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.
Day Two of the UANA Cup saw outstanding performances from the CARIFTA region’s swimmers in the 15-17 age group. The names Jacky Kirby of Barbados Gold 100 metre backstroke, Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas Gold 50 metre breaststroke and Kael Yorke of Trinidad and Tobago Bronze 100 metre butterfly were the headline acts.
Kirby, who was named Junior Athlete of the Year for 2017
was sensational in winning the 100 metre backstroke in a time of 56.34.That broke his age group record of 57.01 set at the Commonwealth Youth Games in July in The Bahamas.
It also brings him closer the senior national record of 55.88 Olympian Bradley Ally (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008,London 2012) set at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai China .Ally splits then were 27.38 and 28.50. Not only did Jack establish a meet record for the event he also beat the Youth Olympics A qualifying mark of 56.96. He went out in 27.40 and came back in 28.94. No other swimmer at the meet had Jack’s back end speed in the event as he recorded the only sub 30 seconds second 50 metre split. Silver went to Guillermo Cruz Zuniga of Mexico who clocked 58.80 and the Bronze to Anthony Rincón Velasco of Colombia who was timed in 59.25.Jack gave his impressions of the race to draftingthecaribbean after the race
“The goal for the 100 metre backstroke was to make the 56 low.I had no idea about the senior national record I was just really focusing on the 56 low. I really wanted to get that time because by summer I want to get into the 55 range.Also in terms of competing in 2020 this helps in getting me to 53”.
Also winning Gold and establishing a new meet record was Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas who touched in a time of 29.23 just out touching Cruz Zuniga of Mexico won another Silver in 29.32. Andre Martijena Díaz of the Dominican Republic took the Bronze in 30.19.Izaak gave his thoughts about the race after his win
“The 50 breaststroke was much better than I expected it to be.I did not expect to feel as good as I did in the water.There were a few small things I felt I could fix.I felt I was rushing my stroke a little bit but that just comes with more practice and experience in the race and getting up and going in the morning.That was what this meet was all about for me trying to go as fast as I can in the morning so I can get used to those other big meets like the Commonwealth Games coming up where I am used to swimming fast at night and not in the morning.I am trying to change that to swimming fast in the morning so those swims actually count for something instead of just holding back for the night.I know when I go those bigger meets I wont be able to hold back and maybe not even get a second swim.The race itself was pretty good I got to race some really fast guys.It was a close one this morning I don’t know how I pulled it off my last 5 metres I tried to hold it all together and come in as I fast as I could and finish on a full stroke”.
Kael Yorke won the Bronze in the 100 metre butterfly. He spoke to draftingthecaribbean about his races
“ For my first event the 50 freestyle it wasn’t as good as I expected it to be because I added on time and I wasn’t feeling myself in the water I didn’t let it get to me because I have not been training for while. I took a long break for the Christmas holidays and I only started back training nine days ago so it was a good attempt at the 50 freestyle. I put the focus on my 100 metre butterfly today and tried to do my best. For training for only nine days I thought I did well I swam a 56 not far from my personal best off 55 which was a tapered time. Overall the UANA Cup experience has been a good one so far.The weather conditions are not what my teammates and I are used to because we are accustomed to warmer weather but just being able to compete at this level with the Mexicans, the Colombians and Central Americans is a great experience and I continue to strive to do better in my other events”
Other top CARIFTA region swimmers for the day included
The CARIFTA region’s swimmer performed well on the opening day of the UANA Cup . The meet which being held in Coral Springs Florida is designed for athletes from Central America, South America, and the Caribbean that are in UANA Zones 1 and 2. Despite the temperature reaching as low as 14 degrees Celsius the Regions swimmers still brought the heat winning EIGHT medals on the day Three Silver and Four Bronze medals. Leading the way in the 11-12 age group was Zarek Wilson who won a Silver and Two Bronze medals.
Zarek became not only the first medallist from Trinidad and Tobago but the Region when he won the Bronze in the 400 metre freestyle in a time of 4:33.49.He would also win the Region’s second medal when he won yet another Bronze in the 200 metre individual medley in a time of 2:31.50. He would complete the medal hat trick when he won the Silver in the 50 metre freestyle in a time of 27.32. He had the following thoughts about his performances
“The first day was a bit tough because the weather was colder than what I am accustomed to. I am happy to have won medals for Trinidad and Tobago. The competition was stiff, which is what Coach Edmund Pouchet wanted me to face. The UANA Cup is a chance to face quality swimmers so I can see all the areas I have to improve. I am looking forward to the rest of my races where I hope to challenge my best times.”
