Day 3 of the NCAA Division I Championships saw Aruban Olympian Mikel Schreuders and Jamaican Justin Plaschka achieving their best ever placings at the NCAA Division I championships in the 200 yard freestyle and 100 yard butterfly respectively.
Competing in the heats of the 200 yard freestyle at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis the Oranjestad native Schreuders split 46.38 on his way to a total time of 1:34.26 for 23rd place. That is a better placing position than 2016 when he finished 27th overall in a time of 1:35.27 (split time 46.24). The improved time is clear indication of University of Missour improved sprint endurance. Mikel was also just off his personal best time of 1:34.06.
Plaschka’s best performance at the NCAA Division I championships was his 2016 debut effort of 47.26 9 (split time 21.73). That swim had placed him 41st overall. This year he was under the 47 seconds mark posting a time of 46.84 (split time 21.53). Plaschka is the fastest Jamaican of all time in the 100 butterfly in yards, short course metres (25 metre pool) and long course metres.
100 yard butterfly
100 scm butterfly
100 lcm butterfly
The Fighting Irish 200 yard medley relay, with Justin on the butterfly leg (split 20.39) finished 24th in a time of 1:26.20. That is the fastest time by Notre Dame at the Championships in over 5 years.
The second day of competition on Thursday March 23 at the 2017 NCAA Division I Championships in Indiana saw Suriname’s Raiz Tjon-A- Joe and Aruba’s Mikel Schreuders helping their teams secure second swims in the 200 yard freestyle relay.
Raiz, a freshman at Texas A&M University handled the anchor leg duties for the Aggies in the morning heats. He swam 19.95 to help them secure 15 place overall in a time of 1:17.59 .That team performance was not far off the school record of 1:17.37. The team without Raiz in the afternoon secured 4th place in the B final in a time of 1:17.19 breaking the school record. The Aggies had not qualified a team in this event last year.
Schreuders also only swam in the preliminaries of the 200 yard freestyle relay. He too was entrusted with anchor leg duties. He recorded a 19.61 split to help the University of Missouri Tigers set a total time of 1:16.78 and break the 2016 school record of 1:16.87 to place 7th overall. The team would retain the same place and record the exact same time of 1:16.78.
Mikel, who is a sophomore, competing in the 50 yard freestyle for the first time at the NCAA Division I championships placed 47th in the 50 yard freestyle in a personal best time of 20.13 .That bettered his previous personal standard of 20.15 set this year at the SEC (Southeastern Conference Championships).
The first day of the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming Championships on Wednesday March 22, 2017 saw competitors in action in the 800 yard freestyle relay .The competition being held at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis saw Aruban Mikel Schreuders lead off the University of Missouri Tigers to a total team time of 6:18.62.
The team of Mikel Schreuders 1:34.71, Carter Griffin 1:34.60, Nick Davis 1:34.95 and Sam Coffman 1:34.36 just missed the school record of 6:18.25.The Tigers placed 16th overall. Their 2017 performance made it the 2nd year in a row that the Tigers were scoring in the 800 yard freestyle. The 2016 record setting team also included Schreuders. Prior to their 2016 performance the Tigers had not scored in that event in more than 6 years.
The Aruban team campaign underway today Dec 6 at the 13th World Short Course Swimming championships in Windsor Canada. The team comprises of 3 swimmers Jordy Groters, Daniella Van Den Berg and Allyson Ponson .The official are Team Manager Maureen Croes , Team Coach Andy Grevers. Officiating at the meet is Ronald Leito.
Ponson would be the first from her nation as she contested the heats of the 200 metre freestyle. She swam to a new national record of 2:03.67 (split time 59.44). That swim placed her 44th overall. It bettered her 2012 World Championships performance of 2:06.07 where she finished 51st. When asked about her swim Allyson said
“It was a great way to start of the week. Looking forward to my favorite events later this week”.
Groters raced in the heats of the 100 metre breaststroke. He also set a new standard for Aruba when he touched the wall in a time of 1:00.06 (split time 28.07) to finish 43rd. He bettered his 2012 placing and time of 56th and 1:02.98. After his record breaking swim the University of Missouri junior said
“I was excited to race my favorite event on Day one. I am pumped to be swimming on the world stage and finishing in the better 50% of my event adds to the excitement. It felt good, and I am looking forward to see what the rest of the week will bring me”.
Team mate Daniella van den Berg will begin her World Championships with the 800 metre freestyle tomorrow.
As the final qualification date for Rio Olympic qualification gets closer the CARIFTA region swimmers continue to better their national records as they seek to book their tickets to Brazil. Jordy Groters of Aruba, Dustin Tynes of the Bahamas and Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago are the latest crop of swimmers to lead an assault on their countries record books.
