ALIA ATKINSON MAKES FIFTH CONSECUTIVE 50 BREASTSTROKE CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL, MARCELO ACOSTA LEADS NATIONAL RECORD BREAKERS ON DAY ONE OF WORLD CHAMPS

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson was the regional standard bearer on the first day of competition of the 14th FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships underway in Hangzhou China. Atkinson made her fifth consecutive World Championship final in the 50 metre breaststroke.A feat no other woman has ever achieved.

Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of fina.org

This morning local time Atkinson progressed to the final  with a time of 29.54 but what was different this occasion is that she will contest the final as the fastest seed. This looks to be a good indicator that she will take the Global title in this event after winning three consecutive Silver medals.She has always made the final in the event five of the six times she has entered the event. In her debut in Athens in 2004 she had placed 17th in a time of 33.17.

Analysis of Atkinson’s semi final performances

World Champs 2010 United Arab Emirates30.194th seed
World champs 2012 Turkey29.622nd seed
World Champs 2014 Qatar28.992nd seed
World Champs 2016 Canada29.092nd seed
World Champs 2018 China29.541st
Anahi posing with 50 metre breaststroke Silver at the CCCAN Championships Photo courtesy of C.C.C.A.N

Other ladies representing the region in that race were Victoria Russell of The Bahamas who registered a time of 32.94 for 34th. Anahi Schreuders lowered her own national record of 34.46 to place 39th in 33.90.

Marcelo Acosta Photo courtesy of usatoday.com

The region’s top middle and long distance freestyler El Salvador’s Marcelo Acosta solidified that position with a new national record of 3:42.74 (split time  that shattered his old national record set in 2014 in Qatar of 3:53.11. That swim ranked Acosta 13th overall a big jump from 2014 when he placed 51st .Antigua and Barbuda’s Stefano Mitchell placed 40th with a swim of 4:06.94.

Elisbet Matos Photo courtesy of desdeesteladodelaisla

Elisbet Gamos of Cuba was the region’s top swimmer in the women’s 200 metre freestyle placing 21st with a time of 1:58.37 (split time 58.33).

Other regional 200 metre freestyle results

GuatemalaGabriela Santis2:05.7640th
USVILidia Boguslawska2:13.8948th
Antigua and  BarbudaBianca Mitchell2:15.1751st

Bryan Alvarez Photo courtesy of diario extra

In the 200 metre butterfly there were national records for Cuban Luis Vega Torres (27th) 1:57.45(split time 56.51),Bryan Alvarez of Costa Rica (34th) 2:01.57 (split time 57.96), Guatemala’s Fernando Ponce (35th) 2:04.91 (split time 59.71)

Puerto RicoJarrod Arroyo1:58.2230th
Dominican RepublicZeniel Guzman2:05.5437th
Cadell Lyons Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Cadell Lyons was the top swimmer for the men in the 100 metre backstroke placing 36th in a time of 54.92 (split time 26.07). He was just off his national record of 54.36

Other regional 100 metre backstroke results

CubaArmando Barrera55.0738th
US Virgin IslandsMatthew Mays56.0940th

In the 400 metre individual medley Costa Rica’s Daniela Alfaro lowered the 1986 national record of 5:12.86 by Olympian Sylvia Poll to 5:01.36. That swim placed her 30th overall.

Edgar Crespo Photo courtesy of La Prensa

In the men’s 100 metre breaststroke Panama’s Edgar Crespo led the region with a sub minute performance of 59.40 (split time 27.40). Costa Rica’s Arnoldo Herrara lowered his own national record from 1:02.39 to 1:02.20 to place 51st overall.

