VI Women’s Basketball Place 5th Overall, Hedrington Completes Successful Surgery

The U.S. Virgin Islands (ISV) Women’s Basketball team beat out Guatemala, Barbados, and Jamaica to place fifth out of eight teams at the 2018 Central and American and Caribbean Games.

Team ISV finished with three wins in a row after a slow start to the tournament in the preliminary rounds, and after losing several players including forward Cheyenne Hedrington who tore her Achilles’ tendon in their game 2 loss against Cuba on Saturday, July 21.

The team initially announced that Hedrinton, 24, would have her surgery in the United States. Hedrington was advised and agreed afterword to have the surgery as soon as possible. The surgery took place in Barranquilla yesterday morning at the Laboratorio Clínica Portoazul.

Hedrington was discharged from the hospital on the same day, is doing well and in good spirits, according to Virgin Islands Olympic Committee President Angel Morales.

The team’s head coach, Clint Williams said he is very proud of team despite the challenges they faced, including injuries.

“The girls did a great job of getting treatment from Jerry [Smith] and Paul [Almonte], our trainers, and being ready to compete each day. It was a lot of fun, and good experience for our ladies,” Williams said. “The future of our women’s national team is extremely bright!”

St. Croix Sailor Wins First Medal for USVI at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games

Peter Stanton, 34, won a bronze medal for the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Open Sunfish class for Sailing on Wednesday, the first medal for the USVI in the 2018 CAC Games.

Stanton, who hails from the island of St. Croix, competed against 12 other sailors in his class over the course of the 6-day regatta at Puerto Vela in Barranquilla. Lester Luis Hernández Martínez of Cuba took home the silver medal and David Misael Hernández Guzmán of Guatemala won gold.

“Since 2003, I’ve been trying to medal at one of these games. It’s a huge monkey off my back for not getting fourth,” he said. “Probably one of my bigger accomplishments in sailing.”

The Crucian sailor solidified his 3rd place standing in the last race of the regatta on Wednesday by placing 2nd after hovering in the middle of the pack throughout week. He won the bronze medal by one point over Augustin Lazaro Lugo from Puerto Rico.

Team ISV was also represented by Mayumi Roller, 27, who, competed in the Radial Laser Class. Roller, who was happy to improve every day over the course of the regatta, placed 7th out of 11 competitors overall. Strong winds proved to be the largest battle for the sailors, according to both Roller and Stanton.

“The conditions here are real challenging and it’s real windy, so I’m pretty beat up physically…,” Stanton said.

That didn’t stop the bronze medal winner who entered the last race in 5th place overall, despite some equipment issues, and said he’d planned to focus on simply enduring the winds more in the last three races.

“That’s what sailing is. It’s when there’s more wind, your just hiking harder and just everything is just so much harder,” he said. “I like to think that everyone is in as much pain as me when I’m sailing.”

Stanton will be traveling to Chicago in a few days to compete in the 2018 USSCA North American Championship, where he hopes to qualify for the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

Team ISV Women’s Basketball Suffers Losses in Games and Players during 2018 CAC Tournament, Remain Confident Moving Forward

The U.S. Virgin Islands (ISV) National Women’s Basketball team remain confident after suffering two losses and completing their 2018 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games preliminary round with a 1-2 series on Sunday.

Team ISV played host country, Colombia, as well as Cuba and Jamaica respectively over the last three days. They lost to Colombia, 55-67, and to Cuba, 81-54. However, they did defeat Jamaica by a massive 30 points with a score of 67-37 in the final preliminary round game on Sunday.

The team’s head coach, Clint Williams, said that when he joined the team last year, he wanted to focus on adding more talent to support the team’s seasoned players, which proved fruitful when they became the 2017 Centrobasket Champions in St. Thomas last summer, as well as achieving a highlighted upset over Brazil, ranked 9th in the world, in the 2017 Americup. It’s an element that gave the team confidence moving into this year’s CAC Games.

