With the conclusion of her BIG 12 career on March 2 at the Lee and Jamail Center in Texas Bahamian Joanna Evans can be conclusively described as a legend in the Conference. The Texas Longhorn has been undefeated in the conference in the 1650 and 500 yard freestyle events. Except for 2018 when she did not compete Evans has turned back all challenges and 2019 was no different.

Joanna Evans en route to a win in the 500 yard freestyle Photo courtesy of Andy Ringgold/Aringo

In the 1650 yard freestyle she maintained her winning margin of at least ten seconds .She took the Gold in a time of 15:57.28 breaking the 2012 meet record of Maureen McLaine of 16:00.70. Joanna already owns the Conference mark with her personal best and school record of 15:51.74 from 2017

1650 yard freestyle15:57.28 CR16:05.11 PB16:13.39 PB

In the 500 yard freestyle no swimmer has come within 2 seconds of her.She capped her 500 yard freestyle with second record setting win in a time of 4:36.87. The overall conference record is also the property of Evans and the Texas Longhorns with her personal standard of 4:35.05.

500 yard freestyle4:36.87 CR4:36.97 CR ,PB4:39.97 PB

For good measure she also added crowns in the 200 yard freestyle 1:44.82 and the 800 yard freestyle relay .

Victorious 800 yard freestyle relay team from left to right Adams, Pfeifer, Rule and Evans Photo courtesy oftexassports.com
Claire Adams1:44.48
Evie Pfeifer1:44.26
Remedy Rule1:45.17
Joanna Evans1:44.61
Total time6:58.52
Joanna Evans .Photo courtesy of swimswam.com

When she first came to the Conference in 2016 she was awarded Women’s newcomer of the meet and she left it on March 2 as the Swimmer of the Meet to help Texas win easily with 1073.5 points.

Joanna Evans 2019 Photo courtesy of texassports.com

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Evans about her expectations heading into Conference and how it played out from Feb 27 to March 2

“So going into conference we did not rest too much because our conference is not that competitive we got a day or two off from lifting weights and we had one morning practice off but nothing too serious as we are looking forward to Nationals.I think all of my races the morning swims were not fabulous simply because there was not too much work to do and then in the evening obviously the swims were a little better”.

Joanna Evans at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Evans will enter the NCAA Division I Championships at her home pool ranked fourth in the 500 yard freestyle , 11th in the 1650 yard freestyle and 14th in the 200 yard freestyle.



Regional standard bearer Olympian Joanna Evans (Rio 2016) fired off a mid season salvo that speaks to what form she is in this season with a strong performance at the 2018 Pro Swim Series, Austin on Thursday January 11.

Joanna Evans Day 2 Nationals
Joanna Evans Fastest woman ever from the English speaking CARIFTA region

In her first Long course metres outing for the year ,the Freeport native has transferred her form from the yards pool to the Olympic sized pool. On Day one of the meet at her home pool the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center she qualified for the consolation final with a time of 2:02.54 (split time 59.11).

In that final she proved too good for the field winning in a time of 2:00.43 (split time 58.94). Joanna took the advantage from the first 50 metres with a split of 28.53 and continued to build on it throughout the race. Evans , competing for the University of Texas at the meet was more than a second ahead of Yanhan Ai of China who stopped the clock in 2:01.65. Her dominant performance would have placed her 5th in the final.

Obviously not tapered for this meet the Bahamian and Unofficial “CARIFTA senior record” of 1:59.19 will not be on the books at the end of 2018.

Analysis of Joanna’s top 200 metre performances

Date and venue First 100 Second 100 Final time
WUGS Aug 24 2017 58.23 1:00.83 1:59.19
Austin July 2017 58.89 1:01.02 1:59.91
Atlanta May 2017 59.22 1:01.15 2:00.37
Austin Jan 2018 58.94 1:01.49 2:00.43

Joanna Evans with 200 metre freestyle Gold Medal
Joanna with 200 metre freestyle Gold medal at the 2015 CARIFTA Championships in Barbados Photo courtesy of http://www.42bahamas.com

Joanna is of those swimmers who have successfully navigated the waters from competing at the CARIFTA Championships at the junior level to competing at the Olympic Games. She still holds the 15-17 girls CARIFTA  200 metre freestyle record at 2:03.00.


