The CARIFTA region has reason to be very proud of its swimmers this conference season in the NCAA. One of the swimmers bringing joy to the US Virgin Islands and the wider region was Adriel Sanes . Representing the Denver University Pioneers Sanes was on fire for the Summit League championships presented by  United States Air Force Special Operations which ran from Feb 19 to 22 at the Midco Aquatic Center in Sioux Falls.

He started the meet with a new a Championship record in the 200 yard medley relay. The Pioneers A team of Cameron Auchinachie backstroke 21.33, Cy Jager breaststroke 23.49 , Sanes butterfly 21.05 and Sid Farber 19.00 handling anchor freestyle duties had no problems winning by over four seconds in a total time of 1:24.87, a NCAA B time. The team swim also took down the Championship record of 1:26.02 set by the 2017 Pioneers team. Each member of the team had the fastest splits for their respective strokes. The Pioneers also came close to their school record of 1:24.63 set at the Princeton Invitational in December last year.

Day two saw the same quartet knocking over yet another 2017 Pioneer record .This time it was in the 200 yard freestyle relay. The relay saw Cameron opening up the proceedings with a time of 19.33, followed by Sid 19.02,Jager 19.50 and then Sanes cementing the win with a split of 19.63. The total time was 1:17.48 erasing the old Championship mark of 1:17.62.It was done in yet another NCAA B standard time and came withing touching distance of the school record and NCAA time they produced in December of 1:17.09.

Patrick Groters. Photo courtesy of

In the 200 yard individual medley the Pioneers and the CARIFTA region occupied the top two spots. Aruban teammate Patrick Groters took down the school and Championship of 1:46.95 set by Tim Cottam in 2017 to record a new standard of 1:46.24. Sanes took the Silver in a time of 1:47.90 just off his personal best.He had the fastest breaststroke split of the field with a time of 30.50.

Pioneers sweep sprint breaststroke

It was back to regular programming for Sanes on Day three. In the 100 yard breaststroke he negative split the race 26.76 and 26.45 to record a new personal record of 53.21. In the final that strategy would not be employed as he and defending champion and teammate Cy Jager let it all hang out on the first 50 yards. Sanes had the slight edge 24.52 to Jager’s 24.53. Adriel’s strong last 50 yards of 27.80, the only sub 28 seconds of the Championships decided the winner. He touched in 52.32 , a new school,Championship and CARIFTA region best.The old school and Championship record belonged to Cottam at 53.00. The Pioneers dominated the event taking the top four spots.

100 yard breaststroke podium.Photo courtesy of J Klemme
Sanes flashes a winning smile after securing the 200 yard breaststroke Conference Crown in a CARIFTA regional all time best time Photo courtesy of Denver University parents

The final day would see yet another personal record, school record, NCAA B cut and CARIFTA region best in the 200 yard breaststroke. Sanes had the best splits on all four 50’s and had a total time of 1:55.70. He is the only swimmer from the CARIFTA region under 1:56.00.

First 5025.4725.86
second 5029.0029.41
Third 5029.9330.52
Fourth 5031.3032.55
Total Time1:55.701:58.34

He ended the meet anchoring the 400 yard freestyle relay with a split of 45.75.The team had a total time of 2:55.83.

Summit League MVP.Photo courtesy of Denver University parents

For his great efforts Adriel was named the Championship Swimming MVP.

Denver Pioneer Champion Men’s team Photo courtesy of Denver University parents

The Pioneers won the men’s title with 1,082.50 points.The University of South Dakota were runner up with 706.5. Third place was won by South Dakota State University with a total of 645.50 points.

Adriel Sanes. Photo courtesy of Denver University parents

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to the talented Sanes in March about his swims

What has been the difference from last years Summit Champs to  now mentally and in terms of training?

“So last season, the team went through some issues and it took a toll on me mentally. The training was great, but training could only get you so far if you’re not mentally ready. So last year’s Summit League Champs, it wasn’t as good as I trained for as I only went one best time. Still won the relays and the 200 breast, but it wasn’t as great, especially with the 200 breast being my best event. As with this year’s Summit League Champs, it was much different. Coming off of a great mid season meet that I had in Princeton where I went best times in all my events and helped qualify 3 relays to the NCAA Championships, it boosted my mental toughness to believing I could even do better at this year’s Summit League Champs. The training leading up to the meet was the best I’ve ever had and the week of the meet, I knew I was ready to dominate”.

He was also quizzed about his 100 breaststroke tactics

Your endurance has improved greatly.You negative split the heats coming back in 26.45.And in the final you really went after it splitting 24.5.What sets have you been working on to build this speed endurance and describe that race

“The result of that race was a real shocker to me. I know I’ve put in a lot of hard work over the season, over many years actually, but the result of that race still shocks me to this day. I normally train mid distance, but there are still plenty of opportunities I’ve had to train for the speed of the 100. Sets I’ve done that has helped are sets that I would do 50s at fast pace and hold that pace on short intervals of rest. Other sets are ones we wear cords and do 8-12 strokes fast against a strong resistance.Now with that 100 breast race, at Princeton, I already dropped .50 seconds off my best time going 53.50. So in prelims, I wanted to go as close to 53.00 or even break the barrier. I went 53.21 with good splitting and my teammate went 53.09, so I knew it was going to be a great race at finals. I was nervous before the race as I knew it was a race to break the 53 barrier and win the race. Knowing my teammate is more of the sprinter and takes it out strong, if I stayed right with him, I knew I could win the race as I have a great back half that I’ve trained for and especially since I’m great at the 200. The buzzer goes off and the first 50 was how I wanted/needed it to be. I could see I was right with my teammate and I told myself “I got this.” My walls and pullouts were tremendous and helped being able to take the race out in a 24.52 and bringing it back in a 27.80. Touching the wall to see a time of 52.32 was exciting, but shocking as I didn’t have any idea that I was swimming that fast. I couldn’t believe it honestly. It was a school and conference record by a wide margin. Now with that time, it is a strong possibility that it will be an invite time to the NCAA Championships and I could go to swim individually and not just on the relays, which is still exciting to this day”.


