On the third day of the Christmas Open Nathan Wright gave to Western Jamaica and himself a new national mark. Competing in the 9-10 50 metre freestyle on Saturday Dec 21 stroked his way to a new all-time Jamaica best of 29.18.He downed the old national mark of 29.27 set by Brady McPherson -Lewison at this meet in 2018. The youngster who represents the Sailfish Swim club also shattered the meet record of 32.04 by his teammate Benjamin Davis.Nathan is the only swimmer from the Western end of Jamaica to hold an individual national age group record.
THE ROAD TO THE NATIONAL RECORD
The 9-10 boys record stood for 28 years before falling in 2018.The mark was held by Tshaka Douglas who swam for the Y Speedos and dominated the 9-10 age group .
Nathan would also crush the 200 individual medley of 3:10.65 in a close battle with Zach Andre Johnson of the Y Speedos 2:55.42 to 2:55.47.
There would be a national record scare in the 50 metre breaststroke during the morning heats. This as Joseph Black of the Tornadoes swim club came close to taking down the nearly decade old senior national record of 29.38 set by Brad Hamilton.
Hamilton, who also represented Tornadoes set the mark at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games . Black, who is a sophomore at Kenyon College blitzed the field to set a mark of 29.62. He is the first Jamaican to break the 30 seconds mark in the event for the seven years. Black who scratched the final is also leading the North Atlantic Conference for the Lords with his 50 yard breaststroke time of 25.58. That time also has Black as the third fastest swimmer in the event for Division III.
Another notable highlight was the record set by the Swimaz Aquatic club quartet of twins Raine and Brooke Hopkins,Safiya Officer and Britney Williams. They took almost 30 seconds off the old meet record to set a new standard of 9:21.13.
Zarek Wilson of the Blue Dolphins of Trinidad and Tobago set the meet record in the 200 metre butterfly in the heats with a time 2:17.26 before securing the Gold in the final with a time of 2:21.65. Wilson has never lost the race in Jamaica and has swum faster on each occasion he has visited the island.His record in Jamaica now stands at five from five. Wilson set the fastest 11-12 mark in the race ever done in Jamaica in 2018.
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.
recently concluded Dean Martin Memorial swim meet in Kingston Jamaica saw the
continued rise of Cayman’s Jordan Crooks.
The only swimmer with senior level international meet credentials to his resume he showed his class with a six Gold medal performance all in meet record time.
the land of the sprinters Jordan crossed the 24 seconds barrier in the 50 metre
freestyle to be the fastest ever swimmer at this meet in 23.87. He easily
crushed his 2018 record in the 15 -16 age group of 24.60. The swim takes on
even greater significance as this is his season opener in the 50 metre pool and
he was battling illness at the time of his 50 metre blast.
Camana Bay Aquatics swimmer started his Gold medal run at the meet in the 100
metre backstroke lowering both the meet record of 1:03.75 and his personal best
of 1:02.27 to 1:01.70 .
reigning CARIFTA Champion in the 200 metre freestyle Crooks crushed the meet
record of 2:01.75 to become the first person under 2 minutes at the meet with a
time of 1:58.98.
smashed his meet record and his old personal best of 52.36 set at the 2019
World Championships in Gwangju South Korea to stop the clock in 52.26.At the
2019 CARIFTA Championships in Barbados earlier this year he won the Silver
medal in this event in 53.24.
would be a big personal best in the 100 metre butterfly when he took more than
a second off his personal best to land the Gold in 57.60 destroying his meet
record of 59.83.
In an event he rarely competes in the 400 metre freestyle Jordan set a new personal best and meet record of 4:30.30.The last time he swam it was in 2017 at this meet where he was was timed in 4:46.58.
got his reaction to his efforts over the weekend
“I was very satisfied with my races this weekend.My results were better than I initially expected.I think my stamina has room for improvement in races like the 100 and 200 metre freestyle.The 50 metre freestyle was my favorite race of the meet and I was happy with the result”.
The 50 metre freestyle series proved to be quite quick as Zaneta Alvaranga of the Kaizen swim club set yet another sprint national record when she lowered the 13-14 standard in the 50 metre freestyle held by Emily MacDonald to 26.34 .She bettered the 26.44 set at the CAC Games in 2018. With the swim she now assumes the mantle of the fastest swimmer from the CARIFTA region. Zaneta had won the 13-14 CARIFTA sprint title in 26.76. Her swim this past weekend would have won her the Gold in the 15-17 age group and puts her in touching distance of the 15-17 record of 26.12 by Olympian Chinyere Pigot of Suriname.
