JORDAN CROOKS CROSSES 24 SECONDS BARRIER TO CAP SIX GOLD MEDAL PERFORMANCE IN KINGSTON,ALVARANGA ROCKETS TO #1 ALL TIME CARIFTA REGION PERFORMANCE

The recently concluded Dean Martin Memorial swim meet in Kingston Jamaica saw the continued rise of Cayman’s Jordan Crooks.

The only swimmer with senior level international meet credentials to his resume he showed his class with a six Gold medal performance all in meet record time.

Jordan Crooks

In the land of the sprinters Jordan crossed the 24 seconds barrier in the 50 metre freestyle to be the fastest ever swimmer at this meet in 23.87. He easily crushed his 2018 record in the 15 -16 age group of 24.60. The swim takes on even greater significance as this is his season opener in the 50 metre pool and he was battling illness at the time of his 50 metre blast.

The Camana Bay Aquatics swimmer started his Gold medal run at the meet in the 100 metre backstroke lowering both the meet record of 1:03.75 and his personal best of 1:02.27 to 1:01.70 .

The reigning CARIFTA Champion in the 200 metre freestyle Crooks crushed the meet record of 2:01.75 to become the first person under 2 minutes at the meet with a time of 1:58.98.

He smashed his meet record and his old personal best of 52.36 set at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju South Korea to stop the clock in 52.26.At the 2019 CARIFTA Championships in Barbados earlier this year he won the Silver medal in this event in 53.24.

There would be a big personal best in the 100 metre butterfly when he took more than a second off his personal best to land the Gold in 57.60 destroying his meet record of 59.83.

In an event he rarely competes in the 400 metre freestyle Jordan set a new personal best and meet record of 4:30.30.The last time he swam it was in 2017 at this meet where he was was timed in 4:46.58.

Draftingthecaribbean got his reaction to his efforts over the weekend

“I was very satisfied with my races this weekend.My results were better than I initially expected.I think my stamina has room for improvement in races like the 100 and 200 metre freestyle.The 50  metre freestyle was my favorite race of the meet and I was happy with the result”.

Zaneta Alvaranga, fastest ever 13-14 CARIFTA region swimmer at the Dean Martin meet Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

The 50 metre freestyle series proved to be quite quick as Zaneta Alvaranga of the Kaizen swim club set yet another sprint national record when she  lowered the 13-14 standard in the 50 metre freestyle held by Emily MacDonald to 26.34 .She bettered the 26.44 set at the CAC Games in 2018. With the swim she now assumes the mantle of the fastest swimmer from the CARIFTA region. Zaneta had won the 13-14 CARIFTA sprint title in 26.76. Her swim this past weekend would have won her the Gold in the 15-17 age group and puts her in touching distance of the 15-17 record of 26.12 by Olympian Chinyere Pigot of Suriname.

Fastest CARIFTA region 13-14 Girls

CountryNameRecordYear
BermudaElan Daley26.562019
Trinidad and TobagoSobahn Cropper26.661993
The BahamasDelany Mizell26.962019
ArubaElisbet Timmer27.012016
St LuciaNaima Hazell27.472019
Nathaniel Thomas Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

In the 13-14 boys 2019 CARIFTA and CCCAN Champion Nathaniel Thomas beat his meet record of 25.12 with a swim of 24.72. That also bettered the 24.87 he produced to win the CARIFTA title in Barbados earlier this year. It speaks to the possibility of a sub 24 seconds swim in 2020. Nathaniel was also faster than his CARIFTA Gold medal performance in the 100 metre butterfly 59.10 compared to 59.22. He was also joined under the minute mark by Kaheem Lozer of Kaizen who produced a huge personal best to touch in 59.92.

Jillian Crooks fastest ever 11-12 swimmer in the event in Jamaica Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

In the 11-12 girls race Jillian, sister of Jordan took the event in 27.71.That swim would have won the Gold medal in Barbados in her age group.

With her victories as this meet she has put a number of her national records on notice if given the chance to swim in the Olympic sized pool again before 2020.

