The final day of the ARENA PRO SWIM SERIES AT CHARLOTTE on Sunday saw Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson winning another medal in a breaststroke event. Bahamian national record holders Joanna Evans and Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace recorded season bests under Olympic B standard time to have top 8 finishes.
Alia Atkinson renewed her rivalry with Indiana Aquatics Lilly King and SwimMAC Carolina’s Katie Meili in a breaststroke event. This time the showdown would occur in the 50 metre breaststroke. In the morning heats it would be Meili who would strike first posting a time of 30.64 to be the number one seed. She would be flanked by King and Atkinson in the final who posted times of 30.78 and 31.33 respectively. The championship final would be the battle of the sub 31 second swimmers. In the end it would be King who would take the breaststroke sprint double with the win 30.35 breaking Atkinson’s pool record of 30.54.Meili won Silver in 30.42. Atkinson won the Bronze in 30.77.
The CARIFTA region’s best distance swimmer Joanna Evans continues to round into form as the season continues. She posted a season best of 8:44.06 to finish 6th overall. She bettered her time of 8:48.63 posted at the ARENA stop in Arizona. Joanna has improved each of the 5 times she has contested this event this season. The freshman from the University of Texas yet again bettered the Olympic B standard of 8:51.96.
Her national team mate Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace was faster than the Olympic B standard of 56.34 in both the heats and championship final of the 100 metre freestyle. In the morning she posted a time of 54.74. Arianna was just off that time in the final when she stopped the clock in 54.92 for 6th place.
The next wave of breaststroke talent Alexandria Donahue and Laura Morley earned second swims in the 50 metre event as well. Donahue representing Brown Aquatics recorded a time of 33.34 to make the B final. In that race she finished 8th in a time of 33.97. Morley of Indiana Swim team was timed at 34.66 in the morning. Laura would better that in the evening to place 2nd in the C final in a time of 34.41.
Aruban national record holder Jordy Groters would better his season best of 28.91 in the men’s 50 metre breaststroke in the morning to post a time of 28.89. He would be the 12th fastest in the preliminaries but did not contest the B final. He would swim breaststroke in the heats of the 100 metre breaststroke hitting the wall in 1:04.20 .That was faster than the 1:05.30 he did in the heats of the 100 metre breaststroke.
Atkinson swam the heats of the 100 metre freestyle and recorded a time of 59.33.
In the men’s event Justin Plaschka of Irish Aquatics posted a time of 51.59. He was less than second off the Olympic B standard of 50.70. In the D final in the evening Justin clocked 53.03 to place 7th. Trinidad and Tobago’s Caryle Blondell was 38th in the event in a time of 51.83.
The third day of action at the 2016 ARENA PRO SWIM SERIES AT CHARLOTTE on Saturday May 14 saw yet another CARIFTA national mark being lowered. This time it was the Jamaican national senior mark in the 50 metre butterfly that was lowered. Justin Plaschka who held the mark of 24.89 prior to this meet when he won the Gold medal at the 2015 CCCAN championships on June 27 in Barbados. That record would not last beyond the morning heats as he stopped the clock in a time of 24.84. He would crush the record in the B final in the evening when he placed second in a time of 24.46 .Justin is the only Jamaican swimmer to swim under 25 seconds in this event.
He would also be the fastest CARIFTA region swimmer at the meet in the 50 metre freestyle. In the morning heats he would record a time of 23.66 just off his season best of 23.52.That time who would earn him a spot in the D final. Joining him in that final would be Trinidad and Tobago’s former University of Louisville standout Caryle Blondell who posted a time of 23.54. In the final Plaschka would be the victor winning the race in a time of 23.30.The 19 year old Irish Aquatics swimmer already boasts an Olympic B time in this event having swum 22.90 in a time trial at the Phillips 66 in San Antonio Texas in August 2015 bettering the B standard of 23.05. Blondell repeated his morning performance with yet another 23.54 clocking .That propelled him to 5th in the race. Blondell has a season best of 23.02 recorded in February of this year.
