Another CARIFTA medallist has shown he is ready for the 2019-2020 season with his good early season form. With Izaak Bastian, the two defending CARIFTA Champion in the 50 metre freestyle and record holder at 23.18 aged out ,countryman Lamar Taylor is one of those swimmers seeking to keep the title of the Fastest Swimmer at CARIFTA in The Bahamas.
Taylor, who won the CARIFTA Bronze in the 50 metre freestyle in a time of 23.59, clocked 23.54 at the Milo Butler Blue Waves Swim Invite on October 19. In the 100 metre freestyle he clocked 52.26 . Also at that meet he had winning performances of 25.68 in the 50 metre butterfly of 25.68 and 2:24.80 in the 200 metre individual medley.
His early season form has left no doubt that he will be one
of the contenders for the Crown. A week later at the DSC Invite he stood atop
the podium in the 50 and 100 metre backstroke 27.53 and 1:00.44 as well as the
400 metre freestyle and 50 metre breaststroke 4:36.84 and 33.51.
The 100 metre freestyle time of 52.26 is the second fastest
time of Taylor’s career only bettered by the 51.99 he swam at the World Junior Championships this
In Jamaica at the Dean Martin Memorial meet in October Jordan Crooks of Cayman Islands set new meet marks of the 23.87 and 52.26 in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle events . Jordan had won the CARIFTA Silver medal in the splash and dash in a time of 23.49.He seems set to be much faster come his final Championships. Those swims set both swimmers on the path on what could be the first sub 23 seconds swim at CARIFTA.
Draftingthecaribbean caught up with Lamar who represents Freeport Aquatics Club but trains with Mako Aquatics Club due to the damage caused by the passage of Hurricane Dorian and asked for his thoughts about his early season form
“I honestly wasn’t trying to go so fast this early in the season.
My 52 came extremely easy for me and I was extremely happy to go that fast with
no effort. I feel that since I’m already at a 23.5 right now with only 5 weeks
of training with no taper before the meet I feel that I can definitely go a
22.9 or even lower at CARIFTA with God’s help and if I stay healthy. I feel
that at CARIFTA I would be going a lot faster because of the way I have changed
my training drastically”.
With the speed that the Bahamian men have been showing in recent years most notably with the national record in the 400 metre freestyle relay at the 2019 PAN AM Games in Lima Peru Taylor was asked his opinion about the men getting even faster in that relay as well as the 400 medley with more racing opportunities.
“The question has been put up to the federation and they are working on it. If that works out we can get more swimmers to include myself ,DaVante Carey, Izaak Bastian and Jared Fitzgerald in more relay competition and we can bring down our national time and do some damage in those relays”.
The current Bahamian men’s senior national relay records are listed below
At the 1999 Winnipeg ,Canada edition of the Pan American Games a formidable team of Bahamian Olympians Christopher Murray (Sydney 2000,Jeremy Knowles (Sydney 2000,Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 Christopher Vythoulkas (Athens 2004 )and Allan Murray (1992 Barcelona,1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney) set a national record in the 400 metre freestyle with a time of 3:31.46.
Twenty years and a day later a new generation of Bahamian swimming starts would crush that mark in good display of sprinting at the Aquatic Centre in Peru.The team of Jared Fitzgerald , Gershwin Greene,N’Nhyn Fernander and Davante Carey set a new national standard of 3:28.22 to place fifth overall.
Draftingthecaribbean contacted lead leg swimmer Jared Fitzgerald and got his thoughts on this great national accomplishment.
“Before the race Team Bahamas was really pumped.We knew we had a chance to break it.Everyone was excited to see what we could swim.The atmosphere and team environment before was great.Diving into the pool I felt amazing I just wanted to bring it home.Afterwards everthing kind of set in everyone realized what we did and we are just really excited for what the future of Bahamas holds becuase.Hopefully we can show the officials and executives of Bahamas swimming that we can send relays to these meets and do better than what was done before us”
The first day of the 2019 Rev Bahamian National Championships got underway on Thursday June 20 at the Betty Kelly- Kenning Pool in Nassau.
The highlight of the day was the new national and Championship record in the 15 and over 50 metre backstroke set by Davante Carey of the Mako Aquatics Club.
