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INDEX

AAA Names CARIFTA Team

Lucians Top U.S, Jamaicans at International Motocross

Top Regional Swimmers for RHAC Invitational

What Happens to a Dream Deferred?

Third Olympic Academy Established In Eastern Caribbean

Vieux Fort Wins Intersec Track and Field with Team Effort

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AAA Names CARIFTA Team

    Levern Spencer(31 March 2000) - I'll tell you this much after watching Levern Spencer's form in the high jump this year, you just knew that there was no way she wouldn't be in Grenada. Unsurprisingly, the Amateur Athletics Association will be sending the fifteen-year-old secondary School student to the Junior CARIFTA Track and Field Championships on Easter weekend. Levern's national record clearance of 1.72m could put her in contention for a place on the podium in the Under Seventeen girls' division. Levern, 1999 junior Sportswoman of the Year, may also contest the 100m and 200m races at CARIFTA. Nathan Justin of the Abilene Wildcats will also represent St. Lucia in Grenada. He won three senior boys' events at the NCB/SLDB Track and Field Championships: the 400m dash in 49.91s, the 200m in 23.4s, and the javelin, with a throw of 38.82m. Coach Gregory Lubin will accompany Spencer and Justin to the CARIFTA Games.

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Lucians Top Americans, Jamaicans at International Motocross

    (30 March 2000) - St. Lucia's two top riders were among the best of the best during last weekend's International Invitational Motocross and Motorsports Meet at Woodleigh, Jamaica. Defending Havoline Supercross Champion Gary Devaux and St. Lucia Motocross Club president Wayne Quintyne had the weight of expectation on their shoulders, and they carried it well.
    Both riders competed in the 125cc class, with Devaux taking the Dash for Cash and placing third overall in the 125cc Shootout. Ahead of him were two professional riders from Miami, Matthew Fitzgerald and Shawn Dunkel. Dunkel also won the 125cc division from Quintyne, who finished ahead of riders from the Caribbean, Canada, the United States and Europe.
    A number of those riders and teams have expressed a desire to travel to St. Lucia later this year for what would be the largest Havoline Supercross to date. Quintyne says that a number of different venues are being considered for that event. One site under consideration is the southern end of the Pigeon Island Causeway. Up until late 1999 the Club raced and practiced on a course at the northern end of the Causeway.
    St. Lucia's team to Jamaica included Davison Belizaire, Oswald Simon and Clinton Chung, who supported Devaux and Quintyne admirably.

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Top Regional Swimmers for RHAC Invitational

    Sherri Scobie-Henry on starting blocks(30 March 2000) - After not seeing our favorite female swimmer in action for years, the St. Lucian public could be treated to its second glimpse of Sherri Scobie-Henry within the space of as many months. Sherri's Trinidad club, Marlins, recently signaled their intention to be in St. Lucia 14-16 April for the International Invitational Club Swim Meet at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre. The Marlins are among over a dozen clubs invited to the meet by RHAC. Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Martinique, Aruba, Venezuela, host nation St. Lucia and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) could be represented at what will be just the second event to be held at the still incomplete purpose-built swimming facility. An RHAC spokesperson says at least a hundred swimmers will be here for the meet.
    Clubs will compete in individual and team age group competition. Clubs affiliated to the St. Lucia Swimming Association (Hurricanes, Trident and Sea Jays) will enter a number of swimmers in various divisions.

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What Happens to a Dream Deferred?

    (28 March 2000) - There are different answers to the question contained in the headline, at least insofar as relates to volleyball. Not very long ago, St. Lucia had a vibrant volleyball culture. It was a running joke in Barbados that St. Lucians knew everything about volleyball and nothing about cricket. Be that as it may, there were up to six volleyball clubs in St. Lucia at various times during the nineties. All of a sudden, St. Lucia's volleyball renaissance dried up, kind of like a raisin in the sun.
    No, there are just three clubs on the island, and with the dreams of some individuals on the verge of exploding, the future of the game is in doubt. Up to seven of St. Lucia's most talented young players will be pursuing studies overseas next September, and at the moment the national association has nothing in place to recruit new talent to volleyball.
    Earlier this year, one-time Volleyballer of the Year Ayinde Kunta Williams enrolled at Concordia College in New York. He's hoping to be offered an athletics scholarship next summer. Kunta was followed by two of his club teammates, Dwight Thomas and reigning Volleyballer of the Year Dane Williams; both have embarked on tryouts and interviews with different universities and colleges, in a bid to secure scholarships for the academic year 2000-01. Incredibly talented, both are likely to stick.
    Then there are the women, only now taking advantage of opportunities that abound in the United States; but this is a case of better late than never. Five or more female volleyballers have entered correspondence with American institutions with a view towards taking up scholarships come September. Another player is examining the possibility of continuing her studies in Jamaica, under a new OECS scholarship scheme.
    Far from deferring their dreams, these young St. Lucians are pursuing their goals aggressively, but their absence could be too heavy a load for the domestic game to bear all at once. Barring an influx of talent, volleyball in St. Lucia will get weaker before it gets stronger.

