Dylan Carter is a trailblazer for swimming in Trinidad and Tobago with his name plastered all over his country’s record books. Carter specializes in freestyle but he frequents to backstroke and butterfly events too. In 2013 he was named Trinidad and Tobago’s Junior Male Athlete of the Year.
Carter began swimming at the age of 12 for Marlins Swimming Club in his home country under Head Coach Franz Huggins. It was Huggins who shaped Carters early career and encouraged his to swim for the University of Southern California where he is majoring in Environmental Studies. He moved to Los Angeles from Coral Springs, Florida where he prepped at American Heritage High School.
University of Southern California
In his first year under Head Coach Dave Salo at USC, Carter became an NCAA Champion as a member of the 800 yard freestyle relay. He picked up more points for the Trojans when he helped the 400 yard freestyle relay reach the final and his 15th place finish in the 200 yard freestyle. In the 50 yard freestyle, Carter finished 42nd.
Another year, another four All-American honors for Carter. At his second NCAA Championships he was a member of two national title winning relays, the 400 and 800 yard freestyle relays. Both were swam in a new school record time. His other honors came in the 200 yard freestyle and medley relays where the Trojans finished fifth and sixth, respectively. In his individual events, Carter finished 13th in the 100 yard freestyle, 16th in the 200 yard freestyle and 19th in the 50 yard freestyle.
Carter redshirted his junior year in preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Carter won his first individual NCAA medal as a junior. It came in the 200 yard freestyle when he tied with Indiana’s Blake Pieroni for the silver in 1:31.16. The pair finished behind Texas’ Townley Haas.
His other medal of the meet was a bronze in the 400 yard freestyle relay.
Carter also picked up All-American First Team honors in his other individual swims and two more relays. He finished 4th in the 100 yard freestyle in 41.76 and 7th in the 50 freestyle in 19.08. He helped USC to a 4th and 5th place finish in the 400 medley and 800 freestyle relays.
Carter began his senior NCAA’s by helping the Trojons to a 12th place finish in the 800 free relay, leading off in 1:32.59. On Day 2, he swam no individual event but had a busy day, splitting a team fastest 18.69 on the 2nd leg of the 200 free relay (5th place) and then took fly duty on the 400 medley relay (44.71) to help USC get 3rd. The next day, Carter couldn’t match his best time in the 200 free final and slipped to 7th overall (1:32.60), however his relay swim was the real highlight. Splitting 19.60 on fly in the 200 medley relay, Carter came up huge for the Trojans, who went on to win the 200 medley relay title. This was Carter’s 4th national relay title in as many years. On the last day, Carter finished in 11th place in the 100 free (41.93) final, and helped USC (41.63) to a 5th place finish in the 400 free relay.
Carter’s first international call up came at the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games where he reached the final in the 50 meter backstroke and butterfly and 100 meter backstroke.
In his breakout year in 2013, Carter won a silver medal at the World Junior Championships in the 50 meter butterfly as well as a fourth place finish in the 100 meter backstroke. He also qualified for the FINA World Swimming Championships but opted to put all his focus in to the junior meet.
In 2014, Carter had another busy year. After completing his freshman year at USC, Carter was at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games where he picked up a silver medal in the 50 meter butterfly and a bronze in the 50 meter freestyle. In the fall, he took time away from his sophomore season to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games where he finished fifth in the 100 meter freestyle and reached the semi-final in the 100 meter butterfly.
2015 FINA World Championships
In his first senior World Championships, Carter finished 15th in the 50 meter butterfly semi-final. He also swam in the 100 meter freestyle finishing 24th and the 50 meter freestyle finishing 32nd.
2016 Rio Olympic Games
In his Olympic debut, Carter finished 23rd in the 100 meter freestyle in a new national record of 48.80.
2016 Short Course World Championships
A few months later at the 2016 World Short Course Championships he finished fourth in the 200 meter freestyle and seventh in the 50 meter butterfly.
2017 World Championships
In his first event of the 2017 World Champs, Carter touched at 19th in the 50 fly, going 23.73. In the 100 free, Dylan Carter came up just short of a 2nd swim, going 48.87 to tie for 18th. In the 200 free, he touched at 24th in prelims with a time of 1:47.77, a new national record.
2018 Commonwealth Games
Dylan Carter made commonwealth history at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He swam 2 events at the games, 50 fly and 100 free. In the 100 free, he was seeded to medal going into finals, but ended up touching at 5th place. However, he did go 48.60, breaking his own national record. In the 50 fly, he swam a 23.67 in finals, just off his best, but good for a silver medal.
2018 Short Course World Championships
Carter continued his monumental year in Hangzhou, breaking his own national record in the 50 fly by touching at 22.38, earning a bronze medal, only the 2nd short course world championships medal ever won by Trinidad and Tobago. Earlier in the competition, Carter also broke the 50 back national record (23.19), earning 7th place in the final.
2018 Central American & Caribbean Swimmer of the Year
For his medals at the Commonwealth Games and Short Course World Championships, Carter was SwimSwam’s 2018 CAC Swimmer of the Year.
2019 World Championships (Gwangju, South Korea)
Though he didn’t win medals, Carter had a very successful world championships, competing in the 100 free, 100 back, and 50 fly. He broke national records in both the 100 free (48.52, 12th) and 100 back (54.03 in prelims, 54.08 in semi finals for 16th). He finished 13th in the 50 fly in 23.37.
2019 Pan American Games (Lima, Peru)
Carter won his first Pan Am medal ever in Lima, placing 3rd in the 100 back in 54.42. He also went lifetime bests in the 50 free (22.67, 9th) and 200 free (1:47.78, 4th).
2020 ISL Budapest Bubble
Late in the season, with a playoff berth on the line, Carter exploded at the regular-season finale, going 50.11 in the 100 (short course meter) backstroke to help the LA Current take a 1-2 finish. Known more as a flyer and freestyler, Carter continued to surge in backstroke, going 23.28, 23.93 and 24.99 in the 50 back skin race to complete a 1-2 sweep for LA.
Carter would ultimately set Trinidad & Tobago records in the 100 back (49.91), 100 free (46.56) and 100 fly (50.70) this ISL season, leaving him with seven national records in short course meters and nine more in long course meters.
2020 Swammy Awards
For his performances in the ISL, Carter earned the 2020 Swammy for Central American & Caribbean Male of the Year.