Entry lists have been submitted and a record total of 437 athletes are confirmed in 45 events for the fourth staging of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Track and Field Championships, set for this weekend, August 19-21, at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
A total of 29 of the 35 member bodies will be represented, and listed among the featured attractions are Jamaican World Champion Shericka Jackson – the second-fastest woman ever over 200 meters (m), two-time Olympic Champion and World Champion in the women’s 400m Shaunae Miller-Uibo of The Bahamas, and former Olympic Champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago, along with a host of other present and former World and Olympic Champions and medalists.
The United States of America (USA) is sending a subdued team, by its standards, but they will have the largest contingent with 91 members in tow – 45 men and 46 women. Jamaica is the next largest team with 44 members – 24 men and 20 women. The Bahamas will be represented by 31 athletes at home – 20 men and 11 women.
Miller-Uibo is listed for the women’s 400m. Joining her on the women’s side for The Bahamas are Devynne Charlton and Denisha Cartwright (women’s 100m hurdles), Anthonique Strachan (women’s 100m), Printassia Johnson (women’s 100m), TyNia Gaither (women’s 200m), Jenae Ambrose (women’s 400m), Tamara Myers (women’s triple jump), Rhema Otabor (women’s javelin) and Tahj’Nee Thurston (women’s hammer). Camille Rutherford has been added for relay purposes.
For the men, set to compete for The Bahamas are Antoine Andrews and Xavier Coakley (men’s 110m hurdles), Andre Colebrooke and Shakeem Smith (men’s 400m hurdles), Samson Colebrooke (men’s 100m), Ian Kerr (men’s 200m), Alonzo Russell and Bradley Dormeus (men’s 400m), LaQuan Nairn and Holland Martin (men’s long jump), Kaiwan Culmer and Kristen Hanna (men’s triple jump), Donald Thomas and Shaun Miller Jr. (men’s high jump), Keyshawn Strachan (men’s javelin) and Tarajh Hudson (men’s discus). Carlos Brown Jr., Wanna McCoy, Wendell Miller and Kinard Rolle have been added for relay purposes.
One of the unique aspects of the NACAC Championships is that gold medalists, with the exception of the race walk events and the relays, will receive a wildcard entry into next year’s World Outdoor Championships in Budapest, Hungary, and they will also qualify for the 2023 Pan Am Games in Santiago, Chile. Also, for the first time in the history of the championships, prize money will be offered – $2,000 for gold medalists, $1,000 for silver medalists and $500 for third place finishers. Winning relay teams will split $4,000, second-place teams will split $2,000, and third-place teams will be awarded $1,000.
The NACAC Track and Field Championships is a continental track and field athletics event organized by NACAC which is one of six area associations in the World Athletics family, and usually produces the most medals and global champions at major international meets.
The meet director of the three-day meet is veteran coach David Charlton. This staging of the NACAC Track and Field Championships is the first to be held in the Caribbean. The inaugural championships, in 2007, was held in San Salvador, El Salvador. There was an eight-year hiatus before the second edition of the championships was held in 2015 in San José, Costa Rica. The third edition of the championships was held in 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
This year, the NACAC Track and Field Championships will have record number of participants with 437 entered for competition. It is set to be one of the largest track and field meets ever held in The Bahamas.