CAREY WINS HISTORIC MEDLEY RELAY GOLD AT SHORTENED NCAA DII CHAMPS

DaVante Carey .Photo courtesy of mckbearcats.com

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

History makers from left to right Head Coach Jimmy Tierney,Gregg Lichinsky, John Heapy, Carey,Alexander Skinner and Assistant Coach Nathan Townsend. Photo courtesy of mckbearcats.com

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

DateTime
October 26,201922.96
November 22,201922.42
Feb 12,202021.88
March 11,202021.84
March 11,202021.45
Paul Pijulet .Photo courtesy of zimeo

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.

Siobhan Cropper Photo courtesy of GettyImages

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

Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of Dylan Carter

CARIFTA REGION PRESENCE IN THE FINAL

Alex Sobers 2019 500 yard freestyle Champion Photo courtesy of goeclions

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

NameTimeCountry
DaVante Carey21.45BAH
Jeron Thompson21.61TTO
Jack Kirby21.85BAR
Patrick Groters23.13ARU
Tristan Pragnell24.38BAR
Jack Harvey24.50BER
Nicholas Vale24.64JAM
Zachary Moore24.91CAY
2018 CCCAN 15-17 50 metre backstroke medal podium from left to right Thompson Team TTO, Carey and Juan Morales Restrepo of Colombia. Photo courtesy of CCCAN

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”.

BERMUDAN MEDALS FOR BAYLOR, LOGAN WATSON BROWN POWERS HER WAY TO GOLD AND BRONZE MEDALS AT TENNESSEE STATE CHAMPS

Yet another CARIFTA region swimmer continues to make their mark at the Tennessee high school swim Championships .In 2020 it was Bermudan Logan Watson-Brown showing her class at the Tennessee Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville from Feb 7 to 8. Logan competes for the powerhouse Baylor high school , home to many of the region’s top age group stars over the years.

She made her debut at the State Championships with a preliminary swim in the 200 yard freestyle. That morning on February 7 saw her lowering her personal best from 1:52.65 to 1:51.62 . That swim gained her entry to her first Championship final on her very first attempt.

Logan Watson -Brown

In the evening’s final the defending 15-17 CCCAN 200 metre freestyle Champion would not be denied a place on the podium she crushed her morning effort with a new personal best of 1:49.96 split time 52.66 earning the Bronze.Silver was won by Kalli Chelsvig of Ensworth 1:48.28.Gold was was won by the outstanding Alex Walsh of Harpeth Hall in 1:45.19.

Kimberlee John Williams Photo courtesy of swimswam

The Bermudan is now the fastest CARIFTA region swimmer ever at Baylor bettering Trinidad and Tobago’s Kimberlee John-Williams time of 1:52.02 back in Feb 2012. She also ranks sixth all time at Baylor.

Logan smiles after winning her first TISCA medal .Photo courtesy of Baylor swimming

In regional championships Watson Brown has been on a winning streak taking the 13-14 CCCAN 200 metre freestyle in 2018 and doing the regional golden Double in her first year of 15-17 in 2019 taking both the CARIFTA and CCCAN crowns

Logan Watson- Brown atop of the 13-14 medal podium at the 2018 CCCAN Championships
Photo courtesy of CCCAN

GOLDEN 200 METRE FREESTYLE REGIONAL STREAK

YearAgeTime
201813-142:08.84
201915-172:07.86
201915-172:06.33

The next day in the 100 yard freestyle she continued to set new personal bests.In the morning heats she recorded a time of 51.68. Her old personal best was 51.84. In the 200 yard freestyle relay she produced an anchor leg split of 24.22 to help her team to a total time of 1:36.99 and Lane 4 in the medal final.

She closed the session with a time of 51.93 leading of the Baylor ladies who made it to the Championship final with a total time of 3:34.35.

The final of the individual 100 yard freestyle saw her posting her first sub 51 seconds swim. She clocked 24.39 and raced home to 26.50 to touch fourth in 50.89. Logan was a part of a historic race as the winner Gretchen Walsh of Harpeth Hall won Gold in a time of 46.98, the fastest time ever swum by a high school girl. Silver went to Ellie Taliaferro of GPS in 50.04 and the Bronze to Erin Milligan of Collierville in 50.05.

200 yard freestyle relay Gold medallists from left to right Ellie Waldrep,Jewel Gordon,Watson-Brown and Lydia Bohannon Photo courtesy of Baylor swimming

The 200 yard freestyle relay was a coronation ceremony of speed rather than a race as the Baylor team led from the sounding of the starter’s gun to the final touch at the wall. The team of Ellie Waldrep 23.54,Jewel Gordon 23.54, Lydia Bohannon 24.08 and Watson-Brown 23.41. The total winning time is 1:34.37. Brentwood was second in 1:36.61 and Maryville took the Bronze in 1:38.24.