Photo courtesy of Northern Michigan University

Other regional results

US Virgin IslandsAdriel Sanes1:01.8747th
CuracaoSerginni Marten1:01.8747th
ArubaBrandon Cheong1:05.4864th
St Vincent and the GrenadinesShane Cadogan1:05.7866th
Krystal Lara Photo courtesy of womenintheworld

It was Krystal Lara of the Dominican Republic that had the region’s top time in the 100 metre backstroke. She stopped the clock in a time of 1:00.28 (split time 29.17) to finish 32nd overall

Other regional results

CubaAndrea Becali1:03.9641st
PanamaNimi Murua1:05.0945th
BarbadosDanielle Treasure1:06.7447th
GrenadaKimberly Ince1:07.6849th
HaitiBritheny Joassaint1:09.5852nd
Jarrod Arroyo

2018 CAC Champion Jarrod Arroyo of Puerto Rico was the top performer in the 200 metre individual medley with a time of 2:00.97 placing 32nd , just missing the national record of 2:00.49 (split time 57.12).  Patrick Groters of Aruba shattered the Aruban national record of 2:17.86 when he finished 35th in a time of 2:02.16 (split time 55.77).

Patrick Groters courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Other regional results

Cuba Luis Vega Torres 2:03.61 36th

 

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NOT JUST A SPRINTER EMILY MacDONALD WINS 13-14 200 METRE FREESTYLE

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

NIGEL FORBES OF THE BAHAMAS OPENS CARIFTA REGION GOLD MEDAL ACCOUNT, WILSON OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO CONTINUES INCREDIBLE FORM WITH GOLD AND TWO BRONZE, KEIANNA MOSS AND US VIRGIN ISLANDS RELAY WIN BRONZE MEDALS

Nigel Forbes of The Bahamas and Zarek Wilson of Trinidad and Tobago were the standout performers in the 11-12 age group for the CARIFTA region on Day 2 of the UANA Cup in Coral Springs Florida.

Forbes 11-12 Gold
Nigel Forbes of The Bahamas First Gold Medallist for The Bahamas and the CARIFTA region 11-12 breaststroke Gold

Forbes etched his name in the history books by becoming the first CARIFTA region Gold medallist at the competition when he won the 50 metre breaststroke in a time of 34.20. Nigel won the race handily turning back the challenge of Mexican duo of Juan Valverde Sánchez 35.56 and Nathan Ochoa Neurouth 35.70.He would also claim Silver in the 100 metre butterfly in a time of 1:03.34 (split time 29.08). In speaking to draftingthecaribbean the Bahamian expressed the following thoughts about his showing on Day Two.

“I was very pleased with my performances and I enjoyed all my races”

wilson Day 2 UANA
Trinidad and Tobago’s first Gold medallist at the UANA Cup Zarek Wilson 11-12 100 metre backstroke Gold Triple medallist on Day Two

Trinidad and Tobago’s Zarek Wilson continued his magnificent form at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex winning Three more medals, Gold and Two Bronze for an overall total of Six ,One Gold One Silver and Four Bronze medals. He got Trinidad and Tobago’s first ever Gold medal at the competition when he won the 100 metre backstroke in 1:07.63. He was easily ahead of Silver medallist Mexican José Nangullasmú Arellane 1:08.80 and Simon Bermudez of Colombia 1:11.80. He started the Day with a Bronze medal in the 100 metre butterfly in 1:03.48 (split time 29.28) . He would win another Bronze medal in the 200 metre freestyle in 2:09.05 (split time 1:03.38).

When draftingthecaribbean spoke the  young speedster he gave his impressions of the meet and his performances so far

“ I am really happy with my performances on Day Two and looking forward to the final day of competition. Today’s races were challenging. I am happy with my personal best in the 100 metre butterfly and 200 metre freestyle. While I was just off my personal best in the 100 metre backstroke I am elated with my first Gold medal of this competition. I have to give thanks to God first and my coaches, teammates and my supportive family and friends.

Keina Moss Bahamas
Keianna Moss of The Bahamas Bronze medallist in the 11-12 100 metre backstroke

Keianna Moss of The Bahamas ensured a podium spot of Day Two after finishing fourth in the 50 metre freestyle a day earlier. She took the Bronze medal in the 100 metre backstroke in a time of 1:12.50 . Moss actually had the fastest opening split with a time of 35.10. Speaking about her swim she said

“I was mentally and physically focused on my race and I executed my race just like how my coach expected me to and I am very proud to represent the Bahamas”

The US Virgin Islands would win their first medal at the Cup ,a Bronze in the girls 200 metre freestyle relay . The team of Lindsey Barr 31.05, Victoria Sperber 31.50,Fairley Maltby 32.04 and Gabriela Brunt 30.61 stopped the clock in 2:05.25.

