CAC Age Group Trials set for this weekend
Guardian Sports Editor
Published: May 29, 2013
Over 200 young athletes are expected to compete for just eight spots, two in each division, this coming weekend at the Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium.
According to Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations’ (BAAA) Public Relations Officer Tonique Williams-Darling, The Bahamas CAC Age Group Trials is always exciting and competitive because there are just eight spots up for grabs. She expects this weekend to be no different. The event will get underway at 4 p.m. on Friday, and 1 p.m. on Saturday.
“What you would see is that because there are only two age groups and quite a number of events to be contested, we don’t get to see as many athletes that would take part in the other local meets, but there could very well be between 200-300 athletes out there this weekend,” said Williams-Darling. “New Providence and Grand Bahama will be represented for sure. We get representation from Grand Bahama every year for this event, and those athletes tend to do very well.”
The actual Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Age Group Championships, a biennial international track and field event for young boys and girls between 11 and 14-years-old, is set for June 29-30, at the Sentro Deportivo Korsou in Willemstad, Curaçao. The Bahamas has finished second to Barbados at the past four championships, but won the overall title in 2001 in Freeport, Grand Bahama, and again in 2003, in Caguas, Puerto Rico.
Extreme Athletics Head Coach Nekeno Demeritte has served in some capacity on each team since 2005. He expects both the 11-12 and 13-14 divisions to be well represented by The Bahamas this year.
“I normally do most of my work with the 11-12 kids, and I have four strong kids who are very capable of making this team - two girls and two boys,” said Demeritte yesterday. “I think they have some of the best shots of making the team. We have been finishing second to Barbados for a number of years, and I think we have a realistic shot of doing that again, if not winning the overall title.”
The intention of the meet is for the younger athletes to have experiences with a number of events at a young age. National record holders Kenya Culmer, Shaunae Miller and Debbie Ferguson have all passed through the CAC Age Group Championships.
The pentathlon will be contested in the 11-12 age group, and the heptathlon for the 13-14 girls and boys.
In the 11-12 girls division, athletes will compete in the 60 meters (m), 800m, long jump, high jump and baseball throw. In the 11-12 boys division, the young athletes will compete in the 60m, 1,000m, long jump, high jump and baseball throw. In the 13-14 girls division, the athletes will compete in the 80m, 1,000m, 60m hurdles, long jump, high jump, baseball throw and shot put, and in the 13-14 boys division, the athletes will compete in the 80m, 1,200m, 80m hurdles, long jump, high jump, baseball throw and shot put. There will be mixed 4x100m relay events in both age groups.
Some of the athletes who represented The Bahamas at the last championships in Tortola, the British Virgin Islands, two years ago, are Christopher Johnson, Blayre Catalyn and Doneisha Anderson. Anderson, who won a bronze medal for The Bahamas in the under-17 girls 400m at this year’s CARIFTA Games, is actually still eligible. Catalyn was also a member of this year’s CARIFTA team.
“A number of our top CARIFTA athletes over the years have passed through this program,” said Williams-Darling. “You would normally see a lot of the good athletes start their careers at this meet. The trials should be very exciting, and we are just asking the public to come out and support it.”
The actual CAC Age Group Championships will be held one week after the BAAA National Open Track and Field Championships, set for June 21-22, at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex, in Freeport, Grand Bahama.