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FEATURE: Who's Who In OECS Track & Field

    (15 June 2001) - Whereas several territories will send their most powerful teams to St. George's Grenada for the 2001 Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Track and Field Championships, 23-24 June, St. Lucia will be sending a number of junior athletes, with one or two more experienced campaigners. The attitude from the Amateur Athletics Association is not one of capitulation, but one of hope for the future. No overseas-based competitors have been included from St. Lucia, but with plenty of university-based stars from other territories, there'll be great competition in many, if not most events.
    PamenosBallantyneA full-fledged OECS men's 5000m run won't happen in St. George's Pamenos Ballantyne (photo) of St. Vincent and the Grenadines may be there, but St. Lucia's Zepherinus Joseph won't. The Vincentian is the fastest over that distance from the sub-region, by a couple of seconds. His fastest time (14:31.5) came in 1998. Joseph clocked 14:33.87 this year. William Richards of Antigua ran 14:41.39 in Port-of-Spain, Michael Gumbs of Anguilla ran 16:45.79 in St George's last year.
    Antigua's Janil Williams is the fastest young female distance runner in the sub-region, having completed the 1500m in 4:27.51 and the 5000m in 16:56.42 last year. Not too far behind her is St. Lucia's older, but less experienced Nessa Paul, with times of 4:53.50 and 18:33.2 in the past thirteen months. Grenadian runner Stephanie Ferguson completed the 1500m in 4:43.32 at home last year.
    Clearly, Grenada's National Stadium has helped track and field in that country. Fifteen national records have been set in the past fourteen months by athletes from Grenada. Leading the way are sprinters Sean Lambert and Francique Alleyne. Lambert has equalled the second-fastest men's 100m by an OECS athlete, and he's clocked 20.75 for the 200m, both this year. Alleyne's 44.99 for the 400m is one of the fastest times in the world this year.
    Another Alleyne, Lett, clocked a national record 15.63 for the 110 hurdles at the Carifta Championships in Bridgetown this year; the same venue at which Shane Charles ran 53.89 for the 400m hurdles; and Shamir Thomas threw 47.56m for the discus. One more Grenadian national record was established this year, Hazel-Ann Regis clocking 52.64 seconds for the women's 400m.
    Last year, Antonia Cadore reset Grenada's national 100m women's mark, with a sprint of 11.66 seconds. Randy Lewis cleared 15.78m in the men's triple jump, Laurel Peters cleared 10m for the women's event. Paul Philip threw 15.61m for the men's shot putt; Kathy-Ann Hopkin threw 13.51m for the women's event. Neisha Bernard-Thomas clocked 2:06.55 for the women's 800m run, and the Grenada women's 4x400m relay team clocked 3:37.17 in La Habana.
    Ronald_PromessePerhaps the biggest star in St. George's will be Kim Collins from St. Kitts, the Olympic men's 100m finalist, and a triple national record holder. He won't meet St. Lucia's Ronald Promesse (photo), but he'll have Lambert, whose 10.17 equalled Promesse's fastest time. Collins' fast times - 10.13 seconds for 100m, 20.31 seconds for 200 and 46.93 for 400 - make him the OECS's fastest man, but those times came last year. Female compatriot, Valma Bass, has run 11.43 in the 100, and 23.07 in the 200, both marks coming last year. Triple jumper Vance Clarke leapt 16.24m last year, and the women's 4x100m relay team ran 45.02 in St. George's last year.
    Collins and Lambert will also have to deal with Dion Crabbe of the British Virgin Islands, a young man who's run 10.41 seconds over 100m, and his countryman Keita Cline, with 20.97 in the 200.
    It's too bad St. Lucia's Dane Magloire won't be in St. George's, because that would set up a tremendous triple jump battle between himself, St. Kitts' Clarke and Grenada's Lewis. Magloire's career-best clearance is 16.21m, earlier this year. In the men's 1500m Zepherinus Joseph of St. Lucia clocked 3:48.50, and Nickie Peters of St. Vincent and the Grenadines clocked 3:49.66, both this year. Joseph has also clocked 29:48.97 for the men's 10K run, faster than Ballantyne by ten seconds, and faster than anyone else in the sub-region by two minutes.
    DominicJohnsonPole vaulter Dominic Johnson (photo) of St. Lucia reigns supreme with his clearance of 5.70m last year. Magloire set a new men's long jump record of 7.82m last year. Verneta Lesforis clocked 11.48 seconds for the women's 100m just last month. Junior women's high jumper Lavern Spencer cleared 1.80m last year, making her far and away the best at her event in the sub-region.
    Two of St. Lucia's female throwers, Tamara Popo in the discus and Emma Gene Evans in the javelin, have set national records recently. Popo's throw of 40.83m last year and Evans' throw of 38.30m are among the best in their respective disciplines. Natasha Mayers of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will challenge in the women's sprints, with her times of 11.12 seconds in the 100 and 22.91 in the 200. Tahesia Harrigan of BVI ran the latter race in 24.49 last year.
    Unsurprisingly, the unfortunate circumstances in Montserrat over the past few years have hurt that territory's sporting fortunes. Not since 1998 has a Montserrat athlete set a new track and field record.
    Log on to
    http://www.oecsathlete.com for a complete list of track and field records from the various OECS territories, compiled with the assistance of German statistician Winfried Kramer, a member of the Association of Track & Field Statisticians.

