Inter Schools, Carifta, Penn Relays and more

Following the completion of the Carifta Trials the Selection Committee of Team Athletics St Vincent and the Grenadines (TASVG), headed by Technical Director, Gideon Labban, identified several athletes for further training and participation in regional and international competitions for 2011.
As always however, all home-based athletes must participate in the annual Championships scheduled for 28 May 2011. Failing to participate without an appropriate excuse received in advance of the Championships would result in their being omitted from any possible team for the rest of the year.
TASVG did call a meeting of all the selectees and their parents to inform them of the conditions of their selection and indicated to them at the time that other athletes who showed improvement with training could easily be added while those already selected but failed to show consistency in training and improvement could be dropped from the team.
TASVG does have a full schedule of competitions for the year and athletes are expected to be in training through to the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, in October.
Inter Secondary Champs
The annual Inter Secondary Schools Championships allowed a number of athletes to come to the fore. As mentioned in an earlier article what we saw at the event was the outstanding performances of those athletes who had been consistent in their training. They were better prepared and so gave better performances.
Brandon Parris of the Thomas Saunders Secondary School was very outstanding, winning the 1500m, 800m and 400m Intermediate. Even though he did not have enough points to take the Victor Ludorum everyone at the competition was duly impressed with his level of preparation.
Renaldo Charles, the eventual winner of the Victor Ludorum and the Intermediate Championship titles was very outstanding although he was still some distance from the Carifta Standards. He has abundant talent and once he sticks to training properly and consistently would no doubt be one of this country’s outstanding sprinters.
Young Nicky-Ann Stephens of the same institution, without any formal training leapt to top honours in both the long and triple jump competitions for the Intermediate category.
Lennisha Oliver again took top honours in the Junior category but remains inconsistent in her training. She is very talented but has to work on he total preparation, which includes attitude.
Coaches and Physical Education teachers across St Vincent and the Grenadines must feel satisfied with what they were able to produce for the Inter Secondary Championships.
Importantly, with the Inter Primary Schools Championships still to have its Finals – 8 June – we are likely to see more talent emerge.
It is important for the athletes to continue training and to engage in the pre-season training next September through to December, so they could be in better shape in 2012.
Falcon Games – Tobago
TASVG responded favourably to an invitation from the organisers of the Falcon Games in Tobago, one week prior to the Carifta Games. The Carifta selectees were sent to the Falcon Games with the exception of Brandon Parris, who, it was said, had Physical Education practical on 21 April. Courtny Bascombe was included in the team to content the 100m and 200m Open. The decision to have the team participate in Tobago was to allow for access to a synthetic surface prior to the competition. The second reason was to allow them to have one week’s training before leaving for Montego Bay, Jamaica, host to the Carifta Games.
In Tobago the team performed very well. Mention should be made especially in respect of Nicky-Ann Stephens. With the help of the coaches from Trinidad and Tobago who responded to our request for assistance following her work at home with Woodrow ‘Keylee’ Williams, she began serious training and performed well.
Women’s Shot Put :
Name                      Team      Yr          Finals
1.Cherisse Murray       TOCO       94       12.23m
2. Shauna Downey       Burnley     94       11.41m
3   Shannel Mac Kie      SVG         92       11.35m
4   Korena Peters                            92       6.35m
Under 17 Girls’ Long Jump
1. Nicky Stephens          SVG         95      5.35m
2. Meriah Freeman         D,Abadie  96      4.88m
3  Aiesha                                           96      4.64m
4  kayla Chapman                              95     4.52m
Men’s 100m Dash
1. Courtny Bascombe     SVG           85      10.73
2. Rupert    Perry         Guy. D/Force  89     10.73
3 Kwasie King                                                10.78
4. Raymond Campbell                         90      10.82
Women’s Discus Throw
1. Shauna Downey                                94      37.36m
2. Cherise Murray                                 94      34.61m
3. Rene Williams                                  93       33.82m
4. Shannel Mackie                                  92       32.02m
Girls’ Under 17 Triple Jump
1. Nicky Ann Stephens     SVG         95            10.95m
2. Ayana Glasgow                              97            10.18m
3.Eliesha Serapio                                96              9.49m
Men’s 1500m
1. George Smith                                   90          4.00.91
2. Cleveland Thomas                            86         4.02.26
3.  Mark London                                     94         4.06.11
4.  Christopher  Mitchell                       91         4.08.00
5.  Jeriel Lewis                                       93          4.24.11
6. Ezra Samuel                                       93          4.25.07
Men’s 200m
Heat time for Courtny Bascombe  22.4. He did not qualify for the Final.
