GIRL WONDER!! JILLIAN CROOKS OF CAMANA BAY CONTINUES NATIONAL RECORD ONSLAUGHT ON FINAL DAY OF DEAN MARTIN

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.

jillian crooks 100 fly
Jillian Crooks 11-12 metre record holder in 100 metre butterfly and fastest ever 11-12 swimmer in the event in Jamaica Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

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.

100 butterfly UANA CCCAN Dean Martin
First 50 33.95 32.64 30.21
Second 50 38.48 36.67 34.33
Final Time 1:12.43 1:09.31 1:04.54
Heather Roffey gamecocksonline
Olympian Heather Roffey Photo courtesy of gamecocksonline.com

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

Lara Butler
Lara Butler Photo courtesy of http://www.ciasa.ky
100 butterfly Crooks 2018 Butler 2016
First 50 30.21 30.15
Second 50 34.33 33.95
Final Time 1:04.54 1:04.10
Kendese Nangle
Kendese Nangle Photo courtesy of dartmouthsports.com

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.

Emily 200 free
Emily MacDonald  Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

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.

Event Crooks Cayman CARIFTA CCCAN CCCAN best/Country
50 metre freestyle 27.25 26.59 27.46 26.59 Ber
100 metre freestyle 59.93 1:00.06 59.65 58.12 Ber
200 metre freestyle 2:15.17 2:10.26 2:10.24 2:08.16 Ber
50 metre backstroke 32.11 31.52 30.78 30.78  Tri
100 metre backstroke 1:08.40 1:08.69 1:07.14 1:06.65 Tri
200 metre backstroke 2:33.91 2:29.11 2:26.35 2:25.91 Mex
100 metre breaststroke 1:23.60 1:14.60 1:14.39 1:13.33 Tri
50 metre butterfly 30.08 28.87 28.74 28.74 Jam
100 metre butterfly 1:04.54 1:05.98 1:05.55 1:04.46 Ber
200 metre IM 2:34.88 2:27.95 2:27.38 2:25.21 Ber

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.

Sabrina Lyn
Sabrina Lyn National record holder in the 13-14 100 metre butterfly Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

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.

Zaneta Alvaranga
Zaneta Alvaranga, fastest ever female swimmer at the Dean Martin meet Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

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.

Nathaniel Thomas
Nathaniel Thomas 13-14 record breaker in the 100 metre butterfly and 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

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.

Jordan Hines
Jordan Hines 17-18 50 metre freestyle record breaker Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

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.

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NATIONAL RECORDS CONTINUE TO FALL AT 2018 DEAN MARTIN ZAREK WILSON LOWERS ENGLISH SPEAKING CARIBBEAN BEST BUTTERFLY MARK, CROOK BETTERS FREESTYLE RECORD

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.

Zarek Wilson
Zarek Wilson Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

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 .

Race analysis

200 butterfly Splits
First 50 30.50
Second 50 35.30
Third 50 37.41
Fourth 50 34.61
Final Time 2:17.82
Damon-St.-Prix swimbarbados
Damon St Prix Photo courtesy of swimbarbados.com

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.

Jillian Crooks 200 free
Jillian Crooks 11-12 200 metre freestyle record holder Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

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.

200 freestyle CCCAN Dean Martin
First 50 30.89 31.95
Second 50 35.21 33.98
Third 50 35.78 34.90
Fourth 50 35.07 34.34
Final Time 2:16.95 2:15.17
Kokolo foster 100 breast
Kokolo Foster 11-12 100 metre breaststroke record holder Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

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.

alison-jackson-wsc-2016
Alison Jackson Photo courtesy ofcaymansportsbuzz.com
100 breaststroke Jackson 2015 Crooks 2018
First 50 39.62 39.07
Second 50 45.34 44.53
Final Time 1:24.96 1:23.60
Jordan and Jillian
Jordan and Jillian Crooks Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

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).

Morgan cogle
Morgan Cogle 11-12 400 IM winner Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

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.

Sabrina Lyn Neville 2017
Sabrina Lyn of the Tornadoes Swim club .  13-14 200 metre butterfly meet record holder  Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

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.

