The final day of competition at the CCCAN swimming Championships in Aruba  on July 2  saw Team Jamaica adding Two Gold, Three Silver and Three Bronze medals.

13-14 50 free medal podium
13-14 50 metre freestyle medallists from left to right Watson-Brown ,MacDonald and Farro Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The highlight of the day was Emily MacDonald who completed the freestyle sprint double .A day after she completed the record regional Golden Double (CARIFTA and CCCAN titles) in the 100 metre freestyle she did the same in the 50 metre freestyle. She took the race in a time of 26.48 a new PB, CCCAN and CARIFTA all time best.It was a mere .03 of a second outside of the automatic Youth Olympic qualifying mark of 26.45.

This makes her unbeaten for the 13-14 age group at CCCAN as she took the title in Trinidad and Tobago as well last year in 27.20. In April of this year in her hometown of Kingston she won the splash and dash in  a  time of  26.76 lowering the record of 26.81 held by Bermudan Madelyn Moore. In Aruba she would take down another Moore standard of 26.65 , the unofficial all time regional record. Emily has been Golden in all but one meet at the regional level since 2016.


Date Meet Medal Time
March 2016 CARIFTA Gold 28.15
July 2016 CISC Gold 27.64
April 2017 CARIFTA 4th 27.60
July 2017 CCCAN Gold 27.20
April 2018 CARIFTA Gold 26.76 Record26.81
July 2018 CCCAN Gold 26.48 record 26.65
thrillson.blogspot.com Chinyere
Chinyere Pigot Photo courtesy of thrillson.blogspot.com

MacDonald had the second fastest time of the competition. That accolade went to none other  than Madelyn Moore who lowered the 15-17 meet of  26.13 by Suriname’s Olympian Chinyere Pigot (Beijing 2008 and London 2012) when she stopped the clock in 25.97.

Silver went to Bermuda’s Logan Watson -Brown in 27.24  and the Bronze to Aruba Chloe Farro 27.67.

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Emily she gave her thoughts on her performances

“I’m very happy about winning events in the meet for my age group and breaking Championship record for both events .It gives me the assurance that I have the potential to be a great sprinter”.

Girls 13-14 400 metre medley relay medallists
13-14 400 metre medley relay medallists from left to right Colombia,Jamaica and Aruba Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would almost  be another regional record Golden Double in the 400 metre medley relay as the team of Simone Vale, Sabrina Lyn, MacDonald and Amore Hunter just missed the CCCAN record of 4:34.23 held by the 2005 Mexico team and their own national age group record of 4:33.81 when they won Gold in 4:34.48.Silver went to Colombia in 4:38.89 and Bronze to Aruba in 4:52.40.

CCCAN Relay Gold medallists
13-14 CCCAN Gold medallists from left to right Hunter,MacDonald, Lyn and Vale Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson


Names CARIFTA Record Names CCCAN 2005 Names CCCAN 2018
backstroke Vale 1:09.46 backstroke Gonzalez 1:08.21 backstroke Vale 1:10.15
breastroke Lyn 1:21.13 breastroke Delgado 1:19.31 breastroke Lyn 1:18.26
butterfly Zaneta Alvaranga 1:04.54 butterfly Medrano 1:06.18 butterfly MacDonald 1:04.46
freestyle MacDonald 58.68 freestyle Barjas 1:00.53 freestyle Hunter 1:01.61
4:33.81 4:34.28 4:34.48
Girls 11-12 200 metre backstroke medallists
Girls 11-12 200 metre backstroke from left to right Crooks, Jimenez Garrido and Cogle Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would be another national record for Morgan Cogle in the 11-12 200 metre backstroke.She lowered the 2007 Kendese Nangle record of 2:36.00 set at CCCAN 2007 in El Salvador in the morning heats with a time of 2:35.21. She would go on to win Bronze in the final in 2:35.29. Jillian Crooks of the Cayman Islands took the Silver in 2:33.98 with Gold going to  Elizabeth Jimenez Garrido of the Dominican Republic in 2:33.23.

In the 400 medley relay Cogle backstroke ,Brooke Hopkins breaststroke ,Ireland Hunter butterfly and Safiya Officer won the Silver in a new national age group record of 4:56.06. That bettered the old 2007 record of 4:58.67 set in by the 2007 CARIFTA team Brittany Kenney, Kendese Nangle, Raynae Hall and Alexia Royal-Eatmon.


