Team Aruba will be sending a delegation of  four swimmers Allyson Ponson, Mikel Schreuders ,Daniel Jacobs and Patrick Groters and national Coach Ismael Santiesteban .

Mikel Schreuders CAC 200 metre freestyle Bronze medal

Olympian Schreuders comes to this World Championships off the strength of his best and final collegiate season ever .He finished his NCAA Collegiate career at Missouri as the second fastest all time for his school in the 100 yard freestyle with a time of 41.96 and setting a school record in the 200 yard freestyle of of 1:31.27 which makes one of the top ten fastest swimmers ever in the event. He will be contesting the 100 and 200 metre freestyle events in South Korea. Ever since making his Olympic debut at the 2016 Rio Games Mikel has risen to the challenge of senior international competition ever since. He has lowered the national records at the 2017 World Championships as well being the first medallist ever for Aruba at the Central American  and Caribbean Games in 2018 winning 100 metre Silver and 200 metre Bronze .

100 metre freestyle


200 metre freestyle


Mikel will take on the world on Monday July 22 in the 200 metre event in heat 4 from lane 2. He will throw down his challenge to the world’s best in the 100 metre freestyle on Wednesday July 24 in heat 10 and he swim from lane 3

Allyson Ponson at the 2016 Rio Olympics opening ceremony Photo courtesy of wikipedia

Another Olympian from the Rio 2016 Games Allyson Ponson will be making her second trip to the global long course championships. Earlier this year she proved her readiness to swim with the world’s best when she lowered her national records in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle events to 25.61 and 56.78 respectively.Her national records make among the fastest ever female swimmers from the CARIFTA region of all time. She will carry the mantle as the number one seed from the CCCAN region in the 100 metre event when she swims on Thursday July 25 in heat 6 and swim from lane 1.Ponson will again be the CCCAN region standard bearer in the 50 metre freestyle when she competes in heat 8 and swims from lane7.

Daniel Jacobs Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

Daniel Jacobs who just completed his freshman year at Georgia Tech will be competing in the 400 and 800 metre freestyle events in his senior World Champs debut. He left the junior ranks at CARIFTA as the Champion in the 400 event with a time of 4:05.64. His best in the event stands at 4:01.25 and this season he has already been 4:02.41.Look for him to go under 4 minutes and be a member of that exclusive club to better that mark. He will be the first Aruban in the water in Korea as he will swim in heat 1 from lane 5 in the event. His second event will be the new Olympic event at the Olympics in 2020 , the 800 metre freestyle.He will chart new territory for Aruba in the event on Monday July 22 in heat 1 lane 1.

Patrick Groters on podium Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Patrick also left his junior years at the CARIFTA level on a high winning in 2017 with Championship records in the 200  metre individual medley and backstroke races with times of 2:04.69 and 2:04.44.Though making his senior World long course he is the senior national record holder in both medley events. The 200 in which he holds the standard at 2:04.13  will see him in action on Wednesday July 24  swimming in heat 2 lane 6 .He will swim the 200 metre backstroke on Sunday July 28. He will race from lane 9 and heat 2.His national record  in the event stands at 2:03.47 from his B final win at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games.


Outgoing Missouri senior Aruba’s Mikel Schreuders is leaving the SEC Championships with his name in the record books and his first title in the 200 yard freestyle.

Mikel Schreuders the best 200 yard freestyler the SEC Championships has ever seen.Photo courtesy of Madeline McKernan

Last night in Georgia he reaffirmed his position as the best 200 yard freestyler that the Championships has ever seen when he won Gold in a new PB, school and SEC record time of 1:31.27 . That bettered his lead leg relay split of 1:31.61 on the opening day of the SEC Championships at the University of Georgia.Silver was won by Joey Reilman of Tennessee in 1:32.35 and the Bronze went to Khader Baqlah of Florida in 1:32.71. He is now the second fastest swimmer in the event across all divisions this year. Through determination and the goal to set higher standards for himself each year at these Championships Schreuders had swum faster all of the four years he has competed.


