British Virgin Islands sprint sensation Adaejah Hodge has signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Georgia.

From Douglasville in Georgia, the 17-year-old student at Montverde Academy had several options of where to continue her academic career but eventually decided to return ‘home’.

Hodge has had an outstanding junior career during which she established a number of records for the BVI. At the 2022 Carifta Games in Jamaica, Hodge won the 100m, 200m and long jump and was awarded the prestigious Austin Sealy Award given to the most outstanding athlete of the meet.

In April 2023, she equaled Tahesia Harrigan’s national record for the 100 metres, running 11.12 seconds but later that month, made it all her own when she lowered it to 11.11 seconds in Lubbock, Texas.

She also owns the islands’ 200m record when she ran a time of 22.82 at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August 2023 when she qualified for the semi-finals becoming only the third ever female athlete from the British Virgin Islands to achieve this feat.

Running indoors in March, Hodge set a national record of 22.33 in the 200m. The time is also an Area U18 and U20 record.

Hodge is the latest Caribbean athlete to choose UGA in the coming academic year. US Virgin Islands athlete Michelle Smith and talented Trinidadian twins Sanaa and Sole Frederick have also chosen to attend the University of Georgia next fall

Six Caribbean ladies will line up in Thursday’s 200 metres semi-finals, following contrasting performances in their respective heats on day five of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Wednesday.

The six, a Jamaican trio of reigning champion Shericka Jackson, Kevona Davis and Natalliah Whyte will be joined by Bahamian Anthonique Strachan, St Lucian Julien Alfred and young British Virgin Islands sensation, Adaejah Hodge. Another Jamaican Ashanti Moore was the only Caribbean athlete to miss out.

Strachan, running from lane nine, got the show going in the first heat, where she was comfortable from start to finish, stopping the clock in 22.31s, ahead of Great Britain’s Daryll Neita (22.39s), with Jael Betsue (22.58s) of Spain taking the third automatic spot.

Moore, who was giving the opportunity to run the event following Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s withdrawal, found herself in a tough second heat. Though she went out hard, Moore had to settle for fifth in 23.12s, which was not good enough for one of the six non-automatic qualifying spots.

The heat was easily won by newly minted 100m champion American, Sha’Carri Richardson in 22.16s, ahead of Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou, who clocked a season’s best 22.26s. Olivia Fotopoulou of Cyprus clocked a new personal best 22.65s for the third spot.

Jackson, the reigning 200m champion, expectedly made light work of rivals in heat three, as she cruised to 22.51s. Singapore’s Veronica Shanti Pereira, was second in a national record 22.57s, with Jessika Gbai (22.78s) of Ivory Coast in third.

Though Hodge was fourth, her time of 22.82s, was good enough to progress as one of the non-automatic qualifiers.

St Lucia’s Alfred was tops in heat four, as she powered her way to 22.31s, ahead of Jamaica’s Whyte 22.44s, with Great Britain’s Bianca Williams (22.67s) in third.

The fifth and penultimate heat saw another young Jamaican Davis (22.49s), also booking her semi-final spot with a second-place finish behind American Gabrielle Thomas, who clocked 22.26s.

Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith justified favouritism in the final heat which she won in 22.46s.

 

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Teenage phenom Adaejah Hodge and two-time Commonwealth Games champion Kyron McMaster are among three athletes selected by the British Virgin Islands Athletics Association to compete at the 2023 World Athletics Championships set to get underway in Budapest, Hungary this coming weekend.

Sprinter Rikkoi Brathwaite is the other athlete set to represent the BVI at the championships where an estimated 2100 athletes from across the globe will go for gold and glory.

Hodge, who turned 17 in March, will be making her debut at the championships in the 200m where she will likely face the biggest tests of her fledgling career in the form of reigning world champion Shericka Jackson, world leader Gabby Thomas and St Lucia’s Julien Alfred.

McMaster is a two-time Commonwealth Games champion, who ran an incredibly fast national record of 47.08 to finish fourth at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. His season-best time of 47.26 is ranked fourth in the world this year. He will take to the track to face the likes of World and Olympic champion Karsten Warholm, the world record holder, the USA’s Rai Benjamin and Brazil’s Alison dos Santos, the 2022 world champion.

