Eyes on Rio: Dickinson State Alumni Ready to Represent Bahamas in Olympics

So far, the Rio Olympics have been pretty chill for Trevor Barry.

The Bahamian high jumper and Dickinson State University alumnus said he has been spending a lot of time in the training room, taking advantage of the free massages and physical therapy offered to the athletes.

“Just relaxing until it’s time for showtime,” he said.

Showtime is Sunday for the 33-year-old two-time Olympian, who’ll compete in the qualification rounds with the hope of making Tuesday’s finals.

Continue reading “Eyes on Rio: Dickinson State Alumni Ready to Represent Bahamas in Olympics”

Bahamas media big on DSU’s Olympic trio

The track and field events get under way Friday at the Summer Olympics and Bahamas media outlets have published numerous reports that show the country is looking to three former Dickinson State athletes to help earn medals for a country that had none through Thursday.

The Nassau Guardian, Bahamas Tribune and Freeport News — three of the nation’s leading media outlets — have sent reporters to the London Games and each has filed numerous reports either about or referencing DSU alumni Derrick Atkins, Trevor Barry and Ramon Miller.

While Atkins is a longshot in the 100 meters — one of the Olympics’ toughest events — Barry and Miller are expected to contend for the medal stand in the high jump and 1,600-meter relay, respectively.

A Thursday article by Sheldon Longley of the Nassau Guardian called the men’s 1,600-meter relay, which Miller is a part of, the country’s best chance for a medal.

Miller, who won a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Games as an alternate in the 1,600 relay, will also compete in the 400 meters alongside countrymen Demetrius Pinder and Chris Brown. In a Bahamas Tribune article published Wednesday, Bahamas coach David Charlton said the three “could all end up in the final.”

An article by the Guardian focused on Atkins, who he wrote “appears to have his swagger back,” as he tries to make a finals run in the extremely difficult 100 meters, an event he was all but dominant in five years ago.  A Guardian column by Fred Sturrup called this “moment of truth” for Atkins.

The Guardian and Tribune each penned articles about the chances of the Bahamas producing a pair of high jump medalists in Barry and his countryman, former high jump Donald Thomas.

On Wednesday, Sturrup called Barry a “dark horse among the Olympic high jump group,” and praised the former Blue Hawks’ late-blooming skills. Barry’s best event at DSU was the long jump, where he won four NAIA titles, as opposed to only two in the high jump.

Kind words aside, Barry knows he has a difficult task ahead of him.

Though Barry was a bronze medalist at the 2011 World Championships, when personal-best jumps are taken into account at the Olympics, his best jump of 2.32 meters would barely put him into the final round.

Then again, the competition doesn’t happen on paper and Barry has long acknowledged that anything is possible at the Olympics.

“You can’t afford to rest on your laurels in this sport because you would be passed,” Barry told The Nassau Guardian in an article published July 30.

Keep up with the how the DSU trio fares at the Olympics at www.thedickinsonpress.com or on my Twitter page or watch them live on NBCOlympics.com if you subscribe to DirecTV or Dish Network. Below are their schedules.

Derrick Atkins
Saturday, Aug. 4
100 meters preliminaries, 3 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time / 10 a.m. British Standard Time
100 meters first round, 5:30 a.m. MDT / 12:30 p.m. BST
Sunday, Aug. 5
100 meters semifinals, 12:45 p.m. MDT / 7:45 p.m. BST
100 meters finals, 2:50 p.m. MDT / 9:50 p.m. BST

Trevor Barry
Sunday, Aug. 5
High jump qualification, 2:05 p.m. MDT / 9:05 p.m. BST
Tuesday, Aug. 7
High jump finals, 2 p.m. MDT / 9 p.m. BST

Ramon Miller
Saturday, Aug. 4
400 meters first round, 3:35 a.m. MDT / 10:35 a.m. BST
Sunday, Aug. 5
400 meters semifinals, 1:40 p.m. MDT / 8:40 p.m. BST
Monday, Aug. 6
400 meters finals, 2:30 p.m. MDT / 9:30 p.m. BST
Thursday, Aug. 9
1,600-meter relay first round, 4:35 a.m. MDT / 11:35 a.m. BST
Friday, Aug. 10
1,600-meter relay finals, 2:20 p.m. MDT / 9:20 p.m. BST

Steadily Soaring: After barely missing Beijing Olympics, Trevor Barry enters London as high jump favorite

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a three-part series previewing Dickinson State alumni who are competing for the Bahamas at the Summer Olympics in London.

One centimeter. It’s practically nothing.

But, one centimeter is all that kept Trevor Barry from qualifying for the Olympics four years ago.

One centimeter is also what has made Barry’s trip to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London so sweet.

“It’s kind of a redemption,” he said with a smile.

High jump is an athletic discipline that puts great importance on small increments and adjustments.

Little improvements, over a span of years, have helped the Dickinson State alumnus become one of the world’s best high jumpers.

He has reached 7 feet, 7 inches (2.31 meters) this season and hit 7-7¼ (2.32 meters) last September to win a bronze medal at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. Last year’s performance has Barry thinking big.

“I feel like I’m in good position to be a contender for a medal,” Barry said.

He has the right to feel good about his chances when the high jump qualifying begins Aug. 5. After all, he has come a long way in four years — even if all he has done is increase his personal-best jump by a seemingly meager 3 inches.

Still, it’s an amount DSU head track and field coach Pete Stanton said matters a great deal in the high jump.

“It’s a cliché: sports come down to inches,” Stanton said. “But it’s even more so in high jump. It comes down to centimeters.”

Barry, who helped DSU win NAIA national championships in 2004, 2005 and 2006, has been on the rise since barely missing the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

He took a silver medal behind countryman Donald Thomas with a height of 7-6 (2.29 meters) at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Dehli. In 2011, less than two months before his bronze at the World Championships, Barry won gold at the Central American and Caribbean Championships by leaping 7-5¾ (2.28 meters). This year, the Mizuno-sponsored athlete ranks fourth in the Diamond League, a global competition for many of the top athletes in select disciplines.

“My story is not a Cinderella one,” Barry said. “It’s persistence and dedication.”

Getting to this point has been a steady climb, a journey Barry has done mostly on his own.

Living in Fargo, Barry generally works out alone.

He takes film of his practices and sends them to two coaches, world-renowned Bahamas track and field coach Keith Parker and Troy Kemp, an assistant coach at Northern Arizona who won the gold medal at the 1995 World Championships. Kemp helps Barry with his strength and training regimen while Parker keeps an eye on the technical aspects.

Training without any competition can be viewed as a drawback, but Barry said it works well for him.

“It’s kind of a mental thing,” he said. “Each athlete has their own preference. For me, I don’t have anyone to compete with. I don’t have anyone to set me back either. My limit is my limit.”

Since Barry arrived at DSU in 2003, Stanton said the eight-time NAIA champion — only two of which came in the high jump — has never lacked confidence.

That attitude, the coach believes, may play a major factor in London.

“The big thing Trevor has going for him is his consistency over the last year, and his confidence,” Stanton said. “He’s always been pretty confident, but now I think he knows the level that he’s at and where he’s going.”

If Barry has his way, he’s going to the medal stand after the high jump finals on Aug. 7.

“I have the confidence,” Barry said. “I know what it takes to compete at this level. Right now, anything is possible.”