St. Lucia "wins" OECS Relays by Terry Finnisterre (1 July 2002)
(Photos by Dean Greenaway)
The first Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Relay Championships were concluded at the weekend (30th June 2002) in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Led by former OECS champions, Jason Sayers and Nessa Paul, St. Lucia (32 points) came away victorious, beating St. Kitts-Nevis (25) into second place. Despite the presence of big-name collegiate sprint stars, the BVI could only manage third place, tied with St. Vincent and the Grenadines on 14 points, and ahead of Dominica, on 5 points.
4x100m event won by Tortola with St. Kitts/Nevis in second place
With NCAA All-American sprinters Tahesia Harrigan and Dion Crabbe boosting their efforts, the home team dominated the sprint relays at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Grounds. BVI (47.81 seconds) won the women's 4x100m race with Harrigan anchoring, and beating St. Lucia (49.74) into second place. BVI (41.67) also beat St. Kitts-Nevis (42.74), featuring Kevon Pierre and Kurvin Wallace, into second place in the men's race.
BVI did not run the sprint medley and St. Lucia, with Paul anchoring, beat St. Kitts-Nevis in the women's race. The St. Lucian men, with Whitsuntide Games champion Nigel Leonce, did the same.
The medley event won by St. Lucia with St. Kitts/Nevis in second place
In the Swedish Medley (100 x 200 x 300 x 400m) St. Kitts-Nevis lined up Julietta Johnson, Virgil Hodge, Tiandra Ponteen and Nathandra John to win in 2:15.12, six seconds ahead of St. Lucia (2:21.71) with Malona Jn Baptiste, Marie Claire Louis, Theodora Henry and Paul. The Kittitians got their revenge in the men's race, which Delwayne Delaney, Kurvin Wallace, Larry Inanga and Pierre finished in 1:56.76, beating BVI's Aliston Potter, Crabbe, Keita Cline and Rainford Legair (1:58.67) into second place.
John, Ponteen, Hodge and Jermaine Buchanan ran 4:01.82 for the women's mile relay, beating the SVG team of Kathleen James, Nadia Alfred, Lekeysha Glynn and Kineke Alexander, who ran 4:09.62 for second. Nathan Justin, Fabian Felix, Leonce and Phileus Biscette ran 3:18.87 to win the men's version for St. Lucia, leaving Dominica's Joseph Bazil, Fabian Florant, Smith Telemaque and Micha Charles (3:20.35) to claim silver.
Thanks to a great start by Sayers, St. Lucia (10:52.29) claimed the men's distance relay from SVG (11:11.58, and Sayers (15:40.32) had a strong run to win the individual 5,000m race.
The British Virgin Islands Amateur Athletics Association (BVIAAA) will host the Organisation Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Relays in June, 2002. Rey O’Neal, president of the BVIAAA, announced as much Thursday. The Inaugural OECS Relays are scheduled for 30 June, at the AO Shirley Recreation Grounds. Teams from Grenada, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and St. Kitts-Nevis, will join the BVI in the all finals events.
For the OECS Relays, the delegation is capped at 20. Collegiate stars like Alleyne Francique (LSU, Grenada), Jineill Vite (SMSU, St. Lucia), Tahesia Harrigan (Minnesota, BVI), Kevon Pierre (Morgan State, St. Kitts-Nevis), Natasha Mayers (USC, St. Vincent & the Grenadines) could line up for the OECS Relays. For junior athletes, this will be a final warm-up for the Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships. Senior athletes should see the meet as preparation for the Commonwealth Games.
The OECS Relays is a novel concept. While there was an OECS Championships from 1987-1991, they faltered after lack of sponsorship. Other attempts have been unsuccessful. “These relays have never been held before. What we are hoping is to have the best athletes on the track. We will also have some field events to fill up the program and give the track athletes some rest,” Mr. O’Neal explained. “It should be quite entertaining. We expect to have all our best athletes here for the first time in quite sometime and it should be something to look forward too.”
As per the decisions taken at the meeting of O.E.C.S. Representatives at the World Championships in Edmonton last August, the BVIAAA has under taken to host the 1st O.E.C.S. Relays in Tortola on 29-30 June, 2002.
Tentative list of events for the O.E.C.S. Relays:
OECS RELAY RESULTS
TORTOLA, June 30
St. Lucia won the 1st OECS Relays, held at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Grounds on Tortola, BVI. Teams: British Virgin Islands (BVI), St. Kitts and Nevis (SKN), St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Dominica (DOM), St. Lucia (STL).
4 x 100 Meter Relay
Sprint Medley (400 / 200 / 200 / 800)
Swedish Medley: (100 / 200 / 300 / 400)
4 x 400 Meters
Distance Medley (400 /800 /1200 /1600)
4 x 200 Meters
OECS Relays for BVI , Dean Greenaway