Elite athletes put on a show at nationals

Miller-Uibo wins the double; Charlton sets national record

As expected, Shaunae Miller-Uibo put on a show at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, doubling in the 200 and 400 meters (m) and winning both events, at the 2022 Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) National Youth, Junior and Senior Track and Field Championships over the weekend.

Running in front of home fans, the two-time Olympic gold medalist in the women’s 400m prevailed as a double national champion. Devynne 

Charlton blazed down the track, breaking her own national record in the 100m hurdles, and doing it at home for the first time. They were two of the Bahamian athletes who stood out on home soil this past weekend.

One night after winning the 400m, Miller-Uibo ran against a field that included Olympians Anthonique Strachan, TyNia Gaither and Doneisha Anderson, in the women’s 200m final. Miller-Uibo had an impressive run, gaining speed off the curve and powering down the home stretch. She held off Strachan, crossing the finish line in 22.32 seconds. Strachan was a close second, clocking 22.59 seconds. There were the only athletes who crossed the finish line in under 23 seconds. Gaither ran 23.19 seconds to finish third.

“I think it was pretty good,” Miller-Uibo said about the race. “I think the only issue was that we were waiting so long before the race. It took the athletes out of it because you want to stay as warm as possible going into a race. Overall, I think the race was pretty good. I did not get to execute the way I wanted to but I got the win at home, so I am good.”

Miller-Uibo was able to comfortably cruise to victory in the women’s 400m. Running for Bahamas Speed Dynamics, Miller-Uibo completed the quarter-mile race in 52.62 seconds. Finishing second to her was collegiate athlete Megan Moss who finished in a time of 53.28 seconds. Fast Forward’s Javonya Valcourt placed third as she ran 55.24 seconds.

Charlton came into the meet holding the national record in the women’s 100m hurdles with a time of 12.61. After clocking 13.36 seconds in the preliminary round, she did not hold back as she ran a personal best and a lowered the national record to 12.60 seconds to get the win in the final. She said she knew she had it in her to run a personal best time.

“I felt it was a good race and good execution,” said Charlton. “I wanted to focus on my execution because it was not so great in the first round and I wanted to focus on that and use the momentum to carry my through the rest of the race. I honestly cannot remember the full race because after I clipped the first hurdle, I just spaced out and let my technique and training take over.”

Finishing second to Charlton was Haiti’s Mulern Jean who posted a time of 12.99 seconds. Bahamian Denisha Cartwright was third in 13.24 seconds.

Charlton, 27, said she was grateful to have dropped her national record in that event at home.

“I am thankful that I was able to produce it in here in front of a home crowd. It is the first time that I broke the national record in front of the home crowd. I have done it a few times before but to do it on home soil is special,” Charlton said.

An emotional Charlton responded to an Instagram post she made on her account about not being to get out the 12.8’s lately. She said that she knew a personal best was right around the corner.

“With the post, I think a lot of people got the wrong message and thought it was me doubting myself or a cry for help. It can be difficult at times and it was just me trying to get my feelings out but I never doubted myself, coaches or my ability. I knew something like this was possible and right around the corner. It was me saying that I have big things on the horizon. This meet and my last meet (Paris), shows that I am in good shape and working on the little things to get better,” Charlton stated.

Steven Gardiner was in action on the track, running the men’s 400m. He was the only competitor to go under 46 seconds, winning that race with a time of 45.22 seconds. Alonzo Russell placed second after running 46.41 seconds. Coming away with a third place finish was collegiate athlete Bradley Dormeus who ran 46.70 seconds.

Gardiner was set to run the 200m but did not. Ian Kerr won that race as he powered his way to victory in 20.84 seconds. He held off a feisty Wanya McCoy who settled for second in 20.96 seconds. Anthony Adderley was the next Bahamian to cross the finish line. He finished third overall in 21.49 seconds.

The women’s 100m had a glitch on Friday night as the clock malfunctioned and they had to revert to hand time which is not an acceptable method internationally. In the end, the race had to re-run. Gaither, who appeared to win the first race, did not agree with the re-run and open not to. In the do-over race, Strachan came out on top with a time of 11.39 seconds. Finishing second was Camille Rutherford who clocked 11.71 seconds. Close behind Rutherford was Printassia Johnson  in 11.74 seconds.

On the men’s side, Texas Tech’s Terrence Jones, who has already qualified for the World Athletics (WA) Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in July, ran away with the gold medal when he clocked 10.21 seconds. Kerr was second among Bahamians in 10.39 seconds. McCoy trailed Kerr to finish, clocking 10.42 seconds.

“The race did not go according to plan,” Jones said. “My start was a little shaky. I picked it up but I did no get the result that I wanted. Still, I’m grateful to be healthy. I love the vibe and I did not miss the weather but I love to always compete at home.”

In the men’s high jump, former World Champion Donald Thomas came out on top. Shaun Miller Jr. and Kyle Alcine provided competition in that event on Friday. Thomas won with a height of 2.25m (7’ 4-1/2”). Miller cleared 2.15m (7’ 0-1/2”) to get the silver medal. Alcine struggled as he was only able to clear 2.05m (6’ 8-3/4”) for the bronze medal.

“It was a good competition. The guys came out and competed. I came out and compete and did my thing. I will go back to the drawing board and come back out stronger,” said Thomas.

LaQuan Nairn, who is Eugene bound in the men’s long jump, won that event on Friday. He leapt 7.83m (25’ 8-1/4”) on his second jump to get the victory. The closest Bahamian to him was Holland Martin who jumped 7.21m (23’ 8”). Dion Desamours rounded out the top three Bahamian jumpers with leap of 6.27m (20’ 7”).

Rhema Otabor blew away her competition to win the women’s javelin throw. The 20-year-old only used three of her six attempts. Her second throw was her best as she threw a personal best of 58.58m (192’ 2”).

Rhema Otabor competes in the women’s javelin at the BAAA National Youth, Junior and Senior Track and Field Championships this past weekend.

“Coming out here today, I was not feeling the best. I went out and I did my first throw which was around my then personal best. I went and had my second throw and I was happy and excited that I got that. I was hoping to throw it earlier in the season. It feels good to finally get it. To get my personal best at home is amazing,” said Otabor.

Finishing second behind her was Melinda Bastian who threw 44.2m (145’ 4”). Davana Collie recorded a throw of 40.55m (133’) to finish third.

Keyshawn Strachan was not pleased with his throw of 74.21m (243’ 6”) in the under-20 boys javelin throw. The junior and senior national record holder in that event is preparing for the World Athletics Junior Track and Field Championships. Finishing behind him was Kaden Cartwright who threw 50.85 (166’ 10”). Miguel Black was third as he recorded a throw of 34.46m (113’ 01”).

There was a strong lineup in the under-20 girls 200m, featuring Paige Archer, Shatalya Dorsett and LaCarthea Cooper. In the end, it was Archer who crossed the finish line first, winning in 24 seconds flat. Dorsett was close behind her to secure second place with a new personal best of 24.29 seconds, qualifying for the world juniors. Cooper had to settle for third as she ran 24.60 seconds.

In a unique event at the nationals, Tahj’Nee Thurston had a huge throw in the women’s hammer competition to win that event with a toss of 57.71m (189’ 4”). Tiffany Hanna finished second with a throw of 46.73m (153’ 4”), and Bernesha Knowles rounded out the top three with a toss of 42.63m (139’ 10”).

 Haiti, Turks and Caicos and Bermuda participated in the nationals, as their athletes looked to qualify for the world championships.

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Sheldon Longley

Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.

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