One of the CARIFTA region stars to watch out for at the inaugural UANA Cup which will be held in Coral Springs Florida from Jan 19 to 21 will be Bahamian Izaak Bastian. As draftingcaribbean looks back at the performances of regional youngsters at the SPEEDO Winter Junior Championships-EAST Bastian’s performances was a high point on the final day in Knoxville Tennessee.
Throughout 2017 Izaak had set new standards for himself and the region at the CARIFTA Games, Commonwealth Youth Games, World Junior Championships and the Winter Junior Championships would prove to be no different. Heading into this meet Bastian had a personal best of 2:01.57 in the 200 yard breaststroke and a best placing of 3rd in the C final in the 2016 edition of the top 18 and under swim meet. Both best time and placing would be adjusted by the end of the day on Dec 12.
In the morning heats Izaak who had finished 3rd in the Nassau Guardian poll for the top Junior Athlete of the Year for 2017 recorded a time of 2:00.76. That would be a new personal best and the final time to make it to that race. The Saint Andrews Aquatics swimmer would be placed in lane eight in the final .That would not deter him as he would be the “outside smoke” taking the race in a new personal standard of 1:59.22 and his best career placing.
Link to race
Analysis of Bastian’s best breaststroke races
1st B Final
Bastian who is the reigning CARIFTA Champion in the 200 metre breaststroke won’t have that race to swim in Coral Springs but will contest the 50 and 100 metre races. For both events he is ranked number 1.
As some of the CARIFTA region top age swimmers prepare for themselves for competition at the inaugural UANA Swimming Cup in Coral Springs Florida starting tomorrow January 19 draftingcaribbean looks back at the region’s youngsters efforts at the 2017 SPEEDO Winter Junior Championships -EAST in December. The UANA Cup is designed for athletes from Central America, South America, and the Caribbean that are in UANA Zones 1 and 2. Hence Americans and Canadians will not be invited
She placed 8th of the 102 competitors in the field with a time of 1:01.86. Her previous placings were 9th in 2015 and 11th in 2016.
Higgs has been unbeaten at the CARIFTA level in the 100 metre breaststroke for the last three years and holds the 15-17 age group record at 1:11.92.
Higgs finished 57th in the 400 yard individual medley in a time of 4:26.97 just off her personal best of 4:25.49.
Lauren Hew of the Cayman Islands and Saint Andrew’s Aquatics was 66th in the 100 yard backstroke in a time of 56.37. Hew, won the CARIFTA Gold medal in her final year of the 15-17 age group in 2017 in the 100 metre backstroke and holds the record at 1:05.94. She also finished 80th in the 200 yard freestyle in 1:52.27. Lauren also won the 200 metre freestyle at the 2017 CARIFTA Championships in 2:05.98 finishing ahead of Higgs.
Curacao’s Chade Nersicio was 17th in the 200 yard freestyle relay team in a time of 1:34.93.She was just off her best time of 57.98 in the 100 yard butterfly as she hit the wall in 58.01. It would be another close miss for a personal record for the East Coast Aquatics swimmer in the 100 yard breaststroke as she stopped the clock in 1:05.72 and her personal record is 1:05.48. Nersicio is ranked 3rd in the 15-17 100 metre breaststroke with a time of 1:14.61.
The third day of the 2017 Speedo Winter Junior Championships East on Friday Dec 8 saw the CARIFTA region picking up yet another medal. This time it was Jamaican Joseph Black as a member of the Peddie team that won Bronze in the 200 yard freestyle relay.
The team of Nathan Stern 20.55, Michael Blank 20.47, Trey Ike 20.45 and Black 20.24 clocked 1:21.71 to for their medal winning performance. That bettered their 2017 Gold medal winning time at the Eastern Championships of 1:21.99 which is also the Championship, school and New Jersey State record.
At that competition Black, a Kenyon commit had anchored the team in a time of 20.31. Silver at the Winter championships went to Dayton Raiders in 1:20.58 and the Gold to Allegheny North in 1:19.83. When the times are combined with the competition in the West the boys from Peddie retained their third place position from a combined 89 competing teams in the event.
Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas, who is representing Saint Andrew’s made the championship final in the 100 yard breaststroke. Izaak had recorded a personal best in the event winning the Florida High school 1A title in 54.54 (split time 25.80). He would lower that mark with a time of 54.48 (split 25.54). That time placed him 5th in the East and 8th with the combined results.Bastian is the reigning CARIFTA 15-17 100 metre breaststroke champion. He took Gold in a time of 1:04.68.He will join a number of the region’s best in Kingston Jamaica in 2018 seeking to lower the Championship record of 1:04.25 held by Aruban Jordy Groters.
