On Wednesday November 15 Jack Kirby and Luis Sebastian Weekes entered the record books as members of the fastest ever high school relay team in the American high school system in the 200 metre medley relay in a 25 metre pool.
The occasion was a duel meet against Hardin Valley at the Baylor Aquatic Center in Chattanooga Tennessee. It would not take only the second race for history to be created. This as the team of Jack Kirby backstroke 26.08, Luis Sebastian Weekes breaststroke 29.39, Zach Althoff butterfly 24.83 and Piotr Kurleto freestyle 23.67 crushed the opposition by more than ten seconds to win in a new national school record of 1:43.97.
That bettered the public school record of 1:44.47 by Princess Anne High School in Virginia and the overall and independent (private) school record held by Baylor of 1:44.34 set Nov 21,2008. In the leading off the relay team Kirby in turn lowered the national 15-17 age group record of 26.52 set Enrique Oxley November 2009.
Kirby just missed out being the fastest independent high school swimmer of all time in the 100 metre backstroke when he was out touched to the wall by team mate Althoff 55.68 to 55.92. Kirby, who had splits of 27.22 and 27.80 joined his teammate going under the old record of 56.26 held by Baylor alumnus Reese Shirey set the same meet in 2008.
He would also crush the Barbados age group mark of 57.94 set by Shawn Clarke of 57.94 in Dec 2005
He would have more victories in the 200 metre individual medley and 400 metre freestyle relay. The medley race saw him touching first in a time of 2:06.86 (split time 58.84). In the relay he started off the team with a leg of 52.16 (split time 24.96). Teammates Piotr, Althoff and Chapman Varnell add splits of 51.62, 52.53 and 56.12 for winning total time of 3:32.43 beating the nearest team by over 15 seconds.
Jack’s good form is a continuation of the 2016-2017 season where he lowered the 15-17 LCM 50 metre backstroke age group record four times and became the CCCAN Champion and also made his first international final at the Commonwealth Youth Games. His performances in Tennessee mean that he is the fastest age group sprint backstroker of all time from Barbados in the 25 as well as the 50 metre pool.
|50 metre backstroke||26.08||26.88|
|100 metre backstroke||55.92||57.01|
When draftingthecaribbean spoke to him on Saturday Nov 18 he had the following thoughts about his swim
“Before the meet, my mom told me that I had a chance at backstroke records. I told my coach the times and he told me I would kill the records easily and he let me suit up for the meet. For the relay, we didn’t know the time we were going for but coach convinced us that we could make the record. Since I was not rested at all or shaved and Coach (Dan) Flack was happy, I was happy with the times. But I know I could do better times”.
Countryman Weekes who is the fastest active swimmer for Barbados would win the 100 metre breaststroke by over three seconds in a time of 1:07.48 (split time 31.78). He would place second in the 200 metre freestyle relay with the Baylor B recording the fastest split of the competition of 24.48 to help them to a total time of 1:44.25. Luis Sebastian would place second to Kirby in the 200 metre individual posting a time of 2:11.58 (split time 1:00.99).
Luis Sebastian gave his thoughts about his record breaking relay performance
“We did not prepare specifically for that meet; we even swam the morning before. It was abnormal duel meet for us where we face against different schools, but it was slightly special because it was in short course meters instead of yards. The breaststroke leg went really well, it was the fastest split I had ever done by over a second. Hence, I was very happy especially with the relay change over”.
The Baylor boys beat Hardin 280 to 80.