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The Bahamas in third at CARIFTA swimming

A total of nine records fall on the first day of competition
  • Albury Higgs during the girls' 11-12 200 meter breaststroke. Edward Russell III / TNG

Guardian Sports Reporter

Published: Apr 13, 2012

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Nine records fell on the opening day of competition at the CARIFTA Swimming Championships, with one going to a member of Team Bahamas.

Starting the medal rush off for The Bahamas in the second session, held at the Betty Kelly Kenning National Aquatics Centre, was Joanna Evans in the 13-14 girls 800 meters (m) freestyle. Her golden performance was timed in 9:11.82, a new CARIFTA record. The old mark, 9:18.65, was set in 2007 by Bahamian McKayla Lightbourn. Trinidad and Tobago's Syriah David was second and Sariyah Sherry of Barbados finished third. Tremaine Allen of The Bahamas was 10th overall.

Margaret Albury Higgs captured the country's second gold, stopping the clock at 2:56.69 in the 11-12 girls 200 meters (m) breaststroke. Janice Martin won the silver and Kavanagh Lambert won the bronze. Martin's time was 3:01.60 and Lambert finished in 3:04.28.

It wasn't over for Evans who jumped right back into the pool in the 200m breast. Coming off the gold medal swim, she said: "It is really good because we have the crowd behind us and it is just a good experience. I hope to do it (break the record) heading into the event and started making plans a couple of months ago. I trained and came up with it so I am pleased. It was (the 200 breast) too close and I was a little tired in between the two, but if I can change anything I would probably go out a bit harder."

Evans placed eighth in 3:03.13. Teammate Allen just missed out on a medal in the event. She placed fourth behind Marianne Amory who won in 2:53.56. The second fastest time was 2:55.04 turned in by Gabrielle Hopkins of Jamaica and Kimberley Willoughby was third in 2:55.10.

Host country, The Bahamas, closed with four gold, three silver and seven bronze for a total of 14 medals. At the end of the day the team had accumulated 160 points. Guadeloupe is out front with 182, followed by Trinidad and Tobago with 174 points, and Aruba has 145 points. Jamaica is in fifth with 128 points.

A total of 15 medals were won by Trinidad and Tobago - six gold, six silver and three bronze. Guadeloupe have five gold, four silver and one bronze for a total of 10.

The Bahamas came up empty-handed in the boy's 200 breaststroke, in the 11-12 division. George Den Dunnen will take that gold medal back to Aruba. He won the event in 2:50.28. The silver medal will head to the U.S. Virgin Islands and the bronze to French Guyana.

Aruba picked up another gold, this one was in the 200 breaststroke for boys 13-14. Mikel Schreuders won in 2:38.51 and Raiz Joe A Tjon finished in 2:36.13. Drew Bastian, of The Bahamas, touched the wall ahead of teammate Zach Moses for the bronze. Bastian's time was 2:38.51 and Moses finished in 2:39.17.

Dustin Tynes closed the 200 breast finals off with a bang for The Bahamas, winning a bronze medal. His time was 2:26.06. The gold went to Aruba's Jordy Groters and it is a new CARIFTA record. In fact, all three of the top swimmers dipped under the record which was set in 1998 by Bahamian Jeremy Knowles. Groters finished in 2:23.68, and the silver was captured by Ross Phillips of Trinidad and Tobago. He recorded a time of 2:25.49.

The Bahamas was not represented in the final of the 50 backstroke for girls 11-12 and tried to make up in the boys division of the event. Clement Bowe was the sole competitor in the final for The Bahamas. He was eighth overall. A silver was captured by Leslie Campbell in the girls 13-14 division. She touched the wall behind Sue-Gin Arends of Aruba, in 33.57 seconds. The winning time was 33.83 seconds. Brienne Renfurm swam 33.23 seconds for the bronze.

Keeping the gold rush going for The Bahamas was Dionisio Carey who won the 13-14 boys 50m backstroke in 28.55 seconds. Jabari Baptiste and Guillaume Bolivard were second and third respectively. Bria Deveaux added a bronze to the medal haul. She was right behind the new record holder Kimberlee John Williams and Kristin Julien who pulled off the sweep for Trinidad and Tobago. John Williams' time was 30.95 seconds and Julien finished in 31.20 seconds. Coming into the final with the fastest time in the boys 50 backstroke in the 15-17 division was T'Auren Moss.

He picked up the fourth gold for The Bahamas out-touching Timothy Wynter and Dylan Carter. Moss stopped the clock in 27.62 seconds, Wynter got the silver in 27.80 seconds and the bronze went to Carter in 27.85 seconds. Winning the 100m butterfly in the 11-12 boys and girls divisions were Arielle Downes and Jesse Washington. Simone Sturrup picked up a bronze for The Bahamas in the 13-14 division. She clocked 1:07.37 in the 100m butterfly. Tyla Martin was the winner in that division.

Zabrina Holder of Barbados won gold in the 15-17 girls 100m butterfly. John Williams picked up the silver in 1:05.91 and Taryn Smith of The Bahamas secured the bronze. Smith's time was 1:07.08.

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