The local track and field season has ended, but for Swift Athletics sensations Wendell Miller and Carlos Brown, along with other Bahamians, it continues, as they spent the weekend on the track at the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) National Club Championships at Satellite High School in Satellite Beach, Florida.
Miller, the junior national record holder in the boys 400 meters (m), set an AAU championship record in the 17-18 boys 200m dash on Friday, when he crossed the finish line in a personal best time of 20.61 seconds. He erased the previous record of 20.74 seconds, and his time also puts him at number 13 in the world in the under-20 category this season.
Finishing behind him in second place was Prime Time Performance Track Club’s Brandon Miller who clocked 20.89 seconds. The Flying Angels’ Almond Small carried the bronze home, finishing in 21.22 seconds.
The 18-year-old Bahamian returned to the track on Saturday and ran away with the 100m title with a personal best of 10.52 seconds. Small was second this time, finishing in 10.73 seconds, and Brandon Miller was third after posting a time of 10.76 seconds.
“I feel good about my races over the weekend,” Miller said. “I felt good about breaking that record. I know I could have done it. I just went out there and put my mind to it and just did what I had to do. In the 200, my main focus was to get out and don’t let the person ahead of me lead me. I wanted to get off the curve and open my arms and run all the way to the finish line. In the 100, I know my start is not the best, so I wanted a good start. I think I did well but I know I could have done better getting out the blocks. I did well, overall.”
It was a great tune up for the St. John’s College runner who will head to Nairobi, Kenya, to run in the World Athletics (WA) Under-20 Championships set for August 17-22. His goal in Kenya is to win a gold in either the 200m or the 400m. With not many big meets this season, he feels he is well-rested and prepared for Nairobi.
Brown, who also attends St. John’s, also won the double in the 100 and the 200m races on the weekend, competing in the 15-16 boys category. It took a personal best for him to come away as the winner of the 100m dash, posting a time of 10.57 seconds. That time will list Brown as having the 11th fastest time in the world this season in the under-18 category.
Greer All-Stars’ Carmelo Martin came in second after he recorded a time of 10.67 seconds. Coming in third, was Florida Striders’ Evan Brown in 10.91 seconds.
This race also featured three other Bahamians. Brown’s teammate Samalie Farrington clocked 11.08 seconds to finished fifth. Finishing seventh was Red Line Athletics’ Jonathan Fowler in 11.13 seconds. And Grand Bahamian Lynden Johnson, who ran for Falcon Athletics, was eighth overall with a time of 11.19 seconds.
It was another personal best for 15-year-old Brown in the 200m dash on Friday when he convincingly won with a time of 21.16 seconds. That time will slot him at number six in the under-18 world rankings. Crossing the finish line in second place was Martin who posted a time of 21.73 seconds. NVA Track Club’s Jayson Bell was third with a time of 21.89 seconds. Johnson was sixth overall after posting a time of 22.17 seconds.
“My times were great in both races,” Brown said. “In the 100, the competition was close while in the 200, I went in with the third-fastest time, so I was a little nervous about where I was going to finish. I went in to run fast and came out with the win.”
Brown is looking forward to dropping his time more and said that his hard work in practice is definitely paying off.
“I work very hard in practice. I threw up many times and I also had injuries going through the season but it is paying off so far,” Brown said.
Swift Athletics head coach Andrew Tynes, a two-time Olympian for The Bahamas and former national record holder in the men’s 100 and 200m, was happy with his athletes’ performances over the weekend.
“As a coach, you have this good feeling because you see these kids’ potential and see them work very hard. They are very hard workers in practice, so they are reaping the rewards that they sow. They really put their mark on the AAU Championships,” Tynes said.
Also making the trip over the weekend was Andros native Tyqwon Woodside who ran for Swift Athletics in the 11-year-old boys 100m. He won the silver medal with a time of 12.94 seconds. Alvin Marshall, who also hails from Andros, ran in the 14-year-old boys 400m. The Swift Athletics runner finished seventh with a time of 55.11 seconds. He ran 53.56 seconds in the preliminaries.
Traveling with the Andros athletes was coach Felicia Cartwright, who was very proud of their performances.
“The experience, the excitement and energy means everything. It was such a great moment. It has been a great learning experience for them. They are talking about getting into tip-top shape for next year’s meet. Practice makes perfect and to compete on such a level, they have to be in shape,” Cartwright said.
Shimar Bain, who ran for Red-Line Athletics, finished fifth in the 17-18 boys 400m hurdles with a time of 54.67 seconds. His teammate Brandon Hutchinson clocked 56.60 seconds to place eighth overall.