The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Relays will take The Bahamas by storm this coming Saturday, May 2 and Team Bahamas seems poised to have a good showing on home soil this year.
Of course, Grand Bahama is set to play a major role on Team Bahamas this year with a handful of our own ready to represent The Bahamas, proudly.
Team Bahamas is set to compete in the men’s and women’s 4x100, 4x200, and 4x400 meters.
Michael Mathieu will rejoin Chris “Fireman” Brown and Ramon Miller on the 4x400 meters team, along with Alonzo Russell, LaToy Williams and Steven Gardiner.
One-fourth of the ‘Golden Knights,’ Grand Bahama’s Demetrius Pinder will lead the 4x100 and 4x200 meters teams this year at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium.
On the men’s side of the spectrum Tabernacle Baptist Christian Academy’s (TBCA) own junior athlete, Javan Martin, anticipates being a part of the action as a member of Team Bahamas.
Martin was named to the 4x100 team along with Alfred Higgs (Grand Bahama), Shane Jones, Deneko Brown, Blake Bartlett (Grand Bahama) and Pinder. He will also join Pinder, Higgs, Brown, Bartlett and Andretti Bain on the 4x200 meters mob.
Martin owned the 100 meters at 2015 High School Championships when he secured a gold medal and also aided TBCA to win gold in the 4x100 meters, where he ran the second leg of the race.
At the CARIFTA Games Martin brought back gold in the U18 100 meters, silver in the 200 meters and was part of the bronze medal team for the 4x100 meters.
Among the members out of Grand Bahama set to represent the black, gold and aquamarine is junior athlete Brianne Bethel, who would be teaming up with V’Alonne Robinson, Tylar Carter, Adanaca Brown, Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie and Krystal Bodie for the women’s 4x100 meters. She was also listed to the 4x200 meters team, teaming up with Anthonique Strachan, Sheniqua Ferguson, Shaunae Miller, Adanaca Brown and Lanece Clarke.
Bethel attends Sunland Baptist Academy and has been in a good rhythm all year and is no stranger to the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium track.
At the 2015 Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) Scotiabank/BTC High School Championships, Bethel emerged strong taking gold in the Under 20 girl’s 100 meters. From there she traveled with Team Bahamas down to St. Kitts and Nevis for the 2015 CARIFTA Games, where she hauled away a bronze medal in the 100 meters and a silver medal in the 200 meters.
She also helped to attract a silver medal in the 4x400 meters.
Adding to the list of junior athletes out of Grand Bahama expected to bless the track will be Shaquania Dorsett.
Dorsett turned in quite the performance at the CARIFTA Games when she brought home two gold medals, one in the under 20 400 meters and the 800 meters.
Joining her on the 4x400 meters sorority will be Grand Bahama born D’Nia Freeman (residing in Maryland).
Freeman was able to be a part of the under 18 girl’s 4x400 meters team that won silver at the CARIFTA Games.
She ran the anchor leg for Team Bahamas.
After the CARIFTA Games were finished she returned to Maryland and competed in the Riverdale Baptist Track and Field Invitational. The junior ran in the 400 meters and placed third.
She logged a time of 56.07 seconds.
Both Dorsett and Freeman will be teammates of Christine Amertil, Clarke, Bianca Farrington and Katrina Seymour.
The notable Grand Bahamian sprinters missing from this year’s World Relays are Miriam Byfield and Shakeitha Henfield.
Byfield cited that she sustained a slight injury during one of her training sessions last month.
“The injury caused a slight interruption in my training program and prevented me from competing in a few preparation track meets in hopes of making the World Relays’ team,” Byfield commented.
“I was saddened at first as I would have liked to for my Bahamian crowd once more but I definitely believe everything happens for a purpose.
“I am confident that the selected team will make the Bahamas proud once more by achieving even more medals,” Byfield added.
Moving forward, she said that she plans to compete in a few track meets at home and abroad in preparation for the Open Senior Nationals.
The Nationals would determine if and what events she will wear the nation’s colors in at the Pan Am Games (Toronto, Canada) and IAAF World Championships (Beijing China) this summer.
As for Henfield, she too is nursing an injury that she sustained before the start of her season. However, she did run in the Fast Track Management Invitational back in February.
“I ran in February. I ran the 200 meters but my main event is the 400 and in order to be considered for the team I would have had to at least run a time in the 400,” Henfield explained.
“I was really hoping for the best. I’m still training and in rehab. I am back on the track now but it’s just that I wasn’t back in time in order to be selected for the team. But the long-term goal is really working towards getting ready for nationals. We have Pan Am, World Championships and then it’s going into a big year. Next year is Olympic year so, it makes more sense to err on the side of caution,” Henfield concluded.
Published Wednesday, April 29, 2015