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A couple more athletes qualify for CARIFTA

A couple more Bahamian athletes qualified for CARIFTA this past weekend as the host nation looks to put on a show for the 50th CARIFTA Games set for April 8-10, 2023. Meeting the qualifying standard were Alexandria Komolafe and Cassie Thompson as they bring the number of qualifiers up to 10.

Komolafe achieved the mark in the under-17 girls high jump at the DTSP Wolfpack/Neville Wisdom Track Classic 2023 at the Thomas A. 

Robinson National Stadium on Saturday. Thompson went under the CARIFTA standard in the under-20 girls 200 meters (m) at the RAAD College Invitational at the Alachua County Events Center at Celebration Pointe in Gainesville, Florida, on Friday.

Komolafe, who competes for the Xtreme Athletics Track Club, had all her ducks in a row, clearing a height of 1.57m (5’ 1-3/4”) to win the under-15 girls high jump. The 13-year-old was on the button as the qualifying standard in the under-17 girls high jump is 1.57m.

“It was exciting to meet the standard,” the Tambearly International School student said. “I wanted to qualify for a while, and I finally got to today (Saturday). Jumping today was different because I wanted to qualify and when the bar got to the qualifying height, I was hoping to jump it and I did.”

Finishing behind her was her teammate Tahlia Ferguson who cleared 1.32m (4’ 4”).

For Komolafe, she is hoping to also qualify in the long jump event and to improve to 1.65m (5’ 5”) in the high jump.

Thompson was brilliant in the 200m for the Jacksonville University Dolphins when she powered her way to win the women’s 200m race with a blistering time of 24.13 seconds. The sophomore was able to go under the under-20 girls 200m CARIFTA standard of 24.40 seconds.

Placing second was her teammate Mariandree Chacon who clocked 24.92 seconds. Placing third with a time of 25.04 seconds was Florida Atlantic University’s Cara Simpson.

Thompson was able to clock 7.48 seconds to place second in the 60m dash.

Terrell McCoy, 14, arrived back home from an NBA (National Basketball Association) Camp in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, Friday night, and suited up for action at the DTSP Wolfpack meet. The Triple Threat Throwing Club athlete was in action in the under-17 girls shot put and discus events and came away with first-place finishes in both.

In the shot put, she won with a throw of 12.17m (39’ 11-1/4”), which was off from her CARIFTA qualifying throw of 12.85 (42’ 2”) that she did at the T-Bird Flyers meet the previous weekend. She was still able to win that event.

A.G.S. Athletics’ Kenyce Scavella was second when she posted a throw of 8.97m (29’ 5-1/2”). Quick Step Athletics’ Garrette McIntosh threw 8.13m (26’ 8-1/4”) for third.

The trio finished in the same order in the discus. McCoy fell just over five meters short of the qualifying distance of 35.44m (116’ 3-1/4”) when she posted a toss of 30m flat (98’ 5”).

After throwing that distance, McCoy feels she can qualify for both events. She has already qualified in the shot put, and said her goal is to break the under-17 girls CARIFTA record of 14.29m (46’ 10-1/2”) that was done in 2018 in The Bahamas by Martinique’s Claudia Villeneuve.

“My biggest goal has been to break the shot put record,” said McCoy. “As I progress, I am seeing that I am doing well in discus. It was never my goal to qualify in the discus but, after today, I definitely can do it. I am five meters away and I can work toward that.”

Scavella was second when she posted a throw of 27.52m (90’ 3”) while McIntosh threw 22.78m (74’ 9”) for a third-place finish.

The Roadrunners Track Club’s Tamia Taylor easily distanced herself from her 400m counterparts as she came close to achieving the CARIFTA qualifying standard of 56.84 seconds in the under-17 girls 400m. Taylor clocked 58.56 seconds. She was the only one to run under the one-minute mark. Placing second and third were DTSP’s duo Brey’Elle Cooper and Evanice Sands, respectively. Cooper ran 1:01.83 and Sands clocked 1:04.29.

The DTSP’s Philip Gray was impressive in the under-20 boys 400m after posting a time of 48.90 seconds to come close to the 47.75 CARIFTA standard in that event. Fast Forward’s duo of Berkley Munnings and Matthew Chandler were second and third, respectively. Munnings ran 50.54 seconds and Chandler ran 50.63 seconds.

Apart from Alexandria, Thompson and Terrell, the other seven qualifiers so far are Kaden Cartwright (under-20 boys javelin), Mateo Smith (under-20 boys long jump), Javonya Valcourt and Lacarthea Cooper (under-20 girls 400m), Calea Jackson (under-20 girls discus), and Taysha Stubbs and Kamera Strachan (under-17 girls javelin).

Next up on the local athletics calendar is the Sonja Knowles Track and Field Classic 2023 set for Saturday, January 28 and Sunday, January 29 at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. Red-Line Athletics is the host club.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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