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The Bahamas wins its third CAC Age Group title!

The team finished more than 700 points ahead of second place finisher Trinidad
  • The Bahamas won the CAC Age Group Championship, which wrapped up on Sunday in Willemstad, Curaçao. The eight-member team finished with 28,545 points. Trinidad & Tobago finished second overall, with 27,816 points, and Barbados, which had won the past three championships, rounded out the top three, with 27,756 points. The eight-member team is shown here with team coaches in Curaçao. COURTESY OF TONIQUE WILLIAMS-DARLING

SHELDON LONGLEY
Guardian Sports Editor
slongley@nasguard.com

Published: Jul 02, 2013

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On the strength of some great performances by eight talented young Bahamians, The Bahamas is once again Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Age Group Champions!

The team of 11-12 girls Tylar Lightbourn and Kennedy Culmer, 11-12 boys Blaize Darling and Tamasio Bullard, 13-14 girls Doneisha Anderson and Kristia Collie, and finally Branson Rolle and Kairon Bain in the 13-14 Boys Division, finished with 28,545 points in the championships which wrapped up on Sunday in Willemstad, Curaçao. Trinidad & Tobago finished second overall, with 27,816 points, and Barbados, which had won the past three championships, rounded out the top three, with 27,756 points.

The overall title was the third for The Bahamas at the biennial championships.

Led by Anderson, the country’s highest individual finisher, The Bahamas won the 13-14 Girls Heptathlon with 7,906 points. Guadeloupe finished second with 7,862 points, and Jamaica was a distant third, with 7,508 points. Anderson finished second in that division, with 4,151 points, and Collie was ninth, with 3,755 points. Shafiqua Maloney, from St. Vincent & the Grenadines, held off Anderson for first in that division, with 4,204 points, and Iman Berthelot, from Guadeloupe, was third with 4,058 points. A total of 39 athletes took part in that division.

In the 13-14 Boys Heptathlon, The Bahamas was third, with 9,613 points. Trinidad & Tobago won that division, with 9,947 points, and host country Curaçao was second, with 9,694 points. Rolle was fifth in that division for The Bahamas, with 4,910 points, and Bain finished ninth, with 4,703. Sebastian Romero, from Puerto Rico, won that division, with 5,302 points, Enzo Hodebar, from Guadeloupe, was second with 5,226 points, and Tyriq Horsford, from Trinidad & Tobago, rounded out the top three with 5,214 points. Dominique Zwiep, from Curaçao, edged Rolle for fourth, as he finished with 4,958 points. A total of 39 athletes also took part in this division.

The Bahamas finished second in the 11-12 Boys Pentathlon, with 6,144 points. Venezuela won that division, with 6,460 points, The Bahamas was second, and Jamaica finished third, with 5,698 points. Darling won the bronze medal in that division for The Bahamas as he finished with 3,167 points. Daniel Mejicano, from Venezuela, won that division, with 3,301 points, and Jeremy Berquier, from Guadeloupe, was second with 3,214 points. Bahamian Bullard was eighth in that division, with 2,977 points. Just like in the 13-14 girls and 13-14 boys, a total of 39 athletes took part in this division.

In the 11-12 Girls Pentathlon, The Bahamas finished seventh, with 4,882 points. Barbados won that division, with 5,409 points, host country Curaçao was second, with 5,369 points, and St. Kitts and Nevis rounded out the top three, with 5,213 points. Bahamian Lightbourn was 13th in that division, with 2,527 points, and Culmer finished 19th with 2,355 points. Charissa Moore, from Barbados, won that division, with 2,860 points, Zekiah Lewis, from Bermuda, was second with 2,773 points, and Beyonce de Freitas, from the British Virgin Islands, finished third with 2,770 points. A total of 38 competitors took part in this division.

Overall, The Bahamas finished first in the girls with 12,788 points, and second in the boys with 15,757 points. Barbados finished second behind The Bahamas in the girls, with 12,728 points, and Venezuela held off The Bahamas in the boys, with 16,020 points.

About a dozen countries took part in the championships.

“Congratulations to our athletes, coaches and team officials for a job well done,” said Tonique Williams-Darling, public relations officer of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA). “The BAAA is pleased with the overall performance of the team. The Bahamas has some of the most talented athletes, not only in the region, but worldwide.”

Williams-Darling added that The Bahamas’ success at the championships can be attributed to four very important factors - the genetic make-up of Bahamians; the observation of the BTC CARIFTA Games which she said was a major source of motivation and inspiration for the young athletes; the efforts of the BAAA and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture to ensure that Bahamian track and field remains viable and progressively successful; and finally the efforts of the individual club coaches and the team coaches, who worked with the athletes over the last month.

“Given that the age group athletes are between the ages of 11-14 we recognize that their ability is not so much from years of training but an innate physical ability of our people,” said Williams-Darling. “I am particularly proud of this young team because of Doneisha Anderson who is a member of my club, TWD Athletics. Doneisha is only 12-years-old but this is already her third opportunity to represent our country on an international level. She was second in her individual event and contributed greatly to the overall relay success and the team success. She continues to represent her country with passion and humility. With athletes such as Doneisha and her teammates, in this 40th year of independence, we can proudly say that The Bahamas is bridging the way to the future in track and field.”

The Bahamas also won both mixed 4x100m relays, taking the 11-12 Age Group relay in 51.19 seconds, and the 13-14 Age Group relay in 47.27 seconds. Jamaica was second behind The Bahamas in the 11-12 Age Group relay in 51.20 seconds, and Trinidad & Tobago finished second behind The Bahamas in the 13-14 Age Group relay, in 47.95 seconds.

The team returned home, at the Lynden Pindling International Airport, late last night.

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