BVI Wins 2nd OECS Track & Field Championships As More Records Fall

St. Lucia's Marbeq Edgar, left, won the Joseph "Reds" Perriera Male Athlete of the Meet Award after winning the 1500m in 3:53.90 and the 800m in 1:50.22, both marks are Championships Records. PHOTO: Dean "The Sportsman" Greenaway

PHOTO: Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

By BVI Athletics Association

On the strength of its women’s team, hosts British Virgin Islands landed the 2nd OECS Track and Field Championships on Sunday night in a close battle with St. Kitts-Nevis and Grenada at the A. O. Shirley Grounds.

The BVI amassed 183 points to claim the title. St. Kitts-Nevis edged Grenada by a point for second place-176-175. The BVI was also the top team in the Women’s Division with 129 points, followed by Grenada with 81 and St. Lucia who earned 58. St. Kitts-Nevis garnered 139 points for the Men’s Division top honors. Grenada followed with 94 and St. Vincent and the Grenadines gained 84 for third place.

In all, over the two days of competition, 22 Championships Records and 19 All Comers Records were established. The BVI’s Tahesia Harrigan-Scott capped off a sprint double when she took down teammate Karene King’s 200m mark of 23.76 seconds from 2014, with her 23.30 run.

In the Men’s equivalent, after false starting in the 100m where he was favored to win, St. Kitts-Nevis’ Antoine Adams dropped a 20.38 seconds time on the board in the 200m, to shatter his countryman B.J. Lawrence’s 20.59 mark from 2014. Adams’ time was also an All Comers Record eclipsing Jamaica’s Jermaine Brown’s two-year old 20.46 seconds mark.

Eric Alejandro of non OECS member Puerto Rico, met his goal of booking his ticket to the Rio Olympic Games in the 400m Hurdles, when he smashed the All Comers Record of 51.85 seconds, with his 49.16 time. The BVI’s Kyron Master who finished second, established the Championships Record of 51.02.

Marbeq Edgar engaged in an enthralling 1500m battle with St. Vincent and the Grenadine’s Delhonni Nicol-Samuel who was seeking to collect a second title after winning the 5000m on Saturday night. When St. Kitts-Nevis’ Masai Jeffers sought to take control on the final lap, Edgar surged and went on to victory and successfully defend his title. He improved his time of 3 minutes, 56.69 seconds from 2014, to 3:53.90. The time erased the BVI’s Greg Rhymer’s 20-year old 3:57.35 as the new All Comers Record.

The Trinidad and Tobago Women’s 4x400m Relay team entered the competition seeking to qualify for Rio and got a fight from a BVI foursome for the first three legs before the baton was dropped by the BVI anchor leg who had to retrieve it. The Trini’s went on to demolish the 20 year old All Comers Record of 3 minutes 45.12 second established by St. Kitts-Nevis, after stopping the clock at 3:33.93, but was off the mark needed for Rio.

The BVI quartet of Tarika Moses, Ashley Kelly, Lakeisha Warner and L’T’Sha Fahie, became the territory’s second team to go under 3:40.00, with their 3:39.74 time, for a new Championships Record after demolishing the 3:57.77 mark established by St. Kitts-Nevis on home sold two years ago.

The final record on the track came when St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Brandon Valentine-Parris brought his team from the back and ran down Grenada’s Junior Charles in the last 50m, to break the meet and All Comers Records, with a 3 minutes 09.41 seconds time.

Five records were established in field events. In the best High Jump field ever assembled in the BVI with three jumpers who had jumped over 1.90m, St. Lucia’s Levern Spencer cleared the bar at 1.90m for an All Comers Record, shattering the 1.65m mark that was set by three BVI athletes.

Her teammate Albert Reynolds demolished Grenadian Emron Gibbs’ 69.40m Championships Javelin Throw Record and the 20-year old BVI All Comers Record held by another Grenadian Trevor Modeste, who threw 64.05m, with his 77.23m winner.

Carifta Games Women’s Javelin Throw champion Candisha Scott of Grenada, shattered Rochelle Ehtienne’ 36.56 meet record with a heave of 50.35m also a BVI All Comers Record.

Dominica’s Dillon Simon extended his Shot Put meet record from 18.18m to 18.85, also an All Comers mark that wiped out Grenada’s Paul Phillips’ 15.61 effort that had been on the books since 2000.

