By Sharon Robb
April 23, 2014
Brothers Patrick and Jordy Groters of Aruba, Christian Selby of Barbados and Zuhayr Pigot of Suriname all struck gold on Day Two of the 29th CARIFTA Swimming Championships Wednesday night at the Piscina Olimpico Roly Bislik in Oranjestad, Savaneta, Aruba.
Patrick Groters, 14, of Pine Crest Swimming won two individual gold medals and bronze medal. He won the 13-14 100-meter backstroke in 1:01.99. Groters earned the top seed in a best time 1:01.96, lowering his previous best of 1:05.39.
Groters also won the 400-meter individual medley in a career-best 4:49.31, bettering his previous best of 4:59.32 and winning by more than a body length and nearly seven seconds.
In the night’s opening event, Groters finished third in the 13-14 200-meter freestyle in a best time 1:59.53, the first time he broke 2 minutes. Groters, the top seed after morning prelims, swam back-to-back best times including 2:00.52 in prelims. His previous best was 2:05.17. It was his third bronze medal of the meet.
Older brother Jordy Groters, 17, won his second individual gold medal of the meet in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:39.83, off his best time of 4:31.56. Keanan Dols, 15, of Jamaica took second in a best time 4:40.14, dropping from 4:44.95.
Selby, 16, the top-seed, won the 15-17 200-meter freestyle in a lifetime-best 1:53.58. His previous best was 1:56.02. It was Selby’s second gold medal. He also won the 1500-meter freestyle in 16:28.53 on opening night.
In a thrilling race, Pigot, 16, of Suriname and Metro Aquatics tied with Dorian Pedro-Leal, 17, of French Guyana for the gold medal in the 15-17 50-meter butterfly in 25.32. Pigot, the fastest qualifier in prelims, posted back-to-back best times of 25.49 and 25.32 lowering his previous best of 25.68.
Sidrell Williams, 17, of Jamaica and St. Andrew’s Swimming took a bronze medal in the 50-meter butterfly in a best time 25.71. His previous best was 26.22. Jabari Baptiste, 16, of Trinidad and Tobago was ninth in 26.79.
Baptiste took a silver medal in the 100-meter backstroke in 59.82 behind teammate David McLeod, 17, in 58.72. Both swimmers turned in best times. Baptiste bettered his previous best of 59.87 and McLeod lowered his previous best of 59.65. Keanan Dols, 15, of Jamaica took the bronze in the race in a best time 1:01.16, dropping from 1:06.94. Matthew Lyn, 16, of Jamaica was seventh in a best time 1:04.34, dropping from 1:04.73. Lyn also took a seventh in the 400-meter individual medley in a best time 4:59.93, the first time he cracked 5 minutes bettering his previous best of 5:00.28.
Daniella van den Berg, 17, of Aruba and Azura Florida Aquatics won two individual silver medals. She took second in the 15-17 200-meter freestyle in 2:09.23. Michelle Dols, 16, of Jamaica was fifth in a best time 2:10.97, lowering her previous best of 2:18.14.
Van den Berg also took silver in the 400-meter individual medley in a best time 5:11.61, dropping from 5:17.32.
Sisters Daniella and Andrea, 15, took silver in the 15-17 400-meter medley relay that finished second in 4:39.89 with teammates Ginayla Arends and Rebecca Maduro.
Brienne Renfrum, 16, of Suriname and Metro Aquatics won a silver medal in the 15-17 100-meter backstroke in a best time 1:07.85, dropping from 1:09.11. It was her second silver medal and career-best time.
Nicholas Vale, 12, of Jamaica and Azura Florida Aquatics took a bronze medal in the 11-12 200-meter freestyle in 2:13.22, lowering his previous best of 2:15.86 for the second time. He was fourth fastest qualifier in prelims in a best time 2:15.03. It was his second bronze medal of the meet. Vale was disqualified in the 400-meter individual medley.
In the boys 15-17 400-meter medley relay, Baptiste anchored Trinidad and Tobago’s winning relay that won in 4:00.36. Keanan Dols led off and Sidrell Williams swam third leg of Jamaica’s third place relay (4:02.77).
Annabella Lyn, 13, of Jamaica was sixth in the 13-14 400-meter individual medley in 5:34.98.
The Caribbean Free Trade Association-sponsored meet, which features most of the top junior age group swimmers in the Caribbean, is a qualifier for both the Youth Olympic Games and Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships.
The meet concludes on Saturday with the open water 5K events.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com