On the sixth day of competition (July 28) of the 2017 World Swimming championships in Budapest Hungary Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympian Dylan Carter (2016) topped the CCCAN and CARIFTA rankings in the 100 metre butterfly with a time of 52.73 (split time 23.98) to place 28th. He was the only one from both regional groupings to be under the 53 seconds barrier.
He had established himself as the joint fastest CARIFTA swimmer of all time in the event when he won Gold at the CCCAN Championships last month with a time of 52.73. He holds this accolade with Olympian Barbadian Bradley Ally (2004, 2008, and 2012) who recorded that time in 2009. When Carter touched the timing pads he bettered the best time by a CARIFTA region swimmer at the World championships.
The previous best time was 53.29 set by 1988 Olympic Gold medallist in the event Suriname’s Anthony Nesty (1984, 1988,1992). Nesty, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago won the event with that time at the 1991 Perth Australia World Championships.
Dylan’s placing of 28th is the best all time World Championships placing by a male swimmer from the twin island republic. The previous best placing was 41st by Joshua McLeod at the 2013 Barcelona, Spain World Championships. It is also the best placing for a CCCAN or CARIFTA swimmer since 2003.
Saturday July 1 at the CCCAN Championships in Trinidad and Tobago saw two more swimmers Olympians Edgar Crespo of Panama (2012,2016) and Aruban Mikel Schreuders (2016) bettering the World Championships B standards.Those swims bought the overall World Championship qualifying performances to eight.
Competing in the 18 and over category at the National Aquatic Centre in Couva Crespo was faster than the World Championship B standard of 28.47 when he recorded 28.08 to top the qualifiers for the final with a time of 28.08. He was also under the 2013 Championship record of 28.61 set by Trinidad and Tobago’s Abraham McLeod . Edgar would be even faster in the final when he became the first swimmer under the 28 seconds barrier when he won the Gold in 27.94. Following him to the wall for the Silver in a new Aruban national record of 28.57 and just outside the B time was Jordy Groters. His old national record was 28.60 .Winning the Bronze in 28.97 was his countryman Mikel Schreuders.
Mikel would lower an Aruban national mark of his own and better the B time for the Hungary World Championships when he won Gold in the 100 metre freestyle in a time of 50.55. The B standard is 50.64. Winning the Silver was Trinidad and Tobago’s Joshua Romany in personal best of 50.75. Bronze went to Olympian Avila Kevin (2012) in 51.68.
There were a number of near misses with the World championship cuts as well. In the 18 and over category Suriname’s Olympian Evita Leter (2016) hit the pads in 32.72 for the win in the 50 metre breaststroke. The time to beat was 32.31. In the 15-17 200 metre butterfly Guatemalan Olympian Valerie Gruest stopped the clock in 2:14.59, a new Championship record but just shy of the B time of 2:14.31.
Other meet records to fall included the 15-17 200 metre butterfly for girls. That was the result of another Gruest effort as she bettered the 1987 standard of Olympian Silvia Poll of 2:23.23 with a 2:20.42 swim to take the Gold.
Another Olympian’s record would fall in the 13-14 equivalent as Daniela Alfaro of Costa Rica bettered Mexican Rita Medrano’s (2012) 2005 standard of 2:19.75 with a 2:18.65 clocking.
In the boys 15-17 age group Crespo lost his 2007 15-17 record of 29.33as local standout Jeron Thompson won Gold in 29.26. Winning the Silver and also under the record was Fausto David Heron of the Dominican Republic who swam 29.32.
Thompson was one six swimmers that completed the regional Golden Double winning at the CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas in April and again in Trinidad and Tobago.
On Day 2 of the 2017 NCAA Division I Championships being held in Indiana the CARIFTA region sprint force was on show with top swimmers from Aruba, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago in action. It would be Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago who would become the fastest ever swimmer CARIFTA Region to compete at the collegiate level in the 50 yard freestyle.
Heading to Indiana Carter who represents the University of Southern California Trojans was tied with legendary Olympian George Bovell III as the fastest sprinters from the twin island republic at the collegiate level with identical times of 19.32. Dylan recorded that time at the Texas Invite in Dec 2016.
On Thursday March 23 during the heats of the 200 yard freestyle relay Dylan led off the Trojans with a split of 19.08 (split time 9.31). The team was unfortunately disqualified.
