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Bean backs team for medal joy

Bermuda's team of 11 track and field athletes should be capable of claiming several medals at this summer's NatWest Island Games in Jersey, Tony Bean, the manager-coach, said yesterday.

The team will be led by husband-and-wife distance runners Chris and Ashley Estwanik, who will compete in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres and half-marathon.

Also in the squad are Dion Breary, who will run in the half-marathon and possibly the 10,000 metres, Rose-Anna Hoey (half-marathon), Lamont Marshall (1,500 and 5,000 or 800), Tre Houston (100 and 200), Chayce Smith (1,500 and 800), LoVintz Tota (100, 200 and long jump) and Ryan Wilson (3,000 steeplechase and half-marathon). College students Taahira Butterfield and Natasha Trott, both 100 and 200, complete the team.

Trott won two gold medals in the women's relay (4x100 and 4x400) two years ago in Bermuda, teaming up with Shianne Smith, Kerri Furbert and Jasmine Brunson in the 100 relay and Smith, Tamika Williams and Ashley Berry to win the 400 relay.

This year's team will not be quite as strong as Smith, who won five gold medals and a bronze in 2013 to go with four medals in the Isle of Wight in 2011 and three in Rhodes in 2007, will not be available because of work commitments in France where she lives and competes.

Other commitments such as the Pan Am Games have meant that some other athletes are not available for the Games, which run from June 27 to July 3. The Pan Am Games will be held in Toronto from July 10 to 26.

However, Bean is still confident the team will produce some strong performances in Jersey.

“I had a few other people [I wanted to compete] but there were other events going on and they could not commit,” Bean said. “I think it is a pretty good team, the distance events will be very competitive. We should be able to bring home at least five medals.

“Even with Chris doing a 1:05, he may have a tough time winning the event because the record is 1:05 and the record holder is running this year. In the last couple of years Chris couldn't compete, last time because of injury and two years before that because of family commitments.

“It's a team event for the half-marathon and is the only event you can have three people [per country], the other events are just two people, so hopefully he and Ryan will do well enough to get a team medal.

“We won a medal the first time we competed in [track and field] in 2007 with Terrence (Armstrong), Jay (Donawa) and Ricky (Sousa) in the half-marathon.”

Bean admits the absence of Shianne Smith will hurt the team's medal prospects considering her success at the Island Games since first competing in 2007. Tre Houston could be a top medal contender again in the sprint events. “Last time Tre set 100 and 200 records for the event and this year he is hoping to run even faster,” Bean said. “Lamont Marshall, with how he has been running, should do very well in his events, however the distance events are very strong.”

Bean, who has been helping to put together the track and field teams since 2007, said sponsorship is still needed for the two college students, Butterfield and Trott, to cover their travel costs to Jersey.

“Generally the athletes find their own sponsors or pay for it themselves and I usually try to find a sponsor for the younger athletes who are in school,” Bean said.

n Anyone interested in assisting with airline costs can contact Bean at tonybean@hotmail.com or on 799-0473.

Top contender: Houston won both the 100 and 200 metres at the 2013 Island Games in Bermuda

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Published April 23, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated April 23, 2015 at 11:32 am)

Bean backs team for medal joy

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