By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Anchor leg Jonel Lacey capped off her Carifta Games career in fine fashion on Monday night, to end the 44th edition of the regional premier Jr. Championships at the Kim Collins Stadium in Bird Rock, St. Kitts and Nevis, helping the BVI to snatch the U20 Girls 4x400m Relay silver medal from the Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago, ending the competition with two silver and one bronze medal.
With Jamaica winning its seventh straight relay of the games, it came down to see who would grab the remaining medals from among the three teams—and who would go home without. The BVI trailed the Bahamas as Hill—who earlier ran 100/200m personal bests—ran a strong leg after getting the stick from Moses—who wasn’t at her best. Hill—held off the Trinidad and Tobago runner trying to pass at the exchange to Lacey.
Lacey immediately put the team in third place behind the Bahamas with Trinidad and Tobago challenging. Lacey—an individual 400m Intermediate Hurdles silver medalist on Sunday night—unleashed a ferocious kick over the last 120m, surging past the Bahamas runner and kept the distance for the silver medal ahead of Trinidad and Tobago, finishing in 3 minutes 46.43 seconds. It was the 40th Carifta Games medal won since the first in 1978 and the third best time ever run by BVI women.
It was the first time the BVI had fielded an U20 Girls 4x400m Relay since it began participating in the Carifta Games in 1976.
Lacey—who missed the games last year—returned and debuted in the 400m Intermediate Hurdles where she finished third for an individual medal in a personal best of 1 minute, 01.26 seconds. Lacey was followed by Lakeisha “Mimi” Warner—who won 800m bronze medals in 2012 and 2013—and was fourth in 1:01.65 in just her second time over the barriers. She ran 1:04.71 a week earlier in heir first go over the barriers. Lacey’s time is the fastest electronic time ever by a BVI athlete and only trails Pat Archibald’s 60.0 seconds hand time from 1982 on the territory’s All Time List.
Trevia Gumbs won the BVI’s first medal on Saturday morning in the Shot Put with 14.83m measurement on her second attempt to break her own National Record—marking the 11thsuccessive week that some level of BVI record had been established since Jan 23—a first in BVI Athletics Association history.
The final day began with Tynelle Gumbs in the U20 Girls Javelin Throw with a heave of 37.90m—the second best mark of her career—during the morning session, to finish sixth overall. She was seventh in the Discus Throw during the evening session with a best effort of 38.86m. Twin sister Trevia finished fifth with a personal best twirl—while cracking the 40m mark for the first time in her career—with a heave of 40.18m. She beat Tynelle for the second consecutive time, increasing her best from 38.74 in her last meet in Arizona.
Monday afternoon didn’t start off well for the BVI as U20 Girls 100m Hurdler Deya Erickson—who was in medal contention and clipped the fifth hurdle—lost her balance, stumbled into the next hurdle and disappointedly, did not finish the race.
Moses—a 2013 U17 Girls 400m silver medalist—ran a strong race her first 800m at a championships level, but finished fourth in 2:14.80 in her outdoor debut in the event, after running 2:12.46 indoors.
Beyonce DeFreitas—the only 14-year old to make the U18 Girls 200m final and was initially ruled ineligible to compete because of her age, a decision that affected several countries but was dropped during Friday’s Technical meeting—ran a personal best of 24.50 seconds to place fifth, with a +1.5 meters per second tailwind, running from Lane 7. She lowered her best from 24.79 in the prelims. Only eight other BVI athletes have run faster. Because the ruling came late, she did not run the 400m prelims on Friday night.
In the U20 Girls 200m, running from the inside lane, Huggins had a sixth placed finish in a wind aided 23.92 seconds aided by a +4.3 tailwind.
Huggins—who was a disappointing sixth in the 100m in 12.13 seconds behind Taylor Hill’s 11.86 after a personal best of 11.83 in the semis—advanced to the 200m final on time after finishing in 24.15 seconds in third—right behind the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Quashira McIntosh’s 24.04. It was the first time since 2011 that Huggins—who ran 11.98 to advance to the 100m final—has returned from the Carifta Games without a medal after earning seven so far. Hill ran a personal best of 24.24—but missed the final by one place.
Triple Jumper Akeem Bradshaw—who was fifth in the Long Jump with a personal best leap of 7.26m—finished eight in the U20 Boys Triple Jump after getting a best measurement of 14.18m.
Kyron McMaster narrowly missed a 400m Intermediate Hurdles bronze medal by 0.15 seconds when he finished fourth in 51.92 seconds.
On Saturday, aided by a +2.7 meters per second wind, L’Tisha Fahie advanced to her first Carifta Games U18 Girls final when she ran 11.85 seconds to grab one of the two automatic spots on offer in the second of three heats in the semifinal competition. Fahie then placed sixth in the 100m final matching the time in the semis—but the wind was +1.3 mps, well below the legal limit of 2.0—chopping her best from 12.01, jumping to No. 8 on the territory’s All Time List.
Arianna Hayde and Kala Penn competing in the U18 Girls Long Jump on Friday, where Hayde finished seventh with a leap of 5.17m while Penn was 10th after cutting the sand at 5.01m. As she wasn’t among the eight Long Jump finalists Hayde went straight to the Javelin Throw and settled for a best effort of 37.80m on her opening throw and fouled the others to finish ninth. Penn’s best Triple Jump measurement was 11.47m which placed her seventh overall.