IZAAK BASTIAN HAS MASSIVE TIME DROP AT ACC’S TO BECOME THE FASTEST BAHAMIAN OF ALL TIME IN 100 YARD BREASTSTROKE, HELPS SEMINOLES CRUSH MEDLEY RECORD

Izaak Bastian Photo courtesy of swimswam

The 2018 CARIFTA class remains undaunted in their pursuit for excellence in senior aquatics. One swimmer from that Kingston 2018 class is freshman Izaak Bastian of the Bahamas who had a breakout meet at the 2019 Atlantic Coastal Conference Championships for the Florida State Seminoles.

Izaak Bastian

Before coming to University Bastian’s best in the 100 yard breaststroke stood at 54.21. A time which he lowered at November’s Georgia Tech Invitational where he swam 54.16(split time 25.53). In the morning heats of the event at the ACC Championships held from Feb 27 to March 2 at the Greensboro Aquatics Center in Greensboro, North Carolina he crushed that mark by exactly a second to make his first major collegiate Championship final . His split was 24.80.He is the first Seminole to make the ACC Championship final since Jason Coombs in 2016

Dustin Tynes Bahamas 2016 National Champion 100 metre breaststroke

In the medal race Izaak went out fast in 24.73 and came back in 28.08 to place sixth and earn a new personal best time of 52.81. With that time he now becomes the fastest Bahamian and English speaking Caribbean swimmer of all time in the event .The previous standard was held by Olympian Dustin Tynes (Rio 2016) when he recorded 52.93 (split time 24.78). He set that time at the 2016 Big Ten Championships while competing for Ohio State University.

2014 Baylor medley relay team Christian Selby ,Sam McHugh,Coach Dan Flack, Tynes and Luke Kalizak Photo courtesy of swimming world magazine

Tynes along with Christian Selby of Barbados were members of the 2014 Baylor team that hold the American independent high school relay record of 1:27.74.

That swim by Bastian make the second fastest performer in Florida State history behind Coombs who holds the record at 52.11 from the 2015 NCAA Division I Championships. The fastest time from the CARIFTA region is held by Aruban Jordy Groters who recorded 52.70 (split time 25.16) form the heats of the 2016 NCAA Division I Championships.

TOP TIMES FROM THE CARIFTA REGION

Jordy Groters Photo courtesy of flaswimnetwork.com
NameCountryTimeYear
Jordy GrotersAruba52.702016
Izaak BastianThe Bahamas52.812019
Raiz Tjon A JoeSuriname52.882018
Dustin TynesThe Bahamas52.932016
Greg PennyUS virgin Islands54.032014
Rafael van leeuwaardeSuriname54.312015
Julian FletcherUS virgin Islands54.442012
Adriel SanesUS virgin Islands54.462019
Serg MartinniCuracao54.562018
Bradley AllyBarbados54.712004
Fantastic FSU Four Kaleoaloha,Muratovic, Pisani and Bastian Photo courtesy of Jeremy Esbrandt

He started the competition on the best possible note as the Seminoles won the Bronze and set a school record of 1:23.65 in the 200 yard medley relay. It was the first medal for Florida State in the event since 2014 when the former relay record holders won Silver in 1:24.72. Izaak now joins country woman McKayla Lightbourn as Bahamians holding school records.

McKayla Lightbourn Photo courtesy of seminoles.com
100 yard backstroke52.392014
200 yard IM1:58.112014
400 yard freestyle relay3:15.762014
Christian Homer Photo courtesy of floridagators.com

When Florida State placed fourth at the NCAA’s 2014 they finished just ahead of the University of Florida team that had as their lead off leg Trinidad and Tobago’s 2010 Commonwealth Gold 50 metre backstroke medallist Christian Paul Homer who has split 21.88.

LegNameTimeNameTime
backstrokeEmir Muratovic21.18Pavel Sankovich20.99
breaststrokeIzaak Bastian23.78Jared Pike24.14
butterflyKanoa Kaleoaloha19.96David Knight20.46
freestyleWilliam Pisani18.71Paul Murray18.98
1:23.631:24.57

Izaak would lower his time as well in the 200 yard breaststroke. In the morning heats he earned a second swim with a time of 1:58.88.That got him a lane in the C final.In the initial stages of the race that night he trailed Notre Dame’s senior Steven Shek 55.62 to 55.15. He used a powerful back half to dominate the field and win decisively in 1:56.62 to win by over a second and half . His swim was the fastest by a Seminole at ACC’s since 2015. That also put as the best Bahamas has ever produced in the event as he bettered another Tynes’s 2016 Big ten performance. This time it was his heats swim of 1:57.46 (split time 55.98).He also rises to third overall in the CARIFTA region all time rankings.

Bradley Ally Photo courtesy of panamerican world
NameCountryTimeYear
Bradley AllyBarbados1:55.852007
Jordy GrotersAruba1:56.602016

In the 400 yard medley relay the Seminoles placed fourth in a time of 3:05.50. That is the best placing for the team since 2014 when that team set a then meet and conference record of 3:04.47

LegNameTimeNameTime
backstrokeEmir Muratovic46.22Pavel Sankovich45.31
breaststrokeIzaak Bastian52.56Jared Pike52.56
butterflyKanoa Kaleoaloha44.95David Knight45.20
freestyleWilliam Pisani41.71Paul Murray41.40
3:05.503:04.47

Izaak spoke to draftingthecaribbean on March 4 about his Conference experience

Izaak Bastian Photo courtesy of seminoles.com

” My first ACC experience was amazing to say the least.I honestly surprised myself with the times I did.I have been training all semester really hard and even last semester as well.Before ACC’s I dropped 2/tenths of a second in the 100 and 200 breaststroke .I really did not know what to expect going into this championship meet.I had been working really hard even after our mid semester meet especially during our training meet to be better than I was there.So I was hoping to be faster but I honestly did not know how much faster I would be .So to come out with a 52.8 was really exciting for me because I was 53.1 in the morning so I thought I would probably go 53 again. But somehow I went 52.8 .I was really happy about that.I honestly did not know I had beaten Dustin’s best time so that is really encouraging going into my next three years to know that I have already done that and hopefully will have a long way to go and more time to drop .Also the 200 was pretty good.It was poorly executed in the morning but luckily I got another swim. I was able to improve my time and fix my mistakes. I think I could have been faster if the 200 was on any other day than the last one. I was a little bit tired going into the final day.Meets like CARIFTA have prepared me for these longer four or five day meets.It was not too bad but I believe I could have been a little bit faster. It was a great experience overall.Our senior did very well so it was great to see them on their last ACC’s performing so well for the team.The team atmosphere was really something different.Everybody getting behind each other no matter what race it was.You always had people creaming from the sidelines cheering.It was just a great atmosphere to be in and race in so I am really happy to be a part of this team and to be a part of something big like that to make my first ACC’s as a freshman and score for the team was a big deal for me”.

Advertisements

2018 SWIMMING ACHIEVEMENTS-IZAAK BASTIAN NAMED JUNIOR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR BY THE NASSAU GUARDIAN

Regional standout Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas was recently named the Nassau Guardian Junior Male Athlete of the Year for 2018.

Izaak Bastian Championship record holder in the 50 metre freestyle and CARIFTA’s fastest ever swimmer Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

Bastian who still has one of year of CARIFTA eligibility has stood as one of the region’s top breaststroker at the junior level and has started to compete regularly at the tough World Junior and senior level.

He started the year well proving invincible at the inaugural UANA Cup in Florida and the CARIFTA Championships ensuring his name was etched in the record books

Meet50 breastPlace100 breastsplitPlace
UANA29.23 CRGold1:04.37 CR30.29Gold
CARIFTA28.69 CRGold1:03.12CR30.12Gold
Meet200 breastsplitPlace
CARIFTA2:17.78 CR ,NR1:05.33Gold
Bastian celebrates Championship record breaking swim in Kingston Jamaica .Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

In addition to a five star performance in the breaststroke events which included a senior national record in the 200 metre event he also added a top class performance in the 50 metre freestyle. He won Gold and set the Championship record in the land of the sprinters with a time of 23.25 . That took down the record of the region’s number one sprinter for 2018 Renzo Tjon A Joe of Suriname

Renzo Tjon A Joe reacts to winning Gold in the 15-17 metre freestyle in 2013 in Kingston Jamaica. Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

https://draftingthecaribbean.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/scorching-summer-18-renzo-rules-the-pool-with-speed-completes-50-freestyle-trifecta-south-american-games-cccan-and-now-cac/

