Neither St. Kitts-Nevis or the British Virgin Islands are known regionally for hurdling. That’s about to change.
A thrilling 400m Intermediate Hurdles finish where 0.04 separated St. Kitts-Nevis’ Oneil Thomas and the BVI’s Kyron McMaster, brought the curtains down on the BVI Athletics Association’s 7th Development Series meet of the season, ahead of the March 13-14 Premier Dental National Jr. Championships.
Under 20 Boys Thomas and McMaster, matched strides over the last 150m in a race that was a Carifta Games trials for the field, came off the final barrier almost in unison, drove for the line with Thomas getting the nod in 51.83 seconds to McMaster’s 51.87—both St. Kitts-Nevis and BVI National Jr. Records. Oneil’s time also established a BVI All Comers Record and St. Kitts-Nevis National Record.
Thomas chopped his best from last year’s 53.04 while McMaster sliced his from 53.26 also established in 2014.
In the female 100m Hurdles, St. Kitts-Nevis’ Kesshonna Brookes sped to a personal best of 14.00 seconds in the U18 Girls discipline, while the BVI’s Deya Erickson—who moved to the U20 division this year—made her season’s debut in 14.38, the No 2 Jr. mark behind Arianna Forbes’ 14.27 National Jr. Record.
Soon to be 14-year old Beyonce DeFreitas won the U18 Girls 200m with a personal best effort of 25.09 seconds into a -1.2 meters per second headwind.
“We were looking for all the athletes to qualify in their respective events and we thought they had the opportunity to do it this meet because the level of competition is high in the BVI. We thought they were ready to go and qualify for the meets coming up in the summer,” St. Kitts-Nevis coach Donnell Esdaille said. “The times were superb. I believe now they are ready to compete with the best in the Caribbean at the Carifta
Games level—especially Oneil and Kyron. They ran 51.8—that surpassed my expectations and I’m happy for that.”
With a personal best and National Jr. Record in his first race, McMaster expressed delight. “I went good for me because I’ve never started the season this good, this is one of my best seasons so far,” he noted. “The run felt good because around this time, we don’t get this type of competition until we reach the Carifta Games. To actually feel what I’ll be facing at Carifta, it gives me an idea of how I have to train now. How more aggressive I have to be technique wise to be prepared, so now I know what I’ll be up against.”
National Scholastic Record
In the field, Akeem Bradshaw demolished William “Willie” Archer’s 28-years and a day old National Scholastic Long Jump mark of 7.11m (23’4”) from March 5, 1987, when he cut the sand at 7.25m (23’9½”) on his opening leap and bettered his previous best of 6.91m (22’8”). He had a 7.40m (24’3½”) foul on his second attempt before leaving the Long Jump pit and lined up in the 200m where he ran a personal best of 22.50 seconds behind Ronique Todman’s personal best of 22.45.