Sanes was already the fastest of all time in the 200 yard breaststroke from 2018 when he overtook Aruban Jordy Groters best of 1:56.60 with a swim of 1:56.24. Jordy set that time at the 2016 NCAA Division I championships.He continues to be the best of all time and the first swimmer under 1:56.00 with his PB of 1:55.70.

Jordy Groters Photo courtesy of

He is also the fastest swimmer ever from the CARIFTA region in the 100 breaststroke as he got under another Groters standard from the 2016 NCAA Division I Champs of 52.70 with his swim of 52.32.

Sanes was selected for All American honours by College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) and will also be a team captain for the 2020 -2021 season.


DaVante Carey .Photo courtesy of

Bahamian DaVante Carey has been having a dream season in his freshman year for McKendree University. Though the Division II Championships was shortened due to the worldwide pandemic there was still enough time for DaVante to dazzle in the 200 yard medley relay.

The Bearcats came to the Championships with a school standard of 1:26.31 from the GLVC Conference Champions.They were just off that time with a swim of 1:26.84. Carey, however again lowered the 50 yard backstroke record. He carried the Bearcats to new heights with the lowering of his time from 21.88 to 21.84.

The defending CARIFTA Champion in the 50 metre backstroke would prove he had more speed to burn in the final on March 11 at the SPIRE Institute. In the final he took off after a 10.65 25 yards split to touch in yet another school record of 21.45.This gave his teammates a lead that they would not relinquish.John Heapy with his breaststroke gave a leg of 23.82. On the butterfly Gregg Lichinsky recorded a time of 20.57 and then Namibian Alexander Skinner brought it home in a time of 19.45. They took off a second to record a new time of 1:25.29. They were just off the NCAA Championship record of 1:24.83.


History makers from left to right Head Coach Jimmy Tierney,Gregg Lichinsky, John Heapy, Carey,Alexander Skinner and Assistant Coach Nathan Townsend. Photo courtesy of

The Gold for McKendree is the first in program history for the University in the event. Carey continues to push The Bahamas and the Bearcats into new speed zones as he continues to break the yards record and exert his dominance as the best ever in this event. This Gold represents the first relay Championship title for the CARIFTA in the NCAA Division II .


October 26,201922.96
November 22,201922.42
Feb 12,202021.88
March 11,202021.84
March 11,202021.45
Paul Pijulet .Photo courtesy of zimeo

He also recorded the second fastest time done in the last 10 years in the Championship finals of the event. Only Frenchman Paul Pijulet of Queens has been faster in recent years with his blast of 21.41. Pijulet was a senior in 2018 when he recorded his personal best and Queens went on to win the national title in a record time of 1:24.83.

Siobhan Cropper Photo courtesy of GettyImages

Carey now joins an small elite group swimmers of to have lifted the NCAA title in this event .Those are the Olympians from Team Trinidad and Tobago Siobhan Cropper in 1998 and 2001 with Stanford and Dylan Carter (Rio 2016) with the University of Southern California.Both swimmers won their titles at the NCAA Division I champs

Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of Dylan Carter


Alex Sobers 2019 500 yard freestyle Champion Photo courtesy of goeclions

Carey was not alone flying the regional colours with pride . Earning the Silver was the Terrific Two from Team TTO . Representing the University of Indianapolis Greyhounds Jeron Thompson and Kael Yorke’s team had a total time of 1:25.80. Reigning 500 yard freestyle champion Alex Sobers of Emmanuel College anchored the Lions to 5th for a total time of 1:26.42.

The 15-17 50 metre backstroke finalists in the 2019 and 2018 edition of the CARIFTA Championships that competed in yard have all improved this season . DaVante again was the leader in this shortened season

DaVante Carey21.45BAH
Jeron Thompson21.61TTO
Jack Kirby21.85BAR
Patrick Groters23.13ARU
Tristan Pragnell24.38BAR
Jack Harvey24.50BER
Nicholas Vale24.64JAM
Zachary Moore24.91CAY
2018 CCCAN 15-17 50 metre backstroke medal podium from left to right Thompson Team TTO, Carey and Juan Morales Restrepo of Colombia. Photo courtesy of CCCAN

Carey who has been undefeated at the CCCAN level for the last three years and gave his impressions of his performance

“Going into the morning swim I was not feeling well. I did not swim the day before due to food poisoning. So really I did not know what I was getting myself into. But after my morning swim I knew that I was going to be fine in the night due to me going a PB in the morning. Furthermore, coming back in the night the my teammates and I just set our eyes on that first place position and we did that. I started it off with the 50 backstroke split of 21.45, the fastest time in DII this season and that was really exciting for me due to me only being a freshman. But overall I am really proud of my times in the past season and I hope I can continue the trend into next season”.