Zarek’s Silver lead to a medal rush with the region winning medals as well in the 13-14 and 15-17 races. In the 13-14 race it was The Bahamas Lamar Taylor who also took the Silver in a time of 24.57 and earned The Bahamas first medal of the competition.He was edged by the narrowest of margins by Mexican Victor Salcedo Carrillo who clocked 24.56. Lamar spoke to draftingthecaribbean about his performance
“After the disappointment at CCCAN (he was disqualified in the final) I basically just wanted to regain my title and swim my heart out.The race went pretty well .My start was not the best but it was good enough for me to get enough momentum.During the race I looked once and saw the boy in Lane 3 and swam harder . I was kind of disappointed by the one hundredth defeat but to be honest I wasn’t really focused on the place I was focused on the time”.
There would be another medal for The Bahamas as Izaak Bastian won the Bronze in the 15-17 age group.He won Bronze in a time of 24.08.That swim was under the Youth Olympic B qualifying time of 24.38. He gave his analysis of his race
“The 50 was a pretty good race for where I am in my training.I took some more time off than I usually do because I knew coming into the next 2 or 3 years in my training I know I will have to be very focused and not take off that much time.This winter break I took off 18 days so I could mentally reset before going into the next 2 years and decompress from 2017.This was only my second week back in training so to get up and go 24.0 with only two weeks of training was pretty impressive for me so I was really happy with the time.It was also great to see the swimmers I don’t normally race from Argentina and Brazil.I felt I had a good race the breakout was good I felt like I getting on it in my first couple of strokes which is something I have been working on a lot in practice”
Roan Baker of Barbados in the 13-14 age group earned his country’s first medal when he won the Silver in the 200 metre individual medley in a time of 2:18.23.
Barbados would earn the last medal for the region when the Boys 15-17 200 metre medley relay team of Jack Kirby backstroke 27.47,Nkosi Dunwoody breaststroke 31.93 ,Luis Sebastian Weekes butterfly 27.16 and Damon St Prix freestyle freestyle won the Bronze in a new senior national and 15-17 age group record of 1:51.99. That lowered decades old record of 2:02.88 set back April 1993.That team had in their line up Dean Durant doing backstroke and Chris Moseley doing anchor leg duties.
The young ladies winning medals on the day included Jamaica’s Emily MacDonald who won the Silver in the 13-14 50 metre freestyle in 27.42.She gave draftingthecaribbean an assessment of her performance on Day One
“Medalling at UANA was a very big accomplishment for me especially swimming against the best swimmers from Central and South America who I am not used to competing against. Winning the very first medal for Jamaica at this meet was also a big accomplishment for me”.
Winning the only medal for the Region’s 15-17 girls
was Curacao sprint princess Chadé M. Nersicio. She won the Silver in the event in 26.72 under the Youth Olympics B qualifying time of 27.39
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.
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.
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
1st B Final
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.
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.
Day 2 of the 2017 Speedo Winter Junior Championships East saw the boys of the CARIFTA region turning out strong performances. Leading the charge on December 7 at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville Tennessee was Florida High school 2A State Champion Irvin Hoost of Suriname.
Hoost, who is representing the Metro Aquatics Club lowered his 2016 personal best of 20.72 when he clocked 20.55 in the morning heats to earn a berth in the C final. He would record the 2nd fastest time of his career when he touched in 20.60 for 6th place.
Also bettering his personal best was Jack Kirby of Barbados representing Baylor Swim club. He crushed his 200 yard individual medley best of 1:54.48 (split time 52.84) that he recorded at the 2017 Tennessee State championships with a time of 1:51.16(split time 51.15). That performance placed the 2017 CARIFTA 15-17 Bronze medallist in the 200 metre IM 34th overall.
Also lowering his personal best was countryman and club mate and 2017 CARIFTA Silver medallist Luis Sebastian Weekes and . Luis lowered his personal standard of 1:52.17 (split time 53.91) a 4th place performance at the 2017 Tennessee State Championships to 1:51.36 (split time 52.72). That swim ranked him 39th overall.
The top regional performance was recorded by the 15-17 2017 CARIFTA Champion and record holder in the 200 metre individual medley Aruban Patrick Groters representing the Pine Crest Swim club. He was timed at 1:50.91 (split time 50.22) to finish 30th overall.
