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.
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.
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 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”
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Groters had Golden performances at the Woodson Invitational as well the District and Regional Championships.
1A District 11
1A Region 4
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.
1A District 7
1A Region 3
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.
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.
The 5th day of competition saw CARIFTA region bests being recorded.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Charlotte Backovic Bronze medallist Girls 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque
Bahamian standout Izaak Bastian (Saint Andrews) accounted for 3 of the 8 records that fell on the final day of the 2016 CARIFTA swimming championships on Friday March 25.
The first Championship record actually fell to Kenzo Simons in the boys 13-14 age group as he bettered the 2011 record of Aruban Jordy Groters (Missouri) by the slimmest of margins 24.49 to 24.50.
He would return to swim the identical time in the final but that is when Bastian dropped more than a second from his preliminaries to time to record a new Championship record of 24.25. In setting the record he also lowered the 24.64 Bahamian age group record set Gershwin Greene (Baylor) in 2013.Simons would pocket the Silver while Julien Berol of Martinique took the Bronze in 24.69.
He would lower another Championship record in the 100 metre breaststroke .He would take out the first 50 in 32.46 and come home in the only sub 36 split of 35.30 to touch the wall in 1:07.76.That time bettered the 1:07.99 set by countryman Dustin Tynes (Ohio State) in 2011. Bastian swept the breaststroke events all in record time. Jeremie Delbois of St Maarten was second in 1:10.68 while Luke Gillette of Trinidad and Tobago was third in 1:11.17.
Izaak’s final Gold medal and Championship record was in the 200 metre freestyle relay. The team of Heindrick Champrobert 25.76, Samuel Gibson 25.45, Darren Laing 25.44 and Bastian with the fastest split of the relays 23.89 touched in a total time of 1:40.54.The old record of 1:40.90 was set by the 2010 Trinidad and Tobago team of Joshua Romany (Tennessee) Dylan Carter (USC), Blaine Sobrian and Keegan Boisson-Yates (Iona). The 2013 age record of 1:42.58 set by Jared Fitzgerald (Peddie),Alexander Encinar (Peddie) Miller Albury (Cantebury) and Michael Hernandez. Martinique won the Silver medal in a time of 1:41.32 and Suriname the Bronze in 1:41.73.
McCallum Clarke of Barbados completed the breaststroke sweep in the 11-12 age group. He broke the Championship record of 1:13.81 by Aruba Brandon Cheong set in 2014 when he clocked 1:13.67.That time equalled his age group record set in February of this year. In the final he went out in 35.23 over a second and clocked the only sub 38 last 50 of 37.87 to win a new Championship and Barbadian age group record of 1:13.10.Silver went to Alexander Joachim of St Vincent and the Grenadines in 1:17.30 and the Bronze to Sam Williamson of Bermuda in 1:19.34.Sam broke Keegan Wooley’s Bermudan age group record of 1:22.23 set in December 2015.
It was yet another dominant display by the Higgs sisters Lilly and Margaret (SwimMAC Carolina) in yet another breaststroke event. Both ladies went out in hard in times of 33.87 (Margaret) and 33.97 (Lilly) respectively. Coming home Lilly split the only sub 39 time of 38.15 to edge her sister for the Gold 1:12.12 to 1:12.94.She also earned herself the Championship record as she beat the standard of 1:12.33 set by Trinidad and Tobago representative Alexandria Donahue (Brown) in 2013.Jamaican Bryanna Renuart won the Bronze in 1:16.58.
In the backstroke events it was Barbadian rising star Danielle Titus that took the spotlight in the 200 metre race .In the final she held off the challenge of Bermudan standout Emma Harvey 2:25.72 Silver and Yasmina Frederic of Guadeloupe Bronze 2:32.04 to take Gold in a new Championship record of 2:24.16. For Titus that breaks the Barbadian age group record of 2:27.75 set by Amara Gibbs set in 2011.It was also the fastest time done by a girl in the 200 metre backstroke race at the Championships. Harvey also lowered her age group record of 2:31.64.
Jamaican Olympic hopeful Keanan Dols lowered the 15-17 boys’ record of 2:07.48 set Cayman Islands Olympian Brett Fraser (2008, 2012) in 2007 to 2:07.26 in the morning heats. He would return to take the Gold medal in the final with a time of 2:07.30. The Silver medal was won by Patrick Groters (Pine Crest) in new Aruban age group and senior national mark of 2:08.95.Groters had set both previous standards at 2:09.34 set CARIFTA 2015 in Barbados.
In the 400 metre freestyle events Laureen Foumann of Guadeloupe completed the 11-12 200 /400 double when she won in 4:50.79.Silver was won by Danielle Treasure of Barbados in 4:52.17 while the Bronze went to Lamar Taylor of Trinidad and Tobago in 4:53.43.
In the 13-14 girls age group Titus of Barbados won in 4:40.37 ahead of Franelly Angele of Guadeloupe 4:45.60 and Jada Chatoor of Trinidad and Tobago 4:45.89 who repeated her .Bronze medal performance in the 200 race.
The senior girls race went to Barbadian Hannah Gill (Baylor) in a time of 4:29.76.Lilly Higgs won yet another medal placing second in a time of 4:34.89.The Bronze was won by Vanessa Esposito of Bermuda in 4:35.50 in a new Bermudan 17-18 record. The previous record was set by Nicole Yearwood at the 2009 CARIFTA championships.
In the 11-12 boys age group it was the exact same order from the 200 race as Mitch Bourgeouis won in 4:32.94.His teammate Tom Lerno took the Silver in 4:38.86 and Clarke of Barbados the Bronze in 4:44.00.
