Two years ago at the 2015 World Junior Swimming Championships in Singapore Aruba’s Patrick Groters was 44th in a time of 59.88. Fast forward two years a much improved Groters crushed that time and placing with a good performance in Indianapolis today.

Patrick on podium
Patrick Groters on podium Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn


Patrick, who holds the 15-17 CARIFTA record and Aruban national record with a time of 57.17 bettered that time with a 57.01 clocking. That time placed him 17th overall. The top 16th  time was 56.75. Mere 26th hundredths from a second swim Patrick earned the accolade of being the top CCCAN swimmer at the Global Championships.

Analysis of Groters swims in 2015 and 2017

Year Venue First 50 Second 50 Final time Placing
2015 Singapore 28.86 31.02 59.88 44th
2017 Indianapolis 27.53 29.49 57.01 17th
Jack Kirby Barbados Aquatic centre
Jack Kirby Photo courtesy of Barbados Aquatic Centre

CCCAN  Champion in the 15-17 Jack Kirby of Barbados produced yet another sub 58 seconds clocking to win heat 4 convincingly in 57.63 (split time 28.27).That performance placed him 23rd overall and second overall from the CCCAN region

Other times from the CCCAN region in the event

Name Event Country CCCAN ranking  Overall ranking Time Split
Guillermo Cruz Zuniga Mexico 3 29 59.00 28.34
Thomas Bozzo US Virgin Islands 4 38 1:01.64 29.87
Alejandro Rosa Dominican Republic 5 41 1:03.92 30.63
Terel Monplaisir St Lucia 6 46 1:06.49 32.04
Zeniel Guzman Dominican Republic 7 47 1:07.14 32.25
Jason Bento Antigua & Barbuda 8 48 1:07.26 32.22
Alexander Bento Antigua & Barbuda 9 49 1:07.65 32.88





Heading to the his final CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas Patrick Groters knew he would be the only swimmer representing Aruba .That did not seem to daunt him but rather inspire him as evidenced by his performances where he has garnered Four medal Three Gold in championship record time and a Silver in a personal best time.

Celebration after 50 back
Patrick Groters celebrating after 50 backstroke win Photo courtesy of Michael

On the first day of competition in his first record performance Patrick set a new national record in the 50 metre backstroke recording a time of 26.80. He took more than half a second off his 15-17 and senior national record for his first sub 27 second clocking. He is also tracking the Hungary World Championships B standard time of 26.18. In what would have seen to be a “weak” event for him the 200 metre breaststroke turned out to be medal winning performance. He swam a strong final to challenge Izaak Bastian for the Gold. Patrick would take the Silver in a personal best time of 2:21.73.

Shot with Aruban flag being raised

The second day of competition could have been dubbed “Day of the Olympians” as he lowered regional marks held by Olympians from Jamaica and Barbados. In the 100 metre backstroke he crushed his 15-17 and senior national mark of 58.35 as well as the CARIFTA record held by Jamaica Olympian Timothy Wynter of 57.32 with 57.17 clocking. He won the race by a little over a second. In what can only be described as a dominating 400 individual medley performance he again lowered his Aruban 15-17 and senior national record of 4:33.96 and the 2004 regional standard of the legendary Barbadian Olympian Bradley Ally of 4:31.96 with a time of 4:27.69. That is the first time anyone in the region has broken 4:30 for the event. He beat the field by almost 20 seconds.  He again got close to another 2017 World Championships B standard .The consideration mark in the event is 4:26.93.

Interview with World Record holder Alia
Patrick Groters being interviewed by Olympian and World Reco

In speaking to draftingthecaribbean  on Sunday  April 16 the Aruban Phenom had the following thoughts

I was very excited to come to my last CARIFTA. In my mind I had times I wanted to do, I felt that training has been great and I felt ready. After first event yesterday, I just got even more excited because I did better than I expected. 200 Breaststroke  is not my event and my coach entered me to get experience racing breaststroke for the IM. Swimming as well as I did just got me pumped. Today I wanted to break 4:30 in the IM and i am happy and satisfied. My coach still wants a better breaststroke split. So we still have work to do.”


Zaneta 11-12 CARIFTA fly record holder
Zaneta Alvaranga CARIFTA 11-12 50 metre butterfly Gold medallist ,Games and National record holder Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The second full day of competition on Sunday April 16 at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Aquatic Centre in Nassau, Bahamas saw Jamaica capturing Two Gold, One Silver and Two Bronze medals to carry the team’s overall total to Six Gold, Three Silver and Five Bronze medals for a total of Fourteen medals.