Carey ,who is the reigning CARIFTA 15-17 and 2018 Nationals Champion went into the the meet in Good form. At CARIFTA earlier this year he had lowered his own national record from the 2018 National Championships from 26.75 to 26.66 to take the Gold. He lowered that mark even further as he stopped the clock in a time of 26.46. Winning the Silver was Lamar Taylor of Freeport in Aquatic club in 271.14. Taylor had won the Silver at CARIFTA in 27.41.The Bronze went to Armando Moss of Alpha Aquatics in 28.02. Reigning UWI Games champion, former national record and older brother of Davante ,Dionisio was eighth in 29.21.
Davante, who will swimming for the senior team later this summer in Peru for the PAN American Games is steadily climbing the all time rankings in the 50 metre backstroke for the 15-17 age group.
Carey will also be competing at CCCAN in Barbados also holds the Championship record at that competition with a time of 26.84 from 2018. Draftingthecaribbean asked Davante today about his reaction to his new national record
“Overall the 50 backstroke was a good race seeing that I came off a bit of a struggle in the prelims as I did not have a good start and I went straight to the bottom.But despite all of that I came back in the night for finals ready to defend my title and possibly even breaking my record and that was what I did.I had a great start.I came up a little bit early out my underwater but I made it work and then I really finished strong”.
In the female equivalent Ariel Weech of the Alpha Aquatics team put the 2011 national record of 29.40 by Alana Dillette on notice when she recorded the fourth fastest time in Bahamian history of 29.84. She becomes only the second Bahamian woman under the 30 seconds barrier. First to the wall was visitor Maddie McDonald who touched in 28.61
It would be Double gold for Carey as he took the 100 metre butterfly title in a new personal best of 55.54.In the process he defended his title that he won in 2018 in 56.26. He came from behind to nip N’Nhyn Fernander of Barracudas at wall who won the Silver in 55.85. Fernander who won the B final of this event at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games. Bronze to reigning CARIFTA 15-17 Champion Ian Pinder in 56.80. Visitor Will Pisani touched first in 54.92. Carey will now be eyeing the 15-17 CCCAN record of 55.25 held by Puerto Rico’s Arsenio López from the 1997 edition of the meet held in Cuba.
The women’s 15 and over race went to Katelyn Cabral of the YMCA Waverunners in a time of 1:05.80. She topped the field easily by over four seconds.
In the distance freestyle events Zaylie -Elizabeth Thompson of Alpha topped the girls 13-14 800 metre race with a time of 9:35.07.The 15 and over event went to Anya Macphail of Mako in 10:00.01. The 13-14 1500 metre race was won by Hodari Prince of Barracudas in 18:44.39.
The 15 and over race went to another Thompson , CARIFTA 15-17 Champion Luke Kennedy in 17:20.76. He was followed to the wall by brother Mark-Anthony in 17:28.16.
In the women 15 and over 200 metre breaststroke the top two spots were dominated by the Higgs family as Albury defended her title to win the Gold in a time of 2:34.09.Sister Lily won the Silver in 2:39.99 and the Bronze to Jemilah Hepburn of Mako in a time of 2:50.88.
The men’s equivalent was won by Andre Walcott of Mako in 2:30.88.Silver went to teammate Tyler Russell in 2:31.78 and the Bronze to Mark Anthony Thompson in 2:31.95.
The Alpha Aquatics quartet of Jazmine Trotman,Virginia Stamp,Ariel Weech and Celia Campbell set a new Championship record of 1:50.48.That lowered their 2017 mark of 1:50.97.
CARIFTA 2019 standout Marvin Johnson dominated the field in the 11-12 50 metre backstroke to win in a time of 30.92 just off the Championship record held by Carey of 30.76.At CARIFTA he won Gold in a personal best 30.75 . In the 100 metre butterfly he would lower the Championship record of 1:03.27 set by teammate Nigel Forbes with a winning time of 1:02.10. He took the 2019 CARIFTA title in 1:03.27 .The CCCAN record which stands at 1:01.83 set by Emir Quintero by Mexico from 2005 seems set to go in Barbados later this summer.
