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

On Friday November 3 at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida St Brendan’s Surinamese star Irvin Hoost crowned himself as one of the fastest swimmers in the Florida high school system when he won the 2A state title in a time of 20.86. This is Hoost’s first title in the event. He was just off his morning effort of 20.74.He completed three consecutive winning performances having taken the District and Regional titles.

Date Meet Time Placing
Oct 21 2A District 12 21.17 1st
Oct 28 2A Region 4 21.50 1st
Irvin Hoost 2016 Photo courtesy of Saint Brendan High school

Irvin , represents the Miami-Dade County based institution now has a complete set of medals in the event having won Bronze in 2015, Silver in 2016 and now atop the podium with Gold.

Year Time Placing
2017 20.86 1st
2016 20.89 2nd
2015 21.30 3rd


Irvin joins countrymen Raiz Tjon-A-Joe, Zuhayr Pigot and Olympian Enrico Linscheer (Barcelona 1992) as one of the fastest high school swimmers in Florida.

Sprinter florida 50 free 1
Past regional winners of the 50 yard freestyle from left to right Enrico Linscheer,Rodion Davelaar,Jordy Groters Photos courtesy of http://www.dbnl.org,linkedin.com and mutigers.com
Sprinters Florida 50 free 2
Past regional winners of the 50 yard freestyle from left to right Zuhayr Pigot and Raiz-Tjon-A-Joe Photos courtesy of North Carolina swimming and diving and Raiz Tjon-A-Joe
Name Country School Division Year Time
Enrico Linscheer Suriname Bolles 3A 1991 20.44
Rodion Davelaar  Curaçao Bolles 1A 2006 21.29
Jordy Groters Aruba University School 1A 2013 20.69
Zuhayr Pigot Suriname St Brendan 2A 2014 20.41
Raiz Tjon -A-Joe Suriname Westlake Prep 1A 2015 20.26


Last season in the 50 metre freestyle he ended his CARIFTA career with a 24.11 showing for 6th place. He would be marginally faster at CCCAN in Trinidad and Tobago with a time of 24.10 maintaining the same position. Irvin would break the 24 seconds barrier three times after that finishing with a personal best of 23.41 leading off his Metro Aquatic Club of Miami’s 200 metre freestyle relay team to third place at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships on July 28.The total team time was 1:35.11.

Irvin via Rafael
Irvin Hoost Photo courtesy of Rafael Van Leeuwaarde

In the longer sprint, the 100 yard freestyle, Irvin recorded his fastest ever time of 46.04 at the Championship falling just short of a medal. The Bronze medal was won by Sam Sands of Jesuit in 45.98.In the District and Regional meets heading up to States Hoost had recorded top three placings

Date Meet Time Placing
Oct 21 2A District 12 46.63 1st
Oct 28 2A Region 4 47.66 2nd


100 yard rankings at 2A state Championships

Year Time Placing Split
2017 46.04 4th 21.89
2016 46.39 3rd 22.33
2015 47.92 3rd 23.60

At CARIFTA 2017 he won the Silver medal in the 100 metre freestyle in a time of 52.53 in the 15-17 age group. In Trinidad and Tobago at the CCCAN Championships he placed 4th with a 52.86 showing. He ended his season with a personal best of 51.92 leading off his club team Metro Aquatic team to Gold in the 400 metre freestyle relay in a time of 3:28.20.




The second day of competition on Thursday March 23 at the 2017 NCAA Division I Championships in Indiana saw Suriname’s Raiz Tjon-A- Joe and Aruba’s Mikel Schreuders helping their teams secure second swims in the 200 yard freestyle relay.


Raiz, a freshman at Texas A&M University handled the anchor leg duties for the Aggies in the morning heats. He swam 19.95 to help them secure 15 place overall in a time of 1:17.59 .That team performance was not far off the school record of 1:17.37. The team without Raiz in the afternoon secured 4th place in the B final in a time of 1:17.19 breaking the school record. The Aggies had not qualified a team in this event last year.

Mikel Schreuders
Mikel Schreuders Photo courtesy of mutigers.com

Schreuders also only swam in the preliminaries of the 200 yard freestyle relay. He too was entrusted with anchor leg duties. He recorded a 19.61 split to help the University of Missouri Tigers set a total time of 1:16.78 and break the 2016 school record of 1:16.87 to place 7th overall. The team would retain the same place and record the exact same time of 1:16.78.

Mikel, who is a sophomore, competing in the 50 yard freestyle for the first time at the NCAA Division I championships placed 47th in the 50 yard freestyle in a personal best time of 20.13 .That bettered his previous personal standard of 20.15 set this year at the SEC (Southeastern Conference Championships).


