High School track and field athletes around the country took part in The Bahamas Association of Athletics Association/Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture High School National Track and Field Championships last month.
While the Meet may have been dominated by St. Augustine’s College, the Tabernacle Falcons came away as winners of the Under 14 Boys’ Division.
Not only did the school’s track program come back with an Under 14 championship, eight national high school records fell at the feet of the Falcons.
The Under 14 boys were responsible for five of the eight record setting performances.
Mateo Smith claimed two new records. Smith won the gold in the Under 14 boys’ 100m dash and lowered the Under 14 National Record mark to 11.77 seconds.
Smith was one of those athletes that was able to attend the jumps clinic hosted by National Jumps’ coach, James Rolle, back in February.
He also turned in some impressive jumps during the clinic, which translated into a gold medal for the Falcons and an Under 14 record setting jump of 5.99m.
Matthew Henfield has been virtually untouchable, when it comes to the distance races. The Grand Bahama All-Island 800m Champion won the gold and set a new high school record with the time of 2:15.67.
Although DeAngelo McKie may have taken the silver behind Smith in the Under 14 boys 100m finale, he moved on to the 200m where he claimed gold. He also took down the National Record when he clocked 23.32 seconds.
Smith and McKie were one half of the quartet that brought home the Under 14 boys 4x100m championship. The team also paced to a National Record setting time of 46.74 seconds.
The other half of the 4x100m record setters were Zion Campbell and Linden Johnson.
Henfield joined Smith, McKie and Johnson to claim the Under 14 boys’ 4x400 meter crown and also set a new National Record of 3:53.06.
Along with winning the 400 meters, CARIFTA athlete Holland Martin set a new standard in the Boys’ Under 20 Long Jump. Martin won the gold with a record breaking 7.71m.
Tyler Missick added another record-breaking moment for the Falcons with his performance in the Under 16 Boys’ High Jump. Along with the gold medal, he set the new national mark at 1.86m.
The quartet of Corey Sherrod, Shaquille Higgs, Devonte Smith and Travjuan Alleyene were in a close battle in the 4x400m finals. But nonetheless the team notched the gold medal, and set a new national mark of 3:20.87 seconds in the process.
Falcons’ head coach Nickito Johnson believed the team took their talents to “another level” on the national stage.
“Island Sports was one feat, but what we did in Nassau was let the Commonwealth of The Bahamas know that our Track and Field Program is not just a program, it is a program to be reckoned with,” he expressed.
Johnson revealed that the Under 14 Division is in its “rebuilding stage.” With the performances and records falling at the hands of the aforementioned athletes, Johnson sees nothing, but good things ahead.
“If that’s what our future looks like in what our Under 14s accomplished, we will be a force to be reckoned with for years. We had Stephanique Dean, who ran the 100m and nearly set a new record.
“Mateo Smith and DeAngelo McKie dominated the 100m, DeAngelo dominated the 200m in a new national record time. And let’s talk relays. In both the 4x100m and 4x400m our nearest competitors could not be found.”
Johnson admitted that going into seventh and eighth grade at Tabernacle is no easy task.
He further explained that the discipline at the school is at a high standard in field and classroom.
“And I say that because a lot of people know us for our sports, but they are not seeing what Matthew Henfield is doing in the classroom as a new record holder with a 4.0 GPA.
“They’re not seeing Mateo Smith. He may have won five gold medals (100m, long jump, high jump, 4x100m, 4x400m), but he’s 3.8 GPA student and they are things people don’t see. It is all about discipline and doing it the right way with God on our side,” Johnson concluded.
Published Thursday, April 6, 2017