The BVI’s Chantel Malone leapt 6.38m in the Long Jump to surpass Antigua and Barbuda’s Jenita Lewis’ 6.22 meet record from 2014.

Grenada’s Kenisha Pascal, won the inaugural Veda Bruno-Victor Female Athlete of the Meet award, after winning the 800m, 1500m, 3000m then helping her 4x400m Relay to second place. Victor-Bruno was on hand to present the award.

St. Lucia’s Marbeq Edgar was the recipient of the Joseph “Reds” Perreira  Male Athlete of the Meet Award, after winning both the 800m and 3000m.

BVI Women Caps Record Setting Day With OECS 4x100m Relay Record


BVI relay quartet: L-R: Ashley Kelly, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, Chantel Malone and Karene King. PHOTO: Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

By BVI Athletics Assocation

Hosts British Virgin Islands Women’s 4x100m Relay, capped a record setting Day 1 of the 2nd OECS Championships, by breaking the seven-year old OECS mark established by St. Kitts-Nevis in 2009.

In all, 11 Championships Records and eight All Comers Records were established on the A. O. Shirley Grounds, under overcast conditions.

With non OECS member Puerto Rico looking to solidify their No. 16 ranking for next month’s Rio Olympic Games and hosts BVI seeking to improve on their 44.05 seconds mark, starter Ashley Kelly-coming off taking down the championships 400m record and also a BVI national mark-got them off to a good start but Puerto Rico’s sprinter Beatrice Cruz gained some ground.

Cruz’s gain was suddenly taken back with veteran sprinter Taheisa Harrigan-Scott, who ran a stellar second leg to hand off to Long Jumper Chantel Malone. Malone, with a slight lead passed off to Karene King ahead of Genoiska Cancel.

With the hometown faithful on their feet, anchor leg King stormed home trying to hold off the charging ex Southern California All American Carol Rodriguez, who nipped her at the the line in a Puerto Rican National Record of 43.43 seconds, to break their six-year old mark of 43.46. The BVI finished in 43.45 seconds-their first time under 44.00-and in the process wiped out St. Kitts-Nevis’ OECS Record of 43.53. St. Kitts-Nevis-with two members of their 2009 record setting squad in the lineup-placed third in 45.19.

Puerto Rico’s time erased the three-year old All Comers Record of 43.97 seconds set by Canada in 2013.

With three teams in the lineup-OECS Record holders Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts-Nevis and non OECS member Barbados all of whom had run 38.65 seconds or faster-the soft eight-year old All Comers Record of 41.10 seconds established by Puerto Rico was going to fall.

Barbados in particular, ranked No. 17 among relay teams eyeing a spot in Rio, came to the meet needing to run 38.59 seconds, which would have bumped Cuba from the No. 16 position.

St. Kitts-Nevis got out fast, holding a lead through the first three legs before the serious running began.

By the time the pecking order was established at the finish, Antigua and Barbuda’s Miguel Francis-with the second fastest 200m time in the world this year of 19.88 seconds and coming off winning the 100m in 10.34 seconds-ran past Barbados’ Mario Burke to win in 38.91 seconds a Championships Record, wiping out St. Kitts-Nevis’ 39.38 time from 2014. Barbados followed in 39.11 and St. Kitts-Nevis got to the line in 39.39.

The Championships Records began falling when, the BVI’s Harrigan-Scott ran a season’s best of 11.25 seconds-just 03 off her 11.22 All Comers Record from 2010-to win the 100m and erased Dominica’s Hermine Joseph’s 11.83 seconds from 1991, in the earlier version of the championships.

Kelly then followed with a Championships Record, after measuring her steps to nip fast starting and defending champion Kineke Alexander of St. Vincent and the Grenadines at the tape, 52.29-52.30. It was a personal best and National Record, erasing the 52.35 established by Malone in 2010. Grenada’s Kanika Beckles was third in 53.37.

In the men’s 400m race, St. Kitts-Nevis’ Warren Hazel had a comfortable 46.30 seconds victory over the BVI’s Khari Herbert who ran 46.63, and destroyed his countryman Lestrod Roland’s meet record 47.67 from 2014. St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Brandon Valentine-Parris, finished third in 46.77.

