Thirty-two students from the Charlotte Amalie (11 athletes) and Ivanna Eudora Kean High (21 athletes) schools traveled to Puerto Rico this week to participate in the Traditional Poly Relays at the Luis F. Sambolin Stadium, March 10-13. Mark Daniel, St. Thomas-St. John District health and physical education coordinator, said that the Poly Relays provides Virgin Islands track and field student athletes with a stage to perform and is a precursor to the ever popular Penn Relays.
“Over the years, our runners have made winning performances to include the Charlotte Amalie Girls Relay team of Ameerah Bello, Jilma Patrick, Velma Bass and Rhahela Daniel who set records in the 4 X 100 and the 4 X 400 in 1996. In recent history, CAHS girls’ teams claimed first place in the 2007 Division II and in 2008 Division I. The Chicken Hawks boys took home the team crown in 2009.
“Not to be out done are the Kean High Devil Rays with two outstanding individual performers in Tyfia Lee in the 400-meter dash and the 200-meter dash, and Anesia Williams in the 800-meter and 1500-meter races. Many of these student athletes went on to compete on the collegiate level and also represented the United States Virgin Islands in many international competitions, including the World Track and Field Championships and the Olympic Games,” Daniel said.
Coach Bruce Smith from the Charlotte Amalie High School and Dale Joseph, second year coach at Ivanna Eudora Kean, are confident that their teams will continue to shine on this international stage. The V.I. runners will participate in the Individual Races for the 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1500 meter, the Sprint Melody as well as the 4 X 100 and 4 X 500.
Education Commissioner Dr. La Verne Terry said, “The Poly Relays attract top track and field athletes from the Caribbean and many university scouts, thereby providing our student athletes to grow and mature against their peers while showcasing their abilities before an audience of college recruiters. We, at the V.I. Department of Education support them, congratulate them on this endeavor and bid them all good luck and a safe competition.”