2018 SWIMMING ACHIEVEMENTS JACK KIRBY NAMED JUNIOR SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR

Jack Kirby being honoured as the 2018 Junior Sportman of the year Photo courtesy of the Barbados Olympic Association

Jack Kirby of Barbados was recognized for his outstanding performances for the year 2018 by his nation’s Olympic Association on December 20 at  BOA and Flow awards ceremony at the Barbados Hilton when he was named Junior Sportsman of the Year. This is the second consecutive year he is being bestowed with this honour after being given the accolade in 2017 as well. This is the third year that a swimmer is being recognized as the top junior sportsman as Olympian Alex Sobers won the award in 2016

2016 Junior Sportsman of the year Olympian Alex Sobers .Photo courtesy of the Barbados Olympic Association

Kirby who is one of the top regional junior swimmers in the sprint freestyle events and sprint individual medley but is known primarily in regional circles as being the top swimmer in the backstroke record shows

Meet50 backPlace 100 back Place 200 backPlace
UANA26.63 CRGold56.34 CRGoldN/A
CARIFTA26.27 CRGold56.59 59 CRGold2:11.64, 205.22 NAGRGold
CAC 26.07 NR ,NAGR6th56.19 NAGR5th2:07.80heats only
Junior NationalsN/A56.756th
Start of the 15-17 50 metre backstroke final from left to right Carey Silver medallist and Jack Kirby of Barbados Gold medallist Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

In 2018 Kirby established himself as the fastest ever swimmer at UANA and CARIFTA swimming Championships in the sprint backstroke events. And in his senior international debut at the CAC Games he was the youngest swimmer in the 50 and the 100 metre backstroke Championship final. He is the best backstroker of all time in the 15-17 age group and the fastest backstroker of all time for Barbados with his 26.07 clocking in the 50 metre backstroke.

National records in 2018

National recordTime
50 metre backstroke26.07
15-17 National recordTime
50 metre backstroke26.07
100 metre backstroke56.19
200 metre backstroke2:05.22
50 metre freestyle23.46
100 metre backstroke50.97
CARIFTA recordsTime
50 metre backstroke26.27
100 metre backstroke56.59
200 metre backstroke2:05.22

At the 2018 SPEEDO Winter Junior Championships in North Carolina held in a 25 yard pool Kirby recorded a big personal best in the 100 yard backstroke heats. This as he dipped below the 48 seconds barrier for the first time in his career to record a time of 47.88. It also puts as him only the third swimmer from Baylor to break 48 seconds .

Jacky Kirby in action in the backstroke Photo courtesy of Baylor Swimming

Kirby represents Baylor both at school and club level in the United States. In February of last year he also captured Gold in the 100 yard backstroke by over a second in a then personal best at the Tennessee State Championships.

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Kirby and asked him for this thoughts on receiving this award and what was the high point for him in 2018

Jack Kirby UANA Gold medallist and Barbadian age group in the 100 metre backstroke

“I’m extremely very grateful to be chosen for the award because I know I was chosen amongst many Bajan athletes on the same level as me. The highlight for this year has to be (Central American and Caribbean) CAC Games in Barranquilla. I say CAC Games because my competitors were older than me and I was still able to compete with them in finals”.

University of Southern California (USC commit) Jack Kirby .Photo courtesy of swimswam

Not one to rest on his laurels the University of Southern California bound Kirby representing Baylor today Jan 10,2019 made the Championship final of the 50 metre backstroke at the 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series #1 – Knoxville

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SPEEDO WINTER JUNIOR CHAMPS -EAST DAY 3 REPORT JACK KIRBY MAKES CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL IN 100 BACKSTROKE

The third day of competition on Friday Dec 7 at the 2018 SPEEDO Winter Junior Championships in North Carolina saw Jack Kirby of Barbados and the Baylor Swim Club as the highest ranked swimmer from the CCCAN region.

Jack UANA
Jack Kirby UANA Gold medallist and Barbadian age group in the 100 metre backstroke

Kirby recorded a big personal best in the 100 yard backstroke heats. This as he dipped below the 48 seconds barrier for the first time in his career to record a time of 47.88. It also puts as him only the third swimmer from Baylor to break 48 seconds.

