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(PRESS RELEASE) – 2019 was a relatively quiet one for Saint Lucian men in track and field. Albert Reynolds put in performances that stood out on the international stage, and twice reset his national record in the men’s javelin throw.
Indubitably Saint Lucia’s male athlete of the 2010’s, he went from 69.52m at the 2010 CAC Championship in Puerto Rico, to a fantastic 82.19m at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, earning a bronze medal, and a trip to the World Athletics Championships. The only other national record-setting performance of 2019 was Reynolds’ 80.67m in winning the Independence Championships back in February.
On the World Athletics rankings, however, Shelton St Rose ends 2019 as Saint Lucia’s top male athlete. He’s a fine young athlete, but that position is thanks to a dubious application of the World Athletics rankings and perhaps poor record-keeping. St Rose, a teenager still, had his best outings by the numbers at a meet where there was hand timing, and no wind gauge for the sprints.
The typical high winds at George Odlum Stadium normally boost times for the sprints, and there was no way to know just how high the wind was that day, if there was any wind at all during his event. Further, in the absence of electronic timing, hand clocks were used, with just one timekeeper per athlete, to boot. Normally, hand times are rounded up to the next significant figure, and even then, carry a significant margin of error.
Still, St Rose’s result was given as 10.12 (which would have been a national record, had there been a legal wind and electronic timing) as he won the 100m at National Junior Championships. That gave him two scores of over 1100 points in the year-end World Athletics rankings, and an average of 1050 over his top five performances. St Rose is now at school in the United States, and will surely have the opportunity to set proper marks and assert his ranking in the 2020 season.
In fact, the only World Athletics ranked male athletes from Saint Lucia for 2019 were sprinters. Behind St Rose was Stephan Charles, who won the senior men’s 100m at National Juniors. ‘Jack’ averaged 1034 for his top five performances, though he would also have had possible wind-aided, hand-timed marks. Regardless, he was just ahead of Delan Edwin, another sprinter based in the United States. Edwin hardly competed at home, suffering from what he considered an officiating error at National Championships. But his consistent marks on the collegiate circuit served him in good stead.
Fourth was Jonathan Celestin, who focused on the shorter sprints last season. Celestin’s standout time, again, was at National Juniors.
Reynolds, though, stood head and shoulders above all Saint Lucian men. He recorded the two best scores by any Saint Lucian male athlete in 2019, the only two over 1200 points, but suffered from a lack of meets. His bronze at the Pan Am Games was the most impressive single outing by a Saint Lucian male track and field athlete in the calendar year, just ahead of his previous national record at the Independence Championships.
Unfortunately, his lack of meets (he only competed four times, including at the World Championships) meant that Reynolds could not be given a full ranking by the world governing body. He will be hoping to get entered in more competitions in 2020, as he makes a bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
TOP FOUR SAINT LUCIAN MALE ATHLETES 2019 *
1 Shelton ST ROSE 1050
2 Stephan CHARLES 1034
3 Delan EDWIN 1033
4 Jonathan CELESTIN 999
TOP PERFORMANCES BY SAINT LUCIAN MALE ATHLETES IN 2019 *
Albert Reynolds 10.8.19 Pan Am Games, Javelin Throw (3) 82.19m Score 1242 (NR)
Albert Reynolds 23.2.19 Independence Champs, Javelin Throw (1) 80.67m Score 1211
Shelton St Rose 6.4.19 National U20 Ch., 100m (1) 10.2 Score 1150
Stephan Charles 6.4.19 National U20 Ch., 100m (1) 10.2 Score 1123
Shelton St Rose 6.4.19 National U20 Ch., 100m (1H) 10.2 Score 1108
Jonathan Celestin 6.4.19 National U20 Ch., 100m (2) 10.3 Score 1102
Stephan Charles 23.6.19 National Champs, 100m (1) 10.62 Score 1089
Delan Edwin 20.4.19 West Texas A&M Invite, 200m (4) 21.02 Score 1052
Delan Edwin 5.5.19 MIAA Challenge, 200m (3) 21.28 Score 1032
Delan Edwin 4.5.19 MIAA Challenge, 200m (2H) 21.28 Score 1028
Delan Edwin 20.4.19 West Texas A&M Invite, 100m (4) 10.54 Score 1027
Delan Edwin 11.5.19 Sam Williams Qualifier, 200m (2) 21.35 Score 1027
* Per World Athletics