NIGEL FORBES STANDS TALL AT CCCAN,WINS REGIONAL BREASTSTROKE TRIPLE CROWN (UNANA,CARIFTA AND CCCAN TITLES) EN ROUTE TO FIVE GOLD AND TWO SILVER

At the recently concluded CCCAN swimming Championships held in Aruba Nigel Forbes continued his epic season in an 11-12 age group division which was brimming with talent. Forbes stood tall among his peers in the breaststroke for 2018 and was unbeaten for the season in that stroke .

50 metre breaststroke medallists
50 metre breaststroke medallists from left to right Blackman, Forbes and Trejos Photo courtesy of CCCAN

It would be the 50 metre breaststroke in  which he would make put together a masterpiece of a swim .Already the fastest Bahamian 11-12 breaststroker of all time with 32.54 he now had his sights on the 2005 CCCAN record of Panamanian Arturo Medina of 32.42 .That time tied Bermudan Sam Williamson 11-12 national mark of 32.42 as the second fastest of all time in the CCCAN region. The unofficial record was held by  Aruba Jordy Groters at 32.41. Things looked promising for young Forbes when he clocked the fastest time of the preliminaries of 32.99. In the championship Final Forbes  took off from the sounding of the starter’s gun and was more than a body length of the field by the 25 metre mark.With the question of the Gold answered what needed to be determined was what the record would be lowered to . Forbes continued to blaze towards the wall and slapped the pads in a time of 32.15 , a new PB, Bahamian , CCCAN Championship  record and he can officially hold the moniker of the fastest the region had ever seen in the event. Winning the Silver was Trinidad and Tobago Nikoli Blackman in 34.74 and the Bronze to Edu Trejos in 34.75. It was this event that he created history for the CARIFTA region by winning the first ever Gold medal at the  inaugural UANA Championships so it is fitting that he would take the regional Triple Crown UANA , CARIFTA and CCCAN titles in the fastest swim of all time.

Forbes 11-12 Gold
Nigel Forbes of The Bahamas First Gold Medallist for The Bahamas and the CARIFTA region 11-12 breaststroke Gold at the 2018 UANA cup
UANA 34.20
CARIFTA 34.05
CCCAN 32.15

The 100 metre breaststroke would see Nigel putting another show of scintillating speed.As with the 50 metre breaststroke he was already the best The Bahamas had ever produced with his 1:12.24 clocking from the REV nationals and was within a hair’s breadth of the CCCAN record time of 1:12.18 set by  Olympian Carlos  Claverie of Venezuela  (Rio 2016) .

Carlos Claverie panamerican world
Carlos Claverie waving to the crowd after being presented with Bronze medal at the 2014 Youth Olympics Photo courtesy of panamericanworld

Claverie  won Bronze at the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing China in the 100 metre breaststroke in a time of 1:01.56.

After easing into the final with a time of 1:14.78  he decided to turn on the thrills in the final. When the race started Nigel again separated himself by some distance by the halfway mark turning in 33.13, a split that would have would the Silver in the 50 metre race. He kept applying the pressure and touched in a new PB,Bahamian record and CCCAN Championship record of 1:11.16.  Forbes is now the fastest ever swimmer the CARIFTA region has produced in the event.He just missed the unofficial CCCAN 2014 record of 1:10.94 held by Puerto Rico’s Daniel Chevere. The win also marked another Triple Crown performance ( UANA, CARIFTA and CCCAN). Silver went to Panamanian Trejos in 1:13.24 and Blackman won Bronze in 1:16.24.

Event Time Split
UANA 1:15.07 35.40
CARIFTA 1:15.81 35.50
CCCAN 1:11.16 33.13
boys 11-12 200 metre breaststroke medal podium
Boys 11-12 200 metre breaststroke medallists from left to right Trejos, Forbes and Bonati Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The 200 metre breaststroke which was Forbes first individual race saw a colossal battle between himself and Trejos. The Panamian started the race with a split of 35.67 followed by Nigel with a 36.50 . They were the only swimmers under 37 seconds for the first 50 metres and well ahead of the rest of the field. Nigel kept closing the gap on Edu until he was ahead by .01 ahead of him coming off the final wall.

Forbes pushing for Gold in the 200 breast
Forbes pushing for Gold in the 200 metre breaststroke Photo courtesy of CCCAN

 

He then stepped on the gas to take the win in a new PB and Bahamas record 2:36.00.  Forbes just missed another Claverie standard of 2:35.89 but is now the fastest ever 11-12 200 metre breaststroke swimmer from the CARIFTA region. Edu was close behind winning Silver in 2:36.32. Bronze went to Stefan Bonati of the Cayman Islands in 2:49.08.

Boys 11-12 100 metre butterfly podium
Boys 11-12 100 metre butterfly podium from left to right Wilson,Forbes and Gossmann Photo courtesy of CCCAN

There would be more Gold for Forbes in Aruba in the sprint butterfly events. In the 100 metre butterfly he won the Gold based on a strong back half. This, as he was behind at the 50 metre mark as the early leaders Christopher Gossmann of Guatemala 29.23 and Trinidad and Tobago standout Zarek Wilson 29.44. Nigel’s split was 30.05. He however provided the fastest last 50 metres to take the Gold in 1:01.95 a new PB and Bahamian record taking almost a second off the 2014 Evante Gibson standard of 1:02.83 .that completed the regional Golden Double as he won the CARIFTA Gold in 1:04.05 earlier this year in Kingston. Silver went to Wilson in a new PB of 1:02.16 and the Bronze to Gossmann in 1:02.23.The same trio finished in the exact same order earlier at the UANA cup with times of 1:03.34,1:03.48 and 1:04.19 respectively

CARIFTA 1:04.09 30.47
CCCAN 1:01.95 30.05
boys 11-12 50 metre medal podium
Boys 11-12 50 metre butterfly medal podium from left to right Sealy, Forbes and Gossmann Photo courtesy of CCCAN

In the 50 metre butterfly he posted the only sub 28 seconds time in the final to win 27.73. Omari Sealy of Barbados took the Silver in 28.17 and Gossman 28.25. He holds the national record at 27.67.

100 freestyle podium 11-12 boys
Boys 11-12 100 metre freestyle medal podium from left to right Forbes,Blackman and Johnson Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

In the 100 metre freestyle he dipped under the 58 seconds barrier for the first time to win Silver in a PB and national record time 57.79.Gold went to Blackman in 57.61 and the Bronze to his teammate Marvin Johnson in 58.75. The old 11-12 record of 57.99 belonged to Lamar Taylor .

 

11-12 mixed 200 metre freestyle relay
11-12 mixed 200 metre freestyle relay medallists from left to right The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago and the Cayman Islands Phoot courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would be another Silver for Forbes and Team Bahamas in the 200 metre mixed freestyle relay.The team of Johnson (27.98),Keianna Moss (28.72) ,Devin Cuffy-Bethel 28.98 and Forbes (25.76) stopped the clock in 1:50.64 just behind Team Trinidad and Tobago 1:50.29 .The Bronze went to the Cayman Islands in 1:52.64. Nigel placed 9th in the 400 metre freestyle.

When draftingthecaribbean contacted the young swimmer he gave his thoughts on his breaststroke Gold medals . He said that he felt great about all the breaststroke races his favourite was the 100 metre race. When questioned about the 200 metre event if he knew about the record and if he could have gone faster he said he did not think he could have gone any faster because he had great competition from his Panamanian competitor (Edu Trejos) and he gave it his all. Forbes now owns 7 of the 16 individual Bahamian national records for the 11-12 age group

Event Record
100 metre freestyle 57.79
50 metre breaststroke 32.15
100 metre breaststroke 1:11.16
200 metre breaststroke 2:36.00
50 metre butterfly 27.67
100 metre butterfly 1:01.95
400 metre IM 5:18.05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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EMILY MacDONALD COMPLETES REGIONAL GOLDEN RECORD DOUBLE (CARIFTA AND CCCAN TITLES), BECOMES FASTEST 13-14 GIRL OF ALL TIME, HELPS 13-14 MEDLEY RELAY TO GOLD ,NATIONAL RECORDS FALL MORGAN COGLE AND THE 11-12 GIRLS MEDLEY RELAY TEAM

The final day of competition at the CCCAN swimming Championships in Aruba  on July 2  saw Team Jamaica adding Two Gold, Three Silver and Three Bronze medals.

