Jamaica’s Sidrell Williams continues to produce good performances as he pushes for qualification for the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju Korea and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Sidrell Williams and teammate Steven Aimable Photo courtesy of Azura Florida Aquatics

Competing at the 2019 Puerto Rico International Open at the San Juan Natatorium from April 25 to 28 Williams lowered his personal best en route to the Bronze medal in the 50 metre freestyle. In the heats of the event he lowered his season best of 23.71 to 23.65 to be the fifth seed heading into the Championship final. Sidrell had more speed left for that race in the final. Williams, who represents Azura Florida Aquatics out touched teammate Luciano Gonzalez 23.41 to 23.42 to earn the Bronze medal in a new PB. His previous best in the event was 23.47.Silver went to another Azura swimmer Steven Aimable in a PB of 23.37. Gold was won Luis Flores of Puerto Rico in 23.31. He is closing in on the World Champs B standard of 22.96 and Olympics B time of 22.67. He leads the rankings as the fastest Jamaican this year.

Sidrell Williams with Azura Florida Aquatics teammates at the 2019 Puerto Rico Invitational Photo courtesy of Azura Florida Aquatics

The twenty two year old made it to another Championship final in the 100 metre freestyle. He recorded 52.15 to place fifth, just off his season best of 51.97.In the 50 metre butterfly he equaled his best time in the preliminaries with a swim of 25.71. He returned in the afternoon to place fourth in the B final with a time of 25.75. In the 100 metre butterfly he recorded a season best of 56.89 before scratching from the B final.



The 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25 metre) will get underway in Hangzhou China with Jamaica making its ninth showing at the global event.

Sion Brin 1997
Sion Brinn 1997 Photo courtesy of

Olympian Sion Brinn opened the World Championships account for Jamaica as its only swimmer at the 1995 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil Championships. In 1995 he made the first ever final for the country placing 8th in the 50 metre freestyle in 22.53 and won the 100 metre freestyle B final in a time of 49.41.In 1997 he was again the island’s sole entrant in  Gothenburg Sweden and won both B finals of the 50 and 100 metre freestyle in times of 48.66 and 22.35 respectively.

Team Jamaica 2016
From left to right
Dominic Walter,Kelsie Campbell, Alia Atkinson and Justin Plaschka

Dominic Walter of the 2016 Team that competed in Windsor Canada recounted to draftingthecaribbean what representing the nation meant to him

Dominic Walter gets ready to race
Dominic Walter gets ready to race.

“Representing Jamaica at any level in swimming has always provided some of the most enjoyable experiences that the sport has given me. The feeling of representing your nation with your teammates on one of the highest stages is comparable to none. At the 2016 Short Course World Championships I had the opportunity to watch Alia Atkinson win a gold medal and hear the Jamaican national anthem played on a world stage, what an incredible motivation”.

Team Jamaica in 2018 will be represented by defending 100 metre breaststroke World Champion Alia Atkinson and World Short Course Championships debutante Sidrell Williams. The coach is Chris Anderson and the team leader Dr Brian James.

Alia with medals
Alia Atkinson Photo taken courtesy of

Alia Atkinson who will be competing in her sixth World Championships will be chasing history after another fantastic World Cup Campaign. She leads the World in both the 50 metre breaststroke where she set the World record at 28.56 and the 100 metre breaststroke where she is the only sub 1:03 seconds clocking at 1:02.74. In her other event the 100 metre individual medley she has third fastest entry time .

In the 100 metre breaststroke she will seek to make become the first swimmer to win three consecutive titles.She will also be seeking to bring Jamaica level with the United States of America for the country with most titles won in the event as the Americans had a winning streak from 2006,2008 and 2010. She also has the individual medal count lead with three medals and will be seeking to extend that advantage in Hangzhou.

In the 50 metre breaststroke Alia has won the most medals in the event of all time with three consecutive Silver medals from 2012,2014 and 2016.

Rodolfo Falcon Photo courtesy of

In terms of total medals won at the Championships she will be seeking to break the deadlock with Cuba’s Rodolfo Falcón  who has seven medals.

