Five more athletes qualify for CARIFTA; list now at eight

Five more athletes qualify for CARIFTA; list now at eight Simba French Send an emailJanuary 16, 2023 202 4 minute readFacebook Twitter LinkedIn Share via Email

 University of Miami bound Calea Jackson has qualified for the CARIFTA Games in the under-20 girls discus. DANTE CARRER

There were five more unofficial CARIFTA qualifiers for The Bahamas this past weekend, with two qualifying at home and three abroad, bringing the total number of qualifiers for The Bahamas up to eight. Taysha Stubbs and Terrell McCoy qualified at home while Olympian Lacarthea Cooper, Mateo Smith and Javonya Valcourt accomplished the feat abroad.

Throwing in windy and low-60 degree weather, Stubbs, of Air Assault, and Triple Threat Throwing Club’s McCoy were able to achieve the CARIFTA marks at the T-Bird Flyers Track and Field Classic at the original Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium. Blue Chip Athletics’ Calea Jackson also competed at that meet and improved on her CARIFTA qualifying mark, throwing a personal best of 45.35m (148’ 9-1/2”) in the under-20 girls discus.

Cooper was in action at the Texas Tech University Corky Classic at the Texas Tech-Sports Performance Center in Lubbock, Texas. Smith achieved the standard at the Arkansas Invitational at the Randall Tyson Track in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Valcourt accomplished the feat at the Clemson Invite at the Clemson Indoor Track in Clemson, South Carolina.

Organizer of the local meet and T-Bird Flyers head coach Foster Dorsett said he was pleased with the performances.

“For the athletes to perform the way they did, it shows the talent we have and how much the coaches are working with them to perform at this level,” said Dorsett.

Already qualifying for CARIFTA were Jackson, Kaden Cartwright (under-20 boys javelin) and Kamera Strachan (under-17 girls javelin).

Stubbs qualified in the under-17 girls javelin while McCoy did it in the under-17 girls shot put. Cooper made the standard in the under-20 girls 400 meters (m).

Stubbs threw 36.09m (118’ 5”) to win the under 17-girls javelin. The Nassau Christian Schools (NCS) student-athlete was able to surpass the CARIFTA qualifying mark of 35.35m (115’ 11”).

“It feels good to get the CARIFTA qualifier,” said Stubbs. “I give thanks to God and those who helped me to get here. I can’t wait to work harder to get better. The weather conditions today (Saturday) did not affect me because I was able to use the wind to get the best out of my throws.”

The 15-year-old is looking forward to performing well at CARIFTA and competing at the Penn Relays. Placing second was her teammate Chea’Lesa Knowles with a throw of 14.37m (47’ 1”) while Taj Ellis secured third place after throwing 7.69m (25’ 3”).

McCoy’s throw of 12.85m (42’ 2”) was enough to help her surpass the CARIFTA standard of 12.56m (41’ 2-1/2”) and win the under-17 girls shot put. She is no stranger to the event at CARIFTA, having secured the bronze medal in the event at the 2022 CARIFTA Games in Kingston, Jamaica.

Blue Chip Athletics’ duo of Danielle Nixon and Milan Mondesir were second and third, respectively. Nixon recorded a throw of 12.32m (40’ 5”) while Mondesir posted a throw of 9.79m (32’ 1-1/2”).

Cooper was in action for the New Mexico Junior College Thunderbirds, clocking 54.91 seconds to finish third in the women’s 400m. Valcourt ran for the University of Tennessee in the women’s 400m and clocked 54.24 seconds. The CARIFTA standard is 55.20 seconds for the under-20 girls division.

Mateo leapt his way to a distance of 7.25m (23’ 9-1/2”) to place fourth. The Louisiana Tech freshman surpassed the 7.22m (23’ 8-1/4”) standard for the under-20 boys long jump.

Jackson was brilliant in the discus circle at the T-Bird Flyers Track and Field Classic. The University of Miami commit threw a personal best of 45.35m (148’ 9-1/2”) to win the event and qualify in the under-20 girls division. The qualifying distance for CARIFTA is 41.23m (135’ 3”).

“I am happy that I threw a personal best, but I felt that I could have done better than I did. I was relieved to qualify early and to be able to represent my country,” Jackson said.

Securing second place with a throw of 34.83m (114’ 3-1/4”) was Cailyn Johnson of Triple Threat. Jackson’s teammate Annae Mackey was third with a throw of 28.02m (91’ 11-1/4”).

Jackson, 17, who currently attends Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School in Rabun Gap, Georgia, hopes to throw at least 50m in the discus this season.

“There are certain throws where everything that coach told me, and the things that I have been working on, just connects,” said Jackson. “I was able to hit the right points. Everything that I was working on in the last couple of months connected in the right way. Even though I felt that I could have done better, it was an improvement for me and my technique.”

Grand Bahama Heats’ Erin Barr was too much for her fellow competitors as she crossed the finish line with a meet record of 2:28.24 in the under-17 girls 800m race. She was happy to get the win but wants to drop her time as the season goes on.

“It was a good race and the wind condition was very high but I pushed through,” said Barr. “I am not happy with the time. I am looking to go in the 2:19 range. I am glad to come out the race with no injuries.”

The CARIFTA standard in that race is 2:19.22. The host club’s D’Andra Sears was Barr’s closest competitor with a time of 2:49.02. Finishing third was 3PA’s Stallions’ Dahjia Mesidor who ran 2:53.45.

Hurray Murray’s Raywind Winder was able to win the under-20 boys 800m when he clocked a new meet record of 2:04.35. He will be chasing the CARIFTA standard of 1:54.12 as the season progresses. The T-Bird Flyers’ Sharan Roker was second with a time of 2:04.57. Phoenix Track Club’s Kristofer Won was third after clocking 2:04.64.

Dorsett said the performances were respectable, given the windy conditions.

“I think that the performances were strong considering the conditions that they were running in were windy and cold,” said Dorsett.” The athletes showed that they are on the right track for CARIFTA this year. The coaches are working and it is showing in the kids’ performances.”

Next on the local track and field calendar is the DTSP Wolfpack’s Neville Wisdom Track Classic set for Saturday, January 21 at the Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium. Action gets underway at 9 a.m.

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