By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
DAVANTE Carey set a new national record as he continues his standout freshman season at McKendree University.
Carey's time of 58.12 seconds in the 100m backstroke broke the 15-year-old mark of 58.31 posted by Chris Vythoulkas at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
Carey set the mark at the Purdue Invitational Long Course Time Trial on November 24, just before the Bearcats swimming programme headed into winter break.
"The Purdue Invite was a meet I was really looking forward to. It was my first major mid-season meet in college. It was not just a mid-season meet but a meet where McKendree, Division II school was competing against all Division I teams so we knew the meet was going to be fast. I like racing fast swimmers. They help me to push harder and swim faster times. I knew I was going to swim well but I did not know the outcome would have been this great with just two days of rest and no shaving and just a suit," Carey told Drafting The Caribbean.
"In the 100 backstroke which was phenomenal for me. I did not have a great swim in the morning. I was not disappointed with it but I knew I could have done better. I came back in the night for finals, I did what I had to do and that made the NCAA B cut. I am now third in the GLVC Conference which is a big accomplishment for me. I was so excited to see that time. Even though I am in Division II my time was the sixth fastest at the meet. I swam the 100 metre backstroke and I was really excited going into the meet because based on my conversion time from Invite, that I knew I should be under the record and my personal best. I just went out there and did what I had to do. I had a different racing strategy this time. I did not take it out extremely fast as I normally do.
"I held back a little. I went out in 28. I just had to shift gears when I hit that 50 metre mark. It was the fastest I have ever come back in the 100 metre backstroke in 29, which is a big accomplishment for me bringing it back under 30.
"Also breaking the 15-year-old record by Chris Vythoulkas at the 2004 Athens Olympics. So the swim places me as the fastest Bahamian 100 metre backstroke ever. I am very happy to have broken the record".
Carey joined the Bearcats after an active summer where he competed in the 2019 PanAm Games in Lima, Peru and the 2019 FINA Junior Worlds Swim Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
In the 200 IM, he took seventh in the C final, finishing in 1:54.79.
In the 100m backstroke, he took first place in the C final with a NCAA qualifying time of 48.95.
In the 200 backstroke, Carey took third in the D final with a time of 1:54.93.
He was also a member of the 400m free relay team that finished eighth in 3:00.51. In the 200 medley relay, Carey's team finished third in 1:28.16, an NCAA qualifying time and fifth in the 400 medley relay, also 3:15.88, a new school record and also NCAA qualifying time.
"I had the 200 yard IM, I dropped three seconds and finished with a new personal best time of 1:53. That is the fastest time for the season for McKendree University," he said. "Overall it was a really solid swim for a mid-season meet."