In the 13-14 age group Anaique Zachelin of Guadeloupe 4:15.03 Gold switched places with Heindrick Champrobert of Martinique 4:19.11Silver from the 200 event, The Bronze was won by Anthony Mercury of Guadeloupe in 4:21.15.
Alex Sobers of Barbados repeated his 2015 feat of being the senior boys 200/400 freestyle champion as he won in 4:02.01.He killed of the race as a contest with his 200 split of 1:57.25, the only sub 2minute split of the competition. Second was his teammate Damon St Prix in 4:07.94.The Bronze went Aruban Daniel Jacobs in a time of 4:08.87.
In the sprint event Jamaican Emily MacDonald was crowned the fastest 11-12 girl in the CARIFTA region when she touched the wall in 28.15.In winning the race she also lowered the 2001 record of 28.23 set by Olympian Alia Atkinson (2004, 2008, 2012).The Silver went Naele Portecop of Guadeloupe in 28.80 and the Bronze to Logan Watson-Brown of Bermuda in 28.83.
Chade Nercisio of Curacao is the fastest 13-14 girl in the CARIFTA region as she stopped the clock in 26.98. She finished ahead Harvey of Bermuda 27.17 and Analia Pigree of French Guiana 27.29.
The senior girls title went to Bermudan Madelyn Moore in a time of 26.75.She held off Jamaican Kelsie Campbell who touched in 27.13 and Charlotte Backovic of Guadeloupe 27.32.
The fastest 11-12 boy in the CARIFTA region is Youris Geran of Guadeloupe who clocked 27.07.The Silver was won by Leandro Berenstein of Suriname in 27.22 and Lamar Taylor of the Bahamas won Bronze in 27.68.
Jared Fitzgerald of the Bahamas crowned himself the senior boys sprint king with his clocking of 24 .00.He was pushed to the win by teammate N’nhyn Fernander 24.11and Steven Aimable of French Guiana 24.15.
In the 100 metre breaststroke races Sabine Ellison of the Cayman Islands proved she was the best female breaststroker in the 11-12 age group when she completed the sweep and won the 100 in a time of 1:23.67. Kate-lye Brivet of Guadeloupe won the Silver in 1:24.99. Audrey Moore of the US Virgin Islands took the Bronze in 1:25.27.
Nercisio of Curacao confirmed she had no equal in the 13-14 when she took the 50,100 and 200 treble. She won the 100 metre race in a time of 1:15.89. Willi-insha-marie Jules-Marthe of Martinique won the Silver in 1:17.54.Guadeloupe’s Farah Sheikboudhou took the Bronze in 1:18.77.
Adriel Sanes of the USVI took the senior boys title in the 100 metre breaststroke. His opening 50 split of 30.49 proved to be the major difference as he held off Trinidad and Tobago’s Jeron Thompson 1:05.45 to 1:06.23.The Bronze went Alexander Encinar of the Bahamas in 1:07.15.
In the 200 metre backstroke races Treasure of Barbados held off a fast finishing Anouk Kamise of Guadeloupe to take the 11-12 title 2:30.03 to 2:30.73.She also prevented Kamise from sweeping the event .Kamise’s teammate Foumann won Bronze in 2:37.71.
Lauren Hew of the Cayman Islands prevented yet another sweep of the top spots by the Higgs sisters when she took the senior girls event in 2:27.12.Margaret took the Silver in 2:29.33 while sister Lilly was a touch behind in 2:29.51.
Yael Touw Ngie Tjouw of Suriname completed his marathon individual programme when he completed the 13-14 boys backstroke sweep. He took the event in 2:14.83 ahead of teammate Simons in 2:16.58 and Peter Morley of the Bahamas 2:17.80.
The 200 metre freestyle relays which was the last event of the competition saw the ladies of Guadeloupe being crowned the fastest in the 11-12 age group with a time of 1:58.86.They finished ahead of Martinique and the Bahamas who were timed at 1:59.55 and 1:59.97 respectively. The fastest split was provided by Guadeloupe’s anchor Naele Portecop who clocked 28.38.
The ladies from Trinidad and Tobago are the fastest in CARIFTA region for the 13-14 age group as they took top hours in a time of 1:53.57.They held of the challenges of Barbados 1:55.30and Martinique 1:56.95 respectively. The fastest split was recorded by Danielle Williams of Trinidad and Tobago who anchored her team in a time of 27.82.
The senior girls relay was won by the Martinique team in a time of 1:50.75.Team Jamaica finished with the Silver in a new national age group record of 1:50.85 and Guadeloupe took the Bronze in 1:51.09.The fastest split was recorded by Mika Heideyer of Martinique who recorded 26.91 on third leg duties.
In the 11-12 boys race Guadeloupe were crowned Champions with their time of 1:50.24.Bahamas won the Silver in a time of 1:54.73 with Barbados taking the Bronze in a time of 1:55.31. The 50 freestyle Champion Geran ensured that he left the meet with a sub 27 clocking .He led off his team with a time of 26.97, the fastest of the relays.
The final race saw the Bahamas team confirmed as the fastest in the CARIFTA region with their winning time of 1:37.48.Trinidad and Tobago won the Silver in 1:38.08 and the Bronze went to Martinique in 1:39.28.The fastest split was record by N’nhyn Fernander who posted 23.78 on the 3rd leg for the Bahamas.
Guadeloupe topped the medal standings winning 23 Gold, 25 Silver and 18 Bronze medals. Bahamas finished second overall with 22 Gold, 22 Silver and 12 Bronze medals. Barbados was third with 18 Gold, 11 Silver and 15 Bronze medals.