Forbes has improved tremendously from 2018 after winning the 11-12 National Championship title in 1:03.27 he won convincingly in his first year of the 13-14 in a new personal best of 57.98. His performance is the the second fastest all time in the age group. The National and Championship record is 57.81 held by Ian Pinder.He will have more than a year to lower that mark.At CARIFTA he won the Silver in a time of 59.45.
The 100 metre butterfly for men at the14th FINA World Swimming Championships in Hangzhou China saw Mehdy Metella who hails from French Guinana and represents France and Cadell Lyons of Trinidad and Tobago as the best swimmers in the 100 metre butterfly .
The last time both swimmers would have been at the same major competition was CARIFTA 2008 in Aruba where they swam against each other in the 15-17 100 metre butterfly. Cadell was the victor on that occasion
It would be Metella who would have the upper hand in 2018 as would make his way to the Championship with a series of swims of 50.42 heats ,49.77 semifinals and the Championship final of 49.45 (split time 23.02) to finish 4th . That performance lowered his national record of 49.58 set at the French National Championships last month.In 2016 in Windsor he had finished 5th and two years earlier in Qatar he had finished 12th.
Mehdy is a part of regional sibling royalty as his older sister Malia who at one point owned the CARIFTA 50 metre freestyle Championship records int the 11-12 and 13-14 age groups at 27.86 in 1995 and 27.45 in 1997. She would then go on to win the Silver medal in the event at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games in a time of 24.89. Mehdy would match that achievement with a Silver medal in the 400 metre freestyle relay at the 2016 Rio Games.
Cadell placed 37th in a time of 52.91 (split time 24.52) . He was just off the national record of 52.81. He bettered the fastest time ever done by a swimmer from his nation. The previous best time at these championship was 53.15 by Joshua McLeod.
Seggio Bernardina of Curaçao lowered the national record of 56.82 when he placed 44th in a time of 54.25.The old record was set by Adrian Hoek at the 2016 Windsor Championships
COMPARISON OF NATIONAL RECORDS
N’Nhyn Fernander touched in 56.25 (split time 25.19) for 51st.Zeniel Guzman of the Dominican Republic was 57th in a time of 57.57 (split time 26.89).
St Lucia’s Jayhan Odlum-Smith continued his record breaking in the 100 metre butterfly from the OECS swimming Championships when he set another national standard to place 57th. He registered a time of 57.64 (split time 27.49)
Albury Higgs continued her record breaking run from the 2018 REV National Swimming championships with another record breaststroke swim at the 2018 Bulldog Grand Slam in Athens Georgia.
Competing in the 100 metre breaststroke at the Garbielsen Natatorium on July 6 Albury qualified for the B final with a time of 1:12.12 (split time of 33.42). In the final later that afternoon she used a different approach to the one she employed in record breaking swim in Nassau. She attacked the race from the start with a split of 33.31. That gave her an early advantage of more than a half a second.She would not be caught and split 37.46 on the second 50 metres to win the race in 1:10.77.
COMPARISON OF RECORD SWIMS
100 metre breaststroke
2018 REV National
2018 Bulldog GrandSlam
First 50 metres
Second 50 metres
Albury who lowered the national standards in the 200 and 100 metre breaststroke last month has now bettered the automatic qualifying standards for the 2019 PAN AM Games of 1:11.11.She is also another step closer to going under the mythical 1:10 barrier . Also of note that time would have won the Gold medal at the 2014 CAC (Central American and Caribbean ) Games where she had placed fourth.
When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Albury she gave us her impression of the race and spoke about her tactics
“I was trying to take out the first 50 faster than I had previously this summer. It went well considering I didn’t rest for this meet, so I am hoping that rest will help me bring the last 50 home a little better. Excited for CAC and to represent the Bahamas one more time this summer!”
Team Bahamas will also be represented at the 2018 CAC Games from July 20 to 25 in Barranquilla, Colombia by Olympian Joanna Evans (Rio 2016),Lilly Higgs,Laura Morley, Izaak Bastian, Kohen Kerr and N’Nhyn Fernander
Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter continued to lead the way for the CCCAN and CARIFTA regions with a 23.73 performance in the 50 metre butterfly the Budapest world Championships currently underway.
