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 .

Christian Selby
Christian Selby Photo courtesy of

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 .

Swimmers First 50 Second 50 100 time
Kirby 2018 21.38 23.07 44.45
Selby 2014 21.48 23.28 44.76
Kirby 2017 21.55 23.66 45.21


Jacky Kirby in action in the backstroke at the 2017 Tennessee State Championships Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

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

First 50 Second 50 100 time Placing
Kirby 2018 23.29 24.94 48.23 Gold
Kirby 2017 24.48 25.66 50.14 6th
Kirby 2016 25.74 27.48 53.22 8th

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.

Brad Hamilton Photo courtesy of swimming world

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.

Luis 2018
Luis Sebastian Weekes

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).

Dustin Tynes Ohio State Swimming
Dustin Tynes Photo courtesy of Ohio State Swimming

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.

Weekes 2018 25.80 30.35 56.15 Bronze
Weekes 2017 26.68 30.88 57.56 6th
Baylor Swimming
2018 Champions -Baylor Photo courtesy of Baylor swimming

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 final day of competition at the UANA Cup at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex on Jan 21 saw Keianna Moss of The Bahamas and Zoe Anthony of Trinidad and Tobago earning medals .

Keina Moss Bahamas
Keianna Moss of The Bahamas Silver medallist in the 11-12 50 metre backstroke

Moss added to the 100 metre backstroke Bronze she had won earlier in the competition when she won the Silver in the 50 metre backstroke in 33.71. The Gold went to Luiza Lima of Brazil in 33.30 and the Bronze to Emilia Julieta Gutierrez Merino of Mexico in 34.16. When draftingthecaribbean spoke to her after the race she had the following thoughts

“In the 50 backstroke I got Silver I executed my race how my coach wanted me to but on my start I went a little too deep. I missed by PB by hundredths of a second. I am proud to bring home the Silver for The Bahamas”.

Zoe anthony uana
Zoe Antony 50 metre butterfly Bronze medallist

Zoe Anthony of Trinidad and Tobago showed grit and determination to win her first medal of the competition in the last individual race of the meet , the 50 metre butterfly .Anthony had a number near misses before stepping on to the medal podium stopping the clock in  31.44 to win Bronze. Silver went to Paraguay’s Astrid Caballero in 31.42 and the Gold to Mexican Sofia Laureano Perez in 30.14.  Anthony was the best placed CARIFTA region  garnering 29 points to place 6th overall.When draftingthecaribbean spoke to the versatile youngster she gave her impression of her performances in Florida

“I certainly felt relieved to finish in third place in the 50 fly you don’t want to attend a swim meet of this calibre and go home empty handed I had three 4th places finished in the 400 free, 200 free and a heartbreaker in the 100 freestyle (she was out touched for the Bronze by 0.25 of a second) so my third place finish was indeed very satisfying. Overall the meet was a tough one for me. The competition from the Mexicans and Brazilians was really challenging and the weather on Day One was a significant challenge. My times were much slower than normal for the 400 free and 200IM but overall it was a fantastic experience”.

Top CARIFTA region performances

Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Keianna Moss The Bahamas 50 metre backstroke 11-12 33.71 Silver
Keiana Moss The Bahamas 100 metre backstroke 11-12 1:12.50 Bronze
Keiana Moss The Bahamas 50 metre freestyle 11-12 29.50 4th
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Zoe Anthony Trinidad and Tobago 50 metre butterfly 11-12 31.44 Bronze
Zoe Anthony Trinidad and Tobago 400 metre freestyle 11-12 5:04.30 4th
Zoe Anthony Trinidad and Tobago 200 metre freestyle 11-12 2:22.73 4th
Zoe Anthony Trinidad and Tobago 100 metre freestyle 11-12 1:03.48 4th
Zoe Anthony Trinidad and Tobago 100 metre breaststroke 11-12 1:25.03 5th
Zoe Anthony Trinidad and Tobago 50 metre breaststroke 11-12 38.33 6th
Zoe Anthony Trinidad and Tobago 200 metre IM 11-12 2:46.12 10th
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Jillian Crooks Cayman Islands 100 metre butterfly 11-12 1:12.43 7th


One of the CARIFTA region stars to watch out for at the inaugural UANA Cup which will be held in Coral Springs Florida from Jan 19 to 21 will be Bahamian Izaak Bastian. As draftingcaribbean looks back at the performances of regional youngsters at the SPEEDO Winter Junior Championships-EAST Bastian’s performances was a high point on the final day in Knoxville Tennessee.

Bastian family happy with win
Bastian family celebrating Izaak’s Silver medal winning performance from left to right mother Shelly, Izaak, father Darren and older brother Drew Photo courtesy of Shelly Bastian

Throughout 2017 Izaak had set new standards for himself and the region at the CARIFTA Games, Commonwealth Youth Games, World Junior Championships and the Winter Junior Championships would prove to be no different.  Heading into this meet Bastian had a  personal best of 2:01.57 in the 200 yard breaststroke  and a best placing of 3rd in the C final in the 2016 edition of the top 18 and under swim meet. Both best time and placing would be adjusted by the end of the day on Dec 12.