“I feel like our athleticism is what helped us, and it kind of added some more pieces and some more help around the core—Lanese Bough, Victoria Hamilton, Natalie Day—those three young ladies have been playing for 10 plus years on the national team,” he said. ‘So, we added some pieces like Anisha George, homegrown talent that’s young, you know, Imani Tate—pieces like that, that were able to come in and help us right away. So, I felt like that definitely gave us a big boost.”

In their 2018 CAC Games debut against Colombia on Friday, July 20, Team ISV competed in a packed house and came out ending the first quarter with a two-point lead. However, after a stagnant second quarter with an only 4-17 point rally, the team never gained enough momentum in the second half to bring it home. Tate, 22, who played every minute of the game brought in nearly half the points for the team with a solid 60 percent conversion rate from the three-point line.

The squad suffered a similar fate the following day on Saturday against Cuba—leading the first quarter by one point, falling behind in an 8-19 rally in the second, and then struggling to get back on their feet throughout the final half. Day, a 28-year-old forward, and Tate, a shooting guard, both gave the team double digit numbers, 11 and 15 points respectively. The team’s 25-year-old point guard, Bough, who contributed three rebounds and two assists, came up just short with nine points.

Unfortunately, Game 2 against Cuba ended with Cheyenne Hedrington, 24, suffering a major injury. The ISV forward tore her Achilles’ tendon in her left foot. Hedrington will not play for the remainder of the tournament, but plans to stay and support her teammates. She will be having surgery when she returns the United States, according to Coach Williams.

Coach Williams said lack of training has been a major contributor to the squad’s performance in the tournament. The team only had a couple days of training camp in St. Thomas prior to the CAC Games and few days of practice upon arriving in Barranquilla.

“We can’t finish at the rim like we normally do, shots are flat, can’t make layups…,” Williams said. “When we’re not in shape, we can’t sustain that for the rest of the game. We just fell behind and [couldn’t] get out that hole we dug ourselves into.”

Bough agreed saying that the team knew they weren’t in the best condition to compete, however she believes that the unity of the team is what gets them through the games and keeps them going moving forward.

“We just need to stick together. We get tired. We’re a small group, so throughout 40 minutes of play, we’re going to get tired, so we just need to stick together at the ending. In the games ahead, we’re going to have to learn how to do that,” she said after their loss against Cuba.

Bough words were heard loud and clear in their sweeping win against Jamaica on day three after back to back losses. The team will play Barbados today for overall placement, where they’ll have a shot to increase their rank within the tournament amongst the eight teams competing.

Coach Williams remains very confident in the overall talent and potential of the team moving beyond these games. “I definitely feel like we have the athletes and we’re more athletic, but if we’re not in shape, then that doesn’t count,” he said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time in this tournament to get in shape, but we’re still feeling confident and taking it one game at a time.”

Bough added that she and her teammates plan to stay positive, play their best, and work hard to get better as a unit.

“As a team, we was just trying to make the best of it, because we wasn’t prepared like how we was last year, so we just tried to make the best of our competition ahead of us yesterday, today and whatever we have forward,” she said. “So that’s what we’re doing right now, playing together, staying together, enjoying our little time that we have here [sic]. ”

This is the first time the USVI’s national women’s team has played in these games since their 2010 appearance in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico where they placed fourth overall after losing in the bronze medal match against Jamaica.

Sanes Doubles Down on VI Swimming Records at CAC Games

U.S. Virgin Islands (ISV) swimmer, Adriel Sanes, 19, broke numerous ISV swimming records on Saturday in the second day of competition at the 2018 CAC Games.

Sanes beat the best ISV times on record in the men’s 100m breaststroke and the men’s 200m individual medley (IM), twice in each event, while also qualifying to compete in each events’ Final B round. He also broke the ISV 50m breaststroke record during his 50m split of the 100m breaststroke Finals B round with a time of 29.27 seconds.

