Bahamian DaVante Carey has been having a dream season in his freshman year for McKendree University. Though the Division II Championships was shortened due to the worldwide pandemic there was still enough time for DaVante to dazzle in the 200 yard medley relay.
The Bearcats came to the Championships with a school standard of 1:26.31 from the GLVC Conference Champions.They were just off that time with a swim of 1:26.84. Carey, however again lowered the 50 yard backstroke record. He carried the Bearcats to new heights with the lowering of his time from 21.88 to 21.84.
The defending CARIFTA Champion in the 50 metre backstroke would prove he had more speed to burn in the final on March 11 at the SPIRE Institute. In the final he took off after a 10.65 25 yards split to touch in yet another school record of 21.45.This gave his teammates a lead that they would not relinquish.John Heapy with his breaststroke gave a leg of 23.82. On the butterfly Gregg Lichinsky recorded a time of 20.57 and then Namibian Alexander Skinner brought it home in a time of 19.45. They took off a second to record a new time of 1:25.29. They were just off the NCAA Championship record of 1:24.83.
CAREY’S IMPACT ON THE HISTORY BOOKS
The Gold for McKendree is the first in program history for the University in the event. Carey continues to push The Bahamas and the Bearcats into new speed zones as he continues to break the yards record and exert his dominance as the best ever in this event. This Gold represents the first relay Championship title for the CARIFTA in the NCAA Division II .
SCHOOL RECORD SWIMS
He also recorded the second fastest time done in the last 10 years in the Championship finals of the event. Only Frenchman Paul Pijulet of Queens has been faster in recent years with his blast of 21.41. Pijulet was a senior in 2018 when he recorded his personal best and Queens went on to win the national title in a record time of 1:24.83.
Carey now joins an small elite group swimmers of to have lifted the NCAA title in this event .Those are the Olympians from Team Trinidad and Tobago Siobhan Cropper in 1998 and 2001 with Stanford and Dylan Carter (Rio 2016) with the University of Southern California.Both swimmers won their titles at the NCAA Division I champs
CARIFTA REGION PRESENCE IN THE FINAL
Carey was not alone flying the regional colours with pride . Earning the Silver was the Terrific Two from Team TTO . Representing the University of Indianapolis Greyhounds Jeron Thompson and Kael Yorke’s team had a total time of 1:25.80. Reigning 500 yard freestyle champion Alex Sobers of Emmanuel College anchored the Lions to 5th for a total time of 1:26.42.
The 15-17 50 metre backstroke finalists in the 2019 and 2018 edition of the CARIFTA Championships that competed in yard have all improved this season . DaVante again was the leader in this shortened season
Carey who has been undefeated at the CCCAN level for the last three years and gave his impressions of his performance
“Going into the morning swim I was not feeling well. I did not swim the day before due to food poisoning. So really I did not know what I was getting myself into. But after my morning swim I knew that I was going to be fine in the night due to me going a PB in the morning. Furthermore, coming back in the night the my teammates and I just set our eyes on that first place position and we did that. I started it off with the 50 backstroke split of 21.45, the fastest time in DII this season and that was really exciting for me due to me only being a freshman. But overall I am really proud of my times in the past season and I hope I can continue the trend into next season”.