Brathwaite, who set a new national record of 10.09s in early August, gets things started for the BVI in the 100m on August 20, when he takes on reigning champion Fred Kerley, Noah Lyles, Ferdinand Omanyala and Zharnel Hughes in the blue-ribbon sprint.

Both Hodge and McMaster will begin competition on August 23.

Coach Ralston Henry and the physiotherapist Martin Wilson, a UK national with close ties to Team BVIs will accompany the athletes to Budapest.

Barbadian sprint hurdler Shane Brathwaite, Jamaican sprinter Natalliah Whyte and 400m hurdler Andrenette Knight were among the Caribbean winners at the Music City Track Carnival in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday.

The 33-year-old, a two-time World Championship finalist and Commonwealth games silver medallist, ran a season’s best 13.58 for victory over Great Britain’s Joshua Zeller (13.67) and Haiti’s Yves Cherubin who also ran a season’s best 13.71.

Whyte, 25, ran a personal best 22.39 to win the 200m ahead of American Candace Hill (22.57) and Ivorian Jessika Gbai (22.69). Whyte also finished sixth in the 100m in a season’s best 11.13. The event was won by American teenager Shawnti Jackson in a personal best 10.89 ahead of countrywomen Kortnei Jackson and Brittany Brown, who both ran 11.06. BVI’s Adaejah Hodge was seventh in 11.20.

Knight ran a season’s best 54.20 for victory in the Women’s 400m hurdles ahead of the USA’s Deshae Wise (56.07) and USVI’s Michelle Smith (56.83). Tia-Adana Belle of Barbados won the B section in a season's best 55.51 ahead of the USA's Kaila Barber (56.16) and Bianca Stubler (56.20).

Antigua’s Cejhae Greene ran a season’s best 10.11 for third in the Men’s 100m. American Brandon Carnes ran a personal best-equaling 10.02 to win ahead of countryman J.T Smith, who ran his own personal best 10.09. Jamaican Jelani Walker ran 10.20 in sixth.

In the Men’s one lap event, Javon Francis ran a season’s best 45.10, his fastest time since 2018, to finish second behind American Bryce Deadmon (44.72). Evan Miller was third in 45.20.

The Men’s 400m hurdles saw Commonwealth Games silver medallist, Jaheel Hyde, run a season’s best 48.57 for second behind American Taylor McLaughlin’s personal best 48.38. David Kendziera ran 49.04 for third. Marvin Williams ran a season's best 50.58 for second in the B section behind USA's Drake Schneider (49.75). Sam Hartman ran 50.59 for third.

In the field, Trinidad & Tobago's Portious Warren threw 17.99m for second in the Women's shot put behind American Jalani Davis who threw a personal best 18.64m. Jamaica's Lloydricia Cameron threw 16.50m for third.

 

Jamaican national junior record holder Alana Reid continued her sensational 2023 season with a dominant victory in the 100m at the 2023 Puma East Coast International Showcase in Maryland on Saturday.

In what was a highly anticipated contest, Hydel’s Reid, who ran 10.92 to set the national junior record en route to a gold medal at the ISSA Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Championships in March, sped to a meet record 11.01 to comfortably take the 100m title.

The BVI’s Hodge, a 17-year-old Montverde Academy standout who won the Austin Sealy award at the 2022 Carifta Games in Kingston, was second in 11.16 and Friends’ Central’s Avery Lewis was third in 11.41.

Reid and Hodge were expected to clash at the recently concluded Carifta Games in Nassau before Hodge was forced to withdraw from the meet du to a rolled ankle in warm-ups ahead of her 100m heat. Reid ended up taking gold in 11.17.

Archbishop Carroll’s Nyckoles Harbor ran 10.28 to win the boys final just ahead of Catoctin High School’s Brody Buffington (10.29) while Motorcade Track Club’s Adrian Kerr was third in 10.40.

Excelsior’s Daniel Wright took victory in the Boys 110m hurdles in 13.87 ahead of DeMatha Catholic’s Anthony Waterman (13.91) and Our Lady of Sacred Heart’s Antonio Votour (14.41).

