The CARIFTA region has reason to be very proud of its swimmers this conference season in the NCAA. One of the swimmers bringing joy to the US Virgin Islands and the wider region was Adriel Sanes . Representing the Denver University Pioneers Sanes was on fire for the Summit League championships presented by  United States Air Force Special Operations which ran from Feb 19 to 22 at the Midco Aquatic Center in Sioux Falls.

He started the meet with a new a Championship record in the 200 yard medley relay. The Pioneers A team of Cameron Auchinachie backstroke 21.33, Cy Jager breaststroke 23.49 , Sanes butterfly 21.05 and Sid Farber 19.00 handling anchor freestyle duties had no problems winning by over four seconds in a total time of 1:24.87, a NCAA B time. The team swim also took down the Championship record of 1:26.02 set by the 2017 Pioneers team. Each member of the team had the fastest splits for their respective strokes. The Pioneers also came close to their school record of 1:24.63 set at the Princeton Invitational in December last year.

Day two saw the same quartet knocking over yet another 2017 Pioneer record .This time it was in the 200 yard freestyle relay. The relay saw Cameron opening up the proceedings with a time of 19.33, followed by Sid 19.02,Jager 19.50 and then Sanes cementing the win with a split of 19.63. The total time was 1:17.48 erasing the old Championship mark of 1:17.62.It was done in yet another NCAA B standard time and came withing touching distance of the school record and NCAA time they produced in December of 1:17.09.

Patrick Groters. Photo courtesy of

In the 200 yard individual medley the Pioneers and the CARIFTA region occupied the top two spots. Aruban teammate Patrick Groters took down the school and Championship of 1:46.95 set by Tim Cottam in 2017 to record a new standard of 1:46.24. Sanes took the Silver in a time of 1:47.90 just off his personal best.He had the fastest breaststroke split of the field with a time of 30.50.

Pioneers sweep sprint breaststroke

It was back to regular programming for Sanes on Day three. In the 100 yard breaststroke he negative split the race 26.76 and 26.45 to record a new personal record of 53.21. In the final that strategy would not be employed as he and defending champion and teammate Cy Jager let it all hang out on the first 50 yards. Sanes had the slight edge 24.52 to Jager’s 24.53. Adriel’s strong last 50 yards of 27.80, the only sub 28 seconds of the Championships decided the winner. He touched in 52.32 , a new school,Championship and CARIFTA region best.The old school and Championship record belonged to Cottam at 53.00. The Pioneers dominated the event taking the top four spots.

100 yard breaststroke podium.Photo courtesy of J Klemme
Sanes flashes a winning smile after securing the 200 yard breaststroke Conference Crown in a CARIFTA regional all time best time Photo courtesy of Denver University parents

The final day would see yet another personal record, school record, NCAA B cut and CARIFTA region best in the 200 yard breaststroke. Sanes had the best splits on all four 50’s and had a total time of 1:55.70. He is the only swimmer from the CARIFTA region under 1:56.00.

First 5025.4725.86
second 5029.0029.41
Third 5029.9330.52
Fourth 5031.3032.55
Total Time1:55.701:58.34

He ended the meet anchoring the 400 yard freestyle relay with a split of 45.75.The team had a total time of 2:55.83.

Summit League MVP.Photo courtesy of Denver University parents

For his great efforts Adriel was named the Championship Swimming MVP.

Denver Pioneer Champion Men’s team Photo courtesy of Denver University parents

The Pioneers won the men’s title with 1,082.50 points.The University of South Dakota were runner up with 706.5. Third place was won by South Dakota State University with a total of 645.50 points.

Adriel Sanes. Photo courtesy of Denver University parents

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to the talented Sanes in March about his swims

What has been the difference from last years Summit Champs to  now mentally and in terms of training?

“So last season, the team went through some issues and it took a toll on me mentally. The training was great, but training could only get you so far if you’re not mentally ready. So last year’s Summit League Champs, it wasn’t as good as I trained for as I only went one best time. Still won the relays and the 200 breast, but it wasn’t as great, especially with the 200 breast being my best event. As with this year’s Summit League Champs, it was much different. Coming off of a great mid season meet that I had in Princeton where I went best times in all my events and helped qualify 3 relays to the NCAA Championships, it boosted my mental toughness to believing I could even do better at this year’s Summit League Champs. The training leading up to the meet was the best I’ve ever had and the week of the meet, I knew I was ready to dominate”.

He was also quizzed about his 100 breaststroke tactics

Your endurance has improved greatly.You negative split the heats coming back in 26.45.And in the final you really went after it splitting 24.5.What sets have you been working on to build this speed endurance and describe that race

“The result of that race was a real shocker to me. I know I’ve put in a lot of hard work over the season, over many years actually, but the result of that race still shocks me to this day. I normally train mid distance, but there are still plenty of opportunities I’ve had to train for the speed of the 100. Sets I’ve done that has helped are sets that I would do 50s at fast pace and hold that pace on short intervals of rest. Other sets are ones we wear cords and do 8-12 strokes fast against a strong resistance.Now with that 100 breast race, at Princeton, I already dropped .50 seconds off my best time going 53.50. So in prelims, I wanted to go as close to 53.00 or even break the barrier. I went 53.21 with good splitting and my teammate went 53.09, so I knew it was going to be a great race at finals. I was nervous before the race as I knew it was a race to break the 53 barrier and win the race. Knowing my teammate is more of the sprinter and takes it out strong, if I stayed right with him, I knew I could win the race as I have a great back half that I’ve trained for and especially since I’m great at the 200. The buzzer goes off and the first 50 was how I wanted/needed it to be. I could see I was right with my teammate and I told myself “I got this.” My walls and pullouts were tremendous and helped being able to take the race out in a 24.52 and bringing it back in a 27.80. Touching the wall to see a time of 52.32 was exciting, but shocking as I didn’t have any idea that I was swimming that fast. I couldn’t believe it honestly. It was a school and conference record by a wide margin. Now with that time, it is a strong possibility that it will be an invite time to the NCAA Championships and I could go to swim individually and not just on the relays, which is still exciting to this day”.


Sanes was already the fastest of all time in the 200 yard breaststroke from 2018 when he overtook Aruban Jordy Groters best of 1:56.60 with a swim of 1:56.24. Jordy set that time at the 2016 NCAA Division I championships.He continues to be the best of all time and the first swimmer under 1:56.00 with his PB of 1:55.70.

Jordy Groters Photo courtesy of

He is also the fastest swimmer ever from the CARIFTA region in the 100 breaststroke as he got under another Groters standard from the 2016 NCAA Division I Champs of 52.70 with his swim of 52.32.

Sanes was selected for All American honours by College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) and will also be a team captain for the 2020 -2021 season.


Before 2019 came to close yet another CARIFTA region swimmer was re writing the pages of his school’s record book. That swimmer was Adriel Sanes of the University of Denver. Competing at the Princeton/Big Al Invitational .He took victories in the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke in NCAA B qualifying times.He also won all the relays he swam in. It would be the 200 freestyle where he would have his name in history as his greatest success.In the very first final of the meet that ran from December 6 to 8 saw the Pioneers A team of Cameron Auchinachie 19.17,Sid  Farber 18.73,Jackson  Gainer 20.07 and Sanes 19.43 beating the field by over a second to win in a time of 1:17.40. That was just off the school record of 1:17.22 and the NCAA A cut of 1:17.17.

With the team so close to the NCAA standard the night before the squad came together to go for that automatic invitation in Indiana in late March.They would not disappoint and would achieve their goal of stamping their ticket .They also set a new school record and put the Pioneers fourth in the country.

Denver’s Fantastic four.
Photo courtesy of
First legCameron Auchinachie19.19Sid Farber19.40
Second legSid Farber18.77Cameron Auchinachie19.10
Third legCy Jager20.05Anton Loncar19.31
Fourth legAdriel Sanes19.08Stephen Calkins19.41
Total Time 1:17.09 1:17.22

In the following event the 200 yard individual medley the junior continued his personal best progression. After lowering his personal standard from 1:48.30 in November to 1:47.95 in the morning he went even faster in the night’s final. He went 1:47.23 for a fifth place finish , not too far from the NCAA B time of 1:46.77.It also doubles as the second fastest in school history.With that swim Adriel is now the fastest swimmer ever from the US Virgin Islands of all time .He bettered the time of 1:47.35 set by 6’6 Olympian George Gleason (Sydney 2000, Athens 2004) in a dual meet against Harvard on February 3, 2001. Gleason, who was the Yale Captain that year would win the silver medal at the Ivy League conference Championships that year.

George Gelason with his parents during his competitive years.
Photo courtesy of

There would be another clear victory in the 400 yard medley relay as the Pioneers team of Neil Watchler backstroke 48.27,Cy Jager breaststroke 53.20,Sanes butterfly 47.35 and Auchinachie 42.16 got the better of the field with a winning time of 3:10.98 .They had a winning margin of 2 seconds plus.

The next day the Pioneers also took the shorter medley relay.In the 200 relay Auchinachie backstroke 21.10, Jager breaststroke 23.85,Sanes butterfly 21.01 and Farber 18.67 put together yet another clinical win . They won by over 3 seconds with a winning total effort of 1:24.63.

After batting for two years with a personal best of 54.00 in the 100 yard breaststroke ,the breakthrough came in the morning heats as he had splits of 25.35 and 28.18  to take half a second off his time to lead the preliminaries with a 53.50 effort. It was also under the NCAA Division I B cut of 54.27. In the final teammate Jager made him work for the win . Cy went out in a blazing 24.57 , the fourth fastest time in the NCAA division so far this season. Sanes was almost a half a second behind with his split of 25.05. Adriel split 28.52 and used all of his 6’3 frame to reel in his teammate for a narrow victory 53.57 to Jager’s 53.60. It would be no surprise of the speed of Cy as he is the son of the legendary sprinter US Olympic Gold medallist Tom Jager. Tom broke the world record six times in his career and holds the record for having the global mark for the second longest time period from March 24,1990 with his time of 21.81 to June 1,2000.The record was broken by another sprinting legend Russian Olympic Gold medallist Alexander Popov 21.64

Tom Jager in the 1980’s doing his legendary sprint dive

The final day of the meet he put himself on course for the breaststroke double and yet another personal best with a morning time of 1:56.98.His personal best and school record  entering the meet stood at 1:56.24.

Sanes powering his way to a dominating win in the 200 yard breaststroke.Photo courtesy of

He would not disappoint as in the final as he lead from gun to the final touch pad. He took the victory by over 2 seconds stopping the clock in 1:55.95.

First 5025.7825.54
Second 5029.8529.19
Third 5029.5530.11
Fourth 5030.7731.40
Total time1:55.951:56.24

Sanes capped the competition in the best possible way anchoring the A team to victory in a new school record and NCAA B time of 2:51.99

The team of Auchinachie 42.60 ,Farber 41.99,Hugo Sykes 43.48 and Sanes 43.92  won by over a second.

First legCameron Auchinachie42.60Cameron Auchinachie43.43
Second legSid Farber41.99Stephen Calkins42.60
Third legHugo Sykes43.48Ryno Bornman43.96
Fourth legAdriel Sanes43.92Sid Farber42.45
Total Time 2:51.99 2:52.44

The Pioneer Men finished third in the male standings with 688.50 points.Second went to Brown with 743.5 points and Princeton topped the seven team rankings amassing 887.50 points.

Draftingthecaribbean got in touch with Adriel and he gave his thoughts on a very successful mid season meet

Adriel Sanes.Photo courtesy of

“Our first invite of the season and we were determined to qualify for NCAA. We felt ready as we’ve been training hard for this weekend.We swam Friday night 200 yard freestyle relay and got the NCAA B with a time of 1.17.40, but that was not enough for us.We decided on Saturday after prelims, to time trial as we knew what each of ushad to swim to get the NCAA A time and we did it.We were so excited and all the DU Parents gave us a lot of support by cheering loud to get us motivated.It was the best moment for the relay team. 

