May 14, 2003 — Valma Bass was an outstanding sprinter at Charlotte Amalie High School some years past. She went on to excel at the major college level at Louisana State University, a perennial NCAA Division I National Championship team. At LSU Bass was one of the top sprinters for three years and key to the nationally ranked and championship 4 x 100 meter relay teams.
An Olympian, she ran for St. Kitts and Nevis in the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics. Since she grew up in the Virgin Islands, she set out to change her affiliation to become eligible and to compete for the Virgin Islands in international competition, including the Pan Am Games and the Olympics as soon as possible.
The V.I. Track and Field Federation has received notice from the International Association of Athletic Federation (IAAF) that the request for change in affiliation for Bass has been approved by her former country and the IAAF, and therefore she is now eligible to compete immediately for the Virgin Islands. In order to be eligible, Bass is required to not compete for her current country for 3 years (with official waiver, 1 year). She did not compete last year. Now she has moved from St. Thomas to the Miami area, where she is back into training and competition. The first week in May she competed at Georgia Tech in Atlanta and ran 11.7 in the 100 meters. On May 10 she competed in the Seminole Twilight meet in Tallahassee, Fla., and placed third with 11.7 in the 100-meter dash, and first in the 200-meter dash with 23.65.
The Federation is looking at the possibility of having very strong women's relay teams for the CAC Track and Field Championships and the Pan Am Games that would include: Bass; Olympian Lavern Jones, an All American at the University of Oklahoma; Ameerah Bello, a V.I. record holder, out of retirement, and former Olympian; Kadie Joseph, a junior at Morgan State University; and perhaps Flora Hyacinth, a former three-time Olympian and first woman in history to jump 45 feet in the triple jump. Hyacinth is finishing a doctorate in chiropractic program in Houston, Texas, and making a return to competition.
For more information contact the Virgin Islands Track and Field Federation at 777-0258 or logon to the Federation Web site. The Federation office is at 116 Queen Cross Street in Frederiksted.
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