By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
BRANDON Hutchinson, celebrating his 16th birthday a day early, led four other competitors in achieving the qualifying standards for the 2020 CARIFTA Games at the Roadrunners Track Club’s 14th annual Dianna Lynn Track Classic at the Thomas A Robinson Track and Field Stadium on Saturday.
In the under-20 girls’ division, Jasmaine Knowles of the Alliance Track Club ran away with the 800 metres in a time of two minutes and 11.56 seconds to dip under the qualifying standard of 2:13.05.
And Rhema Otabor of the Blue Chips Athletics, who previously surpassed the standard of 38.39 metres or 125-feet, 11-inches in the under-20 girls’ javelin, did it again with her toss of 42.63m (139-10).
In the under-17 boys’ division, Jermainia Adderley of the DTSP Wolfpack clocked 11.00 to win the under-17 boys’ 100m and surpass the qualifying standard of 11,02. Nathaniel Zervos of the Blue Chips Athletics once again went under the qualifying standard of 50.65m (166-2) in winning the under-17 boys’ javelin with a toss of 51.15m (167-9).
And Hutchinson, rebounding from a broken right ankle that hampered him from competing last year, bounded his way to victory in the under-17 boys’ triple jump with a hop, skip and jump leap of 14.05m (46-1 1/4) to surpass the standard of 13.88m (45-6 1/2).
The St Augustine’s College 10th grader who celebrated his 16th birthday on Sunday, said the performance was the present present he could give himself.
“It feels great because last year I wasn’t able to perform like that after I broke my ankle,” said Hutchinson, a member of the Red-Line Athletics Track Club, but coached by Jason Edwards. “Last year, I moved to Nassau, but I couldn’t compete because of the injury.
“This year, people were really surprised to see how well I did considering that I didn’t do anything like this last year. I just love sports and so I couldn’t just stop like that. I made it a commitment and a goal of mine to qualify for Carifta this year.”
The Grand Bahamian native said he intent to put any major celebrations for his birthday aside until he go to the Carifta Games in Hamilton, Bermuda and come back hopefully with a medal.
“My ankle isn’t 100 percent, but I am working on it,” he said. “I think if I can get it there, I would be able to medal and even possibly win the gold.”
The meet saw a number of athletes come close to the standard in their respective events and some of the other athletes, who are not eligible for Carifta, posing some outstanding performances.
Among the list was Javonya Valcourt of Fast Forward, who doubled up in the under-20 girls’ 200m in 25.68, just shy of the qualifying standard of 23.95 and in the 400m in 56.95, off the standard of 54.76 and Amari Pratt of the Star Trackers, winner of the under-17 girls’ 100m in 12.29, off the standard of 11.96 and the 200m in 25.72, which was shy of the standard of 24.58.
Calea Jackson of Throwers Inc. also came close to the standards in two events as well. She won the under-17 girls’ shot put with a heave of 11.36m (37-3 1/4), which was shy of the standard of 12.63m (41-5 1/4) and the discus with a heave of 35.02m (114-11), which was short of the qualifying mark of 36.88m. (121-0).
Cataleya Vargas the Beginners Track took the under-7 girls’ 80m in 15.64 and the 100m in 19.53; Darvinique Dean of Kids’ Athletics won the under-13 girls’ 200m in 27.24 and 400m in 1:05.02; Nia Richards of Fast Forward was the winner of the under-15 girls’ 100m in 12.65 and the 400m in 1:01.08; Gabrielle Shannon of the University of the Bahamas Mingoes doubled up in the open women’s 200m in 26.14 and the 400m in 1:00.47.
Kavani Brown of Stallions Track Club took the under-7 boys’ 110m in 17.22 and the 200m in 13.93; Zariah Henfield of the Rock Athletics won the under-13 boys’ 400m in 1:01.70 and the 800m in 2:28.51; Malik Wood of the Degrees Track Club won the under-15 boys’ 100m in 11.89, the 400m in 54.38 and the long jump with a leap of 6.02m (19-9).
Roadrunners Track Club president/head coach Dexter Bodie thanked Summit Insurance, one of their major sponsors, said they had a few Carifta qualifiers, but he was more impressed with the fact that more than 50 clubs and over 1,200 athletes, making it the biggest meet for the year.
“We just want to give God thanks for everything that transpired today,” he said. “The spectators came out and everybody enjoyed themselves and finished before dark, which was good. So hats off to everyone who played a role in making the meet a success. We look forward to bigger and better things in 2021.”