Fastest CARIFTA region 13-14 Girls
In the 13-14 boys 2019 CARIFTA and CCCAN Champion Nathaniel Thomas beat his meet record of 25.12 with a swim of 24.72. That also bettered the 24.87 he produced to win the CARIFTA title in Barbados earlier this year. It speaks to the possibility of a sub 24 seconds swim in 2020. Nathaniel was also faster than his CARIFTA Gold medal performance in the 100 metre butterfly 59.10 compared to 59.22. He was also joined under the minute mark by Kaheem Lozer of Kaizen who produced a huge personal best to touch in 59.92.
the 11-12 girls race Jillian, sister of Jordan took the event in 27.71.That swim
would have won the Gold medal in Barbados in her age group.
With her victories as this meet she has put a number of her national records on notice if given the chance to swim in the Olympic sized pool again before 2020.
One of the swimmers from the West making a name for his name at the meet was Nathan Wright of the Sailfish Swim Academy. He won the splash and dash in 29.76 lowering the meet standard of 29.83. In his sights for the the rest of the calendar year will be the national record of 29.27.
The morning session of Day Three of the Walter Rogers Age Group Champs had as the highlight the obliteration of the girls 13-14 400 metre freestyle relay record by the Tornadoes team.
Since 2011 the old record had stood to the visiting Stingrays Swim Club of the Cayman Islands .The standard had stood to the team of Bethany Cleaver,Coral Tomascik,Lois Moody and Danielle Boothe. On Saturday Feb 23 the Tornadoes team of Isabella Sierra, Ireland Hunter, Aliyah Heaven and Sabrina Lyn laid waste to that time as they stopped the clock in a time of 4:16.80.They recorded the fastest female relay time of the day as well as beating back their opposition by more than 30 seconds.
Their teammates in the 13-14 boys age category got in on the record breaking act with a new standard setting swim of their own.The record in their sights belonged the 2015 Tornadoes team of Alex Mignott,Sean -Douglas Gooden,Jonathan Lyn and Jesse Marsh of 3:58.91.The team of Zachary Jackson-Blaine,Adrian Balfour,Daniel Mair and Nathaniel Thomas lowered that time to 3:57.85.
The fastest relay time of the day was posted by the Y Speedos team of Jordane Payne,Chester Adams, Akeem Alleyne and Kyle Sinclair of 3:52.33.
In the 200 metre series Sean Douglas-Gooden of Tornadoes won his seventh title breaststroke in the event over the last eight years in a time of 2:40.57. Since his last year of 11-12 Gooden has been unbeaten save for a disqualification in 2015.
Britney Williams of Swimaz Aquatics , the fastest ever locally trained mid to long distance freestyler and the defending CARIFTA champion ensured she was unbeaten in her three years of the 15-17 category as she took her event in a season best of 2:12.61.
There were also a number of close races as Safiya Officer of Swimaz just outlasted Sierra of Tornadoes in the girls 13-14 200 metre freestyle 2:22.52 to 2:22.98.Nathaniel Thomas got the decision over teammate Daniel Mair in the boys 13-14 race 2:08.35 to 2:08.85.
The fastest times of the day came from Y Speedos duo of Kyle Sinclair and Chester Adams who battled to the wall in times of 2:03.72 and 2:04.14 respectively.Other Gold medals decided in the morning were
The second night of action at the 2019 Walter Rogers Age Group Championships got underway on the perfect note in the very first event contested , the girls 11-12 100 metre breaststroke. This as Kokolo Foster of the Tornadoes Swim club stormed to victory in the event with an advantage of almost ten seconds to set a new 11-12 age group record of 1:18.51 (split time .
That performance lowered the 2009 Championship record held by Danielle Boothe of 1:20.31. Boothe would go on to have a very successful CARIFTA championships that year in Aruba winning Three Gold , Four Silver and a Bronze. In Aruba Boothe would set the former national record of 1:19.89 en route to the Gold medal.In that 11-12 breaststroke final included The Bahamas Laura Morley of Indiana and Aruba Daniela Van Den Berg of Florida State University are currently competing in the Big Ten and Atlantic Coast (ACC) Conferences NCAA Division I .In Boothe’s lasting outing for Jamaica she was part of the record setting 400 metre medley relay team that competed at the 2015 PAN American Games
The Gold in girls 13-14 age group went to Foster’s teammate Sabrina Lyn who lowered her championship record of 1:18.42 that she set in the heats to 1:17.51 to take Gold.
The 15 and over Gold medal was won by another swimmer who competed at CARIFTA 2009, Octivia Gray of the Marlins Swim Club .She turned back the hands of time to take the win in 1:25.76. In 2009 she had won the Bronze medal in this event in a time of 1:21.61
The fastest time of the night came from Chester Adams of the Y Speedos who won in a personal best time of 1:10.90 to take the 15 and over crown.
Other Gold medallists on the night were
8 & under
Event Age Name Time Club 100 metre breaststroke 11-12 Dirk Harrison 1:26.61 Y Speedos 100 metre breaststroke 13-14 Joshua Mair 1:18.85 Tornadoes 50 metre backstroke 8 & under Adlai Nixon 46.91 Swimaz
As it was on the first two days of the 2018 Dean Martin Memorial meet in Kingston Jamaica so it was on the final day Sunday October 28 where Jillian Crooks of Camana Bay Aquatics continued the constant assault on the Cayman Islands 11-12 age group records.
In her first event of the day she raised the bar for her age group in the 100 metre butterfly. The 11-12 meet record stood to Jamaican standout Zaneta Alvaranga at 1:08.85 in 2017 which was also the fastest time by a female swimmer at the meet, Jillian’s 11-12 Cayman record was 1:06.87 from her CCCAN Gold medal performance in Aruba and the best ever 11-12 time in Jamaica was 1:05.98 by another wunderkind Bermuda’s Elan Daley in her Gold medal winning performance at CARIFTA 2018. Jillian would blast through all of those times to record a winning time of 1:04.54. Her opening split of 30.21 almost broke her 50 metre butterfly record of 30.08.Crooks has made considerable progress since her first regional meet of 2018 which was UANA where she recorded a time of 1:12.43.
Still in only her first year of the 11-12 age group she is already faster than the Cayman Islands 13-14 record held by Olympian Heather Roffey (Athen 2004) of 1:05.62 and is closing fast on the senior record of Lara Butler (Rio 2016) of 1:04.10. Her winning time at Dean Martin would have won her the Silver medal in the boys race at CARIFTA earlier in the year
She would not finish with her record breaking in the butterfly but also extended that to the 200 metre backstroke. Jillian would slice a few hundredths off her PB and national record of 2:33.98 to register a winning time of 2:33.91 . That now stands at the 11-12 record and fastest ever female time of the meet. The old 11-12 meet record was held by Kendese Nangle of the Blue Seals swim club from 2007 who posted a time of 2:42.95.
She would close out the meet with a meet record in the 50 metre freestyle record of 27.78 just eclipsing the 2016 meet record of 27.79 by CAC and Youth Olympics representative Emily MacDonald of Swimaz Aquatics. Crooks now dominates the LCM record board for the Cayman Islands in the 11-12 age group and has a chance to lower the CARIFTA and CCCAN records in those events in 2019.
50 metre freestyle
100 metre freestyle
200 metre freestyle
50 metre backstroke
100 metre backstroke
200 metre backstroke
100 metre breaststroke
50 metre butterfly
100 metre butterfly
200 metre IM
Continuing his own meet record smashing streak was Zarek Wilson of the Blue Dolphins Swim club of Trinidad and Tobago. He recorded the fastest ever time at the meet of 4:30.45 while destroying the 11-12 record of Sean -Douglas Gooden of 4:51.45.In his final event of the competition he clocked 26.20 just missing the 2017 record of 26.16 set by Nathaniel Thomas of the Tornadoes swim club.
In one of the most exciting races of the day in the 13-14 age group in the 100 metre butterfly which saw the 2018 CARIFTA Silver medallist Zaneta Alvaranga of the Kaizen Swim Club in a head to head battle with the 2018 CCCAN Gold medallist and national record holder Sabrina Lyn of the Tornadoes. It would be Alvaranga’s fast opening 50 metres that proved to be the difference as she held off a late charge from Lyn. They would finish in times of 1:05.24 and 1:05.56 well under the 2008 record of 1:10.86. Also finishing under the record was P’aige Lewis of the Y Speedos who recorded a time of 1:10.57.
Alvaranga would return to close out her individual races with an emphatic win in the 50 metre freestyle in a time of 27.23 . That shattered the 2016 meet record of 28.38 by 2018 Commonwealth Games competitor Alison Jackson of the Stingrays Swim Club of the Cayman Islands.The performance will also stand as the fastest ever female time at the meet.
Also in record standard setting mode was Thomas of the Tornadoes Swim Club in the 13-14 age category. In the 100 metre butterfly he set a new personal best time of 1:00.54 to take the win and break the meet record of 1:01.80. He would top the 13-14 field in the 50 metre freestyle with a time of 25.12 ,just under the old record of 25.16 in yet another personal best.He will be targeting the 2004 national record of 24.47 set by another Tornadoes swimmer Brad Hamilton.
In the 15-16 category Jordan Crooks of Camana Bay Aquatics produced the meet’s first ever sub minute swim in the 100 metre butterfly when he touched the pads in 59.83.In the 15 and over category of the 50 metre freestyle he held off two members of Jamaica’s national record setting 15-17 200 metre freestyle team at CARIFTA Jordan Hines of the Tornadoes Swim Club and Kyle Sinclair of the Y Speedos to be the fastest sprinter in the history of the meet. He cut through the water to touch in 24.60. Hines was a touch back in 24.61 and Sinclair ,the final sub 25 seconds swimmer with a 24.80. Both Jordans won their respective 15-16 and 17-18 age groups.
The Y Speedos Swim club retained their crown with 845 points followed by the Tornadoes Swim club with 745 and the Marlins swim club third with 256 points.
The afternoon session of the Dean Martin Memorial Swim meet on October 27 saw Jillian Crooks of Camana Bay Aquatics again breaking more Cayman Islands 11-12 national records. Joining her in the record breaking party was Zarek Wilson of the Blue Dolphins of Trinidad and Tobago who also lowered the English speaking record 11-12 butterfly record.
It would be Wilson who started the record breaking in the 200 metre butterfly. Zarek already held the fastest English speaking Caribbean mark in the 11-12 age group when he had set the bar at 2:20.25 at meet earlier in the month. As the race was open he would test his skills with older swimmers . He did not waste the opportunity as he and Jordane Payne of the Y Speedos battled for the majority of the race for supremacy. In the end it would Wilson prevailing and becoming the first 11-12 English speaking swimmer under 2:20. He touched in a time of 2:17.82 .
Records bettered on the way to his new mark was the meet standard of 2:33.52 set by Nathaniel Thomas and the fastest time set in Jamaica by an 11-12 boy of 2:22.71 in 2013 by Damon St Prix at CARIFTA 2013. Also downed was the fastest time recorded at the meet of 2:20.91 by Payne in 2017. When he was in Jamaica for the CARIFTA Championships and won this event he had recorded a time of 2:23.22. In his sights before he enters the 13-14 age group will be the all time 11-12 CCCAN record of 2:15.69 set by Mexico’s Joshua Laisequilla in 2011. Payne would top the 15-16 swimmers and better his own record with a clocking of 2:20.86.
Zarek would also record the fastest time for the meet when he won the 400 IM in a time of 5:18.30. That bettered the 2015 mark of 5:24.99 held by Zachary Moore of the Stingray Swim Club of the Cayman Islands.
Crooks would set her national marks in the 200 metre freestyle and 100 metre breaststroke. In the freestyle event would see Crooks, the 2018 CCCAN Bronze medallist in event battling with the CCCAN Gold medallist and national record holder Jamaican Morgan Cogle of Jupiter Dragons. Crooks would take the win in Kingston as both swimmer went under the 2016 record of 2:19.16 held by the former Jamaican national record holder in the event Emily MacDonald of Swimaz. Crooks would touch in 2:15.17 with Cogle second in 2:17.00. Crooks previous best and national record from CCCAN stood at 2:16.95.
In the 100 metre breaststroke she was not the first to wall as Kokolo Foster of the Tornadoes Swim club lead her to the pads in a time of 1:23.18. Jillian touched just behind in 1:23.60. Both swimmers bettered the 2008 record of 1:24.19 held by Octivia Gray of the Marlins Swim Club. Crooks bettered the 2015 national record of Alison Jackson of 1:24.96.
Brother Jordan , a 2018 Youth Olympics competitor and flag bearer would also set meet marks in Kingston . He took down the record in the 15-16 boys 100 metre freestyle of 55.48 with a time of 54.42. Battling him to the wall was Kyle Sinclair of the Y Speedos timed in 55.02. In the same race teammates from the Tornadoes Swim Club Jordan Hines and Sean -Douglas Gooden topped the 17-18 division with swims of 57.41 and 58.26 respectively and were both under the meet standard of 59.26.
The 200 metre freestyle would see Jordan lowering the 15-16 mark of 2:05.00 by Stingrays Jonathan Key and recording the best time ever done at Dean Martin with a 2:01.05 performance (split time 58.68).
Cogle would bounce back from the 200 freestyle to record the fastest time ever done by a girl at the meet when she stopped the clock in 5:39.56. that swim broke the 11-12 record of 5:47.56 by Ria Plunkett of the Stingrays Swim Club in 2015.It is also faster than the best mark ever at the meet , the 15-16 record of 5:39.99 by Breanna Roman of Swimaz Aquatics.
Other notable records on the day saw the Tornadoes duo of Sabrina Lyn and Sean -Douglas Gooden taking down the breaststroke records in the 13-14 and 17-18 age groups respectively with swims of 1:19.74 and 1:11.45.
Lyn also lowered the 200 metre butterfly record for good measure in a time of 2:41.67 .Last year she had set the 11-12 record with a time of 2:46.66.