Buoyed by her individual performance she returned to the pool in the last event of the Championships to swim the fastest opening of the 400 yard freestyle relay. Watson -Brown took charge of the race with her opening split of 24.31. The field lost touch with her as she split 26.33 to touch in yet another personal best of 50.64. That gave the Baylor ladies a lead of over 2 seconds.

It would not be enough as the Harpeth Hall team had three swift 49.76 Alex Massey and the Walsh sisters Alex and Gretchen with times of 47.91 and 48.14 to win in 3:20.81. Maryville clocked 3:30.24 for the Silver . Baylor was just out touched clocking 3:30.80 for the Bronze.

400 yard freestyle relay Bronze medallists from left to right Watson-Brown,Bohannon,Caroline Schenck and Lillie Boggs Photo courtesy of Baylor swimming

Logan also established herself as the best CARIFTA region swimmer in the 100 yard freestyle at Baylor. This time she downed the 51.58 set by Bahamian Bria Devaux in February 2012. She is also the fifth fastest performer of all time at the Chattanooga based institution

Bria Deveaux Photo courtesy of huskers.com

CARIFTA REGION AQUATIC FOOTPRINT AT TISCA

Baylor 2012 Photo courtesy islandstats

The state and independent high school record of 1:31.18 is held by the 2012 Baylor team that had three swimmers from the region Bria Deveaux The Bahamas , Kimberlee John-Williams Trinidad and Tobago and Ashley Yearwood Bermuda.

Link to video by Swimming world after they broke the record in 2012

The fastest ever 200 yard medley relay record by a high school boys team either public of 1:27.74 is held by the 2014 Baylor team that included Bahamian Dustin Tynes and Barbadian Christopher Selby.

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

Links to race videos and interview in 2014

https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/morning-swim-show-baylor-boys-relive-experience-of-breaking-relay-national-record/

The state record in the boys 400 yard freestyle relay of 2:59.92 is held by the 2018 Baylor team that included Jack Kirby of Barbados.

Kirby with members of his Baylor relay team Photo courtesy of Baylor swimming
2020 TISCA Girls Champions Photo courtesy of Baylor

Baylor would take defend their girls team title amassing 295 points. Runner up went to Harpeth Hall 220 points and third to Maryville 196 points.

Combined Champions Photo courtesy of Baylor swimming

Baylor also secured the combined title for the fourth consecutive year.





2019 WORLD SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS 100 metre backstroke men Lion hearted Dylan Carter of TTO becomes the fastest ever CCCAN swimmer at Worlds

The heats of the 100 metre backstroke event  at the 2019 World Swimming championships was hit by issues with swimmers either slipping or not getting the push required from the backstroke wedges. One such affected swimmer was Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago. In the initial morning swim Carter had recorded a time of 55.35 for 30th overall. Also suffering a similar fate was Italian swimmer Simone Sabbioni who heard the starter’s gun three times, slipping twice before he was able to put a time that enable him to make the semi finals.

Carter dissatisfied with the wedge and wanting to give his best for himself, and his country and by extension the region requested a second swim.This was accepted and he did not disappoint. He split 26.56 en route to a total time of 54.03. His happiness was seen after the swim as he slapped the water in approval. The time not only got him in into the semifinals in 16th spot but also a new national record .In the semi finals he maintained his overall position and  recorded the second fastest time of his career 54.08

Carter’s Top Three Performances

Meet1st 502nd 50 Total time
WC heats26.5627.4754.03
WC semis26.2527.8354.08
Can trials26.4127.6854.09
Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of usportt.com

The University of South California Grad has attained the highest placing for a swimmer in his country at the World Champs. He bettered the previous best placing and time by a swimmer from Trinidad and Tobago as in 2015in Kazan where he placed 33rd in 55.24. He also vaults to the top of the all time CCCAN rankings as he went under the under the 55.21 recorded by legendary Cuban backstroker Neisser Bent . He stroked his way to 55.21 and fourth place ahead of another icon of the region Rodolfo Falcon 55.32 in the Championship final of the race at the 1998 Perth Championships .

Rodolfo Falcon Photo courtesy of columnadeportiva.files.wordpress.com

CCCAN All Time Top Performers

NameTimeYearCountry
Dylan Carter54.032019TTO
Neisser Bent55.211998CUB
Rodolfo Falcon55.321998CUB
Ricardo Busquets55.781998PUR
Rex Tullius55.882015ISV
Bradley Ally55.882011BAR
Pedro Medel56.122013CUB
Nicky Neckles56.202007BAR
Jack Kirby56.252019BAR
Jack Kirby being honoured as the 2018 Junior Sportman of the year Photo courtesy of the Barbados Olympic Association

Making his World Championships debut Jack Kirby cracked the all time top ten list. The incoming USC freshman split 27.64 on way to 56.25 and 42nd place overall.

Third overall from CCCAN was Cuban Armando Barrera 47th overall in a time of 57.00 (split time 27.25).Barrera got the chance to show his best effort in the race on a global stage after an unfortunate disqualification in 2015

Eisner Espinoza Barberena of Nicaragua was 57th overall in time 1:00.56 (split time 29.29).This marks his fourth consecutive time competing at the World Champs.

KENZO SIMONS BECOMES FASTEST 15-17 SWIMMER EVER FROM THE CARIFTA REGION WITH EURO SILVER MEDAL

Kenzo Simons with his 50 metre freestyle Silver medal at the 2019 European Junior Championships today announced his arrival on the world stage with a major medal as well as a new Netherlands age group record in the event. Simons clocked a swift 22.10 to win Silver .

Kenzo Simons and father

In a race that show how fast the world of swimming has become saw German Artem Selim winning in 21.83 and the Bronze going to Vladyslav Bukhov of the Ukraine in 22.37. Simons had the advantage for most of the race before Selim pulled away for victory in a new European Junior record.

50 metre freestyle Championship race

Kenzo’s time would have won the Silver medal at the World Juniors at 2017 edition and Gold in 2015,2013 and 2011. No other swimmer from the region has ever gone faster than 22.50 in that age group.

In the history of CARIFTA region swimmers the top three rankings now includes Renzo Tjon A Joe of Suriname who blasted to 22.75 at the 2013 World Junior Championships en route to a Championship final. Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter would speed to 22.49 of the Youth Olympics the following year before winning Bronze in the Championship final with a time of 22.53

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

CARIFTA AGE GROUP ALL STARS OF SPEED

Name50 free
Kenzo Simons22.10 (2019)
Dylan Carter22.49 (2014)
Renzo Tjon A Joe22.75 (2013)

This shows the vast improvement Simons has made since regional fans would have seen him last at the now defunct Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships in 2016 when he won the Gold in the 13-14 age group in a time of 24.08 in a Championship record.Another top junior swimmer coming into his own now Jan Collazo of Puerto Rico won the Silver in 24.80 and Curacao’s Christopher Marlin the Bronze in 25.04.

Earlier at the 2016 CARIFTA championships earlier in Martinique Simons had set the 13-14 record of 24.49 before it was lowered by Izaak Bastian of the Bahamas in the Championship final.

CARIFTA 2016 Simons Silver 24.49,Bastian Gold 24.25, Berol Bronze 24.69.Photo courtesy of Carifta 2016 MARTINIQUE C

Simon’s Recent Regional Results

YearMeetEventTimeAgeMedal
2016CISC50 free24.0814Gold
2016CISC50 back28.1614Silver
2016CARIFTA50 free24.4914Silver
2016CISC50 back28.7314Bronze
2014CARIFTA50 back32.4112Bronze
2014CARIFTA50 free27.58124th
2014CISC50 free28.19127th
2014CISC50 back31.4912Silver

Simons time has bypassed the ranks of junior swimmers to make him the second fastest of all time from the CARIFTA region

Goerge Bovell III Photo courtesy of sportsmax.tv
NationTimeYearName
TTO21.202009George Bovell II
Neth/SUR22.102019Kenzo Simons
SUR22.182018Renzo Tjon A Joe
TTO22.392018Dylan Carter
BAH22.392009Elvis Burrow
CAY22.412011Brett Fraser
BER22.472012Roy Allan Burch
BAH22.751996Allan Murray
JAM22.772016 Justin Plaschka
TTO22.792017Joshua Romany
JAM22.832008Jevon Atkinson
FRA/Fren GUY22.862015Mehdy Metella

This fantastic effort makes Simons the second fastest 18 and under swimmer in the world behind Selim and the 15th fastest in the World .

He would also create more history by extending the distance between himself and the rest of the region’s age group swimmers in the 50 metre backstroke. Before 2018 the fastest time in the event was 25.99 by Carter. Simons had bettered that last year with a swim of 25.65 in the semi finals of this competition. This year he moved up from seventh to fourth with a new PB of 25.63

Start of the 2018 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
NationTimeYearName
Neth/SUR25.632019Kenzo Simons
TTO25.992013Dylan Carter
BAR26.072018Jack Kirby

In the 50 metre butterfly only Dylan Carter with his sub seconds blast of 23.81 to win the 2014 Youth Olympics Silver medal is faster than Kenzo from the region at the youth level.

