The year 2017 will remain in Aruban Patrick Groters mind as one of his best at the age group level with top performances at the CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas and a strong showing at the World Junior Championships. The run of good performances would continue in his final year of high school in Florida where he would repeat as the 100 yard backstroke champion in the 1A State Championships on November.
In 2016 he ended a more than decade long drought for the CARIFTA region when he took the victory in the event.
The last swimmer to win the event was the legendary Olympian George Bovell III of Trinidad and Tobago when he won the title for the Bolles School in 2000.
It would be a Golden path to double success in the event for the University school student at the State Championships in Stuart Florida. He would take the race on September 23 at the Woodson Invitational easily in a time of 51.77 (split time 25.80).
He would also earn the accolade of top male performer of the meet for winning the 200 yard individual medley as well.
Receiving the top performer award is not a new experience for Patrick who earned that honour as well at CARIFTA 2017.
He would take the district title on October 20 in 52.86 (split time 26.54) and a week later the regional title in 50.80 (split time 24.93).
In the Championship final held at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center Patrick lay in 3rd place at the 50 yard mark with a split of 24.58.
The University of Denver commit then turned out a back half of 25.65 to which the field could not respond and he took the title again in 50.23.
The 200 yard individual medley saw him earning the Silver in a time of 1:49.02 (split time 49.56).That performance made it three consecutive medal winning performance for Groters after winning the title in 2015 and 2016.
In the relays it was the powerful combination of Groters and countryman Daniel Jacobs that aided the team to strong positions. In the 200 yard freestyle relay Patrick had the fastest opening leg split of both the preliminaries and finals of 20.51. The unit of Groters and Jacobs had the 2nd fastest 100 yards of the competition and that propelled their school to 3rd in the B final in a total time of 1:29.42.It would be that same Aruban one –two punch at the front half of the 400 yard freestyle that pushed the University school to 6th in the Championship final in a time of 3:15.38. Patrick’s first leg split was timed at 45.97 (split time 22.28).
The University School boys finished 6th overall with 108 points.