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Junior world leader in the girl's 100 meters (m) Anthonique Strachan cruised into the semifinals of the event yesterday, after winning her heat at the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Junior Championships.
Running in heat seven, lane two, Strachan clocked 11.59 seconds for the win over Kadecia Baird of Guyana and Rachel Johncock of Britain, at the meet which is taking place in Barcelona, Spain. Both Baird and Johncock advanced to today's semifinals with Strachan. Lisa Wickham of Trinidad and Tobago was fourth and also qualified for the second round. Baird's time was 11.72 seconds, Johncock posted 11.75 seconds and Wickham stopped the clock at 11.98 seconds. Bahamian Tayla Carter lined-up in heat two, lane eight and ran 12.00 seconds which gave her spot in the semifinals.
The final for the 100m for girls will be ran later today.
After winning heat one, in 10.58 seconds, Teray Smith will line up for the semifinals for boys. Smith's time is one of the fastest heading into the next round. He got the best of Giovanni Galbierl and Siphelo Nggabaza who also advanced. Fellow countryman, Anthony Farrington ran 10.78 seconds which placed him fifth in heat eight. He did not advance.
In the semifinal round today, Smith will settle into the blocks in lane seven, heat one. Other representations from the English-speaking Caribbean, in that heat, are Cejhae Greene from Antigua and Barbuda and Jazeel Murphy from Jamaica.
Keeping the medal hopes alive for The Bahamas was O'Jay Ferguson, who crossed the line in 46.69 seconds for second in the 400m event. The winning time was 46.58 seconds ran by Machel Cedenio of Trinidad and Tobago. Elroy McBride ran in heat six of the one lap event and was seventh overall with 48.18 seconds. As for Ferguson, the time ran in the first round placed him in heat two, lane seven. Also running in that heat are American Arman Hall, Stephan James from Guyana and Cedenio. The semifinal will also be ran today.
Opening the competition for The Bahamas was Moriel Pitt and Tre Adderley running in the boys 110m hurdles event. Pitt turned in 14.25 seconds for a sixth place finish in the first heat. He did not advance to the second round. A time of 14.29 seconds was not enough to give Adderley a lane in the next round. He would place sixth in heat six. Teshon Adderley ran in heat three of the 800m, which was held in the opening session. He clocked 2:07.18 and was the sixth athlete in that heat to cross the finish line. He did not move onto the next round.
High jumper Ryan Ingraham heads into the event with the best performance by any junior male athlete, so far on the year. He will be 13th man up in the event which takes place today. Ingraham is the sole flag bearer for the country in the high jump event.
Anthonique Strachan inked her name into the history books by becoming the third Bahamian female athlete to win gold at the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Junior Championships.
The blistering 11.20 seconds, in the 100 meters (m), turned in by Strachan is the fastest time ran by a junior female athlete this season. Strachan's golden performance was done, yesterday, in front of a large crowd at the Olympic Stadium Lluis Companys de Montjuic, in Barcelona, Spain. The silver medal was reeled in by Nimet Karakus of Turkey, a time of 11.36 seconds and Brazil's Tamiris de Liz crossed the finish line in 11.45 seconds for third.
The young sprinter, Strachan, was one-one hundredth of a second shy from setting a new junior national record, which belongs to Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie. The gold medal is the third for the country at the games. Four years ago, Sheniqua Ferguson won the 200m in 23.24 seconds and Shaunae Miller captured the gold, in 2010, in the 400m. Miller's time was 52.52 seconds.
After two days of competition, The Bahamas is in a four-way tie for sixth with Germany and New Zealand. The 25-member team will look to build on the medal count, as a number of them settle into the blocks in the semi-final round today.
Tayla Carter was not able to advance into the final after finishing fourth in 11.76 seconds. She ran out of heat one with Karakus, who won in 11.58 seconds and Fany Chalas was second in 11.68 seconds. Carter is set to a run a leg on the 4x100m relay squad.
