The Bahamas takes strong team to Jr. Pan Am
A 35-member sixth Bahamas track and field squad this year will participate in the Jr. Pan American Track and Field Championships this weekend in Miramar, Florida.
The last Bahamian team sanctioned by the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) won a total of 10 medals – five gold, two silver, and three bronze at the Sr. Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Track and Field Championships in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, finishing in fourth place behind Jamaica, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Just a week before that, The Bahamas’ World Youth team won an amazing three gold medals and one bronze to finish fourth, quite a historic feat.
This weekend there will be the best of the athletes from the CARIFTA Track and Field Championships competing with track and field’s best from Canada in the north to Chile in the south. This adds athletes from the track and field powerhouses like the United States, Cuba, and Brazil.
Just last week in Mayaguez, junior athletes like Anthonique Strachan, Katrina Seymour and Ryan Ingraham did extremely well in their maiden voyages at the senior international level. Strachan, the Austin Sealy Award winner from CARIFTA improved her 200 meters (m) time to 22.90 seconds from 22.93 seconds in finishing second to Bahamian Nivea Smith.
Katrina Seymour finished third in the 400m hurdles in a new Bahamian junior national record of 57.24 seconds. Ingraham finished fourth in the High Jump with a clearance of 2.22m (7’ 3-1/4”), just a centimeter under his new junior national record which was set at the BTC Jr. & Sr. National Track and Field Championships in Grand Bahama last month.
The age limitation at the Pan American Jr. Track and Field Championships is not born before 1992. For the World Youth, it is not born before 1994. The last Pan American Jr. Championships was held in Trinidad & Tobago in 2009.
“As always we expect some surprises and some disappointments,” said BAAA Public Relations Officer Alpheus ‘Hawk’ Finlayson through an e-mail. “Some of those athletes who reigned supreme at the CARIFTA Games in April will not do as well in August. Some, however, will rise to the occasion to take their rightful place on the hemispheric level. Some of our athletes will make the World Championships team to compete next month in Daegu, South Korea.”
Bahamians are encouraged to attend the meet which starts this Friday and ends on Sunday in Miramar, just outside of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
“The preparation and funding of teams to international competition is an extremely costly venture,” said Finlayson. “For this, we congratulate Kerzner International for their support in sponsoring this team. The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations thanks them for their kind support,” he added.