Roy Burch (SwimMac Carolina) , the fastest sprinter ever from Bermuda continued on the road to full fitness when he swam the 3rd fastest time of his season of 23.85 to place 36th overall. Jordan Augier (Sharks Swim Club) ,St Lucia’s national record holder opened his long course season with a 24.15 to place 47th overall.
The meet which will not see the swimmers in peak condition as the main focus remains the Rio Olympics Games. Swimmers will continue to be doing heavy weight training and intense conditioning and using these competitions to gauge different aspects of training.
Bahamian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (SwimMac Carolina) had her first start in the 50 metre butterfly in the morning when she posted a time of 27.09 to make the championship final .She finished 5th in the evening in a time of 26.49. She had won the title previously in 2015 in 25.93 and in 2014 in 26.28.
Jamaican national record holder in the 50 metre butterfly Alia Atkinson put in a 27.92 performance in the morning to make the B final in the event. She lowered that significantly to hit the pads in 27.17 for 2nd in the race. Atkinson had put a 2:36.26 to earn a second swim in the 200 metre breaststroke but scratched .Laura Morley who has the fastest recorded time for the Bahamas in the event worked for a second swim in the evening when she clocked 2:37.37 to make the final. She would win that race in the evening in 2:36.00 not far off her Bahamas best of 2:35.03.
Aruban national record holder in the 200 metre breaststroke Jordy Groters was 34th 2:29.59.
Day 2 of the Arena Pro Swim Series at Mesa in Arizona on Friday April 15 saw the national record holders from the Bahamas Joanna Evans and Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace taking centre. Both ladies at different ends of the freestyle spectrum made Championship finals .Evans would make the 400 freestyle final and Vanderpool-Wallace the 50 freestyle final. The meet had been hit by heavy winds which seemed to have an effect on the times produced.
Joanna Evans who is on course to become the best distance freestyler the CARIFTA region has produced had broken her national record in the 200 metre freestyle on the opening day and seemed on course to break her national record in the morning heats of the 400 freestyle. On August 22, 2014 Evans had set her country’s standard of 4:12.14 in Nanjing China at the 2014 Youth Olympics with her historic 5th place finish. In 2014 she had gone out in 2:04.46 for the first 200 metres. In 2016 she covered the first half of the race in 2:04.14 .She would finish with a 2:08.33 split for a total time of 4:12.47 just missing her national mark. That would crush her season best of 4:17.06 recorded in Texas in January and be easily under the 2016 Rio Olympics B time of 4:17.80.In a very competitive final which featured World Record Holder American Katie Ledecky, 2008 Olympic Silver medallist Denmark’s Lotte Friis, Hungarian Katinka Hosszu , 2012 Olympic 400 freestyle Silver medallist Allison Schmitt Evans finished 8th in a time of 4:18.73.
Her countrywoman Vanderpool-Wallace (SwimMac Carolina) who is ranked 20th in the world this season with her season best of 24.80 worked her way into the final of the one lap sprint with 25.22 clocking . In that final improved her morning time in what would be choppy waters due to the wind. With the same reaction time of .63 from the morning she lowered her time to 25.14 to place 6th overall.
Bermuda’s top breaststroker Julian Fletcher (Trojan Swim club) who recently lowered his 200 metre breaststroke record to 2:18.54 at the Canadian Olympic trials was another regional swimmer earning an evening swim. In the morning his split was 1:08.04 on his way to a time of 2:19.34. That earned him a place in the B final where he finished 7th in a time of 2:22.51.
Aruba’s breastroke standard bearer Jordy Groters earned a second swim when he clocked 2:23.11 (split time 1:08.11).In the D final he finished 6th in a time of 2:25.37.
In the men’s 50 freestyle Trinidad and Tobago representative Caryle Blondell was the region’s top sprinter at the meet. After clocking 23.41 in the heats he would go on to win the D final in 23.23. A man working his way back to top form after a serious injury layoff was Bermuda’s Roy Burch. After clocking a season best of 23.78 at the Canadian Olympic trials he recorded another season best of 23.43. In the D final he was just off that time with 23.63 placing him 5th.
