With day one in the history books on Wednesday, Bahamian swimmers Jared Fitzgerald and DaVante Carey’s participation in the 2020 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Swimming Championships came to an abrupt halt on Thursday, March 12.
That halt came as a result of an announcement in a press release from the NCAA that it has canceled all remaining championship events for the remaining school year.
“The decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decision by other entities,” the release read on Thursday afternoon.
The meet was held at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio, and was to wrap up today.
Both swimmers swam their first races in the pool on Wednesday.
Carey, a freshman at McKendree University, was a part of his school’s 200 yards medley relay team. They swam a time of 1:26.84 in the preliminaries – the fastest time at the meet.
On Wednesday night, Carey and his teammates John Heaphy, Gregg Lichinsky and Alexander Skinner, improved their time in the finals when they swam away with the gold medal with a time of 1:25.29 a new pool record.
Carey swam a blazing split of 21.45 seconds in the 50-yard backstroke portion of the relay. That time was a new personal best for him and also gave him the leading time in NCAA DII rankings. In addition to being the fastest time in DII, he is now ranked number 15 in the nation amongst all collegiate swimmers.
Finishing second to the Bearcats was University of Indianapolis, who recorded a time of 1:25.80. Delta State University was third with a time of 1:26.03.
Fitzgerald, a junior at the University of Tampa, swam in the 50-yard freestyle. Overall, the Spartan swimmer finished 36th out of 41 swimmers, when he clocked 20.87 seconds.
That was well below his seed time of 20.46 seconds.
The DI Swimming Championships were scheduled to begin March 18 for women and March 25 for men. Bahamians Izaak Bastian, along with Margaret and Lilly, were scheduled to swim in the DI championships.