While others will be spending their Valentineâ s Day showing love in their own unique way, track and field athletes will be showing theirs on the track for the sport that they love and the folks that cheer for them.
Fast Track Management is hosting its Fast Track Management Invitational this coming Saturday at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex, scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m.
The invitational will feature a host of Grand Bahama's primary and high school speedsters, as well as its premiere senior athletes in the likes of "Golden Knight" Michael Mathieu, Nivea Smith, Miriam Byfield, Shakeitha Henfield and others.
President of Fast Track Management, Ravanno Ferguson held a press conference yesterday along with Mathieu, Smith, Byfield and Henfield to formally introduce the event and to extend an invitation to Grand Bahama residents to come out and support all the local talent that will be on display.
" This event is an 'all comers' track and field meet. Weâ ll be highlighting some of our own top Grand Bahamian athletes right here, such as Shakeitha Henfield, Miriam Byfield and Nivea Smith. On the menâ s side we have athletes such as Andre Williams, Michael Mathieu and Ryan Penn. All of them will be in the invitationalâ s 200 (meters).
" So, we're looking forward to a good meet. We have a lot of CARIFTA qualifiers also looking to qualify for CARIFTA at this track and field meet," Ferguson stated.
Ferguson says there are procedures in place to run the meet efficiently in terms of keeping track of athlete's times.
" This meet will have fully automatic timing. We have the tech team coming out of Nassau to make sure that this meet is run sufficiently and efficiently, as well as the GBACO officials that we have locally.
" We just want to encourage the wider community to come out and support these athletes on this day and show their love for track and field, seeing that itâ s valentine's day.
" So, if you have a love for track we just want to encourage you to come out and support this venture that weâ re putting on for the community."
Looking to bounce back from some issues she had last year, Henfield says she's excited about the upcoming meet and is in good health.
" I'm very excited about the meet. This will be my first opener to kind of see where I'm at. I've been feeling good in practice and I have no injuries. Last year Iâ ve had some issues, so I'm excited to be able come out, see and run in front of the home crowd and, I think it'll be a good competition and a good race for the people I'm competing against," Henfield stated.
Henfield hopes that the community will come out and show their support this Saturday.
Smith is also excited about the chance to get to perform at home and says, training is coming along.
" I'm excited about it. It's the first time I'm going to run on the home track in about two years so, I'm anticipating a good meet."
Byfield, who recently competed in New Providence is eager about this meet to shake off the performance she had in the nation's captital.
" I'm really excited about this weekend. I ran last weekend in Nassau, I didn't do as well as I expected to do, but I'm hoping to do much better this weekend. It should be better competition so, it should be pretty good with me.
" This is going to be the first meet for me in front on the home crowd so it's going to be, I guess, a teaser for what the season is about to hold," Byfield explained.
It's been a while since Mathieu has competed in Freeport, but he says he is using the meet as a time trial.
" This is going to be my first time in a long time competing over here so, I'm just looking to compete well. It's basically, for me, just a time trial. I'm not expecting nothing too fast, but I think it should go pretty well. Iâ ve been feeling pretty good about training. It's been coming a long extremely well so we'll see this weekend."
Published Thursday, February 12, 2015