Defending champion in the 400m, Miller cruised to 52.71 seconds to win heat four in the morning session of the championships. Miller's time was the second fastest heading into the second round which takes place today at 2:35 p.m EDT. Miller was in the second heat, lane four and Rashan Brown was in the third heat, lane four. The Freeport native, Brown, clocked 54.02 seconds and won heat two of the preliminary round.
Strachan will go for the sprint double when she lines up in the 200m today. In the heats, running out of lane five, heat two got underway at 5:25 a.m. EDT this morning. Carmiesha Cox is in the first heat of the preliminary round. She and Jodean Williams of Jamaica will represent the English-speaking Caribbean in that heat. The semifinal will also take place today at 1:50 p.m EDT.
Male sprinter Teray Smith watched the final of the 100m from the stands. He was fourth in his heat, with a time of 10.44 seconds. Smith will give it another go when he lines-up in the 200m. His season's best is 20.88 seconds.
Blake Bartlett has a season's best of 20.89 seconds, in the 200m, and will run out of the second heat, lane two. Other Caribbean athletes in that race are Tahir Walsh and Deandre Rawlins of Antigua and Barbuda and the U.S. Virgin Islands respectively.
The final of the boys' 400m will take place today. O'Jay Ferguson was eliminated in the semifinal after clocking 47.02 seconds which placed him sixth in heat two.
World junior leader in the high jump event, Ryan Ingraham only needed two jumps to qualify for the final of the high jump event. He entered the competition at 2.14m and then moved onto 2.17m. The final is set for Friday.
His name is Lynden Pindling III.
It's an iconic name. The first prime minister in The Bahamas carried that name. His political legacy included being the accepted 'Father of the Nation'. He was the lead figure on the journey to majority rule in The Bahamas. Independence and the all-important National Insurance program are attached to his name more so than anyone else.
Sir Lynden Pindling was indeed and remains an inspiration to generations of Bahamians and some Caribbean historians. The burden of that name, Lynden Pindling III has had to shoulder. His frame is not as tiny as it was when he first started playing baseball around the age of 10. Now he is a well-defined 5' 9", 175-pounder who happens to be one of the finest Bahamian athletes.
In an unassuming manner, so different from an abundantly visible and charismatic grandfather, Lynden Pindling III has quietly, but steadily gone about establishing his very own identity, as a top sports talent. When one says the name Lynden Pindling now, the thought isn't automatically to the great politician.
There is that other Lynden Pindling. He plays baseball. He is a 20-year-old junior at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee and one of the best to ever play in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). The baseball credentials of Lynden Pindling III are sterling. His parents, Obie and Diane Pindling, are happy with his overall progress.
"We're all very proud of him, especially that he carries a 3.0 plus grade point average (GPA). Going into his finals (last week) he was 3.19 so we won't know his final GPA for another few weeks. Rhodes is one of the most academically-challenging liberal arts schools in the United States. Lynden is majoring in accounting and business with a minor in Spanish," informed the senior Pindling.
There is of course, the two-fold student/athlete brilliance as far as Lynden Pindling III is concerned. He is the best batter for the Rhodes College Lynx. During the just completed season, Pindling led the team with a .395 batting average from the full 42 games, all of which he started at shortstop. He collected 58 hits in 147 official at-bats, 12 of his safeties being doubles. Pindling also drove in 35 runs and scored 40 times. His average was sixth best in the conference.
For the 2011 season, he batted .361 to lead Rhodes College. He went 57 for 158 with 12 doubles and 25 runs batted in (RBIs). This past season, the March 12-18 period got him a lot of national attention. Pindling went 9-for-16 and led Rhodes to a 5-0 win/loss record. His on-base percentage was .652. He was named Conference Offensive Player of the Week.
He's on a path that could very well lead to the Major Leagues. Scouts are watching him closely and once his success trend continues on the diamond, barring any severe injury, Pindling is certain to be a prominent draft choice of one of the organizations in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the not too distant future.
