Virgin Islands Sports Ambassador, Michelle Smith, shattered a national record this past weekend as she prepared for her appearance at the 50th CARIFTA Games in April.
Competing in the 800m at the Florida State Relays in Tallahassee last Friday, Smith finished first with a time of 2:07.95, breaking the previous decade-old record of 2:08.43, set by Ninfa Barnard. Smith’s record-breaking time is tantalizingly close to the time set by last year’s CARIFTA winner in the category, Rushana Dwyer from Jamaica, who ran 2:07.35 to secure gold in the games.
This impressive 800m run marks the second national record for the young athlete, who also holds the record for the 400m hurdles, set at the 2022 World Athletics Under 20 Championships.
Fellow athlete Omari Bennett, who will compete in the Octathlon and the 100m hurdles at this year’s CARIFTA Games, took part in a high school meet in South Carolina last week. He placed first in shot put, with a throw of 39 feet, 10 inches. At another meet on Friday, Bennett secured second place in the 110m hurdles with a time of 14.42.
Other members of the Virgin Islands Track and Field Team also achieved commendable results last week. Mikaela Smith participated in the Margaret Simmons Invitational, running the 1500m in a personal best time of 4:49.29. On Saturday, Rachel Conhoff claimed second place in the 5000m at her university’s home meet, the Ursinus College Outdoor Invite.