On the third day of the Christmas Open Nathan Wright gave to Western Jamaica and himself a new national mark. Competing in the 9-10 50 metre freestyle on Saturday Dec 21 stroked his way to a new all-time Jamaica best of 29.18.He downed the old national mark of 29.27 set by Brady McPherson -Lewison at this meet in 2018. The youngster who represents the Sailfish Swim club also shattered the meet record of 32.04 by his teammate Benjamin Davis.Nathan is the only swimmer from the Western end of Jamaica to hold an individual national age group record.
THE ROAD TO THE NATIONAL RECORD
The 9-10 boys record stood for 28 years before falling in 2018.The mark was held by Tshaka Douglas who swam for the Y Speedos and dominated the 9-10 age group .
Nathan would also crush the 200 individual medley of 3:10.65 in a close battle with Zach Andre Johnson of the Y Speedos 2:55.42 to 2:55.47.
There would be a national record scare in the 50 metre breaststroke during the morning heats. This as Joseph Black of the Tornadoes swim club came close to taking down the nearly decade old senior national record of 29.38 set by Brad Hamilton.
Hamilton, who also represented Tornadoes set the mark at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games . Black, who is a sophomore at Kenyon College blitzed the field to set a mark of 29.62. He is the first Jamaican to break the 30 seconds mark in the event for the seven years. Black who scratched the final is also leading the North Atlantic Conference for the Lords with his 50 yard breaststroke time of 25.58. That time also has Black as the third fastest swimmer in the event for Division III.
Another notable highlight was the record set by the Swimaz Aquatic club quartet of twins Raine and Brooke Hopkins,Safiya Officer and Britney Williams. They took almost 30 seconds off the old meet record to set a new standard of 9:21.13.
Zarek Wilson of the Blue Dolphins of Trinidad and Tobago set the meet record in the 200 metre butterfly in the heats with a time 2:17.26 before securing the Gold in the final with a time of 2:21.65. Wilson has never lost the race in Jamaica and has swum faster on each occasion he has visited the island.His record in Jamaica now stands at five from five. Wilson set the fastest 11-12 mark in the race ever done in Jamaica in 2018.
The morning session of Day Three of the Walter Rogers Age Group Champs had as the highlight the obliteration of the girls 13-14 400 metre freestyle relay record by the Tornadoes team.
Since 2011 the old record had stood to the visiting Stingrays Swim Club of the Cayman Islands .The standard had stood to the team of Bethany Cleaver,Coral Tomascik,Lois Moody and Danielle Boothe. On Saturday Feb 23 the Tornadoes team of Isabella Sierra, Ireland Hunter, Aliyah Heaven and Sabrina Lyn laid waste to that time as they stopped the clock in a time of 4:16.80.They recorded the fastest female relay time of the day as well as beating back their opposition by more than 30 seconds.
Their teammates in the 13-14 boys age category got in on the record breaking act with a new standard setting swim of their own.The record in their sights belonged the 2015 Tornadoes team of Alex Mignott,Sean -Douglas Gooden,Jonathan Lyn and Jesse Marsh of 3:58.91.The team of Zachary Jackson-Blaine,Adrian Balfour,Daniel Mair and Nathaniel Thomas lowered that time to 3:57.85.
The fastest relay time of the day was posted by the Y Speedos team of Jordane Payne,Chester Adams, Akeem Alleyne and Kyle Sinclair of 3:52.33.
In the 200 metre series Sean Douglas-Gooden of Tornadoes won his seventh title breaststroke in the event over the last eight years in a time of 2:40.57. Since his last year of 11-12 Gooden has been unbeaten save for a disqualification in 2015.
Britney Williams of Swimaz Aquatics , the fastest ever locally trained mid to long distance freestyler and the defending CARIFTA champion ensured she was unbeaten in her three years of the 15-17 category as she took her event in a season best of 2:12.61.
There were also a number of close races as Safiya Officer of Swimaz just outlasted Sierra of Tornadoes in the girls 13-14 200 metre freestyle 2:22.52 to 2:22.98.Nathaniel Thomas got the decision over teammate Daniel Mair in the boys 13-14 race 2:08.35 to 2:08.85.
The fastest times of the day came from Y Speedos duo of Kyle Sinclair and Chester Adams who battled to the wall in times of 2:03.72 and 2:04.14 respectively.Other Gold medals decided in the morning were
As it was on the first two days of the 2018 Dean Martin Memorial meet in Kingston Jamaica so it was on the final day Sunday October 28 where Jillian Crooks of Camana Bay Aquatics continued the constant assault on the Cayman Islands 11-12 age group records.