The top CARIFTA regional performers in the 11-12 age group in other events included

Jillian Crooks cyamn sports buzz
Jillian Crooks of the Cayman Islands Photo courtesy of Cayman Sports Buzz

Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Jillian Crooks Cayman Islands 100 metre butterfly 11-12 1:12.43 7th
Zoe Anthony Trinidad and Tobago 50 metre breaststroke 11-12 38.33 6th
Zoe Anthony Trinidad and Tobago 200 metre freestyle 11-12 2:22.73 4th

FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS GROTERS AND DIEFFENTHALLER TO RACE FOR 1A 200 YARD IM GOLD TODAY

When the Florida High School Class 1A Championships kick off later today at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida the CARIFTA region will be represented by Patrick Groters and Christopher Dieffenthaller. Aruban Groters will be donning the colours of the University School and Trinidad and Tobago’s Dieffenthaller will be lining up behind the blocks for Berkley.

Patrick Groters 100 metre backstroke Gold
Patrick Groters at 2017 Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Groters will start the day as the second seed with a time of 1:53.47. Patrick ended his CARIFTA this year in the best way possible this year in The Bahamas in the 200 metre individual medley by winning Gold in a new Personal Best, Championship Record, Aruban Age group and Senior National record. He won the 15-17 race in a time of 2:04.69. This season he has kept up the momentum for a second state Title after capturing the crown for the first time in 2015.

Bradley Ally gettyimages
Bradley ally Photo courtesy of gettyimages

 

Patrick will aim to join Olympian Bradley Ally as a multiple winner of the event. Ally won the event three times and holds the state record of 1:46.31. That 1:46.31 performance  was also the fastest performance by a high school swimmer at that point in 2004.

 

Patrick on podium
Patrick Groters on podium Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Groters had Golden performances at the Woodson Invitational as well the District and Regional Championships.

Date Meet Time Placing
Sep 23 Woodson Invitational 1:51.43 1st
Oct 20 1A District 11 1:56.44 2nd
Oct 27 1A Region 4 1:53.44 3rd
Year Time Placing Split
2016 1:48.52 Silver 50.31
2015 1:50.22 Gold 51.44

Chris D
Christopher Dieffenthaller Photo courtesy of swimtt.com

Berkley’s Dieffenthaller had a fantastic CCCAN in Trinidad and Tobago where was a top the podium in a number of races to include the 13-14 200 metre individual medley. He won the race in front of his home crowd in a time of 2:13.75. This season he took the District title then finished runner up in the event at Regionals. Each swim was progressively faster which points to him bettering the 1:55.82 he recorded when he placed 3rd in the B final at the 2016 Championship.

Date Meet Time Placing
Oct 21 1A District 7 1:59.86 1st
Oct 28 1A Region 3 1:58.07 2nd

The list of regional Florida state Champions include Olympians George Bovell III of Trinidad and Tobago, his brother Nicholas , Bradley Ally of Barbados and Branden Whitehurst of the US Virgin Islands.

Im winners 1
Past regional winners from left to right George Bovell III, Bradley Ally,Nicholas Bovell, Branden Whitehurst Photos courtesy of panamericanworld,auburntigers.com, texassports.com

IM winners 2
Past regional winners from left to right Wayne Denswill and Patrick Groters Photo courtesy of tampaspartans.com and Michael C Lyn

Name Country School Division Year Time
George Bovell III Trinidad and Tobago Bolles A 2000 1:48.51
Bradley Ally Barbados St Thomas Aquinas 2A 2002 1:49.37
Nicholas Bovell Trinidad and Tobago Bolles A 2002 1:50.57
Bradley Ally Barbados St Thomas Aquinas 3A 2003 1:49.71
Bradley Ally Barbados St Thomas Aquinas 3A 2004 1:46.31
Branden Whitehurst US Virgin Islands Bolles 1A 2007 1:50.82
Wayne Denswill Suriname St Brendan 2A 2013 1:52.47
Patrick Groters Aruba University School 1A 2015 1:50.22

MATTHEW MAYS OF THE US VIRGIN ISLANDS MAKES WINNING START TO COLLEGIATE CAREER

Matthew Mays freshman bryantbulldogs
Matthew Mays Photo courtesy of Bryantbulldogs.com

Bryant University US Virgin Islands freshman Matthew Mays had a winning start for the Bulldogs as they beat Boston College 161-137. Competing at the Chace Athletic Center Pool on October 6 in Smithfield Rhode Island Mays was undefeated in all four events that he competed in.