Holmwood Technical’s Kiara Meikle ran 13.36 for second in the Girls 100m hurdles behind Bullis School’s Myla Greene (13.28). Greene’s schoolmate Kennedy Flynn was third in 13.56.

Moving on to the one lap event, Meikle's teammate Rickiann Russell ran 52.24 for second in the girls 400m behind Hertage's Madison Whyte (52.49) while Hydel's Abigail Campbell ran 53.30 for third.

The boys equivalent saw Bullis School's freshman phenom Quincy Wilson run 46.11 for victory ahead of St. Elizabeth Technical's Jasauna Dennis (47.01) and James W. Robinson's Harry Economon (48.25).

STETHS and Excelsior ran 40.57 and 41.64, respectively, to finish first and second in the boys 4x100m relay.

Michelle Smith of Montverde Academy and the US Virgin Islands ran a meet record 58.34 to win the girls 400m hurdles ahead of Holmwood Technical's Annalice Brady (1:01.77) and St. Elizabeth Technical's Chennai Jarrett (1:03.97).

The boys equivalent was won by Edwin Allen's Tyrece Hyman in 53.58 ahead of DeMatha Catholic's Anthony Waterman (54.39) and St. Elizabeth Technical's Ronaldo Johnson (56.69).

Hydel's Danielle King took top spot in the girls 800m in 2:10.98 ahead of Holmwood's Jodyann Mitchell (2:11.92) and Bullis School's Lauren Leath (2:13.10). The boys equivalent was won by St. Elizabeth Technical's Barrain Smith in 1:53.79 ahead of DeMatha Catholic's Daden Grogan (1:55.65) and Mount St. Joseph School's Pierce Schulze (1:57.54). 

In the field, Holmwood Technical’s Cedricka Williams produced a dominant display to win the discus throw. Williams’ winning mark on 53.60m was more than 20m further than second placed Andrea Countiss of Gar-Field (33.10m). Bullis School’s Aleah Schwartz was third with 32.76m.

Seventeen-year-old Adaejah Hodge set a new national 100m record and won the 200m dash at the 2023 Corky/Crofoot Shootout in Lubbock, Texas on Saturday when Jamaica’s Demisha Roswell, Bahamian Antoine Andrews and the Virgin Islands’ Michelle Smith enjoyed victories.

It is not often that Hodge, the BVI’s sprint phenom, loses a race but even so still found a silver-lining when she finished second in the 100m behind Oklahoma’s Kennedy Blackmon, who took gold in 11.06.

Hodge’s 11.11 for second was a new personal best and a national record, eclipsing the 11.12 set in June 2011 by Tahesia Harrigan.

Success Umukoro of South Plains Junior College was third in 11.29.

Hodge would turn the tables on Blackmon in the 200m which she won in 22.31, which would have broken Harrigan’s national record of 22.98 had it not been for the five-metre-per-second trailing wind. Hodge, by the way, owns the World U20 200m indoor record of 22.33 set in Boston in March.

Blackmon finished second in 22.56 while Serena Clarke of Texas Tech was third in 23.07.

Anderson of the Bahamas ran out a comfortable winner in the 110m hurdles. The Texas Tech freshman clocked 13.46 as Justin Guy of South Plains and Taylor Rooney of Texas Tech ran 13.57 and 13.88 for second and third, respectively.

Roswell, the 2022 Big 12 100m hurdles champion Roswell was the only competitor under 13 seconds in the 100m hurdles taking the event in 12.89.

Her Texas Tech teammate Naomi Krebs, a freshman was second in 13.25. Nex Mexico’s Ese Awusa ran 13.57 for third place.

Smith, the 2023 Carifta Games U20 400m champion, had a battle on her hands but found enough to hold off Daneesha Davidson, clocking 56.66 to Davidson’s 56.69 in the blanket finish. Sylvia Schulz was third in 57.08.

Grace Obour of Western Texas College, by a wide margin, won the 400m in 52.71 over New Mexico’s Deshana Skeete, who took the runner-up spot in 54.02. Jamaica’s Rushana Dwyer who attends South Plains Junior College finished third after crossing the line in 54.43.