Patrick Groters Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Before 2019 became history Aruban Patrick Groters was making his own for Aruba and himself. Competing at the US Open in December Patrick lowered the national record in the 200 individual medley. He crushed the old standard of 2:03.33 set during the preliminaries of the 2019 Pan AM Games in Peru to take it down to 2:01.62  on Dec 5.He set that time during the morning heats of the meet bettering the 2020 Tokyo Olympic B standard of 2:03.26.
That historic swim would earn him a second swim in the B final where he would again be much better than the B standard placing sixth in a time of 2:01.84.

The meet which was held at the McAuley Natatorium , home of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games sees Patrick as fourth  on the all time rankings of the best from the CARIFTA region in the event.

Jeremy Knowles Photo courtesy of Bahamas swimming
Bradley AllyBarbados2008 Olympics1:58.57
George Bovell IIITrinidad and Tobago2004  Olympics1:58.80
Jeremy KnowlesThe Bahamas2008 Olympics2:01.35
Groters Brothers Patrick and Jordy

Patrick is being guided on his road to Tokyo by his older brother Jordy. Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Jordy after the competition and got his thoughts about Patrick’s progression since the PAN American Games in August

“During the taper Patrick was definitely swimming very confidently and doing some pretty good times. Swimming the same race seemed very reasonable. During the race, however, the splits he did were faster than what we had trained for. The butterfly was right on what he needed to be. The 29.9 backstroke and 35.4 breaststroke were absolutely unreal. We had trained to for 30-mids in backstroke and 36 in breaststroke. The freestyle was the only let down of the race, being the only split that was slower than his race at Pan AMs by about half a second. We tried to improve that freestyle in Finals and it was even more obvious in that race how crucial a good closing leg is. Patrick swam in between Will Licon (2019 US PAN AM Games Gold medallist in the 200 IM) and Caeleb Dressel (2016 Olympic Gold medallist,2019 50 metre freestyle World Champion)  in the B final and was ahead of Dressel and right behind Licon at the 150. Dressel’s monster freestyle leg almost won him the race, touching only 0.01 behind Licon. Patrick touched two seconds after them despite being “in the race” at the 150. To be fair, Patrick’s freestyle was a bit faster than the morning but he wasn’t under 30 seconds like he was at Pan AMs. Considering how much of the other splits he improved from Pan AMs, he could’ve been 29 low or maybe even 28 high. Had he done that then he could’ve even been 2:00“.

Record ComparisonPAN AM GamesUS Open
Total Time2:03.332:01.62

Jordy also spoke about the way forward

“Regardless of all these hypotheticals, I was beyond ecstatic with the result. Another giant time drop so close to the last one is a huge confidence booster and a great sign for the coming months. There’s still about 6 months to go before the Olympic qualification window is closed. Six months to work on the back-half and make sure he can race the likes of Dressel and Licon until the end! I believe six months is more than enough time to make another 200 IM improvement and even challenge the A standard. He’ll definitely be challenging the B standards in both Backstrokes, as well. Those events were a little off this meet but the mission was a success. We came here to get a B cut and he was well beneath it”.

Andrew Phillips Photo courtesy of

The CARIFTA region has enjoyed success in this event. In 1984 Jamaican Andrew Phillips became the first person to make the Olympic final placing sixth  in a then national record time of 2:05.60.

Bradley Ally Photo courtesy of panamerican world

In 2008 in Beijing China Bradley Ally of Barbados was just .10 outside the Olympic Final with a semi-final effort of 1:59.53 finishing ninth overall. He had set the CARIFTA region’s fastest time ever with a swim of 1:58.57.

George Bovell III Photo courtesy of

The crowning moment for this event was the Athens Bronze medal swim by Bovell in a time of 1:58.80.

The region is looking forward to seeing what the next few months will hold for Patrick as he looks to add to the Aruban and CARIFTA legacy at the Olympics.


In the CARIFTA region there have been a number of sibling acts that have raised the standard of swimming in their countries with top swims, records and medal performances.

Allan Murray Photo courtesy of The Bahamas Olympic committe

At the 1999 Winnipeg Games we hadBahamian brothers Allan and Christopher Murray who were Championship finalists in the 50 metre freestyle .Chris placed 6th in 23.22 and Allan 7th in 23.30. They also set set then national relay records of 3:58.37 in the medley relay and 3:31.46 in the 400 metre freestyle relay that was broken recently by the AWESOME FOUR of Fitzgerald, Greene ,Fernander and Carey.

Janelle Atkinson Photo courtesy of

Also at those Games was the Jamaican sister act of Janelle and Jilandre Atkinson .Janelle would have the best single Games performance for Jamaica when she won three Silver medals in the 200 2:01.11, 400 metre freestyle 4:10.83 and 800 metre freestyle 8:39.51.Janelle,Jilandre , Tamara Swaby and Dawn Kane then Chuck who is a coach at Brown University set a then national record in the 400 metre freestyle relay of 4:04.76.

Shaune and Brett Fraser displaying ther 200 metre freestyle medals at the 2011 Games

In 2011 we had the Cayman Islands duo of Shaune and Brett Fraser who has made a return to competitive elite swimming at the 2019 Games winning Gold and Silver in the 200 metre freestyle.Brett took Gold in 1:47.18 and Shaune the Silver in 1:48.29.

