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CARIFTA Championships: Day Two Finals Recap

CARIFTA Championships: Day Two Finals Recap
Photo: © Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
​By Lani Cabrera

Day two finals of the 2017 CARIFTA 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 Bermuda, 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 Barbados 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.
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