The next meet and All Comers Record to fall on the track came when St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Delhonni Nicols-Samuel lapped everyone except second placer Reon Radix, to win the 5000m in 15 minutes, 08.62 seconds. Grenada’s Radix, ran 15:59.09 while countryman Tallan James was third in 16:38.55. Nicols-Samuel’s time, erased St. Lucia’s Jason Sayers All Comers mark of 15:40.32, from 2002.

Marbeq Edgar led a St. Lucian 1-2 finish in the 800m, while erasing Antigua and Barbuda’s Dale Jones’ 26 year old mark of 1 minute 53.5 seconds covering the two circuits in 1:50.22 as the new Championships Record. Michael James was second in 1:51.30 and St. Kitt-Nevis’ Masai Jeffers, third in 1:53.25.

Tynelle Gumbs of the BVI, started off the field events record spree, when she added more than 10 meters on to St. Vincent and the Grenadine’s 37.32m mark from 2014, for a Championships, All Comers and National Record, with her 47.51m measurement. Twin sister Trevia was second with a throw of 43.93m, while St. Kitts-Nevis’ Stavia Lewis also went over the old mark with her 38.74m effort.

In the men’s equivalent, BVI strongman Eldred Henry claimed the 26-year old meet record of 49.22m established by Dominica’s Brian Bynoe, with a third round throw of 53.22m. Henry’s mark also wiped out Eric Matthias’ 51.51m 2008 All Comers Record.

With the Triple Jump being contested for the first time in the history of the championships, St. Lucia’s Sandisha Antoine laid down the standard with a fourth round 13.38m leap, after opening with 13.34m, to break Malone’s eight-year old All Comers Record of 12.40m.

Dominica’s Thea LaFond was second after cutting the sand at 12.70m while Kala Penn of the BVI secured third place with her second round leap of 12.39m.

St. Kitts-Nevis’ Jermaine Francis took down the BVI’s Raymond Solomon’s 25-year old High Jump Championships Record of 2.10m and Karl Scatliffe’s All Comers Record of 2.13m, with his leap of 2.16m.

After Day I, St. Kitts held a five points advantage over St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 65-60, in the Men’s Division. Grenada is third with 46. The BVI has 33, St. Lucia, 31, Antigua and Barbuda 26, Dominica 18 and Montserrat 8.

In the Women’s Division, host BVI amassed 69 points followed by Grenada with 42. St. Kitts occupies third place with 29, one ahead of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Defending champions St. Lucia is in fifth place with 15. Antigua and Barbuda is on 11 points, Anguilla 10 and Dominica 8.

Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago Relays Eyeing Rio in 2nd OECS Championships

Antigua & Barbuda's Chavaughn Walsh passes to Daniel "Bagga" Bailey. PHOTO: Dean "The Sportsman" Greenaway

Antigua & Barbuda’s Chavaughn Walsh passes to Daniel “Bagga” Bailey. PHOTO: Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

By BVI Athletics Assocation

With the addition of Trinidad and Tobago’s Women’s 4 x 400m Relay added to the 2nd OECS Championships line up as they seek to qualify for Rio, BVI Athletics Association officials are now expecting 185 visiting athletes and officials for the 2 day competition on Saturday and Sunday.

With the July 11 window for qualifying for the Olympic Games in Rio closing, the competition has become a last chance qualifier for Rio, with a mouth watering display of talent at the A. O. Shirley Grounds.

In all, all 9 OECS Countries-Anguilla, St. Kitts-Nevis, Montserrat, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada and hosts BVI-will be joined by non OECS Members, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago, making it the meet the biggest to ever be staged in the BVI.

On a program already filled with hot action, Saturday’s 4x100m Relays are sure to be barn burners when Rio qualifiers Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts-Nevis and Barbados men line up on Big Blue, with all three teams having run under 38.68 seconds.

St. Kitts-Nevis which is among the eight teams automatically qualified for Rio by virtue of a finals berth in the IAAF World Relays last year, will bring their 38.76 average from two races into the completion. Antigua and Barbuda already assured a spot in Rio with their 38.07 average is ranked as the #10 team heading into Rio.

Barbados at #17 with their 38.60 average will need a time of 38.59 seconds to bump Cuba from the #16 sport and book their ticket to Rio.