Nathan Wright of Sailfish Swim Academy Photo courtesy of Arlett Campbell

One of the swimmers from the West making a name for his name at the meet was Nathan Wright of the Sailfish Swim Academy. He won the splash and dash in 29.76 lowering the meet standard of 29.83. In his sights for the the rest of the calendar year will be the national record of 29.27.

Over 20 meet records were set

Name ClubEvent Age groupNew Record Old Record
Britney WilliamsSwimmaz100 metre backstroke17-181:17.881:20.99
Nathaniel ThomasTornadoes100 metre backstroke13-141:01.491:04.89
Jordan CrooksCamana Bay Aquatics100 metre backstroke15-161:01.701:03.75
Jordan CrooksCamana Bay Aquatics200 metre freestyle15-161:58.982:01.05
Britney WilliamsSwimmaz200 metre freestyle17-182:13.822:44.16
Kokolo FosterTornadoes100 metre breaststroke11-121:22.061:23.18
Kito CampbellY Speedos100 metre breaststroke15-161:11.801:12.26
Waldon McIntoshAquamarine Ripples400 metre IM10 and under6:33.217:38.57
Jillian CrooksCamana Bay Aquatics100 metre freestyle11-121:00.061:01.66
Britney WilliamsSwimmaz100 metre freestyle17-181:01.611:10.20
Nathaniel ThomasTornadoes100 metre freestyle13-1455.0155.77
Jordan CrooksCamana Bay Aquatics100 metre freestyle15-1652.2654.42
Amore Hunter,Sabrina Lyn,Aliyah Heaven,Ireland HunterTornadoes200 metre medley relay13 and over2:11.382:11.72
Jillian CrooksCamana Bay Aquatics400 metre freestyle11-124:54.904:55.28
Nathan WrightSailfish Swim Academy400 metre freestyle10 and under5:35.825:42.98
Jordan CrooksCamana Bay Aquatics400 metre freestyle15-164:30.304:30.93
Waldon McIntoshAquamarine Ripples50 metre breatstsroke9-1039.3440.02
Kokolo FosterTornadoes200 metre breaststroke11-122:59.683:00.88
Zaneta AlvarangaKaizen 200 metre breaststroke13-142:59.863:00.23
Nathaniel ThomasTornadoes100 metre butterfly13-1459.101:00.54
Kaheem LozerKaizen 100 metre butterfly13-1459.921:00.54
Jordan CrooksCamana Bay Aquatics100 metre butterfly15-1657.9059.83
Morgan CogleJupiter Sea Dragons200 metre backstroke13-142:37.582:37.70
Britney WilliamsSwimmaz200 metre backstroke15-162:41.542:54.95
Nathan WrightSailfish Swim Academy50 metre freestyle9-1029.7629.83
Jillian CrooksCamana Bay Aquatics50 metre freestyle11-1227.7127.78
Zaneta AlvarangaKaizen 50 metre freestyle13-1426.3427.23
Nathaniel ThomasTornadoes50 metre freestyle13-1424.7225.12
Jordan CrooksCamana Bay Aquatics50 metre freestyle15-1623.8724.60
Kyle SinclairY Speedos50 metre freestyle15-1624.3224.61
Safiya Officer,Britney Williams,Paris ClareBrooke HopkinsSwimmaz200 metre freestyle relay13 and over1:54.841:56.45
Jada Latibeaudiere,Amore Hunter,Sabrina Lyn,IrelandHunterTornadoes200 metre freestyle relay13 and over1:54.941:56.45

When the final race was swum Tornadoes Swim Club emerged victors with 802 points. Second went to the Y Speedos with 725 points and the Sailfish Swim Academy third on 215 points.

2019 WORLD SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS 50 metre breaststroke women Commander Alia Atkinson continues to be the CCCAN standard bearer with fourth place Championship finish

When Jamaican and CCCAN swimming icon Alia Atkinson navigated her way to second place in her semi final breaststroke she ensured that there would be a swimmer from the region competing in a Championship final.

In that final Atkinson gave it her all and finished fourth in a season best time of 30.34. Gold was won by American Lilly King in 29.84, Silver to Benedetta Pilato of Italy in 30.00 and the Bronze to Russian Yulia Efimova 30.15.