1999 Cuba Rodolfo Falcón 50 metre backstroke Gold
2000 Cuba Rodolfo Falcón 50 metre backstroke Bronze
1993 Cuba Rodolfo Falcón 100 metre backstroke Bronze
1995 Cuba Rodolfo Falcón 100 metre backstroke Gold
1999 Cuba Rodolfo Falcón 100 metre backstroke Gold
2000 Cuba Rodolfo Falcón 100 metre backstroke Silver
1995 Cuba Rodolfo Falcón 200 metre backstroke Gold

Sidrell Williams Mike C Lyn
Sidrell Williams Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

Teammate Sidrell Williams will become  the 16th  Jamaican swimmer  to compete World Short Course championships debut is no stranger to national representation having represented the country at the regional level at the CARIFTA , CISC and CCCAN Championships . On the international stage he has represented the Black,Green and Gold at the 2013 Junior World Championships, 2014 Youth Olympic Games and the 2015 World Championships. He will be seeking to make his mark in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle events.

The Competition Venue is The Tennis Centre at the Hangzhou Olympic and International Expo. Centre where a temporary competition pool and pool deck will be constructed on top of the main arena of the Tennis Centre.The venue is  between 15-20 minutes from the  “Grand New Century Hotel’ where Team Jamaica is housed.The competition will run from Tuesday December 11th to Sunday, December 16th. Local start times for heats in Jamaica are 8:30 pm  for heats and 6am for the finals. The competition will start at 8.30 pm today Monday Dec 10. Atkinson will start Jamaica’s campaign on her birthday Dec 11 with the 50 metre breaststroke.

Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of Grace Kennedy Money Services

Schedule for Team Jamaica

Monday  Dec 10 8:30 pm Women 50 metre breaststroke heats
Tuesday Dec 11 6am Women 50 metre breaststroke semi finals
Wednesday Dec 12  6am Women 50 metre breaststroke  final
Wed  Dec 12 8.30 pm Women 100 metre individual medley heats
Men 50 metre freestyle heats
Thursday Dec 13 6am Women 100 metre individual medley semi finals
Men 50 metre freestyle semi finals
Thursday Dec 13 8.30pm Women 100 metre breaststroke heats
Friday Dec 14 6am Women 100 metre individual medley final
Men 50 metre freestyle final
Women 100 metre breaststroke semi finals
Friday Dec 14 8.30 pm Men 100 metre freestyle heats
Saturday Dec 15 6am Men 100 metre freestyle semi finals
Women 100 metre breaststroke final
Sunday Dec 16 6am Men 100 metre freestyle final


The 2018 edition of the Walter Lowi Swim meet returned after a one year hiatus .It also returned to its original sprint origins which comprised of 50 and 100 metre races. The swimmers took to this return with great relish as the age group swimmers stroked their way to 33 meet records.

Christanya Shirley Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

One of the swimmers that stood out on the meet on November 17 at the National Aquatic Centre was young Christanya Shirley of the Marlins Swim club in the 9-10 age group. Shirley who will be eligible for CARIFTA selection in January put in yet another great showing  winning four Gold  medals and all in meet record times. The most impressive of which was the 100 metre freestyle. She crushed the field by more than 10 seconds to win a new national record of 1:06.12. In stopping the clock at that time she lowered the 2015 record of 1:07.33 by Zaneta Alvaranga set back in Dec 2015.Alvaranga also held the meet record at 1:08.65 also set in 2015. There would almost be another national record effort in the 50 metre backstroke as she won by 7 seconds to touch the pads in 36.21 breaking the 2007 meet record of 36.75 by fellow Marlins swimmer Stefani Webley but just missing Webley’s national record of 35.75 set in December of the same year. Shirley’s other meet records would be in the 50 metre butterfly where she won by five seconds lowering Kendese Nangle’s 2005 standard of 34.39. In the 50 metre breaststroke she won by four seconds to lower Gabrielle Black’s 2010 standard of 42.13 to 41.33.

