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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, August 18, 2022
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V.I. Track Stars Define Greatness, Henry and Jones Number One in the World

Laverne Jones and Tabarie Henry are redefining the meaning of “great Virgin Islands track runners” by achieving the status of number one in the world in their respective events. Henry is a 400-meter runner in his third year of college at Texas A&M University, and was listed by the International Association of Athletic Federations, the world governing body for the sport, as the number one 400-meter runner in the world in February. He is a member of the Texas A&M 4x400m relay team, which is currently number one in the world also. He is a favorite in NCAA National Championships. Jones has been the number one 60-meter runner in the world for most of the indoor season. She is a professional athlete and is a favorite for the event at the upcoming IAAF World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Never in the history of the Virgin Islands have there been two runners contending for major titles in track and field at the same time. When Laverne Jones and Tabarie Henry go to the starting lines for their events this coming weekend, Jones in Doha, Qatar, and Henry in Fayetteville, Arkansas, they will have the opportunity establish themselves among the world’s all-time greats in their respective events.
Jones, who turned professional after repeat All-America seasons at Barton County Community College and the University of Oklahoma, is having her best indoor season ever. She is the current world leader in the 60 meters with a time of 6.97, a time that is the sixth fastest ever run and the fastest one run in the past 11 years. Considered a strong favorite in Doha, she will be up against the world fastest 100-meter sprinter last year, Carmalita Jeter of the U.S.A. Although she has defeated Jeter three times this year, Jeter bested her in Birmingham, England when both went to the line in 7.06 seconds (although both runners were given the same time, the photo finish judges determined Jeter the victor). The stage is set for them to go again in Doha where they will need to advance through two races to get to the finals.
Henry, too, would be a contender for the IAAF World Championships gold medal were it not that the NCAA and World Championships are on conflicting weekends. Henry was consistently ranked in the top four or five in the world in his event last year. To prove that even as a sophomore in college, he was one of the world’s best, he finished fourth in the 400m at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin last summer. Henry was also a multiple-All-American at Barton County Community College before being awarded an athletic scholarship to Texas A&M where he will run for two seasons and then turn pro.
1] Under IAAF rules runners can be given the same time in a race where the winner is decided by analysis of several high-speed photographs.
2] The V.I. currently has several athletes who are members of the V.I. National Track and Field Team who are listed on the IAAF world performance listing and/or regionally ranked including:
Men: Tabarie Henry, 400m and 4 x 400m relay; Adrian Durant, 100m; Leslie Murray, 400m hurdles; Calvin Dascent, 400 x 400m and 4 x 100m relay; David Walters, 4 x 100m relay; Terry Charles, 4 x 400m relay; Leon Hunt, long lump; and Muhammid Halim, triple jump.
Women: Laverne Jones, 100m and 200m and 60m; Allison Peter, 200m; Courtney Patterson, 100m; Wyanetta Kirby, long jump and 100m hurdles; and Desiree King, 800m and 400m hurdles.
The Virgin Islands Track and Field Federation is accepting donations to help in supporting the VITFF team members. The current registration drive for athletes, coaches, technical officials, volunteers and supporters is underway.

For information, contact the VITFF e-mail: isv@mf.iaaf.org or call: 643-2557 or log on to: http://virginislandspace.org

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