Alia Atkinson prepares to compete

In making the Championship final she created more history. In making the the semi finals she is the only swimmer from the CCCAN region to make three semi finals in this event. In making the Championship final she is the only swimmer from the CCCAN region to make two Championship final in the race. In fact she is the only swimmer male or female to make it beyond the preliminary round of the event.

Atkinson still retains the CCCAN record for the best placing in a 50 metre event at the 2015 Kazan World championships with her Silver medal and national record swim of 30.11.Other swimmers who have earned the distinction of making a World Championship final in a 50 metre race include fellow legends George Bovell III of Trinidad and Tobago and Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace of The Bahamas.

CCCAN 50’s HALL OF FAME

Goerge Bovell III Photo courtesy of sportsmax.tv
NameEventTime YearPlace
Alia Atkinson50 breaststroke30.112015Silver
George Bovell III50 freestyle21.512013Bronze
Alia Atkinson50 breaststroke30.3420194th
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace50 freestyle24.4420156th
George Bovell III50 freestyle22.0420117th
  Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace 50 butterfly25.9320157th
George Bovell III50 freestyle21.5320097th
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace Photo courtesy of Mike Lewis

National record holder Evita Leter recorded her second best performance at the World Champs when she placed 41st in a time of 34.58.

Evita Leter

This is Leter’s fourth consecutive World champs competing in this race.

Naima Hazell Photo courtesy of Eddie Hazell

St Lucian Naima Hazell who was fifth in this event at CARIFTA in the 13-14 age group with a time of 35.85 shattered that time with a new PB and St Lucian 13-14 record to place 42nd overall in a time of 34.79. . Hazell who has one more year in the age group will be aiming for the CARIFTA Championship record which stands at 34.29. It was set by Shne Joachim of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in 2015.

Naomy Grand’Pierre

Haiti’s first female Olympian Naomy Grand’Pierre who is back in the water after a significant time recovering from injury was 46th in a time of 37.02.

2019 World Swimming Championships 100 metre breaststroke women Atkinson tops region with yet another semi final showing

Alia Atkinson

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson added to her legacy by reaching yet another semi final at the Championships. The Commander is the only athlete from the CCCAN region to do this. In the heats of the event she produced a time of 1:07.25 (split time 31.44) to be eighth overall, a season best. In the semifinals she would be even faster , stopping the clock in 1:07.11 ( split time 31.64) to be joint 11th overall with Switzerland  Lisa Mamie. She has now provided with three consecutive World Championships top 16 placings. She did not participate at the 2017 edition in Budapest.

YearTimePlace
20191:07.2511th
20151:06.42Bronze
20131:07.639th
Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

Albury Higgs of The Bahamas in her World Championships debut created history for herself and her nation. In addition to being the second fastest swimmer from the Region in the event she rattled her own national record from the 2018  CAC (Central American and Caribbean Games)  of 1:10.03 with  a swim of 1:10.65 to place 35th.

 ALL Time Best Swims

Year1st 502nd 50Final time
201832.9637.691:10.03
201932.9537.691:10.65

That performance puts her as the fastest Bahamian woman of all time at these Championships. She lowers the previous Bahamas best of 1:12.60 by Alicia Lightbourne recorded at the 2009 Rome meet.Her swim also marks the first time a Bahamian woman has been among the top 40 swimmers in this race. Additionally she is the second fastest ever swimmer from the region to compete at the World Championships.

CCCAN Top performers

YearNameTimeCountry 
2013Alia Atkinson1:06.21JAM
2019Albury Higgs1:10.65BAH
2013Erica Dittmer1:10.82MEX
2015Daniela Carrillo1:11.22MEX
2011Danielle Beaubrun1:11.34LCA
Albury Higgs SEC 2019

Higgs is enters the long course Championship season off the strength of a great NCAA collegiate season for the University of South Carolina . This year she became only the third CARIFTA region woman to break the minute barrier in the 100 yard breaststroke behind  Jamaicans Alia Atkinson  and Breanna Roman.

Yards Top Performers

YearNameTime
2016Alia Atkinson57.61
2018Breanna Roman59.50
2019Albury Higgs59.69
Maria Jimenez Peon Photo courtesy of linkedin

Maria Jimenez Peon of Mexico lowered her six year old personal standard of 1:12.70 to record a time of 1:11.83 (split time 33.55).

