Several former Barton Community College athletes competed in their respective countries national track and field championships recently.
Leading the way once again on the international stage for former Cougars was the legs of sprint legend Veronica Campbell-Brown.
Campbell-Brown, the only woman to win back-to-back 200m titles in the Olympics with gold medals in 2004 and 2008, finished with a pair of third place efforts at the Jamaican Senior Nationals this past weekend.
Campbell-Brown took third in the 100m and 200m, qualifying for the World Championships in August with those finishes. Campbell-Brown ran an 11.06 in the finals Friday for the third place effort. Shelly-Ann Fraser blistered the track in Kingston with a 10.79 – the best in the world this year.
In the 200m, Campbell-Brown ran a 23.02 to edge another former Cougar for the final spot at the World Championships. Simone Facey was a close fourth with a 23.05.
Two more former Cougars competed at the event but did not make the finals. Patricia Hall-Pritchett made it into the semifinals of the 400m with a 53.64 in the opening round but ran a 55.5 in the semifinals to have her weekend come to an end.
In the men’s 400m hurdles former Cougar Andre Peart came up just short of a spot in the finals with a 51.91 in the prelims.
Leevan Sands continued his comeback in the triple jump after his injury finishing second at the Bahamian Open Nationals. Sands jumped 54-7.25 in just his third meet back from injury. That mark did not surpass the standard for the World Championships (55-5.5) but it did qualify him for the Pan Am Games later this year.
In Barbados former World Championship Gold Medal winner Ryan Brathwaite took sixth in the 110m hurdles with a time of 14.55 – well off his national record time of 13.14. In addition to this 2009 World Championship gold, Brathwaite took fifth at the 2012 Olympics.
Another former Cougar who will be taking part in the World Championships Aug. 22-30 in Beijing is Alonso Edward.
Edward has met the qualifying standard (20.50) in the 200m with a 20.33 ran in May of this year. He has yet to meet the standard in the 100m (10.16) with a season best of 10.29.
A pair of former Cougars representing the Virgin Islands are still trying to earn that qualifying mark.
Laverne Jones-Ferrette, the most decorated female sprinter in the Island’s history and 3-time Olympian, is still running at 34 years of age. Jones-Ferrette is just short of the mark in the 200m. Jones-Ferrette ran a 22.24 in May of this year and needs to run a 22.20. Her 11.53 time the 100m is shy of the 11.33 needed.
Tabarie Henry, a 2-time Olympian for the Virgin Islands, has a time of 45.62 in the 400m but needs to run a 45.5 in order to qualify.
Like Sands, both have qualified for the Pan Am Games.
Akeem Haynes will attempt to join that list this weekend in the Canadian National Championships. He has the fourth best time in Canada this year. He will need to finish in the top three and also get under the 10.16 standard. He ran a 10.23 this year.