2016 CARIBBEAN/CENTRAL AM. MALE SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: MARCELO ACOSTA
El Salvador’s Marcelo Acosta reserved his spot in swimming history in 2016. At the Arena Pro Swim in Orlando, Florida, Acosta became the first swimmer from El Salvador to qualify for an Olympic Games with an “A” cut. His 15:13.09 at that meet was a new National Record, and ranked him 10th in the world at that point in the season. In Rio, Acosta’s successful run continued with 3 new National Records. He dropped another 5 seconds in the 1500 free with a 15:08.17, also breaking the 800 free record with his 8:00.85 split in that race. Additionally, he lowered the 400 free record to a 3:48.82.
Acosta is now competing as a sophomore with the University of Louisville, and looks to be a huge asset for the Cardinals in the distance freestyles. At their mid-season focus meet, the Louisville Invite, Acosta blasted a 14:47.79 to win the 1650 free by over 25 seconds. That cut nearly 15 second off his former personal best 15:02.00 from 2015, and marked his first sub-15 minute mile ever. He also broke 4:20 for the first time in the 500 free, dropping 4 seconds with his 4:16.49 at the invite.
In no particular order
- Dylan Carter, TTO- Trinidad and Tobago’s Carter won 4 titles at the 2016 Caribbean Island Swimming Championships. He then went on to represent his country at the Rio Olympics, placing 23rd in the 100 free with a new National Record of 48.80. During the short course season, he’s been back in NCAA action, swimming very well for the USC Trojans. He’s currently the fastest 200 freestyler in the nation with a 1:32.62 from the Texas Invite. At the 2016 Short Course World Championships, Carter was the lone representative for T&T, picking up a 4th place finish in the 200 free with a new National Record of 1:42.48.
- Roy Burch, BER- Burch, a Bermudian Olympian who trains with SwimMAC Carolina, was in a wheelchair after rupturing both of his patellas in a dryland workout in April 2015. Burch made a big comeback from his injury in 2016, working his way back into the pool for the 2016 Caribbean Island Swimming Championships. At that meet, he cranked a 22.95 in the 50 free to clear the FINA “B” standard for the Olympics, coming within a half second of his own National Record.