200 yard freestyleGoldBronzeFourth Fifth
First  5021.2022.1722.1222.92
Second 5023.0323.9323.9223.99
Third 5023.2723.5424.0323.56
Fourth 50 23.7723.6024.0023.88
Final time1:31.271:33.241:34.061:34.35

Schreuders now adds Aruba to the CARIFTA region nations that have won individual titles in the men’s 200 yard freestyle

Shaune Fraser Photo courtesy of shaunefraser.com

2004George BovellAuburn1:34.54Trinidad and Tobago
2007Shaune FraserFlorida1:35.05Cayman Islands
2008Shaune FraserFlorida1:34.23Cayman Islands
2009Shaune FraserFlorida1:33.73Cayman Islands

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to the SEC Champion after his race and he shared his thoughts on the race

“The race was amazing .Before the race I was not trying to focus on any specific time.I was just trying to go out there and have fun and do the best I can. I felt good the entire way.Afterward of course it hurt a little bit but that always happens.It feels good not only to represent my school and my name but also Aruba and all the kids from the Caribbean”,

Mikel Scrhreuders.Photo courtesy of mutigers


The second day of the SEC championships being held in Georgia. Mikel Schreuders and Albury Higgs both set new personal bests and recorded their highest ever placings in the 50 yard freestyle and 200 yard individual medley respectively.

Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of swimswam.com

Higgs of the Bahamas competing for the South Carolina Gamecocks earned her first ever spot in an SEC final in the 200 yard IM when she lowered her personal best from 2:00.37 to 1:58.30, an NCAA B qualifying time. In 2018 she had placed 38th overall. She would have more in store in the C final as she lowered that time further to place 6th overall in 1:58.24. This is a big improvement from November 2018 when she recorded her previous best heading into the SEC’s as seen by the splits below

Albury Higgs
Total time2:00.371:58.24

With her SEC performance Higgs now moves from joint fourth to the third fastest performer in South Carolina history.

Mikel Schreuders Photo courtesy of mutigers.com

Aruban Mikel Schreuders of Missouri earned his best ever placing in the 50 yard freestyle when he won Bronze in the event in a new personal best time of 19.24. Coming to Georgia Mikel had a personal best time of 19.45. He lowered that in the morning heats to 19.31. Schreuders has swum faster each year he has contested this event.

201819.691st C final

With that swim he now moves from fourth to second fastest all time in Missouri Tigers history. He moves to being the third fastest ever performer from the CARIFTA region . The list is headed by the legendary George Bovell III Trinidad and Tobago who is the region’s fastest ever swimmer in yards, short course metres and long course metres

Goerge Bovell III Photo courtesy of sportsmax.tv
2009George Bovell III18.98
2017Dylan Carter19.04
2019Mikel Schreuders19.24
2018Justin Plaschka19.30
2009Shanune Fraser19.30
Justin Plaschka Photo courtesy of und.com

In 2017 at the NCAA Championships during the heats Schreuders had anchored the 200 yard freestyle relay to a time of 1:16.78 , a new school record,with a split of 19.61.That enabled the Tigers to make the final . He never swum in the final and the team placed seventh with the exact same time. In Georgia he blew past the 19 seconds barrier to split 18.77 on the second leg. Mikel, along with Luke Mankus 19.48,Danny Kovac 19.14 and Kyle Leach 19.29 combined to swim to a new school record of 1:16.68 and place fourth.

Mikel Schreuders in action Photo courtesy of mutigers.com/Mike Krebs


The opening night of the SEC South Eastern Conference Championships got underway last night at the Gabrielsen Natatorium at the University of Georgia. The CARIFTA region was represented by Aruba’s Mikel Schreuders and Albury Higgs of The Bahamas. Both ensured that their names were in etched in the record books.

Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of gamecocksonline

Albury Higgs representing the University of South Carolina joined her teammates on the 200 yard medley relay to place 11th and shatter the school record. The old record stood at 1:39.70 from the 2018 SEC competition.

backstrokeEmily Cornell25.08Emily Cornell25.21
breaststrokeAlbury Higgs27.23Kersten Dirrane28.13
butterflyHallie Kinsey23.65Katie Shannahan24.32
freestyleChristina Lappin21.92Christina Lappin22.04
Total time1:37.881:39.70
Mikel Schreuders in action Photo courtesy of mutigers.com/Mike Krebs

In the 800 yard freestyle relay Schreuders representing Missouri set the pool alight with his opening 200 yard freestyle split. His time of 1:31.68 is a new PB, School record and SEC Championship record and it also propelled the Tigers to the Silver medal in a new school team record of 6:11.38. By the first 100 yards fans knew they were in for something special from the Oranjestad native as he had the only sub 44 seconds split of 43.91.When he touched he had given the Tigers a lead of almost a second. It took a new SEC record time of 6:10.50 by the Florida Gators to overhaul the Missouri team. The old Tigers record which was destroyed was from their 2018 SEC Silver medal winning performance. In 2018 Mikel had swum the second leg in a time of 1:33.45. It was Mikel’s aggression in the first half of the race that helped him to the record smashing performance as seen with a comparison of his splits, the old SEC record and his previous PB and school record

Splits2019SEC recordSchool record
First  5021.2121.3621.77
Second 5022.7023.4123.40
Third 5023.3823.4823.69
Fourth 50 24.3223.7924.06
Final time1:31.611:31.731:32.92

Conor Dwyer .Photo courtesy of zimbio

The old SEC record belonged to American Conor Dwyer who had set that standard leading off the 2011 Florida Gators team. He would later win Gold medals in the 800 metre freestyle relay at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai China and the 2011 PAN American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Schreuders had set the school record leading off the Tigers team at the 2018 NCAA Championships.

Mikel Schreuders CAC 200 metre freestyle Bronze medal

Mikel now stands at the 14th fastest swimmer ever in the event.He is now the second fastest swimmer from the CARIFTA region as he passes the Fraser brothers Shaune and Brett of the Cayman Islands who represented the Gators for that position. The number one spot belongs to Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter who with his opening leg blast for the USC Trojans at the 2017 NCAA Championships. On his school website Mikel who is the reigning Central American and Caribbean Games Bronze medallist in the 200 metre freestyle gave his thoughts on his performance ” We’ve all been preparing really well for this meet. I wanted to try and get the biggest lead that we could because we had strong opponents in that field. I just went for it and tried to do as much as I could. I didn’t even know I broke the record, but after hearing it on the podium, it was awesome. We’ve all been working so hard, it shows that it pays off. But we still have work to do.”

Top 200 yard freestyle swimmers from the CARIFTA region

Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of usctrojans.com
2017Dylan CarterUSC1:30.95
2019Mikel SchreudersMissouri1:31.61
2009Shaune FraserFlorida1:31.70
2011Brett FraserFlorida1:32.21
Shaune and Brett Fraser displaying ther 200 metre freestyle medals at the 2011 PAN AM Games.Photo courtesy of reuters.com

On that night on Feb 16,2011 it was Dwyer who gave the lead to Brett Fraser (1:32.77) to help the Gators to the Gold and a then SEC record time of 6:13.74. They had combined for 200 yard medley relay Gold as well also in an SEC record time of 1:24.94. Dwyer had swum the breaststroke in 23.56 and Brett had anchored in 19.08. At the PAN AM Games in Mexico later that year Brett and older brother Shaune gave the Cayman Islands their first ever Gold and Silver finish in the 200 metre freestyle.

Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace Photo courtesy of theswimpictures.com

Also on that night in 2011 the CARIFTA region had Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace of The Bahamas and Auburn anchoring her school team with a split of 21.04 for a then SEC record of 1:36.11 in the 200 yard medley relay. Also Jamaican standout and current coach at Saint Andrews Ramon Walton led off the Kentucky team medley relay with a time of 22.46.


Aruban  Olympian Mikel Schreuders (Rio 2016) threatened his 50 yard freestyle PB leading off the Missouri 200 yard freestyle relay on Thursday March 22 at the Division I Championships in Minnesota.

Schreuders recorded the second fastest time of his career  when he registered a lead leg of 19.59. That just missed his personal standard of 19.55. The team placed 24th in 1:18.70. In 2017 swimming in the heats of the event Mikel split 19.61 to anchor the team.That was the joint fifth fastest time in school history.

The 400 yard medley relay saw him anchoring the team in 41.90 to give the Tigers 17th overall in 3:06.66.



Olympian Mikel Schreuders (Rio 2016) impressed yet again for his school the University of Missouri on the opening day of the NCAA Division I Championships with a school record leading off the 800 yard freestyle relay.

Mikel Schreuders Olympian wikipedia
Olympian Mikel Schreuders at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Photo courtesy of wikipedia.com

Competing at the Jean K Freeman Aquatic Center in  Minnesota yesterday March 21 Schreuders sped to his first swim under 1:33 when his opening leg was timed at 1:32.92. That swim broke  his school record of 1:33.24 that he set at the Mizzou Invite and his SEC Bronze medal winning time that tied the record. The Oranjestad native now owns the four fastest times in the 200 yard freestyle in school history for the Tigers.

Date Time Split
March 21,2018 1:32.92 45.17
Feb 16,2018 1:33.24 46.10
Nov 17,2017 1:33.24 45.74
Nov 17,2017 1:33.50 46.05

Aided by that quick opening swim fellow Tigers Giovanny Lima 1:34.20,Grant Reed 1:35.20 and anchor Sam Coffman 1:33.43 pushed the team to ninth overall in in 6:15.75. That time was just off the school record set at the Sec Championships won the Silver in 6:15.38.The five fastest 800 yard freestyle times in school history all have a contribution from Schrueders.



