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Leevan Sands has become a Bahamian icon. When the name 'Superman' is echoed, the triple jumper out of the south immediately comes to mind to many local track and field fans.
Bahamians have excelled in triple jump over the years. In 1992, Frank Rutherford scored the first Olympic track and field medal for the country, a bronze in the triple jump. Some 20 years later the country's national track and field team heads to London, England where Sands hopes to send a message to the world.
Entering London with a personal best of 17.59m, Sands has been the master of the triple in The Bahamas for the better part of the last decade.
In 2008 at the Beijing Olympic Games, Sands brought home the bronze, but believes this year is the year of the 'pop'.
"I have jumped well all year," Sands said in an interview. "And I am going into London with that thought in mind."
Sands has competed for The Bahamas at the Commonwealth Games and CAC Games bringing home bronze medals.
The history for The Bahamas in the triple jump goes further back than Spain, however. It goes all the way back to 1967 with Timmy Barrett and Michael Johnson, who participated in the Pan American Games for The Bahamas, finishing 9th and 10th. Johnson, who jumped 15.02m, went on to Mankato State University, and Timmy Barrett is now the Bahamian physician who leaped 14.40m.
In 1970, both Obed Gardiner and Don Miller competed in the Commonwealth Games. With jumps of 14.97m and 14.52m respectively, both men finished in the top 10 at the meet. Gardiner and Miller went on to school at Southern Illinois University. Miller is the brother of Leslie Miller, former Bahamian 400m runner.
Leevan Sands has become an exceptional triple jumper and from all indications, he is aware that he stands on the shoulders of men who have laid a great foundation for his success. At this year's Olympic trials, Sands was one of the few senior athletes who was healthy enough to compete. Winning the triple jump and qualifying for London, Sands said he hopes to never get to the place where his people are unable to see him compete.
The eyes of all Bahamians will be watching the jumps in London: Raymond Higgs in the long jump, Trevor Barry and Donald Thomas in the high jump, and Superman in the triple.
Bahamas Athletics headed by Kermit Taylor has become one of the strongest links to Bahamian track and field.
That's easy. For the past four years Taylor, a photographer, has trotted the globe and brought back images of the country's stars.
Taylor is the man on the track with the big cameras slung across his shoulders, capturing the moments for our athletes and others. He has painstakingly built the website bahamasathletics.com into the envy in the Caribbean. Competitors worldwide have been heard asking Taylor, "Do you have any new shots of me?"
Years ago Taylor went to Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium to watch his son Kenton compete. Kenton was then a student at Nassau Christian Academy. As the story goes, Taylor never left. He is still at the track snapping photos and capturing those precious moments.
Taylor became the public relations officer for Bahamas Amateur Athletic Association, and for three years informed the media of the exploits of all junior and senior track and field athletes.
A friend with many sports journalists in The Bahamas, Taylor said he was not aware of the amount of information being sought around the world on the track and field program in The Bahamas.
"So many persons are looking to network and share information that is happening in the sport," he said. "To me that is mind boggling."
He has traveled thousands of miles over the past four years providing information on top Bahamian track stars. In the region, Taylor has covered CARIFTA in Guadeloupe in 2006, St. Kitts in 2008, St. Lucia in 2009, and Grand Cayman 2010. He was there for the Central American and Caribbean Championships in Trinidad and Tobago in 2006, World Youth Championships in Italy in 2009, World Juniors in Canada 2010, World Youth in Lille, France in 2011, CARIFTA in Hamilton, Bermuda in 2012, and World Juniors in Barcelona, Spain in 2012.
When asked which was most significant to him, Taylor replied: "World Juniors in 2011, because I was able to see Shaunae Miller repeat as 400 meter champion, Stephen Newbold win the gold in the 200 meters, and Lathario and Lathon Collie Minns get gold and bronze in the triple jump."
Taylor is off to London at the 2012 Olympic Games. With each click of the camera, he will record for posterity those precious moments in London.
The last time The Bahamas won just one gold medal at the CARIFTA Games was 30 years ago, and even then, the team was miniscule in comparison to the mammoth squad in Fort-de-France, Martinique this past weekend.
Understandably, many Bahamians are wondering what is going on with national junior program, and why the medal count was so low this year. Is it that the team performed poorly, or have other countries, particularly Jamaica, taken its program to another level?
