Olympian Kirani James headlining Harrigan-Scott camp
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TORTOLA-London 2012 Olympic Games 400-meter champion Kirani James of Grenada is headlining the Tahesia Harrigan-Scott Speed and Technical Camp today on Tortola.
James, the 2011 IAAF Senior World 400-meter champion and one of only nine athletes to have also won the IAAF World Youth and IAAF World Jr. Championships titles, will be joined by the USA's Dwight Phillips, a 2004 Athens Olympic Games long jump champion, who has also bagged four IAAF World titles and has the joint fifth best long jump of all time.
"This clinic is a way to get more young people involved in athletics, getting them exposed to world class athletes and to get them to understand what goes on in track and field in terms of nutrition, anti doping, body maintenance, teaching them the technique and demonstration of drills in warming up," said Harrigan-Scott, a two-time BVI Olympian.
Harrigan-Scott said in addition to the Olympic champions, massage therapist J.J. Johnson - a former elite sprinter - will be in attendance demonstrating some of the techniques he feels are helpful to calf, hamstring and quad injuries. She hopes it brings lots of awareness.
James' coach and 1976 USA Olympic 400-meter relay gold medalist Harvey Glance - who is also a motivational speaker - will be in attendance.
"We have a lot of talented people in our country, especially the kids," the territory's double sprint record holder said. "My ultimate goal is to increase the number of participants when we get to the major championships, especially at the senior level.
"We have a big team on the Youth and Junior levels, but we want this to carry over into the Senior level," the 2008 IAAF World Indoor 60-meter bronze medalist said. "I think we need to encourage and enthuse them as they make the transition so that there doesn't be a drop off when they get to the senior level.
"That's my goal - targeting them from young. Letting them have fun, get experience with world class athletes and hear their experiences, and realize that everybody goes out there and does the same thing," she said. "It's those who have the heart to make it happen on the day. So this is an attempt to get them involved from a young age and help develop them, and let them understand the determination that's needed and the things needed to get them to that level."
The registration fee is $20 per athlete. Young athletes interested in participating in the camp can contact Tahesia on Facebook harrigan-scott st camp. The camp begins with registration at 9 a.m.
Gumbs shatters junior girls discus record
Athletes from the cheetah's Track Club joined their BVI counterparts for Friday evening's 2nd Gatorade Development Series meet - the first of three twilight meets during the series that ends on March 1.
A power outage and heavy rainfall weren't enough to stop the competitive forces during the competition named in honor of Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, which saw promising performances in the field before the power went, and on the track when the lights returned.
Top Notch Track Club's Tynelle Gumbs - the first 30-meter discus and javelin combination thrower-shattered her own Discus mark of 30.66 meters (100'7") with a heave of 36.95 meters (121'2¾") in the U20 Girls event. Twin sister Trevia also improved her 29.95 meters (98'3¼") best to 34.53 meters (113'3½").
Gumbs line up for a Sol National Record Breakers award, which will be doled out during the fifth BVI Athletics Association Gala, on Dec. 28. An athlete establishing an indoor or outdoor National Record that stands at season's end qualifies for the award.
Gumbs' teammate on the U20 Boys side Eldred Henry, flung the 1.75k Discus out to 53.52 meters to qualify for the Pan Am Junior Championships, becoming the No. 2 Junior all-time performer behind Eric "Shaq" Matthias' 55.20-meter (181'1"). Henry also had a foul that was over the 55m mark.
Kala Penn - also of Top Notch Track Club - came within 15 centimeters of the CARIFTA Games U17 Girls Triple Jump qualifying mark, when she cut the sand at 11.10-meter (36'5").
Competition on the track was no different, except that winds over the allowable 2.0 meters per second robbed the females of CARIFTA Games and IAAF World Youth Championships qualifiers.
Last year's CARIFTA Games U17 Girls silver medalist Nelda Huggins of Top Notch rode a plus-3.4 mps breeze to an 11.83 seconds 100-meter win.
With Sprint Tech's Taylor Hill moving to the U20 Girls division this season, the field is more competitive as she and Top Notch's Shaian Vandenburg set the tone of things to come in the sprints. Hill ran a windy 12.08 seconds in the 100 meters to beat Vandenburg's 12.13, with Hill's teammate Jonel Lacey - who ran 12.09 last year as an U17 performer - third in 12.38.
The illegal wind robbed Huggins, Hill and Lacey of an IAAF World Youth Championships (16-17 year olds) standard.
Already with a CARIFTA U17 Girls 800-meter qualifier to her credit, Sprint Tech's Lakeisha Warner, added the 1,500 meters to her repertoire when she stopped the clock at 5 minutes and 04.95 seconds.
The night's male track highlight was Top Notch's Mark Kendall stepping up to the 400 meters after winning the 100 in 10.91. While all eyes were on Fast Lane's U20 Boys Shaquoy Stephens, who opened with a 200-meter 21.89 personal best two weeks ago and has gone under the 50-second barrier - Kendal, running on the inside corridor, chewed up Stephens and the rest of the field early en route to a 49.15-second debut victory.
Kendall's teammate Deshawn Douglas of the U17 Boys came within shouting range of the CARIFTA Games qualifier when he finished behind Stephens' 50.42 with his personal best effort of 50.79.
St. Thomas' Cheetah's Track Club's Avery Joseph won the U17 Boys 1.5k discus throw with a toss of 40.58 meters (133'1¾"). Kelli-Sheen Chapman was second in the U17 Girls 1.5k division with a heave of 23.20 meters (76'1½").
The next meet in the Gatorade Development Series is the Rose Phillips King Adams Classic on Feb 9 at 10 a.m. Online registration will close on Monday.
Schools Football League attracts 700-plus participants
The 2nd BVI Football Association Schools Football League, kicks off on Wednesday at 3 p.m. with a parade of primary and high school teams from throughout the territory, marching from the Road Town Ferry Dock to A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds for the opening ceremonies.
"Last year, we had something like 550 youngsters on that program, and this year, it has jumped to 770 - a fantastic figure and obviously, that has given us problems in terms of the logistics of organizing," BVIFA President Andy Bickerton said. "We're absolutely delighted to announce the LIME has partnered with us in sponsoring the secondary schools program where as, BDO who sponsored the whole program, this year will be sponsoring the primary schools program."
Bickerton of the 770 registered, 556 are in primary and 204 in secondary. He said one third of the participants are girls, showing a growing interest in the program.
BVIFA Program Director Vincent Samuel said the league will run over four months with over 300 matches in both divisions.
"We are definitely looking forward to this tournament with great anticipation and students are eagerly looking forward to what's coming for them," he said. "We are also happy to have Anegada on board. Anegada has been one of our development teams and we are looking forward to seeing how that works along with Virgin Gorda and to match the talents. But, all in all, we promise that this year will be something special."
- Dean Greenaway is a Daily News correspondent based on Tortola