13-14 50 free medal podium
13-14 50 metre freestyle medallists from left to right Watson-Brown ,MacDonald and Farro Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The highlight of the day was Emily MacDonald who completed the freestyle sprint double .A day after she completed the record regional Golden Double (CARIFTA and CCCAN titles) in the 100 metre freestyle she did the same in the 50 metre freestyle. She took the race in a time of 26.48 a new PB, CCCAN and CARIFTA all time best.It was a mere .03 of a second outside of the automatic Youth Olympic qualifying mark of 26.45.

This makes her unbeaten for the 13-14 age group at CCCAN as she took the title in Trinidad and Tobago as well last year in 27.20. In April of this year in her hometown of Kingston she won the splash and dash in  a  time of  26.76 lowering the record of 26.81 held by Bermudan Madelyn Moore. In Aruba she would take down another Moore standard of 26.65 , the unofficial all time regional record. Emily has been Golden in all but one meet at the regional level since 2016.

GOLDEN RUN

Date Meet Medal Time
March 2016 CARIFTA Gold 28.15
July 2016 CISC Gold 27.64
April 2017 CARIFTA 4th 27.60
July 2017 CCCAN Gold 27.20
April 2018 CARIFTA Gold 26.76 Record26.81
July 2018 CCCAN Gold 26.48 record 26.65
thrillson.blogspot.com Chinyere
Chinyere Pigot Photo courtesy of thrillson.blogspot.com

MacDonald had the second fastest time of the competition. That accolade went to none other  than Madelyn Moore who lowered the 15-17 meet of  26.13 by Suriname’s Olympian Chinyere Pigot (Beijing 2008 and London 2012) when she stopped the clock in 25.97.

Silver went to Bermuda’s Logan Watson -Brown in 27.24  and the Bronze to Aruba Chloe Farro 27.67.

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Emily she gave her thoughts on her performances

“I’m very happy about winning events in the meet for my age group and breaking Championship record for both events .It gives me the assurance that I have the potential to be a great sprinter”.

Girls 13-14 400 metre medley relay medallists
13-14 400 metre medley relay medallists from left to right Colombia,Jamaica and Aruba Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would almost  be another regional record Golden Double in the 400 metre medley relay as the team of Simone Vale, Sabrina Lyn, MacDonald and Amore Hunter just missed the CCCAN record of 4:34.23 held by the 2005 Mexico team and their own national age group record of 4:33.81 when they won Gold in 4:34.48.Silver went to Colombia in 4:38.89 and Bronze to Aruba in 4:52.40.

CCCAN Relay Gold medallists
13-14 CCCAN Gold medallists from left to right Hunter,MacDonald, Lyn and Vale Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

 

Names CARIFTA Record Names CCCAN 2005 Names CCCAN 2018
backstroke Vale 1:09.46 backstroke Gonzalez 1:08.21 backstroke Vale 1:10.15
breastroke Lyn 1:21.13 breastroke Delgado 1:19.31 breastroke Lyn 1:18.26
butterfly Zaneta Alvaranga 1:04.54 butterfly Medrano 1:06.18 butterfly MacDonald 1:04.46
freestyle MacDonald 58.68 freestyle Barjas 1:00.53 freestyle Hunter 1:01.61
4:33.81 4:34.28 4:34.48
Girls 11-12 200 metre backstroke medallists
Girls 11-12 200 metre backstroke from left to right Crooks, Jimenez Garrido and Cogle Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would be another national record for Morgan Cogle in the 11-12 200 metre backstroke.She lowered the 2007 Kendese Nangle record of 2:36.00 set at CCCAN 2007 in El Salvador in the morning heats with a time of 2:35.21. She would go on to win Bronze in the final in 2:35.29. Jillian Crooks of the Cayman Islands took the Silver in 2:33.98 with Gold going to  Elizabeth Jimenez Garrido of the Dominican Republic in 2:33.23.

In the 400 medley relay Cogle backstroke ,Brooke Hopkins breaststroke ,Ireland Hunter butterfly and Safiya Officer won the Silver in a new national age group record of 4:56.06. That bettered the old 2007 record of 4:58.67 set in by the 2007 CARIFTA team Brittany Kenney, Kendese Nangle, Raynae Hall and Alexia Royal-Eatmon.

