At the 2018 CARIFTA in Kingston Jamaica  it seemed fitting if not almost poetic that Izaak Bastian of the Bahamas would win the  50 metre freestyle in a Championship record and crown himself the fastest of all time in a country known for its sprinting abilities. Added to that the previous Championship record was also set in Jamaica five years earlier .

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

In 2017 Bastian had made the medal podium with a Silver medal winning effort in front of his home crowd with a time of 23.76 in the 15-17 age group. That was his PB and his only entry under the 24 seconds barrier. He posted 24.35 to be the fourth fastest heading into the Championship final.That morning swim on April 3 pointed towards another sub 24 clocking as he was 24.33 in the heats in 2017. He would be well under 24  seconds and would be the only swimmer under 23.50 as he took the title and wrote another page in the history books as set a new PB , Championship record and earned himself the moniker of the fastest swimmer at the CARIFTA Championships when he stopped the clock in 23.25. Silver went to Kai Legband of Bermuda in 23.93 and the Bronze to Jack Kirby of Barbados in 24.03.

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

In 2013   future Olympian Renzo Tjon A Joe (Rio 2016) set the 50 metre freestyle record with a heat swim of 23.37 on April 2.He would take the Gold just off that time as he touched in 23.44 turning back the challenges of the Trinidad and Tobago duo of another future Olympian Dylan Carter (Rio 2016) 23.46 and Joshua Romany 24.27. A year later he would take the Silver in the same event at the CAC Games in Veracruz Mexico with a time of 22.62.

Speaking to Draftingthecaribbean today Bastian recounted that historic swim in Jamaica

final preparations for free final Izaak
Bastian makes last minute preparations for the 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Rochelle Bastian

“The 50 free was pretty good for me.I knew that I had to get out in front of everyone from the start to get out of the waves and get clear water.I wanted to see what I could do at the start and build on that momentum throughout the race.I did not have a goal time  I just wanted to give the race my all and focus on the things we have been working on in practice coming off the block fast , fast breakout. I did not really look at the record before I did not really think I would get the record.It was a big surprise to look up  see that I went 23.2”



On Friday March 23,2018 Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympian Dylan Carter (Rio 2016) and his University of Southern California team won the school’s first ever 200 yard medley relay title in school record time.On the way to that maiden relay title Carter established himself as the second fastest performer on the butterfly leg in that event.

The then record stood at 1:23.90 from the preliminaries of the 2015 NCAA Division I championships. The personnel at that time  included Carter and fellow Olympian Canadian Santo Condorelli (Rio 2016)

backstroke Luca Spinazzola 20.99
breaststroke Morten Klarksov 24.00
butterfly Dylan Carter 20.03
freestyle Santo Condorelli 18.88

In the final that year the Trojans finished sixth in 1:24.08 and Dylan narrowly missed breaching the 20 seconds barrier again on the butterfly leg with 20.04 effort.

Fast forward to 2018 and that landmark would be breached as the 2018 team crushed the school standard with a total time of 1:22.76 to be the number one seed heading into the Championship final. The returning members of the record team would be Carter and Condorelli

backstroke Ralf Tribuntsov 20.93
breaststroke Carsten Vissering 23.38
butterfly Dylan Carter 19.97
freestyle Santo Condorelli 18.48

In the final there would be a change in the lineup with Robert Glinta doing lead off backstroke duties. The race started with Glinta touching in 21.15 to see the Trojans in sixth place. Breaststroker Vissering provided a game changing leg of 22.58, the fastest ever to put the Trojans ahead. Carter responded with the third fastest butterfly leg of all time 19.60 and fastest on the night to  give Condorelli the lead he needed to seal the win in a new school and pool record of 1:21.82. That was just enough to hold off California in 1:21.88 and Florida with a rampaging Caleb Dressel of Florida who recorded a mind boggling 17.37 split for a total time of 1:22.33.

backstroke Robert Glinta 21.15
breaststroke Carsten Vissering 22.58
butterfly Dylan Carter 19.60
freestyle Santo Condorelli 18.49
Carter Nov
Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of usctrojans.com

That butterfly split has the Dylan as the second fastest performer behind Singaporean Olympic Gold medallist Joseph Schooling who owns the top 2 times from the 2016 and 2017 Championships

JS businessinsider
Joseph Schooling Photo courtesy of businessinsider.com
Date Swimmer split
March 2016  Joseph Schooling 19.36
March 2017 Joseph Schooling 19.45
March 2018 Dylan Carter 19.60

That relay win also moves Carter

2014 Dylan Carter 800 yard freestyle relay 6:13.09
2015 Dylan Carter 400yard  freestyle relay 2:47.06
2015 Dylan Carter 800 yard freestyle relay 6:11.64
2018 Dylan Carter 200 yard medley relay 1:21.82

from a tie with the Cayman Islands’ Olympian Shaune Fraser (Beijing 2008, London 2012) for the most NCAA crowns .