LITTLE POOL, BIG POOL, NO ISSUES AS JILLIAN CROOKS COLLECTS MORE CAYMAN NATIONAL RECORDS AT DEAN MARTIN MEET IN JAMAICA

The 2018 Dean Martin Memorial swim promised to be an exciting three days of swimming action  and the first session held at the National Aquatic Centre did not disappoint. Leading the way on night one of action was young sensation from the Camana Bay Aquatics Club from the Cayman Islands Jillian Crooks.

Her last competitive outing saw her  smashing eight national records including a senior national record in the 25 metre pool. The question now was could she transfer her short course form to the big pool (50 metre ) .Question asked Answer EASILY.

In her very first event the 100 metre backstroke she produced a new PB, meet record and 11-12 Cayman national record swim and the fastest time ever swum by an 11-12 girl in Jamaica of 1:08.40. That was the only sub 1:10 swim of the day and  also the fastest female performance ever at meet. With splits of 33.43 and 35.95 Jillian proved herself a class a part.

Tyla Martin
Tyla Martin Photo courtesy of pinecrestswimming.com

She has also shown much improvement as the youngest swimmer in the Championship final of this event at CARIFTA in Kingston earlier this year  she had placed 5th in 1:15.71. The old national record of 1:10.45 has already belonged to Jillian from her CCCAN  Silver medal winning performance. The old meet record belonged to Jamaican age group star Angara Sinclair at 1:14.97.The previous fastest ever mark by an 11-12 girl was held by Trinidad and Tobago’s Tyla Martin who won Gold in that age group at CARIFTA 2010

Morgan and Jillian
Top 11-12 swimmers in the 200 metre IM from left to right Morgan Cogle of the Jupiter Dragon USA and Jillian Crooks of Camana Bay Aquatics Cayman Islands Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

In her next race on the night she would destroy another Cayman 11-12 age group record in the 200 metre individual medley. At the 2018 CCCAN Championships in Aruba  she won the Silver medal in a time of 2:36.70. After she swum the race it would become part of history as she clocked the  only sub 2:40 time time on the night and the fastest ever female performance at the meet of 2:34.88. The old 11-12 record of 2:42.65 belonged to another Jamaican age group star Victoria Ho. An aggressive opening butterfly leg changed the course of the race and allowed her to win easily.

200 IM CCCAN Dean Martin
butterfly 32.72 30.98
backstroke 39.67 41.10
breaststroke 48.97 46.91
freestyle 35.34 35.89
Total Time 2:36.70 2:34.88

 

Second in the 11-12 age group was Jamaican age group star and 2018 CCCAN Bronze medallist in the event Morgan Cogle of Jupiter Dragons who stopped the clock in 2:43.81.

Zarek Dean
Zarek Wilson of the Blue Dolphins Swim Club Trinidad and Tobago Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

There would be another quality performance in the 11-12 age group as CARIFTA’s top 11-12 male swimmer Zarek Wilson of Blue Dolphins of Trinidad and Tobago won the 1500 metre freestyle in 18:24.66 . That shattered the previous fastest 1500 metre freestyle of 18:51.65 set by Zachary Moore of the Stingrays Swim Club in 2015. He also produced the fastest time across all age groups on the night.He would also set a new mark in the 11-12 200 metre individual medley as he became the first 11-12 swimmer under 2:30 seconds at the meet with a top age group time of 2:28.86

Daniel Mair
Daniel Mair of the Tornadoes Swim Club Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

Jamaica’s first CCCAN open water medallist  Daniel Mair  of the Tornadoes Swim Club dropped more than 10 seconds to place second overall in the 11-12 age group with a time of 19:04.69.

Britney
Britney Williams Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

Jamaica’s 2018 15-17 CARIFTA Championship Gold Medallist in the 200 metre freestyle Britney Williams lowered the 15-16 age group meet record in the 100 metre backstroke.The Swimaz aquatics athlete touched the wall in a time of 1:15.16 .That bettered the old meet record held by Angara Sinclair of 1:16.01.

Kyle Dean Martin
Kyle Sinclair Y Speedos Swim Club Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

There would be an exciting battle in the 15-16 10 metre backstroke as Kyle Sinclair of the Y Speedos and and a member of the 15-17 2018 CARIFTA 200 freestyle team that set the Jamaican age group record in the event and Jordan Crooks,2018 Youth Olympics flag bearer of the Cayman Islands and Camana Bay Aquatics went stroke for stroke to the wall . Sinclair got the victory in 1:03.75 and Jordan a touch behind in 1.03.98.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEAM TTO’S RISING STAR ZAREK WILSON DOMINATED THE 11-12 AGE GROUP IN 2018

With the major regional competitions completed for the year Zarek Wilson of Team Trinidad and Tobago (Team TTO) rose from the ranks to dominate the region in the 11-12 age group.

Zarek doing land training
Zarek in dryland training Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

CONFIDENT START

His excellent run of form started at the inaugural UANA Cup in Coral Springs Florida in late January.Fittingly he opened the CARIFTA region’s account when he took the Bronze in the 400 metre freestyle in a time of 4:33.49. That was the first medal of an opening triple medal winning performance that included the CARIFTA best performance in the 200 individual medley of a Bronze in  2:31.50 and ending with with another regional standard performance of 27.32 in the 50 metre freestyle to claim another Bronze.

The second day of swimming action saw him with another triple medal winning performance and also opening the Gold medal for Team TTO in the the 100 metre backstroke in time of 1:07.63 which stands as a new championship record. That Gold was accompanied with two Bronze in the 100 metre butterfly 1:03.48 and 200 metre freestyle 2:09.05 another Regional best performance.

Zarek with 8 medals
Zarek Wilson with his Eight medals won at the UANA Cup

The final day of competition saw the Wilson completing the backstroke sprint double taking the 50 metre event in 30.20 . He completed his medal tally with Silver in the 100 metre freestyle in a CARIFTA region best placing of 58.20.

11-12 high point trophy winner Zarek wilson recieving trophy UANA M Lyn
Zarek Wilson being presented with the 11-12 high point trophy Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

His versatility  and mental strength over the three days in colder conditions led him to being awarded the high point award for the 11-12 age group amassing 61 points.

DOMINATION IN KINGSTON

In Jamaica at the CARIFTA championships late March and early April he lead a powerhouse 11-12 contingent from Team TTO that was the engine behind their overall placing of second on the medal table.

Zarek Wilson
Zarek Wilson Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

It would also be his most dominant performance of the year winning 12 Gold medals and a Silver.

Event Time Place
100 metre freestyle 58.89 Gold
200 metre freestyle 2:07.03 Gold
400 metre freestyle 4:27.78 Gold CR
50 metre backstroke 30.59 Gold
100 metre backstroke 1:06.68 Gold
100 metre butterfly 1:05.06 Silver
200 metre IM 2:24.93 Gold
400 metre IM 5:10.41 Gold
200 metre butterfly 2:23.22 Gold
200 metre backstroke 2:29.92 Gold
400  metre freestyle relay 4:06.84 Gold
400 metre medley relay 4:44.35 /heats 4:38.35 Gold
200 metre freestyle relay 1:50.06 Gold
Zarek with Landon Von Kanel trophy
Wilson with the Landon Von Kanel trophy for the 11-12 swimmer who wins both the 200 and 400 metre freestyle races. It is awarded in honour of Von Kanel who was a top swimmer from The Cayman Islands who left us too soon Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Such was his conditioning all 13 races medal yielded a near perfect medal performance. In addition to topping the 11-12 age group top performer with  he also won the Landon Von Kanel trophy for winning the 200 and  400 metre freestyle.

The CCCAN championships in Aruba this summer saw strong competition from Guatemala and The Dominican Republic Wilson still withstood this to win 10 medals Seven  Gold and Three Silver. Zarek would complete Regional Golden Doubles in the 400, 200 metre freestyle and 200 metre IM events. He would have no equal in the sprint backstroke events at UANA,CARIFTA and CCCAN. His leadership would again lead the Team TTO Youth Brigade to overall age group titles for both the girls and boys.