Leading the medal charge was Zaneta Alvaranga in the girls 11-12 50 metre butterfly. After expressing disappointment with her start in the morning heats when she clocked a national record time of 29.74. She had no such problems in the Championship final of the event yesterday. She crushed her old national record by more than half a second to beat the field convincingly and touch the pads in a new personal best, NATIONAL record and CARIFTA record time of 29.05. That bettered the old Championship record of 29.09 .Guadeloupe’s Naele Portecop. That is the first Games record of the Championships for Team Jamaica and was the 3rd age group record for the squad. Putting her record swim in context it would have just missed out on the Gold medal in the older 13-14 age group as Trinidad and Tobago’s Gabrielle Donahue won the event in in 29.02.The last time Jamaica won Gold in this event was in 2009 when Danielle Boothe topped the field.

400 metre medley relay gold 15-17 girls
15-17 400 metre medley relay Gold medallists and new national record holders from left to right Angara Sinclair,Annabella Lyn,Shaun Johnson and Bryanna Renuart Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The next Gold medal to be garnered was by the 15-17 Girls 400 medley relay team that took the senior girls title in a time of 4:30.62.That accounted for the 4th age group record of the Games. The team of Shaun Johnson, Bryanna Renuart ,Angara Sinclair and Annabella Lyn lowed the old national standard of another powerful quartet of Danielle Boothe , Breanna Roman, Zara Bailey and Ivanna Chang of 4:30.65 . That team won the Gold in the event at the Kingston Championships in 2013 the last time Jamaica won the event.

13-14 boys medallists
13-14 boys 400 medley relay Silver medallists From left to right Kyle Sinclair,Dominic Mullings,Akeem Alleyne and Cameron Brown Photo courtesy of Rory Alvaranga

The 13-14 boys quartet of Kyle Sinclair, Cameron Brown ,Dominic Mullings and Akeem Alleyne stroked their way to the Silver in the 400 metre medley relay .They had a total time of 4:17.12.That is the first Silver medal won by Jamaica in the event since 2011.

Shaun Johnson 100 metre backstroke Bronze medallist
Shaun Johnson 15-17 girls 100 metre backstroke Bronze medallist.Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Shaun Johnson won a Bronze for Jamaica in the girls 15-17 100 metre backstroke in a new personal best time of 1:08.14. The record in the event held by Kendese Nangle of 1:06.00 was broken by the Cayman Islands Lauren Hew in the preliminaries with a time of 1:05.94. Timothy Wynter’s 15-17 100 metre backstroke record of 57.32 would also fall to Aruban standout Patrick Groters would clocked 57.17.

Kendese Nangle CARIFTA 2011
Former record holder in the 15- 17 girls 100 metre backstroke Kendese Nangle in 2011 Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn
Timothy Wynter CARIFTA 2012
Former record holder in the boys 15-17 100 metre backstroke Timothy Wynter in 2012 Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn
Bryanna Renuart 15-17 400 IM
Bryanna Renuart 15-17 girls Bronze medallist in the 400 metre Individual medley Photo courtesy of Michael c Lyn

In the grueling 400 individual medley Bryanna Renuart repeated her 15-17  Bronze medal performance from Martinique in 2016. She stopped the clock in a new personal best time of  5:12.45. She is the first Jamaican girl to win consecutive medals in this event in the 15-17 age group in more than 15 years.

Team Jamaica were in 6th position at the end of Day 2 with 270 points. They had 20 top eight performances and 27 additional personal best times.

