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Second place finish for The Bahamas!

Men’s 1,600m relay squad runs fast time; women’s sprint relay team finishes fifth
  • Bahamian quarter-miler Chris Brown, left, trails LaShawn Merritt, from the USA Red team, to the finish line in the USA vs. the World men’s 4x400m relay during the Penn Relays on Saturday, in Philadelphia. The USA Red team won with a time of 3:00.15. The Bahamas finished second in 3:00.56. AP6

Guardian Sports Reporter

Published: Apr 30, 2012

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The first test for The Bahamas that relay coordinator Henry Rolle needed was handed to him on Saturday, when three of four teams took to the track at the 118th running of the prestigious Penn Relays.

Still trying to secure spots in the 4x100 meter (m) relays, for men and women, as well as the 1,600m relay for women at the upcoming Olympic Games, The Bahamas was one of many countries that embraced the challenge from the United States at the Penn Relays to see who would reign supreme in the relays, dubbed the USA versus the World. The men’s 4x400m team is no stranger to the medal podium at world level meets. They were out to improve on their ranking which has them listed as the ninth fastest team heading into the Olympics. Only the top 16 teams in the world, up until the cut off date of July 2, will qualify for the Olympics.

A large crowd was on hand Saturday, at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, and the Bahamian men’s 4x400m relay team of Demetrius Pinder, Ramon Miller, Michael Mathieu and Chris Brown, in that order, didn’t disappoint. In the head-to-head battle with some of the best quarter-milers in the world, they ran 3:00.56 for second behind the USA Red team. The USA Red’s time is the world’s fastest, this far, as they came in at 3:00.15. The time turned in by Team Bahamas is the second fastest in the world this year. The USA Blue team had the third fastest time on Saturday, 3:03.13, and Jamaica had the fourth fastest, 3:03.28.

Running together in their first sprint relay of the year, on Saturday, the Bahamian women’s team of V’Alonee Robinson, Nivea Smith, Sheniqua Ferguson and Anthonique Strachan, in that order, posted a time of 44.14 seconds. The Bahamas was fifth overall behind the USA Red team, Jamaica, Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago.

In the world challenge for men, in the 4x100m relay, The Bahamas placed seventh in a time of 39.68 seconds. Running in that event were Michael Mathieu, Jamial Rolle, Warren Fraser and Johnathan Farquharson, in that order. The fastest time was posted by the USA Red team, followed by the USA Blue team and then a Jamaican team missing world record holder Usain Bolt, former world record holder Asafa Powell and current World Champion Yohan Blake. Team USA Red ran 38.40 seconds and the USA Blue team turned in a time of 38.47 seconds. Crossing the finish line in 38.89 seconds was Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago clocked 39.03 seconds for fourth.

On the college level, Bahamian sprinter Smith assisted Auburn University to a fifth place finish in the College Women’s 4x100m Championship of America. Their time was 44.86 seconds. Winning the event was Texas A&M University, and Louisiana State University (LSU) and the University of Central Florida (UCF) followed. Robinson, who also attends Auburn, placed seventh in the 100m dash final in 11.79 seconds. Her best of 5.63m, in the long jump event, was good enough for 22nd overall.

Quarter-miler Amara Jones ran the lead leg for Savannah State, in the 4x200m. The team was 11th overall in 1:38.83. Jones was also the starter in the 4x400m for Savannah State. That team placed 31st overall in 3:45.09.

The best time posted by a Bahamian high school competing in the 4x100m was turned in by the squad from Moore’s Island. They closed with the 14th fastest time, 43.63 seconds. The Queen’s College Comets finished 31st overall with a time of 44.24 seconds and the C.V. Bethel Stingrays finished 33rd overall, in 44.26 seconds. Also competing was the St. Augustine’s College Big Red Machine. They stopped the clock in 44.30 seconds. That time placed them 36th overall.

In the 4x400m, the Moore’s Island team placed eighth, in their heat, in 3:25.08. Winning that heat, in 3:16.11, was Munro College, from St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. That team from Munro also went on to win the High School Championship of America title, in 3:11.91. The time of 3:32.51 was recorded by C.V. Bethel in the 4x400m for a fifth place finish in their heat.

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