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Records Fall At Carifta

    Levern_Spencer1(14 April 2001) - On the evidence of the opening day, the current Carifta Junior Track and Field Championships will be record-setting in more ways than one. An estimated 500 athletes are in Bridgetown Barbados, representing 23 different Caribbean territories. It's the largest junior track and field competition ever held in the Caribbean.
    The St. Lucian team, comprising ten athletes, would have been happy with a medal and personal record performances from the youngsters. The wait for the medal was brief, as sixteen-year-old Levern Spencer (photo) moving from the under-seventeen division in which she was third last year fulfilled expectations by clearing 1.79m to win the under-twenty girls' high jump. The clearance, a centimetre shy of her national record, was good enough to match the Carifta mark.
    Nessa Paul, contesting the under-twenty girls' 1500m run, clocked 4:53.50 in placing fifth, after she had led much of the race. Although she finished poorly, the seventeen-year-old ran for a new St. Lucia junior national record, breaking her mark of less than a year ago.
    Fabian Felix also set a new career record. An eighteen-year-old who does well over three distances, Fabain opened by qualifying for the 400m finals, but poor finishing cost him as well. He ran 48.72 to finish sixth in the finals, which were won by Trinidad & Tobago's Damion Barry in a Carifta reecord 46.51, .16 of a second ahead of Barbados' Wilan Louis. Fabian's personal record had come earlier on Saturday, when he clocked 48.57 in qualifying.
    Tressa Ann Charles has thrown well over ten metres in training for the under-seventeen girls' shot putt, but she's never passed that mark in competition. According to her coaches, all she needs to do is to get more confidence, especially for big meets. At Carifta, throwing 10.01, she ended eighth from a field of thirteen. Brittney Marshall (Bermuda) threw 11.95 for gold.
    Another Games record went in the senior boys' high jump, as well. Damon Thompson of Barbados, a seventeen year old, cleared 2.20m to revise his national record and justify his boast as the man who feels he can fly. Trevor Barry (Bahamas) ended second with a clearance of 2.08m, and Jamaican Cristoph Morrison cleared 2.00m for the bronze medal.
    The fastest young people on the track were world junior champion Veronica Campbell of Jamaica and last year's under-seventeen boys' sprint champion, Darell Brown of Trinidad and Tobago. Campbell set a possible track record in running an unofficial 11.13 to win her 100m dash. Brown, graduating to the under-twenty ranks at the age of sixteen, strolled home in his version of that race. The unofficial time on him was 10.03, a fantastic run and a new Carifta record that eclipses the six-year-old mark set by Obadale Thompson. Official times for the 100 will be available Sunday.

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Two Tons In Windwards U19

    (13 April 2001) - Reports from the 2000 Windward Islands under-nineteen cricket tournament implied that St. Lucia's Gaspard Prospere was the best wicketkeeper on show, but a ho-hum performance with the bat saw him left off the sub-regional team for last year's West Indies tournament.
    This year, GP started the Windwards three-day tournament with a well-hit 56, picking the gaps and striking the ball cleanly against Dominica. Now well settled as an opening batsman for the national youth team, he went on to hit a breezy second-innings 41 in the drawn opening match.
    Against Grenada at Gros Islet in a game that began on Tuesday, Gaspard made a patient 38 in St. Lucia's first innings of 188, replying to the significant total of 240 all out from the Grenadians. In their second innings, Grenada declared on 219/7, Emron Peters making an even century, the first of this tournament. With St. Lucia needing 272 for victory, Prospere hit eleven boundaries and six sixes in a knock of 113, and he was supported by skipper Sergio Fedee with 44 runs, but St. Lucia were never in it, ending on 203/4.
    Prospere's 248 runs lead this competition, and after some solid work behind the stumps, it's fair to say he's still the best 'keeper.

