Track roundup

The Cayman Islands squad which represented the country at the 2006 North American, Central American and Caribbean under-23 Track and Field Championships in the Dominican Republic recently turned in several good individual performances, but each of the five members of the group expressed the opinion that they were capable of attaining better results.

One of the bright spots was the sixth-place finish of Ronald Forbes in the finals of the 110 meter hurdles event, where he clocked 14.44.

Another highlight was the eighth-place achievement by Carlos Morgan in the men’s long jump, where he reached 24’5 3/4′ to gain the finals. Brother Carl was ninth of the 15 competitors with a mark of 23’5 1/2′. Michael Letterlough’s discus toss of 145’4’was good for a season’s best and a sixth-place finish. He also placed 11th in the hammer throw.

Omar Wright successfully cleared 6’11’ in the high jump, but was unlucky in his attempts at 7′. He took three good shots at that height, and on the third try, the bar fell very late.

Carl Morgan also turned in a 49.11 for 400 meters, while Carlos was forced to withdraw from the javelin throw with an elbow problem after two rounds.

All 32 NACAC countries were represented, with Cuba participating for the first time. The total of 447 participants was a record by far, and 36 meet records were set in the 44 events contested.

The United States dominated with a total of 59 medals, and Cuba garnered 20 for the next-best total.

Other Caribbean countries gaining podium performances were Jamaica-6, Puerto Rico-6, the Bahamas-5, Trinidad and Tobago-4, Dominican Republic-2, St.Lucia-1, St. Vincent and the Grenadines-1, Bermuda-1.

A difficulty for athletes from the English-speaking countries, particularly in the field events, was a scarcity of English-speaking officials in the competition areas.

Also posing a problem for participants in the women’s high jump and men’s javelin throw, as well as the men’s high jump and women’s javelin throw was the unfortunate placement in the schedule of these pairs of events at such a time that they were being conducted simultaneously.

The javelin runup was immediately adjacent to the high jump landing pad, and in fact, overlapped the approach run of the left-footed jumpers. This resulted in a break in action and concentration for athletes in all these events.

False starts were not too frequent, although competitors in the second heat of the women’s heptathlon 100 meter hurdles were subjected to five restarts.