On the first day of competition Carter clocked 23.73 to place 19th overall . In 2015 at the Kazan Championships Dylan had made the semi- finals and touched in a national record of 23.60 to finish 15th overall. That performance was also the top performance for the CCCAN and CARIFTA regions.
Analysis of CCCAN performance in the 50 metre butterfly
Day three (June 30) of the CCCAN Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Trinidad and Tobago saw more exciting races and championship records and also more World Championship qualifying swims. Those World championship Qualifying performances came from the local stars Olympian Dylan Carter and Joshua Romany.
Dylan competing in the 18 and over 200 metre freestyle crushed the 2009 Championship record Costa Rica’s Olympian Mario Montoya of 1:52.43 with a 1:48.91 clocking. That bettered the World Championship B qualifying mark of 1:51.50.Also under the record and just missing the B standard was El Salvador’s Olympian Marcelo Acosta who clocked 1:51.76 for the Silver. Aruban Olympian Mikel Schreuders took the Bronze in 1:51.76.
In the 18 and over 50 metre butterfly Joshua Romany bettered the 2011 championship record of countryman Joshua McLeod of 24.43 as well as the World Championship B standard time of 24.50 with a Gold medal winning time of 24.40. Winning the Silver was N’Nhyn Fernander of The Bahamas in 24.94 and the Bronze was won by Christian Awah of Trinidad and Tobago in 25.06.
The winning times by Carter and Romany brought the World Championship qualifying tally to five.
In the girls 15-17 50 metre butterfly the crowd was treated to excellent sprinting by Curaçao’s Chadé Nercisio. She became the fastest woman of all time at CCCAN when she broke the 28 seconds barrier in the 50 metre butterfly when she clocked 27.99 in the morning heats. All her energy was not spent after that national record swim as she returned in the evening to destroy that mark and record a time of 27.59. that swim was not too far off the World championships B mark of 27.42. Silver went to Celismar Guzman of Puerto Rico won the Silver in 28.62 and the Bronze went to Celina Marquez of El Salvador in 28.65.
Valerie Gruest of Guatemala just missed out on another World Championships qualifying mark when she took Gold in the 15-17 400 metre individual medley in a time of 4:54.67. That swim bettered the 2009 meet record of 5:02.43 by Maria Coy.That was just off the B standard of 4:52.97. CARIFTA Champion Albury Higgs won Silver in 5:03.67. The Bronze went to Marissa Lugo of Puerto Rico in 5:11.77.
Other championship record to fall on the day went to Zaneta Alvaranga of Jamaica in the girls 11-12 50 metre butterfly. She lowered the meet record of 29.85 twice .She swam 29.32 in the heats before uncorking a 28.74 for the Gold in the final.
In the 13-14 age group Beatriz Padron of Costa Rica Gold 28.36,Katie Kyle of St Lucia Silver 28.80 and Trinidad and Tobago’s Gabriela Donahue Bronze 28.85 all bettered the 2011 record of 28.89 by Dorian McMenemy.
Swimmers who completed the Regional Gold Double on Day Three by winning their respective events at CARIFTA in The Bahamas and at CCCAN in Trinidad and Tobago include
After two days of competition at the CCCAN Championships in Trinidad and Tobago a third World Championship B standard was recorded. That achievement came through the performance of local star Dylan Carter in the 18 and over age group. Dylan actually bettered the 100 metre butterfly B standard of 54.12 twice in the 100 metre butterfly.
In the morning preliminaries Carter bettered the 2003 Championship record of 54.94 set by Olympian Joshua Ilika of Mexico with a time of 53.87.In the evening’s final he would better that mark with a national record swim of 52.73. His previous national standard was 52.88 set in 2016. Teammate Christian Awah won the Silver in 55.78 and the Bronze went to N’Nhyn Fernander in a time of 56.07.
In the 200 metre breaststroke it was a tight battle between US Virgin Islands Adriel Sanes, Panama’s Edgar Crespo and Arnoldo Herrera of Costa Rica for the top spot. Sanes would prevail in a Championship record of 2:19.97 breaking his morning heats record swim of 2:21.64.Crespo won Silver in 2:20.01 and Herrera the Bronze in 2:20.83.
