The 2013 CARIFTA Championships are three days deep into a four-day competition, and we’ve seen some impressive times go down already at Jamaica’s National Stadium pool in Kingston. The championship unites nations of the Caribbean Free Trade Association into a regional championship, specifically in an age-group format.
Many of the stars thus far at this weeks meet are trained in Florida; specifically, high school stars like Emiro Goossen from Bolles and former USA Swimming National Age Group Record holder Dylan Carter.
The meet thus far has been dominated by Trinidad & Tobago, who is seeing its largest group of talent since the early days of George Bovell’s career. T&T dominated this meet through the first three days as they prepare for the upcoming Junior World Championships where they could outshine nations of far larger population.
In long course competition, Carter won the 100 free in 50.67, followed by his teammate Josh Romany in 51.08. They combined with Emiro Goossen and Jabari Baptiste to swim a 3:33.73 in the 15-17 400 free relay. That’s averaging 53.75 each.
The versatile Carter won the 200 freestyle in a new CARIFTA Age Group Record of 1:50.35, still at only 16-years old. That’s less than a second away from Ian Crocker’s National Age Group Record in the event (Carter is a dual citizen, and thus eligible to break American National Age Group Records).
Carter added a win on Saturday in the 100 fly in a new Meet Record of 55.00, followed closely by Zuhayr Pigot (Suriname) in 56.66 and Romany in 56.86.
Other big winners in the oldest age group include Jamaican 16-year old Timothy Wynter, who won the 100 backstroke by more than a second in 58.77.
Aruba has had a great meet themselves, especially in the women’s races and the younger age groups. The Ponson sisters (Ally and Gabby) had a great battle to finish 1-2 in the 100 free in 58.28 and 58.39, respectively. Ally also won the 200 free in 2:08.77, just ahead of Bre Roman: who just began training at the Baylor School in Tennessee this year.
Another T&T swimmer, Tyla Martin from the Pine Crest School, swept the butterfly events in 1:03.32 and 2:21.16, respectively. The 15-year old sophomore was third at the Florida 1A High School State Championship meet this past season.
In the 13-14 boys’ 200 IM, Aruba’s Mikel Schreuders won in 2:13.56, just beating-out Adrian Hoek from the Netherlands Antilles (who no longer hold an Olympic charter, incidentally).
Some of the best races of the meet are saved for Tuesday: its final day in the pool. That includes events like the 50 free and the 100 breast, which will see among the best times of the meet.