Name Event Age Group heats Placing  FinalsTime Placing
1 Gabrianna Banks 200 metre freestyle 13-14 girls 2:17.92 8th 2:15.94 2:15.49
2 Britney Williams 200 metre freestyle 15-17 girls 2:11.78 3rd 2:09.69 4th
3 Annabella Lyn 200 metre freestyle 15-17 girls 2:12.65 5th 2:09.93 5th
4 Nicholas Vale 200 metre freestyle 15-17 boys 1:59.23 3rd 1:58.32 5th
5 Zaneta Alvaranga 50 metre butterfly 11-12 girls 29.70 1st 29.05NR Gold
6 Sabrina Lyn 50 metre butterfly 11-12 girls 32.34 7th 30.99 4th
7 Nathaniel Thomas 50 metre butterfly 11-12 boys 29.05 2nd 29.22 5th
8 Emily MacDonald 50 metre butterfly 13-14 girls 30.39 8th 29.74 5th
9 Shaun Johnson 50 metre butterfly 15-17 girls 29.52 6th 29.24 8th
10 Joshua Alleyne 100 metre backstroke 11-12 boys 1:14.66 7th 1:13.12 7th
11 Brianna Anderson 100 metre backstroke 13-14 girls 1:12.66 8th 1:12.75 8th
12 Kyle Sinclair 100 metre backstroke 13-14 boys 1:05.48 5th 1:04.08 4th
13 Shaun Johnson 100 metre backstroke 15-17 girls 1:09.03 4th 1:08.14 Bronze
14 Bryanna Renuart 400 metre IM 15-17 girls 5:12.16 Bronze
15 Nicholas Vale 400 metre IM 15-17 boys 4:55.19 5th
16 Joshua Alleyne,Nikolos Gordon somers,Nathaniel thomas ,Jaleel Samms 400 metre medley relay 11-12 boys 4:50.19 5th
17 Brianna Anderson,Gabrianna Banks,Simone Vale, Emily MacDonald 400 metre medley relay 13-14 girls 4:46.69 5th
18 Kyle sinclair,Cameron Brown,Dominic Mullings,Akeem alleyne 400 metre medley relay 13-14 boys 4:17.12 Silver
19 Shaun Johnson,Bryanna Renuart,Angara Sinclair,Annabella Lyn 400 metre medley relay 15-17 girls 4:30.62 NR Gold
20 Nicholas Vale, Sean douglas-Gooden,Jesse Marsh, Matthaeu Bonner 400 metre medley relay 15-17 boys 4:08.18 5th
Day 2 Wednesday April 16,2017 Personal bests
Age Group Event Name Time
1 11-12 girls 200 metre freestyle Zaneta Alvaranga 2:25.47
2 15-17 girls 200 metre freestyle Britney Williams 2:11.78
3 15-17 boys 200 metre freestyle Nicholas Vale 1:59.23
4 11-12 girls 50 metre butterfly Zaneta Alvaranga 29.70
5 11-12 boys 50 metre butterfly Nathaniel Thomas 29.05
6 13-14 boys 50 metre butterfly Cameron Brown 28.43
7 13-14 boys 50 metre butterfly Kyle Sinclair 28.77
8 15-17 girls 50 metre butterfly Shaun Johnson 29.52
9 15-17 girls 50 metre butterfly Annastazia Chin 30.77
10 15-17 boys 50 metre butterfly Jesse Marsh 26.49
11 11-12 girls 100 metre backstroke Paig’e Lewis 1:28.54
12 11-12 boys 100 metre backstroke Joshua Alleyne 1:14.66
13 13-14 boys 100 metre backstroke Akeem Alleyne 1:08.44
14 13-14 boys 100 metre backstroke Kyle Sinclair 1:05.48
15 15-17 girls 100 metre backstroke Shaun Johnson 1:09.03
16 15-17 boys 100 metre backstroke Jesse Marsh 1:04.36
17 11-12 girls 400 metre IM Sabrina Lyn 6:27.82
18 11-12 girls 400 metre IM Paig’e Lewis 7:02.03
19 13-14 girls 200 metre freestyle Gabrianna Banks 2:15.49
20 15-17 girls 200 metre freestyle Britney Williams 2:09.69
21 15-17 girls 200 metre freestyle Annabella Lyn 2:09.93
22 15-17 boys 200 metre freestyle Nicholas Vale 1:58.32
23 11-12 girls 50 metre butterfly Zaneta Alvaranga 29.05
24 11-12 girls 50 metre butterfly Sabrina Lyn 30.99
25 15-17 girls 50 metre butterfly Shaun Johnson 29.24
26 11-12 boys 100 metre backstroke Joshua Alleyne 1:13.12
27 15-17 girls 400 metre IM Bryanna Renuart 5:12.16


Arubans Daniel Jacobs and Patrick Groters Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

The (Nova Southeastern University) University School’s Aruban contingent of Patrick Groters and Daniel Jacobs made a record breaking impact at the Florida 1A state championships. Both lowered their school records at the meet held at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center on Friday Nov 11.

Patrick Groters 100 yard backstroke Gold Medallist Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Groters lowered his personal best by 2 seconds and broke the 50 second barrier to win the 100 yard backstroke in 49.19.His victory, which was also a school record, was clear from the first 50 yards as he had the only sub 24 split at 23.97. He also was the only swimmer under 50 seconds in the Championship final as he won by over a second. Of all the 4 divisions in the Florida high school championships Patrick’s Gold medal winning time was the fastest of all.

