By Clayton Clarke, TrackAlerts.Com Writer 

Bahamas will be aiming to retain the overall title at this year’s Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Age Group Championships set for July 18 & 19 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, Trinidad and Tobago. At the 2013 edition in Curacao, Bahamas took the top prize ahead of Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados. The Bahamians also copped the girls’ trophy beating out Guadeloupe and Jamaica.

In the boys’ category Venezuela finished ahead of Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago.

The blue, yellow and black clad youngsters of the Bahamas also secured the girls 13-14 honors, were second in the boys 11-12 class and were third in the boys 13-14 contest. Trinidad and Tobago took home the boys 13-14 trophy while Barbados were the winners of the girls’ 11-12 field. Venezuela won the overall boy’s category in 2013.

The Bahamians were the first of the 15 countries registered to arrive in T&T. The first batch of the 13 member contingent athletes and officials arrived just before 2:00pm on July 16. Just under 150 (147) athletes and officials from Aruba (8), Curacao (11), Turks and Caicos (11), Antigua and Barbuda (9), Grenada (5), Martinique (12), St. Vincent & Grenadines (10), Barbados (11), British Virgin Islands (9), St. Lucia (11), Jamaica (11), US Virgin Islands (9) and Honduras (3) are expected to participate in the two-day meet.

In 2013 156 athletes representing 22 countries competed in Curacao. Of the 22 countries Venezuela, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Anguilla, St. Maarten, El Salvador, St. Kitts Nevis and Bermuda will not be sending teams to the 2015 edition. Cuba were expected to participate, but did not show up. There are reports that the Cubans had arrived in Trinidad for the original date of the competition-June 27-28.

The CAC Age-Group competition was first held in 1985 in Curacao and has been the launching pad of the athletic careers of numerous past and current outstanding athletes of the region, including 2003 World 100m champion Kim Collins (St. Kitts Nevis) and 2000 Olympic and 2001 World Champion Debbie Ferguson (Bahamas).

Reigning World Junior long jump gold medallist Akela Jones (Barbados) participated in the 2007 edition in El Salvador along with 2010 World Junior/2011 World Youth 400m winner Shaunae Miller (Bahamas). Jones led Barbados to victory in the girls 12-13 category while Miller’s Bahamian team was third. This year’s Carifta boys under 20 100m/200m champion Mario Burke (Barbados) competed in the 2009 and 2011 meets with success as he was part of the winning duo in the boys 11-12 in 2009 (Bahamas) and 13-14 in 2011 (British Virgin Islands). Reigning Carifta boys under 18 javelin champion and record holder Tyriq Horsford led T&T tasted victory in the boys 13-14 category in 2013. Horsord was also second in the boys 11-12 division in 2011. Four-time Carifta champion Anderson Peters led Grenada to silver in the boys’ 13-14 age group in 2011. CAC Junior girls’ under 17 Heptathlon champion in 2010 Chelsea Linton and 2012 Carifta girls under 17 200m winner Luan Gabriel teamed up to lead Dominica to gold in the girls 13-14 category in 2009.

This year’s competition will be held in T&T for the first time. Athletes will be housed at the Sir Arthur Lewis Hall-University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. The 11-12 competitors will participate in five events over two days: 60m, high jump,ball throw (day one) and long jump, 800m-girls/1000m-boys (day two) while the 13-14 athletes will do battle over seven disciplines: 80m, long jump, shot put (day one) and 60m hurdles-girls/80m hurdles-boys, high jump, ball throw, 1000m-girls/1200m-boys (second day). Points will be awarded after each event based on the IAAF Competition rule book and the CACAC Age Group combined events scoring tables.

At the end of day one, the athletes will participate in 11-12 & 13-14 mixed 4x100m relays. Results of the meets will be posted on

A Gold, Silver and Bronze medal will be awarded for the first three places in each event in each category. Competitors who finish 4th – 8th in each event will receive a ribbon.

The first event (G 11-12 60m) is set to get under way on Saturday morning at 9:00am.

The Opening Ceremony is scheduled  later on Saturday (2:30pm). The final event on the first day is the Mixed 13-14 4x100m relay listed to begin at 6:45pm. On Sunday the action starts at 9:00am. The Closing ceremony is slated for 6:00pm.

Rudy Joseph (Curacao) will serve as the meet’s Technical Delegate with Allan Baboolal (Trinidad and Tobago) as the Organisational Delegate. Jean Paul Clarke (Cayman Islands), Patrick Mathurin (St. Lucia) and Durly Lucas (Trinidad and Tobago) are the Area Technical Officials (ATO's).

Alain Jean Pierre (Haiti) heads the CAC Executive Council with Alpheus Finlayson (Bahamas), Ephraim Serrette (Trinidad and Tobago) and Jesus Molina (Cuba) as First, Second and Third Vice-Presidents respectively. Serette also is chairman of the Local Organising Committee.


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