Evita Leter Photo courtesy of Florida Gulf Coast Swimming and Diving

Competing for the fourth consecutive time in the event at these World Championships national record holder Evita Leter of Suriname posted a time of 1:20.89 to be ranked 51st.

2019 World Swimming Championships 50 metre butterfly TTO’s Dylan Carter continues to set the standard for the region

Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of usportt.com

For the third consecutive World Championships Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter continues to be the CCCAN standard bearer in the 50 metre butterfly. In the heats of the event he recorded the fastest time ever registered by a CCCAN swimmer at the global championships when he stopped the clock in 23.33. That earned him eighth spot overall and he advanced to the semi finals. In the semi finals he was just off that time and finished sixth in semifinal one in a time of 23.37. He placed 13th overall his best ever placing.Carter now owns the fastest and second fastest times done by a CCCAN region swimmer at the World Championships. He is also the only swimmer from the CCCAN region to make the semifinals .He had accomplished the feat before in 2015.

The second fastest in the region was Seggio Bernardina of Curacao who equaled his best time of 25.24 to finish 58th overall.

2019 15-17  CCCAN Champion Jayhan Odlum-Smith and age group record holder for St Lucia was just off his national standard of 25.46 when he touched in 25.47.That was paced him 63rd.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Stefano Mitchell touched in 65th with a personal best of 25.69.

Irvin Hoost of Suriname was timed in 25.97 for 65th

Grenada’s Kerry Olliverre clocked 26.93 for 70th.

Guyana’s Leon Seaton improved upon his seed time to finish 77th in 28.54

ALEX SOBERS WINS 200 FREE SILVER AND KOHEN KERR WINS FREESTYLE RELAY BRONZE ON DAY TWO OF NCAA D2 CHAMPS

The second night of action at the NCAA Division II championships saw the CARIFTA region nations of Barbados,The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica all involved in finals. Medals were earned by Alex Sobers of Barbados and Emmanuel College and Kohen Kerr of The Bahamas and Delta State University.

In the morning heats the Statesmen team of Giulio Brugnoni,Alex Zolotuhkin,Mattia Schirru and Kerr lowered the school record of 1:19.98 to 1:19.36. The same quartet had finished fourth in the 2018 Championship final in a time of 1:20.33. The final would prove to memorable as the team from Cleveland,Mississippi went even faster to claim the Bronze in a tight final in a new school record of 1:19.11. That is the best result for Delta State for more than a decade.

LegNameheatsfinal
First legGiulio Brugnoni20.0719.83
Second legAlex Zolotuhkin19.7819.84
Third legMattia Schirru19.5519.77
Fourth legKohen Kerr19.9619.67
Total time1:19.361:19.11

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Kerr this morning about his team’s record breaking feats

Kohen Kerr Photo courtesy of gostatesmen.com

” My relay teammates and I really enjoyed our morning swim.We did not expect to go that fast as we did in the morning.Not all of our relay team swam as fast as they could.In the night we decided we were going to do better.We tried to come second but unfortunately it did not happen but we all went close to our best times in our 50 splits. We came third which is a school record and the third fastest time in the nation so we were pretty happy about that”.

In the 200 yard freestyle Championship final Sobers created history for Emmanuel College Lions as he became the first swimmer from the Franklin Springs Georgia based team to win a medal in the event . Alex lowered his personal best and school record from 1:35.32 to 1:34.76 to win the Silver medal.

Alex Sobers receiving award for Silver medal performance Photo courtesy of goeclions.com
First 50 22.4021.78
Second 50 24.0123.76
Third 50 24.6224.23
Fourth 5024.2924.99
Total time1:35.321:34.76
Alex and Coach Allen Gilchrest Photo courtesy of goeclions.com

Gold was won by Alex Kunert of Queens in 1:33.56 and the Bronze to his teammate Alec Mosic in 1:36.00. Sobers is the fastest ever swimmer from Barbados in this event.