Joanna Evans 1 Nationals
Joanna Evans

Bahamian Olympian Joanna Evans was in sparkling form for the University of Texas at the recently concluded BIG 12 Championships winning 4 Gold medals. The meet which was contested from February 22 to February 25 at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center at the University of Texas saw the sophomore ascending to the top of the podium in the 800 yard freestyle relay and the 200, 500 and 1650 yard freestyle.

Joanna Evans and members of the victorious 800 yard freestyle relay
Evans and members of the 800 yard freestyle relay Photo courtesy of texassports.com

In the 800 yard freestyle relay the Longhorns won in a time of 7:00.70.That relay performance was the 6th fastest in the Texas history. The relay team of Madisyn Cox 1:45.09, Evans 1:44.27, Claire Adams 1:44.95 and Karosas Tasija 1:46.39 crushed the competition as they won by over 10 seconds. In 2016 Joanna swam on the B team for exhibition purposes only and split 1:45.92. Her 2017 split of 1:44.27 was the fastest split at the BIG 12’s since 2012.

texassports J Evans 500 yard freestyle
Joanna en route to victory in the 500 yard freestyle in a new PB, school ,Championship and CARIFTA region best time of 4:36.97

That relay performance would be a precursor for her win in the 500 yard freestyle. She would repeat as the BIG 12 Champion in the event in a new Championship record adding to her crown won in her freshman year. That year she took the title in 4:39.97 and won by a margin just over 2 seconds. This year she won by almost 4 seconds in 4:36.97. Evans was faster over  each 100 yards as seen in the splits below

2017 splits 2016 splits
52.78 53.33
55.82 56.51
55.94 56.50
56.08 56.84
56.35 56.79

With her victory a number of milestones were achieved. She bettered her personal best of 4:39.51 set in December 2016. She bettered the 2011 championship record of Olympian Camille Adams (2012, 2016) of Texas A& M of 4:37.81. Also lowered was the  1992 school record of 4:37.73 by Olympian Erika Hansen (1988,1992).Bettered as well was the CARIFTA region’s best time in the event at the collegiate level set in 2001 by Jamaican Olympian Janelle Atkinson (2000 and 2004) when competing for the University of Florida. The Freeport native is now the region’s best in the 500 yard freestyle as 400 metre freestyle (50 metre pool).

The 200 yard freestyle saw her stepping up from the Silver to take the Gold in a time of 1:44.41.That bettered her personal best of 1:45.07 set in January. Evans was again faster on both 100’s from last year as seen below

2017 splits 2016 splits
50.72 51.67
53.69 55.28

Her last event of the competition saw her putting clear water between herself and the field and winning in a new personal best of 16:05.11.The winning margin was more than 15 seconds. Joanna had won the 2016 title in a time of 16:13.39.

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Evans she spoke about her wins and the expectations heading into the Conference Championships

“So basically we hadn’t really tapered because NCAAs are right around the corner, so we had decided to take it one day at a time. I was most happy with my 500, that was a sweet time drop, but my other races were best times which you can never complain about”.

She also spoke about the mindset heading to the NCAA Division I Championships which will be held from March 15-18 at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis, Indiana and the events she will be competing in

“I just want to lower my times from this meet and see how high it can take me. I’ll be in the 200, 500 and mile (1650 yard) freestyle events”.

With the publication of the psych sheet by the NCAA Joanna is ranked  8th in the 500 yard freestyle,18th in the 200 yard freestyle and 22nd in the 1650 yard freestyle.

She also elaborated on the team spirit heading into the Championships in Indiana

“Everyone is excited. This meet has definitely given everyone some momentum heading into the last couple weeks of the season”.

Big 12 champs by Anelise Diener
Victorious BIG 12 Women’s Champions The University of Texas Longhorns Photo courtesy of Anelise Diener


The Longhorns won the competition with 991 points.