Bastian Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

In the morning heats Izaak who had finished 3rd in the Nassau Guardian poll for the top Junior Athlete of the Year for 2017 recorded a time of 2:00.76. That would be a new personal best and the final time to make it to that race. The Saint Andrews Aquatics swimmer would be placed in lane eight in the final .That would not deter him as he would be the “outside smoke” taking the race in a new personal standard of 1:59.22 and his best career placing.

Link to race

Analysis of Bastian’s best breaststroke races

Date First 100 Second 100 Final Time Placing
Dec 2015 59.65 1:04.48 2:04.13 34th
Dec 2016 57.89 1:03.68 2:01.57 3rd CFinal
Dec 2017 58.04 1:02.72 2:00.76 heats
Dec 2017 57.41 1:01.81 1:59.22 1st B Final
Izaak Bastian CARIFTA page
Izaak Bastian  Photo courtesy of carifta2016mque

Bastian who is the reigning CARIFTA Champion in the 200 metre breaststroke won’t have that race to swim in Coral Springs but will contest the 50 and 100 metre races. For both events he is ranked number 1.

Event Ranking Time
50 metre breaststroke 1st 28.77
100 metre breaststroke 1st 1:03.71


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.

Jacky Kirby in action Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

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

Date First 100 Second 100 Final Time
Dec 2016 53.11 56.37 1:49.84
Dec 2017 52.61 54.58 1:47.19
Dec 2017 52.08 53.27 1:45.35


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.

Kirby CYG 2017
Jack Kirby Photo courtesy of Bahamas Commonwealth Youth Games 2017

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

Event Ranking Time
50 metre backstroke 3rd 26.88
100 metre backstroke 1st 57.01
Luis Sebastian Weekes Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

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

luis sebastian weekes im m lyn
Weekes s Photo courtesy of Micheal C Lyn

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

Event Ranking Time
50 metre breaststroke 8th 30.88
100 metre breaststroke 5th 1:06.66


As some of the CARIFTA region top age swimmers prepare for themselves for competition at the inaugural UANA Swimming Cup in Coral Springs Florida starting tomorrow January 19 draftingcaribbean looks back at the region’s youngsters efforts at the 2017 SPEEDO Winter Junior Championships -EAST in December. The UANA Cup is designed for athletes from Central America, South America, and the Caribbean that are in UANA Zones 1 and 2. Hence Americans and Canadians will not be invited

On December 8 in Knoxville Tennessee Lilly Higgs of The Bahamas who represents SwimMac Carolina was the most outstanding female CARIFTA performer. Lilly, who was voted The Nassau Guardian’s Junior Female Athlete of the Year made her first Championship final in the 100 yard breaststroke.

Link to Women’s 100y Breast A Final | 2017 Speedo Winter Junior Championships – East


She placed 8th of the 102 competitors in the field with a time of 1:01.86. Her previous placings were 9th in 2015 and 11th in 2016.

Higgs on way to sprint breaststroke double at CARIFTA 2017
Lilly en route to the 100 metre breaststroke Gold medal at the 2017 CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas Photo courtesy of Micheal C Lyn

Higgs has been unbeaten at the CARIFTA level in the  100 metre breaststroke for the last three years and holds the 15-17 age group record at 1:11.92.

Higgs finished 57th in the 400 yard individual medley in a time of 4:26.97 just off her personal best of 4:25.49.

Lauren Hew Saint andrews aquatics
Lauren Hew Photo courtesy of Saint Andrews Aquatics

Lauren Hew of the Cayman Islands and Saint Andrew’s Aquatics was 66th in the 100 yard backstroke in a time of 56.37. Hew, won the CARIFTA Gold medal in her final year of the 15-17 age group in 2017 in the 100 metre backstroke and holds the record at 1:05.94. She also finished 80th in the 200 yard freestyle in 1:52.27. Lauren also won the 200 metre freestyle at the 2017 CARIFTA Championships in 2:05.98 finishing ahead of Higgs.

Chadé Nercisio before her race Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Curacao’s Chade Nersicio was 17th in the 200 yard freestyle relay team in a time of 1:34.93.She was just off her best time of 57.98 in the 100 yard butterfly as she hit the wall in 58.01. It would be another close miss for a personal record for the East Coast Aquatics swimmer in the 100 yard breaststroke as she stopped the clock in 1:05.72 and her personal record is 1:05.48. Nersicio is ranked 3rd in the 15-17 100 metre breaststroke with a time of 1:14.61.


Regional standard bearer Olympian Joanna Evans (Rio 2016) fired off a mid season salvo that speaks to what form she is in this season with a strong performance at the 2018 Pro Swim Series, Austin on Thursday January 11.

Joanna Evans Day 2 Nationals
Joanna Evans Fastest woman ever from the English speaking CARIFTA region

In her first Long course metres outing for the year ,the Freeport native has transferred her form from the yards pool to the Olympic sized pool. On Day one of the meet at her home pool the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center she qualified for the consolation final with a time of 2:02.54 (split time 59.11).

