By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Ashley Kelly had the best season of her athletics career that culminated with the BVI Athletics Association Sr. Female Athletes of the Year award presented by Sol, while Eldred Henry got the top billing for a fourth successive year, during the Dec 29 eight annual Athletes Awards Gala at the Moorings Mariner Inn.
Kelly joined Tahesia Harrigan-Scott in becoming just the second BVI woman in its history to qualify for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Indoor Championships and the Olympic Games in the same season, when she made the 400m standard for the March championships and then the 200m for the Rio Olympic Games.
Along the way, she broke the 400m National Record in winning the 2nd OECS Championships 400m in July with a time of 52.29 seconds, after running a personal best of 23.17 seconds in the 200m earlier in the season, to qualify for the Olympic Games. Her time is #2 on the BVI All Time List. She also joined Harrigan-Scott, Chantel Malone and Karene King, in breaking the BVI and OECS 4x100m Relay Record on home soil, when they ran 43.45 seconds behind Puerto Rico’s 43.43 seconds national best. The BVI’s time was among the top 23 in the world.
“Winning Athlete of the Year is definitely an honor,” said Kelly from New York who missed the event. “It showed the fruits of my labor and 2016 was a really, really good year for me. I worked really hard and I’m just focusing on making 2017 even better.”
Henry won the North American Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) U23 Championships bronze medals in the Shot Put and Discus Throw events, the first BVI’s field event medals in the competition and the territory’s first medals in the championships since 2000.
IAAF World Jr. Championships 400m Hurdles bronze medalist Kyron McMaster, who was unable to represent Central Arizona College outdoors because of a back injury after winning the Jr. Colleges Indoor Championships 400m, was the Jr. Athlete of the Year. He ran 49.56 seconds to win the IAAAF World Jr. Championships bronze.
Carifta Games 800m bronze medalist Tarika Moses got the nod over Lakeisha Warner as the Jr. Female Athlete of the year. Warner won Carifta Games 400m silver in 58.14 seconds to break the BVI and OECS Record in the event. She was also an IAAF World Jr. Championships 400m automatic qualifier, while Moses who qualified for World Jrs., did not advance in the 400m although she set indoor records in the 500, 600 and 800m.
Ariyah Smith and Malaki Smith were the respective Youth Female and Youth Male athletes of the Year.
Besides the Jr. Female Athlete of the Year award, there were some awards that raised eyebrows in the Most Outstanding category.
Long and Triple Jumper Akeem Bradshaw was awarded the Most Outstanding Combined Field Events Male Athlete over Eldred Henry, who won the territory’s first North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) U23 Championships medals in the Shot Put and Discus Throw, earning bronze medals in both events.
Similarly, there was a tie for the Combined Field Events Most Outstanding Female Athlete, between Tynelle Gumbs and Arianna Hayde. Gumbs who also missed out on the Collegiate Athlete of the Year award that went to Khari Herbert, won the National Jr. Colleges Championships Weight Throw, by breaking the 21 year old Collegiate Championships Record with a throw of 20.91m. She also earned an Outdoor Championships Discus Throw silver medal and Indoor and Outdoor Championships Jr. College Championships All America Honors in the Weight Throw and Discus Throws and established BVI National Records in the two previous events as well as the Hammer Throw. Hayde on the other hand, established a Youth Javelin Throw Record.
The U15 Girls Most Outstanding Female Athlete went to Tashara Edwards over Zara Brown, who had beaten her in the sprints.
Dag Samuels was the 2016 Coach of the Year while Ralston Henry was the Jr. Coach of the Year.
Following are the Most Outstanding Track and Field Athletes of 2016
2016 Most Outstanding Combined Track Events Male Athlete- Kyron McMaster
2016 Most Outstanding Combined Field Events Male Athlete- Akeem Bradshaw
2016 Most Outstanding Combined Track Events Female Athlete- Ashley Kelly
2016 Most Outstanding Combined Field Events Female Athlete- Tynelle Gumbs, Arianna Hayde
2016 Most Outstanding Combined Events Male Athlete- Akeem Bradshaw
2016 Most Outstanding Men’s Open Track Athlete- Kyron McMaster
2016 Most Outstanding Women’s Open Track Athlete- Ashley Kelly
2016 Most Outstanding Men’s Open Field Athlete- Eldred Henry
2016 Most Outstanding Women’s Open Field Athlete- Tynelle Gumbs
2016 Most Outstanding Boys Under 20 Track Athlete- Kyron McMaster
2016 Most Outstanding Girls Under 20 Track Athlete- Tarika Moses
2016 Most Outstanding Boys Under 20 Field Athlete- Akeem Bradshaw
2016 Most Outstanding Girls Under 20 Field Athlete- Britney Peters
2016 Most Outstanding Boy Under 18 Track Athlete- Rikkoi Brathwaite
2016 Most Outstanding Girls Under 18 Track Athlete- Beyonce Defreitas
2016 Most Outstanding Boys Under 18 Field Athlete- Djimon Gumbs
2016 Most Outstanding Girl Under 18 Field Athlete- Arianna Hayde, Z’Niah Hutchinson
2016 Most Outstanding Boys Under 15 Track Athlete- Malaki Smith
2016 Most Outstanding Girls Under 15 Track Athlete- Tashira Edwards
2016 Most Outstanding Boys Under 15 Field Athlete- Malaki Smith
2016 Most Outstanding Girls Under 15 Field Athlete- Xiomara Malone
2016 Most Outstanding Boys 13 Field Athlete- Khybah Dawson
2016 Outstanding Girl Under 13 Field Athlete- Ariyah Smith
2016 Outstanding Boys Under 13 Track Athlete- Khybah Dawson
2016 Outstanding Girls Under 13 Track Athlete- Ariyah Smith
2016 Most Outstanding Boys Under 11 Track Athlete- Kaleem Lettsome
2016 Most Outstanding Girls Under 11 Track Athlete- Adaejah Hodge, Jah’kyla Morton
2016 Most Outstanding Boys Under 11 Field Athlete- Sean Samuel, Delano Hodge
2016 Most Outstanding Girls Under 11 Field Athlete- Adeajah Hodge
2016 Most Outstanding Girls Under 9 Field Athlete- Tamri Thomas
2016 Most Outstanding Gils Under 9 Track Athlete- Tamri Thomas
2016 Most Outstanding Boys Under 9 Field Athlete- Latriel Williams
2016 Most Outstanding Boys Under 9 Track Athlete- Tiondre Frett
Premier Dental Collegiate Athlete of the Year– Khari Herbert
Colonial Insurance Comeback Athletes of the Year- Rikkoi Brathwaite
Coach of the year Youth Division- Ralston Henry
Coach of the year Senior Division – Xavier Dag Samuels
BVI Athletics Foundation Road Race Athletes of the Year – Reuben Stoby and Rosmond Johnson
College Race Series Cross Country Award – Reuben Stoby and Saungie Liburd