Sonja Knowles Track Classic on Saturday


Tribune Sports Reporter


THE fourth edition of the Sonja Knowles Track Classic returns to the original Thomas A Robinson Stadium this Saturday and Sunday with a new timing system to facilitate a quicker and more efficient track meet.

Over 750 athletes hailing from local clubs, Grand Bahama, Andros, Texas and Atlanta are set to compete on the track and field at the two-day event hosted by Red-Line Athletics.

According to Tito Moss, club president and head coach of Red-Line Athletics, they intend to pull out all the stops to raise the standard of their track meet.

“It is our fourth annual Sonja Knowles Track Classic and this year we are pulling out all the stops. We are lifting the profile of the meet. We are changing the timing system that we have been using in the past which will aid in the flow of the meet. We are also having a new check-in system for athletes when they check into events which will be by the scanning of the bib which is the first time it is being used in a club meet,” Moss said.

The age divisions will range from under seven to open on the track. Saturday’s track events will include the 75-metre hurdles, 100mh, 110mh, 75m, 100m, 200m (heptathlon), 300m, 400m, 1500m, 4x50m shuttle (under 7 and 9 girls and boys), 4x800m, 4x100m (parents and coaches) and 4x100m (other divisions).

Day one field events will be the discus throw, javelin, high jump, long jump, shot put (heptathlon and octathlon).

On Sunday will be the 300mh, 400mh, 150m, 200m, 800m, 3000m, 4x200m mixed relays, and sprint medley events for the under 15, 17 and 20 age groups. Field events to be competed in on Sunday are the baseball throw, shot put and triple jump. Although the meet consists of an extensive list of track and field events for the two days scheduled, coach Moss emphasised that the new timing system will alleviate some of the time constraints usually associated with club meets.

“The system is similar to the one used at the Speed Capital meet last year. Instead of waiting for a signal from the Tek Team or BACO to start the next race, basically losing 5-7 minutes per heat, this timing system will make it where once that heat is finished the next one is ready to go. We are also gonna have a backup clock to make sure we do not miss any times or events to ensure accuracy,” he said.

Team Bahamas rolled out an historic 80-member contingent for last year’s 50th CARIFTA Games and Red-Line Athletics saw 10 of their athletes selected to represent the country. Currently, the list of CARIFTA qualifiers is approaching double digits with only one track athlete unofficially qualifying and two provisional qualifiers in the mix for the junior regional meet.

Coach Moss is confident that more track athletes will join the list of qualifiers after this weekend.

“Red-Line is the only meet where we have heats and finals in the 100m, 200m, and the 400m and because of that you really get the best versus the best which leads to potential qualifiers. We suspect that after this meet we will have multiple qualifiers. A number of my hurdlers are opening up in the hurdles event this weekend, Darvinique Dean, Bayli Major, Madison Moss, all who have made national teams last year. We expect that they will be pretty close to qualifying or literally qualify at the meet this weekend,” he said.

He added that coaches from other clubs have indicated that they intend to allow their athletes to open up in the sprint events this weekend as well.

The 4th Sonja Knowles Track Classic begins at 10am on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. Tickets for both days are priced at $20 and $10 in general admission for adults and kids respectively.

The two-day VIP pass is $36 for adults and $14 for kids. General admission for one day is priced at $12 for adults and $5 for kids. The one-day VIP pass is $19 for adults and $8 for kids.

Event organisers are anticipating great weather and expect to host one of the biggest and most efficient meets of the season.


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