Laura Morley Indiana University Swimming and Diving
Laura Morley Photo courtesy of Indiana Swimming and Diving

The Bahamas Laura Morley opened her 2016-2017 season recently with a tri meet in Bloomington Indiana on Friday Oct 21 against the universities of Florida and Texas. The meet held at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center was contested in a 50 metre pool.

Morley, a sophomore got her NCAA Division I campaign underway in the 200 metre medley relay for the Hoosiers B team. She split 34.30 on her breaststroke leg as the team posted a total time of 2:01.47.

In the 100 metre breaststroke a Nassau native posted 1:15.02 (split time 35.30)  for 5th place. That is significantly faster than the 1:17.19 she posted at the 2015 edition of the meet.

The 200 metre breaststroke saw her finishing 9th in a time of 2:43.96 (split time 1:19.29).Morley again bettered her 2015 performance which was 2:45.85.

The Hoosiers beat the Florida Gators 150 to 131 but went down to the Texas Longhorns 106 to170.

Morley holds the senior national record for The Bahamas in the 100 and 200 metre breaststroke events.


Joshua Romany Photo courtesy of iuhoosiers.com

Trinidad and Tobago’s Joshua Romany opened the season for his new school the University of Indiana in a long course meet against the universities of Florida and Texas on Friday October 21.

The meet held in Bloomington Indiana saw Romany competing as Hoosier for the first time in the 200 metre medley relay. His C team swimming for exhibition purposes posted a time of 1:47.71. The Port of Spain native clocked a freestyle anchor leg of 23.92.

In another exhibition race the 100 metre freestyle the 6’1 junior stopped the clock in 53.26 (split time 25.56).He was the 10th fastest swimmer on the day.

Again swimming as an exhibition swimmer in the 50 metre freestyle event he posted a time of 23.80 that was the 6th fastest time of the meet.


In the last event of the day the 400 metre freestyle relay his Hoosiers B team finished 4th in a time of 3:31.59. Joshua’s 2nd leg split was timed at 52.83.

The Hoosiers turned back the challenges of the Florida Gators 181 to 100 and the Texas Longhorns 149 to 132.


Joanna Evans Day 2 Nationals
Joanna Evans 800 metre freestyle Champion Olympic qualifier Fastest woman ever from the English speaking CARIFTA region

The 2016 RBC Bahamas Nationals Swimming Championships got off to a fantastic start at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Aquatic Centre in Nassau on Thursday June 23. The region’s most impressive distance freestyler Joanna Evans provided the highlight for the day when she made the automatic qualifying mark in the 800 metre freestyle by swimming a sensational 8:32.19 to be crowned national champion.Her performance now ranks her 40th in the world for the 2015-2016 season. That time blew away the Rio Olympics A standard of 8:33.97. She also destroyed her personal best and national record of 8:37.18. With that incredible swim the Swift Swimming competitor now passes CARIFTA legend Jamaican Janelle Atkinson’s 8:34.51 as the fastest English speaking woman from the region.  Atkinson clocked her national record in a 9th place finish at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. The University of Texas standout who is not tapered for the meet raced stroke for stroke with exhibition swimmer Guatemalan Valerie Gruest who also went under the Olympic A standard` when she stroked 8:33.28.

Joanna Evans 1 Nationals
Joanna Evans


Joanna had the following thoughts about the race “I’m thrilled to have made my Olympic A cut in my home pool and in front of my Bahamian fans. I am not tapered for this meet and just went out and raced”

New Bahamas 200 metre freestyle relay record holders 1:34.77 from left to right Keith Lloyd,Gershwin Greene,Kohen Kerr and N’Nhyn Fernander Photo courtesy of Bahamas Swimming

The Barracudas men team were responsible for setting a new senior national record in the 200 metre freestyle relay. The old record of 1:36.35 had stood to the Freeport Aquatic Club since 2011 when the team of Elvis Burrows,Evante Gibson,Ashton Knowles and Michael McIntosh had set the standard.The new standard is now 1:34.77 set by the team of Gershwin Greene,N’Nhyn Fernander,Keith Lloyd and Kohen Kerr




Tynes 2016 Nationals
Dustin Tynes Bahamas National Champion men 200 metre breaststroke

Another collegiate standout who claimed a national Championship was Dustin Tynes . The Ohio State swimmer claimed senior title in a time of 2:23.00 . Tynes said “it was a great race for this point in my summer season being unshaved and untapered. This was my best in season 200 breaststroke ever .At this  meet last year I was two seconds slower. It sets the tone for the rest of the season and that I’m in relative great shape relative to last year”.