With a very short turnaround time Bastian was off to Australia to test his mettle against the best of the Commonwealth . In the 50 metre breaststroke he raced against the best in the world in the form of global standard bearer Adam Peaty of England. He maintained the Bahamian record of making the semi finals and recorded a time of 29.28

Dustin Tynes Photo courtesy of Ohio State Swimming
YearSemi final timeSwimmer
201429.53Dustin Tynes
200230.90Travano McPhee

There would be more senior meet action in store for Izaak as he would head to the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Colombia in the summer. His best result would be in the 100 metre breaststroke where he would make the Championship final and set a personal best of 1:02.91 to place seventh.

Izaak Bastian Photo courtesy of swimswam

Bastian would then start college at Florida State University and be back in competition for his nation at the Youth Olympics in Argentina in October. His best performance would in the 50 metre breaststroke. He would first record the fastest time ever from the English speaking Caribbean with a time with a 29.01. That would enable him to make the semifinal of the event, a first for a swimmer from the English speaking Caribbean . He would record a time of 29.35. He would also record the fastest time ever from the English speaking Caribbean in the 200 metre breaststroke with a clocking of 2:22.37.

At Florida State University he has made an impact on the programme. In the 100 yard breaststroke he is currently ranked 9th overall in the Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) with a personal best and NCAA B time of 54.19. He is also just outside the Seminoles all time top ten performers in the event with the tenth fastest swimmer Ryan Telford having a time of 54.02.

The 200 yard breaststroke sees him holding number 5 on the ACC conference top times listing with a 1:57.29 . The all time top performers list also sees him at fifth place with fellow CCCAN representative Julio Horrego of Honduras at number 6 with a time of 1:57.96.

Julio Horrego .Photo courtesy of seminoles.com

When draftingthecaribbean contacted Izaak we got his thoughts on 2018

Jesse Marsh Jamaica second from right Izaak Bastian Bahamas third from right along with their St Andrew’s teammates of the 200 medley relay

“This year was actually pretty good for me it was actually one of my better years. It comes with different training as well. I was at Saint Andrews for four years which did very well for me and switching it up for me (being at college ) is going to help me. It started off with UANA and before the competition I had taken 3 to 4 weeks off so I could mentally reset to get this year in order and my training blocks in order and I actually swam better than I expected to there. With those swims it gave me the confidence going into the year. Even though I took time off I am capable of a lot more so that was always in the back of mind giving me a confidence boost there. For CARIFTA I wanted to put it all in the pool and see what I could do. I try to bring my best every year but 2018 I really wanted to bring it. So I talked to Sid Cassidy ( Head Coach at Saint Andrews) about it so that we were on the same page. I wanted to fully taper down , shave and be the best I could be for a meet at that time. I went to Jamaica and I honestly think I surpassed my expectations .I won every event I swum except for the 100 metre freestyle.

Jeron Thompson and Kael Yorke .Photo courtesy of Trinidad Express

I had a really good time racing all the guys like Kael Yorke and Jeron Thompson from Trinidad and Tobago, Luis Sebastian Weekes from Barbados, Tyler Russell from The Bahamas. After that I went straight to the Commonwealth Games , my first senior international meet. It was a great experience but not the best meet coming straight from CARIFTA , getting sick right after CARIFTA and flying two days. It was rough but I still wanted to go knowing I would miss some of my better events 200 metre breaststroke and 100 metre breaststroke.I still wanted to go to have my first senior international exposure to prepare for the rest of 2018 and 2019. It was my first time in a village and I had a lot of fun and getting to meet some of the older guys from the other sports like Shaunae Miller-Uibo and stars like that. I really wanted to test myself. Last summer I went to FSU and started to train long course there. We went to CAC Games with somewhat of a taper.It was not what I was used to for a taper . I went there with the same mentality as CARIFTA ,just bring it and see what I could do.Even though I had changed programmes still have the confidence to know the training made sense and was going to work out for me. I went best times and had a good time there.It was a great time in Colombia especially with the new training and learning to trust their process now instead of what I was normally used to because I will be working with them for the next four years.At the Youth Olympics I did my best and like the Commonwealth Games I made the semis in the 50 metre breaststroke. At FSU we had our mid season meet (the Georgia Tech Invite Nov 15 to 17) and it was good to see the team dynamics works at a championship meet. It was definitely more taxing than the normal one day duel meet. I am in training for our championship meet ACC’s which are the end of February and the beginning of March and NCAA hopefully in Austin Texas the end of March. At our training in Deerfield we ramped up the training and really got to see what we were made of”.