Nathaniel Thomas
Nathaniel Thomas 13-14 record breaker in the 50 and 100 metre butterfly and 50 and 100 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

Another swimmer who provided a four star performance on the day was Nathaniel Thomas of the Tornadoes Swim Club who competed in the 13-14 age group. Thomas recorded all personal best for his wins. In the 50 metre butterfly he won by over a second to claim the Gold in 26.71 , a time that would have won  Gold in that age group at this year’s CARIFTA Championships held in Kingston. It was also the fastest 50 metre butterfly time on the day.He took more than a second off the 2010 standard of 27.78 set by Sidrell Williams and has more than a year left in the age group to go after the national record of 26.22 set by Olympian Timothy Wynter in 2011. In the 100 metre freestyle he took nearly three seconds off another 2010 Williams standard of 58.55 when he recorded his first sub 56 time of 55.97.  The 100 metre butterfly saw him breaking the minute mark and crushing the 2006 standard of Ramon Walton of 1:03.33. That effort would have won him the Gold at CARIFTA this year. He closed out the meet with almost his first sub 25 seconds performance in the 50 metre freestyle as he touched the wall in 25.09. That broke Williams’ 2010 standard of 26.03. His effort would have also won the Bronze at CARIFTA this year. In speaking to draftingthecaribbean yesterday Thomas gave this assessment of his performances

“My performances at Walter Lowi this weekend was very good .I achieved a lot of best times and I think this meet compared to CARIFTA this year was much better mainly because I think I got fitter and faster.I think CARIFTA was a little rough because I still adjusting to the new age group and also I was sick.This meet was a very good opportunity for me to get all my sprint times down and I think the next meet I can do even better. I have been improving a lot since CCCAN (July in Aruba) and in terms of training it has gotten hard and more intense and I think that has been a big factor in my improvement. I am looking forward to CARIFTA and CCCAN in 2019 to do a lot better than this year”.

The Y Speedos remained unbeaten for the calendar year 2018 as they won the meet with 710 points, Second went to the Tornadoes with 575 points and third to Swimaz with 252. The top five was rounded out by Marlins and Aquamarine Riplles with 208 and 168 points respectively.

