“The Cayman Junior Swim Team standout closed the year with 30 new CIASA and National records.”
Cayman’s swimmers faced the challenge that was 2020 head on, producing incredible results in the pool, in the classroom and in the community.
Across the world, as athletes found themselves unable to train because of the COVID-19 pandemic, competitive swimmers focussed on maintaining their dryland fitness. In Cayman, after almost three-months enforced absence from training in the pool, the beaches were opened for exercise and swimmers flocked back to Seven Mile Beach’s crystal-clear waters – known primarily as the home of Cayman’s open water sea swims.
The Cayman Islands Government did a phenomenal job managing the pandemic in the Cayman Islands and by DATE swimmers were back at it, training in the pool; and in September the first post-lockdown meet was held.
Cayman Junior Swim Team standout, 14-year-old Jillian Crooks, was not slowed down by the pandemic -forced pause in her training. She closed out 2020 as the proud holder of 15 new CIASA and National records* (30 records in total) and even broke a couple of them twice: and when asked how she felt about her year, Jillian was short and to the point. “I just love swimming.”
Long Course (50m pool)
• 50m Freestyle - 26.83 - Karl Dalhouse, Jamaica
• 100m Backstroke - 1:05.74 - Karl Dalhouse, Jamaica
Short Course (25m pool)
• 50m Freestyle - 25:90 - Mike Lockwood Memorial, Cayman Islands**
• 100m Freestyle - 56:26 - Mike Lockwood Memorial, Cayman Islands
• 50m Backstroke - 29.04 - Mike Lockwood Memorial, Cayman Islands
• 50m Butterfly - 28:76 - Mike Lockwood Memorial, Cayman Islands
• 200IM - 2:22.62 - Mike Lockwood Memorial, Cayman Islands
• 50m Breaststroke - 35:16 - Landon von Kanel Memorial, Cayman Islands
• 100m Backstroke - 1:04.08 - Landon von Kanel Memorial, Cayman Islands
• 200m Freestyle - 2:05.94 - Coconut Cup, Cayman Islands
• 200m Backstroke - 2:15.69 - Coconut Cup, Cayman Islands
• 100m Butterfly - 1:03.79 - Coconut Cup, Cayman Islands
(Note: Crooks is Caymanian and now holds these records as both CIASA and National records. Also, the SC 50m Free, 100m Free and 50m Fly are both 13-14 records and Senior records).
Bailey Weathers, Cayman Swimming’s former Technical Director and National Coach (he stepped down last year, moving back to the US to be closer to his family, but continues to support Cayman Swimming while his replacement is being recruited) had this to say about Jillian’s 2020 performance:
“Jillian Crooks had a remarkable year in 2020. When you consider the lack of international competition due to the pandemic, it is remarkable that she was able to set both new short and long course records – a total of 30 CIASA and National records, including records across all strokes, as well as in the IM. I don’t believe we have ever had an athlete set the variety and number of records Jillian did in a single year,” said Weathers.
He continued, “In 2020 Cayman Swimmers almost doubled the number of records broken in 2019 and again, when you consider we were out of the water for almost four months with limited access to international competition this is a truly incredible accomplishment. Jillian certainly played a major role in that success.”
Additional swimming highlights in 2020 included Seven Mile Swimmers’ 14-year-old James Allison’s record setting 50m Butterfly (26:57) which broke a record previously held by Caymanian Olympian Shaune Fraser. A relative newcomer to swimming, James looked back at 2020 with the following thoughts:
“2020 was one of my favourite years so far, and the best summer of my life because I had so much fun. I met loads of new people, started getting good at swimming and broke my first record at Nationals – which was nearly a year ago.”
James also set new 13/14 records in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle events.