COMPARISON OF TIMES

Names CCCAN 2018 Names CARIFTA 2007
backstroke Cogle 1:12.37 backstroke Kenney 1:16.37
breaststroke Hopkins 1:24.50 breaststroke Nangle 1:23.96
butterfly Hunter 1:15.97 butterfly Hall 1:12.08
freestyle Officer 1:03.22 freestyle Royal-Eatmon 1:06.26
4:56.06 4:58.67
Girls 11-12 400 metre medley relay medallists
Girls 11-12 400 metre medley relay medallists from left to right Jamaica ,Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Gold went to Trinidad and Tobago in 4:51.10 and the Bronze to Barbados in 5:06.93.

15-17 50 metre freestyle medallists
Girls 15-17 50 metre freestyle medallists from left to right Banks,Moore and Russell Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

In the 15-17 Girls 50 metre freestyle it was Gabrianna Banks getting the medal for Team Jamaica . She stopped the clock in a new PB of 26.69 for the Silver. The performance marks consecutive Silver medals for Banks who won Silver in her last year of 13-14 in the twin island republic last year in 27.28. The Bronze went to Victoria Russell of The Bahamas in a new PB of 26.93. This is the first medal for Jamaica in 2017 since Breanna Roman won Bronze in 27.59 at CCCAN 2011 in Puerto Rico.

boys 13-14 50 freestyle medallists
Boys 13-14 50 metre freestyle medallists from left to right Williams, Taylor and Thomas Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would be a Bronze for Nathaniel Thomas in the 13-14 age group in the 50 metre freestyle as his effort was timed in a PB of 25.33. This is a step up from his performance at CARIFTA where he placed ninth in 26.19. Silver went to Malik Nelson of Trinidad and Tobago in 24.50. Gold went to the fastest 13-14 swimmer of the season Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas who won in a new CCCAN record of 23.94 to add to his CARIFTA title which he won in 24.27 and  as well as National title in 23.79.

Safiya Officer 11-12 50 metre Bronze
Saifiya Officer Bronze medallist in the Girls 11-12 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would be Bronze for Safiya Officer in the girls 11-12 race  she touched in 27.71.Silver went to St Lucia’s Naima Hazell in 27.61 .

Cerian Gibbes
Cerian Gibbes competing in the 100 metre breaststroke at the 1996 Olympics Photo courtesy of gettyimages

The Gold went to the Cayman Islands Jillian Crooks who lowered the 1995 meet standard of 27.55 set  by Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympian Cerian Gibbes who went to the Atlanta 1996 Games as a 13 year old.

Boys 11-12 400 metre medley relay medallists
Boys 11-12 400 metre medley relay medallists from left to right Jamaica,Trinidad and Tobago and Aruba Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The 11-12 boys 400 metre medley relay team won Silver . The team of Daniel Mair (backstroke) 1:16.61,brother Joshua (breaststroke)1:20.15 ,Jaedon Lynch( butterfly) ( 1:10.15) and Adrian Balfour (freestyle) 1:01.55 touched in 4:48.55 to finish behind the Trinidad and Tobago team that won in 4:41.05.the Bronze was won by Aruba in 4:53.76.

Boys 15-17 400 metre medley relay
Boys 15-17 400 metre medley relay medallists from left to right Trinidad and Tobago,The Bahamas and Jamaica Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The 15-17 boys won the Bronze in their medley relay. The team of Nicholas Vale (backstroke) 1:01.47 ,Sean-Douglas Gooden (breaststroke) 1:09.48 ,Jesse Marsh (butterfly) 56.91 and Cameron Brown (freestyle) 55.86 touched in 4:03.72. Gold was won by The Bahamas in 3:59.57 and the Silver to Trinidad and Tobago in 4:01.63.

 

 

 

 

EMILY MacDONALD LOWERS OLYMPIAN CLAUDIA POLL’S 100 FREESTYLE MEET STANDARD TO RECORD REGIONAL GOLDEN DOUBLE (CARIFTA AND CCCAN TITLES)

Day Four of the CCCAN Swimming championships saw Team Jamaica adding Four more medals to their tally One Gold , One Silver and Two Silver to have Eighteen medals Six Gold ,Four Silver and Eight Bronze medals.

Getting the Gold for the land of wood and water was Emily MacDonald in the girls 13-14 100 metre freestyle. She bounced back from illness on Day Three to win the freestyle title.

Emily Mac 13-14 100 free podium
13-14 100 metre freestyle medal podium from left to right Watson-Brown Bermuda, MacDonald and Libreros Bolivar Colombia Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

In the Championship final she recorded the only sub 28 seconds split at the halfway mark and then pulled away from the field to record a new personal best and CCCAN meet record of 57.95. It was also the fastest 100 metre freestyle time recorded by a girl at the Championship.

