The twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago made their first foray into swimming at the Commonwealth Games when the contingent of Laura de Neef , Geoffrey Ferriera and Johny Littlepage competed at the 1966 Games in Kingston Jamaica. Some 52 years later which has seen the participation 17 swimmers at 11 Games the  the medal podium breakthrough  has been made in the 50 metre butterfly.

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games: Day 2
2018 Commonwealth Games 50 metre butterfly podium from left to right Carter,Le Clos and Coetzee Photo courtesy of teamsa.co.za

After posting times of 23.62 in the heats and 23.90 in the semis ,Carter got the job done with a Silver medal winning performance of 23.67 to finish behind South African Chad Le Clos who took Gold in 23.37. The Bronze medal went to another South African Ryan Coetzee in 23.73.

World junior 50 fly medal podium
World Junior Swimming championships 50 metre butterfly podium from left to right Carter Silver medallist,Gold medallist Cameron Jones Australia, Bronze medallist Takaya Yasue Japan Photo courtesy of Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

Just as Carter had held his hand to be counted as one of the best with a Trinidad and Tobago and CARIFTA region first at the 2013 World Junior Championships in Dubai,United Arab Emirates where he won Silver in the same event he provided that chapter changing moment again at Optus Aquatic Centre on April 6 in Gold Coast Australia.  Coetzee, is another swimmer successfully navigating senior waters had placed fifth in the 2013 World Junior Championships in the same event.

Draftingthecaribbean spoke General Secretary of CCCAN Maureen Croes today and for asked her thoughts about the progress being made in Caribbean swimming and of Carter’s accomplishments

“Indeed a historic moment!

CCCAN is incredibly proud and excited about this medal. Over the past years, there have been several athletes in the aquatic disciplines from our region who have been able to break into the top. This is an indication that the aquatic disciplines are developing and improving and that our leaders, our coaches, our parents and our athletes are able to find ways to continue their development beyond the age group levels. I think that the combination of the financial help and the availability of clinics, schools and scholarships from FINA and Olympic Solidarity, the cooperation between CCCAN and UANA, and the more professional way that the federations in our region are approaching the aquatics, all contribute to the development.  I look forward to seeing more of our athletes winning medals and making finals at big meets like this one”.



There were doubts about how well Jamaica’s Emily MacDonald would do in the 200 metre freestyle as she was known in the region for sprinting exploits in the 11-12 age group .Her record underlined her sprint credentials 2016 CARIFTA Gold in the 50 and 100 free, Silver in the 100 freestyle last year.  She had never made a Championship final in the 200 metre freestyle before now.

On April 1 her PB stood at 2:14.70 and she crushed that to post the top time of 2:10.81 and claim the number one seed and Lane 4.Still doubt remained ,as surely the Championship final would be different as questions would be asked  of her sprint endurance over the last 100 metres. When the starter’s gun fired as expected it was MacDonald that surged to the front taking the early lead with the a split of 1:02.82 . She flipped and proceeded on the last 100 metres and persons awaited waning speed despite smooth and controlled swimming. They waited and waited. The only thing changing was the distance between Emily and the field .On the final turn she brought in her legs and changed gears and powered to the wall crushing her personal best and the 2009 CARIFTA record of Kimberlee John Williams of 2:09.51 to register a time 2:08.70 , the fastest time by a 13-14 girl at the CARIFTA Championships.

girls 200 free podium
13-14 200 metre freestyle podium from left to right Watson-Brown, MacDonald and Moore Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

Silver went to Logan Watson-Brown of Bermuda in 2:10.60 and the Bronze to Audrey Moore of the US Virgin Islands in 2:12.23.

Emily 200 free
Emily MacDonald 200 metre freestyle Gold medallist and Championship record holder Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

With expectations of her endurance firmly changed she is now closing in on a steady bearing on the national record of fellow Bolles alumna CARIFTA legend Olympian Janelle Atkinson (Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004) of 2:05.07 set way back on Dec 5,1997


Kael Yorke completed one stage of a feat that no other male swimmer has done in the 15-17 category twice and that is sweep all three butterfly races.

He made a positive start to that historic mission on Day one of the Championships on March 31 at the National Aquatic Centre by securing lane for the Championship final with a morning heats time of 56.43. He was the only swimmer under 57 seconds. Four other swimmers went under the 58 seconds barrier.

Kael Yorke Gold medallist
Kael Yorke with 2017 100 fly Gold Medal

The final saw the field tightly bunched at the 50 metre turn. What would be the difference would be a fantastic turn by Kael utilizing most of the 15 metre allowed underwater he pulled away from the pack.That would be the game changer as Yorke,  who is the reigning champion in the 200 metre event  would not tire. He held on to that advantage to take the crown in 55.57, a new personal best time.It also bettered the automatic qualifying time of 55.59 for the Youth Olympic Games.

Nichola Vale Silver
Nicholas Vale Silver medallist Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

Outside smoke Jamaican Nicholas Vale, swimming from Lane 1 recorded his first time under 57 seconds to clock 56.29 for the Silver, the fastest time by a Jamaican this year in the event. It is also the fastest time  recorded by a  Jamaican at CARIFTA.

Jesse Marsh
Bronze medallist Jesse Marsh Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn


Countryman Jesse Marsh joined the sub 57 seconds with a personal best of 56.52 , the third fastest time by a Jamaican so far.The previous best was 56.31 held by Luke Gunning. Both Jamaicans will now have the 2014 age group record of  55.56 Justin Plaschka in their sights.

Recording a personal best for fourth place was The Bahamas DaVante Carey in 57.17. The top four finishers were all under the Youth Olympics B qualifying time of 57.54.


In 2017 Kael Yorke of Trinidad and Tobago swept the butterfly titles at the  CARIFTA Championships at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Aquatic Centre in the Bahamas he will be chasing history as he will seek to the be the first male swimmer in the 15-17 age group to sweep the 50,100 and 200 butterfly crowns twice . The mission starts today at the National Aquatic Centre in Kingston Jamaica starting 9am local time .

Kael Yorke Gold medallist
Kael Yorke

Yorke has put himself in good stead for a rewrite of the history books with strong performances at the UANA Cup and his National championships. At UANA Championships in Florida he was the top CARIFTA performer in the butterfly with times 56.53 in the 100  which won him the Bronze and a Silver medal winning performance in the 50 of 25.52.

At his National championships all but the 50 were faster than his Gold medal winning exploits in Nassau.

Stroke CARIFTA Nationals
200 2:09.98 2:08.13
100 56.51 55.97
50 25.23 25.54
Izaak Bastian CARIFTA page
Izaak Bastian  Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque

He will not have things his own way and should expect strong challenges from teammate Jeron Thompson, Florida state commit and 2018 Commonwealth Games Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas , Jamaica’s Jesse Marsh and Curacao’s Mauricio Payne to name a few of the competitors in what is a competitive age group .At the moment Yorke is tied Martinique’s Matthias Bellance who had the swept the events at the 2011 Championships in Barbados with winning times of 25.13, 56.47 and 2:07.95. The question to be answered is will Yorke be able to fend off all rivals and be the first to achieve the butterfly triple double.


On Friday March 23,2018 Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympian Dylan Carter (Rio 2016) and his University of Southern California team won the school’s first ever 200 yard medley relay title in school record time.On the way to that maiden relay title Carter established himself as the second fastest performer on the butterfly leg in that event.

The then record stood at 1:23.90 from the preliminaries of the 2015 NCAA Division I championships. The personnel at that time  included Carter and fellow Olympian Canadian Santo Condorelli (Rio 2016)

backstroke Luca Spinazzola 20.99
breaststroke Morten Klarksov 24.00
butterfly Dylan Carter 20.03
freestyle Santo Condorelli 18.88

In the final that year the Trojans finished sixth in 1:24.08 and Dylan narrowly missed breaching the 20 seconds barrier again on the butterfly leg with 20.04 effort.

Fast forward to 2018 and that landmark would be breached as the 2018 team crushed the school standard with a total time of 1:22.76 to be the number one seed heading into the Championship final. The returning members of the record team would be Carter and Condorelli

backstroke Ralf Tribuntsov 20.93
breaststroke Carsten Vissering 23.38
butterfly Dylan Carter 19.97
freestyle Santo Condorelli 18.48

In the final there would be a change in the lineup with Robert Glinta doing lead off backstroke duties. The race started with Glinta touching in 21.15 to see the Trojans in sixth place. Breaststroker Vissering provided a game changing leg of 22.58, the fastest ever to put the Trojans ahead. Carter responded with the third fastest butterfly leg of all time 19.60 and fastest on the night to  give Condorelli the lead he needed to seal the win in a new school and pool record of 1:21.82. That was just enough to hold off California in 1:21.88 and Florida with a rampaging Caleb Dressel of Florida who recorded a mind boggling 17.37 split for a total time of 1:22.33.

backstroke Robert Glinta 21.15
breaststroke Carsten Vissering 22.58
butterfly Dylan Carter 19.60
freestyle Santo Condorelli 18.49
Carter Nov
Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of usctrojans.com

That butterfly split has the Dylan as the second fastest performer behind Singaporean Olympic Gold medallist Joseph Schooling who owns the top 2 times from the 2016 and 2017 Championships

JS businessinsider
Joseph Schooling Photo courtesy of businessinsider.com
Date Swimmer split
March 2016  Joseph Schooling 19.36
March 2017 Joseph Schooling 19.45
March 2018 Dylan Carter 19.60

That relay win also moves Carter

2014 Dylan Carter 800 yard freestyle relay 6:13.09
2015 Dylan Carter 400yard  freestyle relay 2:47.06
2015 Dylan Carter 800 yard freestyle relay 6:11.64
2018 Dylan Carter 200 yard medley relay 1:21.82

from a tie with the Cayman Islands’ Olympian Shaune Fraser (Beijing 2008, London 2012) for the most NCAA crowns .

