CAC Games Wrap Up With Multiple Relay Records Biting The Dust


The final two days of competition at the 2023 Central American & Caribbean (CAC) Games came to a close in El Salvador with more meet records and national records biting the dust.

Wednesday’s Events

Venezuela’s Mercedes Toledo claimed her first gold of the meet, taking the women’s 50m breast in a time of 31.86. That sneaked her into the wall just .06 ahead of Mexico’s Byanca Rodriguez who touched in 31.92 while Colombia’s Stefania Gomez rounded out the top 3 in 32.11.

Rodriguez had already captured the 100m breast silver and 200m breast gold at this competition while Gomez topped the 100m breaststroke podium here,

Mexico’s Jorge Iga continued his tear across multiple events, capturing the men’s 200m free gold in a time of 1:47.97.nOpening in 52.49 and closing in 55.48, Iga’s outing marked the sole time of the field under the 1:50 barrier.

Behind Iga was Nikoli Blackman of Trinidad & Tobago who notched 1:50.41 for silver while Iga’s teammate Hector Ruvalcaba bagged bronze in 1:50.92.

Iga established a new Mexican national record in this 2free event earlier this season, ripping a lifetime best of 1:46.43 while competing at the Pro Swim Series in Westmont, Illinois this past April.

Puerto Rico’s Kristen Romano clocked a new Games Record en route to topping the women’s 200m IM podium.

The 23-year-old Ohio State Buckeye clinched the victory in a time of 2:13.74, obliterating the previous meet mark of 2:16.27 Monika Gonzalez of Mexico put on the books at the last edition of the competition in 2018.

Romano took the gold decisively, with Mexico’s Maria Mata securing silver 2:17.67 while Gomez wrangled up bronze in 2;18.42 for her 2nd medal on the eventing.

The Bahamas got on the board on Wednesday, courtesy of Lamar Taylor‘s win in the men’s 50m back. Taylor touched in 25.08 to deny Trinidad & Tobago Olympian Dylan Carter a repeat gold in the event.

Carter clocked 25.55 for silver, well off his Games Record of 24.83 from 2018, while Mexico’s Diego Camacho also landed on the podium in 25.68 for bronze.

Finally, the women’s 4x100m free relay saw Mexico produce a new Games Record and national record en route to gold. The combination of Athena Meneses (56.44), Maria Mendez (56.52), Tayde Revilak (55.85) and Maria Mata (56.54) combined to register a winning effort of 3:45.55.

Additional Winners

  • Maria Yegres of Venezuela grabbed gold in the women’s 800m free in 8:49.86 as the sole competitor under the 8:50 barrier. Colombia’s Karen Durango was next in 8:54.17 while Mata rounded out the podium in 8:55.20.
  • It was Colombia’s Juan Morales who got the job done in the men’s edition of the 800m free, registering 8:12.77 for gold. Mexico’s Jose Cano settled for silver fewer than 2 seconds later in 8:14.37 while Sebastian Camacho of Mexico added hardware with bronze in 8:18.93,
  • Venezuelan Jorge Otaiza was the gold medalist in the men’s 100m fly, posting 53.37 to top the podium David Arias of Colombia was just .22 behind in 53.59 for silver while Iga added another piece of hardware to his kitty, producing 53.61 for bronze.

Thursday’s Events

A total of five Games Records went down on the final day of competition at the Complejo Deportivo de Ciudad Merliot, two in individual events and three coming in the relays.

For the individual races, Miguel De Lara of Mexico roared his way to the men’s 200m breaststroke podium, clocking a mark of 2:10.85.

Opening in super quick 1:01.55 and closing in 1:09.33, De Lara’s time overtook the previous meet record of 2:11.77 Carter put on the books in 2018.

De Lara’s time beat the field with ease, as the next-closest swimmer, teammate Andres Puente notched 2:12.70 for silver while Hondruas’ Julie Horrego captured his 3rd breaststroke bronze medal here in 2:15.70.

Carter put on a show in the men’s 50m freestyle, splashing and dashing his way to victory in a time of 21.87, a new Games Record.

After claiming the 3rd seed in a morning outing of 22.69, Carter entered an entirely new gear to crush the previous meet mark of 22.18 Suriname’s Renzo Tjon-a-Joe logged in 2018.

Aruba’s Mikel Schrueders got to the wall behind Carter in 22.43 while Taylor also landed on the podium in 22.51 for bronze.

Carter’s 21.87 represents a new personal best for the 27-year-old, surpassing his previous PB of 21.91 put up at the 2022 World Championships. The former USC Trojan now ranks 17th in the world on the season.

The Cuban women’s 4x200m free relay grabbed gold in a new Games Record of 8:10.47, knocking nearly 2 seconds off of the 8:12.30 Mexico registered in 2018.

The Mexican men’s and women’s medley relays also scored new meet marks, with the former topping the podium in 3:39.54 while the latter scored gold in 4:07.14.

The men’s former relay record stood at the 3:40.41 Mexico produced en route to gold at the last edition of the competition. The women’s former relay record sat at the 4:08.99 the same nation logged again in 2018.

The men’s medley included Diego Camacho (56.22), Miguel De Lara (1:00.92), Ascancio Fernandez (53.88), Jorge Iga (48.52).

The women’s medley included Miranda Guana (1:02.26), Melissa Rodriguez (1:08.79), Maria Mata (59.73) and Tayde Revilak (56.36).

Additional Winners

  • Romano busted out a time of 2:12.56 to take the women’s 200m backstroke, falling just .20 shy of the longstanding Games Record of 2:12.36 Guatemala’s Giesla Morales posted in 2010.
  • The women’s 50m fly saw Tayde Sansores of Mexico clock 26.82 as one of two sub-27 second swimmers in the field. Lismar Lyon of Venezuela touched in 26.97 for silver while Bermuda’s Emma Harvey rounded out the top 3 in 27,11,
  • Mexico’s Tayde Revilak was the quickest women’s 50m freestyler, clinching the victory in a time of 25.44. Bermuda’s Madelyn Moore snagged silver in 25.79 while Cherelle Thompson of Trinidad & Tobago was also under the 26-second barrier in 25.92 for 3rd place.

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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