In that final she proved too good for the field winning in a time of 2:00.43 (split time 58.94). Joanna took the advantage from the first 50 metres with a split of 28.53 and continued to build on it throughout the race. Evans , competing for the University of Texas at the meet was more than a second ahead of Yanhan Ai of China who stopped the clock in 2:01.65. Her dominant performance would have placed her 5th in the final.

Obviously not tapered for this meet the Bahamian and Unofficial “CARIFTA senior record” of 1:59.19 will not be on the books at the end of 2018.

Analysis of Joanna’s top 200 metre performances

Date and venue First 100 Second 100 Final time
WUGS Aug 24 2017 58.23 1:00.83 1:59.19
Austin July 2017 58.89 1:01.02 1:59.91
Atlanta May 2017 59.22 1:01.15 2:00.37
Austin Jan 2018 58.94 1:01.49 2:00.43
Joanna Evans with 200 metre freestyle Gold Medal
Joanna with 200 metre freestyle Gold medal at the 2015 CARIFTA Championships in Barbados Photo courtesy of

Joanna is of those swimmers who have successfully navigated the waters from competing at the CARIFTA Championships at the junior level to competing at the Olympic Games. She still holds the 15-17 girls CARIFTA  200 metre freestyle record at 2:03.00.



The quality of the CARIFTA Region’s swimmers continues to be felt wherever they are. In December at the 2017 Texas Invite The Bahamian influence was seen through the performance of Olympian Joanna Evans (Rio 2016).

Joanna Evans at Rio Olympics swimming world
Joanna Evans about to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympics Photo courtesy of swimming world

She continued to build upon her legacy as her generation’s best female middle to long distance freestyle swimmer at the Nov 29- Dec 2 competition at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.

800 freestyle win
Joanna celebrates after anchoring the 800 yard freestyle relay team to victory Photo courtesy of texassports

Evans got the competition off on the best note possible, a win in the 800 yard freestyle relay . Evans who handled anchor leg duties with a split of 1:44.29 combined her talents with teammates Claire Adams 1:43.93,Rebecca Millard 1:44.56 and Remedy Rule 1:45.97 to win an NCAA Division I automatic qualifying mark of 6:58.75. Also on the podium was the University of Southern California in 7:00.40 and the University of Arizona in 7:02.92. That performance by the Longhorn women is the third fastest time in Division I and across all collegiate Divisions.

500 yard freestyle Joanna Evans
Joanna Evans en route to a win in the 500 yard freestyle Photo courtesy of Andy Ringgold/Aringo

The 500 yard freestyle saw the junior who hails from Freeport crushing her school record of 4:36.97 to win an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 4:35.05. Evans had set the previous record when she won at the BIG 12 Championships in February.

Comparison of times

Feb 2017 Dec 2017
split by 100 cumulative time split by 100 cumulative time
52.78 52.52
55.82 1:48.60 55.06 1:47.58
55.94 2:44.54 55.30 2:42.88
56.08 3:40.62 55.62 3:38.50
56.35 4:36.97 56.55 4:35.05

Link to Evans describing the swim

That standard setting performance places her third in Division I and across all collegiate Divisions.

In the 1650 yard freestyle Joanna, a graduate of Bishop Michael Eldon High School , would rewrite the history books for Texas once more. The previous school record of 15:53.85 was set more than three decades ago by American Olympian Tiffany Cohen at the on March 23 at the 1985 NCAA Championships.

Tiffany Cohen celebrating her win in the 400 metre freestyle at the 1984 Olympics
Tiffany Cohen celebrating her victory in the 400 metre freestyle at the 1984 LA Olympic Games Photo courtesy of pinterest


Cohen’s impressive resume includes being the 1983 Pan American Champion in the 400 and 800 metre freestyle in Caracas Venezuela and the 1984 Olympic Champion in the same events in Los Angeles.

Link to 1984 Olympic 400 metre freestyle final

Evans celebrating breaking 1650 yard freestyle record
Joanna celebrating her win in the 1650 yard freestyle and new school record at the Texas Invite Photo courtesy of texassports

Joanna took a little over 2 seconds off that time with her win in 15:51.74. That swim puts her behind only Olympic superstar Katie Ledecky in Division I and across all collegiate Divisions. She topped the field by more than ten seconds as the Arizona pair of Hannah Cox and Kirsten Jacobsen placed second and third in 16:04.28 and 16:07.28.

Quin carozza texassports
Quinn Carozza Photo courtesy of

The 200 yard freestyle saw her out touched by teammate Quinn Carrozza 1:44.15 to 1:44.75. Her second place performance places her 16th in Divison I and just off her personal best of 1:44.22 from the Division I Championships in March 2017.

She ended the meet providing second leg duties on the 400 yard freestyle B team . Joanna clocked 48.85 as the team placed fifth in 3:16.91.

For her tremendous record breaking performances at the competition she would be awarded BIG 12 swimmer of the week on Dec 6