Jamaica: Emily MacDonald breaks two decade old Jamaican Ivy League drought in the 50 yard free and set school records in the 50 free 22.43 and 200 yard freestyle relay 1:30.91.
Before the Ivy League Championships got underway at DeNunzio Pool in Princeton, N.J., from Feb. 15-18 Columbia’s Jamaican sophomore Emily MacDonald was already the fastest Jamaican and CARIFTA woman ever in the Ivy League Conference. She set that standard taking down the 22.94 standard set by countrywoman Kendese Nangle in 2013.
Nangle , the record holder for the Big Green at the 2013 conference championships. It was the also the last time a Jamaican or CARIFTA swimmer had made the Championship final. That would all change on February 16. MacDonald would crush her school record by recording the fastest heats time of 22.49.
There would be more heat from the Bolles high school graduate in the final as she won the Bronze for Columbia in yet another programme record of 22.43. This is the first Jamaican 50 yard medal since Dawn Chuck now Kane won the Silver in a PB of 23.12 way back in 2002 for Brown University.
This is also the first CARIFTA region women’s medal since Team Trinidad and Tobago’s Sobenna George for the Princeton Tigers in 2007 in 23.73. Both Dawn and Sobenna were seniors when they won their medals.It was also return for the Lionesses to the medal podium as the last 50 yard free medal was won by Mary Ashby in 2019.
She took the Bronze then with a then programme record of 22.80 which Emily lowered this season. There would be school record number three for Emily in the 200 yard freestyle relay. MacDonald started the relay with a split of 22.78. That marks her sixth sub 23 seconds swim of her career, all done this season.
That enabled teammates Isabelle Arevalo (22.45), Georgia Young (23.02) and Sally Ma (22.66) to battle their way for the Bronze in a new school record of 1:30.91. That beat the school record of 1:30.17. It is the first Columbia medal since 2012.It is also the first Jamaican relay medal since Chuck won the Gold with Brown in 2002 in a meet record of 1:32.34.