Zarek and Nikoli
Zarek and CCCAN 11-12 open water star and fellow top performer for Team TTO Nikoli Blackman enjoying down time after a successful season of national team representation Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The boys total of 201 points were more than double the second placed country and the most points tallied across the four age groups 11-12,13-14 , 15-17 and 18 and over.

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Zarek on July 10 he spoke about the CCCAN and championships and his preparation for the 13-14 age group

“CCCAN 2018 in Aruba was a continuation of my learning experience as a competitive swimmer. I believe I showed some growth and achieved many of my goals. Even the events that I fell short in provided valuable experience which will also serve as motivation going forward. The highlights for me were the 400 freestyle and the 200 butterfly. In the 400 freestyle I was able to execute the race just the way my coach, Edmund Pouchet, suggested. Even though I won silvers in the 100 (1:02.18) and 200 (2:21.11) butterfly events, they were both personal bests with the 200 fly being a new national record. I am encouraged by the times that I swam. After a short break I will sit down with Coach Pouchet and begin preparations for the next two years in the 13-14 age group. I am thankful to God and everyone, (family, coaches, teammates, and supporters), especially those who are there when the lights are not shining brightly”.

TRAINING ZAREK

Zarek and Coach edmund
Zarek and Coach Edmund Pouchet Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Zarek is a Form 2 student of the Presentation College in San Fernando. He trains with the Blue Dolphin Swim Club at the St Mary’s College in Port of  Spain which is a 65km commute one way. Draftingthecaribbean had the opportunity to speak with his coach Edmund Pouchet on Sep 25 about how he conditions Zarek and his performance at the major meets this year , what he needs to do step up his training and the approach that should be taken to age group swimming.

He said that Zarek performed well this season . He swam a full schedule and that takes a lot of conditioning. Zarek has  nine sessions per week which includes four morning sessions.

Zarek and Land trainng 2
Zarek running through drills during dry land training Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Coach Edmund said that work load will need to step up by one session entering the 13-14 age group.At this time of the season the work is mainly aerobic .Medley work twice a week,Stroke work twice a week. Mornings sets would be around 4,000 metres and the afternoons 7,000 metres in the afternoons.

Zarek in the water
Wilson completing a training set during an afternoon workout Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

There is one sprint session session per week to keep the swimmers sharp. More sprint sessions will be added as the target for aerobic work has been met but still maintaining the aerobic base.

Coach Edmund also stressed that in the development of age group swimmers there needs to be a focus on building the aerobic base. Swimmers should mainly  be doing 200, 400 races and up as this is central to their development. Coach Edmund who has more than three decades of coaching experience believes in the mantra “put in the work and you will get the results”. He has seen clearly over the years of coaching that there is no shortcut to success and coaches must build their swimmers so when they leave a programme they are able to handle the workload in a collegiate programme.

Zarek will be one of the leading lights Team TTO will be looking to step up for the Republic when he enters the more competitive 13-14 age group

 

 

 

NIGEL FORBES STANDS TALL AT CCCAN,WINS REGIONAL BREASTSTROKE TRIPLE CROWN (UNANA,CARIFTA AND CCCAN TITLES) EN ROUTE TO FIVE GOLD AND TWO SILVER

At the recently concluded CCCAN swimming Championships held in Aruba Nigel Forbes continued his epic season in an 11-12 age group division which was brimming with talent. Forbes stood tall among his peers in the breaststroke for 2018 and was unbeaten for the season in that stroke .

50 metre breaststroke medallists
50 metre breaststroke medallists from left to right Blackman, Forbes and Trejos Photo courtesy of CCCAN

It would be the 50 metre breaststroke in  which he would make put together a masterpiece of a swim .Already the fastest Bahamian 11-12 breaststroker of all time with 32.54 he now had his sights on the 2005 CCCAN record of Panamanian Arturo Medina of 32.42 .That time tied Bermudan Sam Williamson 11-12 national mark of 32.42 as the second fastest of all time in the CCCAN region. The unofficial record was held by  Aruba Jordy Groters at 32.41. Things looked promising for young Forbes when he clocked the fastest time of the preliminaries of 32.99. In the championship Final Forbes  took off from the sounding of the starter’s gun and was more than a body length of the field by the 25 metre mark.With the question of the Gold answered what needed to be determined was what the record would be lowered to . Forbes continued to blaze towards the wall and slapped the pads in a time of 32.15 , a new PB, Bahamian , CCCAN Championship  record and he can officially hold the moniker of the fastest the region had ever seen in the event. Winning the Silver was Trinidad and Tobago Nikoli Blackman in 34.74 and the Bronze to Edu Trejos in 34.75. It was this event that he created history for the CARIFTA region by winning the first ever Gold medal at the  inaugural UANA Championships so it is fitting that he would take the regional Triple Crown UANA , CARIFTA and CCCAN titles in the fastest swim of all time.

Forbes 11-12 Gold
Nigel Forbes of The Bahamas First Gold Medallist for The Bahamas and the CARIFTA region 11-12 breaststroke Gold at the 2018 UANA cup
UANA 34.20
CARIFTA 34.05
CCCAN 32.15

The 100 metre breaststroke would see Nigel putting another show of scintillating speed.As with the 50 metre breaststroke he was already the best The Bahamas had ever produced with his 1:12.24 clocking from the REV nationals and was within a hair’s breadth of the CCCAN record time of 1:12.18 set by  Olympian Carlos  Claverie of Venezuela  (Rio 2016) .

Carlos Claverie panamerican world
Carlos Claverie waving to the crowd after being presented with Bronze medal at the 2014 Youth Olympics Photo courtesy of panamericanworld

Claverie  won Bronze at the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing China in the 100 metre breaststroke in a time of 1:01.56.

After easing into the final with a time of 1:14.78  he decided to turn on the thrills in the final. When the race started Nigel again separated himself by some distance by the halfway mark turning in 33.13, a split that would have would the Silver in the 50 metre race. He kept applying the pressure and touched in a new PB,Bahamian record and CCCAN Championship record of 1:11.16.  Forbes is now the fastest ever swimmer the CARIFTA region has produced in the event.He just missed the unofficial CCCAN 2014 record of 1:10.94 held by Puerto Rico’s Daniel Chevere. The win also marked another Triple Crown performance ( UANA, CARIFTA and CCCAN). Silver went to Panamanian Trejos in 1:13.24 and Blackman won Bronze in 1:16.24.

Event Time Split
UANA 1:15.07 35.40
CARIFTA 1:15.81 35.50
CCCAN 1:11.16 33.13
boys 11-12 200 metre breaststroke medal podium
Boys 11-12 200 metre breaststroke medallists from left to right Trejos, Forbes and Bonati Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The 200 metre breaststroke which was Forbes first individual race saw a colossal battle between himself and Trejos. The Panamian started the race with a split of 35.67 followed by Nigel with a 36.50 . They were the only swimmers under 37 seconds for the first 50 metres and well ahead of the rest of the field. Nigel kept closing the gap on Edu until he was ahead by .01 ahead of him coming off the final wall.

Forbes pushing for Gold in the 200 breast
Forbes pushing for Gold in the 200 metre breaststroke Photo courtesy of CCCAN

 

He then stepped on the gas to take the win in a new PB and Bahamas record 2:36.00.  Forbes just missed another Claverie standard of 2:35.89 but is now the fastest ever 11-12 200 metre breaststroke swimmer from the CARIFTA region. Edu was close behind winning Silver in 2:36.32. Bronze went to Stefan Bonati of the Cayman Islands in 2:49.08.

Boys 11-12 100 metre butterfly podium
Boys 11-12 100 metre butterfly podium from left to right Wilson,Forbes and Gossmann Photo courtesy of CCCAN

There would be more Gold for Forbes in Aruba in the sprint butterfly events. In the 100 metre butterfly he won the Gold based on a strong back half. This, as he was behind at the 50 metre mark as the early leaders Christopher Gossmann of Guatemala 29.23 and Trinidad and Tobago standout Zarek Wilson 29.44. Nigel’s split was 30.05. He however provided the fastest last 50 metres to take the Gold in 1:01.95 a new PB and Bahamian record taking almost a second off the 2014 Evante Gibson standard of 1:02.83 .that completed the regional Golden Double as he won the CARIFTA Gold in 1:04.05 earlier this year in Kingston. Silver went to Wilson in a new PB of 1:02.16 and the Bronze to Gossmann in 1:02.23.The same trio finished in the exact same order earlier at the UANA cup with times of 1:03.34,1:03.48 and 1:04.19 respectively

