 1:36.35 had stood to the Freeport Aquatic Club since 2011 when the team of Elvis Burrows,Evante Gibson,Ashton Knowles and Michael McIntosh had set the standard.The new standard is now 1:34.77 set by the team of Gershwin Greene,N’Nhyn Fernander,Keith Lloyd and Kohen Kerr
Another collegiate standout who claimed a national Championship was Dustin Tynes . The Ohio State swimmer claimed senior title in a time of 2:23.00 . Tynes said “it was a great race for this point in my summer season being unshaved and untapered. This was my best in season 200 breaststroke ever .At this meet last year I was two seconds slower. It sets the tone for the rest of the season and that I’m in relative great shape relative to last year”.
The boys 13-14 title was claimed by Izaak Bastian in a time of 2:27.32. In a much anticipated race in the 15 and over girls 200 metre breaststroke Laura Morley won in 2:35.24. Silver and Bronze went to sisters Albury and Lilly Higgs in times of 2:37.16 and 2:41.93.
The senior 50 metre backstroke boys title went to Miller Albury in 28.19 with Dionsio Carey in 28.20 and N’nhyn Fernander the Bronze in 28.60.
The senior title in the 100 metre butterfly went to N’nhyn Fernander 57.87 ,Silver Evante Gibson 58.33 and Keith Lloyd 59.42.The women’s crown went to Bria Deveaux in 1:02.75. Albury won another Silver in 1:06.15 while Jasmine Gibson earned the Bronze 1:08.44.
As the final qualification date for Rio Olympic qualification gets closer the CARIFTA region swimmers continue to better their national records as they seek to book their tickets to Brazil. Jordy Groters of Aruba, Dustin Tynes of the Bahamas and Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago are the latest crop of swimmers to lead an assault on their countries record books.
The results we are seeing now from our top swimmers are the culmination of yards of hard work, training and dedication. In the breaststroke discipline two swimmers Jordy Groters and Dustin Tynes have honed their craft to the point where each year has seen improvement in the 100 metre event. Since 2009 both swimmers have competed through the 11-12 ranks to the 15-17 category at the CARIFTA championships along the way they have set Championship records. Both competed at the PAN Games in 2015 in Toronto and the World Long Course Championships in Kazan .After representing their schools Missouri (Groters) and Ohio State (Tynes) with distinction at the recent 2016 NCAA Division 1 Championships they would compete in a 2016 Georgie Tech Men’s Collegiate Invitational long course meet on Sunday March 27.
Tynes, already under the Olympic B qualifying time of 1:02.69 would better his national record yet again .At the PAN Games in Toronto where he set both the 50 and 100 metre standards in one race he would do the same in Georgia. Going out in 28.39 at the 50 metre mark he bettered his July 2015 mark of 28.55. Coming home he would become possibly the first man from the region under 1:02 as he hit the wall in 1:01.56 .That time was under the Rio B time of 1:02.69 and less than a second away from the automatic qualifying time of 1:00.57. That performance would have placed him 28th at the 2012 London Olympic Games and 29th at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Groters would not be left out of the record breaking as he took out the race slower than his national record pace of 29.64 with a 29.78 split .But he would carry it home faster than he did in Kazan Russia with a 33.44 last leg. That put him at 1:03.22 under his old mark of 1:03.64 and ever closer to the Rio 2016 B time.
At the London 2012 Olympic Games George Bovell III of Trinidad and Tobago swimming in lane 8 won heat 2 of the 100 metre backstroke in a time of 55.22.With that performance he put up possibly the best time ever done by a swimmer from the CARIFTA region in that event. In 2013 countryman Dylan Carter came close to that at the World Junior Swimming Championships in Dubai with a 55.36. At the senior World Championships in Russia in 2015 he would be tantalizingly close when he stopped the clock in 55.24.On Wednesday April 6 at the Canadian Olympic Trials at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre he made no doubt who is possibly the fastest man ever from the CARIFTA region in the event. Swimming only the morning heat Carter became the first swimmer from Trinidad and Tobago to go under the 55 seconds barrier. He touched in a new national senior record of 54.94 .That performance is well under the RIO B time of 56.26 and just off the automatic qualifying mark of 54.36.That swim would have placed him 26th at the London 2012 Olympics and 23rd at the Beijing Games.
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.
The Big Ten swimming championships got underway at Boilermaker Aquatic Center in West Lafayette, Indiana on Wednesday Feb 24.The CARIFTA region was represented by Bahamian Dustin Tynes who is swimming for Ohio state University.
Tynes who is the best breaststroker from the Bahamas had a personal best of 54.59 in the 100 yard breaststroke heading into the conference championships. That time would not survive the morning heats .He clocked 25.36 en route to 53.58 to make the B final in the evening. In the evening he would break the 53 second barrier. He went out in 24.78 for a close second to Minnesota Conner McHugh 52.89 to 52.93. Both performances by Tynes were under the NCAA Division 1 B standard of 55.39.
He also had another big personal best in the 200 yard individual medley earlier in the meet as he clocked 1:51.19 .That swim beat her season best of 1:54.59 and personal best of 1:53.70 and placed him 54th overall.
The first day of the 2016 Easterns on February 19 at the La Salle University’s Kirk Natatorium in Philadelphia saw the CARIFTA region being a part of history. This as Bahamian Jared Fitzgerald and Jamaican Joseph Black were members of the Peddie School’s record breaking 200 yard freestyle relay.
