Myrtle Chester took The Bahamas by storm at the 1980 CAC Junior C/ships

By Charwayne Walker

After 38 years athletic fans throughout Central America and the Caribbean are still talking about Guyanese athlete Myrtle Chester’s performance at the fourth Central American and Caribbean Junior Athletic Championships in Nassau, The Bahamas in August, 1980.  Competing at  the under 20 level, Myrtle won gold in the 100 metres hurdles in a time of 14.7 seconds, gold in the 400 metres hurdles in 62.7 seconds, gold in the pentathlon with 3696 points, silver in the high jump with a leap of 1.69 metres and  silver in the long jump with  a leap of 5.41 metres.

Could the IAAF say if any other athlete won five medals: three Gold and two Silver at one International Junior Meet? 

Chester had warmed up for the CAC Juniors in 1980 by winning a gold and two bronze medals at the 9th Junior Carifta Games in Hamilton, Bermuda. At the under 20 level, she won gold in the 100 metres hurdles in 14.96 seconds, gained bronze in the high jump with a leap of 1.65 metres and bronze in the long jump with a leap of 5.79 metres.

Chester went on to become the women’s track and field head coach at the University of Tennessee, Assistant head coach at the powerful women’s track team Louisiana State University,  Long time assistant at Louisiana State University, Assistant coach for track programme at  Louisiana State University. She also gained a Master’s Degree at the Louisiana State University and a Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Tennessee.

Three time all American

Chester was an outstanding athlete for the Lady Vols, a three-time All American. She was runner up in the heptathlon at the National Sports Festival in 1983 and in the NCAA in 1984. Chester also won the TAC National Indoor pentathlon championships in 1985. She was a two-time SEC Honours in each of her four seasons and received the Inaugural SEC Women’s Commissioners Trophy as the top female scorer at the 1984 SEC Championships.

Coaching Career Stat Log Book

She then coached the University of Tennessee’s Kelli White to 13 of her 14 all American Honours. She taught eight athletes who have earned 24 all American Honours at U.T in three seasons and served as Assistant Coach on U.S IAAF World Junior Team in August, 1998.  She worked with seven U.T athletes who earned a combined 12 all American Certificates in 1997 and helped coach L.S.U to 9 consecutive NCAA outdoor championships from 1987 to 1995. She tutored 115 all American Honours at L.S.U and is a three-time all American at Tennessee.

In 1984 NCAA she was the runner up in the heptathlon and is a two time SEC heptathlon champion.  

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