Day One of the 2018CAC ( Central American and Caribbean) Games saw Olympian Alia Atkinson leading the way for Team Jamaica with Gold in the 100 metre breaststroke in Games Record time. Setting new national marks would be Keanan Dols as well as the 400 metre mixed medley relay team of Dols ,Atkinson,Luke Gunning and Emily MacDonald.
After bettering her old Games record of 1:10.24 in the morning heats Atkinson was the second seed with a 1:08.00. Also under the record was Byanca Rodriquez Villanuev who just edged Alia with a time of 1:07.99.The two ladies swam in the last of the morning heats side by side.Rodriquez Villanuev had gained the early advantage then with a split of 31.28 to Atkinson’s 31.32. So the setting was clear for the final as it would be between Byanca and Alia. In the Championship final there would be no synchronized swimming as Alia got her customary bullet start and gave the field too much to handle with a split of 30.85. After an excellent pullout she also turned in the best last 50 metre of 35.98 to ensure that the CAC Games record remained in Jamaica with a final time of 1:06.83.With the that win she breaks the tie with Mexico’s Silvia Rivero who won the titles in 1982 and 1986 as she now has crowned herself Queen on three occasions 2006, 2010 and now 2018. She is still the only woman from the CARIFTA region to medal in the event. Silver went to Rodriquez Villanuev in 1:07.80 and her countrywoman Esther Gonzalez Medina in 1:10.60. Her record swim also puts her as the 11th fastest swimmer in the world so far.Her swim qualifies her automatically for the 2019 Lima PAN AM Games as well as the 2019 Gwangju World Champs and 2018 Hangzhou World Short Course Champs.
In the morning heats of the 400 mixed medley relay the team of Dols, Atkinson ,Luke Gunning and MacDonald established a new national mark of 4;02.47 to qualify for the Championship final. In leading off the team with his backstroke leg Dols became the Jamaican swimmer under 56 seconds as he clocked 55.78.
That lowered the mark of 56.15 set by Olympian Timothy Wynter at 2016 Caribbean Islands Swimming championships.It automatically qualifies him for the 2019 PAN Games. It was just off the CAC 100 metre backstroke Games record of 55.48. It is also under the B standard of 55.95 for the 2019 World Championships The team would be even faster in the final as they had a total time of 4:01.90 to place fifth.
Dols would be swim in another Championship final as swam in the 200 metre butterfly event. He qualified for the medal race with a new personal best of 2:01.32 (split time of 58.06). In the final he would place eighth in the second best time of his career of 2:02.41. National record holder in the event Michael Gunning still feeling the effects of jet lag clocked 2:03.23 in the heats to qualify for the B final. In that race he was fourth in a time of 2:03.64.Both Keanan and Michael were well under the 2019 PAN AM B time of 2:07.77
Making her senior international debut Bryanna Renuart made her first final in the 100 metre breaststroke. The University of Miami (Ohio) bound swimmer recorded the second fastest time of her career 1:15.13 (split time 34.65) to qualify for the B Final. In that race she was just off her morning swim to place fifth in 1:15.50, the fourth best time in her life.Her morning swim was under the 2019 PAN AM B time of 1:15.38.
Luke Gunning who was a member of the national record breaking relay team swam his first individual race in the Black,Green and Gold in the 100 metre freestyle placed 33rd in a time of 53.42 (split time 25.73).He was just off the 2019 PAN Games B time of 52.79