Zarik Brown of Oklahoma ran 45.38 for a comfortable victory in the men’s one-lap race with DeSean Bryce of Western Texas finishing in second place in 46.19. The South Plains duo of Kimar Farquharson and Jeremy Bembridge were third and fourth, respectively, in the same time of 46.28.

 

 

 

Adaejah Hodge completed a sprint double at the Pure Athletics Spring Invitational at the National Training Centre in Clermont, Florida on Sunday when Jereem Richards took victory in the 200m.

Hodge, the 17-year-old sprinting sensation from the British Virgin Islands (BVI) sped to a personal best 11.12 to win the 100m dash beating Germany’s Gina Luckenkemper, who finished second in 11.14. Celera Barnes was third in 11.16.

Hodge shaved 0.07 off her previous best of 11.18 that she ran at Florida State University on March 25 this year.

Clearly recovered from the rolled ankle that caused her to miss out on the 2023 Carifta Games in the Bahamas, Hodge would return later to win the 200m in a windy 22.76 (2.5m/s) ahead of Angie Annelus 23.20 and Rebekka Haase 23.24.

Richards, the Commonwealth Games 200m champion, in his first race in the event this season, won in an impressive opener of 20.40. Second overall in the race run in time-trial format was Jona Efoloko, who ran 20.56 while Hartmann Joshua was third overall in 20.62.

Hodge’s clubmate at Celerity Athletics 18-year-old Issamade Asinga raised eyebrows with a windy 10.83 (2.6m/s) to beat World 200m champion Noah Lyles (9.92) and Kendal Williams (9.98), who were second and third, respectively.

Two of the marquee athletes at the 2023 CARIFTA Games, Jamaica’s Bouwahjgie Nkrumie and BVI’s Adaejah Hodge, both suffered injury setbacks on day one of the 50th edition of the games at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in the Bahamas on Saturday

Nkrumie, who ran a National Junior Record 9.99 to win the Class 1 Boys 100m title at the ISSA Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Championships in Kingston last week, was comfortably leading his heat in the Boys Under-20 100m before pulling up injured and falling to the track with about 30m to go.

Hodge, the Austin Sealy Award winner from last year’s CARIFTA Games in Kingston, was scheduled to go in the first heat of the Under-20 Girls 100m but was pulled from the race as a precaution after feeling some discomfort while warming up.

The 100m semi-finals and finals are scheduled for later on Saturday.

 

Sixteen-year-old Adaejah Hodge raced to a new World U18 and U20 record in the 200m at the New Balance Indoors High School Championships at the Track at New Balance in Boston on Sunday.

Hodge, who starred at the 2022 Carifta Games in Jamaica where she won the coveted Austin Sealy Award, sped to 22.33 in commanding performance. She won by more than 0.5 seconds over Madison Whyte, who won the silver medal in a time of 23.08.

Elise Cooper was third in 23.42.

"I just came off the curve and just let everything on the track," the Montverde High School junior told MileSplit.

Her school coach Gerald Phiri was equally stunned.

"I don't know when we're going to see athletes like this ever again," he told the track and field website. "I think it's going to be a very long time."

Hodge’s splits were mind-numbing. It took her 6.31s to get to 50m, was at the 100m mark in 11.26 and got to 150 in 17.07.

As a 15-year-old Hodge lit up the track in Jamaica last April when she won the 100m in 11.29 and the 200m in 23.42. In between, she claimed long jump gold and was named most outstanding athlete at the 49th staging of the Games.

 

The tremendous success at the 49th Carifta Games in Kingston, Jamaica, is only another step on the pathway for the British Virgin Islands towards putting their athletes on the podium at the pinnacle of the sport.

At the Games that concluded last week, the BVI enjoyed their best-ever medal haul with four gold, two silver and a bronze medal surpassing their medal tallies from 2012 when they won five. Their medal haul saw them finish third in the standings behind Jamaica with 92 medals, 45 of them gold and the Bahamas 17. What was instructive was that BVI had the same number of gold medals, four, as their neighbours from the Bahamas.

Three of those medals were won by the imperious 16-year-old Adaejah Hodge, who the U17 100m, 200m and Long Jump to come away with the coveted Austin Sealy Award as the most outstanding athlete of the three-day meet.