Prior to the Championships the record in the event of 1:22.70 had been held by the 1992 Mercersburg Academy team. In the morning preliminaries the team had set the fastest time heading into the Championship final of 1:23.78.In the final they brought the heat to the final in pursuit for the win and the record. The team of lead leg Nathan Stern 21.07 2nd leg Michael Blank 19.89, Black 20.94 and Fitzgerald 20.71 blitzed the field to the to take the title and the record in a time of 1:22.61. Their margin of victory was over two and a half seconds.
Black and Fitzgerald join St Lucia’s Josh Daniel and Jamaica’s Brad Hamilton as title holders in the 200 yard freestyle relay. Daniel was a part of the 2013 Peddie team that won the event in a time of 1:23.84.Josh who now attends Brown University had led off the team in 21.66. Hamilton (University of North Carolina) was a part of the 2007 Baylor team that won in 1:24.12. Brad had started the race for Baylor with a split of 21.62.Interestingly the overall high school record of 1:19.27 by the 2012 Bolles team included Trinidad and Tobago swimmer Emiro Goossen who attends the University of Florida.
In individual action Fitzgerald had finished 4th in the Championship final of the 200 yard freestyle in a time of 1:41.66. In the morning heats he had lowered his season and personal best of 1:42.73 to 1:40.76.Black worked his way to the B final of the 50 yard freestyle with a time of 21.76. That lowered his season and personal best time of 21.80. He finished 4th in the B final with a time of 21.80.
Also winning a medal of the opening day was their teammate Barbadian Sariyah Sherry. Her team lost a close battle to Mercersburg Academy who took the title in 1:35.74. The Peddie team of Nika Blank 23.86, Sherry 24.08, Erin Fago 25.05 and Vanessa Ruiz 22.90 pushed Mercersburg all the way with their total time of 1:35.89.The overall Prep school record is held by the 2012 Baylor team with a time of 1:31.18.That team included Bermudan Ashley Yearwood (Denison), Kimberlee John-Williams (Georgia) of Trinidad and Tobago and Bahamian Bria Devaux (Nebraska).
In the 200 yard freestyle Sherry lowered her season of best twice on the day. She moved it from 2:03.42 to 2:02.13 in the morning .In the C final she lowered it again to 2:01.60 to finish 2nd.
Her countrywoman Sian Longley who represents the Linsly School was a member of the team that won the C final in the 200 yard medley relay. Longley split 27.86 for the butterfly leg as they won in a time of 1:56.51. She was 24th in the 100 yard butterfly in 1:03.59.
Mercersburg’s Bahamian swimmer Tyler Russell helped his school to 2nd place in the 200 yard medley relay B final. Tyler clocked 27.18 on his backstroke leg to help them to a time of 1:40.36. Russell was faster in the morning heats having clocked 25.84 In the 200 yard individual medley he lowered his season and personal best time of 2:02.76 to 1:58.82 and make the B final. He would register yet another sub 2 minute swim when he set another new personal best time of 1:58.65 to finish 7th.
His countryman Alexander Encinar of Peddie swam as on their exhibition team in the 200 yard medley relay. He clocked 27.03 as the team posted a total time of 1:37.16.Encinar lowered his season best of 2:02.84 and his personal best of 2:01.53 in the morning heats of the 200 yard individual medley to 2:00.18. He would make the B final with that performance .In the final he would register his first sub 2 minute swim with a 1:59.52 and place 8th.
His countryman Miller Albury of Cantebury School helped his school to 5th in the B final of the 200 yard medley relay. Miller split 25.18 on the opening backstroke leg to help them to a total time of 1:45.05. The overall high school record for the 200 yard medley relay is held by the 2014 Baylor School at 1:27.74. That team included Bahamian Dustin Tynes (Ohio State) and Christian Selby (Auburn) of Barbados. In the 50 yard freestyle he lowered his season best of 23.39 to 22.47 to progress to the C final. In his evening swim he clocked 22.57 to finish 3rd.
Another Bahamian recording a personal best on the opening day was Peddie’s Peter Morley. He lowered his season and personal best of 2:05.55 in the 200 yard individual medley to finish 18th in 2:03.89.
On Sunday Dec 13 a long course time trial was held at the SPEEDO Winter Juniors in Atlanta. On that day Jamaica’s Jesse Marsh (St Andrew’s Swimming) lowered the 13-14 100 metre butterfly record to 58.49. That performance marked the first time a 13-14 Jamaican swimmer had cracked the 59 second barrier.
The previous record was held by Timothy Wynter at the 2011 CARIFTA Championships held in Barbados. Wynter on his way to the old record had taken it out faster in 2011. Given that Marsh is also good at the 200 metre butterfly he took it home faster as seen by the analysis of the splits below
Wynter had finished second to Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter on that day. The two swimmers are now training partners in Southern California as they prepare to make qualifying bids for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Marsh also lowered his best time in the 50 metre freestyle clocking 25.96. At the 2015 CARIFTA Championships he was timed at 26.42.
His teammate at St Andrew’s Swimming Bahamian Izaak Bastian recorded 1:08.01 for the 100 metre breaststroke. At this year’s CARIFTA Championships Bastian won the Gold medal in his first year of the 13-14 age group 1:08.27. He continues to track the 13-14 Championship record by fellow Country man and Ohio State sophomore Dustin Tynes of 1:07.99. He is also targeting the national age group record of 1:07.22. Izaak came close this summer posting 1:07.51 at the Southern Zones Age Group championships. He also recorded a personal best in the 50 metre freestyle stopping the clock in 24.80.
Azura Aquatics Surinamese sprint star Raiz Tjon a Joe clocked 24.00 for the 50 metre freestyle.