The boys 13-14 title was claimed by Izaak Bastian in a time of 2:27.32. In a much anticipated race in the 15 and over girls 200 metre breaststroke Laura Morley won in 2:35.24. Silver and Bronze went to sisters Albury and Lilly Higgs in times of 2:37.16 and 2:41.93.

The senior 50 metre backstroke boys title went to Miller Albury in 28.19 with Dionsio Carey in 28.20 and N’nhyn Fernander the Bronze in 28.60.

The senior title in the 100 metre butterfly went to N’nhyn Fernander 57.87 ,Silver Evante Gibson 58.33 and Keith Lloyd 59.42.The women’s crown went to Bria Deveaux in 1:02.75. Albury won another Silver in 1:06.15 while Jasmine Gibson earned the Bronze 1:08.44.


Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of Jamaica Olympics

The final day of the ARENA PRO SWIM SERIES AT CHARLOTTE on Sunday saw Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson winning another medal in a breaststroke event. Bahamian national record holders Joanna Evans and Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace recorded season bests under Olympic B standard time to have top 8 finishes.

Alia Atkinson renewed her rivalry with Indiana Aquatics Lilly King and SwimMAC Carolina’s Katie Meili in a breaststroke event. This time the showdown would occur in the 50 metre breaststroke. In the morning heats it would be Meili who would strike first posting a time of 30.64 to be the number one seed. She would be flanked by King and Atkinson in the final who posted times of 30.78 and 31.33 respectively. The championship final would be the battle of the sub 31 second swimmers. In the end it would be King who would take the breaststroke sprint double with the win 30.35 breaking Atkinson’s pool record of 30.54.Meili won Silver in 30.42. Atkinson won the Bronze in 30.77.

Joanna Evans
Joanna Evans Photo courtesy of texassports.com

The CARIFTA region’s best distance swimmer Joanna Evans continues to round into form as the season continues. She posted a season best of 8:44.06 to finish 6th overall. She bettered her time of 8:48.63 posted at the ARENA stop in Arizona. Joanna has improved each of the 5 times she has contested this event this season. The freshman from the University of Texas yet again bettered the Olympic B standard of 8:51.96.

AVW auburn tigers
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace Photo courtesy of auburntigers.com

Her national team mate Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace was faster than the Olympic B standard of 56.34 in both the heats and championship final of the 100 metre freestyle. In the morning she posted a time of 54.74. Arianna was just off that time in the final when she stopped the clock in 54.92 for 6th place.

The next wave of breaststroke talent Alexandria Donahue and Laura Morley earned second swims in the 50 metre event as well. Donahue representing Brown Aquatics recorded a time of 33.34 to make the B final. In that race she finished 8th in a time of 33.97. Morley of Indiana Swim team was timed at 34.66 in the morning. Laura would better that in the evening to place 2nd in the C final in a time of 34.41.

Aruban national record holder  Jordy Groters would better his season best of 28.91 in the men’s 50 metre breaststroke in the morning to post a time of 28.89. He would be the 12th fastest in the preliminaries but did not contest the B final. He would swim breaststroke in the heats of the 100 metre breaststroke hitting the wall in 1:04.20 .That was faster than the 1:05.30 he did in the heats of the 100 metre breaststroke.

Atkinson swam the heats of the 100 metre freestyle and recorded a time of 59.33.

In the men’s event Justin Plaschka of Irish Aquatics posted a time of 51.59. He was less than second off the Olympic B standard of 50.70. In the D final in the evening Justin clocked 53.03 to place 7th. Trinidad and Tobago’s Caryle Blondell was 38th in the event in a time of 51.83.