After lowering his personal best in the 100 yard backstroke Jack Kirby of Barbados and Baylor Swim club was at it again with another new personal standard. After qualifying for the Championship with a time of 48.97 he lowered his all-time best to 48.67 (split time 23.51) to place 6th overall. His previous best was 48.79 (split time 23.72).Kirby who won the Silver medal at CARIFTA in the 100 metre backstroke in the 15-17 backstroke in The Bahamas will be seeking to lower the Championship record in 2018 in Jamaica. That mark was set this year by Aruban Patrick Groters at 57.17. Kirby has a personal best of 57.01 set at this summer’s Commonwealth Youth Games.
Also bettering his personal best on the day was French Guiana’s Steven Aimable representing Azura Florida Aquatics. Competing in the 100 yard butterfly Steve lowered his personal best of 50.73 to 49.57(split time 22.87) to place 25th .Aimable was the 15-17 Bronze medallist in the 100 metre butterfly in his final year at the CARIFTA Championships in a time of 57.22.
Suriname’s Irvin Hoost representing Metro Aquatics also bettered his personal best in the event. He went from an all-time best of 50.49 in 2016 to 50.17 (split time 23.11) for 54th spot. Hoost also competed in his last CARIFTA Games this year and placed 5th in the 100 metre butterfly in a time of 57.97.
Aruban Patrick Groters who represents the Pine Crest Swim club who had phenomenal final CARIFTA Championship bettered his 400 yard individual medley time of 3:58.74 set in 2015 with a 3:58.12 performance of 3:58.12.
In the Bahamas this year he won the 400 metre individual medley in 4:27.69 breaking the 2004 meet record of 4:31.95 Olympian Barbadian Bradley Ally.
Baylor’s Barbadian breaststroker Luis Sebastian Weekes continued the trend of bettering personal records with his efforts in the 100 yard breaststroke. Weekes lowered his personal best to 56.90 (split time 26.90) to place 35th overall. His previous record was 57.56 (split 26.68). He registered that time in a 6th place performance at the 2017 Tennessee State Champs.At CARIFTA this year he was mere 9 hundredths outside of podium place when he swam 1:06.66. He will be seeking to top the field in that race next year in Jamaica .
Other individual performances on the day were
200 yard freestyle
100 yard backstroke
100 yard backstroke
In the 200 yard freestyle relay the Baylor team of Piotr Kurleto 20.82,Kirby 21.05, Zachariah Althoff 20.82 and Robert Freeman 19.77 recorded the 5th best time of the meet of 1:22.32. It was also the 5th best time of the 89 competing team in both the East and West.
They also just missed the 2013 school record of 1:22.23 by the team of Luke Kaliszak, Sam McHugh,Chandler Hinson and Barbadian Christian Selby.
Hoost and his Metro Aquatics team were 10th in a time of 1:23.06. Of the 356 swimmers who swam that event Irvin had the 6th fastest leg with his anchor leg split of 20.02.
Lilly Higgs of The Bahamas representing SwimMac Carolina got yet another medal for the CARIFTA region on Thursday December 7, Day 2 of the 2017 Speedo Winter Junior Championships East .Swimming the breaststroke leg of the 400 yard medley relay at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville Tennessee the ladies of SwimMac Carolina won Bronze. The team of Julia Menkhaus backstroke 54.21, Higgs 1:01.14, Sophie Lindner butterfly 53.89 Olywin Bartis freestyle 49.31 had total time of 3:38.55.
When the results are combined with the competition being held in the West Higgs, who is the reigning 15-17 100 metre breaststroke champions had the 7th fastest overall breaststroke split of the 107 competing teams. The Gold medal in the East went to Nashville Aquatics in 3:36.88 and the Silver to Cardinal Aquatics in 3:37.39.
Chade Nercisio of Curacao who represents East Coast Aquatics earned a second swim in the 50 yard freestyle qualifying for the C final .In that night’s final she topped the field with a time of 22.97 just of her personal best of 22.93.
The Cayman Islands Lauren Hew representing Saint Andrews recorded the 3rd fastest time of her career in the 50 yard freestyle when she stopped the clock in 23.44 to finish 32nd . Higgs recorded the 2nd fastest time of her career when she stopped the clock in 24.15 to place 125th .