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Third Olympic Academy Established In Eastern Caribbean

    (27 March 2000) - The St. Lucia Olympic Committee inaugurated its National Olympic Academy last Sunday. SLOC General Secretary Alfred Emmanuel will be charged with running the institution, and his mandate is significant, albeit a bit slippery. The Academy will have the responsibility of "teaching the values and traditions of the Olympic ideals" and from inception the programme will target students between 12 and 14.
    Participants in the Olympic Academy programme will be drawn from schools and communities islandwide. Richard Peterkin, president of the SLOC, explains that the Academy won't be just about sports. An SLOC statement says that the Academy will develop  "physical and moral qualities of the population." Seventeen of the young people who will be taking part in the Academy's programme were present at the launching ceremony.
    Also at the launching ceremony was Her Excellency Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy, who was presented a trophy on behalf of the International Olympic Committee. Keith Joseph, president of the Olympic Academy in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, delivered the feature address on Sunday. Before Sunday, SVG and Grenada were the only Eastern Caribbean territories with institutions like the one just launched in St. Lucia.

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Vieux Fort Wins Intersec Track and Field with Team Effort

    (25 March 2000) - Soufriere Comprehensive and Entrepot Secondary had most of the individual stars, but Jineil Vite-O'Neil, Nessa Paul, Nicholas Charles, Levern Spencer and Mina Philip could do little to prevent victory for the Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School. Vieux Fort are 2000 Inter-Secondary Schools Track and Field Champions, and they did it even though only one of their athletes led his division in medals.
    Shem Emmanuel was victor ludorum in Division I, and even he shared his title, splitting honors with Gavin Lesporis of Castries Comprehensive. Gavin, the younger brother of national track record holder Verneta Lesporis, defeated Entrepot's Nolan Duncan in the 800m and 1500m Division I boys' races. As for Shem, he won the 100m dash from teammate Mataki Charlery, and the 200m dash from teammate Tarbin George.
    Tarbin won the 400m Division I race, then the three young men linked with Abel James, Yarrick Bastien and Valence Duplessis for divisional relays. Emmanuel led off both races. In the 4x1, James picked up the baton, Charlery and Bastien increased the lead over Castries Comprehensive. George was on the second leg for the 4x4; Duplessis ran third leg and Bastien the anchor, surrounded by teammates as he crossed the finish line. Emerging from the group victory hug, "We ran for each other," declared Emmanuel.
    Vieux Fort also won the Division III boys' and girls' 4x1, clocking 49.9s in the boys' event to set a divisional record. Vieux Fort copped thirteen gold medals, twelve silver and four bronze. In second place, Entrepot had ten gold and ten silver medals, along with eight third place finishes.
    Leading the way for Entrepot was Levern Spencer, with three individual wins, including both Division III girls' short sprints. Levern won those two days after winning the high jump, although she failed to eclipse her national record in that event.  "They told us we were going to jump on Friday," said the fifteen-year old, "and I really wasn't ready." She still took gold.
    Soufriere's Jineil Vite-O'Neil was in the mood to break a record, and she duly proceeded to do so. In a heated 100m Division I, a stiff challenge was expected from Vieux Fort's Michelle Joseph. Michelle had the better of Jineil out of the blocks; but as her rival pulled up seventy metres into the race, Vite strode home well clear of the next best finisher. The record came earlier. Jineil outran the Vieux Fort pair of Joseph and Marie-Clare Louis in the 200m, timed at 24.78s, 1.06s ahead of Verneta Lesporis' former record.
    Jineil added to her medal haul by leading Soufriere to relay wins. In the 4x1 race, her team handed her the baton in the middle lane with ground to make up, but the brilliant little speedster did that and more, winning comfortably. She also ran the anchor leg on the 4x4, smoking Entrepot's Mina Philip by pulling away hard and fast on the curve and well into the back straight. She built up a massive lead, which allowed her to cruise home for gold.
    Although Entrepot edged Vieux Fort for second place by taking three more bronze medals, it wasn't Mina Phillip's day. She did win the Division I 800m from Soufriere's Nesa Paul, but Paul got her revenge by taking the 1500m race in fairly convincing fashion. Earlier in the week, she had won the 5000m race, an event she usually runs for time for lack of competition.
    In the 400m girls' Division I Marie-Clare Louis led most of the race from Mina Phillip. The two ran in adjacent lanes; the latter young woman trailied coming down the back straight. Mina made a strong bid coming off the turn, but both would have been surprised to discover Heather Nelson of Sir Ira Simons Secondary, storming out of nowhere to win the event.

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