By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
For the first time since the territory’s athletes began attending schools in the United States in 1976, three male athletes who have contributed to the 4x100m and 4x400m Relay records this season, are off to colleges and university, marking the first time that many have gone off at the same time.
Long and Triple Jumper Akeem Bradshaw who anchored the 4x100m Relay to 40.54 seconds will attend Iowa Central College. Rikkoi Brattwaite who replaced Bradshaw on the 4x100m Relay anchor leg and helped the team to break 40 seconds for the first time with a time of 39.78 seconds and lowered the 100m Jr. record to 10.43 seconds, is attending Indiana.
Adriano Gumbs who contributed to the 4x400m Relay that broke the 1984 Olympic Games team mark of 3 minutes 11.89 seconds with a third leg carry on the team that ran 3:11.03, will take his talents to Barton County Community College.
Bradshaw, who’s planning to study in the technical area, said he’s looking forward to improving his jumping skills as well as his academics. He has jumped 7.45m in the Long Jump and 15.46m in the Triple Jump and is looking for major improvements in both events.
“Based on the program there, I should be able to do a lot better, focusing more on training and schoolwork,” said Bradshaw who ran middle distances before turning his attention to the jumps and qualifying for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. “I’ve come from jumping low 6m in the Long Jump and low 14m in the Triple and took it to 15.46, I actually believe I can do better, getting the right training and focus.”
Bradshaw says he favors the Triple Jump over the Long Jump.
“I like the feeling,” he said. “I get a different energy vibe. I feel when I go out there I can make something out of it and get in the mid 17s.”
Gumbs who has a 48.62 seconds best in the 400m, said he’s looking to excel in his athletic career and get an academic scholarship and want to major in insurance and business administration finance.
“I traveled this year more than any other time and that was fun, as well as getting to be a part of the senior team, that was also exciting for me,” stated Gumbs who the newest of the lot to track. “Still being a junior, I was able to learn a few tricks from the older guys who have a longer career than I have.”
Gumbs who has dabbled in the 400m Hurdles, said he’d like to focus on that event a bit more. “The hurdles will be an asset for my 400m because it will make my 400 a lot faster,” he said. “So, I’ll probably be doing a lot more in the 400m Hurdles.”
Brathwaite has been the BVI’s most consistent 100m Jr. athlete in its history with several races this season between 10.43 and 10.48 seconds and wanted to get into the 10.3s this year. He’s eyeing improvements in college and says his start has to improve.
“I used to be a pretty good starter but for some reason, I lost it and now I’m trying to get it back,” said Brathwaite, who will study Exercise Science with the ultimate goal of getting a post graduate degree in Physical Therapy. “Competition wise, my goals are to surpass my previous personal bests by a considerable amount and ultimately, make the team to nationals as a freshman.”
Outside of competition, he said he expects to meet a diverse community, where it’s easy for him to interact with different people.
Meanwhile, sprinter L’T’Sha Fahie, will join Tarika “Tinkerbell” Moses at College of the Sequoias, in California. Fahie lowered her 100m personal best to 11.67 seconds this season.