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Caribbean Women's Football Ends In St. Lucia

    Haiti-women-football(18 November 2000) - Excellent football punctuated the inaugural Caribbean Women's Football Finals through the first two rounds. Host territory St. Lucia played well, but Haiti were the class of this four-team tournament. Both came into their third-round match at Gros Islet unbeaten, but St. Lucia (having been held to a draw by Surinam) needed to win this game for the title. Haiti needed but a draw.
    Notwithstanding, the Haitians were on the attack early. Their aggression was rewarded with a fifth minute goal converted by Denise Marie-Gilles. The St. Lucians were clearly less technically sound and less experienced than their French Caribbean cousins. For the first twenty minutes or so, the ball never made it into the Haitian half. Stout defense led by Shenelle Joseph and Sabina Charles was offest by poor work in midfield and a low work rate from veteran striker Beverly Francis, who did not have a good tournament. For Haiti, Woodlene Marie-Jacques scored ten minutes before the half, touching home a ball that had rebounded from the upright.
    The St. Lucian coaching staff made some changes for the second period. Francis sat for Cindy Edwards, teenager Jamilla Henry joined the midfield, and Shermain Hyacinth came on at left-back. It changed St. Lucia's shape, and after fifteen minutes of positive football, Vanessa Jean recorded her third goal of the tournament. It looked as if St. Lucia might score again, but the Haitians turned up the pressure. In one dramatic sequence, with Hyacinth exhorting her teammates to concentrate, St. Lucia saw off five consecutive Haitian  corners. Nine minutes from time, Marie-Jacques struck again to seal  the win.
    Haiti were entirely deserving of their title. They were fitter, more experienced and more knowledgeable than everyone else. Clearly the second-best team was St. Lucia, with the Surinamese third. Led by former national player Rodwell Alexander, St. Vincent and the Grenadines were self-proclaimed underdogs. They surprised no-one by  finishing dead last after conceding three goals to tournament-leading  scorer Denia Vliet (five goals) who did all Surinam's scoring in what  was essentially a third-place playoff.
    All in all, it was a worthy experiment by the Caribbean Football Union, but it showed the need for better leagues, more friendlies and more tournaments for women throughout the Caribbean.In St. Lucia, the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development, Youth and Sports has commited to including women's football in the school  sports calendar. The FA has declared its intention to develop the women's league. Such initiatives will indubitably prove a tremendous boost to the sport.

    Women's Football

    COMPLETE RESULTS

    St. Lucia 6 (Tia Clarke 2, Lisa Vidal 2, Vanessa Jean, Kellyanne St. Clair) - St. Vincent & the Grenadines 2

    Haiti 3 - Surinam 1 (Vliet)

    St. Lucia 1 (Jean) - Surinam 1 (Vliet)

    Haiti 3 - St. Vincent & the Grenadines 0

    Surinam 3 (Vliet 3) - St. Vincent & the Grenadines 0

    Haiti 3 -St. Lucia 1

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Nervous Women's Football Opener For St. Lucia

    (14 November 2000) - The inaugural Caribbean women's football tournament began Tuesday at Mindoo Philip Park in Castries, St. Lucia, with spectators and perhaps even oganisers unsure as to what sort of football they could expect.
    What ensued in game one was a fine exhibition from Haiti, as they beat Surinam 3-1. Haiti showed good sense, ran well with the ball and passed exceptionally well. From Tuesday evening's display, Haiti appear to be the class of this competition.
    The home team earned a result from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, winning 6-2, but to say that St. Lucia were less than impressive would be to seriously understate the situation. The names on the scoresheet, captain and midfielder Lisa Vidal and forward Tia Clarke twice each, along with Kelly-Ann St. Clair and Vanessa Jean, were perhaps overshadowed by a name that was not there. Burly and usually prolific striker Beverly Francis started for St. Lucia, but her eventual benching with fifteen minutes to go drew cheers just as loud as those she had heard when she stepped onto the pitch.
    At the other end, St. Lucia were listless and vulnerable. The centre of their defense never held, and a better team would have punished them.
    Put it down to nervousness, as Vidal did afterwards, or say that St. Lucia were playing down to the level of their opponents. Whatever the case, the St. Lucians played well below their potential, and although themselves and Haiti seem to be the only teams with a chance for the championship, so far St. Lucia are second-best.

