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CARIFTA Championships: Day Three Prelims Recap

CARIFTA Championships: Day Three Prelims Recap
Photo: © Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
​By Lani Cabrera

Day three of the 2017 CARIFTA Games kicked off Monday morning in Nassau, Bahamas, with the girls 11-12 200m IM. Bermuda swimming started the morning off strong, seeded 1-2 going into the night's finals, with Elan Daley and Payton Zelkin posting times of 2:33.85 and 2:35.65, respectively. Cayman Islands' 200m free champion, Corey Federick-Westerborg, will look to garner another title in the 200m IM tonight, after posting the top prelims time of 2:28.16.

In the 13-14 age group, it was Barbados that dominated the field this morning in both the girls and boys. Danielle Titus (2:32.59) and Nkosi Dundwoody (2:19.79) took the titles in the 400m IM on Sunday night in the girls and boys events, respectively, and will race out of lane four tonight for that second IM title of the meet.

Albury Higgs (2:27.47), the top seed in the girls 15-17 200m IM, will have another close race with her sister, Lilly Higgs (2:27.83), tonight as they posted the top two times of the morning. In the boys event, it was Patrick Groters who showed his strength this morning, posting a top seed time of 2:07.02, just a second off of his best and more than seven second ahead of the field. Groters has been having a record-setting meet, coming off of his win in the 400m IM on Sunday night and breaking Bradley Ally's record set in 2004. He will certainly be the one to watch tonight.

In the next event, the 11-12 girls 50m breaststroke, it was Daley once again taking that lane four spot. She clocked in with a 36.02, a time just ahead of Bahamian Zaylie Thompson (36.46) and St. Lucian Naima Hazell (36.56). On the boys side, Bermuda continued to make an impact with Sam Williamson clocking in almost two seconds ahead of the field in a time of 32.94.

Will-In Jules-Marthe of Martinique will give 50m fly champion Gabriela Donahue (35.71) a run for her money in the 50m breast final tonight after posting the top seed time of 35.19. Jadon Wuilliez of Antigua (31.55) will take lane four in the 13-14 boys final after clocking in just ahead of French Guiana's ​Seifiann Malac​ (31.65) and Barbados' Dundwoody (31.67).

The Higgs sisters will be coming back for their second event of the night, again with 1-2 seed for the finals, but this time it was Lilly with the fastest time (33.24), just ahead of Albury (34.13). The boys 15-17 will be a race to the finish with just a little more than a second separating top seed Jeron Thompson (30.13) from No. 8 seed Mathis Lomon (31.32).

In the girls 11-12 100m free, Zelkin returned to the action -- this time posting the top time going into the finals (1:01.68), ahead of Jamaica's 50m fly champion, Janeta Alvaranga (1:02.13), and Daley, who swam her third event of the morning (1:02.23). Federick-Westerborg and Williamson both returned to the pool and posted time of 59.16 and 59.92, respectively. They were the only two swimmers to break the one-minute barrier in the 11-12 age group this morning.

Cayman's Ali Jackson and Jamaica's Emily MacDonald were the only two swimmers in the girls 13-14 age group to go under one minute, touching the pads in 58.22 and 59.61, respectively. In the boys event, it was Guadeloupe's Romeo Boileau who will take the fastest lane tonight after posting a quick 55.27.

The girls 15-17 heat will be an exciting race to watch, with four girls breaking the minute barrier and the other four swimming 1:00 low. Elinah Phillips of British Virgin Islands leads the way in a time of 59.30. For the boys, it will be Steven Aimable of French Guiana going in with the top seed time of 52.81.

Barbados has a strong showing in the 11-12 age group in the 200m butterfly. Aza Dundwoody (2:41.72) and Keilani Talma (2:44.05) have set the tone of the girls and Chris Pollard (2:29.60) for the boys.

In the 13-14 age group, the girls top seed is Trinidad and Tobago's Jahmia Harley, posting a 2:34.63, almost two seconds ahead of the field. For the boys, it will be Mitch Bourgeois of Guadeloupe leading the pack into the finals in 2:19.24.

The 15-17 ladies heat went straight to finals as there were less than eight competitors entered. But for the boys, it will be Barbados again with 400m IM runner-up Luis Sebastian Weekes posting the top time of 2:12.07.

Tonight's finals will begin at 6 ET, featuring the events of today's preliminaries as well as the 800m freestyle relay.
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