Bahamian swimmers earn Scholar All-America honors

Izaac Bastian.

July 13, 2020

Simba French


A total of six Bahamian collegiate swimmers were rewarded for their excellence in the classroom as they were named to the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) 2020 Scholar All-American Team for the 2019-2020 season.

The list was published on the CSCAA website late last week.

The six Bahamians to receive the honor are Izaak Bastian, sisters Lilly and Albury Higgs, DaVante Carey, Tyler Russell and Maya Thompson.

The award recognizes students who achieved a grade point average (GPA) of 3.50 or higher and were invited to compete at their respective national championships. Selections were drawn from 209 colleges and universities.

This year was Albury Higgs’ fourth straight year as a CSCAA Scholar All-American. The senior, who swam for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, was one of seven Gamecocks swimmers to receive the honor every year of their collegiate career. The Public Health major was one of 27 Gamecocks swimmers to receive the honor this year.

Higgs was selected to swim in both events at the NCAA Division I (DI) Swimming Championships. In the 100 yards breaststroke, her seed time was 59.75 seconds – the 31st fastest time in DI. In the 200 yards breast, she clocked a season’s best of 2:08.85, to earn a spot at the DI Championships. It was also the 31st fastest time in DI swimming.

Both times were ‘B’ standard times for the NCAAs.

University of North Carolina (UNC) Tar Heels’ sophomore Lilly Higgs made the CSCAA Scholar All-American list for the second consecutive year. The Tar Heels had 17 swimmers in total receiving the honor this year.

The Exercise Science major was set to swim against her sister Albury Higgs in the 100 yards breast at the NCAA DI Championships. The sophomore clocked a season’s best time of 59.92 seconds, achieving the NCAA ‘B’ standard and was seeded at number 37.

Bastian had a strong sophomore year for the Florida State University (FSU) Seminoles. He was one of 25 Seminoles swimmers to receive the CSCAA Scholar All-America honor. This was the second straight year he earned that honor.

The Athletic Training major qualified for the NCAA DI Championships in the 100 yards breast after recording a season’s best time of 52.36 seconds. That time was the 26th fastest time in the country and was a ‘B’ standard time. It was also the sophomore’s first time qualifying for the championships individually.

His 400 yards medley relay team was special this year, as they won a silver medal at the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championships with an automatic ‘A’ qualifying time of 3:05.62 for the NCAAs. His three other teammates were Griffin Alaniz, Max McCusker and Peter Varjasi.

Carey finished his freshman year for the McKendree University Bearcats this past season as one of 18 Bearcats who got CSCAA Scholar All-America nods and one of 10 Bearcats men to get the honor.

The Exercise Science major qualified for the NCAA Division II (DII) Championships in the 100 yards backstroke, and 200 and 400 yards medley relays.

In the 100 yards backstroke, Carey went into the NCAA DII Championships seeded at number nine with a time of 47.81 seconds.

Carey and his teammates John Heaphy, Gregg Lichinsky and Alexander Skinner were the DII 200 yards medley relay national champions when they clocked 1:25.29. It was the first time the Bearcats won the national title in that event and it was the fastest time in DII for the year.

In that race, Carey catapulted his way to the second fastest time in DII with a fast 21.45 seconds split in the 50 yards backstroke portion of that race.

In the 400 yards medley relay, Carey and his team posted a time of 3:12.06 to finish with the third fastest time in DII.

Thompson swims the freestyle and backstroke events for the Rollins College Tars in NCAA DII competition. She was one of 11 Tars swimmers to receive the honor.

The junior swam a personal best in the 50 yards freestyle with a time of 23.90 seconds to finish 11th at the Sunshine State Conference (SSC) Championships back in February of this year. At that same meet, the International Business major was able to swim a personal best time of 51.74 seconds in the 100 free to finish 10th.

At that same meet, she anchored her school to a silver medal in the 200 yards free relay, finishing in 1:34.22.

The Tars women finished third overall at the SSC Championships.

Russell swims for the Emory University Eagles in the NCAA Division III (DIII). The Business Administration major was one of 34 Eagles swimmers and one of the 18 Eagles men to receive team selections. This was his second straight year on the CSCAA Scholar All-America list.

In the 100 yards breast, he swam a time of 54.77 seconds to finish with the 11th fastest time among DIII swimmers.

The sophomore and his 200 yards medley relay team posted the 11th fastest time in DIII with a time of 1:29.17. That time was accomplished at the Denison Invitational back in December 2019.

Back in April, the Higgs’ sisters, Bastian, Carey, Russell and Jared Fitzgerald were named to the CSCAA All-American list for the 2019-2020 season.

Jump Line – A total of five Bahamians were named to the CSCAA All-American list in April

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