The Barbados effect at the Baylor school was seen in the quality performances of Jack Kirby, Luis Sebastian Weekes and Hannah Gill at the recently concluded 2017 TISCA (Tennessee Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association). The meet which was held from February 10-11 at the Allan Jones Aquatic centre at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville saw the trio making Championship finals in all their events. The highlight was the Gold and Championship record by Jack Kirby in the 400 yard freestyle relay.
In the 400 yard freestyle relay championship final Kirby was drafted in to swim the last leg. In the race the team of Trey Freeman Jr 44.24,Zach Althoff 45.59,Peter Lochmaier 45.72 and Kirby 45.66 produced a new Championship and . The State Championship record of 3:04.00 was held by the 2015 Baylor team that had another age group standout from Barbados Christian Selby as anchor . It narrowly missed the school record set last December of 3:01.21.
Kirby would make it to another Championship final when in the morning heats of the 200 yard individual medley he stopped the clock in the 1:54.68 .That beat his previous personal best of 1:54.77. He again would be faster in the final when he placed 6th in a time of 1:54.58 (split time 52.84). That is a major progress from 2016 when he placed 8th in the B final in 1:58.28.
The 100 yard backstroke would see even great improvement .In the preliminaries he posted a time of 50.74 (split time 24.74) beating his old pb of 51.13.In the championship final he went out even faster 24.48 and came back in 25.66 to register yet another personal best of 50.14 for 6th place. Last year he had placed 8th in the Championship final after registering 51.13 in the preliminaries. Jack is now ranked 5th all-time in Baylor history.
In speaking to draftingthecaribbean’s reporter on location Tastey Blackman Kirby described the meet
“It was awesome. All best times and that last race (the 400 yard freestyle relay) was the best one. That was a best time (split) by 2 seconds for me”.
Fellow countryman and teammate Luis Sebastian Weekes qualified for the 200 yard individual medley posting a time of 1:53.39 (split time 53.36),That easily beat his personal standard of 1:54.77. In the final he was 6th at half way mark with a split of 53.91 but used a strong back half of 58.26 to hit the pads in 4th place. That performance ranks Luis as the 7th fastest in Baylor history.
In the 100 yard breaststroke Weekes crushed his pb of 58.99 to post a morning heats time of 58.15(27.29). The final saw him taking out the first 50 yards more than half a second faster than in the preliminaries 26.68. That early speed helped him to his first sub 58 second time of 57.56 and 6th place overall. That moves Luis from 15th to the 8th fastest Baylor swimmer in Baylor history. Additionally he is the 3rd fastest CARIFTA swimmer at Baylor behind Bahamian Dustin Tynes 55.77 and Jamaican Brad Hamilton 57.12.
In speaking to draftingthecaribbean’s reporter Tastey Blackman after the 100 yard breaststroke described the race
“It was amazing. Best experience of my life especially with all my teammates cheering me on”.
Countrywoman Hannah Gill repeated her good from 2106 when she made Championship finals in the 200 and 500 yard freestyle as well as the 400 yard freestyle relay. In the 200 yard freestyle she placed 7th in a time of 1:53.61. In the heats she had challenged her pb of 1:53.35 when she posted 1:53.40. That is an improvement in position when she was 8th in the final in 1:54.30.Hannah was 7th in the 500 yard freestyle in a time of 5:02.03. The final of the 400 yard freestyle saw Gill posting an anchor leg split of 52.46 to help Baylor to 7th in a time of 3:36.53.Hannah registered a much faster split than 2016 when she was timed in 53.87.
Baylor won the boys’ competition with 377 points. McCallie finished 3rd with 165 points. In the girls’ competition Baylor was 3rd with 207 points. The combined team rankings saw Baylor victorious with 584 points.