During the 100m breaststroke event, Sanes broke the record with a time of 1:04.37 in his first heat and then topped it again in the finals round in 1:03.71. He additionally broke the 200m IM record in his first heat with 2:10.29, and then again in the finals round in 2:09.53.

Sanes placed second in both Final B event appearances.

ISV Swim Team Finish Strong on First Day of Competition

The U.S. Virgin Islands (ISV) swim team had a strong finish after day one of competition at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games on Friday, ending with several athletes advancing to medal rounds and a new U.S. Virgin Islands record.

Team ISV advanced to the men’s 200m butterfly final, and automatically advanced to the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay final. Carter Maltby, 15, also advanced to the women’s 400m freestyle final. All three finals were completed the same day.

Though they did not medal in their finals appearances, Frank Odlum, president of the USVI Swimming Federation, said he was very pleased with the team’s overall performance, especially since most swimmers dropped seconds off their best times.

“We tell the kids all the time that they’re racing themselves, so each one of them dropped time and made improvements,” Odlum said. ‘They just swam at the [Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation Championships] two weeks ago, so to drop time from just two weeks back—we’re very pleased with that.”

One of the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay team members, Adriel Sanes, 19, said he felt comfortable going into today’s competition. “It was a good start to the meet. I felt good in the water, so as the days go on I know it’ll be even better,” he said.

Matthew Mays, 19, made a lifetime best and broke his own Virgin Islands record in the men’s 200m butterfly with a time of 2:05.48 in his first heat. He said the team is used to long meets such as this and warming up, rolling out, and keeping your body in racing condition is key.

Webster Bozzo, 18, was proud to drop a second off his best time in the men’s 100m freestyle, with a time of 53.30, in his first ever CAC Games appearance.

“This is a first time, big swim meet for me like this so it was kind of nerve wrecking at first, but when I got out there it was just amazing,” he said. “It’s kind of a once in a lifetime thing you get to do.” Moving forward through the next few days of competition, Odlum said Team ISV is ready and anxious to get in the pool.

“Just the fact that they meet the qualifications to come, they don’t need any motivation. They train more than ten hours a week. They are there every day except Sunday training [at home],” he said. “It’s easy. We don’t have to motivate them, we don’t have to coax them, they want to come.”

On Friday overall, Team ISV competed in the mixed 4x100m medley relay, men’s 4x200m freestyle relay, men’s 200m butterfly, men’s 100m freestyle, women’s 50m backstroke, and women’s 400m freestyle.

Delegation of Virgin Islands Athletes set to compete in 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games

BARRANQUILLA , Colombia – The Virgin Islands Olympic Committee (VIOC) announced that a delegation of 70 Virgin Islanders will be participating the 2018 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Baranquilla, Colombia from July 19 to August 3, 2018.

The CAC Games, is a multi-sport event which occurs once every four years and includes athletes from Central America, the Caribbean, Bermuda, Mexico, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela, and Colombia. This year’s games will host 37 countries and over 5,000 athletes competing in 470 events.

The U.S. Virgin Islands (ISV) delegation, which consists of athletes, coaches and support staff, will be participating in several competitions, including archery, athletics, basketball, fencing, golf, sailing, swimming, and volleyball.

Angel Morales, president of VIOC, expressed the Committee’s excitement for witnessing the athletes compete in one the region’s largest competitive sporting events.

“[The athletes] have put in a lot of hard work and sacrifices to qualify, and it is now their time to compete and make all Virgin Islanders proud,” he said.

The US Virgin Islands has been participating in the CAC Games since 1966 and has amassed a total of 50 medals, including 11 gold medals. During the last CAC Games in 2014, which took in Veracruz, Mexico, Team ISV took home six medals including one gold, two silver, and three bronze medals.

2018 Olympic Day Runs

St. Thomas Run Results
2 Miles Magens Bay

1.       Kasim Upchurch 15 Male 12:23
2.       Michael Motylinski 42 Male 13:13
3.       Ky Odlum 16 Male 14:11
4.       Akil Petersen 33 Male 14:25
5.       Reginald Byers 27 Male 16:10
6.       Valerie Washington 24 Female 16:57
7.       Angel Morales 65 Male 18:42
8.       Juan Talledo 41 Male 20:14
9.       Tammy Walters 54 Female 20:33
10.   Frank Odlum 52 Male 20:43
11.   Leah Mandichak 34 Female 20:45
12.   Alyson Monsanto 7 Female 22:17
13.   Lindsay Barr 13 Female 23:05
14.   Fairley Maltby 12 Female 23:06
15.   Jhneil Jackson 5 Female 26:26
16.   Carter Maltby 15 Female 27:54
17.   Kyra Odlum 16 Female 28:02
18.   Athneil Thomas 49 Male 30:05
19.   Victoria Sperber 12 Female 33:23
20.   Gabriella Brunt 13 Female 33:25
21.   Joycelyn Monsanto 63 Female 36:51

 

 

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Barrows Named 2017 ‘Virgin Islands Sailor of the Year’ by Virgin Islands Sailing Association

Photo: Ian Barrows. Courtesy Yale University Sailing Team.

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The 2017 College Sailor of the Year, former Youth Olympic Gold Medalist and current 2020 Summer Olympic medal-aspirant in the 49er, Ian Barrows, has been awarded the coveted title of ‘Virgin Islands Sailor of the Year’ for 2017 by the Virgin Islands Sailing Association (VISA).

“Ian is probably the best natural sailor the Virgin Islands has ever produced. His international accomplishments through his final year at Yale where he was named collegiate sailor of the year speak for themselves. We wish Ian good luck in his Olympic endeavors,” says Bill Canfield, VISA president.

Barrows, age 23, a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands and brother of two-time Olympic sailor, Thomas Barrows, who was also named College Sailor of the Year in 2010, is pleased to be selected.

“It’s a huge honor to receive recognition as VISA’s Sailor of The Year award because there are so many deserving U.S. Virgin Island sailors. I was fortunate to have my most successful year of college sailing in 2017. It was a good way to end my college career and now it’s time to experience a different type of sailing,” says Barrows, who graduated from Yale University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. 

The VISA award caps an incredible year of achievement for Barrows, which started in the fall of 2016 as he began his senior year at Yale. The Virgin Islands’ skipper kicked off the first inter-conference regatta of the season by finishing first in A Division in the highly-competitive Pine Trophy. Barrows then both won and led the Yale Bulldogs to two additional inter-conference victories, respectively, the Hatch Brown and Danmark Trophies. He finished the fall by once again skippering to the top of A Division and earning the Bulldogs the title the Erwin Schnell Trophy, a New England Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (NEISA) conference championship. This autumn crescendo prefaced an even more successful spring semester of college sailing, in which Barrows proved his prowess in team racing as he did fleet racing in the fall. In fact, out of six NEISA regattas, Barrows won A Division in five. Three were inter-conference events: Graham Hall, Jan T. Friis Trophy and Thompson Trophy. The other two were the highly-competitive New England Team Race Championship and the NEISA Coed Championships/US Coast Guard Alumni Bowl. Barrows talents paid off in being named NEISA Sailor of the Year for 2017. Then, impressive performances in the LaserPerformance Team Race National Championships and Gill Coed College Sailing National Championship, capped off an incredible year that earned Barrows the Everett B. Morris Trophy by being named the Marlow Ropes College Sailor of the Year for outstanding performance at the highest level of sailing in the collegiate year. What’s more, Barrows finished his senior year on the Yale University Sailing Team as a four-time All-American.

Barrows, who started sailing Optimist dinghies at the St. Thomas Yacht Club at age 5 and later took summer classes at the Pleon Yacht Club in Marblehead, Massachusetts, credits both his brother and parents, Shep and Jean Barrows, for introducing him and encouraging him in the sport. 

