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2018 Central American & Caribbean Male Athlete of the Year: Dylan Carter, Trinidad & Tobago
Trinidad & Tobago’s Dylan Carter has emerged as the star swimmer of the CAC region. The former USC Trojan, now a pro swimmer, led all men with 3 gold medals at the 2018 Central American & Caribbean Games. He won the 100 free (48.95), 50 back (24.83), and 50 fly (23.11), all of which came in new Meet Records, and the latter two of which were new National Records. He also earned a silver medal in the 50 free (22.39), and a bronze medal in the 400 free relay (also a National Record).
In Australia in the spring, he won his biggest international medal yet: a long course silver in the 50 fly (23.67) at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He also placed 5th in the 100 free (48.60), and was the CAC region’s only male swimming medalist at the event (Alia Atkinson took silver in the 50 breast on the women’s side).
He transcended regional glory in December in Hangzhou at the 2018 World Short Course Swimming Championships, where he won a bronze: his country’s second-ever medal at the meet after George Bovell’s bronze in the 100 IM from the 2012 championships.
After winning two medals at the 2014 Youth Olympics, Carter carried the weight of big expectations for his country at the senior level. His international resume went dormant with no medals since and just a 23rd-place showing in his only event, the 100 free, at the Rio Olympic Games. But in 2018, Carter got back on track with some big international showings. Now he’ll have to show
- Ricardo Vargas (MEX) – Vargas was the only male swimmer besides Carter to win multiple events at the 2018 Central American & Caribbean Games. He topped the 1500 free (15:18.33) and 400 IM (4:19.98) at the meet: both of which came in new meet records, with the latter also being a Mexican National Record. He also added a silver medal, and another Mexican Record, in the 400 free (3:51.52). In total, he broke 3 Mexican Records in long course in 2018. The Mexican men broke 13 out of 18 long course National Records this year.
- Mexico’s Jorge Iga won 6 medals at the Central American & Caribbean Games (4 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze). He also broke 3 Mexican Records: one in the 100 free (49.07), one in the 200 free (1:47.19), and one in the 50 fly (24.01).