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St. Lucia Wins OECS Swimming

    Sherri Scobie-Henry at poolside, Sydney 2000(12 November 2000) - When the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States swimming championships began over a decade ago in Antigua, the home team ruled the roost. In the mid-1990's Grenada built an aquatic centre, though, and all of a sudden the balance of power had shifted. Grenada won the OECS meet every year from 1994 to 1999 inclusive, usually by wide no, huge - margins.
    In recent years, only St. Lucia could come remotely close to unseating Grenada. Jamie Peterkin first entered the OECS meet as a pre-adolescent; he was outstanding then, and he's outstanding now, an Olympian and a freshman at the University of Kentucky. David Peterkin, Jamie's father, fought tooth and nail for the development of swimming in St. Lucia, and this year he finally saw part of his dream accomplished, as a twenty-five metre pool was built as part of Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre.
    The first big event at RHAC was the 1999 OECS meet, even if it was held in February 2000. Grenada won, of course, but St. Lucia were surprisingly close, given how new their facility was.  Jamie went off to school, and the Olympics; his female counterpart, Sherri Scobie-Henry, completed her studies in Trinidad and Tobago and also became an Olympian; Nicholas Peterkin (Jamie's cousin) and David Worrell went off to North America to pursue further studies as well.
    They were all back in November for the 2000 OECS meet, and so it came to pass that on Sunday afternoon St. Lucia beat Grenada for the first time in OECS swimming. The Seahawks, as St. Lucia's national team are known, completed a 1607-1461 points victory over Grenada's Spicefins, fulfilling the words of David Peterkin and Yasmin Tyson, a St. Lucian coach.
    As usual, Jamie and Sherri were excellent, each named most outstanding swimmer after dominating the men's and women's divisions. Excellent support came from Nick Peterkin, David Worrell and his brothers Brad and Fred, from Simon McIntosh and Peter James and from a trio of pre-adolescent boys, Jean-Luc Augier, Marlon James and Lewis Meixner. Among the women, Della Louis-Fernand was impressive, as were young Natasha George and the Beaubruns, Annalise and Cristianne, not to mention Brittany Eames, not yeat ten and junior female swimmer of the year in St. Lucia for 1999.
    It was an historic weekend at RHAC, but if David Peterkin and his cohorts have anything to say about it, history could become a matter of course.

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Eerie Streetball

    (5 November 2000) - Neil Joseph. Mervin "Mervin Joe" Augustin. Trevor "Parish" Edwards. Jeremiah Vitalis. Save for the 21-year-old Vitalis, these guys aren't necessarily household names for your average St. Lucian basketball fan. They scrimmage daily at George V Park in Castries, playing their serious ball with the Prophet club, coached by Julian "Daysha" Thomas.
    The Third Annual Guinness/Tri-Hoops Promotions Hoopfest was somewhere between a lengthy scrimmage and a serious competition. Beginning at 10 am Sunday, St. Lucia's largest-ever three-on-three basketball tournament ended at nearly 8 pm, with Prophets beating Ghetto Youts in a close men's final.
    It was an eventful final as well. When Joseph was in danger of fouling out, he went to the "bench" (actually, the curb) and made way for Vitalis. Remember, though, this was the only organised basketball in St. Lucia - outside of Vieux Fort - this year. Vitalis cramped up so badly, he lasted less than sixty seconds. With Ghetto Youts up four, Mervin Joe swatted two consecutive shots before Joseph fouled out. Three on two, advantage Youts.
    Undeterred, Augustin swatted another and sent home a crowd-pleasing jam for good measure, then Parish added a short jumper. With three minutes remaining and Prophets down two, Vitalis decided to ignore his pain and come back in. One minute left, all tied up at eleven and a Parish steal goes out of bounds, but the officials can't see who tipped it out. Jump ball. Prophets get it, Parish scores, Vitalis blocks a desperate last-minute shot and Parish completes a theft with three seconds remaining to win it all.
    Says Daysha: "Prophets, we're all about guts and determination."
    Mystics (Melissa Simon, Melissa John, Kisha Arthur) beat Wanderers in the women's final. Hoopfest has been held three years, each year Kisha entered a different side, and each year she's won. This 21-year-old is aching for some sort of scholarship to just about any community college or university.
    The 2000 Hoopfest attracted a record 31 teams.

