Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas has blazed a fiery trail in the 50 metre freestyle this year to earn the moniker of the “English Speaking Caribbean’s fastest swimmer in the 13-14 age group”
He earned this title with with a number of top performances at major competitions. His first meet the UANA Cup In January in Coral Springs Florida saw him just edged for the Gold with a time of 24.57. The Gold went to Mexican Victor Salcedo Carrillo who clocked 24.56. Taylor’s swim saw him as the best from the CARIFTA region. He ensured that his favorite’s tag heading into the CARIFTA championships in April in Jamaica was no mistake as he won with the only sub 25 seconds clocking of 24.27. He took the sprint freestyle to a another level when he dipped under the 24 seconds barrier with a new national record of 23.79 at his national championships in June. The CCCAN championships in Aruba in July would see him with another sub 24 clocking this time recording a Championship record of 23.94.
When draftingthecaribbean caught up with Lamar Taylor we spoke about 2018 , how he trains and expectations heading into the 15-17 age group
“Currently I train nine times for the week four morning sessions and five afternoons. That DQ at CCCAN 2017 in Trinidad and Tobago changed me a lot and motivated me to train harder in practice , change my diet and watch tapes of my races more often. I looked at the slight imperfections I made to try and improve my stroke. The year started off well at UANA with a lot of the countries like Brazil. With God’s help I came home with a number of medals.The rest of the season I was focused and training hard and going after my goal of making the Youth Olympic Games team. Unfortunately that did not happen as I only had one B cut but it has not stopped me from still training hard for the 2018-2019 season”
“Going into the 15-17 age group I will not be thinking about who I will be racing against. I dive into the water , swim to the best of my ability and try to get the best outcome. My theory is when people overthinking a race they end up “choking ” and not achieving the best results. I just watch videos or play games on my phone before a race to get my mind off the race and my competitors. I know they are all amazing swimmers and I know that the slightest mistake will determine the color of my medal. In 2019 I will be entering my new age group with a lot of confidence in 100 metre freestyle and especially my 50 metre freestyle. At My national championships this summer my winning time was faster than the winning time in the 15 and over age group. That proved to me that age was just a number and that does not determine how fast you can swim and I have no worries at all going into 15-17″.
“I honestly think CCCAN was my best meet this year. The flight leaving Freeport got delayed and we did not leave until 4 am and Marvin Johnson and I did had little warmup time before the first race which was the mixed relays. Despite that rough buildup to the meet I still performed well (Five Gold medals and one Silver medal)
Draftingthecaribbean also spoke to Mr Bert Bell who taught Lamar how to swim at the age of three at the Freeport Aquatic club and has been his only competitive coach since. Mr Bell, a fan of Olympic Gold medallist and Czechoslovakian distance legend Emil Zátopek who originated interval training , spoke about expectations of Lamar in the tougher 15-17 age group, his swims for 2018 and how he trains him to split his 100 metre races so well
2018 Rev National Champs race analysis
|100 metre backstroke|
|100 metre butterfly|
“There is no way to predict the future. We just have to encourage every individual to do the best they can with their God given potential.Lamar trains nine times for the week four morning sessions and five afternoons.I ask my swimmers to set short term goals in the events they are interested in. Then we figure out the pace they need to swim = goal + 3 sec (adjust for dive) divide by number of 50’s Then they swim sets based on pace for the upcoming 2-3 months.We may do one or two sets (race/time specific) in every work out.We usually do 400 up free Mondays 200 Wednesday Timed swim Friday.The number of repeats and the rest interval will vary in each practice.We do similar sessions for alternate strokes Tuesday and Thursday.Saturday mornings we will work all strokes.
Pace specific (high intensity) is worked every day but the sets are limited and different every workout.Aim – set specific, doable goals with specific pace objectives.eg we r working at 200 or 100 etc race pace sets limited to 15 to 20 minutes.”WE ARE TRAINING THE MIND” be intellectual – remember the best results come from maintaining your best consistent pace from start to finish at whatever distance beyond 20 seconds.Concept – what is your PR – where do you want to go – what pace do you need?Design sets that are based on specifics – involve the swimmer in the calculations.
Lamar ended the summer with national records in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle freestyle 23.79 and 53.09 as well as 23 medals from the four Championship meets UANA,CARIFTA, Nationals and CCCAN 17 Gold, Silver and One Bronze. He is also within striking distance of four national records
|200 metre freestyle||2:02.72||2:03.33|
|50 metre butterfly||25.98||26.09|
|50 metre backstroke||27.61||27.66|
|100 metre backstroke||1:00.57||1:01.41|
One mark that will be on Taylor’s mind as he heads to the 15-17 age group will be the overall 13-14 English speaking mark of 23.77 held by Trinidad and Tobago’s Joshua Romany who was member of the Fantastic Four that won Bronze at the CAC Games in Colombia this summer. Team Bahamas with Taylor in their ranks will continue to be a regional age group powerhouse for the year 2019.