In her first event of the day she raised the bar for her age group in the 100 metre butterfly. The 11-12 meet record stood to Jamaican standout Zaneta Alvaranga at 1:08.85 in 2017 which was also the fastest time by a female swimmer at the meet, Jillian’s 11-12 Cayman record was 1:06.87 from her CCCAN Gold medal performance in Aruba and the best ever 11-12 time in Jamaica was 1:05.98 by another wunderkind Bermuda’s Elan Daley in her Gold medal winning performance at CARIFTA 2018. Jillian would blast through all of those times to record a winning time of 1:04.54. Her opening split of 30.21 almost broke her 50 metre butterfly record of 30.08.Crooks has made considerable progress since her first regional meet of 2018 which was UANA where she recorded a time of 1:12.43.
Still in only her first year of the 11-12 age group she is already faster than the Cayman Islands 13-14 record held by Olympian Heather Roffey (Athen 2004) of 1:05.62 and is closing fast on the senior record of Lara Butler (Rio 2016) of 1:04.10. Her winning time at Dean Martin would have won her the Silver medal in the boys race at CARIFTA earlier in the year
She would not finish with her record breaking in the butterfly but also extended that to the 200 metre backstroke. Jillian would slice a few hundredths off her PB and national record of 2:33.98 to register a winning time of 2:33.91 . That now stands at the 11-12 record and fastest ever female time of the meet. The old 11-12 meet record was held by Kendese Nangle of the Blue Seals swim club from 2007 who posted a time of 2:42.95.
She would close out the meet with a meet record in the 50 metre freestyle record of 27.78 just eclipsing the 2016 meet record of 27.79 by CAC and Youth Olympics representative Emily MacDonald of Swimaz Aquatics. Crooks now dominates the LCM record board for the Cayman Islands in the 11-12 age group and has a chance to lower the CARIFTA and CCCAN records in those events in 2019.
50 metre freestyle
100 metre freestyle
200 metre freestyle
50 metre backstroke
100 metre backstroke
200 metre backstroke
100 metre breaststroke
50 metre butterfly
100 metre butterfly
200 metre IM
Continuing his own meet record smashing streak was Zarek Wilson of the Blue Dolphins Swim club of Trinidad and Tobago. He recorded the fastest ever time at the meet of 4:30.45 while destroying the 11-12 record of Sean -Douglas Gooden of 4:51.45.In his final event of the competition he clocked 26.20 just missing the 2017 record of 26.16 set by Nathaniel Thomas of the Tornadoes swim club.
In one of the most exciting races of the day in the 13-14 age group in the 100 metre butterfly which saw the 2018 CARIFTA Silver medallist Zaneta Alvaranga of the Kaizen Swim Club in a head to head battle with the 2018 CCCAN Gold medallist and national record holder Sabrina Lyn of the Tornadoes. It would be Alvaranga’s fast opening 50 metres that proved to be the difference as she held off a late charge from Lyn. They would finish in times of 1:05.24 and 1:05.56 well under the 2008 record of 1:10.86. Also finishing under the record was P’aige Lewis of the Y Speedos who recorded a time of 1:10.57.
Alvaranga would return to close out her individual races with an emphatic win in the 50 metre freestyle in a time of 27.23 . That shattered the 2016 meet record of 28.38 by 2018 Commonwealth Games competitor Alison Jackson of the Stingrays Swim Club of the Cayman Islands.The performance will also stand as the fastest ever female time at the meet.
Also in record standard setting mode was Thomas of the Tornadoes Swim Club in the 13-14 age category. In the 100 metre butterfly he set a new personal best time of 1:00.54 to take the win and break the meet record of 1:01.80. He would top the 13-14 field in the 50 metre freestyle with a time of 25.12 ,just under the old record of 25.16 in yet another personal best.He will be targeting the 2004 national record of 24.47 set by another Tornadoes swimmer Brad Hamilton.
In the 15-16 category Jordan Crooks of Camana Bay Aquatics produced the meet’s first ever sub minute swim in the 100 metre butterfly when he touched the pads in 59.83.In the 15 and over category of the 50 metre freestyle he held off two members of Jamaica’s national record setting 15-17 200 metre freestyle team at CARIFTA Jordan Hines of the Tornadoes Swim Club and Kyle Sinclair of the Y Speedos to be the fastest sprinter in the history of the meet. He cut through the water to touch in 24.60. Hines was a touch back in 24.61 and Sinclair ,the final sub 25 seconds swimmer with a 24.80. Both Jordans won their respective 15-16 and 17-18 age groups.
