National record set as GSSSA, BAISS wrap up

After a one year hiatus due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA) and the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) wrapped up track and field meets over the weekend. Individually, in terms of standout performances, the St. John’s College Giants’ Keyshawn Strachan was spectacular, breaking his own national record in the javelin throw and turning in the number one throw in the world in the under-20 boys division as the device traveled nearly 80 meters (m).

The GSSSA had its one-day meet on Saturday while the BAISS wrapped up their two-day meet on Friday. Both meets were held at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.

Strachan finished his BAISS career on a high note as the St. John’s 12th grader threw the javelin down the middle for a personal best, BAISS, and national junior and senior record of 78.63m (257’ 11-3/4”) in the under-20 boys javelin to break his own national record of 75.41m (247’ 5”) which was set earlier this season. As mentioned, Strachan also has the world leading distance in the junior category in this event, moving up from third.

“Before I came into the event, I was feeling it and I knew it was going to be a good day. I’m coming off load in the gym and I can also move quicker. I had a good run up and crossover. I want to thank God for allowing me to come out here and compete today,” Strachan said.

The Auburn University commit now has the BAISS under-20 boys record after breaking Denzel Pratt’s 2014 mark of 64.20m (210’ 7”) by a large margin. Strachan also leaves high school with the BAISS under-17 boys javelin record.

“I am very excited to break my own national record and I know there is more to come. The goal is 80m (262’ 5”) by CARIFTA and I am happy as to where I am now,” Strachan added.

Placing second behind Strachan was the Nassau Christian Academy (NCA) Crusaders’ Roberto Lamour who recorded a distance of 44.52m (146’-3/4”). Finishing third was St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Big Red Machine’s Joshua Miller who threw 40.65m (133’ 4-1/2”).

The Big Red Machine’s Dior-Rae Scott also set a BAISS record when she threw the javelin 38.19m (125’ 3-1/2”) to win that event in the under-15 girls category. She lowered the previous record of 35.54m (116’ 7-1/4”) which was set by Taylor Walters in 2015.

“I came into the meet with the intention of throwing 40m but I’m glad that I threw 38m. I tried my best and I am hoping to improve. I am happy that I set the record,” she said. She is still hunting the 40m (131’ 3”) distance and progressing from there.

Finishing second was Kamera Strachan who threw 35.28m (115’ 9”). Lakera Albury recorded a throw of 14.09m (46’ 2”) to place a distant third.

On Saturday, there was strong competition between the 14 participating schools – seven junior high and seven senior high schools.

There was a photo finish in the under-20 boys 1500m as the C.V. Bethel Senior High School Stingrays’ Nathan Duncan and the C.R. Walker Senior High School Knights’ Dion Major battled to the finish. Both made a push in the final 60m of the race, but in the end, it was Duncan who crossed the finish line in 4:32.08. Major finished three hundredths of a second behind Duncan when he clocked 4:32.11. The Knight’s Aidyn Forbes was third with a time of 4:43.50.

GSSSA President Varel Davis said the level of competition was intense even though there was no overall champion crowned.

“The whole idea was for us to get back into after-school sports. The reason why we did the one-day event was because we just got back into face-to-face in schools. We want to get out kids prepared for next season and to see if we got some qualifiers for CARIFTA. We are very excited to be back out here,” she said.

Davis added that the athletes were at the meet very early on Saturday and that the Minister of Education, Technical and Vocational Training Glenys Hanna-Martin was in attendance for the early part of the meet.

The Knights dominated the 4x400m relay races coming away with three victories out of the four age categories. They won the under-20 boys and girls, and the under-17 girls divisions.

In the junior division, the C.H Reeves Junior High School Raptors also won three of the four age categories in the 4x400m relays. The Raptors won the under-15 boys and girls, and the under-13 boys divisions.

The Knights’ Carlos Brown came away with the under-20 boys 200m title when he powered his way across the finish line in 22.17 seconds. The R.M Bailey Pacers’ Samalie Farrington was 

second when he clocked 22.36 seconds. Finishing third was Brenicko Nixon from the Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins in 23.08 seconds.

The Raptors’ George Nottage clocked 54.60 seconds to win the under-15 boys 400m title. His 54.60 seconds time was enough to keep the S.C. McPherson Sharks’ Tiano Ferguson from catching him. Ferguson ran 56.53 seconds. Nottage’s teammate Jaydian Lewis was third when he posted a time of 57.21 seconds.

In the under-13 boys long jump, the Raptors Kristin Green leapt 4.40m (14’ 5-1/4”) on his third jump to win the gold medal. D.W. Davis’ duo of Vincent Justillien and Melveens Simeon placed second and third, respectively. Justilien jumped 4.25m (13’ 11-1/4”) while Simeon posted a jump of 3.93m (12’ 10-3/4”).

Birkley Finley was no match for the other competitors in the under-15 boys shot put. The Anatol Rodgers Junior High School Timberwolves athlete won that event when he recorded a throw of 9.84m (32’ 3-1/2”). Finishing second was the Raptors Julian Johnson who threw 9.67m (31’ 8-3/4”). The H.O. Nash Lions’ Demarto Wilkinson finished third after throwing 9.34m (30’ 7-3/4”).

In the under-15 girls discus throw, the Raptors’ Alexis Wright had a toss of 18.60m (61’ 0-1/4”) to win that event. The A.F. Adderley Tigers’ Alferan Destamar posted a throw of 17.80m (58’ 4-3/4”) to finish second. The Timberwolves’ Diamond Newbold threw 16.85m (55’ 3-1/2”) to place third.

There was a three-way tie for the top performer in the under-20 boys category. The Timberwolves’ Elijah Roker, the Stingrays’ Nathan Duncan and Lavardo Deveaux, finished with 20 points each. The Knights’ Vanessa Sawyer was the top performer in the under-20 girls division with 28 points.

The Knights’ Zidane Bruce finished with 26 points to be the top performer in the under-17 boys division. Scoring 28 points to win the under-17 girls division was the Stingrays’ Marquell Newbold.

The Raptors swept the under-15 division as George Nottage and Keely Deveaux won the boys and girls titles, respectively. Nottage scored 30 points while Deveaux scored 24 points.

Winning the under-13 boys division was the Raptors’ Lavario Ferguson who scored 30 points. The Tigers’ Gabrielle Swan was the top performer in the under-13 girls division with 24 points.

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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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