Patrick Groters backstroke start Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Groters would also see another significant time drop and school record in the 200 yard individual medley. At the beginning of the year his personal best stood at 1:50.22. That was bettered in the heats when he clocked 1:49.91. He would be even faster in the final when he won the Silver in a time of 1:48.52 (split time 50.31). That ranks Patrick as the 3rd fastest in Florida. He and teammate Jacobs would win the B final of the 100 yard freestyle relay in a time of 3:16.09.It was the sub 47 second splits of 46.44 by Daniel and 46.58 by Patrick that was proved decisive for the University team.

From left to right Coach Jay Fitzgerald, Patrick Groters, Coach Mariusz Podkoscielny

Patrick had the following thoughts about his swims.

“All around it was a great experience. Had an amazing time with both my team-mates and swimming. I’m glad with all my times even in the relay (even though we were in the B final). All around it was a great meet, swimming with people that I’ve known for a long time. My results surprised me and motivated me too continue to practice hard and to further improve my times. This is just another step forward to my preparation for long course season in 2017 to represent Aruba.”

Daniel Jacobs 200 yard freestyle Bornze medallist Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Daniel would also have a school record double. In the 200 yard freestyle he moved up from 4th in the B final in 2015 to win Bronze this year. In achieving that feat he went under the 1:40 barrier to record a time of 1:39.67 (split time 48.27).That swim places him 9th in Florida

The 500 yard freestyle saw him missing the podium but still with a new school record of 4:30.75 and 10th place overall in Florida. He had the following thoughts about his performance.

Daniel Jacobs Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

 “I am very pleased with my results at States, especially with my 200 Free going sub 1.40 which I had not expected. My goal was to make the junior nationals cut in both events which I achieved. I am already back in the water preparing for junior nationals which is held in Ohio. I feel with these times that I did I am right on track for my goals for long yourself season when I represent Aruba.”

University school finished 8th in the boys category with 53 points.


Heindrick Champrobert 200 freestyle Gold medallist 13-14
Heindrick Champrobert 13-14 boys 200 freestyle Gold medallist Photo courtesy of
Alex Sobers receing award
Alex Sobers of Barbados(left) 15-17 boys champion in the 200 and 400 metre freestyle receing award Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Yael Touw Ngie Tjouw of Suriname receiving the award for being the top 13-14 boy
Yael Touw Ngie Tjouw of Suriname (far right) Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque


Chade Nercisio 13-14 breastroke Triple Gold medallist
Chade Nercisio 13-14 breaststroke Triple Gold medallist Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Lilly Higgs 15-17 100 metre breaststroke champion
Lilly Higgs 15-17 100 metre breaststroke champion Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Izaak Bastian CARIFTA page
Izaak Bastian 13-14 boys triple breaststroke Gold medallist all in record time Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Bermudan Medallists bernews
Bemudan medallists From left to right Shannon Hassell,Jesse Washington,Madelyn Moore and Sam Williamson Photo courtesy of
Team Grenada
Team Grenada Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Team Trinidad and Tobago
Team Trinidad and Tobago Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque



Charlotte  GuadeloupeCharlotte Backovic Bronze medallist Girls 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque



Team Suriname
Team Suriname Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Team St Vincent and the Grenadines
Team St Vincent and the Grenadines Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Team Aruba
Team Aruba Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Team Guadeloupe
Team Guadeloupe Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Team Martinique
Team Martinique Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Dustin Tynes Ohio State Swimming
Dustin Tynes Photo courtesy of Ohio State Swimming



Bahamian standout Izaak Bastian (Saint Andrews) accounted for 3 of the 8 records that fell on the final day of the 2016 CARIFTA swimming championships on Friday March 25.

The first Championship record actually fell to Kenzo Simons in the boys 13-14 age group as he bettered the 2011 record of Aruban Jordy Groters (Missouri) by the slimmest of margins 24.49 to 24.50.

He would return to swim the identical time in the final but that is when Bastian dropped more than a second from his preliminaries to time to record a new Championship record of 24.25. In setting the record he also lowered the 24.64 Bahamian age group record set Gershwin Greene (Baylor) in 2013.Simons would pocket the Silver while Julien Berol of Martinique took the Bronze in 24.69.

He would lower another Championship record in the 100 metre breaststroke .He would take out the first 50 in 32.46 and come home in the only sub 36 split of 35.30 to touch the wall in 1:07.76.That time bettered the 1:07.99 set by countryman Dustin Tynes (Ohio State) in 2011. Bastian swept the breaststroke events all in record time. Jeremie Delbois of St Maarten was second in 1:10.68 while Luke Gillette of Trinidad and Tobago was third in 1:11.17.

Izaak’s final Gold medal and Championship record was in the 200 metre freestyle relay. The team of Heindrick Champrobert 25.76, Samuel Gibson 25.45, Darren Laing 25.44 and Bastian with the fastest split of the relays 23.89 touched in a total time of 1:40.54.The old record of 1:40.90 was set by the 2010 Trinidad and Tobago team of Joshua Romany (Tennessee) Dylan Carter (USC), Blaine Sobrian and Keegan Boisson-Yates (Iona). The 2013 age record of 1:42.58 set by Jared Fitzgerald  (Peddie),Alexander Encinar (Peddie) Miller Albury (Cantebury) and Michael Hernandez. Martinique won the Silver medal in a time of 1:41.32 and Suriname the Bronze in 1:41.73.

McCallum Clarke of Barbados completed the breaststroke sweep in the 11-12 age group. He broke the Championship record of 1:13.81 by Aruba Brandon Cheong set in 2014 when he clocked 1:13.67.That time equalled his age group record set in February of this year. In the final he went out in 35.23 over a second and clocked the only sub 38 last 50 of 37.87 to win a new Championship and Barbadian age group record of 1:13.10.Silver went to Alexander Joachim of St Vincent and the Grenadines in 1:17.30 and the Bronze to Sam Williamson of Bermuda in 1:19.34.Sam broke Keegan Wooley’s Bermudan age group record of 1:22.23 set in December 2015.

It was yet another dominant display by the Higgs sisters Lilly and Margaret (SwimMAC Carolina) in yet another breaststroke event. Both ladies went out in hard in times of 33.87 (Margaret) and 33.97 (Lilly) respectively. Coming home Lilly split the only sub 39 time of 38.15 to edge her sister for the Gold 1:12.12 to 1:12.94.She also earned herself the Championship record as she beat the standard of 1:12.33 set by Trinidad and Tobago representative Alexandria Donahue (Brown) in 2013.Jamaican Bryanna Renuart won the Bronze in 1:16.58.

In the backstroke events it was Barbadian rising star Danielle Titus that took the spotlight in the 200 metre race .In the final she held off the challenge of Bermudan standout Emma Harvey 2:25.72 Silver and Yasmina Frederic of Guadeloupe Bronze 2:32.04 to take Gold in a new Championship record of 2:24.16. For Titus that breaks the Barbadian age group record of 2:27.75 set by Amara Gibbs set in 2011.It was also the fastest time done by a girl in the 200 metre backstroke race at the Championships. Harvey also lowered her age group record of 2:31.64.

Jamaican Olympic hopeful Keanan Dols lowered the 15-17 boys’ record of 2:07.48 set Cayman Islands Olympian Brett Fraser (2008, 2012) in 2007 to 2:07.26 in the morning heats. He would return to take the Gold medal in the final with a time of 2:07.30. The Silver medal was won by Patrick Groters (Pine Crest) in new Aruban age group and senior national mark of 2:08.95.Groters had set both previous standards at 2:09.34 set CARIFTA 2015 in Barbados.

In the 400 metre freestyle events Laureen Foumann of Guadeloupe completed the 11-12 200 /400 double when she won in 4:50.79.Silver was won by Danielle Treasure of Barbados in 4:52.17 while the Bronze went to Lamar Taylor of Trinidad and Tobago in 4:53.43.

In the 13-14 girls age group Titus of Barbados won in 4:40.37 ahead of Franelly Angele of Guadeloupe 4:45.60 and Jada Chatoor of Trinidad and Tobago 4:45.89 who repeated her .Bronze medal performance in the 200 race.

The senior girls race went to Barbadian Hannah Gill (Baylor) in a time of 4:29.76.Lilly Higgs won yet another medal placing second in a time of 4:34.89.The Bronze was won by Vanessa Esposito of Bermuda in 4:35.50 in a new Bermudan 17-18 record. The previous record was set by Nicole Yearwood at the 2009 CARIFTA championships.

In the 11-12 boys age group it was the exact same order from the 200 race as Mitch Bourgeouis won in 4:32.94.His teammate Tom Lerno took the Silver in 4:38.86 and Clarke of Barbados the Bronze in 4:44.00.