Kirby would continue to lower his personal bests when he recorded 48.79 (split time 23.72) leading off the Baylor 400 yard medley relay team. That represented a significant time drop for the 2017 15-17 CARIFTA Silver medallist in the 100 metre backstroke. His personal best of 50.14 (split time 24.48) recorded at the State Championships when he placed 4th. The Baylor team finished 6th in 3:18.55.
Aruban Daniel Jacobs who stated that he will be going after the CARIFTA 15-17 400 metre freestyle record of 3:59.79 at his last CARIFTA 2018 clocked 4:36.15 in the 500 yard freestyle to place 74th. At the 2017 CCCAN Championships in Trinidad and Tobago the Georgia Tech commit won the 400 metre freestyle title in 4:01.85.
In the 50 yard freestyle Izaak Bastian (The Bahamas/Saint Andrew’s) ,Groters, Steve Aimable (French Guiana/Azura Florida Aquatics) and Joseph Black(Jamaica/Peddle Aquatics) turned out good performances not far off from their personal bests.
50 yard freestyle
50 yard freestyle
50 yard freestyle
50 yard freestyle
The 400 yard medley relay saw Hoost of Metro Aquatics putting in a 44.63 freestyle split to help them to 9th overall in a time of 3:18.99. Black of Jamaica had a 56.79 to help Peddie to 20th in 3:21.67
Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas captured the 100 yard breaststroke title at the Florida at his final high school meet on November 4 at the 1A State championships in Stuart Florida.
The road to Gold had been a four year road under the tutelage of his coaches at Saint Andrew’s in Boca Raton.
In his first individual Championship final in 2014 competing in the 100 yard breaststroke ,which would be the source of his greatest individual high school triumph he placed 8th in the B final in a time of 1:00.83 (split time 28.94).The next year would see a turnaround in fortunes as he would earn a place on the medal podium taking the Bronze in 57.19 (split time 27.06).
Bastian, a Florida State commit would drop two seconds but he maintained his medal position taking the Bronze again in 55.68 (split time 26.46)
Then came 2017 at the CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas he extended his Gold medal winning streak in the 100 metre breaststroke with a near record performance .
Later in the year he would create history he would become the only Bahamian male medallist in the 100 metre breaststroke at the Commonwealth Games when he won the Bronze at the Youth Games in his home country. In his final long course meet for the year he recorded the best time and placing for a Bahamian at the World Junior championships.
It was that form that he brought to his last high school season. It would be an unbeaten run leading up the to the state Championships. He would take the Palm Beach County title in 56.27. At that competition he would also be named outstanding male performer. He added the District title in a time of 57.73 breaking his year old record of 58.25. A week later at the Regional meet on October 27 he would win in 56.43.
On the day of reckoning he eased into the final with 55.67 (split time 26.18) performance. That just lowered his 2016 school record of 55.68 when he won the Bronze medal. In the final it was 2016 Silver Medallist Paul DeGrado of the Bolles school and Izaak that separated themselves from the field with 50 splits of 25.99 and 25.80 respectively. There would be no denying Bastian as he split 28.71 on to take the Gold in 54.54 in a personal best, school record and the second fastest time in Florida high school history . The state record stands at 54.33 set by James Daugherty of the Bolles School.DeGrado repeated as the Silver medallist with a time of 54.90.
8th B final
Bastian’s name will join the names such Olympian Bradly Ally of Barbados and Ansel Tjin-A-Tam who be crowned state Champions in the 100 yard breaststroke.
There would be more records and medals earned on the day for Izaak. In the 200 yard medley relay Izaak along with Jamaican Jesse Marsh continued the Scots CARIFTA region medal winning streak for the consecutive year. The Boca Raton based school won their third Silver medal in the event in a school record time of 1:31.86.
All three teams that won medals had Bastian on breaststroke duties and Marsh handling the butterfly leg. This year’s team lowered the 2016 Silver medal winning record time of 1:33.21.
Bastian created history when he recorded the fastest breaststroke split in the history of the Championships of 24.48. That bettered the time of 24.49 done by Daugherty in 2016.
The third school record in the 50 yard freestyle of 20.86 would fall in the Championship final of the event. Izaak would clock 20.53 to win the Silver . The Gold went to Cole Crane of Episcopal in 20.40.
The fourth Scots record would fall in the 200 yard freestyle relay . The team which included Bahamian countryman Samuel Gibson set a new mark of 1:24.73 to win the Silver .Trinity Prep won the Gold in a time of 1:23.64.
For his efforts he would earn the CBS 12 Athlete of the week honours