In the heats of the individual 50 yard freestyle he would subsequently swim faster. Carter would clock a CARIFTA region best of 19.04 (split time 9.18).This would allow the 6’3 junior to make his first ever NCAA Championship final .It also bettered his best showing and time at the meet.His previous best was 19th in 2014 in a time of 19.41 (split time 9.39). He would maintain that position in the night posting a time of 19.08 (split 9.21). The previous best time from the region was 19.30 by Shaune Fraser of the Cayman Islands who recorded 19.30 while representing the University of Florida in 2009. Dylan’s swim also marked the first Championship finalist in the event for the Trojans since 2013 when Vlad Morozov won the event. Carter is now the 2nd fastest swimmer of all time at USC.
In the 400 yard medley relay Championship final the Trojan team of Ralf Tribuntsov backstroke 44.76, Carsten Vissering breaststroke 51.23, Carter butterfly 44.81 and Santo Condorelli freestyle placed 4th in a new school record of 3:02.20. That crushed the old mark of 3:04.51 set at the PAC -12 championships earlier this month. Carter’s butterfly split then was 45.23. It is the best placing for the Trojans at Championships since 2013 when they placed 4th in 3:04.98.
The second day of competition on Thursday March 23 at the 2017 NCAA Division I Championships in Indiana saw Suriname’s Raiz Tjon-A- Joe and Aruba’s Mikel Schreuders helping their teams secure second swims in the 200 yard freestyle relay.
Raiz, a freshman at Texas A&M University handled the anchor leg duties for the Aggies in the morning heats. He swam 19.95 to help them secure 15 place overall in a time of 1:17.59 .That team performance was not far off the school record of 1:17.37. The team without Raiz in the afternoon secured 4th place in the B final in a time of 1:17.19 breaking the school record. The Aggies had not qualified a team in this event last year.
Schreuders also only swam in the preliminaries of the 200 yard freestyle relay. He too was entrusted with anchor leg duties. He recorded a 19.61 split to help the University of Missouri Tigers set a total time of 1:16.78 and break the 2016 school record of 1:16.87 to place 7th overall. The team would retain the same place and record the exact same time of 1:16.78.
Mikel, who is a sophomore, competing in the 50 yard freestyle for the first time at the NCAA Division I championships placed 47th in the 50 yard freestyle in a personal best time of 20.13 .That bettered his previous personal standard of 20.15 set this year at the SEC (Southeastern Conference Championships).
The 2017 Southern Zone SPEEDO Sectionals in Plantation Florida saw the standard of regional swimming being lifted once again as national records were lowered. Those countries that saw improvement through the efforts of their swimmers included Rafael Van Leeuwaarde for Suriname, Lauren Hew for the Cayman Islands, Cameron Brown for Jamaica and Chadé Nercisio for Curaçao. The meet which was contested in long course metres at the Plantation Aquatic Complex was held from March 9 to 12.
Rafael, who is a junior at Florida State set national records in the 50 and 100 metre breaststroke. In the 50 metre breaststroke he lowered his own record from 29.07 to 28.84 in the heats of the event. He would go on to win Gold in the Final in a time of 29.16. The 100 metre breaststroke saw him lowering his 2016 record 1:04.84 to 1:04.36.It was a CARIFTA region exacta as Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas finished with the Silver medals in both races. Rafael who was a guest recently on Jamaica’s SportsNation Live on Nationwide 90 radio with host Leighton Levy spoke about his 50 metre record
“Seeing myself go under 29 seconds for the first time was quite an accomplishment because I just did not see it happening .Everything just clicked and I got the best out of that race”
CARIFTA bound Lauren Hew would also be a part of the record breaking spree. In the 100 metre freestyle Lauren became the first Cayman Islands woman to swim under 59 seconds. She swam 58.78 in the heats of the event. That broke the 2016 record of Lara Butler set at the British University Long Course Championships. That performance qualified Lauren for the Championship final where she placed 8th in 59.13. She would lower her own 2016 national mark of 2:07.81 in the 200 metre freestyle in the morning preliminaries. Lauren sped to a time of 2:07.79. The Championship final saw her placing 8th in a time of 2:08.45. Lauren who had placed 8th at the 2016 Martinique CARIFTA championships in the 15-17 girls’ 100 metre freestyle in 1:00.89 spoke to draftingthecaribbean about her performances after the meet
“I was happy to lower my 200 free record even if it was by hundredths of a seconds Any improvement is a good sign and I was especially happy to drop time in 200 back because it is one of my main events. Sectionals was a good meet to have swam as a set up for CARIFTA so that I know what I need to work on for April.”
The 2016 CARIFTA Gold medals in the 15-17 girls category in the 100 and 200 metre freestyle events were won in times of 58.57 and 2:06.96.