Jada Chatoor before her historic 10K swim Photo courtesy of Camille Chatoor

Also from Team Trinidad and Tobago we have the brother and sister pair of Graham and Jada Chatoor. Jada became the first female swimmer to compete in swimming marathon the 10k in open water.Older Brother Graham became the fastest ever swimmer from the twin island republic in the 400 metre freestyle race at PAN AMs when he set a personal best of 4:02.77 to place fifth in the B final.

The above mentioned names are just a few of such CARIFTA region families who have competed in recent years.

Jordy Groters Photo courtesy of

In 2019 we have the Groters brother Jordy and Patrick. Jordy had retired from elite level competition having made his mark at the 2011 and 2015 Games. He played an integral in younger brother Patrick’s training this summer. It has worked tremendously with Patrick lowering his own national record in the 200 metre backstroke of 2:03.47 to set a standard of 2:02.32.He also became the first Aruban to make a Championship final in this event. He was just outside the top 8 with his 100 metre backstroke heats and national record swim of 56.20. In the B final he became the highest placed Aruban in the event with a second place and national record swim of 55.82.

Draftingthecaribbean contacted Jordy on Friday August 9 and he spoke about the path he charted for his brother for the summer of 2019

“Patrick swam the 200 on the 7th and swam a new PB and National record during prelims dropping 1.1s from 2:03.47 to 2:02.32. To the casual audience, that may not seem like a lot, but I am sure that I don’t have to tell you that dropping a full second from your PB doesn’t happen often, especially not at the elite level.

Patrick behind the blocks before his first major international final in the 200 metre backstroke Photo courtesy of the Aruban Olympic Committee

Though his swim in finals did not go as we would have hoped (let’s call it nerves from being in his first Pan Am Finals), we did see one positive takeaway: he had amazing front-end speed. He was out 1st at the 50m, which again, wasn’t what he was supposed to do.

Patrick starts in the final of the 200 metre backstroke Photo courtesy of the Aruban Olympic Committee

He jumped the gun, which led to him fading hard and fast in the second 100. Of course he was disappointed not being able to replicate his morning swim, but we quickly shook it off and recognized the potential for the 100. We knew he had the endurance for the 200, and with a slight increase of stroke frequency, he could throw down a huge PB in the 100 as well.

Patrick completing the first 100 of the 200 metre race.Photo courtesy of the Aruban Olympic Committee

We switched his regular meet warm up a bit to better suit the 100. During the warm up I also tried to point out where his 200 went wrong on the technical side (like his turns) and how he can correct it for the 100. I was very pleased to see that he was able to drop 0.7s from his PB and National Record in the morning from 56.92 to 56.20. We were already ecstatic with that swim but I recognized a few errors that could lead to a sub-56 swim. We tackled those in his meet warm up in the afternoon and were once again treated to a PB and National Record, dropping 0.4 from his morning swim (and, like his 200, 1.1 from his previous PB) to a 55.82.

Yeziel Morales Puerto Rico Lane 3,Patrick Lane 4 and Augustin Hernandez Lane 5 get off to a quick start in the B final Photo courtesy of the Aruban Olympic committee

As his coach, I’m constantly looking for areas to improve even when he drops big like that. His turn can still be so much better. Another positive, however, is that Patrick’s PB in the 50m is 26.32 and he split a 26.41 in the 100 at finals. No doubt in my mind that he could have been sub-26 had it been a 50. 

Patrick and Jordy in Lima

These huge time drops, however, didn’t come out of nowhere. Due to unfortunate circumstances surrounding the coaching staff at his University (of Denver), Patrick decided that he would get better preparation for Pan Am while training at home for the summer. Thus, Patrick arrived on Aruba in June for our national meet and stayed afterwards to train under me. We knew that his summer meet schedule would be loaded as he was scheduled to go to Worlds and Pan AMs (which were basically back-to-back, on opposite ends of the globe). We quickly identified that the priority was Pan AMs as he could very well make finals there while he would just be attending worlds for the participation medal. Thus, I created a training routine around this idea and we also changed his flights so that he would spend as little time as possible in Korea. Patrick flew to Korea the day before his 200 IM (2:11.38 at Worlds, 7 seconds above his PB) and did the 200 back the following day (2:10.25 at Worlds, also 7 seconds above his old PB at the time). Patrick then immediately flew to Lima the day after the 200 Back (spending a total of 3 and a half days in Korea) and spent 11 days in Lima with me adjusting to the time zone, recovering from his trip, and making final preparations for Pan AMs. Even though his swims in Korea were abysmal in time, we were still able to look beyond that and see the positives (though few, there were still some positives). As I mentioned, we had created the program around his trip to Korea and fully expected the times there to not represent what he is capable of, so mentally moving past that was not difficult for us.
With all that said, we are very pleased with the 2-for-2 on best times and national records for Patrick. However, the work isn’t done yet. He still has the 200 IM tomorrow, and if his Worlds to Lima conversion in the 200 back is any indication, it should be a really good effort as well. The last two months haven’t been easy. Breaking the “You’re my brother” barrier took a while for both of us but in the end we have a really good dynamic going on. I really put Patrick to work and he has accepted the challenge phenomenally and is currently reaping the rewards “.

Patrick continues to close in on the Olympic B standards in the 100 and 200 events of 55.47 and 2:01.03.


Team Aruba will be sending a delegation of  four swimmers Allyson Ponson, Mikel Schreuders ,Daniel Jacobs and Patrick Groters and national Coach Ismael Santiesteban .

