The final day of competition of the 2018 Tennessee State High School Champs on Sat Feb 10 saw Jamaicans Alex Mignott and Angara Sinclair earning freestyle relay Silver medals while also recording personal bests in their individual 100 yard freestyle events.
Mignott opened up the Jamaican medal account when his McCallie 200 yard freestyle relay team won the Silver .The team of Benjamin Griffith 22.17, Ethan Bevill 20.92, Mignott 21.71 and Will Jackson 21.31 touched in 1:26.11 just behind the Bearden team that touched in 1:26.09. The team improved on their 2017 swim where they placed fifth. Mignott was also faster this year as in 2017 he was timed in 21.85. In the 100 yard freestyle event he earned a second swim in the B final when he recorded a personal best of 48.07 (split time 23.17). In the final that evening he placed seventh overall in a time of 48.64 (split time 23.27).
Country woman Angara Sinclair who represented Baylor won her Silver medal in the 400 yard freestyle relay. The team of Addison Smith 51.72,Sarah Riley 52.62 ,Sinclair 52.37 and Jamee Mitchum 51.66 took the Silver in a total time of 3:28.37.The winners of the event were Harpeth Hall who touched first in 3:22.47.
In the individual 100 yard freestyle Angara earned a second swim by setting a personal best by more than 2 seconds when she clocked 52.79 (split time 25.20) to be the top seed in the B final , a mere .05 of a second outside the Championship final. In the night’s B final she proved that she deserved the top billing. She record the fastest last 50 yards of 27.28 to win in yet another personal best of 52.08. This is a major improvement from 2017 where she placed 25th in a time of 54.88 (split time 26.27).
1st B final
The girls from Baylor finished second overall with 275 points to Harpeth Hall who garnered 353. On the boys side McCallie finished second to Baylor 257 to 315 points respectively.
The Barbados Boys at Baylor Jack Kirby and Luis Sebastian Weekes produced yet another series of best times at the 2018 Tennessee State Champs to help their school capture yet another boy’s title.
Jack would start the proceedings by winning the 100 yard freestyle state title in a new personal record. He cruised to the final with a time of 46.35. In the championship final he took the fight to the field early with a split of 21.38.As seen with his improved back end speed in past competitions he out split the chasing pack by recording the fastest last 50 yards of 23.07. He touched the wall in 44.45 , marking his first time under the 45 seconds barrier .His previous best was 45.21 leading off the Baylor team at the SPEEDO Winter Junior championships –East in 45.21 .
He bettered the 2014 time of countryman Christian Selby who won the crown in 44.76 . This is the third 100 yard freestyle title won by a CARIFTA region swimmer from Baylor under the tutelage of Coach Dan Flack . The first Champion being Jamaican Brad Hamilton ,who won in 2007 in a time of 45.15.The swim also places Kirby number two all time at Baylor .
In the 100 yard backstroke Kirby would again cruise to time of 50.36 to easily make the Championship final. In the afternoon’s final it would be a coronation rather than a race as Jack went out in 23.29 for the first 50 and that pace was too hot for the field as he had an advantage of almost a second. And as has been the custom he out split the field over the last 50 yards to post 24.94 and record yet another new personal best of 48.23. His performance is the fourth fastest all time in state history and third all-time at Baylor.
He had previous finishes at the State champs of sixth and eighth.
Road to Gold
In the final race of the day the Baylor team of Trey Freeman 43.87, Piotr Kurleto 45.47, Zach Althoff 45.40and Kirby 44.78 broke the magical 3 minute mark for high school teams to record a new school and Championship record of 2:59.52. That broke the state record set last year of 2017 of 3:01.21 and the school record of 3:00.78 of which Kirby was a member of both teams.
That makes it Six titles in the 400 yard freestyle relay with CARIFTA region swimmers coached by Flack at Baylor following wins with Hamilton in 2008 and 2009 and Selby in 2014 and 2015.
Countryman Weekes did not let the disappointment of a DQ in the 200 yard freestyle relay deter him from doing his best in the 100 yard breaststroke. He won the Bronze in a new personal best of 56.15 (split time 25.80).
It is the first medal for Baylor in the event since Bahamian Dustin Tynes won the title in 2014. Luis is the now fourth all time at Baylor.
Baylor topped the competition for the boys with 315 points. Second went to McCallie with 257 points and third to Memphis University School with 215.Baylor also won the combined title
The first day of competition at the Tennessee State swim Champs on Friday Feb 9 at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center saw Jamaica’s Alex Mignott winning relay Bronze and country woman Angara Sinclair setting a new personal best in the 50 yard freestyle.
Competing for McCallie Mignott anchored the team in the 200 yard medley relay of 21.79 to help them to be the third seed in the final with an overall time of 1:35.75. In the final the team would be faster to win the Bronze. The team of Jake Marcum backstroke 23.57, Reece Gallagher breaststroke 26.89, Max Ransom butterfly 22.79 and Mignott 21.53 would touch the wall in a time of 1:34.78. That bettered their 2017 position and time of fourth place in a 1:36.78.
In the individual 50 yard freestyle event Mignott recorded a season best’s time of 22.15 to place 18th .
Countrywoman Angara Sinclair who was a member of Jamaica’s all conquering CARIFTA 15-17 team that swept all the relay in The Bahamas in 2017 set a new personal best in the 50 yard freestyle. The Baylor student touched the wall in 24.77 to place 18th overall just .20 of a second outside of earning a spot in the B final. That bettered her 2017 time of 24.99.
Day one of the Tennessee State Champs on Friday Feb 9 saw the CARIFTA region earning Two Gold medal from the Barbados Boys at Baylor Luis Sebastian Weekes and Jack Kirby.
Luis won his first individual Gold medal in his final high school meet in the 200 yard individual medley. He had set a new personal best of 1:51.36 (Split time 52.72) in the event at the SPEEDO Winter Nationals -East in December but would not be content with that in his final school meet. In the morning heats he cruised to the Championship final with a new PB of 1:50.99 (split time 52.45) to be the top seed. In the final he opened faster than in the preliminaries with butterfly split of 24.29 to be fourth. He then unleashed a 27.78 backstroke leg to take the lead and halfway split of 52.01 .Jack Hamilton of Webb tried to make a move with Weekes and stay close with his split of 52.34. As the boys from Baylor have shown they have superior back end speed and this would be no different Weekes pulled away on the breaststroke leg to gain a lead of more than a second then recorded the fastest freestyle leg of the meet of 26.35 to record yet another personal best of 1:50.22 to win by almost 2 seconds. Gabriel Johnson of Chattanooga Home School won Silver in 1:51.95 and Hamilton won the Bronze in 1:52.68. The Gold emphasized the great improvement Weekes has made in the last year as he finished 4th last year in 1:52.17. He now moves form 11th all time at Baylor to 4th and the number one CARIFTA region swimmer at the school.
The meet started with the CARIFTA connection of Kirby and Weekes providing the first half of the Gold medal winning 200 medley relay team.
In the preliminaries Kirby continued his great PB breaking streaking when he broke 23 seconds for the 50 yard backstroke for the first time. His previous best was 23.03 set leading off the relay team at the SPEEDO Winter Junior National Championships –East. Yesterday he rocketed to 22.65. In the final he was again under 23 seconds leading off in 22.82. Weekes provided a breaststroke split of 25.41 to give Baylor an insurmountable two second lead. Teammates Zach Althoff butterfly 21.96 and Piotr Kurleto freestyle 20.37 ensured that the team romped home to a more than two second win clocking 1:30.56. Maryville High won Silver in 1:33.99 and McCallie won Bronze with Jamaican Alex Mignott doing anchor leg duties in 1:34.78.
This win is the third fastest performance in Baylor history. The second fastest includes the quartet that had Kirby leading off at the 2017 Winter Junior Nationals that did 1:30.55. The fastest time at Baylor and the fastest high school performance is 1:27.74 from 2014 that included Bahamian Dustin Tynes and Barbadian Christian Selby. This is the first Gold medal for Baylor since the 2015 season where the team won in 1:32.20 and included Bahamian Gershwin Greene and Selby.
With the inaugural UANA Cup set for Coral Springs almost upon us draftingthecaribbean looks back at the strong performances of the Barbados boys of Baylor Jack Kirby and Luis Sebastian Weekes on the final day of the Winter Junior Championships –East .Both young men will feature prominently in Florida for their country in the next coming days.
Competing in Knoxville Tennessee on Dec 9 Jack Kirby , who was recently named his country’s Junior Athlete of the Year for 2017 recorded personal best twice in the 200 yard backstroke. Heading into the competition his personal standard stood at 1:49.84.He would crush that mark to record a new best time of 1:47.19. That would qualify him for the B final. In that race there would be another considerable time drop as he won that race in a time of 1:45.35.
Link to race
Analysis of Kirby’s best 200 yard backstroke times
Kirby along with teammates Zach Althoff, Piotr Kurleto, and Trey Freeman would crush the old Baylor 400 yard freestyle relay record of 3:02.14 with a time of 3:00.78 to place 5th overall. Jack’s first leg split was 45.21 (split time 21.55).That shattered his personal record of 47.59 (split time 23.22) set in November.
For the UANA Cup in the 15-17 division Kirby is ranked 1st in the 100 metre backstroke and 3rd in the 50 metre backstroke
50 metre backstroke
100 metre backstroke
Country man Weekes also had a big time drop in the breaststroke. Luis had a personal best of 2:06.46 in the 200 yard breaststroke set in Feb 2017 at the Southeastern Regional Championships . Weekes dropped more than 4 seconds to record a time of 2:02.17 (split time 58.94).That would qualify him for the C final .It would mark his first final at the top competition for 18 and under swimmers. He would just be off that time in the race placing 7th in a time of 2:02.57 (split time 59.08).
