After coming into day two with a slim lead, the Queen’s College (QC) Comets watched that lead grow even smaller, but still hold on to a 17-point lead going into the final day of the 2019 Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) Track and Field Championships. The three-day meet will conclude today at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.
The Comets have a combined score of 737 points with the St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Big Red Machine a close second with 720 points. The St. John’s College Giants are a distant third with 221.83 points. In fourth position are the Temple Christian Suns with 205.50 points. The St. Anne’s School Blue Waves have a score of 126.67 points for fifth.
SAC leads in five out of a possible eight divisions and the Comets lead the other three divisions.
SAC leads in the under-13, under-17 and under-20 girls’ divisions. On the boys’ side they lead in the under-15 and the under-17 division.
The Comets’ only lead in the girls is in the under-15 category. In the boys, they lead in the under-13 and the under-20 divisions.
The two schools are neck-and-neck in most of the divisions. However, in the under-15 girls division, the Comets have outscored SAC 100 points to 57.
Everette Fraser, Head Coach of the Comets, said: “Today wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be – we didn’t execute. We just wanted to get everybody in the finals and like I said we didn’t execute. In one of the relays we fell behind but other than that we did pretty good.”
Jason Edwards, head coach of SAC, said it was a successful day for him and his team.
“Today was good. My kids worked hard, I saw much more effort when it came to the distance races, especially the 800 meters (m). We also had success in the middle distance, the 100m and the 3000m. The field athletes did an exceptional job today,” Edwards said.
Fraser knows that SAC will be coming, but said his Comets are coming out to fight.
“We are coming out to fight tomorrow. We have some strong athletes in the 800m, 200m and the hurdles so once everybody [does] what they have to do we can hold on,” Fraser said.
Edwards said: “We hope to close the lead. We need some things to go our way. On the first day, a lot of things bounced against us but I told the kids it is almost like a basketball or football game. We will play the whole game but we will have some turnovers, and we had some mishaps on the first day. Hopefully that is all we have.”
The final race for today is the under-20 boys 4x400m race. There is a possibility that the championships could come down to that race. The Comets won the gold and silver medal in the under-20 boys 400m on Wednesday. Matthew Thompson and Kendrick Major finished first and second respectively.
Fraser said: “I trust the boys. We have a strong overall 4x400m team and if it comes down to the last three 4x400m races, I think we stand a good chance of winning.”
Edwards is aware that the Comets have a strong team in the relays. He said: “We even out. QC have a strong team as well. We are fighters and we don’t give up easily. We will run until the wheels fall off.”
One of the exciting events of the day came in the under-20 boys high jump event. What was a 14-man battle, became a two-way battle between the Comets’ Shaun Miller and SAC’s Benjamin Clarke. Both met the CARIFTA qualifying standard of 1.97m (6’ 5-3/4”), but both had previously qualified.
Miller and Clarke easily cleared 1.97m. The bar was then raised to 2.01m (6’ 7-1/4”). Once again, they both cleared that height comfortably to move the bar to the 2.05m (6’ 8-3/4”) mark.
Clarke hit the bar three times as he energetically bowed out of the competition.
Miller cleared the 2.05m mark and then challenged 2.10m (6’ 10-3/4”). He cleared that jump on the first attempt. With his personal best at 2.12m (6’ 11-1/2”) in this event, Miller decided to raise the bar to 2.14m (7’ 0-1/4”).
He knocked the bar on the first attempt before clearing it on the second attempt for a new personal best. His sights were on chasing the BAISS record of 2.16m (7’ 1”) set back in 2006 by Jamal Wilson.
Miller challenged the height of 2.17m (7’ 1-1/2”) in hopes of breaking Wilson’s record. He hit the bar on his first two attempts and called it a day after that, not making a final attempt.
He said he will head back to the drawing board.
“I didn’t really expect that today. I just went out there and did my best and all thanks to God. Everything was going perfectly. I felt like I was going to get a really good height on it and now it’s a new personal best. It is back to the drawing board to go for higher heights,” Miller said.
SAC’s Ashanti Johnson was the bronze medalist with a clearance of 1.87m (6’ 1-3/4”).
The Comets dominated the field events as they won gold in seven out of a possible 16 events yesterday.
They won the under-15 girls high jump, under-15 girls javelin throw, under-17 girls triple jump, under-13 boys high jump, under-13 boys shot put, under-20 boys javelin throw and Miller’s event.
On the other hand, SAC dominated the 100m finals, particularly in the under-17 and under-20 boys and girls divisions. All the races were wind-aided except for the under-17 boys race.
In the under-20 girls’ division, SAC’s Jaida Knowles celebrated her birthday with a win, crossing the finish line in 11.57 seconds. Her teammate Lakelle Kinteh finished second in 11.94 seconds. The bronze medalist was Kingsway Academy Saints’ Aisha Johnson, finishing in 11.98 seconds.
Queen’s College won the under-17 boys and under-20 girls 3000m races. Winning the boys race was Andrew Hepburn in a time of 10:04.92. Lyford Cay International School Dragons’ Jayden Wright won the silver medal in 10:20.66. St. Andrew’s Hurricanes’ Amadeo Cartwright was third in a time of 10:47.96. In the under-20 girls division, the Comets won the gold and silver medals. Davia Wright won the gold in a time of 13:40.89 and Leajha Williamson was the silver medalist in a time of 13:48.55. SAC’s Hanna Darville secured the bronze medal in a time of 14:17.68.
Today is the final day of the championships. Several finals will be held, inclusive of the 200m, 800m, both 4x100m relays and the 4x400m relays. There are also a number of field events finals.