Following an extraordinary meeting last week, the executive branch of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) made a determination that the qualifying period for the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Under-18 and Under-23 Championships, would be extended from the beginning of the year to the date of the trials, as opposed to from the conclusion of the CARIFTA Games to the date of the trials.
As a result, four athletes have been added to the list of qualifiers for the regional track and field championships.
The Bahamas will send a 19-member team to the meet, set for July 5-7, 2019, at the Parque Querétaro 2000 Indereq Stadium, in Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico.
Representing The Bahamas in the under-18 girls’ division are: Anthaya Charlton (100meters -m, long jump), Jaida Knowles (100m, 200m), Megan Moss (400m), Jasmine Knowles (800m) and Rhema Otabor (javelin); and representing in the under-18 boys’ division for The Bahamas are: Terrance Jones (400m), Tarajh Hudson (discus) and Keyshawn Strachan (javelin).
Representing The Bahamas in the under-23 women division are: Alexis Gray (100m, 200m), Dreshanae Rolle (400m hurdles), Charisma Taylor (triple jump), Celine Thompson (high jump) and Daejha Moss (high jump); and competing in the under-23 men’s division for The Bahamas are: Samson Colebrooke (100m, 200m), Shakeem Smith (400m hurdles), Holland Martin (long jump), Tamar Greene (triple jump), Kyle Alcine (high jump) and Jyles Etienne (high jump).
The team’s head coach is Jason Edwards and he will be assisted by Kennard Mackey. The team manager is Laura Pratt-Charlton and she will be assisted by Laketah Charlton. The team doctor is Dr. Cindy Dorsett and the physiotherapist is Bernique Hanna. Other coaches on the team are Corrington Maycock, Tito Moss and James Rolle.
Originally, national record holder in the men’s decathlon, Ken Mullings, and fellow decathlete Kendrick Thompson, were included as members on the team, but the organizing committee of the championships decided to scrap the multi-events, citing scheduling conflicts.
“That is something that we feel should be included, and we wrote the organizers in relation to that, but it appears that their position is final,” said BAAA President Drumeco Archer. “The multi-events is something that we feel strongly about, and we have two qualified athletes who we believe need the exposure and who would have performed very well. It’s disappointing, but we have to respect and adhere to the final decision of NACAC,” he added.
Also queried during the selection process of Team Bahamas was the omission of Donovan Storr and Curtis Mitchell. Storr, a junior at Southeastern Louisiana University, was extremely close to the qualifying time in the under-23 men 400m. He came home for the BAAA Junior National Championships two weekends ago, but adverse weather along with a timing device malfunction halted his qualifying attempt. In the case of Mitchell, he is the reigning champion in the under-17 boys’ 1,500m at the CARIFTA Games, but it was determined that his best time in that event was significantly below the qualifying standard for the NACAC Championships.
“In that meeting last week, we raised three issues – whether or not Donovan should be included on the team due to a timing device malfunction, whether or not Curtis Mitchell should be included on the basis that he was a gold medalist at the CARIFTA Games, and whether or not the qualifying period should be expanded from the CARIFTA Games to the date of the trials, [instead] to January to the date of the trials,” said Archer.
“In the case of Donovan, the members determined that it would not be appropriate to put him on the team on the basis of a malfunctioning clock. We found it unsafe to automatically presume that he would have met the qualifying standard had the timing device not malfunctioned. What we decided to do was to provide another opportunity for the athlete to compete and qualify, which was supposed to be this past weekend, but the athlete along with his coach decided not to make an attempt. With Curtis, when we compared his time against the last ranked time in the system in the NACAC rankings, it was below the standard for that particular event. His performance at CARIFTA was far below the standard at the regional level.
“The other four athletes in question have been added to the team because it was determined that the qualifying period should be extended from the CARIFTA Games to the date of the trials, [instead] to January to the date of the trials,” added Archer.
Archer said that the standards for the NACAC Championships were approved by the members of the BAAA, and they were guided accordingly.
“The federation through its members has an awesome responsibility to uphold the values and high standards of performance to ensure the growth and development of the sport,” said Archer. “The members are the ultimate authority within the federation and are left to make decisions in the best interest of the athletes and coaches,” he added.
The NACAC Under-18 and Under-23 Championships will feature some of the best young athletes from over 30 countries in this region. A total of five sessions will be held over three days, from July 5-7, in Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting