CARIFTA Trials and Nationals wraps up exciting day one

Photos: Austin Fernander

Photos: Austin Fernander

As of Sunday, March 26, 2023

#By Tenajh Sweeting

#St. Augustine’s College Big Red Machine leads the team rankings after day one of the combined CARIFTA Trials and National High School Championships. The Big Red Machine ended day one with a total of 210.50. The Queen’s College Comets came right behind with a total of 167.50. Third place in the rankings belonged to St John’s College with 73 points.

#Day one featured lots of exciting action on the track and field as athletes looked to make a final push to qualify for April’s 50th CARIFTA games. A number of them surpassed the CARIFTA qualifying mark on the day and broke National High School Championship records.


Carlos Brown, winner of the under 20 boys 100m finals.

#Darvinique Dean from SAC represented her school well as she blitzed past her competitors in the under 17 400 metre run. Dean not only ran a swift time of 56.58 to win the race but also broke the CARIFTA qualifying time of 56.64. Additionally, she broke the previous national high school championships record of 57.30 previously held by Wendira Moss since 2016.

#Dean said it felt excellent to come out and beat the qualifying mark and she was proud to represent the country and make a name for herself at the trials. She credited the way she ran her race as the reason for the big win.

#“I came out and ran my first 200 good and just let my body carry me around the rest of the curve and then come home strong,” she said.

#In the under 14 girls 400m action Bishop Michael Eldon’s Keyezra Thomas shone as she beat the CARIFTA qualifying mark of 57.05. Thomas clocked a lightning fast 56.28 in the race finishing long before the rest of her opponents. She also broke Megan Moss’ previous 2015 NHS record of 59.01.

#She said it was a good feeling to accomplish something she has been wanting for a long time and she was very happy to make the qualifying time.

#Jamiah Nabbie and Shayann Demeritte not only brought home first and second place in the always exciting under 17 girls 100m dash but they also qualified for the CARIFTA games. Nabbie clocked an unreal time of 11.89 blitzing past the CARIFTA qualifying mark of 12.20 and Daniesha Curry’s previous NHS record 12.38. Demeritte from the Big Red Machine notched 12.20 in the short distance race.

#Nabbie talked about how it felt to qualify for the 50th CARIFTA games.

#“I am really proud of myself, definitely willing to go faster for the CARIFTA games to push past my limits and hopefully it comes through God,” she said.

#Although Nabbie was worried about the wind in the race she added that her mindset was to keep pushing, staying on her toes, and not to run flat footed.

#The Comets’ star athlete will look to shine in the under 17 girls 200m finals on Monday.

#St John’s Ishmael Rolle joined in on the day’s CARIFTA qualifying action after clocking 10.93 with a first place finish in the under 17 boys 100m finals.

#The qualifying mark was 10.96. Rolle passed Godfrey Arthur’s 2015 NHS record of 11.09.

#In more track action Shatalya Dorsett and Amari Pratt finished first and second in the under 20 girls 100m dash. Sunland Baptist’s Dorsett notched 11.81 and she was followed by SAC’s Pratt who finished just 0.05 seconds behind with 11.86. Both ladies bested the CARIFTA qualifying mark of 11.90.

#Dorsett talked about how it felt to bring home the victory for Sunland Baptist. She said it felt good to win and to join the other Sunland Baptist athletes who were winning their races on day one.

#After qualifying for CARIFTA for a second time the Sunland Baptist athlete said it felt good to qualify again and she hopes to go out there and do what she has to do for her country.

#And Sunland Baptist had another athlete qualify for CARIFTA.

#Akaya Lightbourne, winner of the under 20 1500m run, emerged victorious and clocked a time of 5:02.93 in the long distance race. She beat the qualifying mark of 5:03.24. Additionally, she shattered Jodie Ritchie’s 2019 NHS record of 5:15.73 to bring home another first place win for Sunland Baptist.

#In a race that was finished in the blink of an eye, Carlos Brown brought home a first place win in the under 20 boys 100m dash. Brown, who has been looking to qualify for the 50th CARIFTA games all season, clocked a scorching 10.49 in day one’s evening session. In the competitive race Adam Musgrove notched 10.55 and Zion Campbell ran 10.60 which meant the top three finishers in the race qualified for April’s games. Positions first through seventh in the race all surpassed Johnathan Smith’s former NHS record of 10.84, making this the must see race of the event.

#Brown talked about how it felt to finally qualify for the country.

#“I feel really great about it coming off an injury and I just wanna thank the Lord for allowing me to finish the race injury free,” he said.

#In a tight race that only saw separation between athletes at the tail end, Brown said his mindset was to bring his knees up, keep his composure, and finish strong against his competitors.

#Although athletes seemingly left it all on the track, the young competitors brought the action to the field as well.

#In the morning session, Huntley Christie’s Tylah Pratt prevailed in the under 17 girls high jump. She jumped at a height of 1.64m passing the CARIFTA qualifying mark of 1.57m. Unattached Alexand Komolafe joined Pratt as she notched 1.57m to qualify also.

#In the under 20 girls triple jump QC’s Lanaisha Lubin and SAC’s Apryl Adderley finished first and second respectively. Lubin and Adderley both beat the CARIFTA qualifying mark with 12.51m and 11.89m. The qualifying mark was 11.88m.

#Calea Jackson threw a distance of 48.21m in the under 20 girls discus throw to qualify for CARIFTA.

#Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations president Drumeco Archer talked about how he felt about day one of the CARIFTA trials and Nationals.

#“I am so happy to see we are not only having a CARIFTA trials but a fully integrated track and field competition, its given us an opportunity to have a bird’s eye view of where we are in the Family Islands – that’s special and its special for our mission to develop beyond New Providence and Grand Bahama,” Archer said.

#Despite some of the athletes being injured he said that he was impressed with day one’s performances and was grateful for the event being on time and according to schedule.

#Day two of the CARIFTA trials and high school championships evening session will start at 3pm today.

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