Baylor 100 backstroke Top Three All Time

Luke Kaliszak  March 2014 46.47
Sam McHugh March 2014 47.74
Jack Kirby Dec 2018 47.88

That time would propel him to the Championship final as he had the second fastest time from the morning swim. In that final he would challenge the 48 second barrier to place 48.13. That bettered his 2017 performance where he had placed sixth in a time of 48.67.His heats time was the 10th fastest time produced at both the East and West competitions.

Analysis of 100 back personal bests

100 back Dec 2018 Feb 2018
First 50 23.13 23.46
Second 50 24.75 24.59
Final Time 47.88 48.05

There would be another big time drop for Kirby in the 100 yard butterfly. He dropped more than a second in the event to set his first sub 50 seconds swim of 49.30.  That bettered the 50.68 he did in a time trial at last year’s Championships. It also moved him from 16th to third  overall in Baylor history.It also places him as the fastest ever Caribbean swimmer from Baylor beating Jamaican Brad Hamilton’s time of 50.36 in 2008.

Bayor 100 butterfly Top Three All Time

Sam McHugh March 2014 48.24
Greg Roop Feb 2009 48.92
Jack Kirby Dec 2018 49.30

That earned him a spot in the C final . He recorded the second fastest time of his career when he placed 8th in a time of 49.66.

100 butterfly Dec 2018 Dec 2017
First 50 22.93 23.88
Second 50 26.37 26.88
Final Time 49.30 50.68

Vale on way to record swim
Nicholas  Vale Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Jamaica’s Nicholas Vale representing Pine Crest Swim club continued to close in on a sub 49 seconds swim when he recorded a personal best and club record of 49.37. That beat his previous team record set in the the heats of Florida 1A State Championships in November and placed him 28th overall. The 100 yard backstroke saw him stopping the clock in 52.14.

Jan Collazo Torres Trinity Prep aquatics
Jan Collazo Torres Photo courtesy of Trinity Prep Aquatics

Puerto Rico’s Jan Collazo Torres representing Trinity Prep Aquatics recorded a personal best in the 200 yard freestyle of 1:41.26 (split time 48.26) to place 53rd overall. That bettered his PB of 1:42.50 set in Dec 2017. It is also a major improvement on his performance at the 2017 Championships where he placed 100th in 1:44.59.

Also recording a big time drop was Curaçao’s Chadé Nersicio who represents East Coast Aquatics. She moved from a best time of 57.46 in the 100 yard butterfly done at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships in March to a time of 55.82 (split time 25.96) to finish 67th overall. In the 100 yard breaststroke she improved upon her 2017 performance where she touched 1:05.72 to stop the clock in 1:05.57 this year.

Jamaica’s Emily MacDonald of Bolles recorded a personal best of 58.08 (split time 27.07) in the 100 yard butterfly.

In the 200 yard freestyle relay the region was represented by three swimmers Gabrianna Banks of South Florida Aquatics, MacDonald and Nercisio.

Banks anchored her team with a split of 23.55 to help them to 15th overall in 1:34.13. MacDonald also had anchor leg duties for Bolles A team. She finished the relay with a leg of 23.86 to help them to a total time of 1:34.41 and 18th place. Nersicio broke the anchor leg trend by starting the relays. She posted the eighth fastest opening time of 23.01 of 43 competing teams to help the East Coast Aquatics to a total time of 1:35.04.

 

 

 

 

SPEEDO WINTER JUNIOR CHAMPS -EAST DAY 2 REPORT NERSICIO MAKES C FINAL IN 50 FREE

The second day of the SPEEDO Winter Junior Championships in North Carolina on Thursday Dec 6 saw Curaçao’s Chadé Nersicio earning a finals berth in the 50 yard freestyle for the second consecutive year.

chade-50-free-m-lyn
Chadé Nercisio starts her race Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Nersicio placed third in the C final of the event in a time of 23.05 to be the the only CARIFTA region swimmer earning a second swim in an individual event.The Florida 1A state champion in the 50 free anchored the East Coast Aquatics team  400 yard medley relay team to 32nd with a split time of 50.35, the 13th fastest freestyle split of the 41 competing teams.The team’s total time was 3:49.43.

Jamaicans Emily MacDonald of the Bolles School and Gabrianna Banks of South Florida Aquatics had times of 24.00 and 24.25 in the 50 yard freestyle.

Puerto Rico’s Jan Collazo Torres of Trinity Prep Aquatics was the top swimmer from the CCCAN region in the 50 yard freestyle for the boys as he clocked 20.74 to place 25th. It was his third best  ever performance . This as he  had won the Florida 1A State Championships with personal best times in the heats and final of 20.47 and 20.38.

Jack Kirby of the Baylor School and Barbados recorded a new personal best in the event of 20.89. That bettered his previous best of 20.92 registered earlier this year in February and it also placed him 43rd overall.

 

ANOTHER CARIFTA CHAMPION AND RECORD HOLDER RISES TO THE CHALLENGE AT CAC GAMES JACK KIRBY LOWERS BACKSTROKE AGE GROUP RECORD IN CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL

Another of the region’s top junior swimmers showed the class of swimmer the CARIFTA region is producing by making a major senior international final. It was the turn of Jack Kirby of Barbados who qualified for the 100 metre backstroke final.

Jack morning heats
Kirby preparing to swim in the morning heats

Coming to the championships Kirby was a known quantity regionally  in the junior ranks .This was evidenced by his season where he set the Championship record at the UANA Cup with a national record of 56.34 and a Championship record and the fastest time ever at CARIFTA of 56.59.

Jack and DaVante on podium
Jack Kirby and DaVante Carey push off the blocks in the Championship final of the 15-17 50 metre backstroke at CARIFTA 2018. Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

He would break his 15-17 age group national record with a time of 56.22 to place second in heat 1 . His speed endurance was seen with the fastest second 50 metres of all the swimmers as he moved from fourth to second with a 28.64 clocking. The swim also moved him to the top of the list in terms of Barbadian 100 metre backstroke performances as he bettered the previous best time of CAC legend Nicky Neckles in his Silver medal winning performance at the 2010 Games.

Nicky neckles 2010
Nicky Neckles with Silver in the 100 metre backstroke at the 2010 Games Photo courtesy of swimbarbados.com

Neckles won a complete set of medals in the event Bronze in 2002, Gold in 2006 when he swept the 50, 100 and 200 events and Silver in 2010.

In the final he changed tactics and went out hard and was second at the turn in 26.77. He could not withstand the charge from the field and placed a creditable fifth in yet another national age record time 56.19.

NATIONAL AGE GROUP RECORD PROGRESSION

UANA 2018 CAC 2018 heats CAC 2018 Final
First 50 metres 27.40 27.58 26.77
Second 50 metres 28.94 28.64 29.42
Final Time 56.34 56.34 56.19

Draftingthecaribbean contacted Kirby and got his reaction about his swim

” I was hoping for 55 but my finals event wasn’t executed properly. The race was exciting though as everyone was close”. His record swims were all under the automatic A standard for the Youth Olympics of 56.96 ,and the 2019 PAN AM a standard of 56.49. It also brings him closer to the 2018  Hangzhou World Short Course Championships and 2019 Gwangju World Championships  (LCM)  B standard of 55.95 and the  2011 national senior record of 55.88 held by Olympian Bradley Ally.

 

ALEX SOBERS AND JACK KIRBY RECORD SUB 51’S SWIMS IN THE 100 METRE FREESTYLE AT CAC GAMES , JACK MAKES AUTOMATIC YOUTH OLYMPIC STANDARD

The morning heats of the 100 metre freestyle saw big time drops for the Team Barbados duo of Alex Sobers and Jack Kirby

Sobers preparing to win another Gold medal
Alex Sobers Photo courtesy of goeclions.com

 

Sobers lowered his personal best of 51.82  (split time 25.25) from the TYR Pro Swim Series in Atlanta on March 1 to 50.74 (split time 24.13) to rank 9th overall and qualify for the B final. He will contest the Championship final at 8.22 pm local time. Sobers gave his thoughts to draftingthecaribbean about his PB

“I am happy with the new best time (50.74).Renzo Tjon A Joe (Suriname) was in the lane next  to me, so I used that to push me.That swim gave me a positive attitude towards the meet , I am  looking forward to the rest of my swims”.