Jamaica’s Timothy Wynter competing in the 100 metre backstroke just missed his season best of 57.66 in the morning heats. He clocked a time of 57.97 (split 27.55) to make it to the C final. In that evening swim he finished 2nd in a time of 58.85.
Countrywoman Olympian Alia Atkinson posted a time of 2:38.11 (split 1:15.01) in the 200 metre breaststroke. In the D final she finished 8th in a time of 2:45.68.
Aruban national record holder in the 50 metre freestyle Mikel Schreuders finished 57th in a time of 24.66.
Over the last year three names have come to dominate the headlines in the breaststroke events for the Bahamas .Those swimmers are Laura Morley (Indiana University) and the Higgs sisters Margaret and Lilly (SwimMac Carolina).
In 2009 on July 27 Alicia Lightbourne (Harvard) set the senior national record for the Bahamas at 1:12.60 at the World Championships held in Rome, Italy. It was not until almost 6 years later on July 17, 2015 that Lilly Higgs lowered the mark to 1:12.32. That record would last until March 4 when older sister Margaret, a South Carolina commit lowered it at the Southern Premeir meet on March 3. Competing in the A final she split 33.94 en route to a new senior national record of 1:12.07.Lilly would threaten that record when she won Gold at the recently concluded CARIFTA swimming Championships with a personal best of 1:12.12 (split time 33.97). The record would fall again but it would be lowered by Laura Morley in her Silver medal performance at the
Over the last year three names have come to dominate the headlines in the breaststroke events for the Bahamas .That trio are Laura Morley (Indiana University) and the Higgs sisters Margaret and Lilly (SwimMac Carolina).
In 2009 on July 27 Alicia Lightbourne (Harvard) set the senior national record for the Bahamas at 1:12.60 at the World Championships held in Rome, Italy. It was not until almost 6 years later on July 17, 2015 that Lilly Higgs lowered the mark to 1:12.32. That record would last until March 4 when older sister Margaret, a South Carolina commit lowered it at the Southern Premeir meet on March 3. Competing in the A final she split 33.94 en route to a new senior national record of 1:12.07.Lilly would threaten that record when she won Gold at the recently concluded CARIFTA swimming Championships with a personal best of 1:12.12 (split time 33.97). The record would fall again but it would be lowered by Laura Morley in her Silver medal performance at the SPEEDO Sectionals in Geneva Ohio on April 2. Morley would take out the race in 34.22 and come back in 37.61 to set a new Bahamas best of 1:11.83.
In the 200 metre breaststroke the Hoosiers freshman had set standard at 2:36.23 in December 2015.At the Southern Premeir Margaret had split the race at 1:14.41 and came home in 1:21.23 to record a new Bahamian record of 2:35.64. She would take that down even further when she put together a race with the splits of 1:13.13 and 1:22.20 to stop the clock in a time of 2:35.33.At the SPEEDO sectional Morley would regain control of the 200 breaststroke when she clocked 2:35.03 (split time 1:14.72). Lilly Higgs, the youngest of the trio is not far behind with her personal best of 2:37.93 recorded in March.
With the Rio 2016 Olympic B qualifying standards for the 100 and 200 metre breaststroke events set at 1:10.22 and 2:32.08 respectively it is not unreasonable to think any one of the trio can better those times and book a ticket to Brazil.
Charlotte Backovic Bronze medallist Girls 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Bahamian standout Izaak Bastian (Saint Andrews) accounted for 3 of the 8 records that fell on the final day of the 2016 CARIFTA swimming championships on Friday March 25.
The first Championship record actually fell to Kenzo Simons in the boys 13-14 age group as he bettered the 2011 record of Aruban Jordy Groters (Missouri) by the slimmest of margins 24.49 to 24.50.
He would return to swim the identical time in the final but that is when Bastian dropped more than a second from his preliminaries to time to record a new Championship record of 24.25. In setting the record he also lowered the 24.64 Bahamian age group record set Gershwin Greene (Baylor) in 2013.Simons would pocket the Silver while Julien Berol of Martinique took the Bronze in 24.69.