Best wishes Lynden!
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once again, the Barracuda Swim Club partnered with Leno Corporate Services Limited to hold its 2nd Annual Leno Corporate/Barracuda Invitational Meet. The meet, which was held at the Betty Kelly-Kenning National Swim Complex, was the platform for swimmers trying to achieve times to qualify for the rapidly approaching 43rd RBC Bahamas National Swimming Championships.
In the girls 8-and-under division, Barracuda Swim Club's Devin Cuffy-Bethel won the high point trophy with a score of 50 points, and Grace Farrington finished second with 36 points. In the 8-and-under boys, Noah Albury of the Abaco Swim Club walked away with the high point trophy with a score of 60 points and Marcus Moncur of Alpha Aquatics took the runner-up trophy with a score of 38 points.
Mandia Roberts of Barracuda Swim Club won the high point trophy in the Girls 9-10 division with a score of 63 points, and the runner-up trophy went to Zayle-Elizabeth Thompson of Alpha Aquatics with a score of 57 points. For the boys 9-10 division, Roman Pinder of the Abaco Swim Club walked away with the high point trophy with a score of 63 points and Thomas Bowers of the Lyford Swim Club took the runner-up trophy with a score of 33 points.
In the 11-12 girls, Katherine Slatter of the Barracuda Swim Club took the high point trophy with a score of 55 points, with the runner-up trophy going to Taylor Albury of the Abaco Swim Club with a score of 37 points. In the boys 11-12 division, Samuel Gibson with a score of 59 points and Izaak Bastian with 45 points, both of the Barracuda Swim Club, took the high point and runner-up trophies respectively.
Sian Longley of the Barracuda Swim Club walked away with the high point trophy with 61 points in the girls 13-14 division. The runner-up spot went to Zoe McCarroll of Alpha Aquatics with a score of 36 points. For the 13-14 boys, Swift Swimming swept this category with Tyler Russell taking the high point trophy with 41 points and his teammate Joshua Roberts finishing second with 40 points.
In the girls 15-and-over division, Anna Misiewicz took the high point trophy with 50 points and the runner-up trophy went to Davrielle Butler with a score of 35 points. Both girls are members of the Barracuda Swim Club. In the 15-and-over boys, the Barracuda Swim Club swept with N'Nhyn Fernander receiving the high point trophy with a score of 54 points and his teammate Meshach Roberts taking the runner-up trophy with a score of 50 points.
The Barracuda Swim Club congratulates all of the swimmers who achieved personal best times to qualify for the 43rd RBC Bahamas National Swimming Championships which will be held Thursday, June 19 to Sunday June 22, at the Betty Kelly-Kenning National Swim Complex.
The years come and the years go. Still, baseball in The Bahamas remains in limbo. There is the Bahamas Baseball Federation (BBF) that has been doing a wonderful job, making vital contributions to the sport's national development process.
Congratulations must go out to the BBF for the magnificent ground work done by providing the competitive base for so many young boys (and some girls) throughout this country. The BBF has spawned collegiate stars, professional players, (one who made it all the way to the Major Leagues) and a Cal Ripken World Series championship squad.
The other organization is the pioneer Bahamas Baseball Association (BBA). Sadly, the BBA has been stagnant for far too long and is no longer considered a positive element. The BBA is largely the source of the "limbo" situation because the International Baseball Federation (IBF) still recognizes it as the parent body for the sport in the country.
That means only the BBA can process national teams for international play. The BBF has ignored BBA trials for regional and international events. As a result, the BBA sent a few teams that disgraced the tradition of the sport in this country. The BBA is a member of the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC). I understand that it is the BOC that can resolve the issue. I have been informed that the IBF has put the situation squarely in the hand of the BOC. Yet there has been no solution. The baseball limbo still exists. It's a sad state of affairs.
Jim Wood, the long-standing president of the BBA has been severely criticized and blamed as the person mostly set against the sport coming under one umbrella, in a democratic fashion. Wood, once an outstanding player in his younger days, has been a prominent part of baseball for over 50 years. That he loves the sport with a passion is not in doubt. Hopefully, at long last, Wood, his BBA executive associates and those from the BBF will work with the BOC to soon take the national baseball program out of limbo.
Meanwhile, many opportunities to seek to qualify to face the best in the world are being missed by The Bahamas. The third version of the World Baseball Classic comes up in March of 2013. The United States-based World Series still has the major clout in the sport. Without a doubt though, the WBC is the sport's largest international tournament. A qualification round is scheduled for later this year with the advancing countries getting into the main draw of next year's climactic tourney.
There is certainly the kind of baseball talent depth in this country that ordinarily would enable a national team to at the very least, enter the qualifying segment of the WBC. That can't happen though because our situation is not sorted out.
Australia, China, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, The Netherlands, Puerto Rico, the United States of America (USA), Venezuela, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Panama, and South Africa have engaged in the WBC from the outset. For the 2013 classic, the international group will be expanded with the inclusion of Great Britain, Colombia, Nicaragua, France, Brazil, Spain, Germany and New Zealand.
I believe The Bahamas could put together a team of amateur and professional players capable of qualifying for the WBC. We'll never get the opportunity though unless the "limbo" issue is resolved. Let's get to it BOC!
Ironically while we in The Bahamas are still at an impasse in baseball, the USA and Cuba, despite the (USA-imposed) embargo, see the benefits of coming together in the sport. The two countries have agreed to engage in a set of friendship contests. The USA will send a national collegiate team to Cuba for five games in July. Cuba will send its team to the USA next year.
Sports should indeed always be that common denominator. The BOC needs to preach that message to the two local baseball groups and pave the way for this country to be represented at the WBC and other regional and international tournaments.
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com
This coming weekend, the Freeport Rugby Club will once again be hosting a junior boys rugby team from the Cayman Islands. Last year's competition was a tremendous success with over 50 boys, from ages 8-12, coming together to play hard but fair. New friendships were made and some rivalries were created setting the stage for an even more amazing weekend this time around. To add to the fun and competition this year, there will also be a team from Bermuda to compete for the title of Junior Rugby Champions. Christopher Rowland from the Cayman Islands said: "It's going to be a lot of fun. Everyone is very excited on our side especially with the inclusion of another country - the kids are really looking forward to it especially the ones who came last year."
The format for the weekend will start with a round-robin competition between teams from The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda with a couple of 'Barbarian' sides for good luck. The 'Barbarian' teams will be made up of players from all of the countries mixing and matching thereby helping to develop teamwork, camaraderie and fair play. The games on Saturday will start at 11 a.m. and will continue until about 4 p.m. Following the games, the teams will then have a chance to mix at a pool party and a barbecue.
"On Sunday, we will be having the junior international games. The kick-off of the first game is at 11 a.m. and these will be played between full sides from each of the three countries to determine the overall champion," said Rob Speller, president of the Freeport Rugby & Football Club. He expressed his delight that the club could once again host the tournament. "It's great to be able to put on such an event that brings together these kids to play what is a great game. They have loads of fun, learn new skills and make new friends. It's fantastic," he said.
The Swift Swimming Club continues to dominate local swimming as it won its fourth straight RBC National Swimming Championships this past weekend, this time by more than 1,000 points. The club totaled 2,337 points compared to 1,235.50 for second place finisher, the Barracuda Swim Club. It was the most points ever scored at the nationals, and the biggest margin of victory ever recorded. Numerous national records were broken this past weekend. Swift Swimming won eight of the high point awards and captured three of the best swim trophies. The club also swept 19 races, finishing first, second and third. In club history, Swift Swimming has put swimmers on all international teams from the CARIFTA level straight up to the Olympics. Additionally, three of the club's swimmers have made the Commonwealth Games standards this year - Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, Joanna Evans and Dustin Tynes. Additionally, Swift swimmers Evans, Tynes and Dionisio Carey have qualified for the Youth Olympic Games this summer.
RBC National Swimming Championships' final point standings: Team points
1st - Swift Swimming 2,337 points
2nd - Barracuda Swim Club 1,235.50 points
3rd - Alpha Aquatics Swim Club
4th - Freeport Aquatic Club 709.50 points
5th - Abaco Swim Club 465 points
6th - The Dolphin Swimming Club 329 points
7th - Team Orca
8th - Sea Bees Swim Club 243.50 points
9th - Blue Marlin Aquatics 67 points
9th - Unattached
11th - Lyford Cay Swim Club 55 points
12th - Sea Waves Aquatic Team
13th - Mantas Water Polo Club
Arguably the best breast stroker in the region in her age group, and one of The Bahamas' best all-around CARIFTA swimmers, will not take part in the annual championships which will get underway this morning at the Betty Kelly Kenning National Aquatics Complex.
Laura Morley, last year's gold medalist in the 13-14 girls 100 meters (m) and 200m breast events, is undergoing tests at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. According to reports, the double gold medalist from a year ago is undergoing a biopsy of the brain in what has been ranked as the best children's hospital in the United States in recent years.
"She would have been a gold medalist for us in a number of events and we will surely miss her," said Bahamas Swimming Federation (BSF) President Algernon Cargill yesterday. "It's quite serious, but the preliminary reports from her parents are quite encouraging and very positive, so we expect good news in that regard. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.
"Laura really was a catalyst on the team and we are using that as inspiration. She has fared extremely well from her very first CARIFTA, and now she is the best swimmer in her age group in a number of events, in the region. The kids are extending their thoughts and prayers toward her and her family. Nonetheless, we still expect the team to compete and do well here in our home pool."
The 27th annual championships will get underway at 9 a.m. today with the distance freestyle events in the girls and boys divisions. That will be followed by one of Morley's favorite events, the 200m breast, which will be contested in all six divisions. A total of 22 countries, including The Bahamas, are scheduled to take part in these swimming championships here in The Bahamas.
"It's certainly a joy to be here at home. The kids really want to swim well for Laura and defend their turf," said Cargill. "Our swimmers will get a chance to compete in front of the home crowd, and with this being an Olympic qualifying meet, all of the times will be recognized by FINA for the Olympic Games. There is a record number of teams and entries this year, but our team is well balanced and we expect them to compete and do extremely well."
Team Bahamas Head Coach Andy Knowles said that all of the swimmers have rallied around Morley, and intend to represent themselves and their country very well.
"It's very unfortunate but we're using it as a bit of motivation," said Knowles yesterday. "Our thoughts are with Laura but all we can do is to motivate ourselves to go out there and perform well. She can't be here with us this weekend, but we know that she would want us to put our best effort forward and produce some good times, so all of the kids are motivated to go out there and do their best."
The coaches on the team decided to stick with 35 swimmers instead of naming a replacement for Morley. Her events will be represented by just one Bahamian swimmer as opposed to two. The Bahamas finished third at last year's CARIFTA Swimming Championships in Bridgetown, Barbados, behind Trinidad & Tobago and Guadeloupe, and has consistently been in the top three over the past 10 years. The country has never won the overall championship, but came within the final swim of the 2007 championships in Barbados, of being declared the overall winner. If they had won that final event, the 15-17 boys 200m medley relay, they would have won the overall title.
HAMILTON, Bermuda - The first night of competition ended very well for Team Bahamas at these 41st CARIFTA Track and Field Championships here in Hamilton, Bermuda, but it didn't start that way.
The team struggled in the 1,500 meters (m) in all four divisions, failing to pick up a single medal.
