By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
THE NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships begin this week and a pair of Bahamian student athletes have qualified to compete.
Texas Longhorns senior Joanna Evans and Florida State Seminoles freshman Izaak Bastian will participate at the national championships.
The women’s championships (March 20-23) and the men’s championships (March 27-30) will be held at Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas as the Longhorns host.
The Texans are the No.2 ranked team in the nation and Evans was one of 10 Longhorns to qualify in their respective events.
She qualified in the 200, 500 and 1,650 free.
The six-time Big 12 champion, Evans is the reigning Conference Swimmer of the Meet.
At this year’s Big 12 Championships, she won the 500 freestyle (4:36.87), 200 freestyle (1:44.82) and 1,650 freestyle (15:57.28).
She also joined Claire Adams, Evie Pfeifer and Remedy Rule to take the 800 free relay (6:58.52/1:44.61 anchor)
Bastian qualified as a relay swimmer. In his freshman season, Bastian had several highlights, including a personal best time of 54.16 seconds in the 100 breast at the GT Invite and tied for bronze with teammate Ryan Telford in the 200 breast with a career best of 1:57.29.
He also added a best time in the 50 free at 20.27 and also helped the Noles earn an NCAA provisional time in the 200 medley relay.
Said FSU head coach Neal Studd: “It’s a bit special that we qualified all five relays with automatic times.
“I think that says a lot about our team and its depth, ” added Mr Studd.
FSU is seeded 10th in the 200 medley relay (1:23.63) and 15th in the 400 medley relay (3:05.50).