2018 REV National Swimming Championships Seventh Heaven for Nigel Forbes Young star wins Seven Gold medals , Breaks Four National records and sets New Five Championship Records

Nigel Forbes headshot
Nigel Forbes Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

The future of swimming in The Bahamas continues to look bright as seen in the performances of the competitors at the 2018 REV National Swimming Championships which ran June 16-19. One of the top swimmers at the Championships was Nigel Forbes of the Tritons . He won Seven Gold medals in the 11-12 age group while setting new national marks in four events and lowering the Championship record in five races.

Tynes 2016 Nationals
Dustin Tynes

In his first race he lowered the meet record in the 200 metre breaststroke with a swim of 2:39.42 . That bettered the old mark of 2:41.45 set by Olympian Dustin Tynes (Rio 2016).He is now within reach of the 2014  national record  of 2:38.61 set by local and regional star Izaak Bastian

Event CARIFTA Rev Nationals CCCAN record National Record
200 metre breaststroke 2:43.39 Gold 2:39.42 Gold 2:35.89 2:38.61

evante-gibson--
Evante Gibson Photo courtesy of the bahamasswimmingfederation

In the 100 metre butterfly he dismissed the competition by more than seven  seconds to land Gold in a new Personal best of 1:03.27. That broke the 2007 championship record of 1:03.79 set by Evante Gibson in 2007. It also brings him closer to the national record of 1:02.83 set by Samuel Gibson in 2014 . His newly minted PB would also move him from the second seed to the number one swimmer at the upcoming CCCAN Championships in Aruba . The CCCAN Championship record stands at 1:01.83.

Event CARIFTA Rev Nationals CCCAN record National Record
100 metre butterfly 1:04.09 Gold 1:03.27 1:01.83 1:02.83

 

His next event , the 400 metre IM he was equally as dismissive as he was more than 20 seconds ahead of the competition as he took Gold in a new Championship and national record time of 5:18.05.He owned the old national record of 5:20.46 which he set in April of this year and the meet record of 5:26.52 was set by Kevon Lockhart in 2015.

Nigel Forbes fly pic
11-12 50 metre butterfly medallists from left to right Marvin Johnson Freeport Aquatics Silver medallist, Forbes Gold medallist and Msanaa Bosland of Barracudas Bronze medallist

The 50 metre butterfly saw him putting on an excellent display of sprinting in both the heats and the finals. The morning preliminaries saw him lowering his personal best and the  Championship record of 28.28 held by DaVante Carey and Ian Pinder when they tied for Gold in 2015. The final saw him getting past the  another 2007 Gibson national record of 27.77  with a blistering 27.67. That reaffirmed his favourite’s tag and number one seeding for CCCAN. It also brings him within touching distance of being the fastest 11-12  English speaking CARIFTA region swimmer in the event. That accolade belongs to Trinidad and Tobago’s  Olympian Dylan Carter (Rio 2016) with his 27.34 blast from 2009.The CCCAN record is 27.30.

forbes on his way to 50 metre butterfly Bronze
Nigel Forbes of The Bahamas on his way to 50 metre butterfly Bronze at the UANA Cup Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Event UANA CARIFTA Rev Nationals CCCAN record
50 metre butterfly 28.68 Bronze * 28.61 Silver 27.67 Gold 27.30

*Top CARIFTA region swimmer

The 200 metre butterfly was the only event he did not set a record in it.He took the title by over 10 seconds stopping the clock in 2:28.42.

Forbes 11-12 Gold
Nigel Forbes of The Bahamashistoric First Gold Medallist for The Bahamas and the CARIFTA region at the UANA Cup in the  11-12 50 metre breaststroke

Regular service however resumed in the 50 metre breaststroke as he lowered his personal best from 33.74 to 33.34 in the heats. Clearly he had a lot more in the tank  as  he was in scorching form in the final .He broke the meet and national record of 32.94 regional standout Izaak Bastian with a 32.54 clocking besting the field by over four seconds. He again is the number one seed for CCCAN where the meet record stands at 32.42.

