Athletes qualify for CARIFTA at Red-Line meet

As the 2023 CARIFTA Games draws closer, more Bahamian athletes continue to put their best foot forward, looking to achieve the CARIFTA qualifying standards. This weekend, two more athletes reached a standard at the 3rd Annual Oaktree Sonja Knowles Track Classic that was hosted by the Red-Line Athletics Track and Field Club at the original Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium.

At the windy two-day meet, sprinters Shatayla Dorsett and Shayann Demeritte went under the respective standards in their age groups. Dorsett achieved the mark in the under-20 girls 100 meters (m) dash while Demeritte did it in the under-17 girls 100m.

Dorsett, who was on the CARIFTA team last year for the same event, clocked a time of 11.84 seconds to win her heat. The Kenyan Knights sprinter out of Grand Bahama went under the qualifying time of 11.90 seconds.

The preliminaries of that race saw two other sprinters go under the time, but their performances were wind-aided. They were Fast Forward’s Jamiah Nabbie who ran 11.77 seconds and Star Elite’s Amari Pratt who clocked 11.81 seconds. Both were in the fourth heat which had a wind-aided reading of 2.8 meters per second (mps). For a time to be legal in the short sprints, the reading cannot exceed 2.0 mps.

The final had the same wind reading as Nabbie and Pratt’s heat. Nabbie won that race in a time of 11.67 seconds, Dorsett was second when she clocked 11.73 seconds and Pratt came in third in 11.76 seconds.

Swift Athletics’ Demeritte finished with the fastest time in the under-17 girls 100m preliminaries when she clocked 12.10 seconds to win the first heat. That time was enough to go under the CARIFTA standard of 12.20 seconds. Also making the qualifying time but having a wind-aided performance was the host club’s Darvinique Dean in 12.14 seconds. The wind reading in her race was a massive 6.5 mps.

In a wind-aided final, Demerritte powered through for the victory in 12.07 seconds. Dean was second in 12.18 seconds and Dean’s teammate Bayli Major finished third in 12.47 seconds.

Andrew Brown, who ran unattached, ran a strong race in the under-17 boys 400m as he dipped under the 50-second mark with a time of 49.41 seconds in the final. However, it was short of the CARIFTA qualifying standard of 49.14 seconds. The 15-year-old, who turns 16 tomorrow, left spectators without any doubt that he was chasing the standard. He led all the way and even pushed more in the final 80 meters of the race but was unable to achieve the time.

Brown ran 50.24 seconds in the preliminaries.

The Bahamas Speed Dynamics’ Branden Mackey was second in the final with a time of 52.97 seconds. Finishing third behind him was the T-Bird Flyers’ George Nottage who ran 53.11 seconds.

It was a quick race in the under-20 boys 100m final with four athletes going under the CARIFTA standard of 10.60 seconds but it was wind-aided. Swift Athletics’ Carlos Brown Jr. won that race with a time of 10.19 seconds. Bahamas Speed Dynamics’ Adam Musgrove clocked 10.21 seconds to place second and DTSP Wolf Pack’s Jeremiah Adderley and Swift Athletics’ Samalie Farrington both clocked 10.54 seconds to finish tied for third. The race was barely over the allowable limit with a wind reading of 2.5 mps.

The CARIFTA Games is set to be held at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium April 8-10. The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) CARIFTA Trials is set for March 25-27 at the national stadium.

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