Team Jamaica at the 2023 CARIFTA Aquatic Championships

The 2023 CARIFTA Championships was held in Curacao, a lovely island with some of the nicest people. Jamaica sent a 26-strong team of our fastest in their respective age groups.  This year the CARIFTA swimming was exceptionally fast, with winning times being as much as 2 seconds faster than previous years.  Team Jamaica performed admirably. 

On day 1, Jessica Denniston was our sole gold medal winner in the 50m backstroke 11-12 age group.  Leah Chin rounded out the backstroke 50m medals with a silver in the 13-14 age group.  Later that evening, Adlai Nixon earned the only medal in the 100m Butterfly series in the 11-12 age group, this would be the first of many for him.  As we are accustomed to, our girls performed well in the relays and both the 13-14 (Scott, Chin, Cameron and Cogle) and 15-17 (Heaven, Cogle, Levy-Powell and Shirley) age groups earned silver medals in the 4x100m freestyle relays.  Our 13-14 Boys relay team (McIntosh, Wright, Adelle-Jondeau and Johnson) swam to a 4th place finish.


Day 2 brought more medals, with Adlai Nixon (11-12) earning bronze in the 200m freestyle and Morgan Cogle (15-17) earning the silver medal.  Adlai went on to cop another bronze medal in the 50m butterfly, along with Christanya Shirley (15-17) also earning a bronze in the same event.  Rounding out the individual medals for the day was Leah Chin (13-14) earning a bronze in the 100m backstroke.  The 4x100m medley relays earned us 3 bronze medals courtesy of the 13-14 girls (Chin, Cameron, Scott and Jefferson), 13-14 boys, (Johnson, Adelle-Jondeau, McIntosh and Wright) and the 15-17 girls (Levy-Powell, Foster, Francis and Shirley).  Our 15-17 boys (Lewison, Lynch, Robe and Denny) were 5th in the event.


Bronze medals were the order of the day on Day 3 with Adlai Nixon (11-12) mining first in the 200 IM and Morgan Cogle (15-17) in the same event.  Kia Alert (11-12) the youngest swimmer on the team, earned her first CARIFTA medal with a bronze in the 50m breaststroke.  In the last individual event of the day, the 100m freestyle, Adlai Nixon earned his second bronze for the day and Jessica Denniston (11-12), earned her second medal of the competition.  The young duo, joined by Kia Alert and Rhys Hunter went on to garner a silver medal in the 4x100m mixed freestyle relay.  Jamaica earned a further two silver medals from the 13-14 (Chin, Jefferson, Cameron and A. Cogle) and 15-17 (Levy-Powell, Shirley, Heaven and M. Cogle) girls 4x200m freestyle relays.  Our 13-14 boys (Wright, McIntosh, Adelle-Jondeau and Johnson) and 15-17 boys (Denny, Davis, McIntosh and Lewison) put up a good fight to come 4th and 6th respectively.


On the final day of competition, Alexandria Cogle (13-14) was the only medalist in the 400m freestyle event, earning bronze.  Jessica Denniston (11-12), Adlai Nixon (11-12) and Christanya Shirley (15-17) each earned a silver medal in the 50m freestyle series.  The last individual event in the pool saw Zack-Andre Johnson (13-14) earn a bronze medal in the 200m backstroke and Morgan Cogle (15-17) also earn a bronze for that event.  The last relays of the competition, the 4x50 relays, brought a mixed bag of results with the 13-14 girls (Cameron, Chin, Scott and Jefferson) earning silver, the boys 13-14 (Adelle-Jondeau, Johnson, McIntosh and Wright) in a close race earned the bronze. The 15-17 Girls (Cogle, Levy-Powell, Shirley and Heaven) earned the silver Medal and the 15-17 boys (Denny, Lewison, Lynch and Robe) finished in 5th place.


The highlight of the competition was young Adlai Nixon winning the 3rd place high points trophy award in the 11-12 boys age group, scoring a whopping 40 points.  Overall Jamaica placed 4th with 502.5 points and a total of 30 medals.  Our top male medal earner was Adlai Nixon with 6 medals (individual) and a tie for the females with Jessica Denniston and Morgan Cogle each earning 3 medals (individual).


Our final day in Curacao was the Open Water event, where after 4 tough days of competition, Benjamin Davis and Charles McIntosh swimming in the 16-18 age group, swam the 5K placing 9th and 10th respectively and Nathan Wright and Zack-Andre Johnson in the 14-15 age group, placing 10th and 12th respectively.  Unfortunately, due to an injury Alyssa Jefferson was unable to finish the race.


Whilst the medal count was not what we are accustomed to, we are exceptionally proud of our swimmers.  Every single swimmer contributed to the points tally by earning themselves lanes in the finals.  A number of personal best times were achieved and having had the opportunity to race against the very best in the region we look forward to seeing our Coaches and Swimmers level up to be even more competitive in the future.

Annelies Denny - Team Manager