Saturday’s Women’s 4 x 100m Relay will be no less appealing with Puerto Rico, St. Kitts-Nevis and the BVI as the headliners. Puerto Rico with their 43.53 seconds average is the #16 team in the rankings and will be seeking to hold on to that sport for Rio. The BVI who will bring a 44.05 seconds time into the field will be joined by OECS record holders St. Kitts-Nevis.

With Trinidad and Tobago needing a time of 3 minutes 28.63 seconds to qualify, the Women’s 4 x 400m on Sunday evening will definitely see the 20-year old All Comers Record record of 3:45.12 established by a St. Kitts-Nevis quartet going out the window.

The Trini’s will be looking to move from #20 to #16 for a spot in Rio and comes into the competition with their 3:32.25 average from a year ago. They will certainly get competition from Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and hosts BVI and if Puerto Rico enters, it makes it another track burner.

Opening ceremonies are set for 3 p.m. on Saturday with action kicking off a 4 p.m. and at 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children and the limited VIP red seats for $15.

A History of OECS Athletics – by Rey O’Neal

The OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States) is a grouping of small Caribbean countries that, while having no direct political association, cooperate with one another in a number of different areas, including sport.

The OECS Sports Desk organizes or finds sponsorship for a number of sporting events. The OECS Track and Field Championships were perhaps the OECS event with the highest profile and although athletes from the member countries obtained major individual success after the demise of the meet, the absence of the competition has left a void in the regional development programme.

The countries which comprise the OECS include four from the Windward Islands- Dominica,Grenada, St. Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines; and five from the Leeward Islands – Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla.

The driving force behind the OECS Championships was Joseph “Reds” Perreira, the sports coordinator at the OECS sports desk. He was able to use his connections established as a regional sports personality, largely as a cricket commentator, to obtain sponsorship and concessions from a number of multi-national companies operating in the region. Texaco, through its Barbados office, underwrote the cost of staging the championships and a 50% rebate on airfares from LIAT, the regional carrier, made it possible for the delegations to be more representative than would otherwise have been the case.

Participants at the OECS Championships ran the whole gamut of athletic experience. There were athletes who had returned home after completing university studies, several athletes who would venture south from their American colleges, home-based competitors who had not ventured afield and a large number of junior athletes, especially in the longer track events for women.

Read the full history . . .


OECS Championships Kick Off Final Leg For BVI Athletes – Karene King is the reigning OECS 200m champion


Karene King Photo: Dean "the Sportsman" Greenaway

Karene King Photo: Dean “the Sportsman” Greenaway

As the 2014 track and field season begins winding down, the BVI will kick off the regional and international phase of competition with the OECS Championships in St. Kitts July 5-6.

The team includes Tahesia Harrigan-Scott who will run the 100m and has a season’s best of 11.27 seconds and will be joined by Karene King who has run 11.52 this season. King, the OECS 200m defending champion has only one wind legal race to her credit when she ran 23.83 at last month’s BVI Twilight Invitational and a 23.40 wind aided time run in California.

Ashley Kelly is expected to see action in the 200 and 400m where she has marks of 24.02 and 53.43. Lakeisha “Mimi” Warner who has a season’s best of 2 minutes 13.15 seconds will run the 800m.

Trevia Gumbs and her twin sister Tynelle will contest the Shot Put and Javelin Throw where they have respective marks of 13.81 and 38.30m respectively.

Eldred Henry will see action in the Shot Put where he had a personal best toss of 17.34m. Henry, Kelly, King and Harrigan-Scott will use the OECS Championships as a tune up for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, later this month where they will be joined by Shaquoy Stephens.

The BVI Athletics Association will not field a team in this weekend’s CAC Jr. Championships in Morelia, Mexico. The BVIAA thanks the BVI Olympic Committee for its support of its endeavors.

The BVI will also be represented by Nelda Huggins and Kyron McMaster at the IAAF World Jr. Championships in Eugene, Oregon, July 22-27.

Huggins is coming off improving her 200m National Jr. Record of 23.91 seconds with a mark of 23.77 in Antigua over the Weekend.

McMaster lowered his 400m National Youth Record to 48.10 and broke Keita Cline’s 23 year old 200m National Youth Record of 22.09 with a personal best effort of 21.74 seconds. Henry and Stephens will compete in the August 8-10 NACAC U23 Championships in Kamloops, Canada.

Huggins and McMaster will be joined by Deya Erickson, Kala Penn and Akeem Bradshaw at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China Aug 20-26 to close the season.