By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
STEFAN Farquharson was the first Bahamian to attain the qualifying standard for the 2020 CARIFTA Games.
Farquharson’s feat came at the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations’ Odd Distance Track Classic where he soared 1.92 metres or 6-feet, 3 1/2-inches to match the qualifying standard for the under-27 boys’ division.
The biggest junior regional games will be held over the Easter holiday weekend in Hamilton, Bermuda, and BAAA president Drumeco Archer indicated to the audience at the track meet Saturday that they are looking to field at least a 50-member team.
Farquharson, a 16-year-old 11th grader at St Augustine’s College, said he was just delighted to achieve the standard so early in the season.
“I just want to thank God for helping me to start off the season strong,” Farquharson said.
“Coming out, I wanted to qualify as early as possible and I’m glad that I was able to do that in this meet.”
As the rest of the season progresses, Farquharson said he intends to work on his drive phase so that he can be ready to go for a medal at the games.
“I just know that I have to go on and just keep up my standards,” he said.
The meet saw a number of athletes, who are also aiming to make the CARIFTA team, as well as the International Amateur Athletic Federation’s World Indoor Championships, March 13-15 in Nanjing, China, IAAF World Jr Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, July 7-12 and Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, July 24 to August 9.
One of those athletes is Tamara Myers, who won the women’s triple jump with a leap of 13.12m (43-0 1/2). “Odd distance is a meet that you are allowed to jump from about nine strides, but I trusted me speed and it got me through,” Myers said. “So it was pretty good and I feel very fit and ready for the 2020 season.”
And finally after competing in so many of the local meets without any competition, the 26-year-old Myers had a chance to share the runway with collegian Charisma Taylor before she headed by to school on Tuesday after spending the Christmas break home.
“It was good,” Myers said of the competition from Taylor. “I got to train with her, so it all worked out.”
This year, Myers said her aim is to represent the Bahamas at the NACAC Championships, the World Indoors and the Olympic Games.
Taylor, now in her sophomore year at Washington State after transferring from the University of Arkansas, said she had a good start to her season, clearing 12.28m (40-3 1/2) for second place.
“I didn’t do as well as I wanted too, but my technique is looking great and I’m not injured, so it was good to get in a meet like the Odd Distance at home,” she stressed. “This was actually really good I got to train with coach James Rolle. He’s a great coach. I’ve been with him all of my jump career, so it was just great to be back home training and to get in a meet at the same time.”
With her goals to get stronger and faster, Taylor said she intent to compete in both the triple jump and the 100m hurdles in her bid to make the national teams for NACAC
“This year is going to be a great year. I’m expecting 13.60 or 13.80m so that I can qualify for the Olympics and in the hurdles, I want to break 8-seconds for the 60m. If I do that, it will set me up well for the 100m hurdles outdoors. They are some big goals, but I know I can accomplish them.”
Although the triple jump/100m hurdles double is no small feat to achieve, Taylor said having done it consistently at the Carifta Games, she feel she’s quite adapt to what she need to do to be ready for the global international scene.
“I hope to qualify in either both events or at least one, but one way or the other, I want to qualify for all of the major meets this year,” said Taylor, who will open her 2020 season for Washington State at the Boise State Invitational over the weekend of January 17-18.
Last year, she produced her personal best in all of her events, inclusive of the 60m - 7.65i; 60m hurdles - 8.30i; 100m hurdles - 13.79; 200m - 25.34i; long jump - 6.03m/19-9 1/2 and triple jump - 13.20m/43-3 3/4. So if that’s any indication, Taylor feel the other thing can do is to continue to improve.
Another athlete aiming for some success in the field events is Grand Bahamian Holland Martin, who is now in New Providence training with James Rolle following his completion of South Plains Junior College. The 21-year-old bypassed his final two years at Texas Tech, won the men’s triple jump on Saturday, but his focus is on the long jump.
“This is a big season for track and field, so being at home, bring around family and training with coach James Rolle, I feel I’m going to do very well,” Martin said. “This meet I got to compete from a short approach nd everything worked out.
“I was just working on getting all of my phrases in from the board into the pit. I wasn’t focused on any distance. I just wanted to get the jumps in. So I felt great. I’ve put in a lot of work, so I have a lot of great expectations for this year, especially to qualify for the Olympics. Once I qualify for the Olympics, I will qualify for all of the other meets.”
The meet also saw Ryan Ingraham return to competition, winning the men’s high jump with a leap of 2.05m (6-8 3/4). Also, on the track, Stephen ‘Dirty’ Newbold contested the men’s 150m, winning his section in 16.38, followed closely by rising Carifta standout Davon Johnson from the Red-Line Athletics and St Anne’s School in 16.78.
Lamont Moss from Dstp Wolfpack won his section in 16.57, while Joshua Miller of the Red-Line Athletics took his section in 16.69.
One of the top performances on the track for the women came from Star Trackers’ Jaida Knowles, the St Augustine’s speedster, who won her section of the open 150m in 18.15. Her team-mate in both club and school, Anthaya Charlton, last year’s junior female Athlete of the Year, won her section in 18.30.
Charlton also doubled in the long jump with a leap of 5.30m (17-4 3/4). Judea Rahming of the Panthers Track Club also posted a double victory in the open women’s shot put with a heave of 9.19m (30-2) and the discus with 25.97m (85-2).