September 21, 2020

CARIFTA Championships: Day Two Finals & Day Three Recap


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Day Two Finals

By Lani Cabrera From FLO Swimming

Day two finals of the 2017 Games in Nassau, Bahamas, took place Sunday with plenty fast and record-breaking swims.

The first event of the night was the 200m freestyle, and the first age group, 11-12 girls, was won by Payton Zelkin of , who clocked in a time of 2:12.77, smashing the old CARIFTA record. Touching behind her was Avery Lambert of Cayman (2:13.88) and Audrey Moore of the U.S. Virgin Islands (2:15.55).

In the 11-12 boys event, it was a time of 2:08.96 by the Cayman Islands’ Corey Frederick-Westerborg that was good for gold. Finishing closely behind him was Sam Williamson of Bermuda, who clocked in at 2:09.21, followed by Trinidad and Tobago’s Zarek Wilson, who finished in a time of 2:11.19.

Since the Fraser brothers (Shaune and Brett — both swam at the University of Florida), the Cayman Islands have always had a strong showing in the 200m freestyle events and continued to dominate in this event on Sunday. Ali Jackson (2:11.57) took first place in the girls’ 13-14 race, ahead of runner-up Logan Watson-Brown (2:12.38) of Bermuda and third-place finisher Jada Shatoor (2:12.59) of Trinidad and Tobago.

For the 13-14 boys 200m free, Guadeloupe’s Romeo Boileau dominated the field and was the only swimmer to finish in under two minutes. Boileau finished just shy of the record after clocking in with a 1:57.82, more than six seconds ahead of second place Zachary Moore (2:03.95) of Cayman Islands, and third place Mitch Bourgeois (2:04.14), also of Guadeloupe.

In the girls’ 15-17 age group, Lauren Hew shed two seconds off her preliminaries swim, clocking in at 2:05.98 for a new Cayman Islands open record in the event. Lilly Higgs of the Bahamas took second place (2:08.12), and Hannah Gill of finished in third (2:08.71).

On the boys’ side, it was Jesse Washington of Bermuda with the outside smoke, winning from lane one in a time of 1:54.91. Finishing shortly behind him was top seed Noah Mascoll-Gomes of Antigua, who touched in 1:55.13, and Leega Dupros of Martinique, who posted a time of 1:57.26 for bronze.

In the 11-12 girls 50m fly, top seed Zenata Alvaranga of Jamaica broke her national record as well as the CARIFTA record when she clocked in 29.05, just ahead of Bermuda’s Elan Daley (29.91) and Zelkin, also of Bermuda, who came back from winning the 200m free to finishing third in this event in 30.83.

In a heat in which every swimmer improved his time from the prelims, Kadon Williams of Trinidad and Tobago took the title in the 11-12 boys 50m fly, finishing out of lane two in a time of 28.75, just ahead of Federick-Westerborg and Bahamian Nigel Forbes​, who finished in times of 28.81 and 28.83, respectively.

Saturday night’s 200m breaststroke champion, Gabriela Donahue of Trinidad and Tobago, continued to dominate by winning the girls’ 13-14 50m fly event in a time of 29.02, just ahead of Guadeloupe’s Lucia Francois (29.17) and St. Lucia’s Katie Kyle (29.46).

The boys’ 13-14 race went to Lleyton Martin of Antigua, who clocked in with a 26.15 ahead of Bahamian teammates and standout swimmers Devante Carey (26.44) and Ian Pinder (26.71).

In the girls’ 15-17 event, the top three finishers all went under the CARIFTA record time, but it was Mika Heideyer of Martinique who claimed the title, finishing in 28.12, just 0.01 of a second ahead of British Virgin Islands’ Elinah Phillip (28.13). Third place went to Trinidad and Tobago’s Amira Pilgrim, who finished in 28.38.

