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Powerhouses To Duel It Out

By RENALDO DORSETT

Sports Reporter

rdorsett@tribunemedia.net

If the early meets on the track and field calendar are any indication, the high school track and field season is set to be another duel between a pair of BAISS powerhouses.

The Queen’s College Comets and SAC Big Red Machine emerged as the most dominant schools in the 2013 BAAAs National High School Relay Championships this weekend at the Thomas A. Robinson.

In the second meet at the new $30 million facility, The Comets captured four of the nine divisions, while the Big Red Machine took three.

The Comets took Under 17 Girls, Under 20 Females, Under 13 Boys and Under 15 Boys, while the Big Red Machine took the Under 13 Girls, Under 15 Girls, and tied CV Bethel for the win in the Under 20 Males Division.

The CR Walker Knights took the Open Female division, St John’s College won the Under 17 Boys while the RM Bailey Pacers captured the Open Male division.

SAC topped the overall point standings with 140 points, QC totaled 133, the St. Johns College Giants finished with 59, CR Walker Knights totaled 49 while the CV Bethel Stingrays rounded out the top five with 47 points.

The biggest margin of victory for any team came in the Under 13 Girls Division when the Big Red Machine won by a total of seven points.

They finished a single point behind the Comets in the Under 20 Female Division (23-22), and in the Under 15 Boys Divison (25-24).

The Comets were just two points away from tying SAC in the Open Females Division and finished just two points behind SAC in the Under 20 Males Divison.

In 2012, the Big Red Machines fielded a team that blew away the competition with a total of 155 points, while the Comets finished second 40 points behind with 115 points, and the Knights third with 73.

The high school track and field season continues next weekend with the 10th annual Star Trackers meet, February 2nd.

With the Bahamas staged to host the 2013 Carifta Games in April, high school meets take on a new level of importance in the nationwide search for talent.

Although the new $30 millionm 15,000 seat stadium is being used for the various track and field meets while the old stadium is closed for renovations, BAAAs President Mike Sands said they are still waiting on the certification from the IAAF in time to host the meet in the new stadium.

“There are some little minor things like the markings for example on the lanes that are not as accurate as they should be,” Sands said. “There are also some cosmetic works that need to be done to bring it up to occupancy level and that is what the IAAF is insisting that we bring up to standard.”

Sands said the BAAA is eager to have Carifta return to the Bahamas and while the repairs are being made to the stadiums, the BAAA has already started its selection process for Team Bahamas.

He pointed out that a committee, headed by businessman Harrison Petty and led by legendary coach Keith Parker and five-time Olympic javelin thrower Lavern Eve, have a series of competitions deemed as a ‘Talent Search’ throwing competition, the first of which took place Saturday at the National High School Relays.

So far, some 11 countries and more than 300 athletes have registered to participate in the games.

The BAAA is preparing to host the biggest junior regional meet March 29 to April 1. The games, which was originally started by Austin Sealy in 1972, was first hosted in the Bahamas in 1976. Since then, the Bahamas hosted the event in 1978, 1981, 1984, 1992 and finally in 2002.

The Bahamas posted its second back-to-back victories in 1983 and 1984 to add to their consecutive feats in 1980 and 1981 before Jamaica went on a 28 winning streak. Overall, Jamaica has dominated the games, winning a total of 36 of the 41 versions of the games.

The only other country to win the title was Bermuda in 1975.

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