Shaune Fraser
Shaune Fraser Photo courtesy of shaunefraser.com
Date Swimmer event Time
2009 Shaune Fraser 200 yard freestyle 1:31.70
2009 Shaune Fraser 200 yard butterfly 1:40.75
2010 Shaune Fraser 200 yard butterfly 1:41.45
Anthony Nesty
Anthony Nesty Photo courtesy of olympic.org

He is now equal with Suriname’s 1988 Olympic Gold medallist in the 100 metre butterfly Anthony Nesty( LA 1984, Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992)  with four titles. Both  swimmers represented Florida.

1990 Anthony Nesty 100 yard butterfly 46.62
1991 Anthony Nesty 100 yard butterfly 47.00
1992 Anthony Nesty 100 yard butterfly 46.78
1990 Anthony Nesty 200 yard butterfly 1:43.46
George Bovell
Goerge Bovell III Photo courtesy of sportsmax.tv

The record is held by another legendary regional swimmer, his countryman 2004 Olympic Bronze medallist in the 200 IM George Bovell III (Sydney 2000,Athens 2004,Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016) ,who competed for Auburn.

2003 George Bovell III 200 yard IM 1:42.66
2004 George Bovell III 200 scm freestyle relay 1:23.75
2004 George Bovell III 400 scm freestyle relay 3:08.85
2004 George Bovell III 200 scm IM (former World record) 1:53.93
2006 George Bovell III 200  yard freestyle relay 1:16.15

The 200 yard freestyle saw the outgoing senior making yet another Championship final. He made his way to the medal  race with a season best time of 1:32.30 (split time 44.56). In that final he would finish seventh in a time of 132.68 (split time 44.29) . He still remains however the third fastest performer of all time with a time of 1:30.95(split time 43.79 ) leading off the Trojans 800 yard freestyle relay team last year.





Night two of the NCAA Division I championships on Thursday March 22 in Minnesota  saw Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympian Dylan Carter earning a Bronze medal in the 400 yard medley relay in school record time as well as setting another school record in the 200 yard freestyle relay. He would also set a season best in the 50 yard freestyle.

The 2018 University of Southern California 400 yard medley relay championship team finished one place better than 2017 to earn the Bronze. In a very tight battle for the medals the quartet of Ralf Tribuntsov backstroke 45.01, Carsten Vissering breaststroke 50.90,Carter butterfly 44.71 and Santo Condorelli freestyle 41.21 swam to a time of 3:01.83. That beat the old record of 3:02.20 set in last year’s Championship final. At that time Carter had split 44.81 on the butterfly leg. Indiana won the event in a pool record of 3:01.07 with Silver going to North Carolina State in 3:01.76.

Instagram USC 200 yard freestyle
New Trojan school record holders in the 200 yard freestyle relay from left to right Grissom,Carter,Tribuntsov and Condorelli Photo courtesy of uscswim on Instagram

In the morning heats of the 200 yard freestyle relay the Environmental Studies Major lowered his season best of 19.40 (split time 9.37) to register 19.29( split time 9.33) to help guide the Trojans to the Championship final . The team recorded a preliminaries time of 1:16.05. In the final he was handed the second leg duties. The team of Condorelli 18.98,Carter 18.69,Tribuntsov 18.84,and Kyle Grissom 19.21 bettered the school record of 1:15.85 with a swim of 1:15.72 to place fifth. That equaled Carter’s best placing with the 400 medley relay team in 2015.Dylan also lowered his best freestyle split at the meet. His previous best was 18.74 on the second leg in the Championship final.

Dylan Carter instagram freestyle
Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of uscswim on Instagram
Date Time split Leg Place
2015 1:16.55 18.74 2nd 5th
2015 1:15.85 heats 18.82 2nd
2018 1:15.72 18.69 2nd 5th
2018 1:16.05 heats 19.29 1st


As it was in 2017 so it was at the 2018 NCAA Division I Championships in Minnesota which saw Trinidad and Tobago’s  Joshua Romany anchoring the Indiana 200 freestyle relay to a new school record.

Joshua Romany hoosiers
Joshua Romany Photo courtesy of iuhoosiers.com

At the 2017 NCAA Division I Championships Romany anchored the Hoosiers relay to 1:16.53 during the heats of the event. His split at that time was 19.24.On Thursday March 22 during the heats he again anchored the team with a split of 19.35 to a time of 1:16.55, putting the school standard on notice.

That team performance gave the squad a second swim. In that B final the Hoosiers would ensure that time would be lowered . The quartet of Ali Khalafalla 19.40,Blake Pieroni 18.88,Bruno Blaskovic 18.83 and Romany 19.20 set a new school best of 1:16.31. His quicker split this year is further evidence of his progression as a swimmer in senior waters.