By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Malaki Smith returned from the Central American and Caribbean Age Group Championships held in Trinidad over the weekend, with silver and bronze medals while several of the territory’s athletes had top five finishes in two days of stiff competition among their regional counterparts.
Smith dipped under the 2009 record of 7.80 seconds of Barbados’ Mario Burke in the 11-12 Boys 60m dash with a time of 7.71 seconds, but had to settle for silver after Jamaica’s Terrique Stennett lowered the mark to 7.59 in the first event of the competition.
Smith, a Swaggers guard who helped them to victory in the Roger A. Hodge Summer Basketball League after scoring 18 points while training for the CAC Age Group competition, climbed from 14th place to just two points behind third overall after a 53.88m Baseball Throw to earn a bronze medal, to end Day I of the competition. He would finish 13th overall in the Pentathlon with 2831 points as the top VI’s placer in the division. Sha’el Lavacia was 19th with 2601. They competed in the 60m dash, Long Jump, High Jump, Baseball Throw and the 100m.
In the final event of the 13-14 Girls Heptathlon on Sunday afternoon, the BVI’s Tashara Edwards, who was fourth behind the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Mikaela Smith who won the gold medal, placed seventh overall in 3:27.66 for 499 of her 3490 points to end the competition in 14th place. She also competed in the 80m, Long Jump, Shot Put, 60m Hurdles, Baseball Throw and the High Jump.
Smith won the first heat of the two sections two and a half laps race that had a combined 27 participants in 3 minutes, 16.01 seconds to earn 573 points and finished 17th overall with a cumulative score of 3387 points.
Xiomara “Gia” Malone ran 3:54.72 for 19th overall, but had the highest placing of the Virgin Islands athletes in 12th place with 3553 points, on the strength of three top 10 finishes in the 80m, Long Jump and High Jump where she was fifth.
Ariyah Smith, who was fifth in the 11-12 Girls Pentathlon Long Jump with a personal best of 4.40m and in a three way tie for second in the High Jump, (there was also a four way tie for first) was 14th with 2305 points. Teammate Alisha Hayde placed 21st with 1723 as she came up with no marks in the High Jump after failing to clear the bar, then narrowly missed an 800m bronze in the final event after a personal best effort of 2 minutes 39.62 seconds.
Like the boys, they contested the 60m, Long Jump, High Jump, Baseball Throw and ran the 800m instead of the 1000m.