Kael Yorke of Trinidad and Tobago, the 100m fly runner-up, redeemed himself in the 50m fly after winning the event in 25.23, just 0.01 of a second ahead of his teammate Jeron Thompson​, who finished in 25.24, and Steven Aimable of French Guiana, who also finished closely behind in a time of 25.26.

The next event was the girls’ 11-12 100m backstroke. After finishing second in the 200m freestyle, Lambert returned to the pool to gain the title in this event, finishing in 1:11.63, more than a second ahead of second place Taylor White of Bermuda (1:13.06) and Kimberly Ince of Grenada (1:14.08).

The top seed from the morning’s 11-12 100m backstroke, Max Wilson, won the event Sunday night (1:08.63), shedding almost a second off of his previous time. Finishing closely behind him was Barbadian Zachary Taylor, who clocked in in 1:08.96, followed by Florin Lomon of Guadeloupe (1:10.64).

For the 13-14 girls, Barbadian backstroke star Danielle Titus smashed her previous national and CARIFTA record time of 1:06.58 to win the event in a time of 1:05.61, a mark that would have made her a top contender in the 15-16 age group race. Finishing more than three seconds behind Titus for second place was Guadeloupe’s Anouk Kamoise (1:08.79), followed by Trinidad and Tobago’s Jahmia Harley (1:09.65).

The Bahamians boys showed their strength in the 13-14 event, when Carey dominated the field, winning the event in 1:01.76, ahead of his teammate Kevon Lockhart​, who touched the pads at 1:03.71 just ahead of Tristan Pragnell of Barbados (1:04.03).

In the 15-17 age groups — it was Hew finishing in 1:05.98 to take the women’s crown, just shy of her CARIFTA record swim from prelims (1:05.94), and Patrick Groters finishing in 57.17, a new CARIFTA record time, to claim the men’s title.

Groters went on to have a spectacular night, shattering Bradley Ally’s 13-year-old record, when he finished the 400m IM in a time of 4:27.69. Other impressive swims in this event came from the 12-year old Zelkin, who swam her third event of the night, winning in a time of 5:25.70. In the 13-14 boys event, Barbadian Nkosi Dundwoody and teammate Roan Baker finished 1-2 in times of 4:54.47 and 4:58.03, respectively.

In the 11-12 400m medley relays, it was the Cayman Islands team of Lambert, Sophie EllisonStephanie Royston​, and Raya Embury-Brown winning in 4:55.03, just ahead of team Barbados (4:58.47). On the boys side it was Guadeloupe’s team of Lomon, Ludovic Lomon, Stephen Mulongo, and Florian Beauregard who finished in 4:38.73, exactly five seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, Barbados (4:43.73).

The 13-14 400m medley relays were ones to watch with both the Trinidad and Tobago girls and Bahamian boys both breaking the CARIFTA records in their events. The girls’ team of Jahmia Harley, Donahue, Regan Allen​, and Chatoor finished in a time of 4:36.43. The boys’ team of Lockhart, Carey, Pinder and Lamar Taylor clocked in with a 4:09.98.

Shaun JohnsonBryanna RenaurtAngara Sinclair, and Annabella Lyn of Jamaica kept their lead throughout the girls’ 15-17 race to take the title in a time of 4:30.62. For the boys, it was the Bahamas team of Peter MorleyIzaak BastianAlec Sands, and Miller Albury who broke the four-minute barrier, finishing in 3:57.90, almost five seconds ahead of Barbados, which touched the pads in 4:02.39.

IMAGE: Maclin Simpson



Day Three Finals Recap

By Lani Cabrera From FLO Swimming

Day three finals of the 2017 CARIFTA Games got underway Monday night in Nassau, Bahamas, with more fast swims for the meet and numerous records being broken.

In the first event of the night, Bermuda opened with a 1-2 sweep of the 11-12 girls 200m IM after Elan Daley and Payton Zelkin clocked in times of 2:30.90 and 2:32.18, respectively. In the boys’ race, their teammate Sam Williamson (2:25.27) out-touched Corey Federick-Westerborg (2:25.37) to gain more first-place points for Bermuda.

