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Bermuda’s rising athletics stars shine at national championships

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Miles Outerbridge in action at the Track & Field Championships (photograph by Ras Mykkal)

An abundance of rising track and field talent and a few considerably beyond their peak set Flora Duffy Stadium ablaze during the weekend’s Bermuda National Championships.

With the Bermuda Challenge incorporating 140 overseas competitors from six United States-based athletics clubs, Bermuda’s best were put to the ultimate test, with some sprinting, throwing or leaping to glory as others agonised defeat.

“It’s been great to have the Americans come down,” said Bermuda National Athletics Association president Freddie Evans, who lauded the overseas track clubs for bringing added flavour and helping to raise the event’s standard and stature.

“I’m indebted to coach Jason Jackson for organising matters on the other side and very thankful to Glenarden from Maryland and all the other clubs for supporting the Bermuda Challenge.

“We’ve had adults who ran, coaches who ran and, of course, the athletes from both sides of the Atlantic.

“Bermuda definitely showed up and showed out. We showed our colours not just as competitors but as hosts.

“I’m excited about where we are and where we can go. We just need to get more hands on deck to make it all possible and bring all the elements together, but it was a pretty good meet.”

Among Bermudians staking claims to podium places were middle-distance runner Amaris Munya, Bermuda discus record holder Tiara DeRosa and sprinter Miles Outerbridge.

Outerbridge bagged two medals and just missed out on a third. The teenager, who specialises in the blue riband distances of 100 and 200 metres produced a searing anchor leg that enabled Bermuda Pacers Track Club to a come-from-behind victory in the sprint relay.

“Our strategy was not to have me leave too fast, but to get up to speed and just maintain,” said Outerbridge, who teamed with Aaron Lugo, Kemontait Bailey and Surii Russell to clock 47.46.

“I was just trying to keep my form throughout and not press too much because I have a race after this one, the 200 final.”

That next race never materialised as Outerbridge noticeably grabbed his right hamstring as he crossed the line, later admitting that he had felt a slight twinge which caused him to pull out of the 200 final.

“I’ve been running a lot this year and I think I just may need a bit of rest and recuperation,” added Outerbridge, who clocked 11.01 in the 100 metres final, a race won impressively by Evan Boykin of Jet LLC.

“I should be alright and then I’m off to Canada next month for the Flying Angels International Track and Field Championships in early July.”

Amaris Munya, right, and Jaeda Grant in action at the Track & Field Championships (photograph by Ras Mykkal)

Amaris Munya, competing in her first 800 metres since March, kept her poise in the face of closing threats from Jaeda Grant (2:26.74) and Ava Neretic (2:26.44) of West Orange Track Club, finishing just ahead of the American in 2:25.98.

“I think I ran pretty good,” said a triumphant Munya. “The first lap I believe I paced myself pretty good even though I could have gone a bit faster, as I felt the energy during the second lap.

“I was fearing that Jaeda would produce a great finish and possibly overtake me.That was my concern at the beginning but it turned out to be a pretty good race for me and I could have gone a bit faster.

“My time was a 2:24 or 2:25 and my personal best is 2:24.40, so I was aiming to go and lower it to a 2:23, but this is my first 800 since coming back from Carifta.”

Tiara DeRosa was happy with her performance at the Track & Field Championships (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

Meanwhile, DeRosa appeared to be having fun in the discus, implementing a few new adjustments, while demonstrating some of the form that enabled her to break the legendary Sonya Smith’s record, which had stood for more than three decades.

“Today I’m surprised at how many international students came to compete,” said Derosa, an imposing figure within the circle netting.

“It’s nice though for the young throwers to get more throws. I threw what I expected to throw for my season and I’m trying some new technical cues, so I’m pretty proud of myself in that I went out there and went after it.”

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Published June 23, 2024 at 12:43 pm (Updated June 23, 2024 at 12:54 pm)

Bermuda’s rising athletics stars shine at national championships

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