Bright Lights on the Big Field of Play

Image of Levern Spencer

THE year has so far been a great one for Saint Lucia, especially its female track and field athletes.

It started with Levern Spencer winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in April on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia clearing 1.95 metres.

Certainly, her victory on the Gold Coast sparked some energy at home as to what gift or what amount of financial support should be given to her. To date, however, no related progress yet…

When many pundits thought that was the end for Levern in 2018, she was on a flight to compete at the Central and American Games (CAC) in Barranquilla, Colombia, where she went on to extend her record as the most successful female high-jumper ever from the English-speaking Caribbean, by winning the gold medal.

While many here were still contemplating as to what next for the 33-year-old high jumper, she was already on her way to capture gold for Fair Helen, this time at the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) Senior Championships held at Varsity Stadium in Toronto, Canada.

Her performance at those games saw her representing the Americas at the IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Again, many thought it was the end for her in 2018, but she proved them wrong, yet again, as she went on to soar over the bar to win her second bronze medal in that championship at a height of 1.93 metres.

What a year it has been for Levern — and with the Tokyo, Japan Olympic Games in two years’ time and with good health and hopefully injury-free, certainly Levern will no doubt want to leave her mark.

Now, with two months left in 2018, Saint Lucians still had something to cheer about — in fact, it was an early Christmas present, this time from 17-year-old Julien Alfred.

Competiting at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aries, Argentina, Julien created history as she captured Saint Lucia’s first-ever medal of any colour.

Her 11.23 seconds assured her a podium finish, a silver medal. Julien’s time, added to her 11.99 seconds in the preliminaries, left her just two-hundredths of a second behind the 2018 YOG champion, Nigeria’s Rosemary Chukuma; while Gabriela Anahi Suarez from Ecuador got the bronze.

Julien is a former student of the Ciceron Infant and Primary Schools, Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary and St. Catherine High School in Jamaica. She is also a multiple national record holder and the Commonwealth Youth Games 2017 Bahamas women’s 100 metres champion.

Therefore, this is just the tail of the story, as 2019 certainly looks bright for these two world class athletes.

We do not in any way mean to be gender biased in this dishing out of praise. For example, Kimani Melius this year made Saint Lucia equally proud by being selected to the west Indies ‘B’ Team to tour Canada in September and upon return he was called again to be part of the Windies B Team to play in the Cricket West indies 50-over regional tournament, currently under way.

What will be their next tale of the tape? We cannot know, but by their performances, this dynamic duo seem set to sail past the wind in their respective disciplines come next year.

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