Virgin Islands athletes show off their medals from the CARIFTA?Games. Photo: DEAN?GREENAWAY

The Virgin Islands wrapped up its most successful mission ever at the  regional junior track and field championships, held in Devonshire, Bermuda last weekend.

The team walked away with a record five medals, surpassing the three that were bagged in 2006 and 2007 respectively at the 41st LIME Carifta Games.

The VI almost bagged a couple other medals.  In the Under-17 Girls 200-metre, the bronze medal slipped away from Nelda Huggins when she stepped on the line and was disqualified. Team BVI also missed another bronze medal in the U-17 Girls 4×400 metre relay.

The BVI has won 25 medals in the event since 1978.

Ms. Huggins, who had already won the 100-metre silver and anchored the 4 x 100 metre relay to a historic first bronze, ran 24.63 seconds to secure her place in the U-17 Girls 200-metre final, which she drew lane eight.

Seeking to join Chantel Malone’s 2007 feat of three medals in one Carifta Games, she powered from the blocks to finish third in 24.56 seconds, but was disqualified for stepping on the line on the curve. A protest was lodged on her behalf, but the video evidence was irrefutable.

Before Monday’s final, the VI notched three medals on Sunday. After leading the competition, Trevia Gumbs earned silver in the U-17 Girls 1.0kg shot put, when she tossed the ball 13.47 metres.

Later in the day, running in her second Carifta Games final, the 2014 Youth Olympic Games hopeful, Lakeisha “Mimi” Warner snatched an U-17 Girls 800 metre bronze, after she challenged two Jamaicans and finished .11 seconds from the top when she ran 2 minutes and18.32 seconds.

About 90 minutes later, she had a second leg carry on the U-17 Girls 4 x 100 metre relay. She received the baton from Jonel Lacey, then passed off to Taylor Hill who gave the stick to Ms. Huggins as the team ran 48.22 seconds for the territory’s first spot on the podium in that event.

The VI kicked off the championships on Saturday when debutant Tynelle Gumbs opened the U-17 Girls 600g javelin throw, by sending an early message to her opponents of her intentions with a heave of 35.48 metres. Two throws later, she heaved the spear over 38.32 metres to eclipse her 36.74-metre personal best established during the Elmore Stoutt High School Inter-house Athletics Championships.

When Trinidad and Tobago’s Akidah Briggs got in range with her 37.64 metres heave, Ms. Gumbs responded with a throw that sent the VI delegation into a wild celebration after the javelin cut through the chilly Bermudan air and landed. The leader board showed 41.46 metres for her gold.

Ms. Gumbs’ mark is also a National Youth, National Junior and National Scholastic Record, for which she will collect a Sol National Record breakers award during the fourth BVI Athletics Association’s Athletes Awards Recognition  Gala on Dec. 28. An athlete establishing an indoor or outdoor national record that stands at the season’s end qualifies for the award.

Later in the competition, Ms. Gumbs  had a personal best toss of 30.66 metres in the 1.0kg discus throw to finish sixth.

Ms. Huggins, a 2014 Youth Olympic Games hopeful, advanced to the U-17 Girls 100- metre final to join Ms. Hill who had earlier ran a wind aided (3.7mps) 12.11 seconds to secure an automatic berth with a second place finish when she ran 11.89 with a 5.1mps tailwind.

In the final, the VI had two competitors for the first time. Ms. Huggins’ charge towards gold was denied by Jamaica’s Shauna Helps who rode the 4.6mps breeze to 11.66 seconds with Ms. Huggins taking second in 11.76 seconds and the other Jamaican, Monique Spencer, snatching the silver in 11.90 seconds. Ms. Hill completed the historic final for the territory in fifth, after stopping the clock at 12.10 seconds.

The territory’s quest for a third medal on Saturday was earlier denied when Tarika “Tinker Bell” Moses was unable to occupy lane four in the U-17 Girls 400-metre final, because of a hamstring strain.

In the U-17 Girls 300 metre hurdles where the VI had two first time finalists: Jonel Lacey, who is in her first year hurdling and was on course to snatch a medal when she hit the last barrier that slowed her progress to take fifth in 45.97 seconds and Ms. Erickson who followed in 49.10 seconds.

Niayla Smith was spiked in her U-20 Girls 800-metre race, finished ninth in 2:25.86 minutes

Aundre Turnbull equaled his U-17 Boys high jump best, when he cleared the bar at 1.75 metres and placed tenth. He had a leap of 5.72 metres in the long jump for 11th place.

Brandon Andrew walked away from the competition with two National Junior and National Scholastic Records. In the middle of his heptathlon debut, where he had already run 15.93 seconds over the 110-metre hurdles, he entered the U-20 Boys open event and lowered his day old best to 15.60 seconds.

Mr. Andrew was eighth in the heptathlon. He was fourth overall in the 110-metre hurdles, clearing the barriers in 15.93 seconds to earn 741 points. He finished in a three-way tie for fourth in the long jump, after cutting the sand at 6.24 metres to earn 639 points. The 17-year-old notched 444 points on the javelin throw, after the spear landed at 40.13 metres, to finish sixth. Mr. Andrew ended the first day by finishing seventh overall in the 200 metres to garner 736 points for his fifth place overall tally of 2,560 points.

He got day two going by picking up 449 points after clearing 1.58 metres in the high jump. Mr. Andrew was sixth in the discus throw after a toss of 27.36 metres, worth 413 points. He completed his debut with the 1,500-metre run with a time of 5 minutes and 38.25 seconds adding 360 points to his tally of 3,782 for eight place.   

Shaian Vandenburg missed making the Under-20 Girls 200 metres final by one position, after running a personal best 25.69 seconds in her heat. Earlier in the competition, she was seventh in the 100-metre final, following a windy 12.30 seconds.

In the Under-20 Boys 200 metres, J’Maal Alexander ran 22.19 seconds to finish fourth in the third of four heats. He had a non advancing 10.71 seconds in the 100 metres.

Shaqouy Stephens, running in heat four was sixth in 22.87 seconds, but didn’t advance. He was fourth in his 400-metre heat in 53.21 seconds, while Tarique Moses was sixth in heat three in 53.88 seconds

Tarikah Warner, competing in the Under-20 Girls long jump, paced sixth with a leap of 5.02 metres.