By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
St. Augustine senior Khari Herbert closed out his collegiate career on Saturday with a third place finish in the 400m at the NCAA Division II Championships held in Bradenton, Florida, earning All American honors in the process, while helping them to the title with a stellar anchor leg on the 4x400m Relay.
Herbert shaved .05 seconds off his best and missed the 38-year old BVI 400m national record by .06 when he finished third in 46.10 seconds, after running 46.56 in the prelims.
“The goal going in was to come out as national champion,” said Herbert who was second indoors in his pet event in March. “But, I felt short of that and came up with a personal best, so I was happy with that. I wish it was 45 something and I was debating about diving. But, I’m grateful and I know I’m going in the right direction. Now I’m going to work my way towards qualifying for worlds, so I’m just gonna keep dropping that time.”
He then anchored the 4x400m Relay to victory with a 45.22 seconds split, in 3 minutes, 06.96 seconds, giving the St. Augustine Falcons their fifth successive NCAA Division II title, after amassing 58 points. Herbert is the only member of the 2017 team to have been on four successive championship teams.
Injuries knocked twins and Findlay Jrs., Tynelle and Trevia Gumbs out of their first NCAA Division II Championships. Tynelle however, was voted the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Midwest Region Field Athlete of the Year in the Midwest Region.
Gumbs, who was named all-region in both the Discus and Hammer throw, was named the 2017 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Field Athlete of the Year earlier this season. She ranks seventh among all NCAA Division II competitors in the Discus at 50.52m (165’9” and is ranked eighth nationally in the Hammer Throw at 59.31m (194’7”).
A GLIAC champion during the outdoor season in the Discus, Gumbs also secured honors as the GLIAC Athlete of the Meet at the league championship.
Meanwhile, Clemson freshman Lakeisha “Mimi” Warner is the only BVI athlete that will compete in the June 7-10 NCAA Division I Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Warner, who didn’t fare well in the 400m Hurdles in the NCAA East Regional in Lexington, Kentucky where she was seventh in 59.55 second in her quarter final after winning her heat in 58.74, made up in the 4x400m Relay.
She contributed a 52.8 seconds third leg carry on the 4x400m Relay, that finished seventh in a season’s best 3 minutes, 32.67 seconds and advanced to the main event.
At the Golden South Classic in Clermont, Fla., Rikkoi Bratwaithe improved his 10.55 seconds BVI Jr. 100m national record with a run of 10.47 seconds, to win his preliminary heat. He was second in the final in 10.34 seconds, but the race had a 3.4 meters per second tailwind, over the allowable 2.0.
Arianna Hayde was third in the Prep Long Jump with a leap of 5.25m (17’3”).
Joshua Hill ran a 400m personal best of 49.30 seconds in the prelims and 49.31 in the final to place sixth, while Rakeel Jack had a non-advancing time of 49.66.
Beyonce DeFreitas was finished seventh in the Classic 400m and was timed in 56.64 seconds after running 56.65 in the prelims. Akrisa Eristee ran 58.39 in the prelims.