Jamaican Cameron Brown is another swimmer set to compete at the 2017 CARIFTA Championships to be held in Nassau Bahamas from April 14-19.Brown who placed 8th in the 13-14 boys’ 100 metre breaststroke at CARIFTA in Martinique in 1:12.66 lowered his breaststroke mark again. After lowering the record to 1:09.93 in January he lowered the 13-14 age group mark again to 1:09.66. He has now set the national mark 3 times. He was the youngest qualifier for the B final at age 14 years old. In that race he touched in 7th place in a time of 1:10.46.In 2016 to medal in the 13-14 boys race it took 1:11.17 or faster.
Ace Sprinter from Curaçao Chadé Nercisioaçao who is now competing in the 15-17 age group set national records in 50 metre butterfly and 100 metre freestyle. In Martinique she was 5th in the 50 metre butterfly in 29.66 and a Bronze medallist in the 100 freestyle in 1:00.89 13-14 age. At the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships in Bahamas later in the summer she was significantly faster posting times of 28.65 for Silver in the 50 metre butterfly and 58.45 for Gold in a Championship record. Both swims were national records. In Florida she would lower the butterfly record twice .In the morning she posted a time of 28.45. She got faster in the evening to win Gold in the Championship final in 28.22. In the B final of the 100 metre freestyle she won the event in a time of 58.21. The winning time in the 15 17 age group last year was 29.00.
Suriname’s Irvin Hoost showed great improvement in his favoured sprint freestyle events when he won 2 medals at the Florida 2A Championships in Stuart Florida.
The St Brendan student won medals in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center on Saturday Nov 12. In the 50 yard event he won Silver in the event in a time of 20.89. He was just off his personal best of 20.88. It is an improvement from 2015 where he took home the Bronze in a time of 21.30.
In 2015 Irvin finished 7th in the Championship final of the 100 yard freestyle in a time of 47.92 (split time 23.60). In 2016 he would not be denied a medal. He went out in 22.33 to be 4th at the half way mark. He turned in the 2nd fastest last 50 yards of 24.06 to win the Bronze medal for the Sabres in a time of 46.39.
The Sabres finished 22nd in the boys competition with 33 points.
Bahamian Izaak Bastian hit top form for Saint Andrews at the FHSAA (Florida High School State championships) at the recently concluded 1A state championships held in Stuart Florida. Izaak lowered 3 school records at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center on Friday Nov 11.
In the first final of the night, the 200 yard medley relay, he combined with Nicholas Sharp backstroke (23.67), Jamaican Jesse Marsh butterfly (22.41) and Andrej Sokolovski freestyle (21.73) to take the Silver in a new school record of 1:33.21. Izaak’s contribution to the relay was a breaststroke leg of 25.40. That bettered the 25.75 he did when the 2015 team clocked a then school record of 1:34.33. With all 4 divisions having completed their championships the Saint Andrew medley performance places them 3rd among all Florida high school teams.
The record breaking would continue in the 50 yard freestyle .He dipped under the 21 second barrier for the first time to earn Silver in the event in a time of 20.75. That also bettered the school record of 20.89. It places Izaak as the 4th fastest in Florida.
In the 100 yard breaststroke he replicated his performance in 2015 to earn the Bronze yet again. He however did it in a much faster time. Last year he had set a school record of 57.19 (split time 27.06). This year he lowered the standard to 55.68 (split time 26.46).He ranks 4th in Florida with that time.
The Florida state record of 54.64 set by Suriname’s Raiz Tjon A Joe was broken by 2016 1 A champion James Daugherty of The Bolles who clocked 54.33.
In the 200 yard freestyle relay the team moved up from 6th in 2015 to 4th in a time of 1:25.97. Bastian started the relay with a split of 21.08.
Izaak had the following thoughts “I had a pretty good meet. It was really fun racing against guys that I had seen before and some new faces too especially Paul Degrado (Bolles) and James Daugherty (Bolles) two of the fastest breaststrokers in the nation. I felt I had a pretty good meet so I was happy with my results and my training for the year so far and hopefully it is just up from here”.
The Bahamas was also represented by his teammate Samuel Gibson in the 400 yard freestyle relay. Samuel had a 3rd leg split of 48.58 to push Saint Andrews to 6th in the Championship final in a total time of 3:12.38. That performance places them 17th in Florida. He was 19th in the 100 yard butterfly in a time of 53.45 (split time 24.77).
Saint Andrews finished 3rd in the boys category with 87 points.