Mikel Schreuders CAC 200 metre freestyle Bronze medal

Olympian Schreuders comes to this World Championships off the strength of his best and final collegiate season ever .He finished his NCAA Collegiate career at Missouri as the second fastest all time for his school in the 100 yard freestyle with a time of 41.96 and setting a school record in the 200 yard freestyle of of 1:31.27 which makes one of the top ten fastest swimmers ever in the event. He will be contesting the 100 and 200 metre freestyle events in South Korea. Ever since making his Olympic debut at the 2016 Rio Games Mikel has risen to the challenge of senior international competition ever since. He has lowered the national records at the 2017 World Championships as well being the first medallist ever for Aruba at the Central American  and Caribbean Games in 2018 winning 100 metre Silver and 200 metre Bronze .

100 metre freestyle


200 metre freestyle


Mikel will take on the world on Monday July 22 in the 200 metre event in heat 4 from lane 2. He will throw down his challenge to the world’s best in the 100 metre freestyle on Wednesday July 24 in heat 10 and he swim from lane 3

Allyson Ponson at the 2016 Rio Olympics opening ceremony Photo courtesy of wikipedia

Another Olympian from the Rio 2016 Games Allyson Ponson will be making her second trip to the global long course championships. Earlier this year she proved her readiness to swim with the world’s best when she lowered her national records in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle events to 25.61 and 56.78 respectively.Her national records make among the fastest ever female swimmers from the CARIFTA region of all time. She will carry the mantle as the number one seed from the CCCAN region in the 100 metre event when she swims on Thursday July 25 in heat 6 and swim from lane 1.Ponson will again be the CCCAN region standard bearer in the 50 metre freestyle when she competes in heat 8 and swims from lane7.

Daniel Jacobs Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

Daniel Jacobs who just completed his freshman year at Georgia Tech will be competing in the 400 and 800 metre freestyle events in his senior World Champs debut. He left the junior ranks at CARIFTA as the Champion in the 400 event with a time of 4:05.64. His best in the event stands at 4:01.25 and this season he has already been 4:02.41.Look for him to go under 4 minutes and be a member of that exclusive club to better that mark. He will be the first Aruban in the water in Korea as he will swim in heat 1 from lane 5 in the event. His second event will be the new Olympic event at the Olympics in 2020 , the 800 metre freestyle.He will chart new territory for Aruba in the event on Monday July 22 in heat 1 lane 1.

Patrick Groters on podium Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Patrick also left his junior years at the CARIFTA level on a high winning in 2017 with Championship records in the 200  metre individual medley and backstroke races with times of 2:04.69 and 2:04.44.Though making his senior World long course he is the senior national record holder in both medley events. The 200 in which he holds the standard at 2:04.13  will see him in action on Wednesday July 24  swimming in heat 2 lane 6 .He will swim the 200 metre backstroke on Sunday July 28. He will race from lane 9 and heat 2.His national record  in the event stands at 2:03.47 from his B final win at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games.


Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson was the regional standard bearer on the first day of competition of the 14th FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships underway in Hangzhou China. Atkinson made her fifth consecutive World Championship final in the 50 metre breaststroke.A feat no other woman has ever achieved.

Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of

This morning local time Atkinson progressed to the final  with a time of 29.54 but what was different this occasion is that she will contest the final as the fastest seed. This looks to be a good indicator that she will take the Global title in this event after winning three consecutive Silver medals.She has always made the final in the event five of the six times she has entered the event. In her debut in Athens in 2004 she had placed 17th in a time of 33.17.

Analysis of Atkinson’s semi final performances

World Champs 2010 United Arab Emirates30.194th seed
World champs 2012 Turkey29.622nd seed
World Champs 2014 Qatar28.992nd seed
World Champs 2016 Canada29.092nd seed
World Champs 2018 China29.541st
Anahi posing with 50 metre breaststroke Silver at the CCCAN Championships Photo courtesy of C.C.C.A.N

Other ladies representing the region in that race were Victoria Russell of The Bahamas who registered a time of 32.94 for 34th. Anahi Schreuders lowered her own national record of 34.46 to place 39th in 33.90.

Marcelo Acosta Photo courtesy of

The region’s top middle and long distance freestyler El Salvador’s Marcelo Acosta solidified that position with a new national record of 3:42.74 (split time  that shattered his old national record set in 2014 in Qatar of 3:53.11. That swim ranked Acosta 13th overall a big jump from 2014 when he placed 51st .Antigua and Barbuda’s Stefano Mitchell placed 40th with a swim of 4:06.94.

Elisbet Matos Photo courtesy of desdeesteladodelaisla

Elisbet Gamos of Cuba was the region’s top swimmer in the women’s 200 metre freestyle placing 21st with a time of 1:58.37 (split time 58.33).

Other regional 200 metre freestyle results

GuatemalaGabriela Santis2:05.7640th
USVILidia Boguslawska2:13.8948th
Antigua and  BarbudaBianca Mitchell2:15.1751st

Bryan Alvarez Photo courtesy of diario extra

In the 200 metre butterfly there were national records for Cuban Luis Vega Torres (27th) 1:57.45(split time 56.51),Bryan Alvarez of Costa Rica (34th) 2:01.57 (split time 57.96), Guatemala’s Fernando Ponce (35th) 2:04.91 (split time 59.71)

Puerto RicoJarrod Arroyo1:58.2230th
Dominican RepublicZeniel Guzman2:05.5437th
Cadell Lyons Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Cadell Lyons was the top swimmer for the men in the 100 metre backstroke placing 36th in a time of 54.92 (split time 26.07). He was just off his national record of 54.36

Other regional 100 metre backstroke results

CubaArmando Barrera55.0738th
US Virgin IslandsMatthew Mays56.0940th

In the 400 metre individual medley Costa Rica’s Daniela Alfaro lowered the 1986 national record of 5:12.86 by Olympian Sylvia Poll to 5:01.36. That swim placed her 30th overall.

