Three VI Athletes In Today's NACAC Finals

Taheisa Harrigan-Scott, 2nd left, begin pulling away from her rivals to place second in her 100m heat in 11.21 seconds for a trip to today’s final PHOTO Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica Three Virgin Islands athletes will compete in four finals of the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Track and Field Championships this evening, in the event being held in San Jose, Costa Rica, through Sunday.

Running from Lane 1, the USVI’s Eddie Lovett ran 13.46 seconds,his third best time of the season after two 13.41s, and edged Cuba’s Jhoanis Portilla by .01, to win the second of two 110m Hurdles semifinal heats and automatically advanced to today’s final. He tied Jamaica’s Tyler Mason for the second fastest time, behind Heat 1 winner, Trinidad and Tobago’s Mikel Thomas’ 13.43.

Lovett said it was just last week he began experimenting with seven steps to the first hurdle after being inconsistent doing eight and getting too close to the barrier. “I ran 13.52 in Atlanta last weekend so I decided to go at it again and it turned out being okay today,” he noted. “It was a little different being in lane two, didn’t have anyone to push me until towards the end I felt the guy from Cuba, but it was a great race. I felt that I could have been a little more consistent towards the end, but, for the most part, I was able to carry my momentum with the seven steps and stay tall enough to finish with a decent time.”

In his quest for a medal, he said there’s not much different to do. “The only thing is I’d like to stay tall at the last two hurdles,” he explained. “I felt myself collapsing a little bit trying to get the power and stay tall off the tenth hurdle, finish and do the dip like I did today.”

Laverne Jones-Ferrette was third in her 100m heat in 11.31 seconds to reach tonight’s 100m final. The wind however was .3 over the allowable, for her to qualify for the Aug 22-30, IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China.

“I went in feeling pretty good, executed well, except for the last part I just relaxed too much, but I was pleased with the performance,” Jones-Ferrette said before jumping in the 200m semifinals. “I have enough time to recover for the final.” While her time would have qualified her for the World Championships, she said she’s satisfied since her priority is stay healthy as her focus is on the Rio Olympic Games. “I’m happy to be out here competing and feeling great. Next year is a big year. It’s just to stay healthy, get races in and go from there.”

Jones-Ferrette had to think back to her last 200m which was back in April. “But, I trust my fitness she said before running 23.50 seconds to snatch the last qualify spot in Sunday’s final by, finishing ahead of the BVI’s Ashley Kelly’s 23.82, while her teammate Karene King ran 24.05 in heat three. “That’s what I train for, to be in a position like this. I might not be race sharp for the 200m, but, I’m just going out there and having fun.”

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott of the BVI will join Jones-Ferrette in the 100m final after placing second in her heat in 11.21 seconds to automatically qualify.

“Today’s performance was good, wanted to run a little faster but felt comfortable with the run, so I know there’s more to give. It’s just to go out there and have fun in the final and execute my race,” said Harrigan-Scott, who has run 11.18 and 11.19 in the last two races. “Definitely the consistency is there. Once I put the race together the way I do in practice in terms of staying aggressive and open at the same time in the finals, I’ll be great. Today I felt like I was open, but lost some aggression towards the end. Once I put those things together, I see my time dropping significantly.”

Eldred Henry was sixth in the Discus Throw with a best effort of 52.82m, which came on his second attempt. Teammate Khari Herbert ran 46.31 seconds for a non-advancing fourth place finish in his 400m heat.

USVI’s Jordan Sartor-Francis ran 21.31 and Brian Slater 22.92 in their respective 200m heats but neither advanced.

Today, the USVI duo of Leon “Bookine” Hunt and Muhammid Hamlin will contest the Long Jump. Henry will see Shot Put action on Sunday as well as the BVI’s Chantel Malone and USVI’s Wanetta Kirby in the Long Jump.