By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
The Lone Ranger is not alone anymore. For the first time in its history, the BVI will have two athletes competition at the IAAF World Indoor Championships.
Veteran Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, a 2008 bronze medalist, is in her fourth championships and will contest the 60m dash will be joined by Ashley Kelly, who will see action in the 400m.
The 15th edition will be held in Portland, Oregon, March 15-17. Kelly will see action on Friday and Harrigan-Scott get into the blocks on Saturday.
Harrigan-Scott said she’s excited about having Kelly at World Indoors as she has been the lone ranger. “I know our county has the talent and the athletes to qualify, so to see it starting to happen at this level, it’s the start of something great and something that’s going to continue happening on a consistent basis,” she predicted. “This is just the first of many. The door was opened up and I think Ashley is going to have a phenomenal season. She has been running really spectacular and I think we are going to go out there and have a great showing.”
Harrigan-Scott said this year is more about fun and not focusing on indoors as her major goal is outdoors with indoors being a bonus and her training has been going extremely well. “I’ve been working on the different phases to transition to the 100m because that’s my optimal race and so far, so good,” she said. “It has been one of my fastest indoor seasons for the last two years and I feel very confident about it. My strength level is definitely up, I think I can handle the rounds and it’s just to make sure I execute.”
She’s taking a 7.20 seconds season’s best into the meet and said her competitions this year have been really spread out unlike in past World Championships, where she raced consistently indoors. This time around, she has four competitions under her belt.
“I feel really good and I’m feeling really strong,” she stated. “I think everything is going to come together during the World Championships. I’ve been training really well and gearing up towards it, everything should work out really well. I’m at peace with myself.”
A 2008 bronze medalist, a 2010 finalist, she ran 7.17 seconds in 2014—the same time as Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown—who got the eight and final spot. From that experience she said you can’t leave it up to the clock but have to put yourself in the position. “Once there’s an opportunity for someone else to choose another person, then you basically took yourself out the equation,” she noted. “This year, I’m going to ensure I give it my all and make sure there’s no second guesses whether I should go to the next round.”
Kelly said her main goal is to perform well and do what she has been doing in practices. “My goal is to take each round one at a time and do what I have to do to get through each round,” she stated. “Then hopefully, what I want will happen, so I’m looking for a good performance.”
Kelly has run personal best over 60, 200 and 400m this season and said with no school to concentrate on and she has been getting adequate rest and meet her different Doctor’s appointments.
“I’m trusting the people I have around me and they really have my best interest,” she said. “Some of the things I’ve done—personal bests so early—has been a surprise. I wasn’t expecting much. I was just going out and attacking different parts of my race, so focusing on certain things really did help me in getting personal bests so I’m really happy.”