Jack UANA
Jack Kirby at the UANA Cup

Teammate Kirby was also in record breaking form as he crushed his personal best and national 15-17 age group record of 52.04  (split time 25.70)  that he recorded in January at the UANA Cup in Florida to place 10th in a time of 50.97 (split time 25.10). That swim also propelled him past the Youth Olympics A standard time of 51.40.Draftingthecaribbean contacted Kirby and got his thoughts on record swim

“50.97 was a surprise to me because my goal for the race was 51. It felt like a normal 100 free race to me and I believe having older competitors helped my outcome a lot.”

Both swimmers will be chasing top honours in the B final slated for 8:16pm local time as well as the 2019  Gwangju  Korea World Championships and 2018 Hangzhou, China World Short Course B time of 50.51. Also in their sights will be the senior national record of Shawn Clarke of 50.40.Clarke set that record leading off the 2009 Rome World championships 400 metre freestyle relay and had an opening split of 24.48

LUIS SEBASTIAN WEEKES COMPLETES CARIFTA 15-17 MEDLEY SWEEP THE FIRST FOR BARBADOS IN OVER A DECADE, ENDS JUNIOR CAREER AS HIS NATION’S FASTEST CARIFTA BREASTSTROKER

Weekes on his way to 200 Silver Lyn 2018
Luis Sebastian Weekes on his way to 200 metre breaststroke Silver Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

When the pool swimming component of the CARIFTA Championships ended on April 3 Luis Sebastian Weekes had won the  Silver in the 200 metre breaststroke, Silver in the 100 metre breaststroke and placed fourth in the 50 metre breaststroke .

Luis with CARIFTA medal M Lyn
Weekes on the medal podium  Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

He also ended his last CARIFTA Championships as the fastest breaststroker from Barbados to compete at the meet. With times of 30.60 (2018), 1:06.37 (2018)  and 2:23.53 (2017) no other person from his country has been as quick in these events.

To add to his legacy at the regional competition he also took the Gold medals in the 200 and 400 metre individual medley races in times of 2:08.97 and 4:42.71 .

In the 400 IM  he has won a complete set of medals 2016 Bronze 4:47.76, 2017 Silver 4:45.41. No other swimmer from Barbados has won a medal in this event for the 15-17 boys other than Weekes since Bradley Ally won Gold in The Bahamas in 2004.

Bradley Ally panamerican world
Bradley Ally Photo courtesy of panamerican world

The shorter medley witnessed the first time Barbados was winning two medals in the 15-17 age group  with teammate and Baylor school mate Jack Kirby stopping the clock in 2:09.56 to win the Silver.

Barbados boys
Barbados boys at Baylor from left to right Luis Sebastian Weekes and Jack Kirby

The last time this happened was again in 2004 when Ally completed the medley double and countryman Shawn Clarke collected the Bronze.

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Weekes he described the 100 metre breaststroke as being his best event at the Championships as he improved his time. In his words, “the 200 was little bit stressful as because I haven’t really trained for it. I was training more for the Individual medleys”.  He also described the 200 IM as a very fun race as he won from Lane one thought it was a second or two slower than what he wanted.

He also  described his  CARIFTA experience

“It’s been a fun ride with a lot of ups and downs, but I wouldn’t have traded the experiences for the world. I also made friendships that will last forever and I am eternally grateful”.

Luis weekes Kenyon shirt
Luis Sebastian Weekes

This September he will also be leaving ranks of high school and the  Baylor School to be competing at NCAA Division III powerhouse Kenyon College. He will be joined by CARIFTA region standouts for their respective countries Joseph Black (Jamaica) and Eddie Weber (The Cayman Islands).

IZAAK BASTIAN BECOMES CARIFTA’S FASTEST EVER SWIMMER IN THE LAND OF THE SPRINTERS

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”