Henry Wins NACAC U23 Championships Discus, Shot Put Bronze Medals

Photo: Dean "The Sportsman" Greenaway

Photo: Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

By BVI Athletics Association

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador-British Virgin Islands strongman Eldred Henry used his experience from missing the podium two years ago in Canada, to land Discus Throw and Shot Put bronze medals, during the IX NACAC U23 Championships that wrapped up Sunday in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Henry’s medals capped of a stellar meet for the BVI as five of seven athletes advanced to finals.

On Friday, Henry opened his series with a 52.85m throw then recorded a season’s best 56.45m on his second attempt to secure the bronze, becoming the territory’s first to win a medal in a field event. His medal was the first since sprinter Dion Crabbe won two medals in 2000.

“To be honest, I didn’t do as well as I wanted to in the Discus,” said Henry who was fourth two years ago in Kamloops, Canada. “I had a foul that would have put me in the lead, but, I was content with keeping in the ring. The difference between last time and this time is more experience, more exposure. It always feels good to win a medal but, it wasn’t the medal that I wanted. At the end of the day, I have a medal and I’m thankful for it.”

On Sunday, he added bronze in the Shot Put with a throw of 19.11m after placing fifth in 2014 and matched Crabbe’s two bronze medals haul 16 years ago.

“Physically I was ready, just had a little technical flaw with the finish, getting my left foot around more aggressively, so it didn’t result in the pop I needed to get the extra distance,” Henry explained. “After the 19.11, I was looking to go from there and kick it up a notch and probably surpass the 20m mark because I was feeling it, like it was there, but technically, I couldn’t get the finish to result in a big throw.”

Henry said he was better physically prepared that last time as he had a long season and the meet was at the end.

“This season, I had more time to plan out the meets I was going to and have a lot more left in the tank and still have more left for the Rio Olympics,” he said.

Tynelle Gumbs finished fifth in the Hammer Throw with a best heave of 53.80m while twin sister Trevia’s throw of 46.76m, was good for eight place.

“My first four throws, the turn was good but there was no speed,” Tynelle noted. “On my fifth throw, my coach Omar (Jones) told me to go at it and be quick. I was literally grating my teeth and I hit 53 and that was my best throw.”

Trevia said she had bad throws and started to over think. “I have to do a lot of mental preparation before my next big competition,” she said. “It was a good experience competing against people who were older and better than us. This will give us good experience for the next time.”

Trevia was placed seventh in the Shot Put with a heave of 13.53m.

Taylor Hill advanced to the 100m finals after running 12.09 seconds and was seventh in the final in 12.04.

Khari Herbert was also seventh in the 400m after running a season’s best 46.55 seconds. He advanced with a time of 46.84.

Shaquoy Stephens turned in a non advancing time of 10.95 seconds to finish sixth in the 100m prelims. He finished fifth in the 200m semis in 22.12 seconds but didn’t advance. Jonel Lacey missed the last qualifying spot in the 400m after running 55.62 seconds.

Henry shatters BVI records for top Jr. College spots

Edlred Henry copyBy: Dean Greenaway

Eldred Henry, a British Virgin Islands 2013 Carifta Games Discus Throw and Shot Put bronze medalist shattered the territory’s Discus mark and improved his own standard in the Shot, during two competitions in Arizona over the weekend.

At the Mesa Classic Discus Throw Invitational on Friday, Henry, the Central Arizona College freshman demolished Eric Matthias’ 10-year old mark of 55.87m with a toss of 58.18m on his fourth attempt to place third overall.

Then at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe on Saturday, on his last attempt, Henry released a 17.34m effort to win the Shot Put and improve his own National Record of 17.07m at the Willie Williams Classic on March 21. His marks also put him at the top of the National Jr. College Athletics Association rankings in both events.

“My plan was not only to break the record but to surpass it and qualify for the Commonwealth Games,” Henry said of his Discus Throw mark where he’s aiming to throw 60m and over 19m in the Shot.  “My technique has gotten a lot better than before and I’m beginning to understand the concept of the technique which is allowing me to perform the way I am now.”

Henry who’s turning 20 this year is relatively new to the sport and has moved from throwing the Jr. to the Sr. implements said the transition was a bit challenging because with the lighter weights, he was accustomed to seeing the Shot and Disc going further than with the heavier one. He pointed out that his first coach Omar Jones had him throwing the heavier implements as he was about to enter the senior ranks and that has made his adjustments easier.

Despite his inexperience Henry said he knows he has the potential to grow.

“I’m still making simple mistakes but working on correcting them,” he explained. “I would like to take out the school record which is 62m in the Discus and would have to train twice as hard as I’m doing now. If it doesn’t happen this year it’s going to happen next year.”

Henry—fourth and fifth respectively in last year’s Pan Am Jr. Championships Shot Put and Discus Throw—said the international experience has helped him prepare for events like the Commonwealth Games and NACAC U23 Championships during the summer.

“I’ve just begun competing in track a year ago and going and competing in front of thousands of people, isn’t something everybody can do,” he noted. “Once you can get that fear out the way you can relax and perform how you are supposed to. That has helped me out and because in college I have competitions almost every week is helping me to get rid of that fear of competition so its just a matter of how hard and how far you can throw on that day.”