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Young Boxers For Regional Meets

    (9 November 2000) - The coach of St. Lucia's boxing team has named five home-based fighters to continue training for the 2000 Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States amateur championships, due to be held in late November in St. John's Antigua. The team will also be preparing for the 2001 Caribbean championships.
    The coach is professional boxer Guy "Guy Love" Lawrence, a former OECS champion himself. His squad is led by another OECS winner, 1998 bantamweight champion Jerry Antoine. Flyweight Cleus Fergus, junior welterweight Patrick Wilson, welterweight Antonio Laurencin and middleweight Thaddeus Francis are there as well.
    Also being considered for the OECS and Caribbean championships are featherweight Leslie Skinner and welterweight Jeff Jagroop. Skinner is training in Guyana, and Jagroop is in Barbados working with St. Lucia's WBC Continental Americas champion Benjamin "the Tiger" Modeste.

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Windies Women Meet In St. Lucia

    (4 November) - The executive committee of the West Indies Women's Cricket Federation met in St. Lucia on Saturday. Elizabeth Williams, second vice-president of the WIWCF, says the meeting went quite well.
    "We spoke about our five-year plan for the Federation. We're going to be working further on that before the year ends. We're also putting things in place for us to send a representative to the International Women's Cricket Council meeting in New Zealand in December.
    "Plans for the 2001 Caribbean tournament [St. Lucia are three-time defending champions] which will be 22 May-4 June in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We're also looking forward next year to hosting a visit by the Lancashire club of England."
    Carol Whilby-Maxwell, the St. Lucian-based Jamaican who heads the WIWCF, is expected to represent the federation at next month's IWCC meeting, along with Anne Brown-John of Trinidad and Tobago.

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St. Lucia Wins 2 Straight In OECS V'ball

    (10 November 2000) - Inexperienced they are, but St. Lucia's men's volleyball team were also winners Thursday evening at the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States championships in St. John's, Antigua.
    The 3-1 win over St. Maarten came in pretty impressive fashion. The St. Lucians took the opening set 25-14, before St. Maarten tied it up with a narrow second set win, 25-22. Then St. Lucia reeled off straight wins (25-18, 25-14) to close out their opening game victory.
    Friday evening the St. Lucians beat a tough Dominica squad 3-1 (25-21, 18-25, 26-24, 25-21) to run their record to 2-0 and round into good shape for a good match against St. Kitts.

East Coast Lad Is Southern Champion

    (5 November 2000) - 25-year-old Mon Repos-born middle distance runner Zepherinus "Knockay" Joseph is the 2000 NCAA Division II South Regional cross-country champion. Saturday, at the meet hosted by his school - the University of North Florida (Jacksonville) - Zepherinus topped 132 finishers with a time of 31:02.48 for the 10 kilometre cross-country run.
    With the victory, his fifth in six races since enrolling as a junior at UNF in August, Zepherinus became eligible for the DII All-Academic Team and qualified for the national divisional championships.
    Unfortunately, the other UNF runners didn't support Zepherinus well; the Ospreys could muster only a third place team finish. They'll be missing out on the national championships later this month, but Zepherinus will be there, trying to add just one more title to the trophy cabinet.

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Windy Augustin Wins Cross-Country Title

    Bethune-Cookman College captured the 2000 MEAC Women's Cross-Country Championship on Saturday, October 28th at Greensboro North Carolina's Hagan Stone Park. Bethune-Cookman won the title with a score of 63 points, placing four runners in the Top 10.
    St. Lucian middle distance runner Windy Augustin - a Bethune-Cookman junior - won the women's 3K event with a time of 19:04 and was named the MEAC Most Outstanding Performer, finishing 14 seconds ahead of her teammate Marketa Patochoua, who finished second. BCC Head Coach Curtis Pittman was named the Most Outstanding Coach.
    Also competing in Greensboro, among the men, were Nickie Peters of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Lucia's Beryl Harris. Both runners are sophomores at Coppin State College in Maryland. Peters was second among the men, clocking 25:35 to end 14 seconds behind the winner. Harris was close to a further minute and a half back, ending in 26:59 to capture ninth position.

    Women's Top 10 Finishers
    1. Windy Augustin (BCC)19:04
    2. Marketa Patochoua (BCC)19:18
    3. Marla Sterbova (UMES)19:28
    4. Jennifer Brown (FAMU)19:42
    5. Krystal Perkins (Howard)19:47

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Crafton To Lead National Team

    St. Lucia's national cricket selectors have named a seventeen-member squad to continue training for the 2000 Windward Islands senior tournament, which begins 25 November with St. Lucia away to Grenada. The national team looks good on paper, accomplished, experienced, and comfortable with winning.
    The squad is led, predictably, by Alton Crafton. His Gros Islet team has won the last two domestic titles, and he's a former Windward Islands captain. Crafton will open the batting for St. Lucia, perhaps opposite young Libert Serieux of Mon Repos. Sharm Pierre, another strong contender for an opening spot, was unfortunate not to have done well in trials, but his time will come sooner rather than later.
    In the middle order, perhaps only Greg Wilson and John Eugene are guaranteed to make the final eleven. Wilson, from Central Castries, is the vice-captain. Playing for Gros Islet earlier this year, Eugene broke just about every local record, averaging over a hundred for the season. He followed that up with an unbeaten knock of 130 for the Windwards against South Africa A. Most recently, he was a key batsman for the Windwards as they won the 2000 Red Stripe Bowl, the regional limited overs tournament.
    Speaking of winners, Sergio Fedee, Gairy Mathurin and Darren Sammy could be key contributors for this St. Lucia side. All three, along with Sharm Pierre, were members of the Windwards team that took the regional under-nineteen title in Guyana this year. Fedee is a middle order batsman who can bowl a bit. Mon Repos' Mathurin is probably the island's best spinner, and he can bat a bit as well. Sammy, a quick bowler - again from the East coast - can also hold his own with the bat.
    Gaspard Prospere is the fourth youth player called up. Perhaps the sub-region's next best young wicketkeeper, he made his senior debut last year. Prospere's actually improved his glovework this year, and he's been backing that up with inspired, if not consistent, batting. Mon Repos' Alderman Lesmond is the second specialist wicketkeeper called up.
    A former under-nineteen national captain who made his Windwards senior debut this year, Danny Harris has been struggling with inconsistent form for the past couple of years. At times, he's been a better bowler than batsman. Harris once led the Windwards youth team in batting with an average in the mid-thirties, and he narrowly missed out on the West Indies youth team.
    Among the bowlers, the Gros Islet pace pair of Wendell Roberts and Joseph Hall (the leading wicket-taker in domestic competition this year) will surely lead the way, perhaps supported by Mathurin, Sammy and Richardis Joseph.
    Mabouya Valley is well represented in this squad. Also making the side are Edmund Smith, Sean Edwards, Trevor Wells and Lloyd Clifford.

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Outstanding Times In OECS Swim Warm-up

    St. Lucia's Olympian and Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States swim champion Jamie Peterkin warmed up for the 2000 sub-regional competition - this weekend at Rodney heights Aquatic Centre - with a meet last week at the University of Indiana.
    Jamie's University of Kentucky men's team defeated the Hoosiers 150-92 in their dual meet, with Jamie swimming the second leg for UK's victorious men's 400 freestyle relay. Individually, he was sixth in the 50 free and 100 free, but his times will be very competitive at OECS level. With his cousin (Nicholas Peterkin, University of Western Ontario) and Maryland-based David Worrell, Jamie is going to be at the forefront of a strong push from Team St. Lucia as they seek to unseat Grenada.

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Little Guys Come Up Big In Bermuda

    (9 November 2000) - The St. Lucia national team returned from the Central American and Caribbean Bodybuilding Championships in Bermuda with somewhat disappointing results. In the absence of Julian Felix, the flag-bearers were expected to be national champion Rolandson "the Beast" Auguste and Post-Independence champion "the Ghost" Raymond Daniel. The Beast didn't even make his heavyweight final, and Daniel was fifth in a very competitive middleweight class.
    The best performances came from the St. Lucian athletes entered in lower weight divisions. Men's and women's lightweight silver medals went to Lawrence "Robocop" Stevens and Melisha Thomas. Alphonsus "Shortman" Joseph was third in his inaugural masters appearance and fourth as a bantamweight contender.
    Overall, St. Lucia was sixth from seventeen teams competing in Bermuda.

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