Link to race
Weekes is ranked 5th in the 100 metre breaststroke and 8th in the 50 metre breaststroke for the 15-17 age group for the UANA Cup
The third day of the 2017 Speedo Winter Junior Championships East on Friday Dec 8 saw the CARIFTA region picking up yet another medal. This time it was Jamaican Joseph Black as a member of the Peddie team that won Bronze in the 200 yard freestyle relay.
The team of Nathan Stern 20.55, Michael Blank 20.47, Trey Ike 20.45 and Black 20.24 clocked 1:21.71 to for their medal winning performance. That bettered their 2017 Gold medal winning time at the Eastern Championships of 1:21.99 which is also the Championship, school and New Jersey State record.
At that competition Black, a Kenyon commit had anchored the team in a time of 20.31. Silver at the Winter championships went to Dayton Raiders in 1:20.58 and the Gold to Allegheny North in 1:19.83. When the times are combined with the competition in the West the boys from Peddie retained their third place position from a combined 89 competing teams in the event.
Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas, who is representing Saint Andrew’s made the championship final in the 100 yard breaststroke. Izaak had recorded a personal best in the event winning the Florida High school 1A title in 54.54 (split time 25.80). He would lower that mark with a time of 54.48 (split 25.54). That time placed him 5th in the East and 8th with the combined results.Bastian is the reigning CARIFTA 15-17 100 metre breaststroke champion. He took Gold in a time of 1:04.68.He will join a number of the region’s best in Kingston Jamaica in 2018 seeking to lower the Championship record of 1:04.25 held by Aruban Jordy Groters.
After lowering his personal best in the 100 yard backstroke Jack Kirby of Barbados and Baylor Swim club was at it again with another new personal standard. After qualifying for the Championship with a time of 48.97 he lowered his all-time best to 48.67 (split time 23.51) to place 6th overall. His previous best was 48.79 (split time 23.72).Kirby who won the Silver medal at CARIFTA in the 100 metre backstroke in the 15-17 backstroke in The Bahamas will be seeking to lower the Championship record in 2018 in Jamaica. That mark was set this year by Aruban Patrick Groters at 57.17. Kirby has a personal best of 57.01 set at this summer’s Commonwealth Youth Games.
Also bettering his personal best on the day was French Guiana’s Steven Aimable representing Azura Florida Aquatics. Competing in the 100 yard butterfly Steve lowered his personal best of 50.73 to 49.57(split time 22.87) to place 25th .Aimable was the 15-17 Bronze medallist in the 100 metre butterfly in his final year at the CARIFTA Championships in a time of 57.22.
Suriname’s Irvin Hoost representing Metro Aquatics also bettered his personal best in the event. He went from an all-time best of 50.49 in 2016 to 50.17 (split time 23.11) for 54th spot. Hoost also competed in his last CARIFTA Games this year and placed 5th in the 100 metre butterfly in a time of 57.97.
Aruban Patrick Groters who represents the Pine Crest Swim club who had phenomenal final CARIFTA Championship bettered his 400 yard individual medley time of 3:58.74 set in 2015 with a 3:58.12 performance of 3:58.12.
In the Bahamas this year he won the 400 metre individual medley in 4:27.69 breaking the 2004 meet record of 4:31.95 Olympian Barbadian Bradley Ally.
Baylor’s Barbadian breaststroker Luis Sebastian Weekes continued the trend of bettering personal records with his efforts in the 100 yard breaststroke. Weekes lowered his personal best to 56.90 (split time 26.90) to place 35th overall. His previous record was 57.56 (split 26.68). He registered that time in a 6th place performance at the 2017 Tennessee State Champs.At CARIFTA this year he was mere 9 hundredths outside of podium place when he swam 1:06.66. He will be seeking to top the field in that race next year in Jamaica .
Other individual performances on the day were
200 yard freestyle
100 yard backstroke
100 yard backstroke
In the 200 yard freestyle relay the Baylor team of Piotr Kurleto 20.82,Kirby 21.05, Zachariah Althoff 20.82 and Robert Freeman 19.77 recorded the 5th best time of the meet of 1:22.32. It was also the 5th best time of the 89 competing team in both the East and West.
They also just missed the 2013 school record of 1:22.23 by the team of Luke Kaliszak, Sam McHugh,Chandler Hinson and Barbadian Christian Selby.
Hoost and his Metro Aquatics team were 10th in a time of 1:23.06. Of the 356 swimmers who swam that event Irvin had the 6th fastest leg with his anchor leg split of 20.02.
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
100 metre backstroke
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”.