CARIFTA 1:04.09 30.47
CCCAN 1:01.95 30.05
boys 11-12 50 metre medal podium
Boys 11-12 50 metre butterfly medal podium from left to right Sealy, Forbes and Gossmann Photo courtesy of CCCAN

In the 50 metre butterfly he posted the only sub 28 seconds time in the final to win 27.73. Omari Sealy of Barbados took the Silver in 28.17 and Gossman 28.25. He holds the national record at 27.67.

100 freestyle podium 11-12 boys
Boys 11-12 100 metre freestyle medal podium from left to right Forbes,Blackman and Johnson Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

In the 100 metre freestyle he dipped under the 58 seconds barrier for the first time to win Silver in a PB and national record time 57.79.Gold went to Blackman in 57.61 and the Bronze to his teammate Marvin Johnson in 58.75. The old 11-12 record of 57.99 belonged to Lamar Taylor .

 

11-12 mixed 200 metre freestyle relay
11-12 mixed 200 metre freestyle relay medallists from left to right The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago and the Cayman Islands Phoot courtesy of Harold Wilson

There would be another Silver for Forbes and Team Bahamas in the 200 metre mixed freestyle relay.The team of Johnson (27.98),Keianna Moss (28.72) ,Devin Cuffy-Bethel 28.98 and Forbes (25.76) stopped the clock in 1:50.64 just behind Team Trinidad and Tobago 1:50.29 .The Bronze went to the Cayman Islands in 1:52.64. Nigel placed 9th in the 400 metre freestyle.

When draftingthecaribbean contacted the young swimmer he gave his thoughts on his breaststroke Gold medals . He said that he felt great about all the breaststroke races his favourite was the 100 metre race. When questioned about the 200 metre event if he knew about the record and if he could have gone faster he said he did not think he could have gone any faster because he had great competition from his Panamanian competitor (Edu Trejos) and he gave it his all. Forbes now owns 7 of the 16 individual Bahamian national records for the 11-12 age group

Event Record
100 metre freestyle 57.79
50 metre breaststroke 32.15
100 metre breaststroke 1:11.16
200 metre breaststroke 2:36.00
50 metre butterfly 27.67
100 metre butterfly 1:01.95
400 metre IM 5:18.05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ZAREK WILSON LEADS STRONG 11-12 AGE GROUP TO BE A MAJOR FORCE IN TEAM TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO’S MEDAL COUNT AT CARIFTA 2018

The recently concluded 2018 CARIFTA Championships saw a very strong contingent from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago dominating the 11-12 age group in Kingston.The 11-12 team included Nikoli Blackman,Zoe Anthony,Joy Blackett,Gabrielle Vickles,Josiah Changar,Amelia Rajack,Savannah Chee-Wah, Stachys Harley,Nieshelah Caseman, Caitlyn Look Fong ,Sheni St Hilaire and Zarek Wilson.

Team TTO 11-12
TEAM TTO 11-12 swimmers at CARIFTA 2018 Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

They were also the major force behind the squad earning 19 Gold 19 Silver and 7 Bronze as the youngsters hauled in 15 Gold, 14 Silver and Two Bronze.

Team TTO opening ceremony
Team Trinidad and Tobago at the opening ceremony Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

In the relays Team TTO did not place below Silver for any relay and fittingly they won the 400 mixed freestyle relay . The team of Anthony , Changar ,Chee-Wah and  Blackman swam under the old Championship record of 4:10.82  twice, in the heats 4:05.25 and final 4:08.60.

young 11-12 female
11-12 400 medley relay Silver medallist from left to right Zoe Anthony, Caitlyn Look Fong, Neishelah Caseman, Savannah Chee-Wah Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

 

T and T Gold medal
400 medley relay Gold medallists from left to right Josiah Changar, Nikoli Blackman, Stachys Harley, Zarek Wilson Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The 11-12’s got their CARIFTA 2018 off on a Golden note as Zoe Anthony won the 200 metre breaststroke in a time of 2:53.55

Zoe Anthony competing in the heats of the 200 mtre breatstroke
Zoe Anthony competing in the heats of the 200 metre breaststroke Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Leading the medal charge for the 11-12 age group was Zarek Wilson who won 13 Gold medals and set a CARIFTA record in the 400 metre freestyle on his way to winning  the high point trophy .

