By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Super Conference Weekend ended with BVI athletes winning 8 medals in 4 different Conferences, claiming 4 National Records, establishing 9 Personal Bests in 2 different sports, Swimming and Track and Field. On the home front, four athletes qualified for the World jr. Championships.
Gold: Super Conference Weekend began with swimmer Elinah Phillip of Florida International University, winning gold in the Conference USA, 50m Free, in a personal best and National Record time of 22.33 seconds, breaking her previous best of 22.41 at the Big Ten Championships swimming for Rutgers. She advanced to the final with the second best time of 22.64.
On the track, Indiana’s Rikkoi Brathwaite, repeated as Big Ten Conference 60m champion, when he broke the tape in 6.57 seconds after advancing to the final with 6.67. He joined Minnesota’s Keita Cline, who won the 1994 and 1995 Triple Jump, as an indoor repeat champion.
At the Southland Conference, Diamante Gumbs destroyed his 17.27m previous best, the Northwestern State University, school record of 18.71 and eclipsed Eldred Henry’s 19.56m National Record, to win the Southland Conference, 35 lbs Weight Throw, with a heave of 19.57m (64’2-1/2″). Besides Henry, he joined Eric Matthias who previously held the National Record at 19.50m, as the third BVI athlete to throw 19.50m or better.
After recording a 49.95 personal best in the prelims, Elinah Phillip picked up her second Conference USA individual medal to go with two relay golds, when she earned 100m Free silver, in a personal best of 49.87 secs.
Central Florida’s Beyonce DeFreitas, also bagged silver, when she ran a personal best of 23.65 seconds for second in the American Athletics Conference, 200m. After leading qualifiers in the GLVC 60m, Zara Brown of Southwestern Baptist, was second in the 60m dash in 7.54 secs, after churning 7.47 in the prelims.
With his twin brother, conference leader and school record holder Djimon fouling, Diamante Gumbs, stepped up to win the Shot Put crown, by shattering his 15.88m personal best, with a heave of 16.66m (54’8″).
Competing just 40m mins after the 60m, Brown grabbed 200m bronze in an indoor personal best of 24.90 secs.
Utah State’s Xiomara “Gia” Malone, became the BVI’s first athlete to penetrate the 1.70m High Jump barrier, when she tied for fourth in the Mountain West Conference, after scaling the bar at 1.72m (5’7-3/4). Malone who last month broke the 28 year old mark of 1.65m established in 1994 by Virgin Gorda’s Takola Creque, that was tied by Malone’s sister Chantel in 2008 and her former Timber Creek High School teammate Z’Niah “Z” Hutchinson in 2016, cleared 1.66, before her breakthrough jump.
Akira Phillip, a Javelin Throw specialist, the third BVI athlete at Northwestern State University, eclipsed the 12m barrier for the first time in the Shot Put, when she reached 12.01m (39’4¾”).
Eastern New Mexico’s Arianna Hayde, was 5th in the Lone Star Conference Long Jump with a 5.49m (18’0”) effort and was 6th in the Triple Jump with 11.42m (37’5 ¾”).
Six athletes met the Carifta Games standard with four of them also achieving World Jr. Championships marks at Saturday’s 5th Dag Samuels Development Series, as U18 and U20 national records also tumbled.
Jaleel Croal added the 100m to his World Jr. Championships 200m qualifier, when he bolted to a personal best of 10.41 seconds, (-0.4) the No 4 All Time BVI mark, to take down Rikkoi Brathwaite’s U20 standard of 10.43.
Khybah Dawson capped a scintillating combination week of track and field by snatching Keita Cline’s 31-year old U18 Long Jump mark. After a 14.32m (46’11¾”) Triple Jump to win the Elmore Stoutt High School pre-events for O’Neal House, then a 21.79 seconds 200m in the Samuel Series, he joined Croal as the BVI’s 2nd male World Jrs. qualifier, when he cut the sand at 7.58m (24’10½”), to eclipse Cline’s 7.42m (24’4¼”) from 1991. Dawson also broke Cline’s 7.50m (24’7¼”) U20 Jr. Record from 1994.
Kaelyaah Liburd and Akrisa Eristee, not only qualified for the Carifta Games, but also World Jrs. Liburd’s 54.76 400m, qualified her for both events, while Eristee added the 200m, ran in 24.32, to her earlier 400m qualifier.
Wanyaé Bell grabbed a 400/200m sprint double, with personal records of 48.48 and 21.49 respectively, qualifying for Carifta in both sprints. Jonathan Lynch also qualified in the U18 Boys 800m after running 2:03.26.
Khamauri Crabbe dropped a 200m season’s best of 22.03 seconds in winning his heat and was 5th overall in the Spartan Invitational, after finishing 2nd in the 400m he ran in 49.30.
Adajeah Hodge leapt to a season’s best 5.90m (19’4½”), to win the Chapel Hill All Comers Invite in Georgia.