Former Kingston College quarter-miler Twayne Crooks dies from stomach cancer

By September 01, 2019
Crooks seen here with his mother died on Sunday morning after a short battle with stomach cancer. Crooks seen here with his mother died on Sunday morning after a short battle with stomach cancer.

Former standout Jamaican high-school athlete Twayne Crooks died Sunday morning from stage-four stomach cancer, his mother Marie Chambers-Garvey has confirmed.

His tearful mother said he was ailing for only a short time.

At the time of his death, Crooks, a 200/400m runner, was a student at the South University of New Orleans.

At the 2019 Indoor National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Championships at the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex in Brookings, South Dakota, he won the 400m indoor title in 46.57.

He won bronze at the Outdoor Championships in May.

Crooks, 24, was a former student at Vere Technical and Kingston College. He also attended Denbigh High School.

At KC, he was a member of a formidable team that included Jevaughn Matherson, Nathaniel Bann and Akeem Bloomfield.

In 2015, he was fourth in the final of the 400m at the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships won by then schoolmate Akeem Bloomfield in a new record 44.93.

Kingston College Principal Dave Myrie said news of Crooks' death was a "hard one to take".

"A more pleasant young man you could not find," Myrie said.

He described Crooks as a "true son of KC" saying that he carried the team in their 2015 Champs campaign.

"He carried multiple events without even a murmur," Mryie recalled. "He was so talented. 100, 200, 400, 800. KC has lost a true son."

Myrie was in constant contact with Crooks after he left KC for the University of Technology (UTECH) and then for college in the United States.

"Every race he ran he sent me the video," the distraught principal recalled.

He revealed that Crooks had expressed a desire to represent Jamaica at the IAAF World Relays in Japan earlier this year.

There was no indication that Crooks was ailing.

Myrie said the athlete was in such good shape he had expressed a desire to compete at the Racers Grand Prix in Jamaica in June but a dodgy hamstring foiled those plans.

Myrie said he was so confident in Crooks' ability that he encouraged him to try to make Jamaica's team to the IAAF World Championships in Doha later this month reiterating that the news of his passing came as a shock.

"I felt like I was Twayne's father. A parent should never have to bury his child."

Bloomfield, meanwhile, said he was devastated by the news when he spoke with Sportsmax.TV on Sunday afternoon.

“It really hurts my heart to know of his passing. I can remember the days at Kingston College training and pushing each other every day to be our best. I can remember 2015 when we went to champs to compete together," Bloomfield said.

"I cannot believe his passing. We used to sit and eat lunch together with our fellow teammates. "

Bloomfield recalled that Crooks, who won a bronze medal in the Class 1 200m in 2015, was quite the motivator.

"He really motivated me to do my best while he was at Kingston College and while I knew him. "While I was training with him I was pushed to my limits and some of my major achievements in high school happened with him in the picture," he said.

"I can even remember this year when he came to the Miami invitational and I was warming up for my 200 meters debut and I saw him. He gave me encouraging words and even recorded my race for me. He was such a positive guy. He will truly be missed. A huge blow for me. A huge blow for his family and friends. A huge blow for Jamaica."

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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