He would lower another Championship record in the 100 metre breaststroke .He would take out the first 50 in 32.46 and come home in the only sub 36 split of 35.30 to touch the wall in 1:07.76.That time bettered the 1:07.99 set by countryman Dustin Tynes (Ohio State) in 2011. Bastian swept the breaststroke events all in record time. Jeremie Delbois of St Maarten was second in 1:10.68 while Luke Gillette of Trinidad and Tobago was third in 1:11.17.
Izaak’s final Gold medal and Championship record was in the 200 metre freestyle relay. The team of Heindrick Champrobert 25.76, Samuel Gibson 25.45, Darren Laing 25.44 and Bastian with the fastest split of the relays 23.89 touched in a total time of 1:40.54.The old record of 1:40.90 was set by the 2010 Trinidad and Tobago team of Joshua Romany (Tennessee) Dylan Carter (USC), Blaine Sobrian and Keegan Boisson-Yates (Iona). The 2013 age record of 1:42.58 set by Jared Fitzgerald (Peddie),Alexander Encinar (Peddie) Miller Albury (Cantebury) and Michael Hernandez. Martinique won the Silver medal in a time of 1:41.32 and Suriname the Bronze in 1:41.73.
McCallum Clarke of Barbados completed the breaststroke sweep in the 11-12 age group. He broke the Championship record of 1:13.81 by Aruba Brandon Cheong set in 2014 when he clocked 1:13.67.That time equalled his age group record set in February of this year. In the final he went out in 35.23 over a second and clocked the only sub 38 last 50 of 37.87 to win a new Championship and Barbadian age group record of 1:13.10.Silver went to Alexander Joachim of St Vincent and the Grenadines in 1:17.30 and the Bronze to Sam Williamson of Bermuda in 1:19.34.Sam broke Keegan Wooley’s Bermudan age group record of 1:22.23 set in December 2015.
It was yet another dominant display by the Higgs sisters Lilly and Margaret (SwimMAC Carolina) in yet another breaststroke event. Both ladies went out in hard in times of 33.87 (Margaret) and 33.97 (Lilly) respectively. Coming home Lilly split the only sub 39 time of 38.15 to edge her sister for the Gold 1:12.12 to 1:12.94.She also earned herself the Championship record as she beat the standard of 1:12.33 set by Trinidad and Tobago representative Alexandria Donahue (Brown) in 2013.Jamaican Bryanna Renuart won the Bronze in 1:16.58.
In the backstroke events it was Barbadian rising star Danielle Titus that took the spotlight in the 200 metre race .In the final she held off the challenge of Bermudan standout Emma Harvey 2:25.72 Silver and Yasmina Frederic of Guadeloupe Bronze 2:32.04 to take Gold in a new Championship record of 2:24.16. For Titus that breaks the Barbadian age group record of 2:27.75 set by Amara Gibbs set in 2011.It was also the fastest time done by a girl in the 200 metre backstroke race at the Championships. Harvey also lowered her age group record of 2:31.64.
Jamaican Olympic hopeful Keanan Dols lowered the 15-17 boys’ record of 2:07.48 set Cayman Islands Olympian Brett Fraser (2008, 2012) in 2007 to 2:07.26 in the morning heats. He would return to take the Gold medal in the final with a time of 2:07.30. The Silver medal was won by Patrick Groters (Pine Crest) in new Aruban age group and senior national mark of 2:08.95.Groters had set both previous standards at 2:09.34 set CARIFTA 2015 in Barbados.
In the 400 metre freestyle events Laureen Foumann of Guadeloupe completed the 11-12 200 /400 double when she won in 4:50.79.Silver was won by Danielle Treasure of Barbados in 4:52.17 while the Bronze went to Lamar Taylor of Trinidad and Tobago in 4:53.43.
In the 13-14 girls age group Titus of Barbados won in 4:40.37 ahead of Franelly Angele of Guadeloupe 4:45.60 and Jada Chatoor of Trinidad and Tobago 4:45.89 who repeated her .Bronze medal performance in the 200 race.
