Many athletes after enduring the long hours of training, making many sacrifices to be the best athlete, suffering through the related injuries are very thankful, proud and honored to receive their just reward being either a bronze, silver or gold medal (or all three). How many athletes however, would live to experience receiving sports highest honor, being inducted into a Hall of Fame?
On September 26th, 2014, in Washington DC, this would be the experience of The Bahamas’ very own elite athlete, coach, mentor, entrepreneur, engineer, husband, father and Howard University graduate, Bahamian sporting legend, Mr. Dave Charlton who is to be inducted into Howard University 2014 Hall of Fame.
One may ask, how did Charlton get to the very prestigious Historically Black Howard University? Like most athletes who hope that one day their hard work would pay off and they would be awarded a scholarship to attend a university; Charlton while attending the Florida Relays with his coach Errol Bodie met Howard University’s coach, Bill Moultrie and his good fortune began from there. After watching Charlton run one of the leg of the 4 x 4oom relay event, Moultrie offered Charlton a scholarship to Howard University and “the rest is history.” “He offered me and Kenneth Wilson a full scholarship,” says Charlton.
Under the guidance of Coach Moultrie, Dave Charlton, the now collegiate athlete, excelled in both track and field and also in the classroom. According to Charlton, the transition was not easy at all due to the higher level of training, the discipline, adjustment of class schedule, balancing school work and practice, the weather and simply missing home. Once Charlton however, got his “footing” and successfully made the necessary adjustments, the results showed in his performances on the track. Howard University began to see the return on its investment in Charlton; Charlton helped his university place 4th overall in the Indoor Championships, he was awarded the Most Outstanding athlete at the Mid-East Atlantic Conference, was a member of the winning 4 x 400m relay team that set a new NCAA record which amazingly, that records still stands today at Howard University!
Other awards and accolades include Howard University 4 x 400 m relay team winning the 4 x 400m relay for the first time at the Penn Relays in 1983. This win was a very meaningful for the university because they won over rival - Arizona State. Charlton advised that as a result of their stellar performance at the Penn Relays, two years later, Howard University’s Board of Directors awarded the university with a more improved, state of the art track! In 1981 – 1983, Charlton was also awarded three time All American award! What a decorated and talented athlete in Mr. Dave Charlton.
Being inducted into Howard University’s Hall of Fame, is not bad for this Mayaguana born, “late bloomer” athlete who was introduced to track and field by well-known teacher Mrs. Anita Doherty while attending Hawksbill Primary School in Grand Bahama. From that day forward, Charlton went on to excel in sports and won many medals for The Bahamas. His track record included breaking of a number of 400 meter records, being an 11-time CARIFTA Game medalist, a 10 year CARIFTA Game record holder in the 400 hurdles (1981 – 2007), competing and setting a CAC record and also, competing at the Commonwealth Games and World Championships.
Charlton is grateful to his coach the late Bill Moultrie for his success; “Coach Moultrie insisted that we do our work and because of his insistence and monitoring of us and his strict guidance, I was able to graduate,” says a very thankful Charlton. “I owe him a lot,” he adds.
Due to that guidance, Charlton has been very successful in business ad also on the track. Charlton and his wife Laura Pratt-Charlton manage the very popular and successful Star Trackers Track Club who through their coaching have seen the success of many athletes such as Charlton’s very own daughter Devynne Charlton, Stephen Newbold, Carmeisha Cox, Pilar Dorsette and Trevor Mackey.
So while many athletes opt to or have no other choice but to “hang up” their sprints, frame the plaques and display the numerous trophies somewhere in their home, Charlton it seems, decided to make track and field his career. We are certain it has not been easy but Charlton advised that his love for sports and having commitment helped him to succeed and survive. His advice to young athletes is to take education seriously, “once you have that degree or “piece of paper,” everything else would fall into place.” Additionally, says Charlton, “whatever it takes for you to be great where your focus should be, take care of the little things as little mistakes you make now, can come back to haunt you for the rest of your life!’
Bahamas Athletics congratulates Dave Charlton on his Hall of Fame induction at Howard University.
Tune into Bahamas Athletics on September 26th as we bring you live coverage and updates of this very prestigious and proud event.