Records broken at 2018 Walter Lowi Meet

Event Name Time Year Club Name Time Club
11-12 girls 50 metre butterfly Raynae Hall/Ivana Chang 32.99 2007/2010 Y Speedos/Swimaz Aliyah Heaven 31.28 Tornadoes
13-14 girls 50 metre butterfly Alexcia Royal -Eatmon 31.39 2008 Unattached Zaneta Alvaranga 28.60 Kaizen
13-14 boys 50 metre butterfly Sidrell Williams 27.78 2010 Marlins Nathaniel Thomas 26.71 Tornadoes
15 and over girls 50 metre butterfly Kendese Nangle 30.64 2010 Unattached Paris Clare 30.41 Kaizen
9-10 girls 50 metre butterfly Kendese Nangle 34.39 2005 Blue Seals Christanya Shirley 33.16 Marlins
9-10 boys 50 metre butterfly Sidrell Williams 33.64 2007 Marlins Josh Johnson 31.89 Marlins
15 and over girls 100 metre backstroke Dominique Dawson 1:15.47 2007 Tornadoes Brianna Anderson 1:10.68 Y Speedos
15 and over boys 100 metre backstroke Ramon James 1:06.14 2006 Tornadoes Kyle Sinclair 1:03.19 Y Speedos
9-10 girls 50 metre backstroke Stefani Webley 36.75 2007 Marlins Christanya Shirley 36.21 Marlins
9-10 boys 50 metre backstroke Timothy Wynter 38.57 2007 Tornadoes Josh Johnson 37.26 Marlins
11-12 girls 50 metre breaststroke Leanne McMaster 38.93 2010 Y Speedos Kokolo Foster 37.48 Tornadoes
13-14 girls 50 metre breaststroke Breanna Roman 36.58 2010 Swimaz Zaneta Alvaranga 36.27 Kaizen
13-14 boys 50 metre breaststroke Matthew Hilton 32.23 2005 Y Speedos Kito Campbell 31.91 Y Speedos
11-12 girls 100 metre freestyle Breanna Roman 1:04.56 2007 Blue Seals Safiya Officer 1:03.75 Blue Seals
11-12 boys 100 metre freestyle Sidrell Williams 1:01.46 2009 Marlins Adrian Balfour 1:00.88 Tornadoes
13-14 girls 100 metre freestyle Victoria Ho 1:03.07 2007 Unattached Paig’e Lewis 1:02.46 Y Speedos
13-14 boys 100 metre freestyle Sidrell Williams 58.55 2010 Marlins Nathaniel Thomas 55.97 Tornadoes
15 and over girls 100 metre freestyle Kendese Nangle 1:03.35 2010 Unattached Britney Williams 1:02.44 Swimaz
15 and over boys 100 metre freestyle Alford Green 57.94 2007 Y Speedos Kyle Sinclair 55.91 Y Speedos
13-14 girls 100 metre butterfly Alexcia Royal -Eatmon 1:11.53 2008 Unattached Sabrina Lyn 1:07.24 Tornadoes
13-14 boys 100 metre butterfly Ramon Walton 1:03.33 2006 Y Speedos Nathaniel Thomas 59.98 Tornadoes
15 and over girls 100 metre butterfly Dominique Dawson 1:09.74 2007 Tornadoes Brianna Anderson 1:09.62 Y Speedos
10 and under girls 100 metre freestyle Zaneta Alvaranga 1:08.65 2015 Y Speedos Christanya Shirley 1:06.12 Marlins
13-14 boys 50 metre backstroke Timothy Wynter 30.00 2010 Tornadoes Rin Gyles 28.95 Sailfish
15 and over girls 50 metre backstroke Kendese Nangle 32.17 2010 Unattached Brianna Anderson 31.21 Y Speedos
9-10 girls 50 metre breaststroke Gabriella Black 42.13 2010 Tornadoes Christanya Shirley 41.33 Marlisn
11-12 girls 100 metre breaststroke Leanne McMaster 1:25.40 2010 Y Speedos Kokolo Foster 1;22.41 Tornadoes
9-10 boys 50 metre freestyle Robert Marshall 31.11 2008 Y Speedos Josh Johnson 31.05 Marlins
11-12 girls 50 metre freestyle Kendese Nangle 29.41 2007 Blue Seals Safiya Officer 28.33 Blue Seals
13-14 girls 50 metre freestyle Victoria Ho 28.84 2007 Unattached Paig’e Lewis 28.44 Y Speedos
13-14 boys 50 metre freestyle Sidrell Williams 26.03 2010 Marlins Nathaniel Thomas 25.09 Y Speedos
15 and over girls 50 metre freestyle Kendese Nangle 29.11 2010 Unattached Brianna Anderson 28.33 Y Speedos
15 and over boys 50 metre freestyle Steven Moodie 25.67 2010 Tornadoes Kyle Sinclair 24.96 Y Speedos




Howard University celebrated winning a Gold medal at the CCSA Champs in the 100 yard freestyle last night. The victory came courtesy of Jamaica’s Sidrell Williams who the event in a new personal best and school record of 44.61.

Williams 100 free CCSA
Sidrell Williams of the 100 yard freestyle at the 2018 CCSA Champs Photo courtesy of Coastal Collegiate Sports Association

Already the school record holder in the event with a time of 45.22 (split time 21.82) when he won Gold at the Randolph Macon Yellow Jacket Invitational in Richmond Virginia Williams threatened that mark when he touched in 45.41 (split time 21.82) in the morning heats. In the final Sidrell trailed 50 yard freestyle Silver medallist Eli Coan of Gardner-Webb 21.39 to 21.43. It was at that point Williams took off and recorded the fastest last half of 23.18 to pull away and win in 44.61. Silver went to 50 yard freestyle champion Harp Parker of Old Dominion 44.91 and Bronze went to Zach Dingfield of Gardner-Webb in 44.95 , he also won Bronze in the 50 yard freestyle.

Jules Graham Linkedin
Jules Graham Photo courtesy of LinkedIn

The last time Howard University tasted victory in the event was when Trinidad and Tobago’s Jules Graham won the event in 2010 in 45.88.