In the 13-14 age group Anaique Zachelin of Guadeloupe 4:15.03 Gold switched places with Heindrick Champrobert of Martinique 4:19.11Silver from the 200 event, The Bronze was won by Anthony Mercury of Guadeloupe in 4:21.15.

Alex Sobers of Barbados repeated his 2015 feat of being the senior boys 200/400 freestyle champion as he won in 4:02.01.He killed of the race as a contest with his 200 split of 1:57.25, the only sub 2minute split of the competition. Second was his teammate Damon St Prix in 4:07.94.The Bronze went Aruban Daniel Jacobs in a time of 4:08.87.

In the sprint event Jamaican Emily MacDonald was crowned the fastest 11-12 girl in the CARIFTA region when she touched the wall in 28.15.In winning the race she also lowered the 2001 record of 28.23 set by Olympian Alia Atkinson (2004, 2008, 2012).The Silver went Naele Portecop of Guadeloupe in 28.80 and the Bronze to Logan Watson-Brown of Bermuda in 28.83.

Chade Nercisio of Curacao is the fastest 13-14 girl in the CARIFTA region as she stopped the clock in 26.98. She finished ahead Harvey of Bermuda 27.17 and Analia Pigree of French Guiana 27.29.

The senior girls title went to Bermudan Madelyn Moore in a time of 26.75.She held off Jamaican Kelsie Campbell who touched in 27.13 and Charlotte Backovic of Guadeloupe 27.32.

The fastest 11-12 boy in the CARIFTA region is Youris Geran of Guadeloupe who clocked 27.07.The Silver was won by Leandro Berenstein of Suriname in 27.22 and Lamar Taylor of the Bahamas won Bronze in 27.68.

Jared Fitzgerald of the Bahamas crowned himself the senior boys sprint king with his clocking of 24 .00.He was pushed to the win by teammate N’nhyn Fernander 24.11and Steven Aimable of French Guiana 24.15.

In the 100 metre breaststroke races Sabine Ellison of the Cayman Islands proved she was the best female breaststroker in the 11-12 age group when she completed the sweep and won the 100 in a time of 1:23.67. Kate-lye Brivet of Guadeloupe won the Silver in 1:24.99. Audrey Moore of the US Virgin Islands took the Bronze in 1:25.27.

Nercisio of Curacao confirmed she had no equal in the 13-14 when she took the 50,100 and 200 treble. She won the 100 metre race in a time of 1:15.89. Willi-insha-marie Jules-Marthe of Martinique won the Silver in 1:17.54.Guadeloupe’s Farah Sheikboudhou took the Bronze in 1:18.77.

Adriel Sanes of the USVI took the senior boys title in the 100 metre breaststroke. His opening 50 split of 30.49 proved to be the major  difference as he held off Trinidad and Tobago’s Jeron Thompson 1:05.45 to 1:06.23.The Bronze went Alexander Encinar of the Bahamas in 1:07.15.

In the 200 metre backstroke races Treasure of Barbados held off a fast finishing Anouk Kamise of Guadeloupe to take the 11-12 title 2:30.03 to 2:30.73.She also prevented Kamise from sweeping the event .Kamise’s teammate Foumann won Bronze in 2:37.71.

Lauren Hew of the Cayman Islands prevented yet another sweep of the top spots by the Higgs sisters when she took the senior girls event in 2:27.12.Margaret took the Silver in 2:29.33 while sister Lilly was a touch behind in 2:29.51.

Yael Touw Ngie Tjouw of Suriname completed his marathon individual programme when he completed the 13-14 boys backstroke sweep. He took the event in 2:14.83 ahead of teammate Simons in 2:16.58 and Peter Morley of the Bahamas 2:17.80.

The 200 metre freestyle relays which was the last event of the competition saw the ladies of Guadeloupe being crowned the fastest in the 11-12 age group with a time of 1:58.86.They finished ahead of Martinique and the Bahamas who were timed at 1:59.55 and 1:59.97 respectively. The fastest split was provided by Guadeloupe’s anchor Naele Portecop who clocked 28.38.

The ladies from Trinidad and Tobago are the fastest in CARIFTA region for the 13-14 age group as they took top hours in a time of 1:53.57.They held of the challenges of Barbados 1:55.30and Martinique 1:56.95 respectively. The fastest split was recorded by Danielle Williams of Trinidad and Tobago who anchored her team in a time of 27.82.