Carifta Games – Montego Bay, Jamaica
In Jamaica the Carifta Games was very different. The athletes from St Vincent and the Grenadines were up against the very best Juniors in the Caribbean, some of whom are the best in the world.
As expected, the best performance came from Brandon Parris who, after finishing second in his semi final 800m in a personal best time finished fourth in the final with yet another personal best.
Everyone was impressed with Parris’ performance and he is certainly an athlete for the future.
In the long jump Stephens was very unfortunate not to have won a medal. She, like Parris, showed the region that this country does have athletics talent and can match them in competition. The official results at Carifta for the Vincentian athletes were:
800m U – 17 Male
4th Brandon Paris     SVG            1:57. 17
Long Jump U – 17 Female
4th Nicky Ann Stephens  5.51m  NWI
Triple Jump U – 17 Female
10th Nicky Ann Stephens  10.84    1.4 wind
Shot Put U – 20 Female
9th Shannel Mackie   10.24m
Discus U – 20 Female
8th Shannel Mackie   31.07
5000m U – 20 Male
9th Ezra Samuel    SVG   17:15.53
Penn Relays
The Thomas Secondary School ventured into the prestigious Penn Relays for the first time last week.
Given the lack of appropriate facilities here the undertaking was a major challenge. Add to this the fact that the students entering the Schools component of the Penn Relays must come from the same school and one would understand the predicament.
In the 4 x 100m the team did not fare well. In the 4 x 400m, the team did better.
In many respects the venture was historic but useful in laying the foundation for the future.
Schools could now strive after qualifying for the annual Penn Relays by deliberately seeking to cultivate a team. There are major challenges in this regard.
In Jamaica it is common for schools, always keen on performing well at the Boys’ and Girls’ Champs as well as at the Penn Relays, deliberately go after athletes from the primary schools to facilitate the development of strong athletic teams. We may soon see this as an option being pursued here in the future given the interest generated by Thomas Saunders’ participation this year.
Should schools take this route we are likely to see significant poaching of athletes by coaches and PE Teachers from one another. This would be new to St Vincent and the Grenadines and may pose serious challenges.
The future
TASVG has already selected and registered Brandon Parris as the lone representative to this year’s World Youth Championships scheduled for Lille, France, in July. He would leave early to join athletes from North America, Central America and the Caribbean (NACAC) in a Camp prior to the start of the Championships. The experience is sure to prove most beneficial and should be a source of encouragement for the future.
The other Junior athletes who went to the Carifta Games must now focus on giving good account of themselves in the Mustique National Championships (28 May) and also in the Team Event Championships slated for 14 May at Arnos Vale.
There is a possibility that Juniors may participate in the Junior Championships in Trinidad and Tobago while the seniors would certainly be attending the Senior Championships in the twin-island Republic in late June. The top performers would be eligible to attend the Central American and Caribbean Senior Championships scheduled for mid July in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.
Top seniors are also eligible for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships scheduled for Daegu, South Korea, late August – early September.
Athletes aged 11-14 years would be eligible for the national representative team to the Central American and Caribbean Juvenile Championships scheduled for Tortola, BVI,
1 – 2 July.
There are opportunities aplenty and the athletes, PE Teachers and coached all need to work well together rather than against each other for the future development of the sport.