Top Trinidad and Tobago swimmer Dylan Carter said his silver medal swim in the Men’s 200 yard freestyle at the NCAA Division I men’s Swimming and Diving Championships was significant for the country and him personally.
And Carter will be aiming for another medal last night as he was the fourth fastest qualifier for the Men’s 100 yard freestyle.
T&T’s first NCAA Division I medal-winner was Mark Andrews who represented Louisiana State University at the 1988 edition of the competition and claimed the Men’s 50 yard free title.
T&T Olympic bronze medallist George Bovell captured two individual titles in the 200 individual medley in 2003 and 2004 representing the Auburn Tigers.
And on Friday, Carter, a University of Southern California (USC) junior, claimed his first individual NCAA medal, a silver in one minute, 31.16 seconds, a time which tied with Indiana’s Blake Pieroni. USA Olympian and Texas University (TU) swimmer Townley Haas defended his title in 1:30.65.
Carter also has three NCAA relay titles, equal to Bovell’s three at Auburn.
“It meant a lot for me and my school but it was even more special for me knowing I am representing my country, to get second last night (Friday). This is one of the fastest meets in the world and it’s been extremely competitive among the teams. I would have liked to have brought home the title, but I think there are some things that I can fix to be better.”
On the opening night, Carter blazed to the third fastest time in 200-yard free relay history when he posted a 1:30.95 opening leg in the 4 x 200 yard relay.
Haas owns the fastest time, achieved when he won the NCAA title last year in 1:30.46, while Pieroni posted the second fastest time in history (1:30.87) in one of the timed-finals heats of the Men’s 4x200 free relay.
Ahead of the Men’s 100 yard free final, Carter told the Sunday Express: “The 100 this morning was smooth and it looks to be a fast and exciting race tonight. I think a lot of the finalists, including myself, have a bit more in the tank.”
USA Olympian and Florida swimmer Caeleb Dressel, the favourite for last night’s final, was the fastest qualifier in 41.00 with North Carolina State’s Ryan Held (41.34) and Missouri’s Michael Chadwick (41.58) also qualifying ahead of Carter (41.73) in an event that took a sub-42 second swim to make it to the final eight, a first in NCAA history.
Stanford’s Sam Perry (41.77), Pieroni (41.89), Carter’s USC teammate and Canada Olympian Santo Condorelli (41.92) and TU’s Brett Rinngold (41.96) rounded out the top eight.
The competition was scheduled to finish last night.
- By Mark Pouchet