The Fantstic Four of Jager,Auchinachie,Farber and Sanes celebrate their A cut in the 200 yard freestyle relay

After making this time, we were so motivated, that making the NCAA B time for 200 and 400 Medley Relay felt much easier and smooth. My 200 Breast was on the last night and want it to finish strong and have best time than what I previously had and I did make best times on both my 100 and 200 Breast.It was a really successful meet for me and my DU Teammates.Now we will train hard to be ready for Conference and then go to NCAA and our goal is to make top 3 in 200 free relay”.

Sanes is a part of the current wave of CARIFTA elite swimmers looking to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Games .He will be working towards the 200 metre breaststroke as his main event .He will also look towards the 100 breaststroke to make the qualifying mark to Asia. He competed in the long course meet and swam 2:18.90 for the 200 breaststroke.That time represents his best in season time ever .It augurs well for him to get past his current national record of 2:16.90 set at this year’s PAN AM Games in Lima and go after the Olympic B time of 2:14.26.

2019 World Swimming Championships 200 metre freestyle women Cuba’s Elisbet Gamez Matos is the top ranked CCCAN swimmer

Elisbet Gamez Matos Photo courtesy of FINA

The 200 metre freestyle saw Cuban Elisbet Gamez Matos earning the right to be seen as the best from the CCCAN region at the global championships. She split 59.26 en route to a total time just over 2 minutes as she touched in 2:00.33.She placed 20th overall. This is an upward movement for the region since the 2017 Budapest Championships when Helen Moreno of Costa Rica was the top regional athlete in 32nd spot. This is also the best world Champs performance for Elisbet.The 2018 CAC Central American and Caribbean Silver medallist  had finished in 36th in Barcelona in 2013 with a time of 2:05.54.

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

Finishing second on the regional rankings was Joanna Evans of The Bahamas. The fastest woman ever from the English speaking Caribbean and reigning CAC Games Champion  posted the fastest time ever by an English speaking woman at these Championships with a swim of 2:02.76 (split time 58.05) for 31st . That bettered the old record of 2:07.75 set by Lani Cabrera of Barbados at the 2015 Kazan edition of the Championships. She also equaled the best performance by a swimmer from the English speaking Caribbean.Shelly Cramer has also placed 31st at the 1982 Guayaquil Championships .Cramer had swum 2:12.66.

Gabriela Santis of Guatemala just missed PB of 2:05.08 when she stopped the clock in a time of 2:05.36 (split time 1:02.14) for 36th overall.This is an improvement from 2017 when she had recorded 2:06.94 for 37th .

Elan Daley gives a thumbs up after setting the 11-12 CARIFTA record

Reigning CARIFTA Champion and record holder in the 13-14 age Elan Daley of Bermuda was next on  the CCCAN regional list .Already the her nation’s senior national record holder with swim at CARIFTA in Barbados of 2:06.13 she went even faster in South Korea. Swimming in heat 3 the 2019 CCCAN champion was fearless in taking the race to her older competitors and almost won but was touched out by Santis .Elan stopped the clock in a 13-14 and national record of 2:05.47 (split time 1:00.87) for 38th .Only legendary Jamaican Olympian Janelle Atkinson has swum faster from the English speaking Caribbean with her national 13-14 standard of 2:05.07 from 1997.

Costa Rican Amanda Alfaro had a near miss with her personal best of 2:06.29.She hit the pads in 2:06.60 for 39th.

Sara Pastrana of Honduras was 40th in 2:06.76.

Danielle Treasure of Barbados was 46th in a time of 2:11.51.

The US Virgin Islands Natalia Kuipers was 52nd in a time of 2:15.45

Maya de Freitas of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines lowered her own PB and national record of 2:19.10 when recorded a time of 2:15.48.That placed her 54th overall.

Olivia Fuller of Antigua and Barbuda was 57th in a time of 2:19.71.

The best performances by the region are dominated by the Poll sisters Sylvia and Claudia of Costa Rica. Sylvia still holds the 13-14 CCCAN record with a super fast 2:00.49 from 1985.Claudia holds the 15-17 record at 2:02.12 set in 1989.

