Regional standout Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas was recently named the Nassau Guardian Junior Male Athlete of the Year for 2018.
Bastian who still has one of year of CARIFTA eligibility has stood as one of the region’s top breaststroker at the junior level and has started to compete regularly at the tough World Junior and senior level.
He started the year well proving invincible at the inaugural UANA Cup in Florida and the CARIFTA Championships ensuring his name was etched in the record books
|Meet||50 breast||Place||100 breast||split||Place|
|UANA||29.23 CR||Gold||1:04.37 CR||30.29||Gold|
|CARIFTA||2:17.78 CR ,NR||1:05.33||Gold|
In addition to a five star performance in the breaststroke events which included a senior national record in the 200 metre event he also added a top class performance in the 50 metre freestyle. He won Gold and set the Championship record in the land of the sprinters with a time of 23.25 . That took down the record of the region’s number one sprinter for 2018 Renzo Tjon A Joe of Suriname
With a very short turnaround time Bastian was off to Australia to test his mettle against the best of the Commonwealth . In the 50 metre breaststroke he raced against the best in the world in the form of global standard bearer Adam Peaty of England. He maintained the Bahamian record of making the semi finals and recorded a time of 29.28
|Year||Semi final time||Swimmer|
There would be more senior meet action in store for Izaak as he would head to the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Colombia in the summer. His best result would be in the 100 metre breaststroke where he would make the Championship final and set a personal best of 1:02.91 to place seventh.
Bastian would then start college at Florida State University and be back in competition for his nation at the Youth Olympics in Argentina in October. His best performance would in the 50 metre breaststroke. He would first record the fastest time ever from the English speaking Caribbean with a time with a 29.01. That would enable him to make the semifinal of the event, a first for a swimmer from the English speaking Caribbean . He would record a time of 29.35. He would also record the fastest time ever from the English speaking Caribbean in the 200 metre breaststroke with a clocking of 2:22.37.
At Florida State University he has made an impact on the programme. In the 100 yard breaststroke he is currently ranked 9th overall in the Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) with a personal best and NCAA B time of 54.19. He is also just outside the Seminoles all time top ten performers in the event with the tenth fastest swimmer Ryan Telford having a time of 54.02.
The 200 yard breaststroke sees him holding number 5 on the ACC conference top times listing with a 1:57.29 . The all time top performers list also sees him at fifth place with fellow CCCAN representative Julio Horrego of Honduras at number 6 with a time of 1:57.96.
When draftingthecaribbean contacted Izaak we got his thoughts on 2018
“This year was actually pretty good for me it was actually one of my better years. It comes with different training as well. I was at Saint Andrews for four years which did very well for me and switching it up for me (being at college ) is going to help me. It started off with UANA and before the competition I had taken 3 to 4 weeks off so I could mentally reset to get this year in order and my training blocks in order and I actually swam better than I expected to there. With those swims it gave me the confidence going into the year. Even though I took time off I am capable of a lot more so that was always in the back of mind giving me a confidence boost there. For CARIFTA I wanted to put it all in the pool and see what I could do. I try to bring my best every year but 2018 I really wanted to bring it. So I talked to Sid Cassidy ( Head Coach at Saint Andrews) about it so that we were on the same page. I wanted to fully taper down , shave and be the best I could be for a meet at that time. I went to Jamaica and I honestly think I surpassed my expectations .I won every event I swum except for the 100 metre freestyle.
I had a really good time racing all the guys like Kael Yorke and Jeron Thompson from Trinidad and Tobago, Luis Sebastian Weekes from Barbados, Tyler Russell from The Bahamas. After that I went straight to the Commonwealth Games , my first senior international meet. It was a great experience but not the best meet coming straight from CARIFTA , getting sick right after CARIFTA and flying two days. It was rough but I still wanted to go knowing I would miss some of my better events 200 metre breaststroke and 100 metre breaststroke.I still wanted to go to have my first senior international exposure to prepare for the rest of 2018 and 2019. It was my first time in a village and I had a lot of fun and getting to meet some of the older guys from the other sports like Shaunae Miller-Uibo and stars like that. I really wanted to test myself. Last summer I went to FSU and started to train long course there. We went to CAC Games with somewhat of a taper.It was not what I was used to for a taper . I went there with the same mentality as CARIFTA ,just bring it and see what I could do.Even though I had changed programmes still have the confidence to know the training made sense and was going to work out for me. I went best times and had a good time there.It was a great time in Colombia especially with the new training and learning to trust their process now instead of what I was normally used to because I will be working with them for the next four years.At the Youth Olympics I did my best and like the Commonwealth Games I made the semis in the 50 metre breaststroke. At FSU we had our mid season meet (the Georgia Tech Invite Nov 15 to 17) and it was good to see the team dynamics works at a championship meet. It was definitely more taxing than the normal one day duel meet. I am in training for our championship meet ACC’s which are the end of February and the beginning of March and NCAA hopefully in Austin Texas the end of March. At our training in Deerfield we ramped up the training and really got to see what we were made of”.