World Junior Champion Andrews holds off his former high school teammate for the top honor
Antoine Andrews had the kind of season that would make even the absolute best athletes in the world marvel, peaking at the right time to assert himself as the best in his discipline at the junior level.
The world’s top athletes all look to hit their best marks and times at major championships. Kudos has to be given to Andrews and his coach Darren Lightbourne as they were able to do just that, ensuring that he would rise to the top at the global meet for his age group.
Andrews climaxed his best season ever, winning gold medal for The Bahamas in the 110 meters (m) hurdles at the World Athletics Under-20 (U20) Championships in Cali, Colombia, in August, thereby cementing his status as the best under-20 athlete in the world across the 10 barriers in the sprint hurdles. He held off his former St. John’s College teammate Keyshawn Strachan to claim the title of The Nassau Guardian’s Junior Male Athlete of the Year. He finished with 44 points in the voting process while Strachan ended with 42.
Andrews clocked his three best times of the season in Colombia, 13.36 seconds in the heats, 13.39 seconds in the semifinals and a new personal best junior national record run of 13.23 seconds in the final. That blazing run in the final for the gold
medal was also a world leading time for under-20 athletes and he ended the year tied for the number one spot on World Athletics’ Top Performance List for 2022.
World Junior Champion Andrews put together as good of a race as he had all season in the final in Colombia, defeating American Malik Mixon and CARIFTA Champion Matthew Sophia, of the Netherland Antilles, for the gold medal. Mixon was second in 13.27 seconds and Sophia was the early leader but settled for the bronze in 13.34 seconds.
At CARIFTA in Kingston, Jamaica, Sophia came out on top in 13.74 seconds into a strong headwind, Jamaican Demario Prince was second in 13.88 seconds and Andrews settled for the bronze in 13.91 seconds.
Also this year, Andrews showed his prowess in the short sprints, setting massive personal best times in the 100, 200 and 400m.
In the 100m, Andrews was less than a tenth of a second off the junior national record, running 10.39 seconds at the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) Star Performers Time Trials in February. A couple weeks later, he had a new personal best time of 48.25 seconds in the 400m at the Dianna-Lynn Thompson Time Trials, and in May, he turned in a personal best time of 20.96 seconds in the 200m at the Oaktree Medical Sonja Knowles Track Classic.
Andrews also experienced relay success this year, running on the 4x100m teams at the World Athletics U20 Championships and the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Championships, and the 4x400m relay team at the CARIFTA Games.
Strachan had a fantastic season as well, ending the year as the number two under-20 javelin thrower in the world on World Athletics’ Top Performance List for 2022. He had a massive personal best national record throw of 79.89m (262’ 1”) for the gold medal at the CARIFTA Games in Kingston, and climaxed the year with a heave of 72.95m (239’ 4”) for the bronze medal at the World Athletics U20 Championships on a wet, cold day in Colombia. He threw 76.87m (252’ 2”) in qualifying.
Also this year, Strachan won the gold medal in the High School Boys Javelin at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and signed a letter of intent to attend Auburn University where he will begin his collegiate career.
Strachan hosted the first Keyshawn Strachan Javelin Camp in his hometown of Nicholl’s Town, North Andros, at the end of November, helping to discover talent in the islands like how he was discovered four years ago. He just turned 19 one week before Christmas and is already the most prolific javelin thrower in Bahamian history. He has 12 throws over the 70m (229’ 8”) barrier and the best 11 throws in Bahamian history.
The Bahamian strong man is on the verge of cracking the 80m (262’ 5”) barrier, entering a new stratosphere in that event in Bahamian history.
Swimmer Lamar Taylor finished third in voting for The Nassau Guardian’s Junior Male Athlete of the Year honor with 38 points.
The Bahamian speedster in the water has really come into his own this year as the best in The Bahamas in a number of events in swimming.
Taylor established personal best times in the 50 and 100m free, the 50m and 100m back and the 50m fly, this year. The 100m personal best time of 50.25 seconds, in particular, which was done for the gold medal at the Bahamas Aquatics Federation’s Open National Swimming Championships, goes down as a new national record for Taylor. Short course, he set national records of 21.45 seconds in the 50m free, 47.76 seconds in the 100m free and 23.58 seconds in the 50m back at the 16th FINA (World Swimming Federation) Short Course (25m) Championships in Melbourne, Australia, earlier this month.
In 2022, the Bahamian also competed in swimming at the 22nd Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, and the FINA Swimming World Cup in Indianapolis, Indiana.
He is arguably the top Bahamian swimmer today and has no plans of slowing down.
Wanya McCoy, who ran the third-best time in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) history in the men’s 300m indoors in his opener this season, clocking a new school and facility record of 32.53 seconds, finished fourth in voting for The Nassau Guardian’s Junior Male Athlete of the Year honor with 35 points. McCoy ran that blazing time at the Clemson Opener in Clemson, South Carolina, at the beginning of this month, and also won the 60m at that event with a time of 6.76 seconds. The 300m time is listed as fourth on World Athletics’ Top Performance List for 2022.
Outdoors, McCoy has personal best times of 10.33 seconds in the 100m and 20.48 seconds in the 200m, both done this year. His personal best time of 46.96 seconds in the men’s 400m was set last year.
Dakarai Turnquest, who was fourth at the 32nd VNEA (Valley National Eight-Ball Association) World Junior Championships in Erie, Pennsylvania, this year, and who advanced to the quarterfinals of the SVB (Shane Van Boening) Junior Open Championships in Atlantic City, New Jersey, finished fifth in voting for The Nassau Guardian’s Junior Male Athlete of the Year honor with 29 points. He is making a name for himself in billiards worldwide.