The Y Speedos Swim club retained their crown with 845 points followed by the Tornadoes Swim club with 745 and the Marlins swim club third with 256 points.
The afternoon session of the Dean Martin Memorial Swim meet on October 27 saw Jillian Crooks of Camana Bay Aquatics again breaking more Cayman Islands 11-12 national records. Joining her in the record breaking party was Zarek Wilson of the Blue Dolphins of Trinidad and Tobago who also lowered the English speaking record 11-12 butterfly record.
It would be Wilson who started the record breaking in the 200 metre butterfly. Zarek already held the fastest English speaking Caribbean mark in the 11-12 age group when he had set the bar at 2:20.25 at meet earlier in the month. As the race was open he would test his skills with older swimmers . He did not waste the opportunity as he and Jordane Payne of the Y Speedos battled for the majority of the race for supremacy. In the end it would Wilson prevailing and becoming the first 11-12 English speaking swimmer under 2:20. He touched in a time of 2:17.82 .
Records bettered on the way to his new mark was the meet standard of 2:33.52 set by Nathaniel Thomas and the fastest time set in Jamaica by an 11-12 boy of 2:22.71 in 2013 by Damon St Prix at CARIFTA 2013. Also downed was the fastest time recorded at the meet of 2:20.91 by Payne in 2017. When he was in Jamaica for the CARIFTA Championships and won this event he had recorded a time of 2:23.22. In his sights before he enters the 13-14 age group will be the all time 11-12 CCCAN record of 2:15.69 set by Mexico’s Joshua Laisequilla in 2011. Payne would top the 15-16 swimmers and better his own record with a clocking of 2:20.86.
Zarek would also record the fastest time for the meet when he won the 400 IM in a time of 5:18.30. That bettered the 2015 mark of 5:24.99 held by Zachary Moore of the Stingray Swim Club of the Cayman Islands.
Crooks would set her national marks in the 200 metre freestyle and 100 metre breaststroke. In the freestyle event would see Crooks, the 2018 CCCAN Bronze medallist in event battling with the CCCAN Gold medallist and national record holder Jamaican Morgan Cogle of Jupiter Dragons. Crooks would take the win in Kingston as both swimmer went under the 2016 record of 2:19.16 held by the former Jamaican national record holder in the event Emily MacDonald of Swimaz. Crooks would touch in 2:15.17 with Cogle second in 2:17.00. Crooks previous best and national record from CCCAN stood at 2:16.95.
In the 100 metre breaststroke she was not the first to wall as Kokolo Foster of the Tornadoes Swim club lead her to the pads in a time of 1:23.18. Jillian touched just behind in 1:23.60. Both swimmers bettered the 2008 record of 1:24.19 held by Octivia Gray of the Marlins Swim Club. Crooks bettered the 2015 national record of Alison Jackson of 1:24.96.
Brother Jordan , a 2018 Youth Olympics competitor and flag bearer would also set meet marks in Kingston . He took down the record in the 15-16 boys 100 metre freestyle of 55.48 with a time of 54.42. Battling him to the wall was Kyle Sinclair of the Y Speedos timed in 55.02. In the same race teammates from the Tornadoes Swim Club Jordan Hines and Sean -Douglas Gooden topped the 17-18 division with swims of 57.41 and 58.26 respectively and were both under the meet standard of 59.26.
The 200 metre freestyle would see Jordan lowering the 15-16 mark of 2:05.00 by Stingrays Jonathan Key and recording the best time ever done at Dean Martin with a 2:01.05 performance (split time 58.68).
Cogle would bounce back from the 200 freestyle to record the fastest time ever done by a girl at the meet when she stopped the clock in 5:39.56. that swim broke the 11-12 record of 5:47.56 by Ria Plunkett of the Stingrays Swim Club in 2015.It is also faster than the best mark ever at the meet , the 15-16 record of 5:39.99 by Breanna Roman of Swimaz Aquatics.
Other notable records on the day saw the Tornadoes duo of Sabrina Lyn and Sean -Douglas Gooden taking down the breaststroke records in the 13-14 and 17-18 age groups respectively with swims of 1:19.74 and 1:11.45.
Lyn also lowered the 200 metre butterfly record for good measure in a time of 2:41.67 .Last year she had set the 11-12 record with a time of 2:46.66.
The third day of action of the 2018 Walter Rogers Age Group swimming National Championships was highlighted by national record breaking swims by Zaneta Alvaranga of the Kaizen Swim Club in the 50 metre butterfly.