The 2018 SEC (Southeastern) Championships which got underway at the Texas A&M Natatorium on Feb 14 saw the CARIFTA region capturing a medal through the efforts of Aruban Olympian Mikel Schreuders (Rio 2016) and his Missouri Tigers 800 yard freestyle relay team .

Mikel Schreuders
Mikel Schreuders Photo courtesy of mutigers.com

The Tigers team of Giovanny Lima 1:34.22,Schreuders 1:33.45,Grant Reed 1:34.90 and Sam Coffman 1:32.81 crushed the old 2016 record of 6:18.25  registered a new school record time of 6:15.38 to win the Silver . Gold was won by the University of Florida in a new SEC record time of 6:12.06. This is Mikel’s first medal after the being part of the 2016 team that placed 4th in 6:19.97 and the 2017 that was disqualified. The team’s performance was well under the NCAA Division I automatic time of 6:20.05.

Teammate and country man Jordy Groters was also in action . He split 23.87 on the breaststroke leg of the 200 yard medley relay team to help them to seventh in a time of 1:25.58..


Mikel Schreuders Olympian wikipedia
Olympian Mikel Schreuders at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Photo courtesy of wikipedia.com

Over the last few years Aruba has been consistently improving their position on the global swimming stage with improving performances and rankings at competitions. Today draftingthecaribbean highlights one of their swimmers  Olympian Mikel Schreuders (2016) who has made great strides for his nation in the 100 metre freestyle. We will look back at his performances at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Mikel Schreuders 100 freestyle Gold 297sports
Mikel Schreuders posing with his CCCAN 100 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of 297sports

Heading to the major global competition for 2017 Mikel was had broken the 51 seconds barrier by winning the CCCAN 18 and over title in the event with a new national record of 50.55. He would lower that record again in Europe. He would stop the clock in a time of 50.12. That would place him 50th overall. It would be a major improvement from his 68th showing in Kazan in 2015 and was only the second time Aruba had placed in the top 50 in the event. His swim would also rank third amongst swimmers from the CCCAN region. When draftingthecaribbean spoke to him on July 26 he gave his impressions of his performance

“My race was to bring it out faster and then come home. I wish I would have gone out faster. I am happy with the time of me coming back”


He would not have to wait long to better that effort. On July 29 leading off the mixed 4 x 100 metre freestyle he would be the first Aruban under 50 seconds when he touched in 49.80. Breaking 50 seconds is a significant hurdle on one’s path to being seen as a top sprinter in the world. When draftingthecaribbean spoke to him after the race he had the following thoughts

“All I was thinking before the race was to go out faster and during my swim I felt better in the first 50. The Australian guy that was next to me was going a 49 for sure so I was trying to stay as close as possible as I could”.

Unfortunately it will not count as a national record as FINA does not recognize leadoff times in mixed relays. However with Mikel’s continued progress as a sprinter it will be only a matter of time before that time falls in the 2017-2018 season.

The Road To 49 Seconds

Date Meet First 50 Second 50 Final time
August 2015 Kazan World Champs 24.71 27.06 51.77
July 2016 The Bahamas CISC 24.99 26.08 51.07
July 1,2017 Trinidad and Tobago CCCAN 24.71 25.84 50.55
July 26,2017 Budapest World Champs 24.26 25.86 50.12
July 29 ,2017 Budapest World Champs 24.80 25.76 49.80

Mikel Schreuders
Mikel Schreuders Photo courtesy of mutigers.com

Schreuders will be in action with his countryman Jordy Groters for the University of Missouri in their first official competition on Saturday October 14, 2017 against South Carolina at home at the Mizzou Aquatic Center.

Jordy and Mikel at NCAA Division 1
Teammates Mikel and Jordy at the 2016 NCAA Division I competition


Mikel is the second fastest swimmer in school history in the 100 and 200 freestyle races. He also holds school records as a member of the 400 and 800 yard freestyle relay teams.

Event Time
100 yard freestyle 43.10
200 yard freestyle 1:34.06
400 yard freestyle relay 2:48.95
800 yard freestyle relay 6:18.25


Mikel Schreuders Photo courtesy of mutigers.com

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.

Justin Plaschka Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

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.

Event Time
100 yard butterfly 46.05
100 scm butterfly 52.31
100 lcm butterfly 54.71

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.

Mikel Schreuders
Mikel Schreuders Photo courtesy of mutigers.com

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).