Jamaica: Nelson Denny of Jamaica lowered the 200 free meet record of 1:57.51 at Age Group Champs and made the country hope for the CARIFTA medal.
At the 2022 Christmas Open in Kingston Jamaica, McCallie’s Nelson Denny was pushed to a sub 2-minute performance of 1:59.93 (split time 57.22) . The race was dominated by CARIFTA medallists James Allison of the Cayman Islands and Zarek Wilson of Trinidad and Tobago who had times of 1:52.26 and 1:52.28 respectively.
At the recently concluded Walter Rogers Age Group National Championships Denny crushed that mark along with the 2015 meet record of 1:58.14 set by World Championships representative Sidrell Williams. Denny put up splits of 27.29,29.34,0.68 and 30.20 to stop the clock in 1:57.51, the only sub 2 minute performer.
In 2022 he was 7th at the Pan Am Aquatics Age Group Champs in 2:00.81 and 8th at CCCCAN in 2:00.07. That was then. Now under the tutelage of Coach Stan Corcoran in Tennessee he has grown physically and in confidence. Medals in the 15-17 group for boys in the 200 metre freestyle have been at a premium.
The last medal was won by Nicholas Vale in 2019 taking the Silver in 1:58.09 behind World Short Course 50 metre freestyle Champion Jordan Crooks of the Cayman Islands in 1:57.45. Before that World Short Course Champs representative Nico Campbell took the CARIFTA Silver in 1:55.22.
With this swim the 6’3 Nelson has stood out from the his countrymen .He will now be working to challenge for a podium position in Curaçao from April 6-12. In just his second year in the age group the 2014 15-17 record of 1:53.95 by Nico Campbell has become a legitimate target.
Jamaican national team members and cousins Nathaniel Thomas and Christanya Shirley remain unbeaten on local soil in the 50 metre freestyle for 2023.
Their latest victories were recorded at the 2023 Walter Rogers Age Group Championships. Thomas who represents the Tornadoes swim club recorded victory # 3 for 2023 in the 15 and over age group. He lowered his own 2022 meet record of 23.98 to 23.74. The 2022 World Junior Championship semi finalist in the event now boasts 12 sub 23 second performances. Thomas also has the meet standards for the 11-12 age group 27.13 and 13-14 age group at 24.90.
Cousin Shirley, who in 2022 won the CARIFTA and PAN AM age group Champs titles won the 15 and over crown in 27.71. The Y Speedos standout held off the Aliyah Heaven of Tornadoes swim club who touched second in 27.90. Heaven is the 2022 Goodwill Games 15-17 50 scm free champion and record holder at 27.18.
Since 2015 Shirley has never lost the 50 metre freestyle race at Age Group Championships.