The senior girls race went to Barbadian Hannah Gill (Baylor) in a time of 4:29.76.Lilly Higgs won yet another medal placing second in a time of 4:34.89.The Bronze was won by Vanessa Esposito of Bermuda in 4:35.50 in a new Bermudan 17-18 record. The previous record was set by Nicole Yearwood at the 2009 CARIFTA championships.
In the 11-12 boys age group it was the exact same order from the 200 race as Mitch Bourgeouis won in 4:32.94.His teammate Tom Lerno took the Silver in 4:38.86 and Clarke of Barbados the Bronze in 4:44.00.
In the 13-14 age group Anaique Zachelin of Guadeloupe 4:15.03 Gold switched places with Heindrick Champrobert of Martinique 4:19.11Silver from the 200 event, The Bronze was won by Anthony Mercury of Guadeloupe in 4:21.15.
Alex Sobers of Barbados repeated his 2015 feat of being the senior boys 200/400 freestyle champion as he won in 4:02.01.He killed of the race as a contest with his 200 split of 1:57.25, the only sub 2minute split of the competition. Second was his teammate Damon St Prix in 4:07.94.The Bronze went Aruban Daniel Jacobs in a time of 4:08.87.
In the sprint event Jamaican Emily MacDonald was crowned the fastest 11-12 girl in the CARIFTA region when she touched the wall in 28.15.In winning the race she also lowered the 2001 record of 28.23 set by Olympian Alia Atkinson (2004, 2008, 2012).The Silver went Naele Portecop of Guadeloupe in 28.80 and the Bronze to Logan Watson-Brown of Bermuda in 28.83.
Chade Nercisio of Curacao is the fastest 13-14 girl in the CARIFTA region as she stopped the clock in 26.98. She finished ahead Harvey of Bermuda 27.17 and Analia Pigree of French Guiana 27.29.
The senior girls title went to Bermudan Madelyn Moore in a time of 26.75.She held off Jamaican Kelsie Campbell who touched in 27.13 and Charlotte Backovic of Guadeloupe 27.32.
The fastest 11-12 boy in the CARIFTA region is Youris Geran of Guadeloupe who clocked 27.07.The Silver was won by Leandro Berenstein of Suriname in 27.22 and Lamar Taylor of the Bahamas won Bronze in 27.68.
Jared Fitzgerald of the Bahamas crowned himself the senior boys sprint king with his clocking of 24 .00.He was pushed to the win by teammate N’nhyn Fernander 24.11and Steven Aimable of French Guiana 24.15.
In the 100 metre breaststroke races Sabine Ellison of the Cayman Islands proved she was the best female breaststroker in the 11-12 age group when she completed the sweep and won the 100 in a time of 1:23.67. Kate-lye Brivet of Guadeloupe won the Silver in 1:24.99. Audrey Moore of the US Virgin Islands took the Bronze in 1:25.27.
Nercisio of Curacao confirmed she had no equal in the 13-14 when she took the 50,100 and 200 treble. She won the 100 metre race in a time of 1:15.89. Willi-insha-marie Jules-Marthe of Martinique won the Silver in 1:17.54.Guadeloupe’s Farah Sheikboudhou took the Bronze in 1:18.77.
Adriel Sanes of the USVI took the senior boys title in the 100 metre breaststroke. His opening 50 split of 30.49 proved to be the major difference as he held off Trinidad and Tobago’s Jeron Thompson 1:05.45 to 1:06.23.The Bronze went Alexander Encinar of the Bahamas in 1:07.15.
In the 200 metre backstroke races Treasure of Barbados held off a fast finishing Anouk Kamise of Guadeloupe to take the 11-12 title 2:30.03 to 2:30.73.She also prevented Kamise from sweeping the event .Kamise’s teammate Foumann won Bronze in 2:37.71.
Lauren Hew of the Cayman Islands prevented yet another sweep of the top spots by the Higgs sisters when she took the senior girls event in 2:27.12.Margaret took the Silver in 2:29.33 while sister Lilly was a touch behind in 2:29.51.