Claudia Poll Photo courtesy of panamericanworld
1998Claudia Poll1:58.90GoldCosta Rica
1994Claudia Poll1:57.61BronzeCosta Rica
2001Claudia Poll1:58.924thCosta Rica
1986Sylvia Poll2:02.176thCosta Rica
2009Coralie Balmy1:56.7910thFra/Martinique

2019 World Championships 100 metre breaststroke men Mexican Miguel Chavez Gonzalez tops CCCAN region in South Korea, National records fall for Sanes and Joachim

Miguel Chavez Gonzalez photo courtesy of

The 100 metre breaststroke for men contested on the opening day of the World Swimming Championship in Gwangju South Korea saw Mexican Miguel Chavez Gonzalez as the top CCCAN swimmer .He dropped more than a second from his personal best to record a time of 1:02.37. An aggressive first 50 metres of 28.99 helped him to achieve the top regional placing of 45th overall.

Edgar Crespo Photo courtesy of

Panama’s  national record holder Edgar Crespo recorded a 2019 best time of 1:02.62 (split time 28.83) for 48th overall. This is the eighth consecutive World Championships Crespo has contested this event .

Adriel Sanes .Photo courtesy of University of Denver athletics

Adriel Sanes of the US Virgin Islands recorded a new national record to place 48th overall. He lowered his old national standard of 1:03.71 (split time 29.27) from the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games to 1:02.91 (split time 29.18). His performance is also the best performance. The previous fastest time was done by Abraham McLeod of Trinidad and Tobago who clocked 1:03.47 for 49th overall at the 2013 Barcelona Championships. This is a big improvement for Adriel who had placed 63rd in the 2015 Kazan Championships with a time of 1:07.16.It is also the first top 50 performance by a swimmer from the US Virgin Islands in the event.

National record holder from Honduras Julio Horrego was just off his national record of 1:03.30 when he touched in a time of 1:03.55.That is the fastest time a Honduran swimmer has ever recorded at these championships. He placed 57th.

The 2019 CARIFTA Champion and record holder Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas recorded a swim of 1:03.60 to place 58th in his World Champs debut.

Fausto Huerta of the Dominican Republic was 63rd in a time of 1:04.65.

Rainer Rafaela of Curacao recorded a personal best of 1:06.41 (split time 31.15) to finish 71st overall.

Costa Rican Arnoldo Herrera was just behind him with a time of 1:06.42 for 72nd .

Alex Joachim .Photo courtesy of

There was a new national record for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as Alex Joachim clocked 1:08.14 (split time 31.78) for 80th . The previous national standard was set by Shane Cadogan just this year at the 2019 CARIFTA Championships during the heats of the 15-17 age group.

2019 World Championships 400 metre freestyle women Joanna Evans of The Bahamas leads CCCAN region

Joanna Evans Fastest woman ever from the English speaking CARIFTA region

Joanna Evans of The Bahamas made her debut in the 400 metre freestyle on the opening day of the World championships. In her maiden performance where she placed 16th overall she became the fastest ever English speaking woman at the global champs. With a midway split of 2:02.37 she finished with a season best of 4:11.06. The previous English speaking Caribbean best was held by Lani Cabrera of Barbados who swam 4:28.31 for 41st at the 2015 Kazan World Champs.  In addition to Evans is also the highest placing English speaking woman ever in the event with her top 20 finish. Joanna also had the highest placing among CCCAN swimmers in the event.

Elisbet Matos Photo courtesy of desdeesteladodelaisla

Second for the region was Elisbet Gamez Matos of Cuba who recorded her country ‘s best ever finish and time at these World Championships with a 4:18.19 clocking for 29th overall. The previous best t placing was held by Daniela Benavides when she was 33rdth  with a time of 4:21.36.

Honduran national record holder Sara Pastrana was 34th in a time of 4:27.65.Costa Rican Amanda Alfaro was next in the ranking with a time of 4:29.91 just off her personal and season best time of 4:28.80.

Guatemala’s Daila Ismatul touched in 4:34.75 for 37th overall.

Danielle Treasure of Barbados was 40th in 4:37.22.

The first female swimmer from the Cayman Islands to contest this event and reigning CARIFTA 13-14 Champion Raya Embury-Brown was 41st in 4:38.17.

Natalia Kuipers of the US Virgin Islands was 42nd with a time of 4:41.69.


The fans at the Aquatic Centre in Wildey, St Michael Barbados were on hand to witness a lightning quick national record performance in the 15 and over 100 metre backstroke by Jack Kirby. The occasion was the 28th Aquatic Centre International Invitational Swim Meet.

Jack Kirby Photo courtesy of Pirates Swim Club Barbados

Before second day of the competition on May 25 the fastest a Barbadian swimmer had ever navigated the two back stroke race was 56.19 . That mark was set by Kirby in a fifth place finish in the Championship final at the 2018 CAC (Central American and Caribbean Games)in Barranquilla Colombia. But this is new year with new standards to be achieved and Jack certainly did that .

When the starter’s gun sounded two swimmers separated themselves from the field with their excellent underwater work Kirby of the Pirates Swim club and Nicky Neckles Olympian (1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney and Athens and CAC 100 metre backstroke medallist (Bronze 2002,Gold 2006,Silver 2010).

Barbados Backstroke Stars Jack Kirby and Olympian Nicky Neckles Photo courtesy of Pirates Swim Club

Jack gained the ascendancy and pushed his way to the lead with a split of 27.77. Kirby’s underwater work was almost as good if not better than the start . He used that to gain a sizeable lead and all eyes were now on the clock. He did not disappoint with a final 50 metres timed at 28.03 which helped to a total time of 55.80.

There was a change of tactics for this record swim as he went out more conservatively to bring it home faster. As evidenced by his splits in 2018 which were 26.77 and 29.42

The first swimmer under 56 seconds in the event in Barbados lowering the meet and open record of 56.76 set by Venezuela’s Luis Rojas in 2012. Second went to Neckles of Flying Fish Masters in 1:01.29 and Bronze to Nkosi Dunwoody of Alpha Swim club in 1:07.37.

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Kirby about his achievements and he gave us the following thoughts.He first spoke about why the race was special

” The race was special because I was able to achieve my goal at home in front of my friends and family”.

He also spoke about the training behind his great underwater work

” For the underwaters, I practice them everyday in warm up. We always have these 8 50s and as I go through them, I do 4 kicks off the turn for 3 50s, 6 kicks off the turn for 3 50s, and 8 kicks off the turn for the last two. The goal is to work on going far with those kicks. So by time I get to the 8 kicks, I break out at 15 metre mark. In the race, I do 8 kicks off the turn, hoping to get to the 15 metre mark”.

He also told draftingthecaribbean about his mindset before the race

” I kept my thoughts pretty relaxed before the 100 back. I planned to go after it the same way I always do. Back half it because I’m pretty good with easy speed, so I had to trust my wall and back end speed”.

His new personal best and national record also moves him past Jamaican record holder Olympian Timothy Wynter, a recent USC (University of Southern California) graduate on the best all time English speaking CARIFTA region list. That list is headed by another USC graduate Trinidad and Tobago Olympian Dylan Carter.Jack now holds two of the three senior national backstroke records to include the 50 metre backstroke at 26.07. The last remaining record he does not own is the 200 . That mark was set by Neckles in 2006 in a time of 2:00.85.

CARIFTA backstrokers at USC from left to right Carter,Kirby and Wynter Photo courtesy of swimmingworld
NameFirst 50 Second 50100Year
Dylan Carter TTO26.4127.6854.092019
Rex Tullius USVI26.6128.4655.072016
George Bovell III TTO26.1829.0455.222012
Jack Kirby Bar27.7728.0355.802019
Bradley Ally Bar27.3828.5055.882011
Timothy Wynter Jam26.9329.2256.152016
Shaune Fraser Cay28.0628.9356.992011
Jack Kirby Bar26.7729.4256.192018


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

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

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



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 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


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

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,,

IM winners 2
Past regional winners from left to right Wayne Denswill and Patrick Groters Photo courtesy of 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