Names CCCAN 2018 Names CARIFTA 2007
backstroke Cogle 1:12.37 backstroke Kenney 1:16.37
breaststroke Hopkins 1:24.50 breaststroke Nangle 1:23.96
butterfly Hunter 1:15.97 butterfly Hall 1:12.08
freestyle Officer 1:03.22 freestyle Royal-Eatmon 1:06.26
4:56.06 4:58.67
Girls 11-12 400 metre medley relay medallists
Girls 11-12 400 metre medley relay medallists from left to right Jamaica ,Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Gold went to Trinidad and Tobago in 4:51.10 and the Bronze to Barbados in 5:06.93.

15-17 50 metre freestyle medallists
Girls 15-17 50 metre freestyle medallists from left to right Banks,Moore and Russell Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

In the 15-17 Girls 50 metre freestyle it was Gabrianna Banks getting the medal for Team Jamaica . She stopped the clock in a new PB of 26.69 for the Silver. The performance marks consecutive Silver medals for Banks who won Silver in her last year of 13-14 in the twin island republic last year in 27.28. The Bronze went to Victoria Russell of The Bahamas in a new PB of 26.93. This is the first medal for Jamaica in 2017 since Breanna Roman won Bronze in 27.59 at CCCAN 2011 in Puerto Rico.

boys 13-14 50 freestyle medallists
Boys 13-14 50 metre freestyle medallists from left to right Williams, Taylor and Thomas Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would be a Bronze for Nathaniel Thomas in the 13-14 age group in the 50 metre freestyle as his effort was timed in a PB of 25.33. This is a step up from his performance at CARIFTA where he placed ninth in 26.19. Silver went to Malik Nelson of Trinidad and Tobago in 24.50. Gold went to the fastest 13-14 swimmer of the season Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas who won in a new CCCAN record of 23.94 to add to his CARIFTA title which he won in 24.27 and  as well as National title in 23.79.

Safiya Officer 11-12 50 metre Bronze
Saifiya Officer Bronze medallist in the Girls 11-12 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would be Bronze for Safiya Officer in the girls 11-12 race  she touched in 27.71.Silver went to St Lucia’s Naima Hazell in 27.61 .

Cerian Gibbes
Cerian Gibbes competing in the 100 metre breaststroke at the 1996 Olympics Photo courtesy of gettyimages

The Gold went to the Cayman Islands Jillian Crooks who lowered the 1995 meet standard of 27.55 set  by Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympian Cerian Gibbes who went to the Atlanta 1996 Games as a 13 year old.

Boys 11-12 400 metre medley relay medallists
Boys 11-12 400 metre medley relay medallists from left to right Jamaica,Trinidad and Tobago and Aruba Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The 11-12 boys 400 metre medley relay team won Silver . The team of Daniel Mair (backstroke) 1:16.61,brother Joshua (breaststroke)1:20.15 ,Jaedon Lynch( butterfly) ( 1:10.15) and Adrian Balfour (freestyle) 1:01.55 touched in 4:48.55 to finish behind the Trinidad and Tobago team that won in 4:41.05.the Bronze was won by Aruba in 4:53.76.

Boys 15-17 400 metre medley relay
Boys 15-17 400 metre medley relay medallists from left to right Trinidad and Tobago,The Bahamas and Jamaica Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The 15-17 boys won the Bronze in their medley relay. The team of Nicholas Vale (backstroke) 1:01.47 ,Sean-Douglas Gooden (breaststroke) 1:09.48 ,Jesse Marsh (butterfly) 56.91 and Cameron Brown (freestyle) 55.86 touched in 4:03.72. Gold was won by The Bahamas in 3:59.57 and the Silver to Trinidad and Tobago in 4:01.63.







At the 2008 CARIFTA championships in Aruba the 13-14  Jamaica team of Kendese Nangle Backstroke 1:12.20, Victoria Ho breaststroke 1:20.05, Alexia Royal-Eatmon butterfly and Raynae Hall freestyle 1:03.00 turned in a Gold medal winning performance in the 400 metre medley relay of 4:46.29 .That performance was also a national record effort.

Kendese Nangle CARIFTA 2011
 Kendese Nangle Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn
backstroke Kendese Nangle 1:12.20
breaststroke Victoria Ho 1:20.05
butterfly Alexia Royal-Eatmon 1:11.04
freestyle Raynae Hall 1;03.00
Total time 4:46.29

Ten years later in Kingston Jamaica the 13-14  line up  for Jamaica read Simone Vale backstroke, Sabrina Lyn breaststroke, Zaneta Alvaranga butterfly and Emily MacDonald freestyle. The team was supposed to be fast but what the quartet produced on Sunday April 1 at the National Aquatic Centre was phenomenal.

It was expected for the young ladies to challenge the record and do sub 4:45. But they went well below that passing 4:42, 4;40, 4:38  and beyond 4:35 to smash the national standard. En route to lowering the Jamaican record the fab four also smashed the 2017 CARIFTA record held by Trinidad and Tobago of 4:36.43. The final total time for the Jamaicans was 4:33.81.

Gabriela Donahue  Photo courtesy of Tampabay.com


backstroke Jahmia Harley 1:10.15
breaststroke Gabriella Donahue 1:16.68
butterfly Regan Allen 1:08.24
freestyle Jada Chatoor 1:01.36
Total time 4:36.43


Lead off leg Vale saved the best for last in the 100 metre backstroke .She recorded two personal bests in the 100 metre backstroke from the heats and the relay moving from 1:10.02 to her  first sub 1 :10 time of 1:09.46.Up next Lyn added a breaststroke blast of 1:21.13. Alvaranga produced a butterfly split of 1:04.54 and MacDonald dropped the hammer with a split of 58.68.Guadeloupe won the Silver in 4:40.01 and Martinique the Bronze in 4:44.13.

13-14 medley girls
CARIFTA and National record holders in the 13-14 400 medley from left to right Vale,Lyn, Alvaranga and MacDonald Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

The 13-14 girls posted the fastest female time in the event just bettering the time of their countrywomen in the 15-17 age group that won the Gold 4:33.87.


Nathaniel Thomas Neville 2017 1
Nathaniel Thomas Triple meet record breaker on the Saturday session of the 2017 Neville Alexander Memorial Swim Meet Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

The Saturday afternoon session (May 27) of the Neville Alexander meet saw four swimmers Nathaniel Thomas (Tornadoes), Zaneta Alvaranga (Y Speedos), Sean-Douglas Gooden (Tornadoes) and Christanya Shirley (Marlins) setting new records.

From left to right Nathaniel Thomas of Tornadoes receiving his medal at the Karl Dalhouse Swim meet in January from former Tornadoes swimmer and national record holder in the 11-12 boys 100 metre butterfly Ramon James.Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe



Though the session did not see any national marks lowered some were put on notice. In the 11-12 boys age group it was Nathaniel Thomas who rattled the long standing 100 metre butterfly record 1:04.27  of Ramon James with a personal best time by more than a second of 1:04.39. James had set the mark more than 20 years on November 18, 1995. Nathaniel crushed the 2005 meet record of 1:08.13 by Jason Adams while beating the field by more than nine seconds .Both James and Adams are former Tornadoes swimmers. Last year at this meet Thomas was fourth in 1:24.79. With that win he completed the sprint butterfly double.


Thomas would also carry the broom to the backstroke events as he won the 50 metre backstroke race in  a meet record time of 30.91.That destroyed the old mark of 33.15 by Blue Marlins Swim Club Rin Gyles of 33.15 and his old pb of 31.64. He continues to track the national record of 30.25 set by Olympian Timothy Wynter at the 2009 CARIFTA Games. In 2016 Thomas finished 5th in the event in 38.66.

In the 100 metre freestyle Nathaniel would complete the meet record hat trick as he was the only swimmer under the minute mark in the 11-12 boys 100 metre freestyle as he touched in 59.67. That was better than the meet record of 1:02.96 Javier Marrero of the Flying Fish Swim .Also under the record was Joshua –Daniel Alleyne who clocked 1:02.52.Nathaniel was just off his pb of 59.45. Last year Thomas placed 7th with a time of 1:13.79.

Zaneta Neville 2017 2
Zaneta Alvaranga Gold medal winner in the 100 metre butterfly and 100 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

Also completing a sprint butterfly double in the 11-12 age was Zaneta Alvaranga. Competing in the 100 metre event she smashed the 2007 meet record of 1:11.65 former Speedos swimmer Raynae Hall with a 1:07.83. She continues to flirt with the age group record of 1:07.22 set by national teammate Sabrina Lyn when she won Gold at the CARIFTA Games in The Bahamas. Zaneta also posted 1:07.55 at the Tornadoes meet earlier this month. She added to her Gold medal count that afternoon when she won the 100 metre freestyle in 1:02.78.

Christanya Shirley Record breaker in the 9-10 girls’ 50 metre butterfly.Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

In the 9-10 age Shirley would lower Alvaranaga’s meet standard in the 50 metre butterfly. Christanya posted a time of 33.34 to better Zaneta’s 2015 time of 33.92.

Sean-Douglas Gooden CARIFTA 2017
Sean-Douglas Gooden CARIFTA 2017 Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

In the open 200 metre breaststroke event Sean Douglas-Gooden lowered  amore than decade old record of 2:38.26 when he touched in a time of 2:36.83.He completed the medley double when he won the open 400 individual medley in a time of 5:19.03.

Teammate Lyn won the girls 400 individual medley in 6:41.90.

Morgan Cogle outstanding 9 - 10 swimmer
Morgan Cogle of Jupiter Dragons Swim Team Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

The Marlins’ Kokolo Foster just missed adding her name to the list of meet record breakers when she won the 9-10 100 metre freestyle in 1:11.17.That was just off the 2016 standard of 1:11.08 by Jupiter Dragon’s Morgan Cogle.

Britney Williams
Britney Williams Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

Swimaz ’s Britney Williams won the 13 and over event in 1:02.82.

Paig'e Lewis Neville
Paig’e Lewis Gold medallist in the 11-12 girls’ 50 metre backstroke.Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe


Paig’e Lewis won the 11-12 girls 50 metre backstroke in 38.79.

Double winners in the afternoon included Sidrell Williams of the Y Speedos. He also completed the sprint butterfly double when he won the 13 and over 100 metre butterfly in 59.89 and then won the 100 metre freestyle in 55.68.

His teammate Brianna Anderson completed the sprint sweeps in the backstroke and butterfly events. She took the 50 metre backstroke title in 31.09 then won the 100 metre butterfly in 1:11.65.

Israel Allen Neville 2017
Israel Allen 9-10 Gold medallist in the 50 metre butterfly and 100 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

Israel Allen in the 9-10 boys category continued his domination of the individual events. He won the 50 metre butterfly and 100 metre freestyle in times of 34.93 and 1:11.17 respectively. Allen was undefeated in all 4 individual events at that point.

Santiago Gonzales and Tiara Campbell
Sailfish Swim Academy’s Gold medallists from left to right Coach Santiago Gonzalez 13 and over boys’ 50 metre backstroke and Tiara Campbell women’s open 200 metre breaststroke Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

Representing the Western end of the island Montego Bay’s Sailfish Swim Academy had victories in the open girls’ 200 metre breaststroke and the 13 and over boys’ 50 metre backstroke. Tiara Campbell won the 200 metre breaststroke in 3:07.38. Coach Santiago Gonzalez completed the backstroke sprint sweep with a time of 29.70.

The masters’ events saw victories for the Tornadoes Swim Club. For the men Stefan Braeger won the 50 metre backstroke and butterfly in times of 40.65 and 38.70. For the ladies Annelies Denny won the 50 metre backstroke in 43.36 while Kristina Chuck –Smith took the 50 metre butterfly in 43.70.


Christanya Shirley and father Christopher
Christanya Shirley and father Christopher
Emily MacDonald Karl Dalhouse
Emily MacDonald
Angara Sinclair and mother Annette Francis Barnett
Angara Sinclair and mother Annette Francis Barnett Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe
Shaun Johnson and aunt Kerris Stewart
Shaun Johnson and aunt Kerris Stewart
Britney and Mom
Dawn Wheatley-Williams mother of Britney Williams and Britney Williams Photo Courtesy of Lynval Lowe
Rajiv Redhi
Rajiv Redhi
Matthew Hilton
Matthew Hilton


Cameron Brown
Cameron Brown


The Y Speedos hosted Karl Dalhouse Memorial Swim Meet which ran from January 29 -31 saw a number of records and personal bests smashed. The meet which is the last major swim meet before Jamaica’s Age Group Championships saw a number of swimmers stepping up their performance. Chief among the record breakers was Christanya Shirley of the Marlins Swim Club.