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St. Lucia-Born Louis For OECS

    (14 June 2001) - Outstanding St. Lucia-born junior quarter-miler Wilan Louis has been named in an eleven-member Barbados team to represent the island at next week's Whitsun/Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States track and field Championships in Grenada. Louis, who grew up in Rose Hill, Castries, has gained a ranking among the top three juniors in the world in the 400m dash, following his impressive fourth place finish at the Barbados Classic last month, when he clocked a career-best 45.9 seconds in that event.

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Collins Wins, Magloire Fourth In Nassau

    Dane Magloire(10 June 2001) - Kittitian Kim Collins won his showdown with improving Jamaican sprinter Patrick Jarrett in the men's 100m race of the Bahamas Top Athletes Classic at the Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau at the weekend. Collins, who created history for St Kitts when he reached the 100m finals at the Sydney Olympics, raced home in 10.19 seconds to bring Jarrett back down to earth. Jarrett scored upset wins last month over Barbadian 100m Olympic bronze medallist Obadele Thompson and Maurice Greene, the world record holder and reigning Olympic 100m champion. On this occasion, however, he clocked 10.20 seconds for second place. In the men's invitational long jump, Maurice English won with a leap of 7.60m, beating Nyles Stewart and Osbourne Moxey.
    Dane Magloire (photo), English's teammate at St. Augustine's College in North Carolina, cleared 6.92m for fourth place. Magloire, from Dennery in St. Lucia, was a triple jump silver medallist at the NCAA Division II National Championships last month, and an NCAA DII long jump champion last year.

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Dominic's Swiss Silver

    (9 June 2001) - Israeli competitor Denis Kholev cleared 5.40m to win the men's pole vault at Saturday's 14th Atletique Genève meet in Geneva, Switzerland. The silver medal went to 25-year-old St. Lucian athlete Dominic Johnson, who made the same height as Kholev, but with a greater number of misses at lower heights. The University of Arizona graduate was vaulting for the third time this week, his first period of competition since he began training with Vitaly Petrov just a little over two months ago. Saturday's meet, held in slightly rainy but windless conditions, was hosted by the Centre Athlétique de Genève at the Stade du Bout-du-Monde. Earlier this week, Dominic placed fourth at an International Amateur Athletics Federation meet in Greece, clearing 5.50 in a competition that was won (with a leap of 5.80) by American Jeff Hartwig.

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Fifteen St. Lucians For OECS

    (8 June 2001) - Fifteen athletes were named by the St. Lucia Amateur Athletics Association to take part in the Whitsuntide Games, this year doubling as the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Track and Field Championships. The Games have been scheduled for the National Stadium in St. George's, Grenada, 23-24 of this month.
    Six of the fifteen athletes were members of the St. Lucia team to the XXX Carifta Junior Championships in Barbados two months ago. Two-thirds are juniors. All are national or school champions. Four are holders of individual national track and field records.
    Levern SpencerSportswoman of the Year, Levern Spencer (photo), will try to replicate or improve on her Carifta high jump gold medal performance. National junior high jump champion and schools sprint champion Kenson Casimir of Leon Hess Comprehensive represented St. Lucia at Carifta as a heptathlete, as did Travis Joseph of Morne Stars and St. Mary's College. Joseph is an inter-scholastic, junior and national long jump champion. Soufriere's Nessa Paul also has that triple distinction, with three national distance records to boot. She was a 3000m bronze medallist at Carifta. Emma-Gene Evans of Leon Hess Comprehensive also was a javelin bronze medallist, and she's a national record-holder as well. Fabian Felix was a 400m finalist at Carifta.
    The other four juniors are 14-year-old Soufriere sprinter, Jelissa Edwards; former national and schools' sprint champion Jineill Vite, also from Soufriere; 14-year-old middle distance runner Leander Ernest, from Morne Stars Track Club; and Vieux Fort sprinter Tarbin George, last year a schools champion, this year national junior champion.
    Felix is likely to be included in relay events as well, along with triple national champion Nathan Justin, Jeremie Richardson and Nigel Leonce. Almost surely the oldest athlete in this group is thrower James Prospere, a double national champion; middle and long distance champion Jason Sayers rounds out the St. Lucian team.

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Three St. Lucians In World Ranking

    (8 June 2001) - Three St. Lucian athletes have been listed by the International Amateur Athletics Federation for their outstanding performances during the 2001 outdoor track and field season. The highest ranked is 25-year-old Dominic Johnson, who's 43d in the men's pole vault. His clearance of 5.50m at a meet earlier this week in Greece puts him in good company, alongside Frenchman and world champion Jean Galfione.
    Verneta LesforisVernetta Lesforis (photo) is 71st on the women's 100m list, having completed a national record 11.48 over that distance last month in Springfield, MO. Just turned 26, Vernetta holds all three national sprint records. Like Dominic, she's a Central American and Caribbean champion.
    The third listed athlete is 26-year-old Ronald Promesse, 113th in the men's 100m, for his only race of the year, a 10.38 completed at the University of New Mexico in April. His personal best time is 10.17, which is also one of two national sprint records held by Promesse.
    All three athletes qualified for last year's Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, and they were All-Americans in college, at Arizona, Southwest Missouri State and Texas el Paso respectively.

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