Saint Lucia’s National Record for the men’s 800m is anomolous, and has been since 1999. That was the year when Miguel Lambert ran 1:48.9 in Princeton, the fastest recorded time by a Saint Lucian athlete.
But that .9 indicates that the race was hand timed, and whereas hand times are official, they are not usually used for record purposes. The 800m men is the only National Record that is hand timed, per the recods maintained online by the Saint Lucia Athletics Association, even though those have not been updated since 2013.
In 2016, though, two Saint Lucians have threatened Miguel’s 1999 mark. Earlier this season, Michael James of Coppin State broke the indoor 800m mark set by Miguel in 2000. Miguel, whose father is from Laborie, is now a vice president at Oakcrest Capital Partners, LLC.
Michael, a student at Coppin State, has also run 1:49.21 outdoors, which is probably the fastest automatic time ever by a Saint Lucian, and should therefore be the actual National Record.
But there is tight competition for James, as young Marbeq Edgar laid down a big marker of his own at the weekend. Competing for Wiley College at Texas Tech University’s Masked Rider Open on the Terry and Linda Fuller Track and Field Complex in Lubbock, the 21-year-old freshman from Choiseul set a new school record with a time of 1:49.46. His time broke his previous mark of 1:51.08 from earlier this season. Marbeq will be hoping to impove that mark further, as the Wildcats have at least two more meets this season.
Also competing for Wiley in Lubbock was Natasha Poleon. Hailing from Morne Cayenne, Vieux Fort, she was named Most Valuable Runner, Top Sprinter, and Newcomer of the Year for 20115-16 by the Wiley Athletics Department this week.
At the Masked Raider Open, she ran 56.83 in the 400m for 10th, and 24.68 in the 200m for eighth overall. Natasha is still a junior athlete, but like Marbeq will be in contention to represent Saint Lucia at the OECS Championships and NACAC Under-23 Championships in July.