By Victor Lopez, NACAC President/IAAF Council Member 

The 8th Spring Break Classic held in Carolina, Puerto Rico. The meet was a total success with a full stadium, good participation, held on a beautiful sunny day but very hot , 90+ degrees F  and high humidity and crossed winds of 3 to 5 meter per second that affected all the events but not the enthusiasm of the spectators and the intense competition of the athletes (Click to get full Results).

There were several Olympians that competed to the delight of the crowd, Luguelin Santos ( young Dominican who is the silver medalist in the 400 meters at the London Olympics) who ran the 800 meter as part of his preparation and ran against young 19 years old Wesley Vazquez from PUR. They ran neck to neck until the last five meters… Vazquez is training now in Orlando under the supervision of Johnny Gray and his training partner is Duane Salomon. Vazquez ran 1:45.29 at age 17 at the WJC in Barcelona and competed in London for experience in 2012. Also, Puertorrican Olympian Beverly Ramos, 3,000 SC specialist, ran a solo 1,500 mts as part of her preparation for the season. Other Olympians, Gustavo Cuesta from Dominican Republic, Lemarvin Bonefecia from Curacao and Ronado Palacios from Honduras.

This a developmental meet that is sponsored by the City of Carolina to host USA universities during their Spring Break and local universities and athletes from the sister islands from the Caribbean.
The meet proved that Athletics is in great shape as far as athlete's participation and fans is concerned, a trend all over the region and a strength of the Caribbean and the NACAC Area when you include the unique and fantastic USA and Canada competition programs. By the way, the key factor of our success is the school and university programs….

Also, the Region is ready to host two of the major competitions that are held every year in April where the crowds are standing room only. First is the Puerto Rico Inter University Championships where more than 13,000 fans pack the Paquito Montaner Stadium (11,500 seats) site of the Ponce Grand Prix IWC, April 11-13 and the following week the 43rd Carifta Games that will be held April 19-21 in Martinique. These two events alongside, Gibson Relays, Boys and Girls Champs in Kingston and the Jamaica Invitational IWC are the top annual meets in the Caribbean. If you have not attended one of these meets, I encourage you to come one year and by the way the meets are held in beautiful islands where you could take few days of vacation in Paradise.

Thank you
Victor Lopez



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