The 2023 CARIFTA Championships are being held in Curaçao. The pool in named after the legendary Olympic medallist Enith Brigitha. She was the first swimmer from the region to make a World Championship final in 1978 with an eighth place NR time of 1:02.78 at age 23.
Lifespan 007 Open Water Swim added, “We must also remember another great regional Olympian Shelly Cramer from the US Virgin Islands, who at 16 was 17th overall in a NR of 1:04.61. Another Olympian making waves is the Cayman Islands Jillian Crooks.”
She took the butterfly sprint double. On the first day she became the first woman from her nation under the 1:03.00 barrier in the 100 metre butterfly with a heats swim of 1:02.72 then a winning time of 1:02.67.That is third fastest time ever at the meet behind the 1:02.14 set by Jamaican Sabrina Lyn and the previous mark of 1:02.54 by Bahamian Olympian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace.
Jillian can chase the championship records at the Pan Am Aquatics and CCCAN meets which have standards of 1;01.82 and 1;01.50 respectively. The PAN AM Games A standard is 1:01.62. It took a time of 1:02.10 to make the 2022 World Junior final. Silver was won by teammate Lila Higgo in a PB of 1:04.25.Bronze was won by Adara Stoddard of Barbados in 1:06.48.In the heats she posted a PB of 1:06.40.
In the 50 metre butterfly she won in a new 15-17 record of 27.82.That broke the 2019 meet record of hometown heroine Chade Nercisio and relative of Enith. The records at the PAN Am Aquatics and CCCAN meets are 27.92 and 27.57. Last year it took a swim of 27.41 to make the World Junior final. Her national record set earlier this years stands at 27.66.
Silver went to Bahamian Rhanishka Gibbs in 28.66 and the Bronze to Jamaican Christanya Shirley in 29.36.
Crooks who has committed to swim at the University of Tennessee to join brother 2022 World Short Course and 2023 NCAA Champion Jordan has like Enith and Shelly been lifting the level of CARIFTA region swimming.