Yael Touw Ngie Tjouw of Suriname completed his marathon individual programme when he completed the 13-14 boys backstroke sweep. He took the event in 2:14.83 ahead of teammate Simons in 2:16.58 and Peter Morley of the Bahamas 2:17.80.
The 200 metre freestyle relays which was the last event of the competition saw the ladies of Guadeloupe being crowned the fastest in the 11-12 age group with a time of 1:58.86.They finished ahead of Martinique and the Bahamas who were timed at 1:59.55 and 1:59.97 respectively. The fastest split was provided by Guadeloupe’s anchor Naele Portecop who clocked 28.38.
The ladies from Trinidad and Tobago are the fastest in CARIFTA region for the 13-14 age group as they took top hours in a time of 1:53.57.They held of the challenges of Barbados 1:55.30and Martinique 1:56.95 respectively. The fastest split was recorded by Danielle Williams of Trinidad and Tobago who anchored her team in a time of 27.82.
The senior girls relay was won by the Martinique team in a time of 1:50.75.Team Jamaica finished with the Silver in a new national age group record of 1:50.85 and Guadeloupe took the Bronze in 1:51.09.The fastest split was recorded by Mika Heideyer of Martinique who recorded 26.91 on third leg duties.
In the 11-12 boys race Guadeloupe were crowned Champions with their time of 1:50.24.Bahamas won the Silver in a time of 1:54.73 with Barbados taking the Bronze in a time of 1:55.31. The 50 freestyle Champion Geran ensured that he left the meet with a sub 27 clocking .He led off his team with a time of 26.97, the fastest of the relays.
The final race saw the Bahamas team confirmed as the fastest in the CARIFTA region with their winning time of 1:37.48.Trinidad and Tobago won the Silver in 1:38.08 and the Bronze went to Martinique in 1:39.28.The fastest split was record by N’nhyn Fernander who posted 23.78 on the 3rd leg for the Bahamas.
Guadeloupe topped the medal standings winning 23 Gold, 25 Silver and 18 Bronze medals. Bahamas finished second overall with 22 Gold, 22 Silver and 12 Bronze medals. Barbados was third with 18 Gold, 11 Silver and 15 Bronze medals.
Five more records fell by the wayside on Day 2 of the 2016 CARIFTA Championships currently underway in Martinique. Bermuda’s 13-14 standout Emma Harvey continued to be listed among the record breakers.
Harvey completed the butterfly sprint double when she captured the 50 metre title in a time of 28.44.That performance lowered the Championship record of 28.71 held by Elinah Phillip of the British Virgin Islands. The Silver was won by Analia Pigree of French Guiana in 29.07. Katie Kyle of St Lucia took the Bronze in 29.24.
In the 13-14 Girls 100 metre backstroke rising star Danielle Titus of Barbados won an epic battle with Harvey 1:06.58 to 1:06.60 to claim Gold. Both swimmers were under 2014 record of 1:07.21 by the Cayman Islands Lauren Hew. Titus, who is in her first year in that age group, has now established herself as the fastest Barbadian swimmer ever in the 100 metre backstroke. This as she lowered the 2011 age group mark of 1:07.99 by Amara Gibbs as well as the senior national record of 1:07.13 set by Lee Ann Rose in 2010.Harvey also lowered her own 2015 age group record of 1:08.10.Virginia Stamp of the Bahamas won Bronze in 1:08.71.
In the 11-12 girl’s age group Naele Portecop of Guadeloupe just missed being the first swimmer under 29 seconds in the 50 metre butterfly when she took the event in 29.09.En route to the Gold medal and the sprint butterfly double she lowered the 29.37 mark set by Chade Nercisio of Curacao set in 2014. Sade Simons of Suriname was second to the wall in a time of 30.60.The Bronze went to Chaemael Griffit of Martinique in a time of 30.76.
