It was an impressive conference championships for Bahamian swimmers Izaak Bastian and Lamar Taylor, as they both were able to break school records for their respective schools in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) swimming action over the weekend.
Bastian was in action for the number 15 NCAA Division I nationally ranked Florida State University (FSU) Seminoles at the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Swimming Championships, that wrapped up on Saturday at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The junior broke his school’s record in the 200-yard breast when he touched the wall in a new personal best time of 1:53.81. That time was enough to earn him the “B” finals victory. His preliminary time was 1:56.78. The previous school record was set by Jason Coombs in 2015, when he posted a time of 1:54.30.
His split in the first 25 meters was 25.75 seconds. He had a strong finish when he swam 29.71 seconds in the final 25 meters to pull away and win the race.
Second place was secured by the University of Virginia Cavaliers’ Casey Storch when he posted 1:54.28. Bernhard Christianson from the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish was third with a time of 1:54.32.
Bastian swam his way to another school record on Friday night when he recorded a personal best time of 51.84 seconds in the 100-yard breast. Like on Saturday night, he did it in the “B” final. He lowered his preliminary time of 52.52 seconds. He is the first Seminole in school history to swim under 52 seconds in that event.
North Carolina State University Wolfpack’s Rafal Kusto clocked 52.40 seconds to finish second. The Cavaliers’ Matthew Otto finished third when he posted a time of 54.59 seconds.
On the first day of the meet, Bastian was in the pool with his 200-yard relay team that got NCAA Division I automatic qualification when they posted 1:23.91. They finished fourth overall – tied with Virginia Tech Hokies.
As a team, the Seminoles men finished fifth with a total of 740 points.
In NCAA Division II action, Taylor helped his Henderson State University Red Wave take second place at the New South Intercollegiate Swimming Conference Championships (NSISC) that concluded on Saturday at the Ronnie Mayers Aquatics Center in Cleveland, Mississippi. They finished with 738.50 points, second to the Delta State University Statesmen, who scored 1,183 points.
Taylor was a member of the 400-yard freestyle relay team that won a close race over the Statesmen in the final event of the four-day meet on Saturday night. He, along with Patryk Dabrowski, Oscar Patten and Stephen Jones shaved eight seconds from their seed time as they clocked 2:57.89 to register an NCAA Division II provisional time. The Statesmen team was .03 seconds behind with a time of 2:57.90. Third place was secured by the University of Texas Permain Basin Falcons, who clocked 3:03.49.
Earlier that night, Taylor finished second in the men’s 100-yard freestyle when he clocked 44.46 seconds to secure an NCAA Division II provisional time. He finished behind the Statesmen’s Tucker Schroer, who won in a time of 43.47 seconds. Jones was third as he recorded 44.52 seconds.
Taylor and his teammates were in action in the 200-yard freestyle relay on Wednesday, the opening day of competition. He and his teammates, which included Jones, Dabrowski and Tim Holt, got a school and meet record when they swam 1:20.09. The time was enough for them to have the NCAA Division II provisional time.
The Statesmen also finished with the NCAA Division II provisional time when they finished second, touching the wall in 1:20.59. The Falcons did enough to secure third place after they finished with a time of 1:24.13.
Later that day, Taylor finished ahead of two Statesmen to win the 50-yard freestyle after posting a time of 20.01 seconds. Giulio Brugnoni was second when he touched the wall in 20.01 seconds. Schroer secured third place as he clocked 20.17 seconds.
In the 200-yard medley relay, Taylor along with Patten, Jase Pinckney and Holt, placed second. They recorded a time of 1:29.15. The Statesmen placed first with a time of 1:28.73. In third place was the Falcons who powered their way to 1:32.59.
The NCAA Division I Swimming Championships get underway on March 24 and end on March 27 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina. The NCAA Division II Swimming Championships is set for March 17-20 at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Alabama.