Warner, Gumbs' National Youth Records Highlight Carifta Trials

Tynelle Gumbs, left, and Lakeisha "Mimi" Warner, established Javelin Throw & 800m National Youth Records

MARCH 11—With final spots for the 41st Carifta Games in Bermuda April 6-9 to be sealed, there a few die hard fans on hand during the morning session of Saturday’s Carifta Games Trials—which also served as the National Jr. Championships—with a more favorable attendance by the time Fast Lane Track Club’s Shaquoy Stephens ran a 400m personal best of 49.98 seconds to close the program and joined a few select school boys dipping under the 50 seconds barrier.

Over the course of the day, there were five revisions to the All Time Top 10 List—a total of 18 overall—since the season kicked off on Jan 14.

In between the sessions, Sprint Tech Track Club’s Lakeisha “Mimi” Warner strode two laps around the A. O. Shirley Recreation Grounds oval faster than any school girl ever had in the 55-year history of High School competition and Top Notch Track Club’s Tynelle Gumbs had thrown the Javelin further than anyone in the 42-year history of the BVI Athletics Association—becoming the first to penetrate the 100ft barrier with the spear.  

Already with the No. 2 all time 800m performance to her credit with her 2 minutes 17.59 seconds in her last outing, Warner destroyed the mark when the 14-year old stopped the clock at 2:13.80 on a solo sojourn—a National Scholastic and National Youth Record. In the process she pulled her Sprint Tech teammate Niyala Smith from No. 7 on the all time list to a personal best of 2:18.78—the No.3 mark ever in the event. Smith sliced her Jan 28 best from 2:22.39.

As Warner was performing her heroics, Top Notch Track Club’s Gumbs was in the middle of hers. Her opening Javelin Throw of 29.65m (97'3") had already propelled her past Nadia Collins’ 1999 mark of 29.16 (95’6”) into second all time. By her third throw, Gumbs had displaced National Record holder Tahira Lewis out the way with her toss of 32.55m (106’9”).

But, she wasn’t done. Rearing back on her next attempt, she made her Coach Eric “Shaq” Matthias, 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Discus Thrower proud when she joined twin sister and National Jr. Shot Put record holder Trevia on the Carifta Games delegation, by heaving the spear, 34.02m (111’7”)—improving her recent best of 28.37m (93’6”) from her last outing. She closed the day with her fourth successive throw over 100’ with a 31.56m (103’6”) effort.

Her mark was a National Scholastic, National Youth, National Jr. and National Record. For her and Warner’s efforts, they will collect Sol National Record breakers awards during the fourth BVI Athletics Association Athlete Awards Recognition Gala on December 28. An athlete establishing an indoor or outdoor national record that stands at season’s end qualifies for the award.

The penultimate race of the day was another one that would see the17th and 18th revision of all time records since the season began on Jan 14. Sprint Tech Track Club’s Tarika Moses moved from No.9 all time to No.6, when the 14 year old led her teammates to the line in the 400m in 55.64, moving her best from 57.04. Jonel Lacey made her 400m debut with the No.7 mark ever, when the clock stopped at 56.08. Samantha John—the No. 3 all time performer at 54.06—turned  in 57.05 as she rounds back into shape. The race was the fastest on home soil by BVI athletes since Chantel Malone and Ashley Kelly, ran 54.58 and 54.69 respectively in 2008.

The BVI Athletics Association Selection Committee will finalize the Carifta Games squad and the association will hold a March 23 press conference to present the delegation.