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CARIFTA Championships: Day Three Finals Recap

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

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.

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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.
 
For full results, click here.

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