Edgar Crespo Photo courtesy of La Prensa

In the men’s 100 metre breaststroke Panama’s Edgar Crespo led the region with a sub minute performance of 59.40 (split time 27.40). Costa Rica’s Arnoldo Herrara lowered his own national record from 1:02.39 to 1:02.20 to place 51st overall.

Photo courtesy of Northern Michigan University

Other regional results

US Virgin IslandsAdriel Sanes1:01.8747th
CuracaoSerginni Marten1:01.8747th
ArubaBrandon Cheong1:05.4864th
St Vincent and the GrenadinesShane Cadogan1:05.7866th
Krystal Lara Photo courtesy of womenintheworld

It was Krystal Lara of the Dominican Republic that had the region’s top time in the 100 metre backstroke. She stopped the clock in a time of 1:00.28 (split time 29.17) to finish 32nd overall

Other regional results

CubaAndrea Becali1:03.9641st
PanamaNimi Murua1:05.0945th
BarbadosDanielle Treasure1:06.7447th
GrenadaKimberly Ince1:07.6849th
HaitiBritheny Joassaint1:09.5852nd
Jarrod Arroyo

2018 CAC Champion Jarrod Arroyo of Puerto Rico was the top performer in the 200 metre individual medley with a time of 2:00.97 placing 32nd , just missing the national record of 2:00.49 (split time 57.12).  Patrick Groters of Aruba shattered the Aruban national record of 2:17.86 when he finished 35th in a time of 2:02.16 (split time 55.77).

Patrick Groters courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Other regional results

Cuba Luis Vega Torres 2:03.61 36th




The third day of the 2017 Speedo Winter Junior Championships East on Friday Dec 8 saw the CARIFTA region picking up yet another medal. This time it was Jamaican Joseph Black as a member of the Peddie team that won Bronze in the 200 yard freestyle relay.

Peddie Bronze medallist in the 200 yard freestyle relay
Bronze medal winning team from Peddie from left to right front row Nathan Stern,Joseph Black Back row Michael Blank and Troy Ike Photo courtesy of Peddie swimming

The team of Nathan Stern 20.55, Michael Blank 20.47, Trey Ike 20.45 and Black 20.24 clocked 1:21.71 to for their medal winning performance.  That bettered their 2017 Gold medal winning time at the Eastern Championships of 1:21.99 which is also the Championship, school and New Jersey State record.

Joseph Black Kenyon College.PNG

At that competition Black, a Kenyon commit had anchored the team in a time of 20.31.  Silver at the Winter championships went to Dayton Raiders in 1:20.58 and the Gold to Allegheny North in 1:19.83. When the times are combined with the competition in the West the boys from Peddie retained their third place position from a combined 89 competing teams in the event.

Izaak Bastian CARIFTA page
Izaak Bastian Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque

Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas, who is representing Saint Andrew’s made the championship final in the 100 yard breaststroke. Izaak had recorded a personal best in the event winning the Florida High school 1A title in 54.54 (split time 25.80). He would lower that mark with a time of 54.48 (split 25.54). That  time placed him 5th in the East and 8th with the combined results.Bastian is the reigning CARIFTA 15-17 100 metre breaststroke champion. He took Gold in a time of 1:04.68.He will join a number of the region’s best in Kingston Jamaica in 2018 seeking to lower the Championship record of 1:04.25 held by Aruban Jordy Groters.

Jacky Kirby in action in the backstroke at the 2017 Tennessee State Championships Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

After lowering his personal best in the 100 yard backstroke Jack Kirby of Barbados and Baylor Swim club was at it again with another new personal standard. After qualifying for the Championship with a time of 48.97 he lowered his all-time best to 48.67 (split time 23.51) to place 6th overall. His previous best was 48.79 (split time 23.72).Kirby who won the Silver medal at CARIFTA in the 100 metre backstroke in the 15-17 backstroke in The Bahamas will be seeking to lower the Championship record in 2018 in Jamaica. That mark was set this year by Aruban Patrick Groters at 57.17. Kirby has a personal best of 57.01 set at this summer’s Commonwealth Youth Games.

Steve Aimable and Azura Florida coach GianLuca Alberani
Steve Aimable and Azura Florida coach GianLuca Alberani

Also bettering his personal best on the day was French Guiana’s Steven Aimable representing Azura Florida Aquatics. Competing in the 100 yard butterfly Steve lowered his personal best of 50.73 to 49.57(split time 22.87) to place 25th .Aimable  was the  15-17  Bronze medallist in the 100 metre butterfly in his final year at the CARIFTA Championships in a time of 57.22.


Suriname’s Irvin Hoost representing Metro Aquatics also bettered his personal best in the event. He went from an all-time best of 50.49 in 2016 to 50.17 (split time 23.11) for 54th spot. Hoost also competed in his last CARIFTA Games this year and placed 5th in the 100 metre butterfly in a time of 57.97.

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

Aruban Patrick Groters who represents the Pine Crest Swim club who had phenomenal final CARIFTA Championship bettered his 400 yard individual medley time of 3:58.74 set in 2015 with a 3:58.12 performance of 3:58.12.

