The St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Big Red Machine took control early on day one of the 31st Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) Track and Field Championships, at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium and are now a third of the way to reclaiming the title.
SAC finished the day accumulating a total of 416 points. They are 42.50 points ahead of the defending champions, the Queen’s College (QC) Comets. The Comets had 373.50 points at the end of the day.
Sitting in a distant third position is the St. John’s College Giants with 167 points.
SAC Head Coach and alumnus Jason Edwards said the athletes showed a lot of heart on day one.
“The kids fought hard. They came in here with some heart and they did mostly what we expected them to do,” Edwards said.
He added that he is not overly happy with the lead, but he is not upset and looks forward to the rest of the competition.
One of the most competitive races of the day was the under-20 girls 400 meters (m) that saw the Giants’ Wendira Moss winning the gold medal by a hundredth of a second, when she clocked 56.13 seconds.
“In the beginning, I know that I had to get out because that’s a tough race. On the back stretch, I just sat with them. When we were approaching the 200-meter mark, I picked it up a little bit and when we approached the 100-meter mark, I just gave it my all,” Moss said.
She said she knew she could have won. It was the fastest time for Moss this season as she looks to go even faster in the coming weeks and qualify for this Easter’s CARIFTA Games.
Winning the silver medal was the Kingsway Academy Saints’ Robyn Rolle-Curry, in a time of 56.14 seconds. Rolle-Curry looked like she was going to win the race as she began to pull away from the field, but Moss pushed her way to the finish to steal the race from Rolle-Curry, surging to the front in the last 20 meters of the race. St. Anne’s Blue Waves’ Jasmine Knowles pushed her way to the bronze medal with a time of 56.31 seconds.
In the under-20 girls 100m hurdles, it was the Giants’ Indea Cartwright coming away with the gold medal. She won comfortably in 14.92 seconds.
“My race was okay,” Cartwright said. “I had a good start. I executed as planned and next time I am looking to do better.”
Cartwright said she was looking to run a faster time but with the Bahamas National High School Track and Field Championships just a week away, she will turn her attention to that event and look to qualify for CARIFTA.
The Giants’ Wendell Miller pulled away in the final 50 meters to win the under-20 boys 400m race. Miller was the only runner to finish sub-50 seconds when he clocked 49.47 seconds. SAC’s Joshua Miller won the silver medal when he powered his way to clock 50.61 seconds. Leading most of the race was Wendell Miller’s teammate Hesley Charlton but he settled for the bronze medal after posting a time of 50.82 seconds.
The Giants’ Antoine Andrews led most of the way in the under-20 boys 110m hurdles race. However, it was Jordan Prince William Falcons’ Alton Roker who came out of nowhere in lane two to secure the gold medal with a time of 15.24 seconds.
After hitting the second to last hurdle, Andrews ended up with the silver medal after clocking 15.27 seconds. SAC’s Jaydin Plakaris ran away with the bronze medal after posting a time of 15.58 seconds.
In the field events, SAC’s Stephan Farquharson and Brandon Hutchinson both went over the CARIFTA qualifying distance in the under-17 boys triple jump, winning gold and silver, respectively.
Farquharson, who had already qualified for CARIFTA in the high jump, leapt 14.80m (48’ 6-3/4”) to surpass the CARIFTA qualifying standard of 13.88m (45’ 6-1/2”) in the triple jump. Hutchinson, who already qualified for CARIFTA in this event, improved his personal best to 14.16m (46’ 5-1/2”). The Comets’ Ahmad Evans won the bronze medal as he recorded a distance of 13.27m (43’ 6-1/2”).
The C.W. Saunders Cougars’ Joshua Wilson broke a 20-year championship record in the under-15 boys long jump when he leapt 5.37m (17’ 7-1/2”). The old record of 5.18m (17’) was set by SAC’s Craig Fraser in March 2000.
The Falcons’ Shanton Hamilton leapt 4.88m (16’ 0-1/4”) to win the silver medal. Winning the bronze medal was the Blue Waves’ Calvin Mason who recorded a jump of 4.47m (14’ 8”).
SAC won the gold and silver medals in the under-20 boys shot put. Tarajh Hudson threw 15.02m (49’ 3-1/4”) to win the gold medal. His teammate, Abner Johnson, won the silver medal after recording a throw of 13.39m (43’ 11-1/4”). The Comets’ Sean Rolle won the bronze medal when he posted a throw of 11.71m (38’ 5”).
SAC also finished first and second in the under-15 girls discus throw. Cailyn Johnson won with a throw of 24.76m (81’ 2-3/4”). The silver medal was won by Hannah Ritchie who had a throw of 22.48m (73’ 9”). Winning the bronze medal was the Saints’ Breyah Archer who threw 21.42m (70’ 3-1/4”).
Edwards hopes they maintain the momentum on day two of the competition today.
“We have to keep the momentum going and keep pushing,” Edwards said. “This won’t be an easy meet. We have to come out every single day and do the same thing we did on day one – that’s the only way we will end up victorious.”
Action continues today at 9 a.m. with the 4x100m relay preliminaries, the 100m finals and the 4x400m preliminaries in all age categories to name a few of the track events. In the field, the under-13 boys javelin throw will start the action. The under-20 boys triple jump will be the final field event of the day.