The results we are seeing now from our top swimmers are the culmination of yards of hard work, training and dedication. In the breaststroke discipline two swimmers Jordy Groters and Dustin Tynes have honed their craft to the point where each year has seen improvement in the 100 metre event. Since 2009 both swimmers have competed through the 11-12 ranks to the 15-17 category at the CARIFTA championships along the way they have set Championship records. Both competed at the PAN Games in 2015 in Toronto and the World Long Course Championships in Kazan .After representing their schools Missouri (Groters) and Ohio State (Tynes) with distinction at the recent 2016 NCAA Division 1 Championships they would compete in a 2016 Georgie Tech Men’s Collegiate Invitational long course meet on Sunday March 27.
Tynes, already under the Olympic B qualifying time of 1:02.69 would better his national record yet again .At the PAN Games in Toronto where he set both the 50 and 100 metre standards in one race he would do the same in Georgia. Going out in 28.39 at the 50 metre mark he bettered his July 2015 mark of 28.55. Coming home he would become possibly the first man from the region under 1:02 as he hit the wall in 1:01.56 .That time was under the Rio B time of 1:02.69 and less than a second away from the automatic qualifying time of 1:00.57. That performance would have placed him 28th at the 2012 London Olympic Games and 29th at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Groters would not be left out of the record breaking as he took out the race slower than his national record pace of 29.64 with a 29.78 split .But he would carry it home faster than he did in Kazan Russia with a 33.44 last leg. That put him at 1:03.22 under his old mark of 1:03.64 and ever closer to the Rio 2016 B time.
At the London 2012 Olympic Games George Bovell III of Trinidad and Tobago swimming in lane 8 won heat 2 of the 100 metre backstroke in a time of 55.22.With that performance he put up possibly the best time ever done by a swimmer from the CARIFTA region in that event. In 2013 countryman Dylan Carter came close to that at the World Junior Swimming Championships in Dubai with a 55.36. At the senior World Championships in Russia in 2015 he would be tantalizingly close when he stopped the clock in 55.24.On Wednesday April 6 at the Canadian Olympic Trials at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre he made no doubt who is possibly the fastest man ever from the CARIFTA region in the event. Swimming only the morning heat Carter became the first swimmer from Trinidad and Tobago to go under the 55 seconds barrier. He touched in a new national senior record of 54.94 .That performance is well under the RIO B time of 56.26 and just off the automatic qualifying mark of 54.36.That swim would have placed him 26th at the London 2012 Olympics and 23rd at the Beijing Games.
The NCAA recently held their Division 1 Swimming championships for both men and women, 5 of the CARIFTA region’s best competing at the collegiate level were selected for this prestigious meet.
Those 5 were Joanna Evans (Bahamas) University of Texas, Jordy Groters (Aruba) University of Missouri, Mikel Schreuders (Aruba) University of Missouri, Dustin Tynes (Bahamas) Ohio State University Justin Plaschka (Jamaica) University of Notre Dame.
Evans, a Longhorns freshman had a fantastic debut season. In her main events during the regular season she never finished less than 5th in her strongest events the 500, 1000 and 1650 yard freestyle. Also that 5th place only occurred once. In the 500 yard freestyle she finished either won or finished 2nd 7times.In the 7 1000 yard freestyle races she contested she won all but one race where she finished 2nd.In the 1650 yard freestyle she won 2 of her 3 races while she finished 2nd in the other.
At the NCAA Division championships which was held from March 16-19 at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology. Evans contested the 200, 500 and 1650 yard freestyle events. In the 200 yard freestyle race she went out in 51.87 and came back to stop the clock in 1:46.26 for a new personal best .She would place 34th overall and be the highest placed Longhorn in that event.
The 500 yard freestyle saw the Evans splitting the race at 2:17.49 .She finished the race in a total time of 4:40.65.Joanna was just off her season and personal best of 4:39.97.The Bahamian distance standout missed the consolation finals by a mere 0.18 of second. She would finish 17th overall. She was yet again the highest placed swimmer from the University of Texas. The 1650 freestyle saw her placing 19th overall in the second fastest time in her career of 16:09.90.
Jordy Groters continues to raise the bar for Aruba swimming by lowering his breaststroke times in yards. The Missouri sophomore earned his first invite to this year’s NCAA Division 1 Championships held March 23-26 also in Georgia.
Prior to the Championships he had a career best of 52.85.In the morning heats he turned at the halfway mark at 25.16 slower than his split of 24.72 when he recorded his personal best. Jordy would however come home in 27.54 to touch the pads in a new personal standard of 52.70. It also earned him a place in the consolation finals in his first Championship swim. In the final in the evening he would finish 5th in the second fastest time of his career of 52.80. His preliminaries time of 52.70 places him as the third fastest Tiger in school history.
In his final event of the meet the 200 yard breaststroke Jordy’s personal best of 1:56.84 would be a target. Groters went out in 56.05, a split that was faster than when he did 1:56.84 at the SEC championships. It would prove to be a good indicator as he touched the final wall in a new personal best of 1:56.60.That swim puts as the 6th fastest swimmer in Missouri history.
Another top breaststroker from the CARIFTA swimmer making a name for himself, Ohio State and the Bahamas is sophomore Dustin Tynes. Dustin is at the forefront of great breaststroking talent coming from the Bahamas .He continued to demonstrate his leadership in this stroke at this year’s Championships. In his debut Tynes helped the Buckeyes qualify for the 400 yard medley relay consolation final with a 52.64 split. In the final Dustin went out in 24.09 to split a swift split of 51.94. His teammates Matthew McHugh backstroke (45.63), Ching Lim butterfly (46.65) and Andrew Appleby freestyle (42.20) also made sterling contributions to record a total time of 3:06.42.That placed the team 3rd and also broke the school record of 3:06.63 by the 2014 team of Connor McDonald, DJ MacDonald, McHugh and Michael DiSalle. In the 100 yard breaststroke he was just outside his career best of 52.93 when he touched in 53.16 (split 25.16) for 25th overall.
When Justin Plaschka made his first NCAA Division Championships as freshman he competed for Notre Dame only in the 200 medley relay. Since that time he went on to represent Jamaica internationally and be the sprint leader in an increasingly competitive cadre of talent from the land of wood and water. He would carry over that national success into the 2015-2016 NCAA season by qualifying for the Championships in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle, 100 yard butterfly and 400 yard freestyle and medley relays.
In the 50 yard freestyle he crowned himself the Fighting Irish sprint king as lowered his personal best of 19.69 and the 2014 school record of Frank Dyer of 19.57. Swimming in the morning heats he went out in 9.35 and powered through the last 25 yards to record a time of 19.56. He finished 20th overall missing the consolation final by .08 of a second.
In the 200 yard freestyle relay he put up the 3rd fastest time of his career of 19.74 to start off the Notre Dame team. The total time for the team was 1:18.62 for 18th overall. Justin was also the lead swimmer in the 400 yard freestyle relay. He went out in 43.34 just off his personal best of 43.05 to help the team to 2:53.72.In the individual 100 yard freestyle he recorded the 5th fastest time of his career of 43.58 to place 38th overall. In the 100 yard butterfly he recorded the 3rd fastest of his career when he clocked 47.26 for 41st overall.
Mikel Schreuders has made a big impact at the University of Missouri in the regular season and the NCAA Division 1 Championships would not be any different. In the very first event, the Tigers team of Michael Chadwick 1:33.64 ,Schreuders 1:34.60, Carter Griffin 1:34.52 and Fabian Schwingenschlogbian 1:35.49 lowered the 800 yard freestyle relay school record from 6:19.17 to 6:18.25.It also placed them 11th overall.
In 400 freestyle relay he clocked 43.28 to help the Tigers to the consolation final. In that final he went a bit faster splitting 43.26 to help the team to 6th in a time of 2:52.26.In the individual 200 yard freestyle he recorded the 2nd fastest time of his life of 1:35.27 to finish 27th overall. He finished the season as the 2nd fastest Tiger all time in that event.
The CARIFTA region’s rising stars Arubans Jordy Groters and Mikel Schreuders posted lifetime bests on the final day of the SEC swimming Championships.
Competing in the 100 yard freestyle Mikel lowered his season and personal best of 43.99 to 43.80 to earn an evening swim in the B final. In the final he recorded a time of 44.03 to finish 7th. Both swims were under the NCAA B mark of 44.29.
Teammate Groters had a personal best of 1:57.70 in the 200 yard breaststroke coming into the meet. He lowered that in the morning heats with a 1:57.54.Jordy also earned an evening swim in the B final. He had a strong last 100 yards to move from 7th to 3rd and post yet another personal best time of 1:56.84.
In the final of the event of the Championships the Arubans ended the Conference Championships with a bang as they set a new Missouri school record in the 400 yard freestyle relay. The team of Michael Chadwick lead 42.14,Matthew Margritier second leg 43.17, Schreuders 42.96 and Groters anchor 43.78 clocked a programme record of 2:52.05.They lowered the record of 2:52.21.
At the end of the Championships the Tigers finished 5th with 902 points. Kimberlee John-Williams University of Georgia finished 3rd overall in the women’s competition with 1099.5 points.