There are a lot of unanswered questions, and many track enthusiasts want answers. Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Danny Johnson said that whatever the case may be, they in the government are not going to sit idly by.
"We have to go and re-group, re-energize and reconstruct a national program," said the minister yesterday. "At this time, the government is embarking on the national sports academy program. Those academies will act as centers of excellence. In Jamaica, Trinidad and even Barbados, they practice sports science, sports medicine and sports psychology. You would see the results coming from their programs. We in The Bahamas have to put more focus on this. We hope to begin that process this summer where we intend to interface with all federations so that they have access to the new developments."
The Bahamas finished a disappointing seventh at the 43rd Annual CARIFTA Games this past weekend, with just 19 total medals - one gold, eight bronze and 10 bronze. Jamaica was completely dominant winning a record 42 gold and 88 total medals. They added 34 silver, and 10 bronze. Trinidad & Tobago was a distant second with 25 total medals - six gold, seven silver and 12 bronze, and Barbados finished third with 16 total medals - five gold, five silver and six bronze.
What is creating the huge disparity between Jamaica and everyone else though? The 42 gold medals were the most ever won by any nation at CARIFTA. The 88 total medals was also a record. Instead of teams closing the gap, Jamaica is pulling further and further away in regional track and field dominance.
"It's tough. We sent nearly 100 athletes and we didn't get the results that we expected. Jamaica is just on another level right now," said the minister. "I think this is going to be a learning experience for us. We have to look at what we do and how we do it. This is junior competition but it is still one of the most intense meets in the world. The competition is real fierce. What this does is show that some of the other countries have move ahead in their sports programming and coaching. We in The Bahamas have relied on the status quo and we have not progressed as we should."
Be that as it may, the minister said that the government is committed to providing centers of excellence, with specialized training, psychological advantages and medical support.
"The national sports academy program is something that we are looking at, and we want to get started on that by this summer," said Minister Johnson. "We have a nation of islands so it is essential for us to put a center in the north, one in the south, and one in the central. Once we would have done that, you would see the talent that is coming from the Family Islands.
"Everyone wants to reap and harvest the success but we have to become farmers. We have to nurture our talent. Those academies in the islands will become farms, and we intend to progressively get better from one step to the next. We're looking at starting in Moore's Island, and hopefully that will be completed by the end of the year. Next year, you will see camps opening."
Despite the country's worst performance in 30 years at CARIFTA, Minister Johnson congratulated the young athletes on behalf of the government.
"Many of these athletes would have come here and done their best, and for that, we congratulate them," he said. "There are some bright sparks out there, and the response from us is, 'well done to those kids'."
The Bahamas' 81-member team returned home at the Lynden Pindling International Airport last night. It is the largest CARIFTA squad ever, but yet, the team was only able to muster just one gold medal, courtesy of the under-18 boys 4x100 meters (m) relay team, and it can be argued that even that only occurred because Jamaican sprinter Raheem Chambers pulled up with a hamstring injury on the anchor leg.
Despite the subpar showing, Minister Johnson and a number of administrators and coaches in the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) remain optimistic about the country's ability to bounce back at the junior level in regional athletics.
Next year's CARIFTA Games will be held in St. Kitts & Nevis, and the 2016 event is tentatively set for Grenada, pending the renovation of its national stadium.
The Bahamas' CARIFTA Medalists
Total - 19
Under-18 Boys 4x100m relay - Kinard Rolle, Tyler Bowe, Keanu Pennerman and Javan Martin - 40.76 seconds.
Jenae Ambrose - under-18 girls 100m - 11.62 seconds.
Henry Delauze - under-18 girls 400m - 47.60 seconds.
Benjamin Najman - under-18 boys 1,500m - 4:09.66.
Denzel Pratt - under-20 boys javelin - 64.55m (211' 9").
Under-18 Girls 4x100m relay - Blayre Catalyn, Jenae Ambrose, Andira Ferguson and Brianne Bethel - 45.91 seconds.
Under-18 Girls 4x400m relay - Shaquania Dorsett, Dreshanae Rolle, Brianne Bethel and Doneisha Anderson - 3:39.65.
Under-18 Boys 4x400m relay - Kinard Rolle, Samson Colebrook, Justin Pinder and Henry Delauze - 3:13.16.
