Medals, records and personal best times and distances were the order of the day, as Team Bahamas will return home loaded from the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Under-18 (U18) and Under-23 (U23) Athletics Championships, which wrapped up on Sunday at the Parque Querétaro 2000 Indereq Stadium, in Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico.
The 19-member team collected eight medals – three gold, four silver and one bronze.
Overall, The Bahamas finished fifth in the medal standings among 31 countries in the region. The United States won the meet with 27 gold medals, 23 silver and six bronze for 56 total medals; Mexico finished second with 19 gold medals, 15 silver and 29 bronze medals for 63 total medals; and Jamaica was third with 18 gold medals, 13 silver and eight bronze for 39 total medals.
Canada was fourth, finishing with six gold medals, nine silver and 13 bronze for a total of 28. The Bahamas settled for fifth. Order of finish at the meet was based on gold medal count.
Winning gold medals for The Bahamas were Anthaya Charlton in the under-18 girls long jump, Keyshawn Strachan in the under-18 boys javelin and Samson Colebrooke in the under-23 men’s 200 meters (m). All of the gold medal performances in the under-18 division will go down as meet records seeing that this is the inaugural year of that division at the championships.
Building on her gold medal performance from CARIFTA, Charlton leapt a personal best 5.86m (19’ 2-3/4”) for the gold. Charlton sat in third going into the final series of jumps, but turned in a massive personal best on her final attempt to leapfrog two others into the gold medal spot. Paula-Ann Chambers, of Jamaica, won the silver medal with a leap of 5.76m (18’ 10-3/4”). Maria Marquez, of Mexico, won the bronze with a jump of 5.69m (18’ 8”).
Charlton also took part in the 100m, finishing seventh in 12.02 seconds. She ran 12.04 seconds in the heats. Jaida Knowles also advanced to the under-18 girls 100m final, but suffered a hamstring injury in the final. She ran 11.84 seconds in the heats.
In the under-18 boys javelin, Strachan’s winning throw came in the third round. He had a throw of 62.70m (205’ 8”) for the gold medal. Luis Ángel Ortega, of Mexico, won the silver medal with a throw of 59.63m (195’ 7”) and his Mexican teammate Alexis Rodriguez won the bronze medal with a throw of 58.50m (191’ 11”).
In the under-23 men’s 200m, Colebrooke stopped the clock in 20.58 seconds for the gold medal, after running a wind-aided 20.41 seconds in the heats. Jerod Elcock, of Trinidad & Tobago, finished with the silver medal, stopping the clock in 20.65 seconds and American Micaiah Harris won the bronze medal in 20.74 seconds.
The gold for Colebrooke was his second individual medal of the meet as he won the silver in the men’s 100m in a blazing personal best time of 10.01 seconds. Remarkably, all three medalists stopped the clock in the same time, and the placement of the trio had to come down to a photo finish. Jamaican Waseem Williams, Colebrooke’s teammate at the University of Purdue, was awarded the gold in that heated 100m final. Mario Burke, of Barbados, won the bronze medal.
The 10.01 time for Colebrooke was also a world championships qualifying time.
The 17th International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) World Championships is set for September 27 to October 6, in Doha, Qatar.
Tarajh Hudson won a silver medal for The Bahamas in the under-18 boys discus. He had a massive personal best throw of 56.74m (186’ 2”) to finish second. Ralford Mullings, of Jamaica, won the gold medal with a throw of 62.34m (204’ 6”) and Julio Cesar Santos, of Mexico, claimed the bronze medal with a throw of 54.40m (178’ 5”).
Rhema Otabor won a silver medal for The Bahamas in the under-18 girls javelin. She turned in a personal best throw of 47.68m (156’ 5”) to win the silver medal. Xochitl Montoya, representing the host nation of Mexico, won the gold medal with a throw of 48.53m (159’ 2”). Paulina Cazares, of Mexico, had to settle for the bronze medal with a throw of 45.26m (148’ 6”).
