By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
The British Virgin Islands Athletics Association on Tuesday morning announced a squad of 13—including 11 females—for the 44th annual Carifta Games, which will be held at Silver Jubilee Stadium in twin the islands federation of St, Kitts-Nevis—April 3-6.
Considered one of the strongest teams ever assembled, the bulk of the squad—which doesn’t include any U18 Male athletes for the first time in years—is in the U20 division with 11 athletes, eight of them female.
Additionally, 11 of the 13 athletes have recorded a personal best performance this season with eight of the marks being a national record.
Athletes comprising the team with their season’s bests are; U18 Girls: L’Tisha Fahie: 100/200m: 12.01/25.19. Arianna Hayde, Long Jump, Javelin Throw: 5.42m/39.59m and Kala Penn, Long Jump, Triple Jump: 5.58/11.47m.
U20 Girls: Tarikah Moses, 800m, 2:12.46. Tynelle Gumbs, Javelin Throw, Discus Throw and Shot Put: 36.95/42.16/12.98. Treivia Gumbs: Shot Put and Discus Throw, 14.59/37.77m. Nelda Huggins, 100/200m: 11.85/24.95 seconds.
Taylor Hill, 100/200m: 12.02/24.38 seconds. Jonel Lacey: 400m Hurdles 1:02:61. Deya Erickson: 100m Hurdles, 14.09 seconds. Lakeisha “Mimi” Warner, 400m Hurdles 1:04.71.
U20 Boys: Akeem Bradshaw: Long Jump/Triple Jump: 7.25/14.78m and Kyron McMaster: 400m Hurdles 51.83 seconds.
Four athletes who have competed at the Carifta Games before—two of them with individual medals—will be debuting in five different events. Moses, a 2013 U17 Girls 400m silver medalist who missed the event last year because of injuries, will contest the 800m. Warner—who won U17 Girls 800m bronze medals in 2012 and 2013 but missed the podium last year—will see action in the 400m Intermediate Hurdles along with Jonel Lacey, who ran the 100, 200m and 300m Hurdles before, but wasn’t on last year’s squad. It also marks the first time that the BVI will field female 400m Hurdlers.
Arianna Hayde, at 15 the team’s youngest member who established a National Jr. Record in making her Heptathlon debut last year, will compete in the Long Jump and Javelin Throw.
An U20 4×100 and 4x400m Relay squad has also been entered for the first time since the territory began participating in the event in 1976. Last year’s squad earned four bronze medals.
BVI Athletics Association General Secretary Delva Thomas will manage the team, which will be coached by Erwin “Reds” Telemaque, Karene King and Bianca Dougan. Marie Lumley and Christine Jackson will provide medical services.