Elan and Zarek hrold wilson photos
11-12 high point winners girls and boys Elan Daley of Bermuda and Zarek Wilson Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

In many of 11-12  victories for the boys Team TTO delivered a one –two punch for the boys as Wilson and his countryman Nikoli Blackman set a pace that gave their competitors too much to handle.

Blackman and Wilson
Nikoli Blackman and Zarek Wilson Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Draftingthecaribbean contacted Wilson and he gave us his thoughts

“After Carifta 2017 where I won 2 individual bronze and 2 relay golds I was both satisfied and disappointed at the same time.  Satisfied to have qualified for Carifta after competing at the Goodwill level for several years.  Disappointed because I wanted to achieve so much more.  After the Bahamas, I was able to train more consistently and pay more attention to my dryland exercises, since the Secondary Entrance Exam was now behind me.

Zarek Wilson
Zarek Wilson Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

This year in Jamaica I was satisfied with what I had achieved, especially since this was my final year of the 11-12 age group.My coach, Edmund Pouchet, expanded my swim program, adding new events like the 400 metre  freestyle and 400 metre  individual medley.  These two events ended up being memorable.  The 400 metre freestyle was a battle with my friend Nikoli Blackman.  We both went under the Championship record (4:29.92 Samson Boileau Guadeloupe), but I was able to out touch him at the end (4:27.78 to 4:27.89).

Zarek with Landon Von Kanel trophy
Wilson with the Landon Von Kanel trophy for the 11-12 swimmer who wins both the 200 and 400 metre freestyle races. It is awarded in honour of Von Kanel who was a top swimmer from The Cayman Islands who left us too soon Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

And the 400 metre individual medley was on the back end of a triple, which  included the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke.  Head Coach Shawn Pouchet really encouraged me when I was feeling tired.  He reminded that I had actually been been practicing for days like this.  His encouragement paid off for me.  Even though it was painful, I was able to persevere and gain my third personal best of the day  (5:10.41).

Blackman and Wilson preparing to race
Zarek and Nikoli preparing to race Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

 

CARIFTA in Jamaica was a really enjoyable experience for me. The atmosphere was great and I was happy to share the podium with my team mate and friend Nikoli on multiple occasions.  We have been swimming, competing and having fun together since we were  6 or 7 years old. Now that CARIFTA is over, I am preparing for CCCAN in Aruba.  After that I will sit down with my coach, Edmund Pouchet, and begin planning for next year, which will be my first year in the 13-14 age group”.

UANA CUP DAY THREE 15-17 BOYS JACK KIRBY OF BARBADOS WINS 50 METRE BACKSTROKE COMPLETES SPRINT DOUBLE,SMASHES THREE AGE GROUP RECORDS

The final day of the UANA CUP in Coral Springs Florida saw Jack Kirby of Barbados completing the backstroke sprint double.  Kirby  would be the best placed swimmer from the CARIFTA region as he placed second overall with 26.5 points. Kirby, who was fittingly named Junior Athlete of the Year for 2017 for his nation lived up to that accolade by producing yet another  another stellar performance.

Jack UANA
Jack Kirby UANA Gold medallist and Barbadian age group in the 50 metre backstroke

He started his run of good performances by completing the CARIFTA region trifecta in the 50 metre backstroke. Earlier Zarek Wilson of Trinidad and Tobago and Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas captured the 11-12 and 13-14 crowns respectively.

wilson Day 2 UANA
Trinidad and Tobago’s first Gold medallist at the UANA Cup Zarek Wilson 11-12 50 metre backstroke Gold  medallist
Lamar Taylor UANA
Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas 13-14 50 metre backstroke gold medallist

He won the event in a time of 26.63 holding off Mexican standout Guillermo Cruz Zuniga who stopped the clock 26.73 .Matheus Zacharias of Brazil won the Bronze in 27.16. Kirby’s effort lowered his previous 15-17 national record of 26.88 set at the World Junior Championships in Indianapolis on August 25.It also bettered the Youth Olympic Games A qualifying standard of 26.73.He completed the backstroke double after winning the 100 metre in an new age group and Youth Olympic A standard time of 56.34.

In his sights for the CARIFTA Games will be the Championship record of 26.31 set by Trinidad and Tobago’s David McLeod at the 2014 Aruba Championships.

In the 100 metre freestyle he placed 4th in a time of 52.04 (split time 25.70) .He was just out touched by Zacharias who punched the clock in 51.96. Kirby’s strong back end speed was evidenced yet again as he produced the fastest last 50 metres of the competition of 26.34.

Alex Sobers receing award
Alex Sobers of Barbados( 15-17 boys champion in the 200 and 400 metre freestyle receiving award Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque

His effort earned him yet another age group record as he lowered the 52.25 (split time 25.42) set by Olympian Alex Sobers (Rio 2016) when he won Gold at the 2016 CARIFTA Championships in Martinique.

In the very last event of the day the mixed 200 metre freestyle relay Kirby lead off the Barbados team with a time of 23.68. That broke yet another Sobers age group standard of 24.14. Alex had set the record in the heats of the 50 metre freestyle at the 2016 CARIFTA championships. That also puts Kirby within striking distance of the Youth Olympics A standard time of 23.56. The other members of the team Danielle Titus 27.79, McKayla Treasure 29.31 and Luis Sebastian Weekes helped to produce a total time of 1:45.39 just missing the age group record of 1:45.16 to place 8th overall. The national age group record was set by the team of Sobers, Hannah Gill, Damon St Prix and Treasure set at the 2016 Caribbean Island Swimming championships in The Bahamas.

Renzo rio
Renzo Tjon A Joe photo courtesy of Renzo Tjon A Joe

With that swim Kirby has put his name in the conversation to swim the event at CARIFTA in Jamaica and possibly go after the Championship record of 23.37 set by Olympian Renzo Tjon A Joe (Rio 2016) of Suriname at the 2013 Kingston Championships. Kirby gave his thoughts about his final day performances to draftingthecaribbean

“To me the race (50 metre backstroke) didn’t feel that great but the outcome was good. For the 100 free, the plan was to make the same time or better from the day before. For the 50 free, the goal was just to make the 23 from the start of the meet so making it on the second attempt was a great feeling”.

Top Regional Performances

Izaak on his way to 100 breaststroke Gold at CARIFTA
Izaak Bastian Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Izaak Bastian The Bahamas 50 metre breaststroke 15-17 29.23 Gold
Izaak Bastian The Bahamas 100 metre breaststroke 15-17 1:04.37 Gold
Izaak Bastian The Bahamas 50 metre freestyle 15-17 24.08 Bronze
Nicholas Vale CARIFTA pic
Nicholas Vale Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Nicholas Vale Jamaica 400 metre IM 15-17 4:56.85 Bronze
Kael UANA
Kael Yorke Bronze medallist in the 100 metre butterfly
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Kael Yorke Trinidad and Tobago 50 metre butterfly 15-17 25.52 Silver
Kael Yorke Trinidad and Tobago 100 metre butterfly 15-17 56.53 Bronze
Chatoor and crew uana
Top Carifta performer in the 11-12 and 15-17 age group Zoe Anthony , Graham Chatoor top performer in the 15-17 400 metre freestyle and Zarek Wilson
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Graham Chatoor Trinidad and Tobago 200 metre freestyle 15-17 1:59.43 12th
Graham Chatoor Trinidad and Tobago 400 metre freestyle 15-17 4:15.18 12th
luis sebastian weekes im m lyn
Luis Sebastian Weekes Photo courtesy of Micheal C Lyn
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Luis Sebastian Weekes Barbados 200 metre IM 15-17 2:13.97 4th