HU 400 free relay team 2018
Record breaking Bison 400 yard freestyle relay from left to right Brazelton,Ford,Williams and Haughton Photo courtesy of Howard University swimming and Diving

The record breaking trend would continue in the 400 yard freestyle relay as the team of Trinidad and Tobago’s Kegan Ford 47.29, Don Brazelton 46.54 and Jamaican Nicholas Haughton 46.75 and Sidrell Williams 45.85 lowered the record of 3:06.44 set by the 2009 CCSA team that included Jules Graham.

Leanne McMaster recorded her fastest collegiate time in the 100 yard freestyle of 54.55 (split time 26.05) and equaled her personal best time set back in 2016 when at Baylor.She placed 33rd in the event.

Haughton recorded 47.75 (split time 22.89) for a season best and highest CCSA placing of 20th in the 100 yard freestyle.

Bonner CCSA
Mattheau Bonner in action for NJIT Highlanders at the 2018 CCSA Champs Photo courtesy of Coastal Collegiate Sports Association

Mattheau Bonner of New Jersey Institute of Technology recorded a personal best in the 200 yard butterfly to place 18th overall in 1:53.83 (split time 54.14).

Liberty University Danielle boothe
Danielle Boothe Photo courtesy of Liberty University Swimming and diving

Danielle Boothe of Liberty University recorded a time of 2:05.00 (split time 1:00.45) in the 200 yard backstroke.

Howard freshman Keith-Jordan Wilkinson split 50.52 on the Bison B 400 yard freestyle team that finished with a time of 3:15.58.





Friday’s session at the CCSA on Feb 16 saw Jamaica’s Sidrell Williams as a member of yet another school record setting relay team  and his countrymen recording personal bests.


In the 400 yard medley relay the Howard team of Don Brazelton backstroke 52.43,Speakman Smith 56.85,Alexander Barnes 51.31 and Williams 44.70 recording a new school record of 3:25.29 to place fifth. The old record of 3:27.84 was set at last year’s championship.

Earlier in the day Williams was just off his PB in the 100 yard butterfly finishing 19th  in 50.85 (split time 24.11).

Teammate Nicholas Haughton recorded a personal best in the 200 yard freestyle by more than a second when he touched the wall in 1:44.91(split time 49.86). That placed him 17th overall his highest finish ever after placing 22nd in 2017 and 24th in 2016.

Leanne McMaster recorded a new personal best in the 100 yard breaststroke clocking 1:07.20 (split time 31.11) to make the C Final in the event. That time is her fastest ever collegiate time and erases the 1:07.28 she swam while a student at Baylor. In the final she was just off that performance placing fourth in 1:07.44 (split time 31.11). Her morning heats time is now third fastest time in Bison history.

Freshman Keith-Jordan Wilkinson recorded a new personal best of 1:01.79 (split time 29.43) to place 26th in the 100 yard breaststroke.

Another Jamaican Mattheau Bonner representing New Jersey Institute of Technology placed 25th in the 100 yard butterfly in a time of 51.79 (split time 24.22)




Jamaica’s Sidrell Williams continued to lower school records for Howard University at the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Championship CCSA in Athens Georgia on Thursday Feb 15 .

Sidrell mike clyn
Sidrell Williams Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

On Thursday he became the fastest swimmer at the Washington based institution when he clocked 20.55 in the morning preliminaries.

Gayle Howard 2nd
Chris Gayle 2nd left Photo courtesy of Chris Gayle

In posting that time he lowered the nearly 30 year old record another Jamaican Chris Gayle. The old record was set in Dec 1989 when Gayle stopped the clock in 20.76.  In the final Williams was again under the old standard when he recorded 20.64 to finish 4th. The Bronze was won by Zach Dingfield 20.49 of Gardner-Webb University , his teammate Eli Coan won the Silver in 20.38 and Gold to Harp Parker of Old Dominion of 20.35. Sidrell Williams was the first Bison finalist in the event since Zadook Isaacs placed 8th in 2013.