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Sobers he had the following thoughts on his medal winning performance
“I was really excited to swim the 200 freestyle yesterday .I knew I had to push with the guy from Queens (kunert) as he is a really good competitor.Overall it was a really good race and I improved my time.This is my team’s first time at Nationals so we are really here to do our best and have fun”.

Kael Yorke

Kael Yorke’s Greyhounds rattled their school record in the 400 yard medley Championship final when the recorded a time of 3:12.87 for fifth place. Yorke had split 48.02 and then 48.05 in the morning heats and Championship final respectively for his butterfly leg.

Nico Campbell Photo courtesy of fscmocs.com

Jamaica’s best 200 yard freestyler Nico Campbell equalled his best ever placing in the event at the National championships with a third place finish in the B final. Campbell’s best time at these Championships stood at 1:38.09. He was faster than that in the heats and final with times of 1:37.24 and 1:37.43 , the third and sixth fastest performances of his career. No other Jamaican swimmer has dipped under the 1:38 barrier other than Nico. In the 200 freestyle relay his Florida Southern College placed sixth in the B final with a time of 1:21.72 .In the morning heats they had recorded a time of 1:21.29. Nico’s splits in the morning and evening were 20.03 and 19.83 respectively.

Jordan Augier Photo courtesy of tampaspartans.com

The record in the 200 yard freestyle relay belongs to Tampa at 1:17.27 set in 2016 . Included in that lineup was St Lucia’s Jordan Augier who had a game changing leg to propel the Spartans to the Gold and the Division II record

https://draftingthecaribbean.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/st-lucian-sprinter-jordan-augier-has-game-changing-relay-leg-to-help-tampa-spartans-set-new-championship-record-at-division-2-championships/

MEHDY METELLA AND CADELL LYONS ARE TOP REGIONAL SWIMMERS IN THE 100 METRE BUTTERFLY

The 100 metre butterfly for men at the14th FINA World Swimming Championships in Hangzhou China saw Mehdy Metella who hails from French Guinana and represents France and Cadell Lyons of Trinidad and Tobago as the best swimmers in the 100 metre butterfly .

 The last time both swimmers would have been at the same major competition was CARIFTA 2008 in Aruba where they swam against each other in the 15-17 100 metre butterfly. Cadell was the victor on that occasion

Mehdy Metella . Photo courtesy of swimswam.com

It would be Metella who would have the upper hand in 2018 as would make his way to the Championship with a series of swims of 50.42 heats ,49.77 semifinals and the Championship final of 49.45 (split time 23.02) to finish 4th . That performance lowered his national record of 49.58 set at the French National Championships last month.In 2016 in Windsor he had finished 5th and two years earlier in Qatar he had finished 12th.

100 metre butterfly201820162014
First  5023.0223.5023.67
Second 5026.4326.6626.76
Final Time49.4550.1650.43
Malia Metella .Photo courtesy ofwomenwhokickass.com

Mehdy is a part of regional sibling royalty as his older sister Malia who at one point owned the  CARIFTA 50 metre freestyle Championship records int the 11-12 and 13-14 age groups at 27.86 in 1995 and 27.45 in 1997. She would then go on to win the Silver medal in the event at the 2004 Athens Olympic  Games in a time of 24.89. Mehdy would match that achievement with a Silver medal in the 400 metre freestyle relay at the 2016 Rio Games.

Cadell Lyons Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Cadell placed 37th in a time of 52.91 (split time 24.52) . He was just off the national record of 52.81. He bettered the fastest time ever done by a swimmer from his nation. The previous best time at these championship  was 53.15 by Joshua McLeod.

Seggio Bernardina Photo courtesy of gwusports.com

Seggio Bernardina of Curaçao lowered the  national record of 56.82 when he placed 44th in a time of 54.25.The old record was set by  Adrian Hoek at the 2016 Windsor Championships

COMPARISON OF NATIONAL RECORDS

100 metre butterflyBernardina 2018Hoek 2016
First 5024.7626.40
Second 5029.4930.42
Final Time54.2556.82

N’Nhyn Fernander touched in  56.25 (split time 25.19) for 51st.Zeniel Guzman of the Dominican Republic  was 57th in a time of 57.57 (split time 26.89).

