2023 CENTRAL AMERICAN & CARIBBEAN (CAC) GAMES
- Complejo Deportivo de Ciudad Merliot – San Salvador, El Salvador
- Saturday, June 24 -Thursday, June 29 (pool swimming)
- Prelims 9 AM / Finals 6 PM (local time/US Central Time)
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The CAC Games continued this week, with Monday’s and Tuesday’s results bringing more meet records and hardware to the numerous Caribbean nations competing.
Omar Pinzon of Colombia picked up his third consecutive CAC Games title in the men’s 100m backstroke.
The 34-year-old clocked a winning effort of 55.66 to top the podium in the sole sub-56 outing of the field. Runner-up status went to Puerto Rico’s Yeziel Morales who touched in 56.05 while Diego Camacho of Mexico rounded out the top 3 in 56.10.
Pinzon owns the CAC Games Record and then-Colombian national record from when he took gold 5 years ago, posting a time of 54.88 in Veracruz, Mexico. Prior to that, he grabbed 1back gold in a time of 55.48, then a Games Record as well.
Pinzon has since lowered his national record to the 54.76 put up on the 2021 Mare Nostrum Tour.
A national record did go down at the hands of Mexican swimmer Maria Mata earlier in the session.
Taking on the women’s 200m fly, Mata touched in 2:09.31, slicing .01 off of the 2:09.32 she produced in the heats of the event at the 2022 World Championships.
Mata’s prior record comprised splits of 1:01.39/1:07.93 while her newer performance included 1:01.76/1:07.55. Her 2:09.31 NR also established a new Games Record, crushing the prior GR of 2:11.25 fellow Mexican athlete Rita Medrano put on the books over a decade ago in 2019.
Karen Durango of Colombia secured the 2fly silver in 2:14.00 while Costa Rica’s Yanin Ortiz also landed on the podium in 2:16.30 for bronze.
- Cuba went 1&3 in the women’s 100m free, led by Elisbet Gamez‘s gold medal-worthy time of 55.57. That was just .25 off of the 55.32 national record Gamez set this past March at the Dominican Republican International Open. Teammate Andrea Becali earned bronze in 56.51 while Mexico’s Athena Meneses got to the wall in between in 56.39 for silver.
- Erick Gordillo of Centro Caribe Sports claimed his 3rd title of the competition, topping the men’s 400m IM podium in a result of 4:21.12. That held a healthy advantage over runner-up Maximiliano Vega of Mexico who secured silver in 4:24.19 while Mexican Hector Ruvalcaba doubled up on his 200m fly bronze with 3rd place here in 4:26.58.
Four total Games Records bit the dust on Tuesday, three coming from individual events while a relay mark was also taken down.
Dylan Carter, the men’s 100m freestyle gold medalist already here, scorched the field in the 50m fly en route to gold. The former USC Trojan fired off a time of 23.32 to get to the wall over half a second ahead of the next-fastest swimmer.
Aruba’s Mikel Schreuders was next in 23.90 while Andres Dupont of Mexico also landed on the podium in 24.19 for bronze.
As for Carter, the 27-year-old’s time overtook his own previous Games Record of 23.50 logged at the 2018 edition of the competition. He owns the national record with the 22.85 notched at the 2022 World Championships. His victory here marks his 2nd consecutive win in the event.
Kristen Romano also overtook her own Games Record on her way to gold in the women’s 400m IM. The Puerto Rican stopped the clock in a winning effort of 4:45.47, knocking nearly a second off of the 4:46.31 mark she produced in 2018. As such, this marks her second consecutive victory in the women’s 400m IM event.
Behind her was Mexican Karen Rodriguez who hit 4:59.60. Portia Del Rio Brown of Puerto Rico was the bronze medalist in 4:59.81 as the only other competitor under the 5:00 barrier.
There was a tie in the men’s 50m breaststroke sprint, with the top two finishers each dipping under the Games Record time of 27.56 set by Edgar Crespo of Panama in 2018.
Mexico’s Miguel De Lara and Schrueders both hit the wall in an identical result of 27.51, giving them co-gold honors. Honduras’ Julie Horrego followed up his 100m breast bronze from earlier in the meet with another 3rd place finish here, touching in 27.86.
De Lara’s time established a new Mexican national record in the process.
The final meet record of Tuesday evening was notched in the mixed 4x100m free relay. The Mexican foursome of Jorge Iga, Dupont, Meneses and Tayde Revilak collectively clocked a winning time of 3:31.12. That sliced .54 off of the previous Games Record of 3:31.66 Mexico put on the books at the 2018 CAC Games.
- Byanca Rodriguez of Mexico produced a time of 2:30.56 to take the women’s 200m breaststroke. That got the edge over runner-up Emily Santos Silva of Panama who snagged silver in 2:30.93 while Mexico’s Maria Jimenez rounded out the top 3 in 2:32.82.
- Colombia’s Juan Morales topped the men’s 400m free podium, posting a gold medal-worthy time of 3:53.06. Mexico’s Jose Cano was next in 3:56.44 while Colombia’s Sebastian Camacho earned bronze in 3;56.44.
- Aruba’s Patrick Groters took 200m back top honors, grabbing gold in 2:00.26 for a new national record. It was Puerto Rican Yeziel Morales who scored silver in 2:00.70 while Pinzon was the bronze medalist in 2:01.51 to follow up on his 100m back win.
- Mexico went 1-2 in the women’s 100m fly, led by Mata who carried her 200m fly victory into this shorter event in a time of 59.63. Athena Meneses touched in 59.86 while Durango clocked 1:00.08 for bronze. For Mata, she upgraded from the bronze medal (2:12.25) she produced 5 years ago.