The cream of Cayman’s track and field youngsters jetted off to St Kitts for the Carifta Games this morning.
A total of three boys and nine girls selected by the Cayman Islands Athletics Association to represent the islands at the 37th staging of the Carifta Games will compete from Saturday until the finals on Monday.
The team is led by reigning Under-20 Boys Shot Put silver medalist Shane Evans and will include last year’s U-17 Girls Discus Silver medalist, Alexandra Terry, now competing in the U-20s.
A strong and talented crop of female sprinters, headed by Chantel Morrison, will lead the charge in the Girls U-17, where the sole male entrant is High/Long Jumper Travis Webb. Anissa Owen, having established a new national Junior Shot Put for females at the Bahamian Carifta Trials will make her second trip to these championships, as is the case with U-20 Girls Long Jumper Jahzenia Thomas, U-17 Shot Putter Avril Myles, U-17 High Jumper Ashleigh Nalty and U-17 Girls sprinter Gizelle Wright. Reigning Island Games 400m Hurdles Champion Junior Hines will compete in that event in the Boys U-20. Scheduled to make their Carifta Games debut are U-17 Girls sprinters Melinda McLean and Kristin Dixon.
The team is managed by Rayle Roberts and chaperoned by “GreetingLine” while coaches are Kenrick Williams and Tyrone Yen. Also included in the Cayman delegation are coaches Harcourt Watson and Jerry Harper who both received special invitations from the Local Organizing Committee to officiate at the Championships.
Delroy Murray, president of the CIAA, said: ‘In the last five years, Cayman’s track and field has won 91 medals in international competitions. I see no reason this year for us not to add to that tally, starting with Carifta in St Kitts.
‘When I took over the presidency five years ago I noticed that the girls were out performing the boys in their age group and this year we have nine girls going to Carifta. The girls are blazing the trail and when I look down the pipeline, I see more girls coming in.’
Murray is pleased that the new track will be open within a few weeks. ‘For that we are eternally grateful to the Government and the people of the Cayman Islands. We have laboured without a track this year and just like in 2005 after Hurricane Ivan, rather than sit back and moan that the track was mashed up and we couldn’t train, what the athletes did was to use it as motivation to do well at Carifta. I hope our athletes use that example this time for motivation because they haven’t had the use of a synthetic track to train on this time.’