WEDNESDAY, FEB. 22: While most of Bermuda’s Carifta hopefuls are concentrating on one or two events, Jordan Bascome is putting her efforts into five. Bascome will be attempting to qualify for the Pentathlon, which means she has to be good at the high and long jumps as well as the 110 hurdles, shot put and 800 metres.
While this would be her first Carifta Games, Bascome is not a stranger to international competition.
At last year’s CAC Games in the British Virgin islands, she won the silver medal in the Girls 13-14 1000 metres.
Along with Aaliyah Nolan, Bascome has to be one of the most mutli-talented athletes for Bermuda.
She spoke to Don Burgess about the uniqueness of her discipline.
How did you come to do the pentathlon?
In 2009 my coach had me try out for the junior CAC Games. I competed in the Bahamas in 2009 and last year in the British Virgin Islands.
[Editor’s note: Bascome was being modest when she said she “competed” in the Pentathlon — she actually won the gold medal in the Girls 11-12 age group in what had been described in the press as a “dominating” performance with 2,680 points from her five events, 60m, 800m, high jump, long jump and baseball throw. Bascome won the high jump, was sixth in the 60m, 19th in the baseball throw, fourth in the long jump and won the 800m.]
So how did they encourage you into doing the pentathlon?
I was told it would be good for me to do all the events rather than one because I stand a better chance of winning.
Which of the five events do you like best and why?
I like the 800m and the high jump. I like the 800 because I am a better long distance runner than a sprinter and the high jump because it’s the event I’m most comfortable with.
What is your weakest event and how are you trying to improve it?
The hurdles — because I do high jump, I jump up too high and for the hurdles I have to learn to stay closer to the hurdle so I can take off faster for the next one.
Not every track meet has a pentathlon, so how do you go about qualifying?
Bermuda has two-day track meets, so during those two days I have to do all five events. I need 3,500 points for the B Standard and 4,000 for the A Standard.
Shianne Smith is doing the heptathlon, has she inspired you at all?
I have spoken with her and she has given me some equipment. She gave me some shot put shoes and high jump spikes. She’s been very helpful.
How many different sets of shoes do you need to compete?
I have sprinting spikes, which have a different heel. I also have long distance spikes as people run that more flat-footed. I also have long jump spikes which has spikes in the front and spikes in the back which provides a better grip when I jump up. I don’t have long jump spikes and for the shot put I can wear regular sneakers.
What do you hope to accomplish with your track and field ability?
I want to go to the Olympics. That’s always been a dream of mine, but my immediate goal is to go to Carifta and place.
What does it mean for you to compete in the Carifta Games in Bermuda?
It’s a bit scary. Yes, I’ll have my home team cheering for me, but if mistakes happen, it will be a bit nerve-wracking, but it’s a good thing to have people on my side.
How supportive have your parents been?
Very supportive. My mom takes me everywhere when I have events and training.
My dad comes out to my races at times.
What other sports do you do?
At the moment none but I used to compete in football, tennis, swimming, karate and I used to dance ballet. I had to give them up because some of them were at the same time as training and competition so I’m only doing track and field right now.
How do you feel about sacrificing them for track?
I’m a bit sad because I could be doing other things, but track and field has been my life for the past couple of years so I’m getting used to it now.
You seem confident. Where do you get that from?
I’m actually a bit nervous, but if I keep my head focused than I can be confident.
What do you want to do when you go to university?
I want to study abroad at Oxford University and study astronomy or veterinary science.