The first two days of the 2019 Christmas Open which started on Dec 19 at the National Stadium Pool in Kingston Jamaica saw national age group records broken by both Jamaican and Cayman Islands swimmers.
Jillian Crooks of the Camana Bay Aquatic Club was the leader in the record charge with records in two events. Crooks, who is of Jamaican parentage is in the 11-12 age group regionally but swim as her exact age of 13 for Cayman record purposes.
She is competing in the senior girls category. She lowered the 13-14 100 metre butterfly record of Olympian Heather Roffey. The old mark set in 2001 of 1:05.62 was lowered to 1:05.25 as Jillian won the open event by more than five seconds.
Swimming in the open age group continued to pay dividends as she lowered her record 50 metre butterfly of 30.08 to 29.75 in the heats . In the final it would be yet another Silver as she touched in 29.72. Gold wen to P’aige Lewis of the Y Speedos in 29.69.The old record of 31.36 belonged to Sarah Jackson set at the Summer Summer Senior Beach Splash in 2015
Nathaniel Thomas of Tornadoes lowered his 13-14 national record in the 100 metre butterfly . He lowered the 58.45 he set at the World Junior Championships in Europe to 58.36. In the open 50 metre butterfly he took down the 2011 age group record of 26.22 set by Olympian Timothy Wynter. He lowered the time to 26.16 in the morning heats. He would win the final in a time of 26.41.
Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Thomas , the 2019 CARIFTA 100 metre butterfly champions and got his thoughts about his record swims
“For the first day of the meet I was happy with my performance in the 100 metre butterfly as I broke the national record which I had previously set at the FINA World Juniors this year.Even though I wanted to go 57 I was still happy with my time”
Tornadoes Teammate Nelson Denny lowered Thomas’s 11-12 50 metre backstroke record from 29.99 to 29.64. Denny’s time would have won the Gold in the 11-12 backstroke at this year’s CARIFTA and CCCAN Championships. His time puts the national record as the second fastest amongst English speaking CARIFTA nations in that age group.
Only Zarek Wilson of Trinidad and Tobago who is competing at this meet is the faster with his 29.22 in 2018. Wilson, who competes for Blue Dolphins set a new personal best and meet record on the opening day of the meet with a time of 17:36.57 in the open 1500 metre freestyle.