Naele with a 1:05.80 butterfly split would combine with teammates Anouk Kamise backstroke 1:12.76, Kate-lye Brivet breaststroke 1:25.27 and Oceane Deshagette freestyle 1:03.10 to win the 400 metre medley relay in record time. Their combined time was 4:46.93 crushing the 4:52.00 set by Jamaica in 2002.The Bahamas team of Katelyn Cabral, Jamilah Hepburn, Mandia Roberts and Zaylie –Elisabeth Thompson won the Silver in 4:56.69 bettering their national age group record of 4:58.08. Martinique was third in 4:57.20.The Guadeloupe had the fastest splits for all legs except the breaststroke where Hepburn of the Bahamas clocked 1:22.76.
In the boys 13-14 400 medley relay there was keen battle between the Bahamas and Suriname. Suriname took first strike when their lead off swimmer Kenzo Simons touched in the fastest time of the meet of 1:02.80. Bahamas breaststroke star Izaak Bastian (Saint Andrew’s aquatics) brought them back with the fastest breaststroke split of that age group of 1:06.37 to give them a 4 second lead. That lead evaporated when Yael Touw Ngie Tjouw jumped in crack a 57.49 butterfly leg to give Suriname of under half a second. The Bahamas team would not be denied Samuel Gibson delivered the only sub 56 freestyle leg of 55.31 to give them the Gold in a new championship record of 4:08.32. They broke the 2015 record held by the Barbados team of Jack Kirby, Jumar Waldron, Luis Sebastian Weekes and Damon St Prix. They also lowered their national age group record of 4:15.09. Suriname won the Silver in 4:11.24 also under the record. Martinique was third in 4:14.81.
In the 200 metre freestyle event the 11-12 girls title went to Laureen Foumann of Guadeloupe in 2:17.11. The 13-14 title went to Elisabeth Timmer of Aruba in 2:12.06 who held off a fast finishing Britney Williams of Jamaica 2:13.13. Williams’ teammate Kelsi Campbell took the 15-17 crown in a time of 2:06.96.
In the boys events Mitch Bourgeouis of Guadeloupe out touched countryman Tom Lerno 2:09.08 to 2:09.42 to win the 11-12 age group title. Heindrick Champrobert of Martinique was the only sub 2 minute swimmer as he took the win in 1:58.71.In the senior boys race Alex Sobers of Barbados split 28.42 on the last 50 metres to beat race leader Antigua and Barbuda’s Noah Mascoll-Gomes (Azura) 1:53.61 to 1:53.63. Sobers defended his title from 2015 which he had won in 1:54.40.
In the one lap butterfly race Racine Ross (Pine Crest) won the senior girls race in 29.00.
In the 11-12 boys race Mitch Bourgeois of Guadeloupe completed the sprint butterfly double with his 29.17 victory. Yael Touw Ngie Tjouw of Suriname completed his double in the 13-14 age group with a 26.04 win .The senior title went to Trinidad and Tobago’s Adrian Goin in 25.37.
In the 100 backstroke race Anouk Kamise of Guadeloupe completed the backstroke when she took the 11-12 title in 1:11.10.Lauren Hew of the Cayman Islands won the senior title in 1:08.53.
For the boys Tristan Pragnell of Barbados who finished 2nd in the 50 backstroke on the opening day clocked the only time under 1:08 with a 1; 07.88 performance to be crowned the 11-12 champion .In the 13-14 boys division Suriname’s Yael Touw Ngie Tjouw was working overtime to claim his sprint double when he won in 1:00.49.The senior title went Keanan Dols who was the only sub 59 second swimmer with a 58.56 performance.
In the 400 individual medley Sabine Ellison of the Cayman Islands took the 11-12 girls crown with a 5:26.79 clocking. Emma Harvey of Bermuda another swimming doing double duties at this meet took the 13-14 title in 5:16.20.In the senior ranks 2015 13-14 Champion Lilly Higgs (SwimMAC Carolina) would again be taking on older sister Margaret Higgs (SwimMac Carolina) for the title. Margaret used a strong front half to get the win in a time of 5:09.48 with sister Lilly taking the Silver in 5:12.93.