Shaune Fraser
Shaune Fraser Photo courtesy of shaunefraser.com
Date Swimmer event Time
2009 Shaune Fraser 200 yard freestyle 1:31.70
2009 Shaune Fraser 200 yard butterfly 1:40.75
2010 Shaune Fraser 200 yard butterfly 1:41.45
Anthony Nesty
Anthony Nesty Photo courtesy of olympic.org

He is now equal with Suriname’s 1988 Olympic Gold medallist in the 100 metre butterfly Anthony Nesty( LA 1984, Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992)  with four titles. Both  swimmers represented Florida.

1990 Anthony Nesty 100 yard butterfly 46.62
1991 Anthony Nesty 100 yard butterfly 47.00
1992 Anthony Nesty 100 yard butterfly 46.78
1990 Anthony Nesty 200 yard butterfly 1:43.46
George Bovell
Goerge Bovell III Photo courtesy of sportsmax.tv

The record is held by another legendary regional swimmer, his countryman 2004 Olympic Bronze medallist in the 200 IM George Bovell III (Sydney 2000,Athens 2004,Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016) ,who competed for Auburn.

2003 George Bovell III 200 yard IM 1:42.66
2004 George Bovell III 200 scm freestyle relay 1:23.75
2004 George Bovell III 400 scm freestyle relay 3:08.85
2004 George Bovell III 200 scm IM (former World record) 1:53.93
2006 George Bovell III 200  yard freestyle relay 1:16.15

The 200 yard freestyle saw the outgoing senior making yet another Championship final. He made his way to the medal  race with a season best time of 1:32.30 (split time 44.56). In that final he would finish seventh in a time of 132.68 (split time 44.29) . He still remains however the third fastest performer of all time with a time of 1:30.95(split time 43.79 ) leading off the Trojans 800 yard freestyle relay team last year.





Night two of the NCAA Division I championships on Thursday March 22 in Minnesota  saw Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympian Dylan Carter earning a Bronze medal in the 400 yard medley relay in school record time as well as setting another school record in the 200 yard freestyle relay. He would also set a season best in the 50 yard freestyle.

The 2018 University of Southern California 400 yard medley relay championship team finished one place better than 2017 to earn the Bronze. In a very tight battle for the medals the quartet of Ralf Tribuntsov backstroke 45.01, Carsten Vissering breaststroke 50.90,Carter butterfly 44.71 and Santo Condorelli freestyle 41.21 swam to a time of 3:01.83. That beat the old record of 3:02.20 set in last year’s Championship final. At that time Carter had split 44.81 on the butterfly leg. Indiana won the event in a pool record of 3:01.07 with Silver going to North Carolina State in 3:01.76.

Instagram USC 200 yard freestyle
New Trojan school record holders in the 200 yard freestyle relay from left to right Grissom,Carter,Tribuntsov and Condorelli Photo courtesy of uscswim on Instagram

In the morning heats of the 200 yard freestyle relay the Environmental Studies Major lowered his season best of 19.40 (split time 9.37) to register 19.29( split time 9.33) to help guide the Trojans to the Championship final . The team recorded a preliminaries time of 1:16.05. In the final he was handed the second leg duties. The team of Condorelli 18.98,Carter 18.69,Tribuntsov 18.84,and Kyle Grissom 19.21 bettered the school record of 1:15.85 with a swim of 1:15.72 to place fifth. That equaled Carter’s best placing with the 400 medley relay team in 2015.Dylan also lowered his best freestyle split at the meet. His previous best was 18.74 on the second leg in the Championship final.

Dylan Carter instagram freestyle
Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of uscswim on Instagram
Date Time split Leg Place
2015 1:16.55 18.74 2nd 5th
2015 1:15.85 heats 18.82 2nd
2018 1:15.72 18.69 2nd 5th
2018 1:16.05 heats 19.29 1st


The opening day of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Championships on Wed March 21 saw Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympian Dylan Carter (Rio 2016) recording a season best leading off the USC Trojans 800 yard freestyle relay.

Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of usctrojans.com

At the Jean K Freeman Aquatic Center in Minneapolis Minnesota Carter swam the opening leg in a time of 1:32.59 (split time 44.95). That bettered his previous season best of 1:33.15 (split time 45.35) ,which was a Silver medal winning performance at the PAC 12 Conference Championships in Feb.That lead off performance by Carter marks his sixth time under the 1:33.

That swim allowed the Trojans team of Patrick Mulcare 1:34.27,Jake Sannem 1:34.64 and Justin Nguyen 1:35.25 clock a total time of 6:16.75 to place 12th overall.That crushed their season best of 6:18.97 set at the PAC 12 Champs.


The final day of the UANA Cup in Coral Springs Florida on Jan 21 saw Nigel Forbes of the Bahamas and Zarek Wilson of Trinidad and Tobago landing more titles. The two swimmers were the top individual swimmers in all the individual events.

Forbes would complete the sprint breaststroke double when he took the 100 metre breaststroke title in a time of 1:15.07. The race itself was a close battle between Forbes and Brazilian Breno Bespo as they had respective splits of 35.40 and 35.41. Forbes’ superior back end speed proved decisive as he turned in the only sub 40 second last 50 in the field to touch in 1:15.07. Bespo stopped the clock in 1:16.07.  Mexican Nathan Ochoa Neurouth won the Bronze in 1:18.90.

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

Earlier in the day he would add the 50 metre butterfly Bronze to the 100 metre butterfly Silver he had won earlier. Forbes would stop the clock in 28.68.Nigel will certainly have the 2009 CARIFTA record of Dylan Carter in his sights .

Draftingthecaribbean got a few words from Nigel about his medal winning performances and UANA overall

“It was a good experience for me I enjoyed event and the competition was very tough. But in the end my hard work payed off because I ended up with Two Gold One Silver and a Bronze. It was a good meet for me and I hope to do even better next time”.

Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Nigel Forbes The Bahamas 50 metre breaststroke 11-12 34.20 Gold
Nigel Forbes The Bahamas 100 metre breaststroke 11-12 1:15.07 Gold
Nigel Forbes Bahamas 100 metre butterfly 11-12 1:03.34 Silver
Nigel Forbes The Bahamas 50 metre butterfly 11-12 28.68 Bronze
11-12 high point trophy winner Zarek wilson recieving trophy UANA M Lyn
Zarek Wilson being presented with the 11-12 high point trophy Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Easily the most versatile CARIFTA region swimmer at the meet Zarek Wilson lead a Gold Rush for the boys in the 50 metre backstroke. Copping Gold as well were Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas 13-14 and Jack Kirby of Barbados 15-17. Zarek completed the sprint backstroke double when he won his race in 30.20.He will be looking to take down the 2014 CARIFTA record of 29.80 set by Suriname’s Yael Touw Ngie Tjouw. Zarek had a convincing victory as the Silver medallist from Mexico José Nangullasmú Arellane touched in 31.80 Simon  Bermudez of Colombia won Bronze in 32.83.Wilson would be back to medal winning ways again in the very next event taking the Silver medal in the 100 metre freestyle in a time of 58.30.

Zarek with 8 medals
Zarek Wilson with his Eight medals won at the UANA Cup

Wilson’s strong performances follow in the same vein of top age group swimmers that we have seen from the twin island Republic to include Joshua Romany, Dylan Carter, Nicholas Bovell and George Bovell III to name  just a few. Zarek gave draftingthecaribbean a few words about the competition overall

“The UANA Swim Cup provided excellent competition and it was also an opportunity to see where I am in my training. I am happy that I was able to contribute to Team TTO’s efforts and improve a few of my personal bests.  My focus now returns to preparing for CARIFTA”.

Zrek with trophy
Zarek Wilson with the 11-12 high point trophy
Name Country Event Age Group Time Place
Zarek Wilson Trinidad and Tobago 100 metre backstroke 11-12 1:07.63 Gold
Zarek Wilson Trinidad and Tobago 50 metre backstroke 11-12 30.20 Gold
Zarek Wilson Trinidad and Tobago 50 metre freestyle 11-12 27.32 Silver
Zarek Wilson Trinidad and Tobago 100 metre freestyle 11-12 58.30 Silver
Zarek Wilson Trinidad and Tobago 400 metre freestyle 11-12 4:33.49 Bronze
Zarek Wilson Trinidad and Tobago 200 metre IM 11-12 2:31.50 Bronze
Zarek Wilson Trinidad and Tobago 100 metre butterfly 11-12 1:03.48 Bronze
Zarek Wilson Trinidad and Tobago 200 metre freestyle 11-12 2:09.05 Bronze


The 2017 edition of the USA College challenge saw the CARIFTA region represented by Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter. The meet format has members of the United States National Team competing against college swimmers from a specific conference in a 25 yard pool. The conference chosen this year was the PAC-12. That conference comprises of 12 schools from the Western United States, of which the University of Southern California  USC is one where Carter is a standout performer on the team.