The senior girls relay was won by the Martinique team in a time of 1:50.75.Team Jamaica finished with the Silver in a new national age group record of 1:50.85 and Guadeloupe took the Bronze in 1:51.09.The fastest split was recorded by Mika Heideyer of Martinique who recorded 26.91 on third leg duties.

In the 11-12 boys race Guadeloupe were crowned Champions with their time of 1:50.24.Bahamas won the Silver in a time of 1:54.73 with Barbados taking the Bronze in a time of 1:55.31. The 50 freestyle Champion Geran ensured that he left the meet with a sub 27 clocking .He led off his team with a time of 26.97, the fastest of the relays.

The final race saw the Bahamas team confirmed as the fastest in the CARIFTA region with their winning time of 1:37.48.Trinidad and Tobago won the Silver in 1:38.08 and the Bronze went to Martinique in 1:39.28.The fastest split was record by N’nhyn Fernander who posted 23.78 on the 3rd leg for the Bahamas.

Guadeloupe topped the medal standings winning 23 Gold, 25 Silver and 18 Bronze medals. Bahamas finished second overall with 22 Gold, 22 Silver and 12 Bronze medals. Barbados was third with 18 Gold, 11 Silver and 15 Bronze medals.



Raiz Tjon A Joe
Raiz Tjon A Joe Photo courtesy of Azura Florida Aquatics


Albury Higgs
Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of
Izaak Bastian
Izaak Bastian


Jesse Marsh
Jesse Marsh
Jay Fitgerald ,Patrick Groters,Maruis Podkoscielny
Jay Fitgerald ,Patrick Groters,Maruisz Podkoscielny

Suriname’s Raiz Tjon A Joe worked his way onto the podium of the final day of yard swimming at the  2015 Speedo Winter Jr. Championships – East on Saturday Dec 12. Raiz representing Azura Florida aquatics edged his season best and personal best of 45.05 by the slimmest of margins to record a new standard of 45.04 and be 6th heading into the Championship final of the 100 yard freestyle. His split time was 21.28. Raiz had more in the tank in the final in the evening. He ripped a 20.72 50 yard split to be leading with two lengths to go.He held on to secure the Silver medal in 44.03 taking more than a second off his time in a sprint event. He won the 15-17 100 metre  Silver medal at this year’s CARIFTA Games in 52.57.

SwimMac Carolina’s sister act of Albury and Lilly Higgs punched their tickets to the final of the 200 yard breaststroke with personal bests. Albury crushed her season best of 2:17.01 and personal best of 2:16.87 to register 2:14.37 to be ranked 5th going into the Championship final. Sister Lilly destroyed her season best of 2:26.63 to be 8th going into the final. Her previous personal standard of 2:19.22 was also blown away. In the final it would be Albury who would again lower her personal best. Her new personal record now stands at 2:14.07. She took the out the race half a second faster at the 50 yard mark in 1:03.96 to help her secure 5th position. Lilly improved upon her position after the morning heats to finish 7th in 2:15.80. At CARIFTA 2015 Albury won the 15-17 200 metre breaststroke Gold medal in 2:39.53 while the Lilly won the 13-14 equivalent in 2:41.14. Swimming the 200 metre breaststroke at the World Junior Swimming Championships in Singapore Lily clocked 2:40.48 while Albury was timed in 2:36.78.


Aruban Patrick Groters was the next best placed CARIFTA region swimmer. The 16 year old representing Pine Crest Swimming was 30th in the 200 yard backstroke in a new personal best time of 1:49.27He destroyed his previous personal best of 1:56.75. Groters is the reigning 15-17 Silver medallist in the 200 metre backstroke having clocked 2:09.34 in Bridgetown earlier this year. At the World Junior Championships in Singapore in August he posted a time of 2:09.89.

Saint Andrew’s Bahamian Izaak Bastian lowered his personal best of 2:05.36 in the 200 yard event to record a time of 2:04.13. Bastian won the 200 metre breaststroke in Barbados in his first year of the 13-14 age group in 2:28.15.

His countryman Jared Fitzgerald who swims for Peddie was 58th in the 100 yard freestyle in 46.67. Fitzgerald was 8th in the 15-17 100 metre freestyle at CARIFTA 2015 in 54.49.

In the 400 yard freestyle relay Saint Andrews was 22nd  in a time of 3:07.40. Jamaican Jesse Marsh took charge of third leg duties with a 48.29 split. Bastian anchored in 47.11.