Event UANA CARIFTA Rev Nationals CCCAN record
50 metre breaststroke 34.20 Gold 34.05 Gold 32.54 Gold 32.42

Forbes breaststroke CARIFTA Bahamas Aquatics
Nigel Forbes during the morning heats of the 100 metre breaststroke at CARIFTA 2018 Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

When draftingthecaribbean contacted him on June 18 he spoke his national record breaking swims in the 50 metre butterfly and 50 metre breaststroke

“It feels good .I know I have been training hard to get these records and now I have finally broken them”.

For his final record breaking act Forbes again lowered his personal best of 1:14.90 to 1:14.40 in the morning heats of the 100 metre breaststroke.The final saw him blasting away the Championship record 1:13.67 (Bastian 2014) and national record 1:12.26 (Tynes 2009) with a time of 1:12.24 split time 33.58. As the clear favourite and top seed in the event he is in reach of the CCCAN record of 1:12.18

Bastian split
Izaak Bastian opening up a lead in the 200 metre breaststroke at CARIFTA 2018 Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

Event UANA CARIFTA Rev Nationals CCCAN record
100 metre breaststroke 1:15.07 Gold 1:15.81 Gold 1:12.24 1:12.18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IZAAK BASTIAN CRUSHES CARIFTA BREASTSTROKE CHAMPIONSHIP RECORD WITH A NEW PB, AGE GROUP AND SENIOR NATIONAL RECORD

200 breast podium boys
Boys’ 15-17 breaststroke podium from left to right Weekes,Bastian and Russell Photo courtesy of The Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd

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.

Bastian split
Bastian opening up a lead in the 200 metre breaststroke Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

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.

Izaak celebrates
Bastian celebrates Record swim Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

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.

Jordy Groters flanetwork
Jordy Groters Photo courtesy of flaswimnetwork.com

The CARIFTA record was set by Aruban age group standout Jordy Groters in 2014 in a time of 2:20.14.

Tynes 2016 Nationals
Dustin Tynes

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.

Weekes breaststroke
Weekes en route to a Silver medal in the 200 metre breaststroke Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

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.

BEST TIMES FOR BARBADOS BOYS AT BAYLOR AT HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPS KIRBY WINS STATE TITLES IN FREESTYLE, BACKSTROKE AND RELAY WEEKES WINS BREASTSTROKE BRONZE

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 http://www.olympic.org.bb

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

 

jack-kirby-baylor-swimming
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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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

LUIS SEBASTIAN WEEKES WINS 200 IM GOLD , TEAMS WITH JACK KIRBY TO WIN MEDLEY RELAY GOLD ON DAY ONE OF TENNESSEE STATE CHAMPS

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-sebastian-weekes
Luis Sebastian Weekes Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

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.

jack-kirby-baylor-swimming
Jacky Kirby in action Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

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.

Baylor 2018 medley Champs
2018 State Champions in the 200 yard medley relay from left to right Kirby,Kurleto ,renowned head Coach Dan Flack, Althoff and Weekes Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

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 SEEN AT BAYLOR. KIRBY, WEEKES AND GILL ALL MAKE CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS HIGHLIGHTED BY KIRBY’S GOLD AND RELAY MEET RECORD.

barbados-baylor-swimmers-at-baylor-tisca-2017
Top Barbados age group swimmers repesenting the Baylor School at the 2017 Tennessee State Championships Photo courtesy of Barbados Aquatic Centre

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.

jacky-kirby-tastey-photo
Jack Kirby Photo courtesy of Tastey Blackman

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.

jack-kirby-baylor-swimming
Jacky Kirby in action in the backstroke at the 2017 Tennessee State Championships Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

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”.

luis-sebastian-weekes-tastey
Luis Sebastian Weekes Photo courtesy of Tastey Blackman

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.

luis-sebastian-weekes
Luis Sebastian Weekes Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

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”.

hannah-gill-tastey-photo
Hannah Gill Photo courtesy of Tastey Blackman

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-team-tisca-2017
Victorious Baylor Team Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

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.