Talented middle-distance athlete Ashlyn Simmons produced a lifetime best in the 1 500 metres to win a bronze medal on Sunday at the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Under-18 and Under-23 Championships in San José Costa Rica.
Barbados won one silver and three bronze at the meet which showcases the hemisphere’s athletes, over three grueling days of competition.
Simmons clocked 4 minutes 49.18 seconds in the Under-18 girls’ age group, the lone Caribbean runner in the field. She can place this hardware next to her CARIFTA 1 500m gold and 800m silver medals won in April.
Canadians Abby Lewis, gold, and Stephanie Bertram, silver, came home in 4:35.01 and 4:37.97 minutes, respectively, with Lewis establishing a new NACAC Under-18 record.
The Under-23 men’s 4×400 metres quartet of Tyrique Johnson, Jahleel Armstrong, Kyle Gale, and Raheem Taitt-Best ran 3:04.33 minutes to bag Barbados’ third overall bronze, behind winners Jamaica, 3:02.44, and USA, 3:03.84.
The medal is Gale’s second in two days, after the promising young quarter-miler ran a season’s best 45.80 seconds, copping the silver in the 400 metres on Saturday. Jamaican D’Andre Anderson won gold in 45.56, while American William Jones took bronze in 45.95 seconds. Barbadian Tyrique Johnson was off form, crossing the line seventh in 47.35 seconds in his debut international meet.
The other bronze medal, and first won by the team, came via a hop, skip and a jump from Quantum Leap athlete Aaron Massiah in the Under-18 boys’ triple jump on Friday, with 14.12 metres on his sixth and final attempt.
Jahleel Armstrong found himself short in the Under-23 men’s 800m, ninth in 1:54.05 minutes as Vincentian Handal Roban captured gold in 1:47.03 minutes.
Sprinters Aniya Nurse, Jaquan Pilgrim and Darian Clarke recorded a trio of sixth-place finishes in their respective 200 metres.
Nurse who celebrated her 15th birthday on July 11, ended the meet without a medal, after her 24.60 seconds in the Under-18 girls’ category.
Jamaican Theianna-Lee Terrelonge set a new record in 23.53 seconds en route to gold.
Pilgrim, 17, clocked 22.04 seconds in the Under-18 boys’ division. Antiguan Kasiya Daley won the event in 21.40 seconds.
Clarke, 21, ran a personal record 20.91 seconds but was quite far off from gold medallist Canadian Callum Robinson, 20.52 seconds.
Long jumper Teon Haynes leapt 7.16 metres for fifth position in the Under-18 boys’ long jump. Trinidadian Imanni Matthew set a new games record of 7.71 metres to take home the gold.
USA topped the medal standings with 47, representing 23 gold, 16 silver and eight bronze; Jamaica were second with 32 (13,14,5) and Canada third with 12 gold, ten silver and six bronze for 268 medals. (RW)