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Thanks For Everything, Ewan

    Ewan_Auguste(12 April 2001) - His collegiate basketball career is over, and an excellent one it was. Ewan Auguste, 24-year-old alumnus of St. Mary's College in Castries, St. Lucia, is concentrating on preparing for his final exams as a senior at Washburn University in Topeka, KS. He's also counting his many accolades, including the ones he picked up this season as he led his WU Ichabods to the national Division II title game against eventual champions Kentucky Wesleyan.
    Last year, Ewan was an All-American, the ultimate recognition of excellence for collegiate athletics in the United States. Last year, though, he was All-American second team. This year, he's made three All-American first teams, including the prestigious National Association of Basketball Coaches.
    The 6'9" senior from the Caribbean joins Finals opponent Lorico Duncan of Kentucky Wesleyan in being honoured as one of the five best players (and the best at his position) in their division. Along with Lorico, Ewan also made the Basketball Times and Division II Bulletin first teams.
    Ewan's success comes a few years after former national captain Marcellus 'Bax' Stiede had a solid career for Emporia State University in the same conference as WU. Sherman Barthelmy was also a key role player for Drury College; American recruiters are watching St. Lucian basketballers closely. Junior player of the year Ed Desir (Rewop and Entrepot Secondary) projects as a college power forward. He's one of several players with a real chance of getting a sports scholarship and doing St. Lucia proud, as Ewan has the past four years.

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Confident Carifta Team Leaves

    (12 April 2001) - St. Lucia's ten-member team to the 2001 Carifta Junior Track and Field Championships left the island Thursday for Bridgetown Barbados. The five throwers, three runners and two heptathletes begins competition Saturday from nine am, when Levern Spencer competes in the U20 girls' high jump.
    According to coach Gregory Lubin, this team is well-prepared, and it's left to see what will transpire this weekend. He says he's never been this confident about a group of young athletes. "I don't think we've ever prepared this well, and I think we can probably come back with as many as three medals."
    The team includes four girls and six boys, under the guidance of manager Patsy St. Marthe, who is also president of the Amateur Athletics Association. She echoes Lubin's sentiments, expressing particular confidence in last year's under-seventeen girls' high jump bronze medallist, national sportswoman of the year and high jump record holder Levern Spencer.

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Carifta Swimmers Announced

    (12 April 2001) - The St. Lucia Swimming Association has announced the national team for the 2001 Carifta Swimming Championships, which will be held from 19-22 April in Nassau, Bahamas.
    The team comprises a total of seven swimmers, five boys and two girls, all of whom have been performing well at local and regional meets including last weekend's Second Annual Invitational Club Championships, hosted in St. Lucia by the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre.
    The boys are Marlon James (11-12) Jonathan Calderon, Bradford Worrell (13-14) Fred Worrell and Peter James (15-17). Natasha George and Robin Eames will contest the 13-14 girls' age division.
    Coaches Brian Charles and Yasmin Anthony will accompany the team. Both are experienced national coaches, having been members of the technical staff last year when St. Lucia won its first-ever Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States championship at Rodney Heights. The James and Worrell brothers, Calderon, George and Eames were all on that team.

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Lancs' Ladies Young, But Exciting

    (11 April 2001) - The Lancashire women's cricket team lost by seven wickets to St. Lucia Wednesday at Micoud playing field, no real surprise, considering that there are seven St. Lucians on the West Indies women's team.
    It was the fourth consecutive loss for Lancs on their seven-match tour of the Caribbean, after initial success over Trinidad and Tobago. The Englishwomen scored 122/7 from 50 overs, but St. Lucia easily attained that score for the loss of just three batsmen. Eugena Gregg, St. Lucia's vice-captain, made 48 to guide St. Lucia home. The Lancashirians, already conceding the five-match rubber with West Indies 3-0, will try to get something out of this tour as they meet the Windies Saturday and Sunday at Mindoo Philip Park.
    Verina Felicien, the St. Lucian skipper of the West Indies team, points out that the Lancashire team is fairly young and inexperienced, and this tour is a learning experience for them. However, the Windies captain also says that she sees this team as a very exciting group of cricketers, fit and eager to assimilate anything they can from older players and coaches.
    Carol Whilby-Maxwell, manager of the West Indies team, expressed her concern about a perceived lack of support from the corporate Caribbean, especially in comparison to the regional men's team. Still, she's happy this tour went ahead. "We got great support in Trinidad, from fans and the media. Although we're still not sure where we're getting funds to go ahead with all of our plans, it was good for us to have this tour, because it gives us a chance to market our girls." Whilby-Maxwell explains that a lot of people aren't even aware that there's a West Indies women's team, and this tour is changing that.
    The Lancashire team is not necessarily providing a tremendous challenge for the West Indians, but West Indies coaches Clem Hercules and Ann Browne-John are noting the visitor's sharp fielding and fitness. The West Indies Women's Cricket Federation is looking forward to hosting another tour next year, creating chances for the regional women to show of their skills.

