Bahamian swimmers help Bison win conference

 Home|Sports|Bahamian swimmers help Bison win conferenceSports

Simba FrenchSend an emailFebruary 28, 2023 401 3 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

 Bahamian collegiate swimmer Luke-Kennedy Thompson helped lead the charge for the Howard University Bison men’s swimming and diving team, at the Northeast Conference (NEC) Championships in Geneva, Ohio, this past weekend. The Bison won the men’s title with 928 points. HOWARD UNIVERSITY BISON

One thing that the Howard University Bison is not short on is Bahamian swimmers and that was evident at the Northeast Conference (NEC) Championships that concluded on Saturday at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

There were three Bahamian male swimmers who helped the Bison earn a dominant team victory.

Swimming on the men’s team were Erald Thompson III and brothers Luke-Kennedy and Mark-Anthony Thompson. The men’s team scored 928 points for first while the Long Island University Sharks finished second with 759 points. Finishing third was the St. Francis College Terriers with 634 points.

The ladies team that included Bahamians Zaylie-Elizabeth Thompson and Kaliyah Albury placed fourth out of nine teams. They scored 498 points. Central Connecticut State University won with 659 points.

Luke-Kennedy Thompson was a part of the 800-yard free relay that set a new meet and school record. Making up the team with him were Mark-Anthony Beckles, Reese Samuel and Miles Simon. Anchored by Thompson, they clocked a winning time of 6:35.84. The Terriers were their closest competition as they touched the wall in 6:40.72. Wagner College was third, almost 10 seconds later with a time of 6:43.99.

Zaylie-Elizabeth Thompson swam the first leg of the 800-yard free relay with Zuzu Nwaeze, Skylar Debnam and Madison Freeland. They set a new school record of 7:37.25 but finished fourth. Winning that race was Wagner College with a time of 7:22.49.

Luke-Kennedy won a silver medal in the 500-yard free when he and the Terriers’ Valentin Schnermann had a photo finish with Schnermann winning with a meet record of 4:28.77. Thompson, who clocked 4:28.79, led on the final lap but Schnermann was able to sneak past him. The Sharks’ Lincoln Greseth was third, recording a time of 4:32.91. Mark-Anthony Thompson was seventh after posting a time of 4:45.34.

Luke-Kennedy swam 3:57.43 in the 400-yard individual medley (IM). He was beaten by the Sharks’ Daniel Fernandez who set a new meet record of 3:57.17. Wagner’s Russell Gavino was third in 4:01.13. Erald Thompson III placed seventh in that championship final in 4:10.50.

Luke-Kennedy won his final silver medal of the meet in the 1650-yard free. The senior powered his way through the grueling race to finish in 16:03.56. Wagner’s Ruben Van Gool won that race with a time of 15:55.17. Greseth was behind Thompson and touched the wall in 16:04.09.

Zaylie-Elizabeth was in action in the 200-yard IM and won a bronze medal in a time of 2:04.53. Her teammate Michaela Spears won gold in a quick 2:03.31.

It was a team effort from Zaylie-Elizabeth, Courtney Connolly, Kelsey Roberson and Nwaeze, winning a silver medal in the 200-yard medley relay. They stopped the clock at 1:43.94. Winning that race was the Sharks in a time of 1:41.67.

In the 100-yard breaststroke, Zaylie-Elizabeth swam away with the bronze medal, recording a time of 1:03.67. The Sharks’ Vienna Anderson won in 1:02.37.

Also swimming in the 100-yard breast was Bahamian Jami Hepburn who swam for the Stonehill College Skyhawks. She swam in the ‘B’ final and clocked 1:05.79 for second in that event. Wagner’s Allie D’Allegro won the ‘B’ final with a time of 1:05.70.

Spears and Thompson finished first and third for the Bison in the 200-yard breaststroke. Thompson swam 2:19.98 for third. Spears touched the wall in 2:17.76 for first. The Terriers’ Elayna Pistrin was second after swimming a time of 2:18.91.

It was a competitive race in the men’s 100-yard breast, but in the end Mark-Anthony Thompson had to settle for third place when he powered through and swam 55.58 seconds. His teammate Darin Johnson won that race after touching the wall in 55.32 seconds. Finishing second was the Terriers’ Giannis Venetos who posted a time of 55.44 seconds.

Erald Thompson advanced to the 200-yard IM championship final and managed to place fifth with a time of 1:53.04. His teammate Miles Simon powered his way to victory with in 1:46.80 for a new meet time.

Albury was able to drop time in all three of her races. Her biggest improvement came in the 1650-yard free when she clocked 20.07.39 to place 28th overall. She shaved 10 seconds off her time.

The Bison, which has an entirely black swim team, was recognized by news agencies as a school whose swim and dive team is breaking barriers by being a historically black school as they look to empower black athletes. The program is spearheaded by Head Coach Nic Askew. He is looking to cultivate a culture for his swimmers to feel safe and be themselves while succeeding.

Start a Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *