By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
ON his first attempt, Blue Chips Athletics’ Keyshawn Strachan won the under-20/open men’s javelin on Saturday in the RC Athletics Throwers Meet at the University of the Bahamas field, becoming the first qualifier for the 2019 CARIFTA Games.
Strachan’s winning toss of 54.15 metres surpassed the qualifying standard of 53.57m. His nearest rival was James Gilbert of CR Walker with 20.60m.
Strachan, the St John’s ninth grader who won the silver medal at last year’s CARIFTA Games, also doubled up to take the discus with a heave of 41.32m, well ahead of second place finisher Fabian Storr of CR Walker with 27.57m.
Newly elected Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations president Drumeco Archer was on hand to witness the performance.
Although it wasn’t a qualifier, one of the most impressive performances on the girls’ side came from Blue Chips Athletics’ Rhema Otabor, the reigning under-17 girls javelin champion and record holder with 41.80m, just off her best with a toss of 40-10m.
Otabor, a student of Nassau Christian Academy, needs to throw at least 41.80m to return to the CARIFTA Games.
The throwing coaches in the BAAA used the meet as an early qualifier for the throwers heading into the CARIFTA Games, set for the Cayman Islands over the Easter holiday weekend.
Meet director Ronald Cartwright, the veteran head coach of the RC Athletics Throwers Club, said he was pleased that more than 40 athletes participated in this year’s meet.
“The turnout was very good. The parents are here helping out, so it’s been a very good meet,” Cartwright said. “We just have to work harder when the kids come out to practice. One of the things we have going for us is that this is just December. We have about three months ahead of us, so we will have some qualifiers.”
Cartwright, who has been around coaching some of the coaches in the sport today, said he believes that the standards set by the BAAA are a little too high for the athletes to attain.
But he said if they want to make the team, the athletes will have to attain the standards or they will not be able to travel.
Corrington Maycock, head coach of the Blue Chips Athletics Club, was one of those athletes that Cartwright coached.
Maycock, walking with the aid of crutches after he underwent a minor surgery on his left knee on Friday, said a lot of the athletes are looking better than they did last year.
“The veteran kids looked like they have been practicing over the summer and the off season, so once again you can expect a good turn around this year for our throwers,” he projected.
“With the new leadership in place (in the BAAA), I’m hearing that if you don’t qualify, you don’t go, so I’m hoping that holds up.
“But I think something should happen in regards to that. So we’re looking for true qualifiers and not just putting people on the team because they came first or second. It’s only time, but we have some kids who are very close to making the qualifying standards. So we’re looking for some big things next year. As usual, we want the throwers to carry the mantel, as opposed to the sprints or the jumps.”
Bradley Cooper Sr, the coach of the University of the Bahamas, set the standard for all throwers to emulate. Now he’s sharing his expertise in trying to get athletes to qualify, not just for CARIFTA, but some of the other international meets next year.
“This is a chance to look at them and see where they are and what we have to do with their techniques and performances going into next year,” he said.
“Most of the throwers are doing their personal best performances. We are just trying to get them to meet the standards because we don’t just want them to go to CARIFTA, but we want them to be able to win medals.”
Cooper Sr was the winner of the under-20 boys silver medal in the discus at the inaugural Carifta Games in Hamilton, Bermuda in 1975. When the games came to the Bahamas for the first time the following year in 1976, Cooper Sr delighted the home crowd with his double dose of victory in the shot put and discus.
The two-time Olympian won a number of medals at both the Central American and Caribbean Games and Championships and Pan American Games. The highlight of his career came at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia in 1982 when he struck gold. He still holds the Bahamas national records in the shot put (18.35m) and discus (67.10m) that he set in 1979 and 1986 respectively.
Here’s a look at the top three finishers in the disciplines of each age group:
Under-13 girls shot put – 1. Cailyn Johnson, Tripler Threat, 7.26m; 2. Kenyce Scavalla, AGS Athletics, 6.51m.
Under-13 girls javelin – 1. Cailyn Johnson, Triple Threat, 13.76m.
Under-13 girls discus – 1. Kenyce Scavalla, AGS Athletics, 14.26m.
Under-15 girls shot put – 1. Ann-Marie Oriaki, Throwers Inc., 12.27m; 2. Calea Jackson, Blue Chips Athletics, 10.66m; 3. Jessica Rolle, AGS Athletics, 8.29m.
Under-15 girls discus – 1. Ann-Marie Oriaki, Throwers Inc., 28.49m; 2. Calea Jackson, Blue Chips Athletics, 25.39m; 3. Jessica Rolle, AGS Athletics, 22.85m.
Under-15 boys shot put – 1. Timothy Cartwright, RC Athletics, 10.49m; 2. Tamario Petty, AGS Athletics, 10.10m; 3. Zion Evans, Blue Chips Athletics, 9.92m.
Under-15 boys javelin – 1. Kaden Cartwright, Blue Chips Athletics, 38.09m.
Under-15 boys discus – 1. Tamario Petty, AGS Athletics, 32.10m.
Under-17 girls shot put – 1. Juderia Rahming, CI Gibson, 11.68m; 2. Hailey Butler, RC Athletics, 10.15m; 3. Lauranique Harriott, CI Gibson, 9.93m.
Under-17 girls javelin – 1. Kaylea Dixon, Blue Chips Athletics, 32.86m; 2. Lauranique Harriott, CI Gibson, 28.80m; 3. Aleah Otabor, Blue Chips Athletics, 19.70m.
Under-17 girls discus – 1. Juderia Rahming, CI Gibson, 27.42m; 2. Shelby Knowles, Quick Step, 22.16m; 3. Lauranique Harriott, CI Gibson, 19.00m.
Under-17 boys shot put – 1. Fabian Storr, CI Gibson, 10.82m; 2. Ian Davis, CR Walker, 10.47m; 3. Jaiare Breynen, Blue Chips Athletics, 7.00m.
Under-17 boys javelin – 1. Keyshawn Strachan, Blue Chips Athletics, 54.20m; 2. James Gilbert, CR Walker, 20.60m.
Under-17 boys discus – 1. Keyshawn Strachan, Blue Chips Athletics, 41.32m; 2. Fabian Storr, CR Walker, 27.57m; 3. Ian Davis, CR Walker, 26.43m.
Under-20/open girls shot put – 1. Nia Bain, Blue Chips Athletics, 9.55m; 2. Garryn Scott, Blue Chips Athletics, 9.26m; 3. Angel Skippings, Throwers Inc., 8.69m.
Under-20/open girls javelin – 1. Rhama Otabor, Blue Chips Athletics, 40.10m; 2. Devonna Collie, Blue Chips Athletics, 29.13m; 3. Angel Skippings, Swift Athletics, 26.25m.
Under-20/open girls discus – 1. Rhama Otabor, Blue Chips Athletics, 28.09m; 2. Jardesha Clarke, Blue Chips Athletics, 26.92m; 3. Nia Bain, Blue Chips Athletics, 26.80m.
Under-20 boys shot put – 1. Tarajh Hudson, Throwers Inc., 14.60m; 2. Donte Cooper, Blue Chips Athletics, 13.55m; 3. Peter Brown, University of the Bahamas, 11.05m.
Open men shot put – 1. Ken Mullings, University of the Bahamas, 13.50m; 2. Gabrielle Williams, University of the Bahamas, 13.45m; 3. Bradley Cooper Jr, University of the Bahamas, 13.17m.
Under-20/open men javelin – 1. Michael Angelo Bullard, Blue Chips Athletics, 54.00m; 2. Kendrick Thompson, University of the Bahamas, 53.90m; 3. Ken Mullings, University of the Bahamas, 47.67m.
Under-20/open men discus – 1. Tarahj Hudson, Throwers Inc., 47.60m; 2. Bradley Cooper Jr, University of the Bahamas, 46.23m; 3. Donte Cooper, Blue Chips Athletics, 43.23m.