In the 200 yard individual medley Higgs recorded her 3rd fastest time ever when she hit the wall in 2:03.06 to place 33rd.
In the 400 yard medley relay Nersicio put in another strong performance to help her East Coast Aquatics team to 25th overall. She split 50.25 on the freestyle leg to help the team to 3:49.15
Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas captured the 100 yard breaststroke title at the Florida at his final high school meet on November 4 at the 1A State championships in Stuart Florida.
The road to Gold had been a four year road under the tutelage of his coaches at Saint Andrew’s in Boca Raton.
In his first individual Championship final in 2014 competing in the 100 yard breaststroke ,which would be the source of his greatest individual high school triumph he placed 8th in the B final in a time of 1:00.83 (split time 28.94).The next year would see a turnaround in fortunes as he would earn a place on the medal podium taking the Bronze in 57.19 (split time 27.06).
Bastian, a Florida State commit would drop two seconds but he maintained his medal position taking the Bronze again in 55.68 (split time 26.46)
Then came 2017 at the CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas he extended his Gold medal winning streak in the 100 metre breaststroke with a near record performance .
Later in the year he would create history he would become the only Bahamian male medallist in the 100 metre breaststroke at the Commonwealth Games when he won the Bronze at the Youth Games in his home country. In his final long course meet for the year he recorded the best time and placing for a Bahamian at the World Junior championships.
It was that form that he brought to his last high school season. It would be an unbeaten run leading up the to the state Championships. He would take the Palm Beach County title in 56.27. At that competition he would also be named outstanding male performer. He added the District title in a time of 57.73 breaking his year old record of 58.25. A week later at the Regional meet on October 27 he would win in 56.43.
On the day of reckoning he eased into the final with 55.67 (split time 26.18) performance. That just lowered his 2016 school record of 55.68 when he won the Bronze medal. In the final it was 2016 Silver Medallist Paul DeGrado of the Bolles school and Izaak that separated themselves from the field with 50 splits of 25.99 and 25.80 respectively. There would be no denying Bastian as he split 28.71 on to take the Gold in 54.54 in a personal best, school record and the second fastest time in Florida high school history . The state record stands at 54.33 set by James Daugherty of the Bolles School.DeGrado repeated as the Silver medallist with a time of 54.90.
8th B final
Bastian’s name will join the names such Olympian Bradly Ally of Barbados and Ansel Tjin-A-Tam who be crowned state Champions in the 100 yard breaststroke.
There would be more records and medals earned on the day for Izaak. In the 200 yard medley relay Izaak along with Jamaican Jesse Marsh continued the Scots CARIFTA region medal winning streak for the consecutive year. The Boca Raton based school won their third Silver medal in the event in a school record time of 1:31.86.
All three teams that won medals had Bastian on breaststroke duties and Marsh handling the butterfly leg. This year’s team lowered the 2016 Silver medal winning record time of 1:33.21.
Bastian created history when he recorded the fastest breaststroke split in the history of the Championships of 24.48. That bettered the time of 24.49 done by Daugherty in 2016.
The third school record in the 50 yard freestyle of 20.86 would fall in the Championship final of the event. Izaak would clock 20.53 to win the Silver . The Gold went to Cole Crane of Episcopal in 20.40.
The fourth Scots record would fall in the 200 yard freestyle relay . The team which included Bahamian countryman Samuel Gibson set a new mark of 1:24.73 to win the Silver .Trinity Prep won the Gold in a time of 1:23.64.
For his efforts he would earn the CBS 12 Athlete of the week honours
The 2017 edition of the Florida High School 1A Championships saw Lauren Hew of the Cayman Islands closing out her high school career with a Silver medal in the 200 yard medley relay. She would reaffirm her position as the fastest female swimmer to represent Saint Andrews.
The competition which was held on November 4 at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida saw Lauren being drafted in for the final of the 200 yard medley relay. She was given the responsibility of handling the butterfly duties. After the backstroke and breaststroke legs of teammates of Gabby Beltrano 27.28 and Shayna Fetes 28.86 the Boca Raton based institution lay in third place.
Normally known for her backstroke Hew proved she can sprint in butterfly as well clocking the 2nd fastest split of 25.12 to put the Scots in the Silver medal position. Teammate Hannah Trieschmann 23.38 would push the Bolles anchor leg Adair Sand all the way to the final to get the Silver medal in a total time of 1:44.64.
Bolles would just take the win in a time 1:44.48. That is the best performance by the Scots women since 2012 when they won the Gold in 1:42.77.