Raiz Tjon A Joe

Texas A & M Surinamese freshman Raiz Tjon A Joe recorded his first B cut at NCAA Division I level at the Art Adamson Invitational at the Mansfield ISD Natatorium in Texas.

After making his season debut in the 100 yard breaststroke in the event with a time of 56.78 he earned a 2nd swim by making it to the C final. He proved to be the class of the field as he was half a second ahead of his competitors at the 50 yard mark with a split of 26.02. His second 50 yards split of 29.17 was almost a second faster than the competition giving him the win in 55.19. It bettered the B standard of 55.39. His performance was the 6th fastest of the 4 final heats contested.

He would have near misses for bettering the B cut in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle. In the 50 yard freestyle he placed 3rd in the B final with a time of 20.37. In the morning he recorded a season best of 20.27(split 9.91) to be just off the B time of 20.19. In the longer sprint freestyle event he was 6th in a time of 45.19.Like the 50 he recorded his season best earlier in the day posting 44.63(split time 21.02) not far off the B time of 44.29.

In the 100 yard butterfly he recorded a time of 50.06 (split time 23.33). He finished 4th in the C Final with a time of 50.24.

His highest placing would be in the 400 yard freestyle relay as the Aggies A team placed 3rd . The team of Corey Bolleter 44.47, Jacob Gonzales 43.31, Raiz 44.24 and Kaan Ayar 44.17 clocked the 17th fastest time in Division I of 2:56.69.

In the 200 yard medley relay Raiz had his fastest breaststroke split this season of 25.10 as the Aggies B team placed 6th in 1:29.58.In the 400 yard medley relay his C team placed 7th overall in a time of 3:17.55. His breaststroke contribution was 55.62.


Raiz had the following thoughts about the meet and the rest of the season

“My performances where very good considering not being tapered and being able to go close to best times in both the 100 fly and 100free.I am very excited for the season and hope to qualify for NCAA Championships. I predict that my 100 free and 100 breast will be my fastest events in the season .I also have the  possibility to swim very well in the 50 free, but I am more focused on my 100m,because I am a better at 100 free than 50m due to my endurance. My ultimate goal is to go 41-42 in 100 free and 53 in 100 breast for this season. I think this jump is possible since I adapted a vegan diet. It drastically increased my recovery and endurance, hence why I am concentrating more on my 100’s. Furthermore I am excited to see what I can do for other collegiate meets as well as international meets.”

The Aggies finished 2nd of the 6 team with 917 points.


Izaak Bastian starts race Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Bahamian Izaak Bastian hit top form for Saint Andrews at the FHSAA (Florida High School State championships) at the recently concluded 1A state championships held in Stuart Florida. Izaak lowered 3 school records at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center on Friday Nov 11.

Saint Andrews record breaking 200 yard medley relay team From left to right Izaak Bastian, Jesse Marsh, Nicholas Sharp and Andrej Sokolovski Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

In the first final of the night, the 200 yard medley relay, he combined with Nicholas Sharp backstroke (23.67), Jamaican Jesse Marsh butterfly (22.41) and Andrej Sokolovski freestyle (21.73) to take the Silver in a new school record of 1:33.21. Izaak’s contribution to the relay was a breaststroke leg of 25.40. That bettered the 25.75 he did when the 2015 team clocked a then school record of 1:34.33. With all 4 divisions having completed their championships the Saint Andrew medley performance places them 3rd among all Florida high school teams.

50 yard freestyle podium From left to right Bastian Silver medallist ,Robert Cecil (Berkley) Gold medallist, Nicholas Ferrara Bronze medallist Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

The record breaking would continue in the 50 yard freestyle .He dipped under the 21 second barrier for the first time to earn Silver in the event in a time of 20.75. That also bettered the school record of 20.89. It places Izaak as the 4th fastest in Florida.

Bastian Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

In the 100 yard breaststroke he replicated his performance in 2015 to earn the Bronze yet again. He however did it in a much faster time. Last year he had set a school record of 57.19 (split time 27.06). This year he lowered the standard to 55.68 (split time 26.46).He ranks 4th in Florida with that time.

The Florida state record of 54.64 set by Suriname’s Raiz Tjon A Joe was broken by 2016 1 A champion James Daugherty of The Bolles who clocked 54.33.

In the 200 yard freestyle relay the team moved up from 6th in 2015 to 4th in a time of 1:25.97. Bastian started the relay with a split of 21.08.

Izaak had the following thoughts “I had a pretty good meet. It was really fun racing against guys that I had seen before and some new faces too especially Paul Degrado (Bolles) and James Daugherty (Bolles) two of the fastest breaststrokers in the nation. I felt I had a pretty good meet so I was happy with my results and my training for the year so far and hopefully it is just up from here”.