For the 11-12 boys Mccallum Clarke of Barbados won in 5:12.33. The 13-14 age group was won by the hardest working swimmer in Martinique ,Yael Touw Ngie Tjouw of Suriname, who won yet another title taking the event in a time of 4:49.93.The senior crown was won by Patrick Groters (Pine Crest) in a time of 4:38.94.
In the 400 medley relay Guadeloupe won the 13-14 title in a time of 4:41.34.The 15-17 title went to the Bahamas in a time of 4:31.42.The fastest splits were as follows backstroke Charlotte Backovic Guadeloupe 1:09.08,breaststroke Lilly Higgs Bahamas 1:13.36,butterfly Amelya Hypolite 1:05.17 and freestyle Annabella Lyn 1:00.56.
In the 11-12 boys Barbados won in 4:41.80.The senior crown was won by the Bahamas in 3:58.80.The fastest splits of the relay were as follows backstroke Leegan Dupros Martinique 1:01.09,breaststroke Adriel Sanes US virgin Islands 1:05.95, butterfly N’nhyn Fernander 56.04 and freestyle Alex Sobers freestyle 51.61.
Night 2 of the Arena Pro Swim Series meet at Austin on Saturday night again saw the CARIFTA region swimmers making an impact.SwimMaC Carolina’s Bahamian sprinter Arianna Vanderpool –Wallace made a big splash in her signature event the 50 metre freestyle. She made her debut for the season in the event in the morning heats clocking 25.15. Arianna would lower that early marker considerably in the final. In a very fast final Vanderpool-Wallace powered herself to the bronze medal in a time of 24.84 the 10th fastest time in the world this year. The event was won by Swede Sarah Sjostrom in the fastest time in the world of 24.17. Arianna’s teammate Madison Kennedy was 2nd in 24.72. With that performance Arianna joins Alia Atkinson as CARIFTA region female swimmers in the top 10 in the world this year. Atkinson currently tops the rankings in the 50 and 100 metre breaststroke events. Vanderpool-Wallace is also the 7th fastest woman in the world in the 50 metre freestyle over short course (25 metres). The Bahamian star also has the fastest time for the 50 yard freestyle mainly swam in the US.
The US Virgin Islands saw their top swimmer Rex Tullius registering an Olympic Qualifying B time. He swam under the mark of 2:02.63 twice. First in the morning heats swimming 2:01.49 with a split time of 59.64.That performance enabled him to make the championship final. In the final he went out harder turning at the halfway mark at 58.24. Despite the fastest early speed he maintained his 7th place from the preliminaries and finished in 2:00.88.
Alia Atkinson competing in the 200 freestyle recorded a time of 2:03.21 (split time 1:00.13) to earn a second swim in the night. That was just off her personal best of 2:02.85 set March3, 2014 at the Speedos Champions Series. It was marginally behind the Olympic B standard time of 2:03.13.Later in the D final Atkinson went out in 59.83 to be 2nd at the turn. In a tight finish where the top 5 all did 2:02’s Alia finished 4th in a new personal best and Olympic B standard time of 2:02.54. Alia continues to get closer to the senior national record of another Atkinson, Janelle Atkinson. Janelle set the Jamaican standard of 2:01.11 as a 16 year old en route to Silver in the event at the 1999 Winnipeg Pan American Games.
Aruba’s Daniella Van Den Berg had a close miss with her national record in the 200 metre freestyle .Van Den Berg clocked 2:08.73 (split 1:02.98) to finish behind the 2:08.07 she recorded the 2015 Kazan World Championships. Daniella would place 106th overall. Countryman Mikel Schrueders was disqualified in the men’s race
In the 50 metre freestyle Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter would make his way to the D final after 23.53 in the morning heats. He would improve upon the time posting 23.46 to finish 2nd . Team mate Bermuda’s Rebecca Heyliger posted a time of 27.18 to finish 72nd overall. Her countryman SwimMac Carolina’s Roy Burch who is on the long road to full fitness was 76th in a time of 24.26. Aruban Jordy Groters who is representing the University of Missouri was 85th.