By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, December 31, 2020–Alia Atkinson and Dylan Carter were named Central American and Caribbean Female and Male Athletes of the Year.
The honors were mainly based on the swimmers’ International Swimming League second season performances, one of the few international competitions held because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Atkinson, 32, of South Florida Aquatic Club, a four-time Jamaican Olympian and former Sportswoman of the Year for Jamaica, was selected for the sixth year. Atkinson also earned the honor in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019.
Atkinson, 32, ended her pro season ranking in the ISL as No. 15 on the prize money list. She was also No. 21 on the high point list.
At the ISL final in November in Budapest, Hungary, Atkinson, racing for the London Roar for the first year, finished the 100-meter breaststroke just under the world record of 1:02.36 with a time of 1:02.66 to win the first semifinal. Her time broke the league record and was the second fastest time in 2020. Atkinson finished second behind American Lilly King, who won in a record 1:02.50.
Atkinson was also a third-place finisher in the 50-meter breaststroke in the final at the ISL with 28.88 seconds giving her four of the 10 fastest times in race history. She also competed in the 100-meter butterfly in the first semifinal, setting a Jamaican national record in 57.13 seconds.
She ended the season ranked second in the world in the 100 short course meters breaststroke in 1:02.66 and third in the world in the 50 short course meters breaststroke in 28.88. She has the top-two fastest performances of all time in the 50.
Atkinson ended up earning more than $62,000 not including team bonuses, stipends and perks.
Carter, 24, a Plantation American Heritage and USC alum who represents Trinidad and Tobago internationally, also had a successful ISL season for the LA Current helping them make the final. He earned $17,169 in prize money not including team bonuses, stipends and perks.
Carter, a 2016 Olympian, set national records for Trinidad and Tobago in the 100 backstroke (49.91), 100 freestyle (46.56) and 100 butterfly (50.70), now giving him seven national records in short course meters and nine long course meters.
With a playoff berth hanging in the balance, Carter swam well in the regular-season finale, going 50.11 in the 100 backstroke to help the LA Current take a 1-2 finish. Known more as a butterflyer and freestyler, Carter continued to do well in the backstroke, going 23.28, 23.93 and 24.99 in the 50 backstroke skin race to highlight a 1-2 sweep for his team.
The LA Current finished fourth overall in the ISL final.
Carter, a Commonwealth Games and Pan American Games medalist, was also named Sportsman of the Year at the 2020 ceremony, held virtually because of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org