Under-20 Boys 4x100m relay - Cliff Resias, Ian Kerr, Deedro Clarke and Steven Gardiner - 40.35 seconds.
Dreshanae Rolle - under-18 girls 400m hurdles - 1:00.43.
Javan Martin - under-18 boys 100m - 10.54 seconds.
Javan Martin - under-18 boys 200m - 21.15 seconds.
Travis Ferguson - under-18 boys javelin - 60.40m (198' 2").
Miquel Roach - open girls heptathlon - 4,365 points.
Laquan Nairn - under-20 boys high jump - 2.00m (6' 6-3/4").
Drexel Maycock - under-20 boys discus - 49.31m (161' 9-1/4").
Under-20 Girls 4x100m relay - Devynne Charlton, Loushanna Neymour, Makeya White and Keianna Albury - 45.47 seconds.
Under-20 Girls 4x400m relay - Juannae Lewis, Loushanna Neymour, Marisa White and Talia Thompson - 3:47.64.
Under-20 Boys 4x400m relay - Kelson Pierre Jr., Janeko Cartwright, Ashley Riley and Xavier Coakley - 3:11.32.
Edner Cherry is one of the finest boxers born here in The Bahamas. His entire boxing career however was developed in the United States where he moved at the age of 11. He thus is not considered to be in the mainstream of the Bahamian boxing fraternity. Still, I feel obligated at times to provide an update about Cherry and his career.
It is worth emphasizing also, that despite a physical disconnect between Cherry and the land of his birth, he nevertheless makes it a point to associate himself with The Bahamas during interviews. I have heard his salute to this country.
The Bahamas Boxing Commission officially lists him and so do the major boxing organizations around the world. Eight years ago when I first became a director of the Commonwealth Boxing Council, I was pleasantly surprised when other veteran members expressed high regards for Cherry and his Bahamian background. Quite frankly, prior to that occasion, the Bahamas Boxing Commission had no relationship whatsoever with Cherry.
He was contacted and from the outset it was clear that he loved being able to represent The Bahamas in rings around the world.
Well, at age 29, he is still doing quite well.
Cherry is well on the way back to the top world boxing official ratings. He has had a quality career thus far with a 30-6-2-1 (won-loss-drawn-no contest) record. He has owned a number of regional titles, including the WBC United States; the North American Boxing Federation; the North American Boxing Association; and the WBC Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE) lightweight titles.
Cherry has also fought for the World Boxing Council Light Welterweight crown, losing to Tim Bradley. That decision loss over 12 rounds was the last time he came out on the wrong end of the verdict. He has had seven matches since and was most convincing in all of them. He ran off a streak of four wins after the Bradley bout and his last two bouts ended in victory.
Last September he fought Eric Aiken at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Cherry unleashed a barrage at the bell to end round one and Aiken was unable to continue. It was officially ruled that Aiken was hit after the bell so a "no contest" was recorded.
Being undefeated since 2008 lines him up now for top world ratings. He remains confident that another world title fight will come before he is finished with the ring.
His preference is to fight as a lightweight.
"I'm comfortable fighting at lightweight and I believe my best opportunities are in that division. However I've gotten some chances for good fights at the light welter limit. To get to where you want to be, you have to take those matches.
"I want to fight always to make my people in The Bahamas proud. I believe I can win a world title," he has said to me.
He certainly has the ability to wear a world title belt.
Continued best wishes Edner!
You are somewhat distant to the boxing scene here in your country, but a Bahamian at heart and very much an important contributor to our sports power image.
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com.
The inaugural International Association of Athletics Federation's (IAAF) World Relay Championships are just a few weeks away, and security measures at and around the stadium have already increased.
Surrounding the stadium now are barricades with security guards within 20 feet of each other, stopping each car that passes. Members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) are making their presence felt, with patrol cars circling the area, as well as officers on foot patrolling the premises. As the time draws nearer for the start of the world relays, security measures will be increased even more to guarantee the safety of the foreign press, athletes and fans.
"We will of course provide full security coverage for the entire country during this period, not just the events around the stadium. We will continue to secure your premises while you are away from home, as well as guarding you on your commute to and from the stadium. There are going to be lots of special patrols around the stadiums, in your neighborhoods and on the highways. There will be volumes of police officers saturating the streets to ensure that all avenues leading into the stadium are under police control," said Assistant Commissioner of Police Leon Bethel.