But according to Steve Augustine, President of the BVI Athletics Association (BVIAA), the best is yet to come and is not too far away.

“What’s next for the BVIs, it’s back to the drawing board and putting in the work.  We have a long list of local, regional and international competitions remaining,” he said.  “While we are there, we haven’t officially arrived until we make the Olympic podium, we fell just short of this with two fourth-place finishes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.  This year, we are, of course, eyeing World U20, the Commonwealth Games and World Championships at which I am certain we will again show up.”

Augustine’s confidence stems from his belief in the BVI’s strong grassroots programme that has consistently produced world-class talents from their population of just over 30,000 inhabitants.

“The BVIs formula for success at the Carifta Games speaks of a preparation process that has taken training and mental preparation processes to a higher level, a level that is more in keeping with our competitive Caribbean counterparts,” he reveals.

“Our local club system has resulted in on-island competition whereby our athletes are pushed, much more than before, to perform at higher levels for victories.  We monitor regional performances, we are well-advised by statisticians such as Rey O’Neal, and we are aware of where we need to be performance-wise if we are to be competitive.

“Our coaches are trained and certified, our athletes are hungry and they all aspire to be the next Kyron McMaster, Chantel Malone, Tahesia Harrigan Scott, Eldred Henry and now the next Adaejah Hodge.”

Hodge, he believes, will inspire a new generation of stars given what she has managed to accomplish at the 49th staging of the Games founded in 1972 by Sealy, who was on hand to present the award to her in front of an appreciative crowd.

“Yes, this will certainly happen but I must say our people naturally gravitate to athletics and despite all the struggles we may face as a growing territory, we have never had a numbers problem in athletics,” Augustine said.

“Support from the BVI Olympic Committee, World Athletics, our government, our fan base and with sponsors such as Puma onboard, we have been able to annually attract scores of athletes into our club system.

 “The level of performance that Adaejah exhibited at the Carifta Games is a reality that our people have become accustomed to over the years.  Adaejah has been performing at the top of her age group for years.  She’s remained world ranked as a junior and she has continued to dominate at the US high school level.  Adaejah was originally scheduled to make her Carifta debut at the 2020 Carifta Games and then the 2021 Carifta Games but for obvious reasons, those intentions had to be put aside.  As it relates to our young ones, they are certainly inspired by Adaejah. It’s been this way for years and perhaps more so now.” 

Augustine is confident that in the years to come, what unfolded in Kingston in mid-April will be more the norm than the exception.

“As it relates to other talents, the truth is there is only a handful of athletes on this year’s team that won’t be back next year and as it relates to those in the pipeline, we have a handful of gifted athletes that I know will represent the BVI well and will prove that they are indeed the next Adaejah Hodge, Kyron McMaster, Chantel Malone, Eldred Henry and Tahesia Harrigan-Scott.  

“The storybook on BVI Athletics is far from finished.”

 

 

 

Adaejah Hodge of the British Virgin Islands secured her status as the standout athlete of the meet with 200m gold as the 49th Carifta Games came to an end at the National Stadium in Kingston on Monday.

Hodge ran 23.43 to win the U-17 Girls 200m ahead of Jamaica’s Sabrina Dockery (24.25) and Theianna-Lee Terrelonge (24.64) and add to her gold medals in the 100m and long jump.

Jamaica’s Rickoy Hunter took gold in the U-17 Boys section with 22.13 ahead of St. Vincent’s Keo Davis (22.19) and Jamaica’s 400m champion Marcinho Rose (22.26).

Jamaica’s Brianna Lyston took gold in the Girls U-20 in 23.16 ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Shaniqua Bascombe (24.18) and Jamaica’s Kaylia Kelly (24.33).

Jamaica’s Bryan Levell completed the sprint double with 21.18 to win the U-20 Boys ahead of teammate Sandrey Davison (21.35) and Grenada’s Nazzio John (21.70).

Bryana Davidson then won gold for the hosts in the U-17 Girls 100m hurdles in 13.50 ahead of USVI’s Michelle Smith (14.31) and Jamaica’s Jody-Ann Daley (14.45).

The top two spots in the Boys U-17 110m hurdles went to Jamaica’s Shaquane Gordon (13.69) and Jadan Campbell (13.91) while St. Kitts & Nevis’ Jermahd Huggins was third in 15.21.