“My parents sailed down to the Virgin Islands on their 32-foot sailboat and lived on it for several years. They taught my older brother how to sail and he encouraged me to hop in a boat as well. The St. Thomas Yacht Club had good coaches who helped me improve every day. My teammates and I pushed each other to keep getting better,” says Barrows. “The Virgin Islands has some of the best sailing conditions in the world. There was almost always a consistent moderate breeze that enabled me to put many hours on the water. Also, the warm climate made sailing a lot more enticing whereas, if I grew up in a colder place I might not have ever wanted to sail.”

Photo: L to R: Ian Barrows (skipper), Mitchell Kiss (crew), sailing an Olympic 49er. Credit: Barrows family.

The Virgin Islands’ sailor has enjoyed considerable success in sailing prior to college. In the Optimist, highlights include first place at the 2018 IODA South American Championship and second overall at the 2008 IODA World Championships. In high school, as a skipper on the Antilles Sailing Team, Barrows won the 2011 Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA) Singlehanded National Championship for the Cressy Trophy in the Laser Radial and led the school’s 2011 and 2013 wins in the 420 in the ISSA Fleet Racing Championship for the Mallory Trophy. Most spectacularly, Barrows earned a Gold Medal at the 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore in the Boys’ Byte CII.

“Currently I’m training for the Olympics in the 49er and look forward to improving my sailing ability throughout the process,” says Barrows, who with fellow Yale graduate and crew, Mitchell Kiss, sailed in the 49er North Americans last summer and competed in the Oakcliff Triple Crown Regattas in the fall. “It was easy choosing the 49er because it’s the fastest and most fun boat I’ve ever sailed. I hadn’t sailed fast boats before the 49er, so I wanted to learn quicker decisions and learn about higher speed strategies. The best 49er sailors have gone on to skipper in the Americas Cup. so, I thought it might be my best opportunity to have a chance to compete in the Cup in the future.”

What advice does Barrows offer to young sailors in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

“My advice would be to try and put in as many hours on the water as possible because that’s what makes the biggest difference. Also, it’s important to realize how lucky you are to grow up in a place like the Virgin Islands that has perfect sailing conditions year-round,” he says.

VISA is the organization that administers all sailing activities in the US Virgin Islands. We are a Member National Authority of ISAF which is the International Federation that governs sailing worldwide, the Pan American Sailing Federation and Central American and Caribbean Sailing Organization. In addition, VISA was a founding member of the Virgin Islands Olympic Committee, which administers all Olympic sports in the Virgin Islands.

31st Olympic Day Run, St. Croix

In the tradition of focusing on the Olympic Movement, the St. Croix version of the Olympic Day Run  event, the 31st edition, saw a change of venue but a familiar format.  With the closing of the track, where the event was held the past several years, for construction and repairs, the move to the new Christiansted bypass was a bit challenging but lots of fun for at least sixty runners and walkers.  Five group levels (20 minute, 15 minute, 10 minute, 7 minute and 6 minute) ran the rolling out and back course with the start/finish overlooking the historic Christiansted National Historic Site.

6 min/mile group

The fastest of groups made up of no less than five Olympic federations including: Track and Field, Cycling, Sailing, Triathlon and Swimming was led by Malique Smith of the Track and Field Federation’s St. Croix Track Club and the Univ, of Arkansas Pine Bluff.  The pack including top junior, open and master runners made the turn around and half way with the experienced Smith positioning himself for the win.  He crossed the line in 4:55; Rodney Griffin also of SCTC and Unvi. APB edged out Michael Dizon Bauman of the V.I. Triathlon and V.I. Cycling Federations for second in 5:18 to 5:19.  Bridget Klein Track and Field and V.I. Track and Field was the fastest female of the day in 6:15; Mikaela Smith of the St. Croix Track Club/V.I. Track and Field and latest track and field Youth Olympian was second in 6:26; Rachel Conhoff Track and Field was third in 6:45.

