Bahamian sprinter Robynn Rolle-Curry and hurdler Lyric Brennen recently committed to tertiary-level schools in the state of Minnesota to further their education while competing on the track this fall.
Brennen is heading to Minnesota State University at Mankato (MNSU) and her club teammate Rolle-Curry is heading to Minnesota State University at Moorhead (MSUM).
The duo compete for the Star Trackers Track and Field Club locally.
Rolle-Curry is a senior at Kingsway Academy and did her research on MSUM both on the academic and athletic fronts. She is very excited to attend MSUM.
“I chose to further my athletic and academic career at the prestigious MSUM because it has an extraordinary psychology program and a track and field program that I would love to be a part of. Living in a global economy, I recognize the importance and necessity of diversity and the community at MSUM offers just that. The school is a melting pot of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, exposing me to a world of different cultures and experiences that I cannot wait to learn about,” Rolle-Curry said.
Rolle-Curry won the silver medal in the under-20 girls 400 meters (m) at this year’s Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) Track and Field Championships with a time of 56.14 seconds. She is expected to be running the 200m and 400m races while at MSUM.
The MSUM Dragons have about four other Bahamians on the track and field team. Also, Assistant Coach Trevor Barry is a Bahamian Olympian. It is something that the 18-year-old said will make her transition smoother.
Brennen, who runs the 100m and 400m hurdles, said the coaching staff at MNSU were welcoming.
“I chose MNSU mainly because of my close relationship with the coaching staff as they were really welcoming and helpful during this process. It is also a school that offers great academic programs and it has amazing training facilities. I know I’ll be able to excel academically and athletically,” Brennen said.
She is expected to be running the 100 and 400m hurdles, and during the indoor season, contest the 60m hurdles. Brennen, who said she is keen on team spirit and leadership, added that she hopes to bring a sense of diversity to the MNSU Mavericks.
Both Brennen and Rolle-Curry will be majoring in sports psychology, with the former adding exercise science. Rolle-Curry said she was always interested in learning how psychology influences athletic performances, exercise and physical activity. For Brennen, she chose this major because she said she loved sports from a very young age and was recently exposed to psychology, even taking an advanced program psychology course.
It was a tough year for Brennen on the track, having suffered an injury in December. In the process of rehabbing, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down her season early.
“I was extremely sad with the way my season turned out because back in December I found out I had a stress fracture in a bone in my foot which had me out of track for six weeks. Then when I finally came back, I was only able to run one track meet which went terrible, so I was really looking forward to running more track meets to redeem myself, improve my times and qualify for the CARIFTA Games,” Brennen said.
She is the 2016 under-17 girls 75m hurdles winner from the Bahamas National High School Track and Field Championships. In 2018, she won the 400m hurdles race at the high school nationals.
This season was the opposite for Rolle-Curry. She said she was having a phenomenal season before the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted.
“Just as I was on the brink of having my best year yet in track and field – running major times and qualifying for The Bahamas’ national team – the pandemic hit. My year came to a complete stop due to the pandemic. At first I was distraught ,but then later realized that this was just another stumbling block in my story that I must overcome on my way to success,” Rolle-Curry stated.
The duo has been working out privately and keeping in shape during the national lockdown and curfew period.
When they are done with college, they hope to return home to The Bahamas and contribute to the Bahamian society.
Rolle-Curry thanked her mother and father Sonovia Campbell and Ryan Rolle-Curry, coaches David Charlton, Claudly Clarke and Rudolph Ferguson and her family and friends.
Brennen thanked her parents Quinton Brennen, Sunae Russell, coaches Charlton, Clarke and Ferguson and her teammates, Jaida Knowles and Rolle-Curry, for playing their part in getting her to this point of her track career.
Both schools compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
Earlier in the year, Knowles, also a member of the Star Trackers Track and Field Club, committed to the University of Kentucky to further her athletic and academic career.