By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
FORT de FRANCE, Martinique—BVI athletes bagged four bronze medals, established three National Jr. Records, tied another and broke six National Youth Records in three days of intense competition among the region’s best, in the 43rd Carifta Games held in Fort de France, Martinique over the Easter weekend.
The four medals carried the overall total since 1978 to 37—18 of which have been won since 2011.
Sprinter Nelda Huggins won a medal for the fourth successive year and matched the bronze she won in 2011 to go with two silver medals over the last two years, when she placed third in the U18 Girls 100m in 11.64 seconds. The race had a +3.3 mps illegal tailwind.
Huggins equaled her personal best and National Youth Record from May last year, in winning the second of three heats in 11.77 seconds (+0.9), to qualify for the July 22-27 IAAF World Jr. Championships in a second event. L’Tisha “Lea” Fahie was a non advancing fourth in 12.13 seconds (+2.0) in her heat.
Huggins dipped under 24.00 seconds for the first time in her career when she placed fourth in the 200m in 23.91 seconds to take down Chantel Malone’s four-year old National Jr. Record of 23.97. Huggins’ race had a +0.9 wind reading and demolished her 24.24 best from last year. Her mark is also a National Youth Record.
Huggins—became the BVI’s most prolific Carifta Games medalist with seven, breaking a tie with both Keita Cline and Chantel Malone who bagged six each—won her 200m heat in 23.6 seconds hand time.
Tynelle Gumbs gave the BVI its second medal on Sunday morning, when she earned an U20 Girls Discus Throw bronze with a heave of 40.45m—the second best mark of her career. Seeking to add a Javelin Throw medal, Gumbs had to settle for fourth place after a best measurement of 37.90m. She mined U17 gold in 2012 and U20 silver in 2013.
Later in the day, Kyron McMaster put the disappointment of Saturday night’s sixth place finish in the 400m final in 49.10 seconds behind, to snatch bronze in a National Youth Record time of 52.85 seconds in the U18 Boys 400m Intermediate Hurdles. It was only his third time running the event after he placed third in his heat in 56.08 to reach the final.
In the BVI’s final event of Sunday evening, the quartet of Zacharia “Zakie” Frett, Kala Penn, L’Tisha “Lea” Fahie and Huggins, won the territory’s fourth bronze when they finished third behind Jamaica and the Bahamas in the U18 Girls 4x100m Relay, with a National Jr. Record time of 46.30 seconds. The mark eclipsed the 46.62 ran at the Leeward Islands Invitational in 2013. They ran 46.85 in the semis to finish third.
In the U20 Girls Shot Put, Trevia Gumbs’ medal streak—which began in the U17 Girls division in Bermuda during the 2012 edition—ended when she had a best throw in the competition of 12.38m good enough for fourth place. Her twin sister Tyelle was sixth in 11.97m.
Lakeisha “Mimi” Warner saw her 2-years run of Carifta bronze medals end when she placed fourth in the U18 Girls 800m in 2 minutes, 15.84 seconds. She ran 2:17.81 in the semis. Tarique “Tweety” Moses had a non-qualifying time of 2:04.23 in the U20 Boys 800m.
Deya Erickson started the last day of competition by advancing to her first U18 Girls 100m Hurdles final where she finished fifth in 14.32 seconds. She ran a personal best and National Youth Record time of 14.16 in the semis to place third.
The U18 Girls 4x400m quartet of Lakeisha “Mimi” Warner, Zacharia “Zakie” Frett, Beyonce DeFreitas and Judine Lacey, finished in eight place. Lacey was making a back stretch move when she was bumped and the stick fell from her hand and she hat to retrieve it. They finished in 4:00.37 seconds after running 3:49.60 to place third in their heat.
Arianna Hayde continued the stellar performances of debutants when she finished seventh overall in the Heptathlon with a National Youth and National Jr. Record of 3,769 points, which came after winning her 800m heat in 2 minutes 40.39 seconds—good for 4th overall. Only Kanishque “Kadi” Todman’s 4188 points from last year is better.
Akeem Bradshaw, making his debut in the U18 Boys Triple Jump, took down Keita Cline’s 1991 National Youth mark of 14.87m with a leap of
14.90m to place fifth overall. He had a +1.1 mps wind at his back. He narrowly missed his Long Jump personal best by .01 cms when he cut the sand at 6.91m to finish sixth.
Dekoya Hodge, another debutant, placed fifth in the U18 Girls Shot Put with a personal best throw of 13.55m after opening with a 13.47m heave. It’s the second best mark for an U18 Girl behind Trevia Gumbs’ 14.02m national standard.
Tahj Malone cleared 1.90m to place ninth overall in the U18 Boys High Jump.
Beyonce DeFreitas ran an U18 Girls 400m personal best of 58.05 seconds to place fourth in her heat while Judine Lacey—who anchored the 4x400m silver medal team in the Bahamas—ran 59.91 to place fifth in her debut in another heat. Neither advanced.
Khari Herbert was sixth in his second U20 Boys 400m final in 48.43 seconds after running 48.66 in the semis. Tarique Moses finished seventh in his heat with a time of 49.88 seconds in the same heat. Ronique Todman had a non-advancing fifth place run of 51.22 in his U18 Boys 400m heat.
Taylor Hill ran 12.05 seconds (+2.3) in her U20 Girls 100m heat to finish fourth but did not advance. She ran 25.07 in the 200m.
Kala Penn had an unlooked for 12th place finish in the U18 Girls Triple Jump after leaping 11.27m. Before taking up 4x100m Relay duties on the second leg, Penn was seventh in the Long Jump with a leap of 5.60m aided by a +2.6 mps breeze. Ashley Penn was 18th after a 4.95m effort.