By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
When Jashani “Jahferre” Farrington toed the line in Saturday’s Dag Samuels Development Series 800m, coming from a background of participating in different sports unlike his rivals who have been track dominant athletes, he was putting his musculoskeletal development through a stern test.
By time Farrington crossed the line in the 2-lap race and stopped the clock at 1 minute 57.56 seconds, he had run the fastest 800m by a BVI athlete since 2013. In the process, he shattered Tarique “Tweety” Moses’ 2011 National Youth Record for U18 athletes of 1:59.00 and landed on the BVI’s All Time List as the No 7 performance, since the BVI Athletics Association was formed in 1970.
“An 800 is two laps. For the first lap you pace yourself and on the second one, you put in some more work until you reach the 300m and then you go from there,” Farrington told Island Sun Sports, noting that he was surprised to break 2:00.00. “My coach told me if I did what he told me to do, I’d take it.”
Farrington who challenged his rivals during the 2020 Elmore Stoutt High School inter-house sports day and was narrowly edged on the line by Jelani Croal, 2:09.61—2:09.64 and relegated Croal to a distant second on Saturday in 2:06.74, said he has been playing basketball, volleyball, baseball and tennis before turning his focus to track now.
“They say, I’m a person that has energy, which is good so just put my effort into it,” he said of the 800m, where he easily beat his rivals whose only sport has been track. “They (teammates) said don’t worry about them and I can be the fastest of everybody,” he said. “The plan is to keep working.”
As she prepares for the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games qualifying round of the Women’s Long Jump on Aug 1, Chantel Malone is showing consistency. The territory’s standard bearer had the best series of her career under all conditions, with three jumps over 7.00m on Saturday, at the Chula Vista High Performance Meet #2 in Chula Vista, California. She cut the sand at 7.06m (23’2”), (+4.7) on her second attempt, 7.05m (23’1½”), (+1.6) on her third and 7.10m (23’3½”), (+4.7) on her fourth, as winds robbed of her of a new personal best.
In the process, she relegated 7-time IAAF World champion and Olympic Games gold and silver medalist Brittney Reese of the USA to second, with her 7.05m (23’1½”) (+2.4) effort.
Meanwhile, Olympic hopeful Ashley Kelly had 200 and 400m season’s best, competing in the Tru Fit Athletics Series in Miami. Kelly ran 23.72 seconds (+2.0) over the half lap to win her heat and was fourth overall. She lowered her 400m season’s best to 54.21 seconds.
On the Collegiate scene, 9 of the territory’s 13 athletes on collegiate rosters saw weekend action. New Mexico Jr. College Sophomore Djimon Gumbs, became the 5th BVI athlete to throw the Javelin over 50m with his personal heave of 50.53m (165’9) to finish fourth at the Don Kirby Open in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His mark is No 5 All Time. Twin brother Diamante upped his Shot Put personal best form 15.43m (50’7½”) to 15.88m (52’1¼”) in winning the event, the No 4 All Time BVI mark. Djimon was 7th with a 14.10m (46’3¼”) effort. Diamante was2nd in the Discus Throw, extending his personal best from 50.22m (164’9¼”) to 50.39m (165’4”).
At the same competition, UTEP Freshman Josh Hill, was sixth in the 400m, with a time of 47.69 seconds.
Clemson Sr. Lakeisha “Mimi” Warner, ran a 400m season’s best of 58.44 seconds, to finish third at the UCF Knights Invite, in Orlando, Florida. At the same meet, South Florida Sr. Akeem Bradshaw, was 3rd in the Long Jump with a season’s best leap of 7.08m (23’2¾”).
Indiana Sophomore Rikkoi Brathwaite, won the Big 10 Relays 100m in 10.46 seconds, in a meet in Champaign, Illinois.
Zara Brown, a Southwest Baptist Freshman, was third in the Pittsburg State University Tune Up 100m. She had a wind aided 11.70 seconds (+2.3) in the final, after running 11.83 (+3.8) in the prelims.
Florida A&M Jr. Zakharia “Zakie” Frett, debuted with 12.56 seconds for fifth in her heat of the FAMU 100m prelims. Frett has a season’s best of 25.37 seconds in the 200m.
Last weekend, Utah State Freshman Xiomara “Gia” Malone, made her Collegiate Heptathlon debut, scoring a personal best 4358 points, No 2 on the BVI All Time List. Her mark is 97 points shy of Arianna Hayde’s 4455 mark.