Eleutheran Kristina Knowles was first up for The Bahamas in those long distance events. She finished eighth in the Under-17 Girls 1,500m, running a time of 5:35.49. Jamaica really distanced itself from The Bahamas and any other challenger overall, as it swept those long distance events. In the Under-17 Girls, it was their Chantai Smith who won the gold, in 4:51.36. Faheemah Scraders, from host Bermuda, was second, in 4:55.46, and Andrea Foster, from Guyana, won the bronze medal, in 4:57.28. Knowles appeared to be in the first after the first lap, but faded to eighth.
"My throat is very sore, but overall, I think that I'm okay. This is my first CARIFTA, but I'm sure I could have done better," said Knowles Saturday night.
The Bahamas had two competitors in the Under-17 Boys 1,500m. Darren Young finished sixth, in 4:33.76, and Cimeleo Darling ended up ninth, in 4:52.24. Jamaica turned in a 1-2 finish, with Webston Pennant winning the gold medal, in 4:18.92, and Orville Dixon coming in second, in 4:20.38. Barbados was third and fourth, with Pius Emilien holding off his teammate Raheem Skinner, for the bronze medal, in 4:23.73. Skinner finished in 4:23.80.
"I'm a little disappointed because I know I could have ran a faster time, but that's just the way it goes sometimes. I didn't know that I was going to get boxed in. I tried to fight my way out of it, but it was too late," said Young on Saturday night.
In the Under-20 Girls 1,500m, Bahamian Jennaya Hield finished eighth, in 5:22.97, and her teammate Hollie Rolle was right behind her, in ninth, in 5:35.14. Jamaican Simoya Campbell won the gold medal, in 4:49.56, Magalie Penelope, from Guadeloupe, finished second, in 4:53.13, and hometown favorite Taylor-Ashley Bean, from Bermuda, settled for the bronze medal, in 4:53.14.
"I felt good going into the race but it just didn't go well for me today. It was just one of those days," said Bahamian Hollie Rolle. "The wind was a major factor today. We're not used of that back home and that caused us," she added.
In the Under-20 Boys 1,500m, Bahamians James Audley Carey and Andre Colebrooke finished eighth and ninth respectively, in times of 4:14.29 and 4:17.55. Jamaican Orane Wint won the gold medal, in 4:06.05, Edgar Marbeq, from St. Lucia, was second, in 4:06.34, and Mark London, from Trinidad & Tobago, won the bronze medal, in 4:09.64.
"Fighting with the wind for the first three laps, that kind of took most of my energy," said Carey. "Also, I haven't been doing much speed work. I couldn't move like everyone else did on that last lap."
Carey was in the silver medal position up until the final lap. He simply didn't have the foot speed to maintain that pace, and as a result, got separated from the lead group. Colebrooke was right behind him, in ninth.
"The weather was unexpectedly very cold. I still had to go out there and run, and it just wasn't there today," said Colebrooke.
After struggling in the first two events of the Open Girls Pentathlon, Miquel Roach picked up some valuable points in the high jump event, as she tied for first, with a leap of 1.58m (5' 2-1/4"). Roach scored 712 points in the event, to finish the first day of competition with 1,519 points. In the under-17 girls triple jump on Saturday, Taryn Rolle finished sixth for The Bahamas, with a best leap of 11.01m (36' 1-1/2"). Guadeloupe finished first and second in the event, with defending
champion Yanis David taking the gold medal, with a best jump of 12.73m (41' 9-1/4"), and Marine Vidal securing the silver medal, with a best leap of 12.21m (40' 0-3/4"). Jamaican Tamara Moncrieffe won the bronze medal, with a best heave of 11.57m (37' 11-1/2").
After two days of competition, The Bahamas sat in second place with 13 total medals - six gold, three silver and four bronze. Jamaica led the way with 27 total medals - 13 gold, six silver and eight bronze, and Guadeloupe was a distant third behind The Bahamas with four total medals - one gold, two silver and one bronze. The British Virgin Islands was the only other country with a gold medal, with the impressive jump by David in the under-17 girls triple jump.