It turned out to be a fast few days for the Legacy Athletics crew and an even more fruitful one, during their time in New Providence last weekend.
The occasion? The First Shaunae Miller-Uibo Bay Street Mile, which took place Saturday, November 25 in the nation’s capital. Six of Legacy Athletics’ distance runners (four males, two females), coached by Jason Larrimore, were among the 450 total participants in the inaugural event.
By the time, “the fastest road race in The Bahamas” was completed, the local Track and Field Program would boast two first place finishes, three second place finishes, one fourth place finish and two of their runners were tied for the fastest times, run by females.
Sisters, Aakila Lightbourne and Akaya Lightbourne, secured the only two gold medals for the athletes out of Grand Bahama. Aakila was the top lady in the Under 20 Girls’ Age Category, while Akaya secured the second gold medal in the Under 13 Girls’ Category. It was discovered that both young ladies finished in a tie for the fastest time at five minutes and 40 seconds, according to coach Larrimore. At a very young age Akaya also managed to beat the CARIFTA 800-meter standard of two minutes and 19 seconds within the first 800m of the mile.
As for the silver medal finishers, Rashawn McIntosh hauled away the silver in the Under 13 Boys’ Race, while Travis Joseph completed the Under 18 Boys’ Mile with a silver medal and Raynon Hudson won the silver in the Under 20 Boys’ Mile Race. Ramesh Neal finished fourth in the Under 20 Boys’ Division as well.
Overall, the athletes were excited about meeting the 400m Olympic gold medalist in person. Larrimore noted that Miller-Uibo’s encouraging words before the race may have been the motivation they needed heading into the race.
“A lot of them was excited about meeting Shaunae. She really motivated them. Before the race she talked to them and primed them, and told them ‘you came really far so just do your best,’” Larrimore explained.
The local coach did not lack confidence in the ability of his runners and knew they are the best in the country, at this particular point and time. He noted that the group of second place finishers would have been gold medalists had it not been for some miscommunication on where to turn during the route.
“The three second place finishers ended up getting mixed up and they didn’t know where to turn. They were leading the event and the second place runners behind them, at the time, turned off and were able to sneak first place. But other than that had they known where the finish line was, everybody basically would have come home with a gold medal.”
With the way the athletes have been running as of late, Larrimore felt it’s all about going through the motions and becoming more “technically sound” as they prepare for the upcoming track and field season.
“We basically saw what Nassau has to offer and we know what Freeport has to offer, because like I said they (the aforementioned athletes) have been dominant here in Freeport and I wanted to see how they would perform against the athletes from Nassau and the ones that traveled from the other Family Islands.”
Next up for some of the Legacy athletes will be an Odd Distance meet held in Nassau on December 15.
The Bay Street Mile was sanctioned by The Bahamas Association of Athletic Coaches. The race began at the Straw Market on Bay Street and finished at The Bahamas Football Associations’ National Beach Soccer Stadium.