After dominating the 50 metre butterfly event locally and regionally as 11-12 swimmer in 2017 and establishing herself as the CARIFTA region’s number best of all time she continued her unbeaten streak on Friday Feb 16. Competing in her first race in the 13-14 age group she started her career in the new age category on the best possible note by lowering the national record of 29.57 to 29.55.
The previous record was set by age group star Kendese Nangle when she won Silver at the 2008 Caribbean Islands Swimming championships in Kingston.The meet record of 29.68 was held by Emily MacDonald of Swimaz set in 2017 Zaneta would have more in the tank for the final as she reset the record again with a time of 29.19. That performance was the fastest time of the competition and the fastest time ever recorded by a girl at the Championships. That swim by Alvaranga would have won her the Bronze in the event at the 2017 CARIFTA championships.
Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Zaneta after her record breaking swim after the final and got her impressions of her swim
“My goal was to get as close to my ( 2017 Gold medal winning) CCCAN time and I did. I focused on the start so I could get out as have as little armstrokes as possible and have rested shoulders and breathe as little as possible so I would not break streamline.I expected the record because I broke it this morning and I came back prepared to do even better than this morning”. In 2017 Alvaranga was the most prolific female age group record breaker have setting the 11-12 50 metre butterfly record four times and the 100 metre freestyle once.
Brianna Anderson of the Y Speedos would take down another Boothe standard when she recorded 30.07 in the 15 and over butterfly heats.
Boothe had set the record in 2013 at 30.32. In the final Brianna took the Gold in 30.47.
Alvaranga’s 2015 9-10 50 metre butterfly record would fall to Christanya Shirley of the Marlins. She would win the event handily in a time of 33.35 well under the previous meet record of 34.86.
The first day of the 2018 Walter Rogers Age Group Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Jamaica held yesterday Tuesday Feb 13 saw the distance titles being decided.
The fastest performers were Britney Williams of the Swimaz Aquatics Swim club in the 15 and over 800 metre freestyle and Jordane Payne of the Y Speedos Swim Club in 15 and over 1500 metre freestyle.
Williams extended her unbeaten winning streak in the event to five years when she took the title in a time of 10:04.37.
Williams, who is the fastest ever locally trained middle to local distance freestyle swimmer finished ahead of the Y Speedos duo of Naomi Eaton 10:18.31 and Karci Gibson 10:43.94. When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Williams she gave her impression of her performance and building up to CARIFTA
“The race was okay .it was better than the Karl Dalhouse race because I did not feel as tired during and after the event so I am really looking forward to CARIFTA and going sub 10 minutes and hopefully getting a medal”.
Britney’s Golden Years at Age Group Champs
15 and over
15 and over
In the 1500 metre freestyle Payne topped all comers with a time of 18:35.69. He was followed to the wall by teammate Dominic Mullings who punched the clock in 18:48.56. The Y Speedos trifecta was completed by 13-14 Gold medallist Zachary Johnson who dropped more than 20 seconds to be timed in 19:44.98. Payne spoke to draftingthecaribbean after his win
“The 1500 was a very good race, one of my best in Jamaica. It was a very challenging race and I had to be pacing myself but it has put me in a good position to win the high point trophy at this competition”.
Topping the 800 for 13-14 girls race was Zaneta Alvaranga of the Kaizen Swim club who posted a personal best of 10:44.63. Tornadoes swept the top 11-12 positions for girls and boys with Ireland Hunter touching in 11:37.30 for the 800 and Joshua Mair registering 21.12.51 for the 1500.
The final day of the Neville Alexander Memorial Swim Meet saw the sprinters putting on a show. There would be yet another national record as the Marlins 9-10 girls added to their tally from Saturday morning. This time they lowered the national standard in the 200 freestyle relay.
The young ladies of the Marlins who lowered a record set almost 30 years. The team of Kokolo Foster, Saidah Brown, Giani Francis and Christanya Shirley touched in a time of 2:14.66, more than 10 seconds ahead of the field. That lowered the national record of 2:15.37 set way back on Aug 1, 1988. That mark was set by the national team of Kezia Stewart, Kerone Peat, Joanna Lee and Nicole Lowe at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships held in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic when 9 and 10 year olds were allowed to participate. Also falling by the wayside was the meet record of 2:18.69 by the 2012 Marlins team of Deandra Reynolds, Karci Gibson, Ahkira Brown and Britney Williams.
The 50 metre freestyle meet records fell by the wayside in the following races 8 and under boys, 11-12 girls and boys and the 13 and over boys’ events. That meet record rush continued in the 200 metre freestyle relays 8 and under girls, the 11-12 girls and boys and 13 and over girls events.