In the 13-14 age group, it was Barbados dominating the field with Danielle Titus and Nkosi Dundwoody winning the event in times of 2:29.36 and 2:18.32 for the girls and boys, respectively.

Lilly Higgs of Bahamas got the victory in the girls 15-17 event, winning in a time of 2:23.11, just ahead of Cayman’s Lauren Hew (2:24.64) and her sister, Albury Higgs (2:24.93). After a historic swim in the 400m IM, Patrick Groters went on to notch another record-breaking performance in the 200m IM — finishing more than five seconds ahead of the field and smashing another 13-year-old CARIFTA record. Groters won the event in 2:04.69.

Next came the 50m breaststroke. Daley came back for her second win of the night in the girls 11-12 age group, touching with a 36.12, just ahead of ​Zaylie Thompson​ in 36.77. Williamson also returned to the pool to get his second win of the night, this time taking down a record with it. He clocked in in 32.42, more than a second off of the old record (33.71) set by Evante Gibson in 2007.

Another 50m breaststroke record was broken in the girls 13-14 event, when Trinidadian star Gabriela Donahue out-touched Martinique’s Will-In Jules-Marthe (34.35) to finish in 34.31. Both swimmers were under the old record time of 34.72. The boys 13-14 race was one of the closest of the night, with first through fifth touching between 31.04 and 31.86. In the end, it was Dundwoody picking up his second win of the night in 31.04.

The 15-17 age group didn’t want to be left out when it came to breaking records in this event. Lilly Higgs came back for another victory of the night, setting a new CARIFTA record of 32.70, finishing just ahead of her sister, Albury (33.96). Trinidad and Tobago’s Jeron Thompson took more than half a second off of the old CARIFTA mark, to punch in a new record time of 29.23.

More records were shattered when Daley set the tone for the 100m freestyle events, clocking in at a new 11-12 CARIFTA record time of 1:00.58. Federick-Westerborg continued to have great swims as well but touched just off Dylan Carter’s records in 58.72 — this time getting the edge of Williamson, who finished behind him in a time of 58.88.

Cayman’s Ali Jackson​, the 200m freestyle champion, demolished the CARIFTA record set all the way back in 1995. She touched the pads in a time of 58.31, taking more than a second off of Siobhan Cropper’s old record. In the boys event, again the 200m free champion, Romeo Boileau of Guadeloupe, took the victory in the 100m freestyle, finishing in 54.06.

For the 15-17 age group, Hew and Jesse Washington both defended their freestyle titles. After coming off wins in the 200m freestyle event the night before, they finished first in the 100m free in times of 58.30 and 52.40, respectively.

The 200m fly was the last individual event of the night but the first event to not have any new records set. Outstanding swims in this event came from Christopher Pollard, who dominated the 11-12 boys field, finishing in 2:25.80, almost three seconds ahead of his competitors.

The 13-14 boys race was also one to watch, as Bahamian Ian Pinder and Guadeloupe’s Mitch Bourgeois fought to the finish — touching in times of 2:17.57 and 2:17.75, respectively.

In the 15-17 age group, Kael Yorke of Trinidad and Tobago was the only boy to break the 2:10 barrier, posting a time of 2:09.98.

Another record fell on the third night of finals when the 15-17 girls of Jamaica won yet another relay title. The team of Britney WilliamsAngara Sinclair, Bryanna Renaurt, and Annabella Lyn punched a time of 8:50.53, shedding almost two seconds off of the 2008 record set by team Bahamas.

The action continues Wednesday with the fourth and final sessions of the 2017 CARIFTA Games.

IMAGE: Maclin Simpson


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  1. […] Cayman Eye News | CARIFTA Championships: Day Two Finals & Day Three Recap ​Day Two Finals By Lani Cabrera From FLO Swimming Day two finals of the 2017 CARIFTA Games […]

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