When draftingthe Caribbean spoke to Gayle about that record swim he shared the following thoughts

Gayle Howard 3
Chris Gayle receiving medal at US Swimming Senior Nationals as a member of the 400 yard medley relay Photo courtesy of Chris Gayle

“It was December 1989 at the Oakmar Rec Center in Virginia.At the time, I broke the school record I was more thrilled at winning the race. It was at a club meet at the end of our college season and Coach Eric Howard entered us in the meet to see if we could lower our times since we were already rested and tapered.

It was a brilliant move and some of our competitors were in high school. I thank God first for the ability to swim that fast and blessing me with a swimming coach who saw my potential even when I did not. To this day, his words encourage me. He would always say, Chris Gayle – you are a world class swimmer. I was truly embarrassed by him saying that especially around people.   He however I now realize was casting vision. I have since then thanked him for believing in me and working us (the entire team) hard to achieve beyond what we ever dreamed.  We won our conference my freshman and sophomore years due to his gifted guidance.I congratulate the young man who has broken the record and I encourage him to continue to pursue the impossible.  All things are possible to them that believe.

More speed would be on display by the Bison in the 200 yard freestyle relay. The team of Trinidad and Tobago’s Kegan Ford 21.49, Alexander Barnes 21.04, Maalik Nixon 21.20 and Williams 20.39 recorded a time of 1:24.12 to place fifth overall. That bettered the 1:24.18 time done by the 2017 CCSA team.

Haughton CCSA 2018
Nicholas Haughton Photo courtesy of Howard University Swimming and Diving

Teammate Nicholas Haughton just missed a second swim in the 500 yard freestyle when he placed 17th in a season best of 4:49.20.His Bison 200 yard freestyle B team recorded a time of  1:25.66 .Nicholas had a third leg split of 21.66.

Keith Jordan Wilkinson
Keith-Jordan Wilkinson Photo courtesy of Howard University

Another Jamaican Bison Keith Jordan Wilkinson was 31st in the 50 yard freestyle in a PB of 22.42.His 200 yard freestyle relay team clocked 1:30.21 with Keith Jordan with a second leg split of 22.32 and Bahamian Farion Cooper anchoring in 22.03.

McMaster CCSA
Leanne McMaster Photo courtesy of Howard University

Leanne McMaster recorded a PB of 24.98 to place 47th in the 50 yard freestyle. Her Bison 200 yard freestyle relay team recorded a season best of 1:37.47 for 9th. Leanne’s second leg split was 24.50.

Countryman Mattheau Bonner led off the New Jersey Institute of Technology B team with a split of 22.78. They finished with a total time of 1:28.76



The  CCSA (Coastal College Sports Association)Champs got underway at the Gabrielson Natatorium in Athens Georgia on Feb 14 and saw Jamaican Sidrell Williams helping his Howard University to a new school record.

Sidrell Howard picture
Sidrell Wiliams Photo courtesy of Johnson

The Howard University Bison team of Don Brazelton backstroke 23.63,Speakman Smith breaststroke, Alexander Barnes butterfly 22.65 and Williams 20.23 freestyle recorded a time of 1:32.33 to place fifth. That bettered the record of 1:33.71 recorded at the 2017 CCSA Championships when that team recorded 1:33.71. It also bettered their 6th place finish.


Mattheau_Bonner NJIT
Mattheau Bonner Photo courtesy of

Countryman Mattheau Bonner representing New Jersey Institute of Technology clocked 23.06 on his butterfly to help them to fifth in 1:33.44.

Nicholas Haughton Howard University Swimming and Diving website
Nicholas Haughton courtesy of Howard University Swimming and Diving

Nicholas Haughton, a fellow Howard University student anchored the 800 yard freestyle relay team with a split of 1:44.58 to help them to sixth in a time of 7:06.67. That is the fourth fastest time in school history.

Leanne McMaster Photo courtesy of Gillian Haughton

Teammate and country woman Leanne McMaster anchored the ladies 200 medley relay with a freestyle split of 24.43 for a total time of 1:48.12 for ninth overall. That just missed the school record of 1:47.77 set at last year’s conference Champs where McMaster performed anchor leg duties as well.