Barbados: Luis Sebastian Weekes of Barbados became the first swimmer from Barbados to lift the 400 medley relay crown at the NCAA Championships.
Lifespan 007 open water swim took to Facebook and declared his achievement. It stated that on Thursday, March 16, 2023, at the NCAA Division, I I I Champs at the Greensboro Aquatic Centre, Luis Sebastian Weekes of Barbados representing Kenyon College became the first swimmer from his nation to win an NCAA title in the 400-yard medley relay.
According to Lifespan, the road to this historic feat saw Weekes helping Kenyon to the 2023 North Coast Atlantic Conference Championships in a new programme record of 3:12.71. That was the first Conference title for Weekes in the event. In 2022 the Kenyon team placed second in a tone of 3:14.27.
That winning Championship quartet of American Daniel Brooks backstroke 48.07 ,Weekes 54,.26 and Serbians Marko Krabi butterfly 46.64 and Fjord Dragonlance freestyle would lower the school mark to 3:12.49 and be seeded first in the Championship final.
That final would ensure Luis Sebastian’s name in CARIFTA NCAA royalty. With Ukrainian Yuri Kosnian brought in for backstroke duties the team produced respective splits of 47.53,55.02,46.49 and 42.82 to win in yet another school record of 3:11.39. The victory was the second fastest winning time in Championship history.
It was not far off the 2017 Championship record set by Emory. It also saw Kenyon break their hiatus from the top of the podium. Their last victory was in 2016. Weekes ended a more than two-decade CARIFTA region drought.
The previous titles have all been won by Olympians, which is a good omen for Weekes. The last victory was in 2001 when Trinidad and Tobago Olympian Siobhan Cropper won the last of her two titles for Stanford. That year in Division I, she and her teammates won 3.32.42. Prior to that that she won Gold in 1998 in 3.33.61.
Before that, Gold came from regional icon Suriname; see Anthony Nesty, the only swimmer to have won Olympic Gold and coached multiple Gold medallists. His Florida team won Division I Gold in 1991 in 3.10.23. Before that, Olympian Hilton Woods of the Netherland Antilles swimming for Oakland University secured the ha trick in Division I I988 3.22.37,1989 3:21.55 and 1990 3:20.88.