Jayhan Odlum -smith and Coach Brian Charles at the 2018 Youth Olympics

St Lucia’s Jayhan Odlum-Smith continued his record breaking in the 100 metre butterfly from the OECS swimming Championships when he set another national standard to place 57th. He registered a time of 57.64 (split time 27.49)

Other regional results

GuatemalaFernando Ponce57.9059th
GrenadaDajenel Willimas58.2260th
Haiti Davidson Vincent58.4162nd

EMILY MACDONALD WINS FIRST STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE IN MEDLEY RELAY,WINS FREESTYLE RELAY SILVER

Emily MacDonald during the medal presentation
Emily MacDonald during the medal presentation Photo courtesy of Art Kozel

Jamaica’s most well traveled junior swimmer for the calendar year 2018  Emily MacDonald of the Bolles School was in yet another high level meet as she competed in the prestigious Florida high school 1A State championships. Emily’s itinerary for 2018 included  the UANA championships in Coral Springs Florida, CARIFTA in  Jamaica, CCCAN Championships in Aruba,   the CAC Games in Colombia and the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina The  State Championships which were held on Saturday November 16 at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida saw Emily winning her first State Championships title in the 200 yard medley relay as well as Silver in the 200 yard freestyle relay. Along with those medal performances she recorded personal best times in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events on her way to making the Championship finals in those races.

Emily preparing to race
Emily MacDonald preparing to race Photo courtesy of Art Kozel

The evening’s final began on the best possible note for Emily as the Bolles School Sharks team of Faith Khoo backstroke 26.11, Carly Schwab breaststroke 28.74, Sasha Ramey butterfly 25.22 and MacDonald 23.43 recorded a  total team time of 1:43.50 to capture the Gold. Silver went to the Saint Andrews School in 1:44.97 and the Bronze to Pine Crest in 1:45.29.This is the first medley relay title at the 1A State Championships since St Lucia’s Olympian Danielle Beaubrun  who swam the breaststroke leg on the 2007 Bolles team.

Beaubrun_Dani-web fgcu athletics
Danielle Beaubrun Photo courtesy of fgcuathletics.com

Next up was the 50 yard freestyle final. Emily had qualified for the Championship by lowering her personal best in the race from 23.76 to 23.70. She would be even faster in the final as she posted another personal best of 23.68 to place 5th. This is an improvement from 2017 where she had placed eighth.

chade Gold medallist
Chade Nercisio Gold medallist in the 50 yard freestyle Photo courtesy of Art Kozel

The race won by Chade Nercisio of the Trinity Christian School in 22.66. Chade who is from Curacao is the reigning CARIFTA 15-17 50 metre champion while Emily is the reigning champion in the 13-14 age group.

In the heats of the 100 yard freestyle Emily recorded her first sub 52 seconds time performance when she registered 51.67 (split time 25.01) to make the A final. That would be the second time she has made the Championship final in the event after making her debut in 2017. In the final she would place eighth in 52.71.

The 200 yard yard freestyle relay saw MacDonald leading off the Bolles team in a time of 23.86 in the final faster than the 23.91 she did in 2017. Her fellow Sharks Ramsey, Adair Sand and Megan McGrath contributed splits of 23.71,23.35 and 23.47 to help the team to a Silver medal winning time of 1:34.39. That performance betters the Bronze medal performance of 2017 .It is also the fastest time by the Bolles Sharks in the final since 2014.

Emily displaying medals from States
Emily MacDonald displaying medals won at States

MacDonald who started the Championships with 1 career medal at States now has 3. When draftingthecaribbean contacted Emily on November 18 she had the following thoughts about her Championship performances

” I was very pleased with my performances at this year’ State Championships. I bettered my 50 free and 100 free times. My 50 free time is now 23.68 and 100 free is 51.67.I am very pleased because it means because I am a lot fitter than last year because in 2017 I was doing 52 in the 100 free and 23 high in the 50 free.My time shows that I can do a lot better in long course season when it comes and do a lot better overall for the season”

The Bolles School won the girls division with 381 points.Second went to Pine Crest with 303 points and third to Saint Andrew’s with 244 points.