Host T&T claimed an historic first ever overall title when the 30th Central American and Caribbean Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) Championship concluded at the National Aquatic Centre, in Balmain, Couva, on Sunday night, holding off the challenge of Puerto Rico.
The win by T&T marked the first time an English-speaking country had ever topped the overall points table and it came via the all-round effort of the 64-member swimming team as well as the Open Water members, four water polo teams, the two divers and the synchronized swimmers.
Overall, T&T swimmers without the injured USA-based Dylan Carter, who missed the final two nights of competition, added five gold, seven silver and three bronze on Sunday’s last day of competition for a final tally of 65 (21 gold, 26 silver and 18 bronze) for 938.5 swimming points and 1 2,595 combined from the five disciplines and top spot overall
Puerto Rico topped the swimming points table with 987 and also won the most medals in the swimming competition, 74 (32 gold, 19 silver and 23 bronze), but was second overall with 1, 217 points.
On Sunday, the quintet of Amira Pilgrim, Cherelle Thompson, Christopher Dieffenthaller, and 13-14 girl’s and 18 & Over Bosy 400m medley relay teams all won gold.
Pilgrim won gold in the 15-17 girl’s 50m freestyle in 26.26 seconds to beat Curacao’s Chade Nersicio (26.45) and Panama’s Cathy Cooper (26.47) while T&T’s Danielle Williams was joint seventh with Aruban, Elisabteh Timmer in 27.50.
Thomspn added gold in the 18 & Over girl’s 50m freestyle in 26.69 seconds ahead of teammate Kristin Julien (26.74) and Jamaica’s Kelsie Campbell (26.91).
Dieffenthaller continued his impressive performances when he top honors in the 13-14 boy’s 100m breaststroke in one minutes, 09.10 seconds followed by Barbadian N’Kosi Dunwoody (1:09.48) and Honduran Alejandro Panting (1:10.29).
The 13-14 girl’s team of Jahmia Harley, Gabriela Donahue, Regan Allen and Jada Chatoor won gold in the 400m medley relay in four minutes, 35.03 second well ahead of Puerto Rico (4:38.28) and Costa Rica (4:40.78).
And the quartet of Jabari Baptiste, Tariq Lashley, Christian Awah and Joshua Romany capped off the competition for the host in winning the final event on the programme, the 18 & Over boy’s 400m medley relay in a new meet record of 3:54.84 to better the 2009 mark of 3:55.29 set by Venezuela. Second was Puerto Rico in 4:00.15 and Costa Rica, third in 4:01.40.
Romany also added a second place finish in the 18 & Over boy’s 50m freestyle in 23.06, to trail Luis Flores (22.85) and Aruba’s Mikel Schreuders’ (23.49).
Gabriela Donahue added silver in the 13-14 girl’s 100m breaststroke in 1:17.14 well adrift of Puerto Rico’s Paola Guerra’s 1:16.26 while Barbadian, Ashley Weekes, 1:19.21.
The quartet of Zarek Wilson, Kyle West, Kadon Williams and Riquelio Joseph ended second in the 11-12 boy’s 400m medley relay in four minutes, 34.20 seconds behind champions Pueto Rico who clocked 4:30.52 with Barbados, third in 4:35.17.
Another medley relay silver came via the 13-14 boy’s combination of Delroy Tyrrell, Christopher Dieffenthaller, Aqeel Joseph and Malik Nelson in 4:11.28 behind Bahamas (4:06.66) while Costa Rica took third in 4:13.52.
There was also a silver for the 15-17 girl’s medley team of Ornella Walker, Ileana Bocage, Racine Ross and Amira Pilgrim in 4:33.33 with Puerto Rico taking gold in a new record of 4:27.12 to better the 1987 mark of Costa Rica, 4:31.27 while Honduras got bronze in 4:36.04.
The 15-17 boy’s medley combination of Justin Samlalsingh, Jeron Thompson, Kael Yorke and Emil Goin was second in 3:56.68 to trail fellow record breakers Puerto Rico who won in 3:54.75 while Barbados got bronze in 4:02.60. The previous record was 3:56.91 set in 1993 by Cuba.
T&T’s Jada Chatoor was third in the 13-14 girl’s 400m freestyle in four minutes, 32.78 seconds well behind Daniela Alfaro of Costa Rica who won gold in 4:30.52 and Honduran, Michelle Ramirez who got silver in 4:31.21.
Jahmia Harley was third in the 13-14 Girls 200m backstroke in two minutes, 27.05 behind Barbadian Danielle Titus (2:22:39), a new meet record to lower 1985 mark of 2:22.50 set by Silvia Poll. Guatemalan, Vanegas Yanci got silver in 2:24.41 and Adriana Gooding of T&T was sixth in 2:33.05
And the team of Kristin Julien, Colleen Parag, Kira Goin and veteran Sharntelle Mc Lean combined for a silver in the 18 & Over girl’s 400m medley relay in 4:40.78 with Costa Rica taking gold in 4:34.35 and Honduras, silver, in 4:37.58.
T&T other finalists on Sunday
Girls 11-12: Zoe Anthony - 7th - 4:56.16 mins
Boys 11-12: Nikoli Blackman - 7th - 4:44.54
Boys 13-14: Delroy Tyrrell - 8th - 4:42.59
Boys 15-17: Emil Goin - 4th - 4:10.14; Daniel Retana - 6th - 4:12.05
Girls 18 & Over: Shania David - 8th - 5:13.97
Boys 11-12: Kadon Williams - 4th - 26.84; Zarek Wilson - 6th - 27.43.
Girls 13-14: DeNicha Lewis - 7th - 28.47
Boys 13-14: Aqeel Joseph - 4th - 25.16; 6. Jonathan Constantine - 6th - 25.51
Boys 15-17: Jeron Thompson - 5th - 24.05
Boys 11-12: Riquelio Joseph - 6th - 1:18.04; Kyle West - 7th - 1:18.08.
Boys 15-17: Jeron Thompson - 6th - 1:07.98; Obadayah Ince - 8th - 1:09.46
Girls 18 & Over: Colleen Parag - 8th - 1:25.89
Boys 18 & Over: Tariq Lashley - 8th - 1:07.38
Girls 11-12: Neishelah Caseman - 8th - 2:52.98
Boys 11-12: Zarek Wilson - 4th - 2:28.84
Girls 13-14: Ornella Walker - 6th - 2:34.07
Boys 15-17: Josiah Parag - 6th - 2:18.23
Girls 18 & Over: Kristin Julien - 4th - 2:33.48; Shania David - 7th - 2:56.20
Boys 18 & Over: Jonathan Farah - 7th - 2:19.10; Bradley Thomas - 8th - 2:24.86
400m medley relay
Girls 11-12: T&T (Gabrielle Vickles, Arielle Dickson, Zoe Anthony, Savannah Che-Wah) - 6th - 5:05.23.
1. Puerto Rico - 978 pts
2. T&T - 938.50
3. Costa Rica - 676
4. Honduras - 482.5
5. Barbados - - 447
6. Bermuda - 392
7. Guatemala - 387
8. Panama - 338
9. Jamaica - 304
10. Bahamas - 231.5
11. El Salvador - 180
12. Aruba - 169.5
13. US Virgin Islands - 163
14. Suriname - 87.5
15. Curacao - - 84
16. Dominican Republic - 71.5
17. Grenada - 53
18. Antigua & Barbuda - 51
19. St Lucia - 47.5
20. French Guyana - 23
21. Nicaragua - 13.5