Bahamian junior swimming sensation Marvin Johnson put on a record-breaking show at the Tennessee Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association’s (TISCA) High School Swimming and Division State Championships, which was held at the University of Tennessee’s Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Johnson, who swims for the McCallie School out of Chattanooga, Tennessee, broke two state records – the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races. Also swimming for McCallie and breaking a school record was Bahamian Caden Wells. Bahamian Asher Johnson also swam for McCallie. All three swimmers will be looking to represent The Bahamas at the upcoming 2023 CARIFTA Swimming Championships.
They helped the boys team to victory with 352 points. They finished ahead of Baylor School (343 points) and Montgomery Bell Academy (222 points). McCallie School had to settle for second place in the combined scores with the same 352 points as they didn’t have a girls squad. Baylor had 496 points to finish first. Ensworth School was third with 281 points.
Marvin Johnson was on a mission in the 100-yard free on Friday when lowered the previous state record of 44.60 seconds, touching the wall in 43.60 seconds – shaving an entire second off the record to win the race. He took down Montgomery Bell Academy’s Oliver Plinkinton who came into the final with the fastest time. Plinkinton clocked 43.92 seconds. Johnson had some ground to make up after the first 50 yards as Plinkinton had the faster split of 20.82 seconds compared to Johnson’s 21.08 seconds. After the turn, the sophomore out of The Bahamas pulled ahead and set the state record in the event.
Concord Christian School’s Logan Hall swam 45.67 seconds to finish third.
On Friday night, Johnson blew past Plinkinton in the 50-yard free. Like the 100-yard race, Plinkton had the fastest time in the preliminaries.
Johnson went into another gear for final, proving to be too much for Plinkinton. Johnson went under the 20-second mark with a blistering 19.87 seconds to win that race. He comfortably lowered the previous state record of 20.28 seconds. Plinkton settled for second with a time of 20.22 seconds. Johnson’s teammate, Benton Grutter, swam 20.81 seconds to finish third.
The Bahamian trio teamed up with Benjamin Bevill in the 200-yard medley relay and they won the silver medal. The quartet clocked 1:32.79 to finish behind Baylor School who clocked 1:30.96. Wells swam a split of 25.64 seconds before Asher Johnson took over on the butterfly leg and turned in a split of 23.48 seconds. Jonson brought it home for the team in 19.54 seconds – the fastest split on that leg. Montgomery Bell Academy placed third with a time of 1:32.79.
The three schools finished in the same order in the 400-yard free relay. This time, Marvin Johnson teamed up with Grutter, Max Manolache and Jackson Vineyard. The group that was anchored by Johnson touched the wall in a time of 3:03.46. Baylor won when they clocked 3:01.29. Montgomery Bell settled for third with a time of 3:09.02.
Wells was in action in the 100-yard breaststroke ‘A’ final where he finished sixth overall with a personal best time of 57.17 seconds. That time set a new school record. Merrol Hyde Magnet High School’s Jeffrey Hickson won that race with a time of 55.82 seconds.
Wells also swam in the 200-yard individual medley (IM) and was able to clock 1:57.81 to seventh in the ‘B’ final and 15th overall.
Asher Johnson powered his way to finish 17th overall in the 100-yard fly with a time of 51.95 seconds. The Grand Bahama native was also in action in the 100-yard backstroke preliminaries and he finished 35th overall with a time 56.14 seconds.