Claudia Poll panamerican world
Claudia Poll Photo courtesy of panamericanworld

That lowered the the more than three decades old standard of 58.34 byCosta Rican Olympic Gold medallist Claudia Poll (1996,2000 and 2004). MacDonald also is closing in on the national age group record of 57.54 held by Olympian Janelle Atkinson (2000,2004). It was Poll who held off Atkinson to win the Bronze in the 400 metre freestyle at the 2000 Sydney Games . That fourth place position at the Olympics is the joint highest placing at the Games along with Alia Atkinson’s fourth place at the 2012 London Games.

 

Winning the Silver was Bermuda’s Logan Watson-Brown in 58.82 and the Bronze to Colombia’s  Manuela Libreros Bolivar 1:01.38.

100 free CARIFTA 13-14
13-14 100 metre freestyle medallists at CARIFTA 2018 in Kingston from left to right Watson-Brown Bermuda Silver ,MacDonald Gold, Alvaranga Bronze Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

 

It also  marked the regional Golden Double as she captured the same title at the CARIFTA Games in her hometown of Kingston in April . It marked the second time she is completing the double after doing so in the 11-12 age group in 2016

Regional record for the 100 metre freestyle

Date Meet Medal Time
March 2016 CARIFTA Gold 1:02.02 split 29.40
July 2016 CISC Gold 1:00.26 split 29.18
April 2017 CARIFTA Silver 59.28 split 28.33
July 2017 CCCAN Gold 58.83 split 27.89
April 2018 CARIFTA Gold 57.99 split 28.17
July 2018

 

CCCAN Gold 57.95 split 27.79

Emily spoke to draftingthecaribbean about her performance after the race

“Going the 100 I was a bit nervous at first. The meet has  not been great so far .In my 200 metre freestyle I got a cramp in my leg and ended up doing a bad time as I added 5 seconds to my personal best and I did not swim the Championship final of the 50 metre butterfly because of that injury and the 100 metre butterfly was not a good race overall.so going into this race I was very nervous as I did not know how I was going to perform because I had not done well so far but I was just going to try my best. That was my mindset heading into the final.I told myself I prepared for this meet and I have trained so hard for this and it does not make sense not swim my heart out. Going into the heats  said I am going to just try and hopefully come in the top 8 fand hopefully seed first for the final. That is what I did and ended up doing a 58.70 .Going into the final I was going up again Logan Watson-Brown from Bermuda who I know is a great swimmer and I was even more nervous.I knew I wanted to get a Gold medal but was still not sure because of how I was performing. Before I stepped on the blocks I knew I had done all that I can to get this far and I know that I have done all I could possibly do to achieve a best time in this race so I was going to do what my coach told me to do which was best time.As I swam the race I remembered doing the splits in training  and swimming the first 50 in a particular time and pushing hard on the last 25 metres into the wall which I did and recorded a personal best which I am very happy about and I got the Gold medal that I wanted”.

Cameron Brown 15-17 50 breaststroke medal ceremony
15-17 50 metre breaststroke medal podium from left to right Brown,Cheong and Russell Photo courtesy of CCCAN

In the Boys 15-17 50 metre breaststroke Cameron Brown ended a decade old medal drought for Team Jamaica when he secured the Silver in a new personal best of 30.23. He tied Brandon Cheong for the medal while the Gold was won by The Bahamas Tyler Russell in 30.16. The last time Jamaica got a medal in the 15-17 age group in this event was in 2007 in El Salvador when age group star Brad Hamilton won Silver in 30.59.

Cameron gave his thoughts to draftingthecaribbean about the swim

“I knew it was going to be straight line line heading to the wall.I pushed to the very last second.I was suprised to see a new PB of 30.23 when I looked at the scoreboard”.

Morgan 100 free Harold Wilson
11-12 100 metre freestyle medallists from left to right Vickles Silver medallist,Crooks Gold medallist and Cogle Bronze medallist Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

11-12 dynamo Morgan Cogle secured  more precious metal at the Championship .She lowered her 100 metre freestyle from 1:03.11 to 1:02.59 to secure Bronze.The title went to Jillian Crooks of the Cayman Islands in a time of 1:01.72 and the Silver to Gabrielle Vickles of Trinidad and Tobago in 1:02.33.