Fitzgerald helped Peddie to 23rd with his 2nd leg split of 46.51 .The total time for Peddie was 3:07.80.

Aruban Patrick Groters started the relay for Pine Crest with a 46.94.they finished 24th in 3:08.02.

SwimMac Carolina won the girls competition with 57s points.

Azura Florida Aquatics was 18th in the boys competition with  62.50 points. Baylor was 19th with 56 points. Saint Andrew’s Swimming was 38th with 16 points.


Raiz Tjon A Joe
Raiz Tjon A Joe Photo courtesy of Azura Florida Aquatics
Albury Higgs,Dad, Lilly Higgs
Albury Higgs,Dad, Lilly Higgs Photo courtesy of the


Suriname’s Raiz Tjon A Joe qualified for his second Championship final in the yard breaststroke in Atlanta Georgia when he stroked his way to a new season and personal best of 54.45.His split time was 25.25 on his way to qualifying third fastest for the final .His previous season best was 54.64 done at the Florida 1A State Championships. In the final the 18 year old Azura Florida Aquatics standout finished 8th in 55.59.His time done in the morning would have placed him 4th. Raiz had won the 100 metre breaststroke Silver medal in the 15-17 age group at the 2015 CARIFTA championships in 1:07.71

The second CARIFTA region swimmer who advanced to a championship final was SwimMac Carolina’s Bahamian swimmer Albury Higgs. She blasted her season best of 1:06.24 as well as her personal best of 1:03.17 to clock a new standard of 1:02.24.Her split time was 29.52 .She had been the 9th fastest swimmer overall but with the scratch by Alex Walsh of Nashville aquatics she advanced to the final .In the final she placed 8th with a 1:02.49.Higgs won the 100 metre breaststroke Gold medal in the 15-17 age group at CARIFTA in Barbados earlier this year in 1:15.18. She also competed in the same event at the World Junior Championships in Singapore where she clocked 1:13.02.

Team mate and sister Lilly won the B final of the 100 yard breaststroke .she came from behind for the win. Trailing the field in the 5th place at the halfway way mark with her split of 29.46 she came back to win in 1:01.94. Higgs won the 13-14 100 metre breaststroke at this year’s CARIFTA in 1:14.35.At the World Junior Championships she posted a time of 1:13.00.
Countryman Izaak Bastian of Saint Andrews clocked his 3rd fastest ever 100 yard breaststroke of 57.36 to finish 53rd .His 50 yard split was 26.75. Bastian won the 13-14 100 metre breaststroke at CARIFTA in 1:08.27.
Another Bahamian Jared Fitzgerald of Peddie was 105th in 1:00.49 .His split time was 28.97.Jared was 7th at this year’s CARIFTA in 15-17 100 metre breaststroke in 1:11.11.

Albury Higgs competing in the 400 yard Individual medley finished 25th in 4:22.94. The 16 year old beat her season best of 4:34.89 as well as her personal best of 4:29.89.She won the CARIFTA Silver medal in the 15-17 age group in the 400 metre individual medley in 5:07.81. At the World Junior Championships she stroked her way to 5:04.13.
Aruban Patrick Groters who is representing Pine Crest Swimming was 27th in male equivalent in 3:58.74.He was the CARIFTA 15-17 Silver medallist in the 400 metre individual medley in 4:40.16.At the World Junior Championships he was timed in 4:43.26 for the same event.
In 100 yard backstroke Groters recorded a big time drop. Heading into these Championships he had a 100 yard backstroke season best of 55.03 and a personal best of 54.35 .He crushed those standards to record 51.05 for 66th . His 50 yard split was 24.87.At the 2015 CARIFTA championships he won Bronze in the 15-17 100 metre backstroke in 1:00.63. In Singapore at the World Junior Championships he registered a time of 59.88.
In the 200 yard freestyle Raiz clocked the 3rd fastest relay split of the competition of 19.96 on his 2nd leg to help Azura to 15th overall in 1:24.40.
Bahamian Gershwin Greene’s second leg of 20.55 helped Baylor to 16th overall in 1:24.42.
Groters 2nd leg for Pine Crest was timed at 20.65 .Pine Crest finished 21st in1:24.91.
Bastian produced a 21.16 second leg effort for Saint Andrews .Jamaican teammate Jesse Marsh split his 3rd leg at 22.25. Saint Andrews finished 23rd overall in 1:25.04.
Fitzgerald had an opening time of 21.71 to help Peddie to 30th overall in a total time of 1:26.24.