Bahamas: “Cool Ruler” Taylor aka Lamar Taylor of Bahamas, won the Historic Third NCAA title and secured the 100 free in a new PB, School, Conference Record and Bahamian best of 42.30.
Lifespan 007 open water swim took to Facebook and shared the update while extending greetings to Lamar Taylor. It stated, “On Saturday, March 11, 2023, Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas and Henderson State would start the heats of the 100 yard freestyle as the number two seed at the NCAA Division II Championships.”
At the 2023 New South Conference Championships, he won the Silver in a new PB and Bahamian best of 42.81 (split 20.66). No other Bahamian had ever swum under 43 seconds. He was also ranked eighth all time from the CARIFTA, just behind Jamaican star Justin Plaschka who swam 42.78 in 2017 (split time 20.11).
According to the Lifespan, in the heats, he cruised to the final with a time of 43.32 (split 20.62) to be ranked third. In the final he held back in the pursuit of history as he was the only swimmer under 20 seconds in 19.95. Taylor came home in 22.35 to win the title in a new PB, School and Conference Record of 42.30.
This is massive improvement from last year when he had his previous best finish of 6th in the B final in 44.02. He became the second first Bahamian man to compete the NCAA sprint freestyle double for any division. He emulates legendary Olympian countrywoman Arianna Vanderpool -Wallace who took the NCAA Division I double for Auburn in 2011. Taylor joins another legend from the region Hilton Wood from the Netherland Antilles who took the sprints in 1990 in 20.61 and 44.16.
Lifespan stated that Taylor separates himself from the CARIFTA region elite, all Olympians by the number of individual titles won in Championships. He is the sole winner of three. The 50 and 100-yard freestyle was 19.04 and 42.30 and the 100-yard backstroke was 45.95.
Along with the aforementioned Woods and Vanderpool-Wallace, the others tied at two crowns include Surinamese Anthony Nesty for Florida 1990 100 and 200 butterfly 46.62 and 1:43.46 and Shaune Fraser of the Cayman Islands, also of Florida and coached by Nesty who won the 200 free 1:31.70 and 200 butterflies 1:40.75.
Taylor is now ranked fourth all-time from the region behind Jordan Crooks of the Cayman Islands 41.16 (split time 19.41) and Olympians Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago 41.73 (split time 20.03) and Aruban Mikel Schreuders 41.88 (split time 20.22).