By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
DEVINE Parker, Megan Moss, Denvaughn Whymns, Tavonte Mott, Shaun Miller and Bronson Rolle were among some of the outstanding performers at the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations’ final trials for the CARIFTA Games over the weekend.
The athletes competed in the two-day trials on Friday and Saturday at Thomas A Robinson National Stadium, just before the BAAA selected a 65-member team to travel to compete in Curacao over the Easter holiday weekend.
Parker, the 17-year-old St Anne’s superstar, turned out to be the cream of the female sprinting core as she clocked 11.74 seconds to win the under-18 girls’ 100 metres to once again run under the qualifying time of 12.05.
She came back on Saturday and did the same in the final of the 200m, posting her winning time of 23.80 and was followed by Moss, who ran 24.20, as they both surpassed the qualifying time of 24.60.
“It was good. I did better than I expected to do,” said Parker about her performance in the half-lap race. “I came off the curve as fast as I can to cover the field and gave it all I could coming home.”
The performance, along with the century feat, has left Parker looking forward to going back to the biggest junior regional meet with more incentive to lead the way for Team Bahamas.
“I know my competition and I know I have a lot to work on,” Parker said. “So going forth in Carifta, I just plan to do the best that I can to get the gold for the Bahamas.”
If she can get her finish in both races worked out like her mentor and coach Pauline Davis, Parker said she’s confident that she can do well in both events.
“The competition was good here with Megan Moss and Wendira Moss,” Parker said. “As team-mates, I hope we can all go to Carifta with a good mindset that we have a job to do.”
Although she solidified her spot in the 200m, 15-year-old Megan Moss was even more thrilled about her fantastic accomplishment in the 400m. The St Augustine’s College standout turned in an incredible 53.79 time and was joined by Doneisha Anderson (54.78), Wendira Moss (55.70) and Marissa White (56.00) as they all dipped under or matched the standard of 56.00.
“I just wanted to execute as I was told to do by my coach (and father Tito Moss),” Moss said. “I just wanted to maintain my effort through the first 300 and bring it all home.”
Moss said the time was so amazing that she’s grateful of where she’s at going into the games with high potential to be a contender for the gold.
“My coaches and my father have been training me for it,” Moss said.
As for the 200m, she said she was just as proud and pleased of that effort as well.
“I just want to be able to go to Carifta and represent my country,” she insisted. “Whatever happen happens. I am very proud of my accomplishments so far.”
Anderson, also from St Augustine’s College, fell just short of surpassing the qualifying standard of 1.65m in the high jump when she cleared 1.62m for the win.
The under-20 girls division, which is not as strong as it was last year, saw Daejha Moss and Charisma Taylor producing the only two qualifying standards at the trials.
Moss, a Queen’s College triple threat in the jumps, soared 5.85m to equal the long jump standard, while Taylor, a former Queen’s College team-mate now attending high school in the United States, cleared 12.28m as the lone competitor in the triple jump to surpass the standard of 12.25.
Moss also won the high jump with 1.67m, just of the standard of 1.70m and Taylor also won the 100m hurdles in 14.39 over Sasha Wells, who did 14.40, but they both failed to reach the standard of 14.00.
Wells was the winner of the 200m in 25.11, well of the standard of 23.90 as she turned the tables on Renee Brown, who did 25.16. Brown won the straightaway race in 12.17, followed by Wells in 12.22 and Catayln Blayre in 12.409. They were shy of the standard of 11.80.
Whymns, who had previously qualified in the 100m, concentrated on the under-18 boys 200m, 110m hurdles and the long jump at the trials. He was impressive in winning all three, but surpassing the standards in both the 200m and long jump.
In the long jump, Whymns cleared 6.92m to surpass the standard of 6.90m. Michael Adderley was his closest rival in second with 6.41m. He ran 14.20, which was just shy of the qualifying standard of 14.00 in the hurdles. But his clocked 21.51 and was joined by Joel Johnson, who did 21.60, as they achieved the qualifying time of 21.80.
“I came out here and I wanted to do my best so that I can represent the Bahamas and bring back home a few medals from Carifta,” said Whymns, who indicated that he would only compete in the three individual events he did at the trials.
“I enjoy the 200 because I feel I have the legs for it and I just love the curve once I get out of the blocks.”
The 16-year-old 6-feet versatile athlete, who also competed in basketball and volleyball, said he is anticipating winning four gold, including the 4 x 100m relay, at Carifta.
Javan Martin, the Grand Bahamian under-20 boys sensation, opted not to compete in the trials as he recovered from an injury sustained at the BAAA’s test event foe4 the IAAF World Relays last month.
But there was still a lot of excitement as Tavonte Mott picked up the win in the 200m in 21.29 to dip under the standard of 21.45. Holland Martin, who had the fastest qualifying time of 21.36, was second in 21.46.
Mott, another student from St Augustine’s College, also won the 110m hurdles in 14.42, falling short of the standard of 14.00, while Martin took the long jump with 7.60m to surpass the standard of 7.25m.
“My hurdles was really rough because we had a strong head wind,” Mott said. “It was kind of difficult in the 200 because we had the heat, semifinal and final so close. But all and all it was good.”
With just two weeks left before the competition het underway, Mott said he just want to work on his technique in the hurdles and get stronger in the 200 and he will definitely pull of something special for the Bahamas.
In the high jump, Jyles Etienne and Kyle Alcine both did 2.12m to surprass the under-20 boys’ standard of 2.05m and four competitors – Ramel Poitier (3.50m), Douvankijlin Rolle (3.15m), Tristan Hanna (3.06) and Brandon Hanna (3.06) either surpassed or matched the under-230 boys pole vault standard of 3.06m.
Another standard was surpassed in the under-20 boys triple jump with Tamar Greene clearing 15.08m to win. The standard was 15.00m.
There was also some excitement in the under-18 boys high jump with Shaun Miller soaring 2.00m to beat out Benjamin Clarke, who did 1.95m. They both went over the qualifying height of 1.90m.
“The performance today was great. I just want to thank God for it,” Miller stressed. “It was a personal best for me so I was very impressed. To jump in this type of competition was very inspiring because you can’t judge what other people would jump.”
The 15-year-old Queen’s College standard, who missed the trip to Grenada last year because of an injury, said he intend to go to Curacao and compete for the gold. He acknowledged that his coach Ronald Cartwright and his father, Shaun Miller, would have him ready to achieve that goal.
“Coach Cartwright understand how I feel as an athlete so we communicate on one page,” he stated. “So it’s a nice experience to be with him and to train with him.”
Also two competitors qualified in the under-18 boys 400m with Sherrod Carey running 48.30 for the win over Tyrell Simms, who did 48.77. The standard was 48.90.
Two others also qualified in the under-18 boys javelin as Sean Rolle threw 61.41m and Michael Bullard did 60.18m. Their standard was 57.00m.
Normally he would be contesting the individual events, but Bronson Rolle opted to compete in the under-20 boys’ octathlon and he came out on top at the end of the two-day competition.
“It wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be, but that’s track and field,” he stated. “You don’t always do your best, so you have to get over it and focused on the next time that you compete.”
For Rolle, after watching the event last year in Grenada, he felt he had the potential to go for the multiple events for his first year in the under-20 division.
“I think it’s one of the event where you can have a lot of fun competing in track and field,” he pointed out. You compete with a set group and after going hard at it for so many events, you get to know them closer than in any of the other individual events.”
The 18-year-old Queen’s College standout said the second day is his best because he has the 110m hurdles, long jump and javelin, which are his three strongest events. He just doesn’t like the 1,500m, which compete the competition.
“I just have to work on bring consistent because at these trials, I messed up on a couple of events,” said Rolle, who consider the shot put as his weakest event. “That’s track and field, but over the next two weeks, I will be train and study my craft so I can win the gold at Carifta and hopefully I can break the record.”