"These officers are there to identify and neutralize any potential problem immediately before it gets to the stadium. Once you get to the stadium we will mount checkpoints, police will be checking everyone at these points to ensure that no one brings in any types of offensive weapons that can be used to harm persons. These checkpoints will be manned by both uniformed and plain clothes officers. We are going to take all precautions to make sure that everyone in the stadium has been sterilized."
One of the major goals of the police and defense force units, as well as the Local Organizing Committee of the world relays (LOC), is to ensure that The Bahamas can host an event of this magnitude without any incidents occurring.
"I want the Bahamian people to know that no one who has a record, or is known by the police for various reasons, will be allowed in the stadium regardless if they have a ticket or not; those on ankle monitoring systems or those with any propensity to do crime will not be allowed near the stadium," said Bethel.
"In walking about the stadium you will see and feel the security we have put in place. This represents months and months of planning since our first work with the IAAF team in July of last year to plan the fencing around the stadium to secure it in sectors. We had some issues during CARIFTA last year, in terms of people walking about and going into areas that they should not have gone," said Senior Director of Security of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) James Carey.
Carey was also the head of security for the CARIFTA Games last year. He was the one who put together the plans concerning how the security team would patrol and handle managing the grounds of
"The IAAF has certain standards and we are mandated to comply with those standards and put in place security in accordance with their standards," he said.
The security plans of the LOC not only had to go through the IAAF, but also through delegates from the various countries who are participating to ensure the safety of their people. Bethel and Carey have been in contact with many of the visiting countries crime leaders, going over their plans for securing the stadium as well as the security measures that will be taken around the rest of the country.
"The job of making sure that everything goes smoothly with the event is not only the job of the police force, but it is the job of every Bahamian to ensure that everything goes well. Events like this can do so much for the economy, and I am hustling hard to try and bring an event of this magnitude to the country every quarter. Every hotel is booked, which means taxis will make money, restaurants will be filled and shops will be making money, so I know that we will not let one person get in the way of what we have going on here," said Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson.
"It is up to us to determine the kind of country that we want to live in, the economy is flat and we are looking for ways to bring in revenue, to get new money into the country, so we are trying fresh ideas and bringing new energy to the country trying to make things better for the Bahamian people. I know that my people will not let one joker spoil things for us," he said.
The high school qualifiers today will serve as a test of the security procedures that will be in effect May 24-25.
One of the goals of the organizers of the BGPBC-Bahamas Star Gymnastics (BSG) Invitational, hosted on Saturday, April 14, was to provide a platform for local gymnasts to gain exposure to the rigors of the competitive environment. Clubs from Freeport and New Providence converged on the BSG facility to face off for the first time in a local meet to compete in Women's Artistic Gymnastics events. The official for the event was Suzanne Carmona, a level 10 USA gymnastics certified judge based in Illinois, USA.
New Providence based clubs, Nassau 'Nastics and Bahamas Star Gymnastics, have been on the radar of the local sports community for several years now. Now, the Freeport based Georgia's School of Dance made its debut showing. The three clubs were represented by nearly 40 athletes who competed to the delight of their community base of supporters cheering from the sidelines.
Gymnastics Federation of The Bahamas President Barbara Thompson, who was on hand to present awards, issued a statement after the event:
"The Gymnastics Federation of The Bahamas wishes to commend the Bahamas Star Gymnastics and BGPBC for their successful clinic and competition this past weekend. It was a very important first in the sport of gymnastics here. This competition brought in Bahamian gymnasts from outside of New Providence to test their skills against some of Nassau's finest. Fourteen gymnasts from the Georgia's School of Dance, situated in Freeport, competed against the local teams - Nassau 'Nastics and Bahamas Star. It was a spectacular sight indeed. Everyone was a winner!
"The gymnastics federation has been striving to spread this sport beyond the shores of New Providence. In September of 2011, a clinic was held with the assistance of the Olympic Solidarity movement. Coaches from Eleuthera and Grand Bahama joined those from New Providence to be brought up to speed on the latest in Level 1 artistic gymnastics training. Hopefully, this is an indication of more to come. Our kids have the talent - we need only to give them the opportunity."
The invitational event showcased the largest number of local novice gymnasts to date. Freeport athletes competed on the floor exercise only, as they have no access to the three remaining devices required for Women's Artistic Gymnastics. Their shimmering lime-green leotard clad squad all scored above 8.5 on the floor exercise to record the highest scores for a novice team in The Bahamas. The two more experienced teams from New Providence battled it out on the other events - vault, balance beam and uneven bars.
Highest scorers in the all-around were Level 1's Sanaa Saunders, BSG; Level 2's Alexis Mayet, BSG; Level 3's Zoe Deveaux, Nassau 'Nastics; Level 4's Sydney Wells, BSG; and Level 6's Athalia Swann, BSG. Levels 5, 7 and 8 defaulted to single competitors, namely Caitlin Cash, and Toni and Toneka Johnson respectively. Level 2 was especially competitive as Alexis Mayet edged out fellow BSG teammate, Savannah Lightfoot by .05 to capture the top award. Mayet's score of 37.75 was also the highest all-around score for the entire meet.
Honorable mention is deserved for Freeport athletes who cracked the 9.0 (of 10) barrier which alludes many novice competitors, namely Level 1's Lauryn Hanna (9.55) and Danae Rollon (9.05) Level 2's Damia Williams (9.40), Jaiden Outten (9.15), Level 3's Gerniqua Smith (9.05) and Lynisha Russell (9.1), and Level 4's Mischa Moxey (9.0).
Host club Bahamas Star Gymnastics swept the team awards for having the two highest scores in their respective levels.
All-in-all, the meet directors and participating clubs were extraordinarily pleased with the opportunity which the local talent was able to access. U.S. based gymnasts can access as many as four meets per month by simply driving to a different city each weekend, for instance. The frequency of exposure to competitive meets is part of the reason for the phenomenal success that American athletes are achieving on the international level. Bahamas Star Gymnastics and Bahamas Gymnastics Parent Booster Club (BGPBC) aim to increase the opportunities for competitive meets, clinics and other events to enhance our local gymnasts' shots at success.
Many participating gymnasts discovered how delightful a moment of success feels as they mounted the awards podium to "present" themselves after investing grueling hours of preparation for the first inter-island and inter-club competition. If the fruit of success is "juicy sweet" then the after taste that many left the event with is "next time I'm determined to win it all". Complacency is the cancer of any sport and competition is its cure.
Michael Mathieu is one of just three Bahamians to qualify at the 'A' standard for the athletics portion of the 2012 Olympic Games in two individual events, creating a precarious situation of whether or not he would go after the double at the Olympics.
Well, prior to running in the second leg of the Brazilian Athletics Tour yesterday, he squashed that notion, by stating that he intends to focus solely on the 200 meters (m) at next month's Scotiabank Olympic Trials, thereby setting himself up to run just that individual event at the Olympics. Although he won't contest the 400m, Mathieu said he will still be available for the men's 4x400m relay, which is scheduled to start the day after the men's 200m final, at the London Olympics. On Sunday, he ran a national record setting time of 20.16 seconds for first place in the 200m at the first leg of the Brazilian Athletics Tour in Belem, and yesterday in Fortaleza, he tied a personal best time of 10.30 seconds for first place in the 100m. Brazilians Bruno Lins Tenorio de Barros and Diego Henrique de Farias Cavalcanti were second and third respectively, in times of 10.31 seconds and 10.42 seconds.
"I'm feeling pretty good," said Mathieu yesterday. " I just want to thank God for blessing me with my heart's desire. My goal was to set the national record (200m) at this meet, based on my training and fitness. Going into the race, I felt that I could do it or at least come close to it, so it's a great feeling to set my mark for a particular event and reach it.
"Dominic Demeritte was a great sprinter for The Bahamas and I knew the record was going to be hard to obtain, but I had faith in my ability. Last year, my focus was on the 400m, but I managed to run 20.38 early in the year so I decided to focus on the 200m for the World Championships. This year my focus is on the 200m and that's all I'm focused on," he added.
Former St. John's College sprinter Demeritte had the old national record in the 200m, 20.21 seconds, which he ran twice in 2002. On Sunday, Mathieu was able to lower that time in 35 degree weather in Belem, Brazil. He was poised to qualify for last year's 200m final at the Daegu World Championships but pulled up with a hip flexor injury in the semi-finals. He
finished the year with a season's best time of 20.38 seconds, and was more than two tenths faster than that time on Sunday.
"Last year, I think I would have done well if I didn't get injured," said Mathieu. "This year, I'm prepared to run the 200m and hopefully the 4x400m. The schedule for the 200m and the 4x400m at the Olympics is different than it was for last year's World Championships, so if I do make the final for the 200, I will still be able to run the 4x400 final, so that shouldn't be a problem," he added.
Last year, the heats and semis of the 200m and the final of the 4x400m were held on the same day at the World Championships. This year at the Olympics, the men's 4x400m heats are scheduled to be held the day after the men's 200m final. The final of the men's 4x400m is scheduled to be held the day after the heats.
As for the Scotiabank Olympic Trials, they are set for June 22-23 at the new Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium, and the athletics portion of this summer's Olympics are set to run from Friday, August 3 to Sunday, August 12, in London, England.
There was a time, the 1930s in this country, when cricket was the most popular sport. On Sundays, church services were the priority. Then, it was cricket. That was the order in the capital.
Spectators flocked to the various cricket grounds to watch the players, bedecked in all white, competing on teams called St. Albans, St. Bernard's, The Westerns, St. George's, the Police and St. Agnes. At the Priory Grounds, on the court previously used for tennis, Brother Christopher Foster had put in place a basketball program. Although not as popular as cricket, basketball definitely had a strong niche.
Leroy 'Uncle Lee' Archer remembers the era quite well. Recently, despite being 88 years advanced in this life, he reminisced and surprisingly (to me), came up with a lot of details (many of the names of players) about the teams that played at the priory in that pioneering basketball period. Archer informed that the teams included players from all walks of life, across social boundaries. They attracted accordingly, a varied audience, inclusive of top political, church, judicial, cultural and law fraternity figures such as the noted A.F. Adderley, Esq.
There was the team called the Dragons. Archer recalls this team included Gerald Isaacs, Kendal Isaacs, Stanley Archer, Toonka Knowles and Tommie Knowles. With Uncle Lee on the Rangers were Earnest Archer, Clifford Styles, Joseph Boodle, Franklyn Boodle, Raleigh Carroll and Robert Elliott.
There were also:
The Hornets (Roderick Simms, Zeke Poitier, Lorenzo Saunders, and Stanley Blair); the Spit Fires (Paul Crawley, Noel Gibson and James Whitfield); the Lions
(Buster Christie and Buster Bosfield); the Tigers (Dean William Granger, Eddie Granger and Matthew Sawyer); the Bulldogs (Richard Barrett, Reginald Saunders and Bill Martin); the Warriors (Willis Ferguson) and the Royals.
It was a very special period.
"That was a time of social order. We all understood how we were supposed to act, to get along, and the exceptions were quickly brought in line," Archer informed. "I remember one situation very well that tells a lot about the era. We were there, playing basketball and everybody enjoying the action when somebody loudly used profanity. Well, there was Fr. Ambrose and he was a no-nonsense man even though he was a priest. He was very different. Man, he went into the stands and put a beating on that fellow. You never saw anything like it, and, you know the fellow could not come back... because no one would allow him to disturb what we had. We lived by a certain standard back then. We respected each other no matter whether we disagreed or not. The ones who didn't know how to respect their fellow men were not allowed to associate with us. That's how it was," said Archer.
Indeed he speaks of a wonderful time in our Bahamas. It is good that he is still around to talk knowingly and precisely about what I call the 'Golden Era of The Bahamas'. It was a time of radiance in our Bahamaland. Continued best wishes Uncle Lee!
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the 100 meters (m) final for under-20 girls at the Colina CARIFTA Trials over the weekend was an indication of what's to come at the CARIFTA Track and Field Championships in Hamilton, Bermuda, then The Bahamas could be in for quite a treat in the event.
In her first local meet of the season, junior sprinter Anthonique Strachan not only qualified for all of the junior championships, set for this year, but she also dipped below the 'A' qualifying standard for the London Olympic Games. In the final on Friday, she defeated Shaunae Miller, who had dominated the sprints on the local front so far. Strachan's time of 11.22 seconds was below the Olympic Games 'A' qualifying standard of 11.29, and Miller came in just shy of the Olympic Games 'B' standard, of 11.38. She ran a personal best 11.41 seconds. Third place went to Carmeisha Cox who posted a time of 11.76 seconds.
All three athletes were below the qualifying standard for the International Association of Athletic Federation's (IAAF) World Junior Championships, and in the case of Strachan, she was just three one hundredths of a second off Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie's junior national record time.
Pulling out of the 200m final, after posting the fastest qualifying time, was Miller. Her absence left Strachan to pull off the double in the sprints.
Strachan got the win over Freeport native Rashan Brown and Cox. The winning time was 23.23 seconds. Brown and Cox posted times of 23.64 and 24.03 seconds respectively. Miller did not compete in the final due to a slight injury. She also opted out of the 400m.
A record number of athletes competed in the Colina CARIFTA Trials this past weekend which was sanctioned by the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA).
More than 20 athletes had already qualified for CARIFTA prior to the trials. Janae Ambrose was one of those athletes, so all she needed to do was finish in the top two this weekend to book a seat on the plane headed to Hamilton, Bermuda. Ambrose did just that, as she won the under-17 girls' 100m, dipping under the qualifying time for CARIFTA again, as well as meeting the standard set for the Jr. Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Championships and the World Junior Championships. Ambrose stopped the clock in 11.85 seconds. The BAAA had set 12.10 seconds as the standard for the Easter weekend CARIFTA Championships, and the standard for the Jr. CAC is 11.90 seconds. The international governing body for the sport, IAAF, set a qualifying time of 11.96 seconds for the World Junior Championships. This meet will be held in Barcelona, Spain, July 10-15.
In the under-17 final, Keianna Albury, Makeya White and Kadeisha Hield were all under the CARIFTA standard set. Albury clocked 12 seconds flat for second, and White ran 12.05 seconds for third. Hield finished fourth in 12.06 seconds.
The half lap event was also won by Ambrose, in a time of 24.38 seconds, which was also under the qualifying time for the World Junior Championships. Coming in second in that race was Juannae Lewis and Hield was third in times of 24.70 and 24.76 seconds respectively. Both times were under the mark set by the BAAA for CARIFTA.
Lewis won the 400m in 56.89 seconds and Geordine Thurston came in second in 57.64 seconds. The third place time was 58.36 seconds turned in by Dreshanae Rolle, who turned around and won the 800m in 2:19.32.
Booking her ticket to Bermuda was Taryn Rolle in the under-17 girls' triple jump. She had a best jump of 11.62m (38' 1-1/2"). Brashae Wood and Janelle Curtis qualified for CARIFTA and the Jr. CAC Championships in the discus throw. Wood led the charge with a best throw of 34.89m (114' 5") and Curtis recorded a best throw of 33.87m (111' 1"), done on her third attempt in the circle.
The top two finishers in the under-17 boys' 100m were Cliff Resias and Ian Kerr. Resias was also the winner of the 200m, leaving Kerr to settle for third in that event. Theotis Johnson split the duo for second.
Resias' time in the 100m was 10.82 seconds and Kerr followed in 10.97. Keanu Pennerman was third in 11.10 seconds. The clock was stopped at 21.79 seconds in the 200m. Johnson turned in a time of 21.86 seconds and Kerr finished in 21.93 seconds.
The two fastest times in the under-17 boys' 400m hurdles were well below the qualifying time for the Jr. CAC Championships. Xavier Coakley won the event in 54.46 seconds and D'Mitry Charlton came in second in 54.73 seconds. Both easily qualified for CARIFTA as well, which had a standard time of 57 seconds flat.
Coakley will also contest the long jump event. He soared 6.62m (21' 8-3/4") for the win over the weekend.
Strong man Drexel Maycock will lead the charge on the field in the shot put and discus throws events. Maycock qualified in both events.
Jonathon Farquharson will line up in the 100m for the under-20 boys. He crossed the finish line in 10.47 seconds. Blake Bartlett won the 200m in 21.19 seconds, and Elroy McBride took the 400m in 47.54 seconds.
Ashley Riley had the best time in the 800m, 1:53.93, and Patrick Bodie ran 14.27 seconds for the win in the 110m hurdles.