Hew’s performance for the butterfly was the best split for the school in the Championship final since Megan Moroney clocked 24.50 on that Gold medal winning team.
The 50 yard freestyle was put on Hew’s agenda for the school year. Hew would not disappoint her coaches belief in her freestyle sprint abilities.
On October 7 she would lower a decades old school record in the event when she won the Silver in a time of 23.46.That swim bettered the 23.58 standard of Vicki Stemper set in 1987. In the heats of the event at the State championships she would be even faster as she touched in a time of 23.24 to make the medal final. In the night’s Championship she would record the 2nd fastest time of her career when she hit the wall in 23.42 to place 4th. She was just off the bronze medal winning time of 23.33 clocked by Abby Burke of Lakeland Prep. The Gold went to Kaitlyn Schorr of Montverde in 22.93. That 4th place was the best performance by Saint Andrews since 2012 when Brenna Ruth placed 4th in 23.81.Hew’s Saint Andrews legacy will include being the fastest female swimmer ever and the fastest ever in the Championship final. This was possible after just one season of focusing on the event.
In the 100 yard backstroke her build-up to the state final included podium performances at the Palm Beach County championships, District and Regional Championships.
Palm Beach County champs
In the heats of the event she would record her fastest time of the season of 56.01 (split time 26.81).Hew finished 6th in the final with a time of 56.77 (split time 26.39).That swim marked her second straight Championship final. Before Hew’s arrival at Saint Andrews the last Championship finalist was in 2012.
At the 2017 CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas Lauren swept the backstroke events in the 15-17 age group.
Her final race the 400 yard freestyle relay saw her swimming an opening leg of 51.48 to help the Scots to 4th spot in 3:29.92.That was the best ranking for the school since 2014.
Lauren is the reigning CARIFTA 15-17 100 metre freestyle champion
The girls from Saint Andrews placed 3rd overall with 208 points.
The battle for 100 yard breaststroke 1A State Championship title will see the CARIFTA region represented by three territories The Bahamas with Izaak Bastian swimming for Saint Andrews, Jamaica with duo of Cameron Brown and Adrian Grant turning out for Sagemont and The Bolles School respectively and Trinidad and Tobago’s Christopher Dieffenthaller suiting up for Berkley.
Yet again the at the 1A Championships to held today the top seed going into the morning heats will be a swimmer from the CARIFTA region as Izaak Bastian holds down the top spot with a seed time of 56.43. The FSU commit will be the man to beat tomorrow given the successes of the past season. At the CARIFTA level he extended his unbeaten streak in the 100 metre breaststroke with a winning time of 1:04.68, winning a historic Silver medal for his country at the Commonwealth Youth Games in a personal best time of 1:03.71 and recording the time by a Bahamian man at the World Junior championships with a time of 1:04.67. His build up to his last high school championships has been good with record breaking swim at the Palm Beach county championships where he smashed his 2016 meet record of 57.55 and the county record of 56.87 set by one of his coaches Quinn Cassidy with a 56.27 performance. He would follow up with wins at the district and Regional Champs
Palm Beach County Champs
1 A District Champs
1A Region 4 Champs
Izaak will be seeking to end his career with a win in the event following two 3rd place finishes previously
100 yard breaststroke
100 yard breaststroke
Cameron Brown who is a Sagemont recruit will be competing in his first Championship meet. Brown is the 8th seed with a time of 1:00.21 He owns the Jamaican national long course record for 13-14 boys setting it this past summer with a time of 1:09.48 . That record swim represented the 4th time he set the record in the 13-14 age group. He has been getting faster with each competition and will be looking to go well beyond the minute mark today.
1 A District 10 Champs
1A Region 4 Champs
Dieffenthaller is the reigning 13-14 CCCAN 100 metre breaststroke champion He earned that title when he won that event at home in the twin island republic in a time of 1:09.10.Christopher will enter the water today as the number 15 seed with a time of 1:00.82. He seems set to better his 3rd place showing in the B final last year. Christopher will be looking to go under the 59 seconds barrier after posting 59.43 in the heats of last year’s champs.
1A District 7
1A Region 3
Adrian Grant of Bolles will be making his debut at the Championships like his Jamaican countryman Brown. Grant was a member of the 2017 CARIFTA team and posted a time of 1:10.41 for 10th overall. A swimmer poised for big time drops in his first year of training in the States as evidenced by his swims at the District and Regional Championships
1A District 2
1A District 1
Today the quartet will look to add their name to the list of the regional standouts who have claimed Florida High School State Championships