Shirley lowered two national records at the meet. The eight year old lowered the national record in the 8 and under 50 metre butterfly. Shirley stroked her way to 38.37 for the Gold medal .In the process she lowered the 2003 meet record of Y Speedos and national representative Raynae Hall as well as Hall’s national standard of 38.84. In 2015 Shirley had finished 5th with a 45.94

Christanya would smash another record in 200 metre individual medley. Swimming in the 10 and under event Shirley competing with 9 and 10 year olds won the event in 3:17.73. This time she bettered the standard of another Y Speedos and decorated age group representative Allison Bardowell. Allison’s mark was on the books from 1995. Shirley would win Gold medals in the 50 metre backstroke in 44.50, 50 metre freestyle 35.33 and 50 metre breaststroke 47.13.


Emily MacDonald of Swimaz Aquatic Club continues to be the form athlete in the 11-12 girls age group. She was responsible for 4 meet records in her 7 individual Gold medal haul. In the 50 metre freestyle she broke Angara Sinclair’s 2012 record of 28.85 with a personal best swim of 28.69.  In 2015 Emily was  4th in a time of 31.13 .With her first swim under 29 seconds she puts herself in pole position to break the national record of 28.23 set by Olympian Alia Atkinson in 2001 at the CCCAN championships. She would take down another Sinclair standard in the 100 metre freestyle when she clocked 1:04.39 bettering the mark of 1:05.34.

She would break another Atkinson record in the 200 metre freestyle. That record belonged to Olympian and distance queen Janelle Atkinson .The old mark was 2:25.12 it now stands at 2:24.65.The last mark that she set was also set in 1995 by Panamian D Capunay of 1:13.27 in the 100 metre butterfly. Emily lowered the meet standard to 1:12.91.In 2015 Emily finished 3rd in a time of 1:23.45 in 2015. She won the 200 metre individual medley with a personal best of 2:51.37.The 400 metre freestyle saw her record another personal best of 5:08.45.

The last meet record to fall saw a tight battle between the Y Speedos Angara Sinclair and US based Shaun Johnson. In a race decided by hundredths of a second Sinclair prevailed with a time of 1:09.99 with Johnson close behind in 1:10.04.Both swimmers were under Sinclair’s year old mark of 1:11.36.

Britney Williams of Swimaz continued her build up to Age Group champs with an emphatic 10 second plus win the 400 metre freestyle. She took the Gold medal in a personal best of 4:52.10.

Rajiv Redhi of the Y Speedos was the most dominant male swimmer at the meet capturing 9 individual Gold medals. Rajiv won the 100 and 200 metre breaststroke events, the 100 and 200 metre butterfly races,400, 200 and 50 metre freestyle, 100 ,metre backstroke and 200 metre individual medley events. In the 200 metre breaststroke he dropped 13 seconds from 2015 to win the event in 3:01.39. He was also the highest placed 11-12 swimmer in the 1500 metre freestyle.

Alex Mignott of Tornadoes who competed in the 13-24 age group almost completed a freestyle sweep as he won the 1500, 400, 200 and 100 metre freestyle races. His sweep was stopped by Jordan Hines of Swimaz who won the 50 metre event in 25.56.Mignott finished 2nd in a personal best of 25.68.

In a fantastic race in the 200 metre breaststroke for 13-24 men Cameron Brown of the Y Speedos dropped more than 2 seconds to win the event .Brown came from behind to beat Sean –Douglas Gooden of the Tornadoes Swim Club 2:48.47 to 2:48.84. The award is given to the winner of the event in honour of the late Matthew Hilton who passed on Sep 11, 2008.Hilton was a many time national representative and loved by all in the swimming community not only locally but regionally.

The Y Speedos won the team title with 792 points, Tornadoes was 2nd with 768 and Marlins Swim Club 3rd with 421 points.