Dylan Carter at the 2013 CARIFTA swimming championships Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn
NationTimeYearName
TTO23.812014Dylan Carter
Neth/SUR24.282019Kenzo Simons
FRA/Fren Guy24.562010Mehdy Metella

In the 100 metre freestyle Simons is in the same company .He posted a huge PB of 49.71 in the heats of the mixed 400 metre freestyle relay .That was a massive time drop from his previous standard of 50.74. He would also be under the 50 seconds barrier in the Championship final with a swim of 49.92 as the Dutch team placed fifth in a time of 3:31.13.

Mehdy Metella Photo courtesy of Arena Water Instinct France and Stéphane Kempinaire
NationTimeSplitYearName
FRA/Fren Guy49.2523.552010Mehdy Metella
TTO49.5023.982014Dylan Carter
Neth/SUR49.7123.392019Kenzo Simons

Simons exploits should serve as motivation to the region’s youngsters about what can be achieved through hard work and dedication. Also that certain times are not above their abilities at the youth level

LIGHTNING JACK KIRBY STRIKES AGAIN,SETS ANOTHER NATIONAL BACKSTROKE RECORD

The fans at the Aquatic Centre in Wildey, St Michael Barbados were on hand to witness a lightning quick national record performance in the 15 and over 100 metre backstroke by Jack Kirby. The occasion was the 28th Aquatic Centre International Invitational Swim Meet.

Jack Kirby Photo courtesy of Pirates Swim Club Barbados

Before second day of the competition on May 25 the fastest a Barbadian swimmer had ever navigated the two back stroke race was 56.19 . That mark was set by Kirby in a fifth place finish in the Championship final at the 2018 CAC (Central American and Caribbean Games)in Barranquilla Colombia. But this is new year with new standards to be achieved and Jack certainly did that .

When the starter’s gun sounded two swimmers separated themselves from the field with their excellent underwater work Kirby of the Pirates Swim club and Nicky Neckles Olympian (1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney and Athens and CAC 100 metre backstroke medallist (Bronze 2002,Gold 2006,Silver 2010).

Barbados Backstroke Stars Jack Kirby and Olympian Nicky Neckles Photo courtesy of Pirates Swim Club

Jack gained the ascendancy and pushed his way to the lead with a split of 27.77. Kirby’s underwater work was almost as good if not better than the start . He used that to gain a sizeable lead and all eyes were now on the clock. He did not disappoint with a final 50 metres timed at 28.03 which helped to a total time of 55.80.

There was a change of tactics for this record swim as he went out more conservatively to bring it home faster. As evidenced by his splits in 2018 which were 26.77 and 29.42

The first swimmer under 56 seconds in the event in Barbados lowering the meet and open record of 56.76 set by Venezuela’s Luis Rojas in 2012. Second went to Neckles of Flying Fish Masters in 1:01.29 and Bronze to Nkosi Dunwoody of Alpha Swim club in 1:07.37.

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Kirby about his achievements and he gave us the following thoughts.He first spoke about why the race was special

” The race was special because I was able to achieve my goal at home in front of my friends and family”.

He also spoke about the training behind his great underwater work

” For the underwaters, I practice them everyday in warm up. We always have these 8 50s and as I go through them, I do 4 kicks off the turn for 3 50s, 6 kicks off the turn for 3 50s, and 8 kicks off the turn for the last two. The goal is to work on going far with those kicks. So by time I get to the 8 kicks, I break out at 15 metre mark. In the race, I do 8 kicks off the turn, hoping to get to the 15 metre mark”.

He also told draftingthecaribbean about his mindset before the race

” I kept my thoughts pretty relaxed before the 100 back. I planned to go after it the same way I always do. Back half it because I’m pretty good with easy speed, so I had to trust my wall and back end speed”.

His new personal best and national record also moves him past Jamaican record holder Olympian Timothy Wynter, a recent USC (University of Southern California) graduate on the best all time English speaking CARIFTA region list. That list is headed by another USC graduate Trinidad and Tobago Olympian Dylan Carter.Jack now holds two of the three senior national backstroke records to include the 50 metre backstroke at 26.07. The last remaining record he does not own is the 200 . That mark was set by Neckles in 2006 in a time of 2:00.85.

CARIFTA backstrokers at USC from left to right Carter,Kirby and Wynter Photo courtesy of swimmingworld
NameFirst 50 Second 50100Year
Dylan Carter TTO26.4127.6854.092019
Rex Tullius USVI26.6128.4655.072016
George Bovell III TTO26.1829.0455.222012
Jack Kirby Bar27.7728.0355.802019
Bradley Ally Bar27.3828.5055.882011
Timothy Wynter Jam26.9329.2256.152016
Shaune Fraser Cay28.0628.9356.992011
Jack Kirby Bar26.7729.4256.192018


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

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.