Tahesia Harrigan leads record breakers in OECS/BVI Invitational

BVI’s 4 x 100 meters relay team: L-R: Karene King, Tahesia Harrigan, Chantel Malone and Ashley Kelly

Road Town (July 2, 2010) – Sprinter Tahesia Harrigan performing at home for the first time since 2008, foiled St. Kitts-Nevis’ pre-meet plans to “dominate the OECS/BVI Invitational” as she led the parade of six All Comers Records broken that matched the 2008 total – with an 11.22 seconds 100 meters victory and contributing a strong second leg on the 4 x 100 meters relay that turned back St. Kitts-Nevis, with a meet and national record 44.34 seconds run.

It was the first time that Ashley Kelly, Harrigan, Chantel Malone and Karene King had been assembled for the relay and they wiped out the 46.69 national mark from 2007 by a junior team that also included Kelly and Malone.

St. Kitts Nevis – with two members of their 2009 Central American and Caribbean Championships squad – Tameka Williams and Virgil Hodge that ran 43.53 in Cuba last July – were joined by Marecia Pemberton (11.29 this season) and Tiandra Ponteen to finish in 44.72 seconds, producing the fastest times ever run on BVI soil.

Harrigan’s 11.22 broke her 11.51 meet record from 2008 to win the 100 meters ahead of St. Kitts-Nevis’ Tameka Williams and double IAAF World Youth Championships sprints silver medalist Allison Peter from the U.S. Virgin Islands, who ran 11.68 behind Williams’ 11.65.

Peter, the 2010 Carifta Games champion with a season’s best 23.28 – coming off a slight foot injury – came back to overhaul her soon to be fast starting Texas Longhorns teammate Malone in the 200 meters, to better her own All Comers record of 23.65 from March 6, with a triumphant 23.42 seconds. Malone was second in 23.97 shaving .01 off Kelly’s 23.98 national Jr. mark. Unchallenged Ponteen took down Samantha John’s 400 meters All Comers mark of 54.27 from last June, with a 52.74 run. John was second in 54.99.

St. Kitts’ Tiandra Ponteen wins the 400 meters in a meet record 52.74 seconds

On the men’s side, St. Kitts-Nevis’ Antoine Adams coming off a windy 10.35 seconds 100 meters triumph in the St. Kitts Invitational last Sunday, took down Antigua and Barbuda’s 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships 60 meters bronze medalist, Daniel Bailey’s All Comers mark of 10.62 seconds from May 31, 2008, with a 10.58 winner.

Adams teamed with Brijesh Lawrence, Lestrod Roland and Jason Rogers for the final All Comers record, when they eclipsed Puerto Rico’s Fena Alvarez, Yavid Zachey, Luis Lopez and Adalberto Amador 4 x 100 meters relay time of 41.10 seconds from June 20, 2003, with a time of 40.70.

Darnetia Robinson became just the sixth athlete in the 40-year history of the BVI Athletics Association to break the 12.00 seconds barrier, joining five others this year with a personal best of 11.96. She chopped her previous 200 meters best from 24.90 to 24.67, moving to seventh all time among the 10 athletes who have recorded the feat since Tracy Bradshaw became the first in 1995 with a 24.78 run.

Robinson’s Youth Olympic Games teammate J’Maal Alexander shaved his 100 meters best from 11.26 to 11.25 seconds, while Niayla Smith, after numerous tries, finally exhaled after breaking the 60 seconds barrier with a 59.69 time.

Visiting athletes from St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts-Nevis, Anguilla, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Netherland Antilles and Puerto Rico, participated in the meet, which was delayed by three hours due to heavy rains and flash flooding from a passing weather system.

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