In his very first race, the 200 yard butterfly Matthew came from fifth place after the first 50 to win the race in 1:52.94 topping the field by more than a second and setting a new pool record in the process.

The 200 yard backstroke saw the Business Major ahead from the start and he never relinquished that lead to win in a time of 1:54.63.

The St Croix native’s win in the 100 yard butterfly win was more emphatic as he stopped the clock in 51.04 more than two seconds ahead of the next best placed finisher.

His final race on Friday saw him anchoring the Bulldogs 400 yard freestyle relay in with the fastest of all splits 47.22 .That gave them the victory in a time of 3:12.93.

Matthew  won the Silver medal in the 200 metre backstroke 2:07.07 and Bronze medal in the 200 metre butterfly 2:08.05 in the 18 and over category at the 2017 CCCAN Championships in Trinidad.

DAY FIVE BALMY AND TULLIUS SWIM CARIFTA REGION BEST IN FREESTYLE AND BACKSTROKE. VANDERPOOL-WALLACE JUST OUTSIDE OF SEMI FINAL BERTH

Coralie Balmy Rio Day 5
Coralie Balmy Photo courtesy of Coralie Balmy

 

 

The 5th day of competition saw CARIFTA region bests being recorded.

Coralie Balmy rio Day 5 pic 2
Coralie Balmy Photo courtesy of Coralie Balmy

 

 

In the 800 metre freestyle relay heats Coralie Balmy (Martinique/France) started the relay with a split of 1:57.38 (splits 57.51 and 59.87). That was the 5th fastest split of the morning session. It bettered her CARIFTA region best of 1:58.83 set earlier during the Games. The French team finished 10th with a time of 7:55.55.

Rex Tullius
Rex Tullius Photo courtsey of vifreepress.com

 

The US Virgin Islands Rexford Tullius became the first swimmer from his country to compete in the 200 metre backstroke when he placed 20th in 1:59.14.That performance is a CARIFTA region best for the event. The previous standard was held by a team mate of Tullius at the University of Florida, Brett Fraser of the Cayman Islands. Fraser had stopped the clock in 2:01.17 at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace Photo courtesy of fitterandfaster.com

 

Sprint Queen Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace of The Bahamas just missed a semi-final berth in the 100 metre freestyle when she clocked 54.56 (splits 26.11 and 28.45). She was mere 6 100ths outside of 16th place. Arianna however still retains her title as the fastest female swimmer in this event at the Olympics. This is courtesy of the 53.73 that she registered at the London 2012 Games.

RIO 2016 OLYMPICS DAY TWO METELLA WINS SILVER , BALMY MAKES THIRD CONSECUTIVE 400 FREESTYLE ,ATKINSON QUALIFIES FOR 100 METRE BREASTSTROKE FINAL

 

Metella and teammates in 400 freestyle relay
France Silver medal winning 400 metre freestyle relay team from left to right Mehdy Metella,Florent Manaudou,Fabien Gilot and Jérémy Stravius Photo courtesy of Mehdy Metella

The second day of swimming action saw Mehdy Metella who comes from Cayenne, French Guiana earning the first medal of the Rio Olympics Games for a swimmer from the CARIFTA region. Mehdy won Silver as a member of the French 400 freestyle relay team. In the morning heats he had the 9th fastest leg with a time of 47.75 (split 22.79). In the final the 6 ft 3 in swimmer started the relay and showed great closing speed as he moved from 6th at the 50 metre mark with a time of 23.23 to give the French the early advantage with a time of 48.08.Their total time for the Silver medal was 3:10.14.

