We have liftoff!

Caymanian athletes launch 2007 track and field season with big performances

A young long jumper soars

A young long jumper soars as Coach Jerry Harper eyes the takeoff board during the 2007 Truman Bodden Track and Field Meet held Saturday in George Town. Photo: Guy P. Harrison

The Cayman Islands Athletic Association blasted out of the starting blocks the first meet of 2007 Saturday in George Town. The annual Truman Bodden Track Meet drew scores of athletes, most of them young, a few of them older.

Among the highlights were blazing 400s turned in by junior sprint stars Chantelle Morrison and Kemar Hyman. Both appeared to be on course for an excellent season in 2007. Overall, the athletes appeared sharp and surprisingly fit for January.

The young competitors were fortunate to have two Caymanian success stories in the flesh present. Sprinter Robert Ibeh and weight man Michael Letterlough both recently graduated from Clemson University and Florida International University, respectively. The two have established themselves as ideal role models for younger athletes. The two currently are training with high hopes of representing their country in international meets, especially the 2008 Olympics in China. On Saturday, however, they were not so much concerned with dream of personal glory overseas as they were giving something back right here to the sport that has opened so many doors for them. Ibeh competed in the 400 and offered encouragement to all throughout the meet. Letterlough officiated the shot put competition but did not leave it that. He also offered invaluable tips and encouragement to the competitors. (The Caymanian Compass will profile Letterlough and Ibeh this week in a feature story)

The Compass will publish official meet results when they are released by CIAA.

The Cayman Islands Athletic Association will be back in action on the 20th of this month with the East End/North Side District Meet. As always, parents of athletes and the pubic are encouraged to attend and cheer on Cayman’s track and field athletes.