Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas proved he is ready to navigate senior international waters when he recorded an eye opening 2:17.78 to win Gold yesterday in the Boy’s 15-17 200 metre breaststroke.
Bastian looked like he was in cruise control in the morning when he posted the second fastest time of the heats with a time of 2:27.85. The morning’s top time was secured by Luis Sebastian Weekes of 2:26.55.
In the final Izaak signalled his intentions from the starter’s gun and took the lead immediately. He blazed the first 100 metres in 1:05.33. At that point he was already some two body lengths ahead of the field. His split was so fast that it bettered the 100 metre breaststroke Youth Olympics B time of 1:05.93.
He kept turning on the pressure and pulled even further away from the chasing pack to record a new PB, Bahamian Age Group Record , Bahamian Senior National record , CARIFTA Championship record and Youth Olympics A qualifying time of 2:17.78. His old personal best stood at 2:20.52.
The CARIFTA record was set by Aruban age group standout Jordy Groters in 2014 in a time of 2:20.14.
The senior national record was held by Olympian Dustin Tynes (Rio 2016) at 2:18.13 at the 2015 PAN AM Games. The Youth Olympic Games A standard is 2:18.10.
In 2017 Izaak became the first Bahamian man to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games when he took Silver and Bronze in the 50 and 100 metre breaststroke at the Youth Games at home. The Florida State University commit will be heading to the Gold Coast in Australia after CARIFTA to make his senior international debut at the Senior Commonwealth Games.
Silver went to Weekes in a time of 2:23.63 just off his personal best and the Bronze to Bastian’s teammate Tyler Russell in 2:27.00.
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
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.
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.
Jamaica’s Keanan Dols was a member of the Riverview High school team that captured the boys’ titles at Florida 4A Championships title at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida on Saturday Nov 5.
Dols, who will be making his senior team debut at the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Windsor Canada next month had podium finishes in 3 of the 4 events that he contested. He was atop the podium in the first final contested in the evening, the 200 yard medley relay. His Rams team of Austin Katz backstroke (22.54), Brett Riley breaststroke (26.82), Keanan butterfly (22.29) and Tyler Carmichael freestyle (21.87) took top honours in a total team time of 1:33.52. This is the second consecutive title for the Rams in this event.
The influence of the CARIFTA region is seen in this event as the fastest ever medley relay in high school history was set by the 2014 Baylor team that included Olympian Dustin Tynes from The Bahamas and Christian Selby of Barbados that has the standard at 1:27.74.
It was in the 200 yard freestyle relay where Dols who is a senior had his best executed race. He clocked 21.44 to lead off his team that included Katz (20.69), Brendan Firlie (21.29) and Aye-Chan San Tun (21.70).The team’s final Silver medal winning time was 1:25.12.The winners were Fleming Island who won in 1:24.53.
He would win yet another medal this time in the 100 yard backstroke. In the final he had the fastest 2nd 50 yards of 25.57 but was just out touched for the Gold by Mason Wilby 50.22 to 50.28. That time is the best ever for Keanan in a Championship final.
At the World Short Course Championships in the 25 metre pool he will be chasing the 100 metre backstroke record of 55.55 set by Timothy Wynter at the 2012 Istanbul Championships.
In the 200 yard individual medley in a very tight finish Dols clocked a personal best of 1:49.74 to finish 4th overall. The top 4 finishers all dipped under the 1:50 mark with 1:49’s across the board. Robert Finke (Countryside), 1;49.34 Gold ,John Fulginiti (Hagerty) 1:49.53 Silver and John Hutton (Fleming Island) 1:49.55 Bronze.
The CARIFTA region has a say in the record books as the state record is held by Olympian Bradley Ally (St Thomas Aquinas) at 1:46.31 set in 2004.When he set that standard it was the fastest time ever by a high school swimmer.
In Windsor Keanan will be challenging the 200 metre individual medley record of 2:08.88 set by Dominic Walter in 2015.