The only other silver medal for The Bahamas came in the under-23 men’s 4x100m relay. The team of Tamar Greene, Colebrooke, Holland Martin and Shakeem Hall-Smith, ran a time of 40.33 seconds for the silver medal. They actually crossed the finish line in third place, but were upgraded to silver after Jamaica was disqualified. Jamaica crossed the finish line first but was disqualified for an exchange infraction. The United States was upgraded to the top position, taking the gold in 40.03 seconds. The only other team in the race, Mexico, failed to finish.
The Bahamas’ only bronze medal came from Charisma Taylor in the under-23 women’s triple jump. She turned in a leap of 13.22m (43’ 4-1/2”) that would have been a personal best leap for her, but it was wind-aided. Taylor had three jumps over 13 meters (42’ 8”) in the competition. Her third jump of the competition, 13.20m (43’ 3-3/4”), did go down as a personal best jump for her as it was down under the allowable wind limit. Davisleydis Velazco, of Cuba, won the gold medal with a leap of 13.94m (45’ 9”). The silver medal went to Danielle Spence, of Jamaica. She had a best leap of 13.24m (43’ 5-1/4”).
In the under-23 men’s triple jump, The Bahamas’ performance was highlighted by a pair of personal best results.
Holland Martin finished fourth with a wind-aided leap of 16.47m (54’ 0-1/2”). He had a personal best legal leap of 16.14m (52’ 11-1/2”) on his fifth attempt. Greene was fifth with a wind-aided leap of 16.45m (53’ 11-3/4”). He had a personal best legal leap of 16.20m (53’ 2”) on his first attempt.
American Isaiah Griffith won the gold with a leap of 16.79m (55’ 1”), his American teammate Armani Wallace finished second with a leap of 16.72m (54’ 10-1/4”) and Jamaican Obrien Wasome won the bronze medal with a leap of 16.66m (54’ 8”). Martin also took part in the long jump, and was 12th with a jump of 7.21m (23’ 8”).
Jasmine Knowles finished fourth in the under-18 girls 800m in 2:12.70. Lorena Itzel Rangel, of Mexico, won the gold medal in 2:10.28; Emma Pegg, of Canada, was second in 2:10.49; and her Canadian teammate Cassandra Williamson finished third in 2:11.15.
Daejha Moss and Celine Thompson finished fourth and fifth in the under-23 women’s high jump respectively. Moss had a personal best jump of 1.75m (5’ 8-3/4”) to finish fourth. Thompson was fifth with a leap of 1.65m (5’ 5”). American Nicole Greene won with a leap of 1.87m (6’ 1-1/2”); Ximena Lizet Esquivel, of Mexico, cleared the same height but had to settle for the silver based on number of knockdowns; and American Erinn Beattie cleared the same height as Moss but finished ahead of her based on number of knockdowns.
Megan Moss settled for fourth in the under-18 girls 400m in 54.76 seconds after running 54.79 seconds in the heats. Caitlyn Bobb, of Bermuda, won in 53.92 seconds; Krystalann Bechard, of Canada, was second in 54.13 seconds; and Rae-Anne Serville, of Trinidad & Tobago, finished third in 54.38 seconds.
Dreshanae Rolle was fifth in the under-23 women’s 400m hurdles in 1:00.72, and Shakeem Hall-Smith finished sixth in the under-23 men’s 400m hurdles in 51.64 seconds.
In the under-23 men’s high jump, Jyles Etienne and Kyle Alcine finished seventh and eighth respectively, both clearing 2.10m (6’ 10”).
Finally, The Bahamas’ under-23 girls 4x100m relay team of Moss, Rolle, Thompson and Taylor, in that order, finished fourth, in 47.82 seconds. The United States won the gold medal in 42.97 seconds, Canada won the silver medal in 44.28 seconds and Mexico won the bronze medal in 47.52 seconds.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting