By RENALDO DORSETT
THROUGH no fault of their own, Team Bahamas finished seventh after they were eventually able to compete at the 16th Caribbean Union of Teachers Track and Field Championships.
The 40-member team, which was only able to compete on the final day of the two-day meet, finished with a total score of 157 points and won 11 medals at the AO Shirley Recreation Grounds in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
Expecting to leave Nassau a day ahead of the meet, Team Bahamas was left stranded at the Lynden Pindling International Airport when they discovered that they were not booked on their respective flights as they prepared for departure.
The Tribune understands that the travel accommodations were to be handled jointly between the Bahamas Amateur Athletic Association (BAAAs) as well as the Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT).
The female segment of the team finished eighth in their division with 83 points while the males finished seventh with 79 points.
The Bahamas was proficient in the field with each of their gold medals won in jumps or throws.
In the Under-13 Boys High Jump, Ahmad Evans shared the gold medal and new CUT record of 1.63 metres with Zion Higgins of St Kitts and Nevis.
Mateo Smith also won gold in the U-13 Boys Long Jump where he took the lead with his very first jump of 5.19m and maintained for the win.
Joseph Daxon won gold in the U-15 Boys Shot Put with a throw of 13.02m, also recorded on his first attempt in competition.
Gabrielle Murphy won gold in the U-13 Girls Shot Put with a throw of 8.08m.
Demazvia Dean took silver in the U-15 Girls Long Jump with a leap of 5.11m while Darvinique Dean won silver in the U-9 Girls 150m in a time of 23.37 seconds.
Deangelo McKie took silver in the U-13 Boys 200m in a time of 24.80 while Megan Moss was also second in the U15 Girls event in 24.97.
Middle distance runners also netted a pair of silver medals for the Bahamas. Indea Cartwright finished second in the girls’ event in 2:21.88 while Kendrick Major was second in the boys’ event in 2:04.57.
The U-13 Boys 4x100m relay team was the lone medal winners for Team Bahamas in the event. The team of Deangelo McKie, Antonio Bethel, Mateo Smith and Otto Laing finished second in 48.09.
The meet came down to a thrilling finish, decided in the final race, the U-15 Boys 4x100m.
Jamaica and Barbados were tied headed into the event and Jamaica emerged with the win to emerge as champions for the second consecutive meet.
Jamaica ended the 2016 CUT Games with a total of 516 points, while Barbados finished second with 512 points. St Kitts was third with 317 points, Antigua and Barbuda was fourth with 299 points and the host country BVI rounded out the top five with 266 points.
Other participating countries included Anguilla (235), Bermuda (114), Nevis (108), Grenada (83), St Lucia (64) and Cayman Islands (16). The meet was created as a result of the CUT’s recognition of the need to provide the young athletes with some regional competition. There was also recognition by the CUT that sports has a significant role to play in the regional integration process.
The CUT’s biennial championships was first organised in Barbados in 1986.
According to its website - www.cutgames.org - the games are a series of events expected to bring together approximately 700 of the best athletes between the ages of 8-15, along with coaches, from 23 countries in the region, in the spirit of Caribbean unity and friendly competition.
The mission statement of the CUT suggests it is an organisation devoted to unity and co-operation between both the youth and teachers of the Caribbean.