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

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

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

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

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

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.


Joanna Evans
Joanna Evans Photo courtesy of

jordy mikel

Dustin Tynes Ohio State Swimming
Dustin Tynes Photo courtesy of Ohio State Swimming
Justin Plaschka und NCAA Division 1
Justin Plaschka Photo courtesy of


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.