Riverview took the male title with 276 points, Fleming Island 2nd with 189 points and Countryside 3rd with 160 points. When asked about the win Keanan had the following thoughts
“It’s pretty exciting to win our 3rd straight championship. It’s something we sometimes take for granted with how successful both our men’s and women’s teams have been but it’s still pretty meaningful”
Day 2 of the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Hawaii of Friday August 25 saw the region’s male swimmers in action in the 100 metre freestyle and 100 metre breaststroke.
Jared Fitzgerald of The Bahamas qualified for a lane in the afternoon in the 100 metre freestyle event when he posted a time of 52.13 (split time 24.96). Fitzgerald’s earlier efforts in the season saw him winning Silver medals in the 15-17 boys category both at CARIFTA and CISC (Caribbean Islands Swimming championships). He was also a member of a record setting Peddie School’s 200 yard freestyle relay team that broke a standard that lasted over a decade. In the evening’s B final he had 50 metre splits of 25.01 and 27.21 to place 7th in a time of 52.06. That barely missed his lifetime best of 52.05 set at CISC. After the swim he had the following words
“Overall I am happy with my results so far.I am really enjoying the experience I am getting here. I am enjoying racing against the top swimmers who are my age.This is really motivating me to get back in the pool and train harder for next season.”
Teammate Izaak Bastian has been in great form in the boys 13-14 100 metre breaststroke for the year 2016 .At CARIFTA he captured Gold in a championship record time of 1:07.24. At his national championships he took the Gold again in a new meet record of 1:07.22. AT CISC he raised the bar for 13-14 boys when he became the first swimmer to go under 1:07.00. In the process he also lowered the Bahamian record of 1:07.22 by 2016 Olympian Dustin Tynes. In Hawaii the regional standard was set even higher. Competing in the heats he posted a time of 1:05.86 (split time 30.95 and 34.91) to finish 21st in yet another English speaking CARIFTA region best. He had the following thoughts
“ I have been having a good meet so far. It is good exposure for me. It is my first big international meet. I have been having a good time swimming against the top juniors in the world and it has been great to have this experience.
Also in action in the 100 metre freestyle at the high quality junior meet on Friday August 25 were Bahamians N’nhyn Fernander, Gershwin Greene and Bermudan rising star Jesse Washington. Fernander took almost a second off his lifetime best when he clocked 53.01 (split time 25.43) to place 33rd. Greene was just off his personal best of 53.28 when he clocked 53.41 (split time 25.78) for37th overall. Washington finished just behind Greene when he registered a time of 53.65 (split time 25.54).
The first day of the Rio 2016 saw a number of the CARIFTA region swimmers making their Olympic debut on the first day of action in the pool on August 6.
The first swimmer in the action was Oreoluwa Cherebin of Grenada. She created history by being the first swimmer to swim that event at the Olympics. She clocked 1:10.40 in the 100 metre butterfly to place 42nd overall. It is also the best finish for Grenada ever at the Olympic Games.
The highest placing on the opening day came from Bermuda’s Julian Fletcher. He clocked 1:02.73, just off his national record of 1:02.47. That had him ranked 40th overall. Fletcher posted the best time by a Bermudan swimmer at the Olympics as he bettered the 1:04.93 done by Chris Flook at the 1992 Barcelona Games.
Alex Sobers became only the second swimmer from Barbados to compete in the 400 metre freestyle at the Games when he clocked 3:59.97. Alex finished 44th overall in his Olympic debut. Sobers clocked his second sub 4 minute time for the second best time of his career.
Geoffrey Butler became the first swimmer from the Cayman Islands to compete in the 400 metre freestyle at the Olympics when he clocked 4:07.87 to finish 48th overall.
Dustin Tynes Bahamas National Champion men 200 metre breaststroke
National record holder Dustin Tynes of the Bahamas posted a time of 1:03.71 in the 100 metre breaststroke. That swim puts him as the fastest ever swimmer from his country in the event at the Olympics. The previous Olympic best was 1:11.65 registered by Bruce Knowles at the 1972 Munich Games.
Corey Ollivierre of Grenada became the highest placed male swimmer from the Spice Island after he completed the heats of the 100 metre breaststroke. Corey stopped the clock in 1:08.68 to finish 46th overall. The previously highest placed male swimmer was Omar Hughes who was 57th in the 50 metre freestyle at the 2000 Sydney Games.