The 50 metre backstroke saw Christopher Courtis from Barbados winning in a time of 26.48 , not far off his national record of 26.21. Awah of Trinidad and Tobago again took the Silver .This time he posted a time of 26.93. The Bronze went Yeziel Morales of Puerto Rico in 26.95.
The 18 and over 200 metre freestyle mixed relay went to Trinidad and Tobago. Their team of Carter, Joshua Romany ,Kristin Julien and Cherelle Thompson crushed the previous meet record with a winning time of 1:38.40. The previous mark was 1:44.04. The team from Puerto Rico won Silver in a time 1:42.04 also under the old record .Panama won Bronze in 1:44.63.
The final day of action of the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming championships in Hawaii saw the entire male contingent from The Bahamas in action in the 50 metre freestyle. It would be Gershwin Greene and Jared Fitzgerald who would make it to the final in the event.
Greene entered the meet with a 23.71 which he registered at the RBC national championships when he won Bronze in the 15 and over category. He equalled that time of 23.71 to place 13th overall and earn a second swim. In the B final he went faster to clock 23.68 to finish 7th overall. He had the following thoughts about the competition
“Overall I have been learning from the top swimmers in the World. This is my first meet outside of the Caribbean regional meets and some the United States (mainland) meets I .It is really motivating me to learn from them and be the best I can be.”
Fitzgerald who recently committed to the University of Indiana (https://swimswam.com/bahamas-national-teamer-jared-fitzgerald-commits-indiana-2017) and is the reigning 15-17 CARIFTA champion continued his quest for his first sub 24 seconds performance. After taking the CARIFTA title in Martinique in 24.00, he would log 24.06 for 4th at the Caribbean Islands Swimming championships CISC. In the heats he would post 24.02. The B final saw him placing 8th in 24.05.
Izaak Bastian who is the 2016 13-14 boys CARIFTA champion in the event equalled his Gold medal winning time and personal best time of 24.25 to place 24th .
The 15-17 Silver medallist N’nhyn Fernander was 25th in 24.27.
Bastian would just miss a second swim in the 200 metre breaststroke when he placed 17th in 2:26.08 (split time 1:09.59).
The quartet would combine their efforts for 7th in the 400 metre medley relay. The splits for each leg were Greene backstroke 1:05.17, Bastian breaststroke 1:06.82, Fernander butterfly 55.89 and Fitzgerald freestyle 52.49 for a total time of 4:00.17. The day before in the 400 metre freestyle relay they were also 7th. In relay order the splits were Fitzgerald 52.19, Fernander 52.64, Bastian 54.79 and Greene 53.44 for a final time of 3:33.06.
The third day of swimming action of the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming championships on Friday August 26 saw N’nhyn Fernander earning a second swim in the 100 metre butterfly.
Fernander who is the reigning CARIFTA 15-17 100 metre butterfly champion with a Gold medal winning time of 56.36 qualified for the B final of the event in Hawaii with a new personal best time .N’nhyn had splits of 26.25 and 29.78 for a total time of 56.03 for 15th place. He lowered his personal standard of 56.27 set at the Bahamian Nationals in June. In the B final he clocked the 3rd fastest time of his career when he placed 7th in a time of 56.31. His splits this time were 26.06 and 30.25. Fernander had the following thoughts on the competition.
Overall the meet has been really great. It is good to socialize and get out and experience new things and experience a new place and a different time zone. Being a swim meet like this it allows you to realize that soon it may be possible to achieve greater things. These kids are really fast so it gives you great competition and push. This swim meet I have dropped a bit of time and I am really happy with that .I am really happy that I got to race before I go to Ohio State to train. Although we got to socialize and go to the pool every day and be in a new place, itis always good to be with people you want to be close with for the rest of your life and hang out with people that really matter to you and basically be a team and that’s what Team Bahamas is all about.
Teammate Izaak Bastian set yet another age group record this season when he placed 28th in a time of 59.13. That broke the nearly 2 decades old standard of 59.23 by Olympian Nicholas Rees set at the CCCAN Championships on July 5, 1997. Rees attended Ohio State University from 2000 to2003 .With that record performance Bastian now holds national marks in the 13-14 age group in the 50 metre freestyle, 50 ,100 and 200 metre breaststroke and 50 metre butterfly.