|The Nassau Guardian's Junior Male Athlete of the Year|
Guardian Sports Editor
Published: Dec 28, 2012
After holding on to the best jump in the world for junior men for much of the year, and winning gold and bronze at CARIFTA and the IAAF World Junior Championships respectively, Latario Collie-Minns was chosen as The Nassau Guardian's Junior Male Athlete of the Year. Ironically, the same could be said of second place finisher Ryan Ingraham.
As a matter of fact, Ingraham ended the year tied with the best mark in the world. Both set new junior national records this year, and both trained locally.
It was Collie-Minns who got the nod with 29 points though, as two of the voters selected him while the third went with Ingraham. Ingraham finished with 24 points. Needless to say, it was a banner year for each of them.
Jumping into a headwind at the BTC/Scotiabank Olympic Trials, Collie-Minns finally erased a 16-year-old junior national record with a splendid leap of 16.64 meters (m) – 54’ 7-1/4”. The old mark was 16.58m (54’ 4-3/4”), set by Allen Mortimer in 1996. At the end of the year, that performance ended as the third best jump in the world among junior athletes.
At the CARIFTA Track and Field Championships in Bermuda, Collie-Minns won the gold medal with a new CARIFTA record of 16.35m (53’ 7-3/4”). His identical twin Lathone won the silver medal with a best jump of 15.55m (51’ 0-1/4”).
At the World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain in July, Collie-Minns settled for the bronze medal with a best leap of 16.37m (53’ 8-1/2”). In that event, Lathone failed to make the final as he struggled to get in a good jump.
Back at CARIFTA, Ingraham won the high jump event with one leap as he entered the competition at 2.11m (6’ 11”). He cleared it with one attempt and no other athlete was able to match that height. Afterwards, he said that he didn’t go after Bahamian Raymond Higgs’ CARIFTA record of 2.21m (7’ 3”) due to a sore ankle.
At the World Junior Championships, Ingraham proved that he was back to top form though. The top three finishers all cleared 2.24m (7’ 4”), but Ingraham finished with the bronze medal based on number of knockdowns. As the final jumper in the competition, he had a chance to win the gold medal, but barely clipped the bar on his final attempt at 2.26m (7’ 5”).
Ingraham did his world-leading jump of 2.28m (7’ 5-3/4”) at the Fritz Grant Invitational, in May. Less than a month later, that world-leading mark was tied by Andrei Churyla of Belarus, the eventual gold medalist at the World Junior Championships. Ingraham’s new personal best of 2.28m is a new junior national record, replacing the mark of 2.23m (7’ 3-3/4”) he did last year.
CARIFTA double gold medalist O’Jay Ferguson was third in voting for The Nassau Guardian's Junior Male Athlete of the Year with 22 points, Lathone Collie-Minns was fourth with 18 points, and tennis player Kevin Major Jr. rounded out the top five with 15 points.