The record breaking spree was started in the 8 and under boys’ race by the Y Speedos’ Zack –Andre Johnson. He lowered a more than a decade old record when he touched the wall in 34.13. The old record of 34.21 was held by former Speedos swimmer Robert Marshall. Johnson topped the field by more than 5 seconds.
In the 11-12 girls event it was Zaneta Alvaranga of the Y Speedos who recorded the fastest time by a girl at the meet and lowered the meet record with her quick time of 27.68. Her margin of victory was more than 2 seconds. In winning she lowered the 2016 meet record of 28.09 by Swimaz’s Emily MacDonald .Zaneta was just off her Silver medal winning CARIFTA personal best of 27.56.She continues to track the national record of 27.53 of MacDonald when she won Gold at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships.The record for the 11-12 girls age group at the upcoming CCCAN championships to be held in Trinidad and Tobago is 27.55 set their Olympian Cerian Gibbes in 1995.
For the boys event it was Nathaniel Thomas of the Tornadoes who again dominated the field. He recorded the only sub 27 seconds time of 26.57. He crushed the meet record of 27.58 by the Y Speedos Alford Green set in 2003.He was more than a second ahead of the field. He was barely off his personal best time of 26.52. Last year he was In his sights for the rest of the year will be the national record of 26.29 held by another Tornadoes age group standout Brad Hamilton. That mark was set in 2002.
In the boys 13 and over race it was Sidrell Williams of the Y Speedos who recorded the fastest time of the meet and the only sub 25 seconds clocking when he touched the wall in 24.29. That lowered his 2012 meet standard of 24.74.
The 11-12 girls Y Speedos relay team of Paig’e Lewis, Callier Maxwell, Jadean Dixon and Zaneta Alvaranga lowered the meet record of 2:04.24 with a swim of 2:03.82.
The 11-12 Tornadoes boys Jaleel Samms, Zachary Jackson-Blaine, Nikolos Gordon-Somers and Nathaniel Thomas set their meet record with a time of 1:56.25.
The 13 and over girls of Y Speedos team of Leanne McMaster, Naomi Eaton, Paris Clare and Brianna Anderson set a record of 1:57.54.
Anderson would sweep the backstroke events 50-100-200 when she claimed the open 200 backstroke crown in 2:43.51.She would also add the 13 and over 50 metre freestyle title in 28.08.
The boys open 200 metre backstroke title went to her teammate Kyle Sinclair in a personal best of 2:20.51.
The crowd was treated to good contests between national record breaking teammates Kokolo Foster and Christanya Shirley of the Marlins in the 50 breaststroke and 50 metre freestyle races.
The older Foster edged her younger teammate 40.14 to 40.71 in the breaststroke race and 31.42 to 31.74 in the freestyle event.
David Morris of the Y Speedos won the boys 9-10 50 metre breaststroke in 43.21.Israel Allen who had an outstanding showing at the meet won the 50 metre freestyle in a pb of 31.86.Allen won five of the six 9-10 individual age group events on offer all in personal record times. The 200 metre freestyle relay in this age group was won by the Marlins team of Josh Johnson, Jayden Campbell, Josh Wilkinson and Kajuan Haughton in 2:20.35.
In the 11-12 age group it was the Tornadoes duo of Sabrina Lyn and Nikolos Gordon –Somers who took top honours in the 100 metre breaststroke in 1:27.72 and 1:22.49 respectively.
In the 13 and over age group Naomi Eaton of the Y Speedos in addition to her relay win had victories in the 100 metre breaststroke 1:22.67 and 400 metre freestyle 4:53.09.
Adrian Grant of the Tornadoes also did the breaststroke/freestyle double for the 13 and over boys. He won the 400 metre event in 4:53.09. In the breaststroke race he held off teammate Sean-Douglas Gooden for the victory 1:11.84 to 1:11.97.
In the 8 and under category Renae Chung of the Y Speedos was a double winner for the girls taking the 50 metre breaststroke and freestyle races in personal best times of 52.25 and 36.61. Chung won all the 8 and under individual races on offer at the meet. The boys breaststroke race went to Waldon McIntosh in 49.46.
The masters’ races for the ladies were again dominated by the Tornadoes Swim club. Lisa Griffith won the 50 metre breaststroke in 48.22. Annelies Denny won the 50 metre freestyle in 35.41.Stefan Braeger won the men’s 50 metre breaststroke in 41.78. Rohan Whyte of the Sailfish Swim Academy won the freestyle race in 30.29.
The meet was brought to a conclusion with the boys 13 and over 200 metre freestyle relay by the Tornadoes team of Sean-Douglas Gooden, Joshua Craigie, Adrian Grant and Jordan Hines in 1:43.38