Cogle 200 IM Bronze pict
11-12 200 IM medallists from left to right Crooks, Anthony and Cogle Photo courtesy of CCCAN

In the 200 metre individual medley she ended a more than decade old drought when she won Bronze in 2:37.44.That medal winning swim puts her within sight of the age group record of 2:36.26 set by Annabella Lyn in 2012. Gold was won by the another 11-12 standout Zoe Anthony of Trinidad and Tobago in 2:32.91 and Silver to Crooks in 2:36.70.

 

Bronze was won by the 15-17 800 metre freestyle relay team of Annabella Lyn ,Gabrianna Banks, Bryanna Renuart and Naomi Eaton who stopped the clock in 9:07.22. Gold went to Aruba in 8:48.55 and the Silver to Honduras in 8:59.65.

The personal best tally moved from 28 to 47 at the end of Day Four

Name Event Personal Best Previous Best
Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 200 IM 2:39.42 2:41.26
Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 200 IM 2:37.44 2:39.42
Joshua Mair Boys 11-12 200 IM 2:37.13 2:41.26
Jaedon Lynch Boys 11-12 200 IM 2:39.06 2:40.93
Sabrina Lyn Girls 13-14 200 IM 2:37.06 2:44.98
Sabrina Lyn Girls 13-14 200 IM 2:35.25 2:37.06
Nathaniel Thomas Boys 13-14 200 IM 2:29.56 2:29.83
Joshua Mair Boys 11-12 50 metre breaststroke 36.52 37.23
Joshua Mair Boys 11-12 50 metre breaststroke 36.14 36.52
Jaedon Lynch Boys 11-12 50 metre breaststroke 36.23 36.45
Sean-Douglas Gooden Boys 15-17 50 metre breaststroke 31.35 31.43
Cameron Brown Boys 15-17 50 metre breaststroke 30.23 30.64
Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 100 metre freestyle 1:03.10 1:03.11
Morgan Cogle Girls 11-12 100 metre freestyle 1:02.59 1:03.10
Adrian Balfour Boys 11-12 100 metre freestyle 1:02.42 1:03.28
Emily MacDonald Girls 13-14 100 metre freestyle 57.95 57.99
Nathaniel Thomas Boys 13-14 100 metre freestyle 56.12 56.95
Daniel Mair Boys 11-12 100 metre freestyle 1:02.60 1:06.15
Jaedon Lynch Boys 11-12 200 metre butterfly 2:46.50 2:51.11
Jordane Payne Boys 15-17 200 metre butterfly 2:17.58 2:18.43

 

TEAM JAMAICA STARTS CCCAN CAMPAIGN WITH NATIONAL RECORD SWIMS IN MIXED RELAYS

The 2018 CCCAN swimming championships in Aruba got off to a great start for Team Jamaica on Friday June 29 with national record swims in the mixed 200 metre freestyle relay team in the 15-17 and 13-14 age groups.

Mixed 15-17 mixed 200 free relay
Jamaica’s Bronze medal winning mixed 200 metre freestyle relay team from left to right Vale,Renuart, Marsh and Banks Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The 15-17 relay team of Nicholas Vale, Jesse Marsh,Bryanna Renuart and Gabrianna Banks took the Bronze in 1:42.81 in a very close affair where the top four finishers were within a second of each other.

15-17 mixed 200 metre freestyle relay podium
15-17 mixed 200 metre freestyle relay podium from left to right Bermuda Silver,Colombia Gold and Jamaica Bronze Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Gold was won by Colombia in 1:42.20 and Silver went to Bermuda in 1:42.52. The old 15-17 record and senior national record stood to the 2018 UANA team of Shaun Johnson,Marsh, Banks and Vale that clocked 1:43.70 in Coral Springs Florida on Jan 21.

13-14 mixed 200 metre freestyle relay podium
13-14 mixed 200 metre freestyle relay podium from left to right The Bahamas Silver, Bermuda Gold and Jamaica Bronze Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would be a new 13-14 mixed 200 freestyle relay record established as the team of Nathaniel Thomas (25.52 ), Rin Gyles 26.35, Sabrina Lyn (28.16) and Emily MacDonald (26.75) had a total time of 1:46.78 to win the Bronze medal. Gold went to Bermuda in 1:45.04 and Silver The Bahamas in 1:45.70.