Bradley Ally panamerican world
Bradley Ally Photo courtesy of panamerican world


In the Bahamas this year he won the 400 metre individual medley in 4:27.69 breaking the 2004 meet record of 4:31.95 Olympian Barbadian Bradley Ally.

Luis Sebastian Weekes Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

Baylor’s Barbadian breaststroker Luis Sebastian Weekes continued the trend of bettering personal records with his efforts in the 100 yard breaststroke. Weekes lowered his personal best to 56.90 (split time 26.90) to place 35th overall. His previous record was 57.56 (split 26.68). He registered that time in a 6th place performance at the 2017 Tennessee State Champs.At CARIFTA this year he was mere 9 hundredths outside of podium place when he swam 1:06.66. He will be seeking to top the field in that race next year in Jamaica .

Other individual performances on the day were

Name Country Club Event Time Placing
Daniel Jacobs Aruba Pine Crest 200 yard freestyle 1:42.97 89th
Patrick Groters Aruba Pine Crest 100 yard backstroke 50.67 63rd
Steven Aimable French Guinana Azura 100 yard backstroke 51.58 103rd

In the 200 yard freestyle relay the Baylor team of Piotr Kurleto 20.82,Kirby 21.05, Zachariah Althoff 20.82 and  Robert Freeman 19.77 recorded the 5th best time of the meet of 1:22.32. It was also the 5th best time of the 89 competing team in both the East and West.

Christian Selby
Christian Selby Photo courtesy of


They also just missed the 2013 school record of 1:22.23 by the team of Luke Kaliszak, Sam McHugh,Chandler Hinson and Barbadian Christian Selby.

Irvin Hoost Photo courtesy of Saint Brendan High school

Hoost and his Metro Aquatics team were 10th in a time of 1:23.06. Of the 356 swimmers who swam that event Irvin had the 6th fastest leg with his anchor leg split of 20.02.


Day 2 of the 2017 Speedo Winter Junior Championships East saw the boys of the CARIFTA region turning out strong performances. Leading the charge on December 7 at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville Tennessee was Florida High school 2A State Champion Irvin Hoost of Suriname.

50 free Irvin 2 Andrew Garcia Mourning 3 Chris Jennings Jesuit Kenneth MacDonald
2 50 yard freestyle medal podium from left to right Silver medallist Andrew Garcia Mourning, Gold Medallist Irvin Hoost,Bronze medallist Chris Jennings Photo courtesy of Kenneth MacDonald

Hoost, who is representing the Metro Aquatics Club lowered his 2016 personal best of 20.72 when he clocked 20.55 in the morning heats to earn a berth in the C final. He would record the 2nd fastest time of his career when he touched in 20.60 for 6th place.

Kirby CYG 2017
Jack Kirby Photo courtesy of Bahamas Commonwealth Youth Games 2017

Also bettering his personal best was Jack Kirby of Barbados representing Baylor Swim club. He crushed his 200 yard individual medley best of  1:54.48 (split time 52.84) that he recorded at the 2017 Tennessee State championships with a time of 1:51.16(split time 51.15). That performance placed the 2017 CARIFTA 15-17 Bronze medallist in the 200 metre IM 34th overall.

luis sebastian weekes im m lyn
Weekes competing in the heats of the 200 individual medley at the 2017 CARIFTA championships Photo courtesy of Micheal C Lyn


Also lowering his personal best was countryman and club mate and 2017 CARIFTA Silver medallist Luis Sebastian Weekes and . Luis lowered his personal standard of 1:52.17 (split time 53.91) a 4th place performance at the 2017 Tennessee State Championships to 1:51.36 (split time 52.72). That swim ranked him 39th overall.

Patrick 200 im gold medal
Groters with 200 IM Gold at the 2017 CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The top regional performance was recorded by the 15-17 2017 CARIFTA Champion and record holder in the 200 metre individual medley Aruban Patrick Groters representing the Pine Crest Swim club. He was timed at 1:50.91 (split time 50.22) to finish 30th overall.

Kirby would continue to lower his personal bests when he recorded 48.79 (split time 23.72) leading off the Baylor 400 yard medley relay team. That represented a significant time drop for the 2017 15-17 CARIFTA Silver medallist in the 100 metre backstroke. His personal best of 50.14 (split time 24.48) recorded at the State Championships when he placed 4th. The Baylor team finished 6th in 3:18.55.

Daniel Jacobs.PNG

Aruban Daniel Jacobs who stated that he will be going after the CARIFTA 15-17 400 metre freestyle record of 3:59.79 at his last CARIFTA 2018 clocked 4:36.15 in the 500 yard freestyle to place 74th. At the 2017 CCCAN Championships in Trinidad and Tobago the Georgia Tech commit won the 400 metre freestyle title in 4:01.85.

In the 50 yard freestyle Izaak Bastian (The Bahamas/Saint Andrew’s) ,Groters, Steve Aimable (French Guiana/Azura Florida Aquatics) and Joseph Black(Jamaica/Peddle Aquatics) turned out good performances not far off from their personal bests.