Other 2020 records
Long Course (50m pool)
• Lila Higgo (CBAC) - 11/12 - 200M IM - 2:33.25
Short Course (25m pool)
• Colt Higgo (CBAC) - 8&U - 50m Free - 37.20
• Luke Higgo (CBAC) - 9/10 - 50m Back - 36.25
• James Allison (SMS) - 13/14 - 200m Free - 1:59.14
• James Allison (SMS) - 13/14 - 100m Free - 53.19
• James Allison (SMS) - 13/14 - 50m Free - 24.35
Other 2020 swimming highlights
• Open Water: CUC Open Water saw 115 swimmers take to the sea for the 800m and 400m open water swims and reporter Seaford Russell Jr. took part as well as covered it.
• Artistic Swimming: National Development and Representative Team Trials took place
• Competitive Swimming: Brett Fraser back to 2014 form at Geneva International Challenge Meet
• Competitive Swimming: John Michael Bodden recognised as a 2020 Proud of Them honouree
• Community: Stingray Swim Club donates books to the Sir John A. Cumber Primary School library
• Competitive Swimming: Stingray Swim Club and Camana Bay Aquatic Club attend Karl Dalhouse in Jamaica and Crooks siblings lead top performances in the pool.
• College Swimming: Alison Jackson commits to swim at University of Northern Colorado
• College Swimming: Florida State University’s Lauren Hew swims a personal best in 50m free and wins bronze (23.04)
• Competitive Swimming: CIASA Nationals, a CARIFTA Caribbean Junior Championships qualifier
• College Swimming: Eddie Weber and the Kenyon Men won their league at the 2020 NCAC Swimming & Diving Championships
• College Swimming: Krishna Adapa commits to swim at Pace University
• Artistic Swimming: Cayman Invitational takes place
• College Swimming: Audrey Weber commits to swim at Oberlin College
• Competitive Swimming: Shaune Fraser inducted into UF athletic hall of fame
• College Swimming: Zachary Moore commits to swim at Drexel University
• Artistic Swimming: Caymanite Synchro team member Helena Frawley graduates Cum Laude from Blair Academy High School
• Competitive Swimming: CARIFTA 2020 Junior Team members are recognised
• Community: Camana Bay Aquatic Club overseas members Lauren Hew; Audrey Weber and Sabine Ellison raise money for Black Lives Matter.
• College Swimming: Sarah Jackson, rising sophomore at University of Northern Colorado elected to UNC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
• College Swimming: Sarah Jackson recognised as an Academic All WAC team member
• College Swimming: Jordan Crooks commits to the University of Tennessee
• Open Water: Five Stingray Swim Club athletes cross the North Sound raising awareness of water and boating safety in memory of Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Brown
• Competitive Swimming: Jasmine Lambert-Wragg, Cayman Prep Female Sports Person of the Year 2020 and United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands Ethics Award 2020
• Community: Sky Blue Aquatics organises Swim for Sheillah to provide Caregiver Swim Assessments
• Open Water: CIASA proudly supported the 2020 Flowers Sea Swim
• Open Water: 36th Annual Foster’s 800m and 400m Open Water sea swim takes place
• Competitive Swimming: Shaune Fraser’s 200-yard freestyle in 2009 SEC Championships recognised in Caribbean’s all-time best performances
• Competitive Swimming: first meet – the Mike Lockwood Memorial meet – takes place at the new Cayman Brac Swimming Pool
• Artistic Swimming: Junior Coaches take part in a FINA Coaches Clinic
• College Swimming: Alison Jackson (UNC) makes college swimming debut
• Open Water: KPMG Pirates Week 5k (and 3K and 1K)
• College Swimming: Lauren Hew (FSU) featured in article in Swimming World Magazine
• Artistic Swimming: Caymanite Synchro Holiday Show is sold out
*All registered CIASA members are eligible to hold a CIASA record, while only Cayman nationals may hold National records.
**The Mike Lockwood Memorial swim meet was the first swim meet ever held in the new pool in Cayman Brac.
CIASA is the recognised national governing body of all Aquatic Sports (comprised of competitive swimming, open water swimming, diving, high diving, water polo and synchronised swimming) in the Cayman Islands and is an affiliated member of FINA, UANA, CCCAN, Island Games Association of the Cayman Islands, CARIFTA and the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee. For more information email email@example.com or visit the CIASA website at www.ciasa.ky.
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