Swim nationals get underway

Not even the rain was going to stop day one of the highly competitive and anticipated Bahamas Aquatics Federation’s 49th Rev National Swimming Championships, that got underway yesterday at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Swim Complex.

One of the highlights of the day was Bahamian Olympics hopeful and Barracuda Swim Club member Izaak Bastian, who powered his way to lowering his own national record in the men’s 18-and-over 200 meters (m) breaststroke. He posted a time of 2:15.14 as he erased his previous record of 2:16.07, set back in March of this year. He missed out on making the Olympic “B” cut time of 2:14.26.

“I warmed up and realized that I might be the most rested for this meet, but I’ll still get up for this race and practice a little bit and get into ‘go’ mode. I dove in and one of my googles came off and I had water in one of my eyes the whole race. I had fast people around me like Youssef Elkamash from Indiana University. I tried to hang in with the big boys and it turned out well for me.”

He continued: “I controlled the first 100m and I wanted to make sure I did not give too much on the third 50m and just bring it home on the final 50m.”

Finishing second behind Bastian was Mako Aquatics Club’s Tyler Russell with a time of 2:29.37. Alpha Aquatics Club’s Mark-Anthony Thompson was third with a time of 2:31.95.

Bastian and his teammates N’Nhyn Fernander, Gershwin Greene and T’Lez Foulkes clocked a new national record of 1:33.65 in the men’s 18-and-over 200m relays. They lowered their own national record of 1:34.33.

Mako was second as they touched the wall in 1:35.63 while Alpha was third in 1:40.90.

This was Bastian’s second meet swam at home this season. He has two more individual races on Saturday and Sunday. He feels no pressure and will just go out there and swim those races.

One of the most competitive races of the first day came in the girl’s 15-17 100m butterfly. YMCA WaveRunners’ Katelyn Cabral and Mako Aquatics’ Keianna Moss were neck-and-neck to the wall. In the end the junior national team swimmers touched the wall in 1:06.18. Moss swam a personal best and was able to drop 2.45 seconds while Cabral dropped just under a minute from her preliminaries time.

Coming away with the next-fastest time for third place was also junior national team swimmer and Black Marlins Swim Club member Mia Sastre, with a time of 1:10.93. She also dropped time.

Staying on the fly stroke, WaveRunners’ Nigel Forbes and Mako member Lamar Taylor was in a fierce battle down the stretch, but it was Forbes who touched the wall first in 55.77 seconds. Taylor posted a time of 55.80 seconds. Jake Thompson, who swam for Alpha Aquatics, placed third with a time of 59.36 seconds.

The men’s 18-and-over fly saw Mako’s Ian Pinder holding off Fernander to finish first with a time of 55.77 seconds. Fernander clocked 56.13 seconds as he was unable to catch Pinder in the final 10 meters of the race. Lightning Aquatics’ Sean Neely placed third with a time of 57.23 seconds.

The meet continues today and wraps up on Sunday.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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