Jamaica once again found themselves with the top two spots on the podium in the Girls U-20 race as Alexis James ran 13.32 for gold ahead of teammate Oneka Wilson (13.67) and Barbados’ Nya Browne (14.63).

Curacao’s Matthew Sophia held his composure to triumph in the Boys U-20 110m hurdles in 13.74 ahead of Jamaica’s Demario Prince (13.88) and the Bahamas’ Antoine Andrews (13.91).

Moving into the 800m, USVI’s Michelle Smith incredibly recovered from her 100m hurdles silver medal a few minutes earlier to win the U-17 Girls section in 2:10.78 ahead of Jamaica’s Andrene Peart (2:13.07) and Guyana’s Attoya Harvey (2:14.08).

Jamaica won the U-20 Girls event through Jody-Ann Mitchell with 2:09.73. Barbados’ Layla Haynes ran 2:10.58 for second while Guyana’s Adriel Austin was third in 2:13.62.

The Boys U-17 event was won by Jamaica’s Ainsley Brown in 1:58.08 ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Keeran Sriskandarajah (1:58.45) and Jamaica’s Rasheed Pryce (1:58.51).

Jamaica’s J’Voughnn Blake added to his 1500m gold medal from Saturday with a 1:49.89 effort to win the U-20 Boys section ahead of Trinidad & Tobago’s Nathan Cumberbatch (1:51.86) and Jamaica’s Adrian Nethersole (1:51.96).

The Bahamas’ Mitchell Curtis won the U-20 Boys 5000m in 16:07.57 ahead of Jamaica’s Nicholas Power (16:08.93) and Trinidad and Tobago’s Tafari Waldron (16:35.73).

The Jamaican team of Sabrina Dockery, Quana Walker, Deandra Harris and Abigail Campbell were dominant to win the U-17 Girls 4x400m relay in 3:43.59 ahead of Bermuda (4:03.23) and the Bahamas (4:04.11).

Zachary Wallace, Ainsley Brown, Princewell Martin and Marcinho Rose combined to win the Boys U-17 section in 3:17.85 ahead of Trinidad & Tobago (3:18.89) and the Bahamas (3:21.35).

Sahfia Hinds, Onieka McAnuff, Shackelia Green and Rushana Dwyer combined to give the hosts their third 4x400m relay gold medal in the U-20 Girls section in 3:36.81 ahead of the British Virgin Islands (3:45.67) and Bermuda (3:48.69).

Shemar Palmer, Roshawn Clarke, Bryan Levell and Delano Kennedy combined to run 3:08.94 to secure gold for Jamaica in the U-20 Boys section ahead of Trinidad and Tobago (3:09.67) and Barbados (3:10.71).

In the field, Jamaica’s Kobe Lawrence threw an impressive new record 20.02m to win the U-20 Boys shot put ahead of teammate Christopher Young (19.12m) and Barbados’ Kevon Hinds (16.18m).

Jamaica’s Dionjah Shaw was also in record-breaking form in the U-17 Girls discus with a winning throw of 45.32m to better Paul Ann Gayle’s 2012 record of 43.99m.

Her Jamaican teammate Rehanna Biggs was second with 42.41m and Trinidad & Tobago’s Adriana Quamina was third with 35.23m.

Jamaica’s Jaydon Hibbert produced a wind-aided 17.05m to take gold in the Boys U-20 triple jump ahead of Barbados’ Aren Spencer (15.80m) and Jamaica’s Royan Walters (15.59m).

Sabrina Atkinson of Jamaica took gold in the U-17 Girls triple jump with 12.00m ahead of French Guiana’s Leane Alfred (11.77m) and the Bahamas’ Zoe Adderley (11.45m).

Jamaica finished at the top of the medal table with 92 medals including 45 gold, 29 silver and 18 bronze. The top five was rounded out by the Bahamas (four gold, six silver, seven bronze), the British Virgin Islands (four gold, two silver, one bronze), Trinidad & Tobago (two gold, 10 silver, 11 bronze) and Guyana (two gold, three silver, two bronze).

  

 

 

 

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