Samuel Gibson 100 freestyle record holder
Bahamian 13-14 100 metre freestyle record holder Samuel Gibson

The Bahamas was also represented by his teammate Samuel Gibson in the 400 yard freestyle relay. Samuel had a 3rd leg split of 48.58 to push Saint Andrews to 6th in the Championship final in a total time of 3:12.38. That performance places them 17th in Florida. He was 19th in the 100 yard butterfly in a time of 53.45 (split time 24.77).

Saint Andrews finished 3rd in the boys category with 87 points.


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



Suriname’s Raiz Tjon- A -Joe made his collegiate debut with Texas A & M on Friday October 28 in College Station Texas. The occasion was a duel meet with the University of South Carolina.

His life as an Aggie began with the 200 yard medley relay C which swam for exhibition purposes. Swimming the breaststroke leg where he split 26.05. Raiz helped them to a total time of 1:32.64.

In his first individual event the 50 yard freestyle he led the field into the 25 yard turn with a split time of 9.99. He would not be able to hold off the field and finished 4th in a time of 20.67.

The longer sprint, the 100 yard freestyle, Raiz was 2nd to the wall with a split of 21.58. He would be one place lower at the finish to place 3rd in a time of 45.74.

The swimmer who hails from Paramaribo was given A team duties in the 400 yard freestyle. Though the team swam for exhibition purposes they still had the fastest time on the day. The line-up of Adam Koster (45.41), Turker Ayar (45.69) ,Raiz (46.20) and Jacob Gonzales (44.47) touched in a total time of 3:01.77.

The Aggies won the contest 176 to 118.

Raiz is known for his sprinting prowess. While representing Westlake Prep he won the 2015 Florida State 1A Championships in the 50 yard freestyle and was 2nd in the 100 yard breaststroke. He had set the Florida state record in the heats of the 100 yard breaststroke with a time of 54.64 .The all-time top 3 fastest times in Florida high school history are held by swimmers from the CARIFTA region. Raiz broke the record of 54.72 held by Olympian Bradley Ally of Barbados when he represented St Thomas Aquinas in 2004.Rounding out the trio is Aruban breaststroke national record holder Jordy Groters who clocked 54.76 representing University School in 2013.

At the 2015 SPEEDO Winter Junior Nationals East Raiz was 2nd in 100 yard freestyle and 4th in the 50 yard freestyle cracking the 20 second barrier with a time of 19.94. Notable alumni of Texas A &M include Jamaica’s World Record Holder Alia Atkinson and Barbadian national record holder Shawn Clarke.



Daniella Van Den Berg
Daniella Van Den Berg Photo courtesy of sportkidsaruba.com

The first day of the Orlando Pro Swim series got underway on Thursday March at the YMCA of Central Florida aquatic Center with a number of the CARIFTA region’s swimming participating in the 3 day meet.The competition which will see action from a number of international competitors also serves as an offcial Rio 2016 Olympic qualifier.
In the heats of the women’s 200 freestyle Aruban Daniella Van Den Berg lowered her national record of 2:08.06 set in 2014 to 2:07.22 . That performance placed her 58th overall. She also made a big season drop from 2:08.73.Her split time was 1:02.05.
In the men’s equivalent Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter had the fastest time among the CARIFTA region men with a 1:52.77 (split time 53.54) to have the 25th fastest from the morning heats. He did not contest D finals.Trinidad and Tobago’s Emiro Goossen had dropped his season best from 1:57.12 to 1:54.19 (split time 56.21) for 43rd .Christian Selby of Barbados dropped his season best as well from 1:59.53 to 1:55.01 (split time 55.94) for 56th. Countryman Alex Sobers was 63rd with a time of 1:55.56 (split time 56.03).Matthew Lowe of the Bahamas was 83rd in a time of 1:57.48 (split time 58.04).
In the 100 metre breaststroke Trinidad and Tobago’s Alexndria Donahue was 6th in the C final with a time of 1:14.19.She was faster in qualifying with a time of 1:13.58 (split time 34.36).Bermuda’s Lisa Blackburn was 8th in that final in a time of 1:15.08.In the morning she almost bettered her season best of 1:14.11 with a 1:14.47 (split time 34.28).
Raiz Tjon-A-Joe lowered his season best in the 100 metre breaststroke of 1:09.02 when he clocked 1:05.62 (split time 30.16). In the C final he was 8th in a time of 1:07.13.
Suriname’s Zuhayr Pigot was 39th in the 100 metre butterfly in a time of 56.00.His split time was 24.87.


Jesse Marsh
Jesse Marsh


Izaak Bastian
Izaak Bastian


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.