 

It would be fourth place for the 11-12 mixed 200 metre freestyle relay team of Safiya Officer,Adrian Balfour, Jaedon Lynch and Aliyah Heaven. They stopped the clock in a time of 1:53.95,Splits 28.87,27.61,28.48 and 28.89.

Jordane Payne placed 10th in the 15-17 1500 metre freestyle in a time of 18:42.29.Naomi Eaton placed 8th in the 15-17 800 metre freestyle in a personal best of 10:05.82

ALBURY HIGGS MARKS A DECADE OF BEING UNBEATEN IN THE 100 METRE BREASTSTROKE AT NATIONALS WITH A NEW NATIONAL RECORD

Albury Higgs marked a decade of being unbeaten at the Bahamian national championships with a senior national record breaking swim in the 100 metre breaststroke.

Entering the 2018 REV National Swimming Championships it was expected to be a great race between the teammates of the former teammates at Swift Swimming Albury , her sister Lilly and Laura Morley now representing Makos.

Breaststroke trio
Leading Bahamian Breaststrokers that will be competing in the NCAA Division I next season Lilly Higgs, Albury Higgs and Laura Morley Photos courtesy of swimswam and iuhoosiers

All three young ladies will be competing in the NCAA Division I this September as Lilly will be an incoming freshman at the University of North Carolina. Older sister Albury attends the University of  South Carolina and Laura ,Indiana University. The trio also formed integral components of the CARIFTA 15-17 100 metre breaststroke fortress as The Bahamas has not lost that race at the annual regional Championships since 2014.

 

Going into the Championship final on June 19 Lilly held the national record with her swim at the 2017 World Junior Swimming Championships with a time of 1:11.18 (split time 33.89).Laura’s personal best stood at 1:11.46 (split time 33.92) from the 2017 Arena Pro Swim Series – Indianapolis. Albury had a best of 1:12.06 (split time 34.01) from the 2017 Charlotte UltraSwim.All three at one point in their career held the national standard.

NATIONAL RECORD PROGRESSION

Name Time Date
Albury Higgs 1:12.07 March 5,2016
Laura Morley 1:11.83 March 27,2016
Laura Morley 1:11.46 March 4,2017
Lilly Higgs 1:11.18 August 25,2017

When the gun sounded it was Lilly and Laura who attacked the race with splits of 33.66 and 34.84 respectively with Albury seemingly out the picture with a first 50 metres of 36.65. It was at the turn that Albury brought the fire to the race. She uncorked a split of 34.52 to take charge of the race and take her tenth consecutive Gold medal in a new national record of 1:11.17.

100 breaststroke nationals 2018
2018 REV National Swimming Championships 15 and over medal podium from left to right Lilly Higgs, Albury Higgs and Laura Morley Photo courtesy of Pleasants Parott Higgs

 

Sister Lilly touched  1:12.95 for Silver and Morley 1:13.07 for the Bronze.

DECADE OF GOLD MEDALS

Year Time Age Group
2018 1:11.17NR 15 and  over
2017 1:12.18 15 and  over
2016 1:13.81 15 and  over
2015  1:13.46 15 and  over
2014 1:15.67 13-14
2013 1:19.80 13-14
2012 1:21.88 11-12
2011 1:24.36 11-12
2010 1:35.08 9-10

That time would have won the Bronze medal at the 2014 CAC Games. Albury would had actually competed in that Championship final in Mexico was fifth in 1:14.06 which  shows the progress she has made in the last four years. She also falls just short of the automatic qualifying standard  0F 1:11.11for the 2019 PAN AM Games to be held in Lima Peru. She is also closing in on the 2018 Hangzhou China World  Short Course Swimming Championships and 2019 Gwangju Korea World Championships B standard of 1:09.79. That swim also saw her doing the breaststroke national record double as she also set the 200 metre breaststroke standard earlier in the competition.

When draftingthecaribbean contacted Higgs she spoke about her race strategy

“I was pleasantly surprised when I went a personal best and broke the national record in the 100 breast. I knew I couldn’t swim all out on the first 50, so I swam my race plan and it went well!”.

