Building on what could be considered as one of the all-time great years by a Bahamian athlete in 2016, Shaunae Miller-Uibo has been voted as The Nassau Guardian’s Senior Female ‘Athlete of the Year’ for 2017.
Miller garnered two-of-three first place votes, winning with 29 points, just a point ahead of second place finisher Jonquel Jones. Miller ended the 2017 International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) Diamond League season with a bang, clocking 49.46 seconds to win gold in the finale of the women’s 400-meters (m) on September 1. Miller-Uibo missed out on her own national record and personal best by just .02 seconds (49.44). Just a week prior to the 400, Miller-Uibo set a new national record of 21.88 seconds in the 200m finale in Zurich, Switzerland. She came from behind to beat the two ladies who finished ahead of her at the IAAF World Championships in London, England, in August – Dafne Schippers, of the Netherlands, and Marie-Josée Ta Lou, of the Ivory Coast – as well as Olympic double sprint champion Elaine Thompson, of Jamaica. With the win in the 200, Miller-Uibo became The Bahamas’ first IAAF Diamond League champion.
Miller-Uibo also captured the bronze medal in the 200, crossing the line in 22.15 seconds.
On May 4th, Miller-Uibo broke Allyson Felix’s world record in the women’s 200m straight event at the Adidas Boost Boston Games, running 21.76 seconds.
Miller-Uibo also won the women’s 300m title in February at the 110th Millrose Games in New York City, New York.
Jonquel Jones’ historic year on the hardwood made it tough to pick a winner for this year’s The Nassau Guardian Senior Female Athlete of the Year Award, but ultimately she finished second overall with 28 points.
The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) named Jones as the league’s Most Improved Player for her performance over the course of the regular season.
This season, Jones broke the single-season rebounding mark by becoming the first WNBA player to top 400 rebounds in a season. Jones, the second Bahamian to play in the WNBA, surpassed the previous league mark of 398 by Tina Charles in her rookie season with Connecticut in 2010. In addition, Jones was named to the AP second team All-WNBA. She led the Sun to its first playoff appearance since 2012.
Finishing third on the voting list with 23 points is University of Texas swimmer Joanna Evans. At the Texas Invitational this month, Evans ended her time at the meet with a strong performance in the 1,650-yard freestyle, winning in 15:51.74. The time shattered the 32-year-old school record of 15:53.85 that was set by Tiffany Cohen at the 1985 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championships. Evans also rewrote her own Big 12 record of 15:54.46 that she set at the NCAA Championships last March. She also smashed her own school record in the 500-yard freestyle, winning the race in an NCAA ‘A’ cut time of 4:35.05, and finished second in the ‘A’ final of the women’s 200 freestyle in 1:44.75. Evans also scored two medals at the 29th Summer Universiade/World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan, in September. She picked up a Sarah Koehler, from Germany, won the gold medal in 4:03.96, and American Kai Schmidt took the bronze in 4:09.82. Evans is the only Bahamian to ever win two medals at the World University Games in any sport. Her first medal came on the first day of the meet, when she won a bronze medal in the women’s 800m freestyle.
Purdue University sprint hurdler Devynne Charlton was fourth in the voting process with 22 points, and bodybuilder Lakeisha Miller finished fifth with 18 points.