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Mavrix In Town

    (12 April 2001) - A youth basketball team from St. Vincent and the Grenadines arrived here in St. Lucia on Tuesday for a nine-day tour that will include seven games. Already the Mavrix under-seventeen team, a club side coached by the experienced Richard Cato, has beaten the Sandals Lady Sonics at the Vigie Multipurpose Sports Complex.
    They found the going tougher against the Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary School. Even when Hess head coach Julian Thomas was ejected after picking up a second technical foul, the school side never lost its poise, and they eventually cruised to a 67-55 victory.
    For the remainder of their tour, Mavrix will play Laborie, Prophets and Courts Jets junior teams, and Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. They're also down to play a basketball festival in Soufriere on Monday.
    The word from Mavrix head coach Richard Cato is that this team is in the second year of a four-year development programme, and St. Lucia is the first stop on a brief Caribbean tour. The St. Lucia leg was arranged in collaboration with Morgan George and his Mr. Magic Basketball Academy.

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Firing On All Jets

    (10 April 2001) - I sat with all my girlfriend's friends, watching what appeared at first glance to be the re-assertion of Rewop's dominance over Courts Jets. After the first few minutes, Rewop were up 16-2, Ed Desir controlling the backboards at the center position, hitting eight early points. Ricky Fontenelle and Aloysius Daniel added ten between them, deriving from tight defense that led to easy layups for the streaking swingmen.
    Rewop, however, reckoned without the Jets' Shane Blanchard. The 23-year-old point penetrated the lane time and again, cutting into the Rewop lead. He brought them within seven with a few minutes remaining, but a late Daniel flurry endured they were no closer.
    Jets started a big lineup in the second half, leaving Kalicharan James on the court for his defense and surprise! ball-handling. The Final's Most Valuable Player, not to mention my ex-classmate, Kali scored only ten points. On defense he made his mark, though, hounding the Rewop guards all the way down the court, denying Neil Joseph and Derek Browne the chance to create. With Desir sitting for long periods, Jets took over inside, dragging down rebounds and making Rewop pay for their size.
    Ernest Cherry hit only three times from the floor for Jets in the second period, but he was key at both ends, and he truly earned his tournament MVP title. The second-half scoring star for Jets was national power forward Desmond Vidal, who made twelve of his sixteen points after halftime. He led a balanced attack to an 83-65 win, Jets pulling away in the dying minutes as little-used teenaged substitute Martin Phillips went for a quick nine points on a deuce, a four-point play and another long-range jumper with three seconds left in regulation. Shane Blanchard ended with seventeen.
    The Central Castries tournament is all but over, as the third-place playoff will take place next week. It's been a fun six weeks, and well worth repeating in 2002, or maybe even in summer 2001.

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Windies Women Doing Well

    (10 April 2001) - The West Indies women's cricket team has won three on the trot from the Lancashire county side, with all three games being played in Trinidad and Tobago. Details aren't yet available from their third game, played Monday, but Sunday the Windies women defeated Lancs by sixty runs.
    Batting first, West Indies were 176 all out from 48.2 overs, with Grenadian pair Debby-Ann Lewis and Doris Francis hitting 38 and 28 respectively. Vincentian Jineill Greaves added 25, and Pamela Alfred of St. Lucia contributed 24. Leanne Davis bowled impressively for the Englishwomen, taking 2 for 17.
    In reply, Lancashire was restricted to 116 for 8 in 50 overs. Arrun Thompson is Lancashire captain, and she's played for the England national team. She hit 48 to lead her young team, but tight bowling from Jamaica's Jacqueline Robinson (2/5) and St. Lucian skipper Verina Felicien (2/19) gave Windies the win.
    The Lancashire and West Indies teams arrived in St. Lucia Tuesday morning, with Windies manager Carol Whilby-Maxwell reiterating the importance of this tour. "We don't get the sort of recognition that is afforded to the male West Indies team, but we would like to think we can command enough support for us to take this team to the next level." Lancashire plays St. Lucia at Micoud and West Indies (twice) at Mindoo Philip Park later this week to close the tour.

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Ball Hog Hits A Hat-Trick

    (7 April 2001) - Earl "Ball Hog" Jean scored three times for defending champions W Connection Football Club Friday evening, the first hat-trick in the 2001 season of the Trinidad and Tobago Professional Football League.
    Jean, St. Lucia's national captain, scored in the 35th, 67th and 87th minutes to steer WCFC to a 4-1 win over Caledonia AIA at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. He underlined his return to fitness following a recent hamstring injury. With some impressive running and sharp passing, the experienced forward also showed that he's ready for national duty in the group stages of the Copa Caribe. The St. Lucia side travels to Haiti in a bid to qualify in that competition.
    Friday's win was the second straight for WCFC, who beat CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh 2-1 in the opener on Wednesday. Arch-rival Joe Public made a winning start to its campaign by edging Defence Force 1-0 at Centre of Excellence on a goal by national striker Nigel Pierre.

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Promesse Of Things To Come

    (8 April 2001) - Ronald Promesse, the 26-year-old sprinter from University of Texas el Paso and from Vieux Fort, St. Lucia, won the men's 100m (10.38s) in his first race of the year. Running an invitational meet at the University of New Mexico, Ronald beat a field that included Leon Settle and current UTEP sprinter Shane Bradford.
    "I am happy with it," said Promesse. "It was just a meet to see where I was ahead of next weekend's meet at UTEP. I am in far better shape than I was at this time
    last year." The young Olympian also led off his 4x100m team, which also won in a time of 40.50s.

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Caribbean Olympians Do Well In Texas

    (9 April 2001) - Sprint star, Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis, sped to a 2001 world best but wind-assisted 9.99 seconds to win the invitational 100 meters at the Texas Relays on Saturday.
    Collins dismissed Americans JJ Johnson (10.10) and Darvis Patton (10.14) in his win and then powered Texas Christian University (TCU) to victory in the 4X100-metre relay to earn the meet's most outstanding male performer award for the second year in a row.
    Barbadian Obadele Thompson helped Octagon Club win the 4X200-metre relay, and there were wins as well for Jamaicans Dionne Rose and Aileen Bailey at a meet where Olympic champion, Maurice Greene, appeared in a sprint relay win for his HSI team.
    Collins, a double gold medallist (60 and 200m) at last month's NCAA Indoor championship, was unstoppable in the men's 100 meters with a tailwind of 2.1 meters per second. "It was a great race. I felt ready," said Collins, whose seventh place finish in the 100 metres in Sydney last year was the first ever appearance in an Olympic final for a Kittitian athlete.
    Collins, joined by Patton and Jamaicans, Lindel Frater and Steve Slowly, spurred TCU to a 38.94 victory in the College 400-metre relay and said he was sorry they did not face Greene's HSI.
    Greene's HSI won the invitational 400-metre relay in a quick 37.88 seconds, 0.48 seconds outside the world record by the United States.
    "Tell'em to come on," Greene said about the TCU challenge.
    "We take on all comers, I think TCU could give us a good race," Greene added.
    Thompson, an Olympic 100-metre bronze medallist for Barbados, ran the second leg for Octagon, with Americans Shawn Crawford, Milton Campbell and Rohsaan Griffin to win the 800-relay in one minute 20.42. Griffin, who had been given a big lead on anchor, narrowly held off Greene, who closed impressively for HSI to take second in 1:20.44.
    Rose captured the women's invitational 100-metre hurdles in 12.94 seconds, with Barbadian Andrea Blackett fourth in 13.44, and Bailey landed the college women's 100 meters in 11.14 seconds. Antiguan Sonia Williams was eighth in 11.66 seconds.
    In the College 400-hurdles, Jamaica's 1998 world junior silver medallist Alison Beckford was second in 56.50 seconds, behind Angel Patterson (56.40).
    Jamaicans Shelly-Ann Gallimore and Kareen Clarke were second and third respectively, behind Anna Tarasova in the College triple jump.

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