The British University and Colleges Short Course Championships held at Ponds Forge in Sheffield from November 10 to 12 saw Jamaica’s Michael Gunning lowering national marks in the freestyle and butterfly events.
Gunning would not be the only regional competitor at the meet. Strasser Sankar from Trinidad and Tobago as well as Gunning would lead the region with 4th places performances at the Championships.
The meet which was swum in a 25 metre pool saw the Graduate student who competes for Nottingham Trent University earning a second swim in the 50 metre freestyle when he clocked 22.31.
Sankar, who is reading for Masters in Sport Science, returned in the evening he posted a slightly faster time of 22.30 to place 4th overall in a tie with Jack Thorpe from Edinburgh. Sankar was marginally outside a podium spot as Sam Irvine of Loughborough won the Bronze in 22.28.Calum Bain of Stirling won the Silver in 22.04 and Gold went David Cumberlidge of Heriott –Watt in 21.51. The 26 year old would contest only the heats of the 50 metre breaststroke where he recorded a time of 28.91.
St Lucia’s 2017 World Championship representative Jean-Luc Zephir earned a second swim as well in the 50 metre freestyle. In the morning Jean-Luc clocked 23.09 to earn a spot in the B final. That final saw the Plymouth Marjon University student bettering his preliminary time with a 23.02 clocking that earned 4th .He would place 16th in the 100 freestyle with a time of 51.11 (split time 24.62).The 200 metre freestyle saw Zephir with a 24th ranking after recording a time of 1:53.62 (split time 53.62).
The Cayman Islands Iain McCallum would also earn a second swim competing in the 50 metre butterfly. The 20 year Edinburgh student would be timed at 25.30 in the morning heats. In the B final he would place 5th in a time of 25.15.He would place 30th in the 200 metre butterfly in a time of 2:11.86 (split time 1:02.96).
Mathew Courtis of Barbados had a top finish of 14th in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:40.19 (split time 2:15.51). The Cambridge Graduate student would also compete in the 100 and 200 metre butterfly and 200 metre individual medley.
100 scm butterfly
200 scm butterfly
200 scm IM
Guyanese Olympian Hannibal Gaskin (Rio 2016) had a top performance of 30th in the 50 metre butterfly with a time of 25.83. The Exeter student also placed 45th in the 100 metre butterfly with a time of 58.43 (split time 27.38).
Two years ago at the 2015 World Junior Swimming Championships in Singapore Aruba’s Patrick Groters was 44th in a time of 59.88. Fast forward two years a much improved Groters crushed that time and placing with a good performance in Indianapolis today.
Patrick, who holds the 15-17 CARIFTA record and Aruban national record with a time of 57.17 bettered that time with a 57.01 clocking. That time placed him 17th overall. The top 16th time was 56.75. Mere 26th hundredths from a second swim Patrick earned the accolade of being the top CCCAN swimmer at the Global Championships.
Analysis of Groters swims in 2015 and 2017
CCCAN Champion in the 15-17 Jack Kirby of Barbados produced yet another sub 58 seconds clocking to win heat 4 convincingly in 57.63 (split time 28.27).That performance placed him 23rd overall and second overall from the CCCAN region
On July 29 Mikaili Charlemagne of St Lucia recorded the fastest time by a St Lucian woman at the World championships when she stopped the clock in a time of 28.26 to place 60th overall. That bettered the previous best time of 28.59 recorded by Siona Huxley at the 2009 Rome World Championships.
Draftingthecaribbean got her reaction to her swim on Sunday July 31.
“Although the outcome of the 50 freestyle was not what l expected I had fun and enjoyed racing. From looking at the heat that I was seeded in I knew that the competition would be stiff. From the start I broke out with my head down trying to go for my goal time. I was disappointed that I did not make my best time but this race was motivation for me to train hard to be able to do better the next time I swim”.
On Thursday July 27 Mikaili became the first St Lucian woman to contest the 100 metre freestyle. In that race she posted a time of 1:02.59 to finish 66th. She gave draftingthecaribbean her impressions of competing at her first senior international competition
“This meet has been a wonderful experience for me thus far. It all started with me seeing the competition pool, that alone was motivation for me to swim to the best of my ability. Another thing that motivated me was seeing world class athletes like Katinka Hosszu, Katie Ledecky, Adam Peaty and Simone Manuel swim before me. The days leading up to my first event I started to warm up in the competition pool and that also helped me get a better feel of the type of competition that I was about to go up against. I also started to visualize my race days before. I think visualizing my race was one of the factors that helped me perform how I did. When the morning of my race came I was a bit nervous. Going down to the call room was a totally new experience because I had never been to a call room like that before. Going to the call room was also a little intimidating for me because there were so many girl tapping themselves to keep their muscles warm. Thankfully I was able to block out that sound and focus on my race. I felt that I had a wonderful race and during the race I felt energized and happy although I was nervous. I am just so happy that I did a PB (personal best time) and made my country proud. I am looking forward to my next race and many other meets like this to come”.
Competing in his first Long Course World Championships in Budapest Hungary sprinter Jean Luc Zephir made his presence for his nation St Lucia and provided evidence of his talent.
Racing in the 100 metre freestyle he produced an effort of 51.98 (split time 24.61) to place 65th overall. That performance was the 3rd fastest for the CARIFTA region swimmers and the 8th fastest among the CCCAN sprinters. It is also the 2nd fastest time ever recorded by a St Lucian at the World Championships. The fastest time for St Lucia is the 51.39 set by Olympian Jordan Augier at the 2015 Kazan Championships.
He placed 4th among CARIFTA sprinters today July 28 in the 50 metre freestyle and 8th for the CCCAN region with a time of 23.76. The only St Lucian faster than Jean Luc again is Augier who produced a 23.30 clocking also in Kazan.
Zephir spoke about his performances at the biggest swim meet outside of the Olympics early today with draftingthecaribbean
“I had a range of emotions about the experience. I am happy and at the same time a little disappointed in my times. I think that for my first World Championship in long course it is satisfactory. All these steps will allow me to progress and learn. I had great races in the 100 freestyle, and the 50 freestyle where I finished 3rd in my heat but I think I can do even better. This week I was very proud to swim in the St Lucian colours. I think my father and mother and my club Plymouth Leander will also be very proud of me”.
The opening day of the 2017 FINA World Championships (Sunday July 23) saw one St Lucia’s promising youngsters Jayhan Odlum-Smith making his debut at this level in the 50 metre butterfly.
Jayhan who was a finalist in the 13-14 category in that event at both the CARIFTA Games in The Bahamas and the CCCAN Championships in Trinidad and Tobago clocked 26.99 to place 67th overall. That swim placed him 5th among CARIFTA representatives at the global Championships. Jayhan’s time is the second fastest time by a St Lucian in the event since 2001 .
When draftingthecaribbean spoke him yesterday he gave his impressions on competing at this level
“At the age of 15 years old participating in the World Championships has been pleasurable and very motivating experience .I swam the 50 metre butterfly .I was nervous getting on the blocks. Swimming a 26.99 I was disappointed .But now I am ready to swim the 50 metre backstroke knowing what I have to do. I was excited to come to the World Championships to meet new stars and big ones like Adam Peaty (Great Britain’s World Record Holder in the 50 and 100 metre breaststroke, Katie Ledecky (American World record holder in the 400 800 and 1500 metre freestyle events) Katinka Hosszu (Hungarian World Record Holder in the 200 and 400 metre individual medley).I have learnt that swimming in the pool is not all there is to being successful you have to work hard and be disciplined. One day I would like to be ranked in the top three in the 50 metre butterfly and 50 metre backstroke”.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter continued to lead the way for the CCCAN and CARIFTA regions with a 23.73 performance in the 50 metre butterfly the Budapest world Championships currently underway.
On the first day of competition Carter clocked 23.73 to place 19th overall . In 2015 at the Kazan Championships Dylan had made the semi- finals and touched in a national record of 23.60 to finish 15th overall. That performance was also the top performance for the CCCAN and CARIFTA regions.
Analysis of CCCAN performance in the 50 metre butterfly
Day three (June 30) of the CCCAN Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Trinidad and Tobago saw more exciting races and championship records and also more World Championship qualifying swims. Those World championship Qualifying performances came from the local stars Olympian Dylan Carter and Joshua Romany.
Dylan competing in the 18 and over 200 metre freestyle crushed the 2009 Championship record Costa Rica’s Olympian Mario Montoya of 1:52.43 with a 1:48.91 clocking. That bettered the World Championship B qualifying mark of 1:51.50.Also under the record and just missing the B standard was El Salvador’s Olympian Marcelo Acosta who clocked 1:51.76 for the Silver. Aruban Olympian Mikel Schreuders took the Bronze in 1:51.76.
In the 18 and over 50 metre butterfly Joshua Romany bettered the 2011 championship record of countryman Joshua McLeod of 24.43 as well as the World Championship B standard time of 24.50 with a Gold medal winning time of 24.40. Winning the Silver was N’Nhyn Fernander of The Bahamas in 24.94 and the Bronze was won by Christian Awah of Trinidad and Tobago in 25.06.
The winning times by Carter and Romany brought the World Championship qualifying tally to five.
In the girls 15-17 50 metre butterfly the crowd was treated to excellent sprinting by Curaçao’s Chadé Nercisio. She became the fastest woman of all time at CCCAN when she broke the 28 seconds barrier in the 50 metre butterfly when she clocked 27.99 in the morning heats. All her energy was not spent after that national record swim as she returned in the evening to destroy that mark and record a time of 27.59. that swim was not too far off the World championships B mark of 27.42. Silver went to Celismar Guzman of Puerto Rico won the Silver in 28.62 and the Bronze went to Celina Marquez of El Salvador in 28.65.
Valerie Gruest of Guatemala just missed out on another World Championships qualifying mark when she took Gold in the 15-17 400 metre individual medley in a time of 4:54.67. That swim bettered the 2009 meet record of 5:02.43 by Maria Coy.That was just off the B standard of 4:52.97. CARIFTA Champion Albury Higgs won Silver in 5:03.67. The Bronze went to Marissa Lugo of Puerto Rico in 5:11.77.
Other championship record to fall on the day went to Zaneta Alvaranga of Jamaica in the girls 11-12 50 metre butterfly. She lowered the meet record of 29.85 twice .She swam 29.32 in the heats before uncorking a 28.74 for the Gold in the final.
In the 13-14 age group Beatriz Padron of Costa Rica Gold 28.36,Katie Kyle of St Lucia Silver 28.80 and Trinidad and Tobago’s Gabriela Donahue Bronze 28.85 all bettered the 2011 record of 28.89 by Dorian McMenemy.
Swimmers who completed the Regional Gold Double on Day Three by winning their respective events at CARIFTA in The Bahamas and at CCCAN in Trinidad and Tobago include