Stephen Swanston V.I. Cyling Federation/V.I Triathlon Federation was the fourth male in 5:28; Randall Nielsen V.I. Track and Field Federation was fifth in 5:47; Valance Modeste SCTC V.I. Track and Field Federation was sixth in 6:02; Jael Shoy was seventh in 6:07; No 6 What’s Your Name was eighth in  6:13; Antonio Lewit St. Croix Dolphins/V.I. Swimming Federation was ninth in 7.06

Bridget Klein V.I. Track and Field Federation was the first female in 7:06; Mikaela Smith SCTC/V.I.Track and Field Federation was second in 6:26; Rachel Conhoff V.I. Track and Field Federation was third in 6:45.

7 min/mile group

Eleven year old Michelle Smith Track and Field and the St. Croix Track Club/V.I. Track and Field Federation led the seven minute milers to the finish as she held off Track and Field V.I. 50 mile champ Mike Klein for second in 6:31 for first female, Klein was the first male in 6:35; Troy Holloway V.I. Triathlon Federation was the second male in 6:53

Stefanie Matthew V.I. Track and Field Federation was the second female in 7:06; Robin Seila was third in 7:09; Kat Brownsdon V.I. Triathlon Federation was fourth in 7:11; Lauren Jones was fifth in 7:32

10 min/mile group

Mireille Smith and her husband Keith Track and Field and St. Croix Track Club coaches/officials/V.I. Track and Field Federation led this group with Mireille less than a half step ahead of Keith for first female and he the first male, both were timed in 7:39.

Ian Cuffy V.I. Track and Field Federation was the second male in 8:29; Tom Maloney was third in 8:37; Louis Torres was fourth in 10:26; Rey Lutz V.I. Track and Field Federation was fifth in 12:09

Roma Maloney was the second female in 7:47; Shannan Calhoun was third in 4:51; Josephine Calhoun Shooting Federation was fourth in 8:02; Kirsten Jones was fifth in 8:06; Jimiah John Baptiste SCTC/V.I. Track and Field Federation sixth in 8:22; Lauren Jones seventh in 8:29; Kia Katlyn Jones 8::36; Maria Maloney 8:37; Lu Joseph eighth in 14:19; Beth Joseph ninth in 14:21

15 min/mile group

Jaidan Soe Comacho of St. Croix Dolphins/V.I. Swimming led the field with a time of 7:06; Genevieve Whitaher  was the first female finisher in 9:56.

Amani Estrill St. Croix Dolphins/V.I. Swimming was the second male in 7:59; Luis Torres St. Croix Dolphins/V.I. Swimming was third in 8:49; Number 18 was fourth in 9:55; Ryan Smith was fifth in 10:55; Rey Lutz V.I. Track and Field was sixth in 13:22; Seft Andrews seventh in 14:00;

Kat Downsdon V.I. Triathlon was the second female in 9:57; Chancy Smith was third in 10:53; Patsy Guthrie was fourth in 11:10; Sasha Charlemagne was fifth in 12:15; Aurea Valez was sixth in 12:42; Chelesa Taylor V.I. Track and Field was seventh in 13:25; Erin Andrews was eighth I 14:01

20 min/mile group

11 year old Abriella Messier led the way in 10:31; Willie Lewis Mary’s Fancy Track Club/V.I. Track and Field Federation led males in 12:35

Rey Lutz V.I. Track and Field was the second male in 13:41; Ronald Russell V.I. Track and Field was third in 14:37

Larisha Primus was the second female in 11:24;  ? Sloan was third in in 12:01; Sophia Artich was fourth in 13:09; Barbara Knight was fifth in 14:30; Hazel Smith SCTC/V.I. Track and Field Federation was sixth in 14:32; Victoria ? was seventh in 14:37; Bianna Mathis was eighth in 14:38