Coralie Rio
Coralie Balmy Photo courtesy of Coralie Balmy

 

Coralie Balmy who hails from La Trinité Martinique cemented her place as the best 400 metre freestyle swimmer from the region when she qualified for her 3rd consecutive Olympic final. In the heats of the event the French swim team captain registered the best time of her Olympic career when she hit the touched the timing pad in 4:03.40. That is the best performance by a swimmer from the CARIFTA region . Her splits were 2:00.10 and 2:03.30.She beat her CARIFTA region best of 4:03.60 set at the 2008 Beijing Games when she placed 4th. In the final she finished 8th in a time 4:06.98 split time 2:01.85. She is tied with Janelle Atkinson for the best placing in the region in this event. Atkinson finished 4th at the 2000 Sydney Games.

Alia Atkinson AliAtki
Alia Atkinson Photo taken from@AliAtki

 

In the heats of the 100 metre breaststroke Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson who qualified for her 4th Olympics following on Games in London 2012, Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004 bettered the best Olympic performance by a Jamaican ,either male or female in the heats when she registered 1:06.72. That bettered the 1:06.79 she swam to make the 2012 final. She would be even faster in the semi-final when touched the final wall in a time of 1:06.52.

Joanna Evans Day 2 Nationals
Joanna Evans 400 metre freestyle Champion Olympic qualifier Fastest woman ever from the English speaking CARIFTA region

Joanna Evans of the Bahamas has established herself as the fastest English speaking Caribbean swimmer in the 400 metre freestyle of all time when she swam 4:07.60.That crushed her old national mark of 4:12.14 and placed her 13th overall. The previous best was 4:08.79 done by the Jamaica’s Janelle Atkinson at the Sydney 2000 Games.

Lani Cabrera
Lani Cabrera Photo courtesy of barbadostoday.bb

Lani Cabrera became the second female Olympian for Barbados when she swam the heats of the 400 metre freestyle. She is also the only female swimmer to swim the event at the Games. Lani placed 30th with a time of 4:28.95

Lara Butler
Lara Butler Photo courtesy of http://www.ciasa.ky

The Cayman Islands Lara Butler became the second female swimmer to compete at the Olympics Games when she contested the 100 metre backstroke. She set a new national record in the event with a time of 1:04.98. With her brother Geoffrey contesting the 400 metre freestyle the day before made it the 3rd consecutive Games the Cayman Islands have sent siblings to swim following on the Fraser brothers Shaune and Brett representing in 2008 and 2012.

Caylee Watson
Caylee Watson Photo courtesy of Shannon Scovel for theeagleonline.com

The Us Virgin Islands Caylee Watson became the fastest woman in Olympic history for her country in the 100 metre backstroke when she clocked 1:07.19 for 30th  overall. It also made her the highest placed female swimmer in the event. The best placing and time previously was Tricia Duncan who swam 1:10.37 for 34th at the 1998 Seoul Games.

Noah Mascoll-Gomes
Noah Mascoll-Gomes Photo courtesy of espn.uol.com.br/

In the men’s 200 metre freestyle Antigua and Barbuda’s Noah Mascoll-Gomes set a national record with his time of 1:53.16 to place 44th.He is the first person to compete at the Games in an event other than the 50 metre freestyle.

 

Mikel Nov 23
Mikel Schreuders Photo courtesy of collegeswimming.com

Aruba’s Mikel Schreuders became the first swimmer from his country to race the 200 metre freestyle at the Olympics when he finished 45th in 1:55.10.

Evita Leter Florida Gulf Coast Swimming and Diving
Evita Leter Photo courtesy of Florida Gulf Coast Swimming and Diving

Suriname’s Evita Leter became the 4th woman to compete at the Games when she raced in the 100 metre breaststroke. She is the first woman to swim the event and finished 37th with a time of 1:14.96.

Izzy Joachim
Izzy Joachim Photo courtesy of http://www.rio2016.com

Izzy Joachim of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines became the first swimmer to contest a race other than the 50 metre freestyle when she placed 39th in the 100 metre breaststroke with a time of 1:17.37.

Timothy Wynter
Timothy Wynter Photo courtesy of jamaica-gleaner.com

The lone regional competitor in the men’s 100 metre backstroke Timothy Wynter became the fastest swimmer at the Games for Jamaica. His time of 57.20 which placed him 34th bettered the 1:00.04 Allan-Roy Marsh registered in 1984 at the LA Games.