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VITFF Gives Updates on V.I. Olympic Track and Field Team Hopefuls, CARIFTA Qualifiers

Eduardo Garcia (Submitted photo)

The VI Track and Field Federation (VITFF) has announced that Eduardo Garcia, a graduate of University of Florida, has won the USA Track & Field (USATF) South Carolina Male Long Distance Runner of The Year award for 2020. Garcia won three of six races entered in 2020. Moreover, he set a new South Carolina State record as well as the Virgin Islands record for the half-marathon with a time of 1:04:32 at the Mortgage Network Half Marathon in Hardeeville, S.C.

Nia Jack od St. Croix captures one of her three gold medals Sunday at SWAC Conference Championships. Jack runs for the Alabama State University women's track team, which won the meet. (Submitted photo)
Nia Jack of St. Croix runs for the University of Alabama women’s track team in 2019. (Submitted photo)

Nia Jack recently received her bachelor’s degree in December of 2020 from the University of Alabama and is now working on her master’s degree there. Jack has not had the opportunity to compete in over 18 months, but continues to compete for the University of Alabama. This weekend, she competed at the 2021 Al Schmidt Bulldog Relays where she competed in the 200 meters. Jack is pleased to get back on track.  Garcia and Jack are delighted to continue the pursuit of their Olympic dreams. They are among a group of 11 Virgin Islands senior athletes vying for a spot on the VI Tokyo Olympics team later this year.

Michelle Smith (Submitted photo)

The Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) Junior Championships will be held on the 13-15 of August this year in Bermuda. Based on the qualifying standards for the under 17-and-under-20 divisions, the V.I. Track and Field Federation (VITFF) has two qualifiers. Michelle Smith and Osaze Williams both surpassed the standards in the respective divisions.

Smith ran the 800 meters in a personal best of 2:17.71 in Alabama at the Southeast Showdown in February with the standard being 2:18 for the U17 group. Smith is a 9th grader at the St. Croix Educational High School and competes for the St. Croix Track Club. Williams, who attends the University of Texas at El Paso, also competed in the 800 meters. His personal best came this weekend at the Bobcat Invitational in San Marcos, Texas, where he finished 3rd in a time of 1 min. 53.80 sec.

Track & Field competitions are set to begin in the territory due to the clearance from the Department of Health. All COVID-19 guidelines will be followed. More information will be forthcoming.

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