CHADÈ NERCISIO LOWERS NATIONAL RECORDS IN THE SPRINT BUTTERFLY AND BACKSTROKE EVENTS , CONTINUES TO LEAD THE CARIFTA REGION AS THE FASTEST AGE GROUP BUTTERFLIER OF ALL TIME

One swimmer who will be good form and  one of  the stars to watch at the upcoming Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla Colombia will be Curaçao’s Chadé Nercisio . At the recently concluded 2018 Michael Lohberg Invitational held in Coral Springs Florida Nercisio lowered her country’s national record in the 50 metre butterfly and 50 metre backstroke. Already the fastest age group 50 metre butterflier the CARIFTA region has ever produced with a time of 27.55 she reaffirmed her position with record breaking exploits in Florida.

chade-50-free-m-lyn
Chadé Nercisio starts her race Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

On Sunday June 17 the East Coast Aquatics Swimmer showed her hand in the morning preliminaries of what was to be expected in the Championship final when she put down a marker of 27.90. That was the third fastest time of her career and the fourth time under the 28 seconds barrier.

In the final of the 15 and over event she brought the heat and powered her way to a new PB, Age Group Record and Senior National record of 27.47. She won by more than half a second and it brings her closer to the 2018 Hangzhou China  World Short Course  Championships and the  2019 Gwangju , Korea World Long Course Championships B time of 27.26.Her time would have also won her the Bronze medal at the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz Mexico.

Winning the Silver was her teammate Madison Cummings who was timed in 28.02 PB and the Bronze went to Azura Florida Aquatics Patricia Casellas 28.60. Patricia recorded a PB of 28.56 in the heats.

Earlier at the meet she recorded national records in both the heats and final of the 50 metre backstroke as she clocked times of 31.07 and 30.32 .That was a big time drop from her previous personal best and national record of 32.32 that she recorded in the heats of the  2016 Caribbean Islands Swimming championships in The Bahamas. It would be another one two punch by the East Coast Aquatics Team as Cummings again took silver this time in 31.07. Bronze went to Solana Capalbo in a time of 31.62.

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CARIFTA region’s fastest ever age group 50 metre butterflier Chadé Nercisio at the 2018 Michael Lohberg Invitational Photo courtesy of East Coast Aquatics Club

When draftingthecaribbean contacted Nercisio she gave her thoughts about training heading into the competition and if she expecting those records

“Training has been really hard since summer started So no I was definitely not expecting those records. As a matter of fact i didn’t know they were records I just knew I dropped time”.

2018 REV NATIONAL SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS VICTORIA RUSSELL BREAKS THROUGH BUTTERFLY BARRIER WITH SUB 28 SECONDS GOLD MEDAL WINNING PERFORMANCE IN 50 METRE RACE

There were a number of breakthrough performances at the 2018 REV National swimming championships in Nassau last weekend and Plymouth Leander based  Victoria Russell  was determined to be counted among the elite at the competition.Russell performances have been on an upward trajectory as evidenced by her making her first international final in the 100 metre breaststroke at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games

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Victoria Russell finalist in the women’s 100 metre breaststroke at the Commonwealth Youth Games

Boasting a personal best of 28.93 at the start of the meet in the 50 metre butterfly Victoria qualified easily with the top time of 29.47. Later on in the Championship final on Sunday June 17 she would step up the standard of her swimming to another level. The Championship final would see Russell, who swam under the Alpha Aquatics banner, breaking the 28 seconds barrier to post a new personal standard of just over a second as she stopped the clock in a time of 27.92.

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Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace Photo courtesy of Mike Lewis

With the retirement of the legendary regional swimmer and Olympian  Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016) that puts Victoria as the fastest Bahamian in the event.It would also have placed her fifth at the 2014  Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz Mexico. She would win a complete set of medals at the Championships  and Personal best trifecta .This as she won Silver in the 50 metre freestyle in a personal best of 26.95 and Bronze in the 100 metre freestyle in yet another personal best time of 1:01.15.

When draftingthecaribbean contacted Russell on June 21 she spoke about training before Nationals and her impressions of her performances

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Victoria Russell Gold medallist in the Girls 15 and over 50 metre butterfly

“I swim for Plymouth Leander in England under the coaching of Coach Robin Armayan. I train approximately twenty hours a week to include swimming and gym work. I only entered three races at Nationals because I have CCCAN coming up in nine days. At the Bahamian National Swimming Championships I made a personal best time in the 50 metre butterfly and surpassed the Youth Olympic A qualifying cut. Going into the race I felt relaxed and comfortable knowing that I had the support of a large home crowd rooting for me to swim my best. I also achieved a personal best in the 50 metre freestyle breaking 27 seconds for the first time, with a time of 26.95”.