Name Country Club Event Time Placing
Izaak Bastian The Bahamas Saint Andrew’s 50 yard freestyle 20.90 55th
Patrick Groters Aruba Pine Crest 50 yard freestyle 20.97 61st
Steven Aimable French Guiana Azura 50 yard freestyle 21.03 66th
Joseph Black Jamaica Peddie Association 50 yard freestyle 21.27 93rd

The 400 yard medley relay saw Hoost of Metro Aquatics putting in a 44.63 freestyle split to help them to 9th overall in a time of 3:18.99. Black of Jamaica had a 56.79 to help Peddie to 20th in 3:21.67


Patrick warimg up Woodson
Patrick Groters warming up at the Woodson Invitational in Sep Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The year 2017 will remain in Aruban Patrick Groters mind as one of his best at the age group level with top performances at the CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas and a strong showing at the World Junior Championships. The run of good performances would continue in his final year of high school in Florida where he would repeat as the 100 yard backstroke champion in the 1A State Championships on November.

In 2016  he ended a more than decade long drought for the CARIFTA region when he took the victory in the event.

George Bovell III
George Bovell III Photo courtesy of

The last swimmer to win the event was the legendary Olympian George Bovell III of Trinidad and Tobago when he won the title for the Bolles School in 2000.

It would be a Golden path to double success in the event for the University school student at the State Championships in Stuart Florida. He would take the race on September 23 at the Woodson Invitational easily in a time of 51.77 (split time 25.80).

Patrick Groters and Jessica Nava of Westminister Academy
Top male and female performer at the 2017 Woodson Invitational Groters of the University School and Jessica Nava of Westminster Academy Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

He would also earn the accolade of top male performer of the meet for winning the 200 yard individual medley as well.

Patrick Groters top performer with Algernon Cargill
Top male performer at the 2017 CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas from left to right Algernon Cargill President of The Bahamas Swimming Federation presenting the award to Patrick Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Receiving the top performer award is not a new experience for Patrick who earned that honour as well at CARIFTA 2017.


He would take the district title on October 20 in 52.86 (split time 26.54) and a week later the regional title in 50.80 (split time 24.93).

100 back states.PNG

In the Championship final held at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center Patrick lay in 3rd place at the 50 yard mark with a split of 24.58.

Patrick in Denver shirt.PNG

The University of Denver commit then turned out a back half of 25.65 to which the field could not respond and he took the title again in 50.23.

The 200 yard individual medley saw him earning the Silver in a time of 1:49.02 (split time 49.56).That performance made it three consecutive medal winning performance for Groters after winning the title in 2015 and 2016.


Jacobs and Groters
University School top performers Arubans Daniel Jacobs and Patrick Groters Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

In the relays it was the powerful combination of Groters and countryman Daniel Jacobs that aided the team to strong positions. In the 200 yard freestyle relay Patrick had the fastest opening leg split of both the preliminaries and finals of 20.51. The unit of Groters and Jacobs had the 2nd fastest 100 yards of the competition and that propelled their school to 3rd in the  B final in a total time of 1:29.42.It would be that same Aruban one –two punch at the front half of the 400 yard freestyle that pushed the University school to 6th in the Championship final in a time of 3:15.38. Patrick’s first leg split was timed at 45.97 (split time 22.28).

The University School boys finished 6th overall with 108 points.


Heading into his final high school championship on Saturday November Aruban Daniel Jacobs had one medal at the prestigious meet. That would all change by the end of the day as the University school student would earn two more , Silver in the 500 yard freestyle and Bronze in the 200 yard freestyle.

Daniel Jacobs before race.PNG

In last year’s competition Daniel had finished just outside the medal podium in the 500 yard freestyle as he clocked 4:30.64 to finish 4th. Leading up to the Championships he swam well within himself to capture the District and Regional titles in times of 4:49.07 and 4:41.12 respectively. In the final the reigning CCCAN 15-17 400 metre freestyle Gold medallist  would record a new personal best of 4:28.38 to win the Silver medal. The Gold went to Curly Hayden of Lake Highland Prep in 4:21.92. The Georgia Tech commit’s previous personal record was 4:30.64.

Jacobs off the blocks.PNG


That is the fastest performance by a CARIFTA region swimmer in the 500 yard freestyle since 2005 when Cayman Islands Olympian Shaune Fraser( Beijing 2008, London 2012) won the event in 4:24.42.

Jacobs with Bronze medal
Jacobs with 500 yard freestyle Bronze Medal Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The 200 yard freestyle saw him repeating his Bronze medal position from 2016 . Last year saw him placing third in a time of 1:39.67 (split time 48.27). This year at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida he would record a personal best time of 1:39.37 (split time 48.99). His swim represented the fastest done by CARIFTA region swimmer since Fraser took the title in 1:36.33 in 2005. Jacobs is the reigning CCCAN 15-17 200 metre freestyle champion winning the event in Trinidad and Tobago in 1:54.82.


In relay action the 200 yard freestyle relay saw Jacobs on the second leg  21.80 and countryman Patrick Groters 20.51 providing a strong 1-2 punch to give the University school a strong early advantage in the B final. The team would hold on to take 3rd overall in 1:29.42.

It would be that strong Aruban combination of Groters lead leg 45.97 and Jacobs 46.30 that would have the University School in medal contention at the half way mark. The team would finish 6th with a total time of 3:15.38.

Jacobs and Groters
University School top performers Arubans Daniel Jacobs and Patrick Groters Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The University School finished 6th in the boys section with 108 points. This total was contributed to greatly by the strength of the Aruban contingent of Jacobs and Groters.

Daniel will be one of the standouts to lookout for at the CARIFTA Championships to be held in Kingston in 2018 and should challenge the 15-17 400 metre freestyle meet record of 3:59.79.