Dylan Carter mike lewis swimswam college challenge
Dylan Carter in action at the 2017 College Challenge Photo courtesy of Mike Lewis/ swimswam

Dylan would be a member of two winning relay teams at the meet which ran from October 21 to 22 at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center, the home pool of the USC Trojans. In the 800 yard freestyle relay PAC 12 A teammate Grant Shoults 1:35.64 gave the team a lead of the USA B team of 0.36 of a second. Carter on second leg duties would give the team an insurmountable lead of 3.17 seconds when he recorded the fastest split on the day of 1:33.76.Cameron Craig  1:34.67 and Zheng Quah 1:35.89 helped the PAC 12 A team to a total time of 6:19.96, a winning margin of just over five seconds. The USA B finished second in 6:24.97 and USA A third in 6:27.11

It would be a much closer affair in the 400 yard freestyle relay as the PAC12 A won in a time of 2:51.58 .They just turned back the challenge of the USA B team who stopped the clock in a time 2:51.77. Carter had a 2nd leg split of 43.72. The USA B team included Olympic Gold medallists Matt Grevers, Tom Shields and Jack Conger. The USA A team was 3rd in 2:54.09.

Dylan Carter courtesy of Walt Middleton/usctrojans.com

Dylan would have two 2nd places finishes in the 200 and 100 yard freestyle races. In the 200 he recorded a time of 1:34.16 (split time 45.78).  His time is the second fastest in the NCAA so far this season. The winner was USA Team member Tom Shields who clocked 1:33.70. Craig placed 3rd in 1:35.13. In the 100 yard freestyle Dylan would clock the fastest collegiate time of 42.95 (split time 20.39) .That time would be bettered later in the meet by Justin Lynch who clocked 42.65 leading off the PAC 12 B team in the 400 yard freestyle relay. Shields won the event in a time of 42.73. Daniel Krueger of the USA national team was 3rd in 43.17.


The 400 yard medley relay saw Carter posting the 2nd fastest butterfly split of 45.13 and the best butterfly split in the two year history of the meet by a collegiate athlete. The PAC 12 A team would finish third in 3:07.09, that is the fastest time by a college team since the inception of the meet. USA B and A topped the field with times of 3:06.26 and 3:07.00 respectively.

The 50 yard freestyle saw Dylan touching in a time of 20.16 for 7th which places 25th   in the NCAA so far this season.

The PAC -12 Conference would take the overall meet honours 326.50 to 286.50.



Three meets deep into the 2017-2018 season the University of Southern California remain unbeaten. Their efforts have been aided by Trinidad and Tobago senior Dylan Carter whose record is almost as good as his team. He has won four of the five individual  races he has competed in so far. He has also established himself as the fastest swimmer in the NCAA Division in the early segment of the season in the 200 yard freestyle.

Date Opponent Score
September 29,2017 University of California Santa Barbara 136-125
September 30,2017 California Polytechnic State University 153-141
October 6,2017 California State University ,Bakersfield 201-94

On Sep 30 in the Trojans win over California Polytechnic State University he recorded 47.10 (split 21.86) in the 100 yard butterfly to win the race by over two seconds and become in the top ten in the NCAA.

Dylan ttoc.org
Dylan Carter Photo courtesy off ttoc.org

On October 6 when racing against California State University, Bakersfield he dropped exactly two seconds from his season opener on September 29 to record the best collegiate time in the 200 yard freestyle of 1:36.66.

Event Time split
100 yard butterfly 47.10 21.86
200 yard freestyle 1:36.66 46.70
Dylan Carter Texas Invite Photo courtesy of Walt Middleton/usctrojans.com

The Trojans with Dylan in their ranks has also established top five performances in the 200 and 400 yard medley relays with Carter doing butterfly duties

Event Time  butterfly split
200 yard medley relay 1:29.00 20.80
400 yard medley relay 3:16.89 46.86


Carter who holds four individual school records will be back in action from October 22-22 when Team USA which will include in its lineup Olympic Gold medallists Ryan Murphy and Matt Grevers  will compete against the PAC-12 conference in the 2017 USA vs. College Challenge.


Event Time
50 yard freestyle 19.32
100 yard freestyle 42.14
200 yard freestyle 1:31.98
100 yard butterfly 45.27