When the CARIFTA Games opens on
Easter Saturday the Cayman team will be charged with not only representing the
Islands but with doing so under the added pressure of performing in front of
their home audience.
All the athletes will be calling on
local support as they take on the their rivals from the other Caribbean family
Competing in her third year in the
Under-17 Girls 100 metres and 200 metres sprints is Chantelle Morrison, the
athlete most likely to succeed.
Over the past seven years she has
established herself as the Islands second leading female sprinter behind
Cydonie Mothersill and has done well, primarily overseas, that compares well
with all athletes in her age group.
Morrison, 16, burst on the international
scene in 2004 at the invitational International Primary Meet in Grand Cayman
when competing in the sub-bantam category she romped home with the “double” for
her age group.
She would move on a few months
later to compete in her first international meet of any substance, the
Caribbean Union of Teachers Championships for student-athletes 15 years or
younger in Kingston, Jamaica.
Competing in the Under 11 Division
Morrison trounced her regional rivals in both the 100m and 200m dashes and established
herself as one to watch for on the regional athletic scene.
Competing at the Central American
& Caribbean Age Group Championships in the Dominican Republic in 2005 the 11-year-old
athlete stunned all who saw her as she annihilated the field in the 60m dash
and anchored the Cayman Islands team to gold in the 4x100m relay.
In 2006 she won the U-13 Girls 100m
at the Florida Regionals of the US Junior Olympics Trial and later that year
competed in Virginia in the US Junior Olympics Championships where she won
In that year as well she again
trounced her opponents in the U-13 Girls 100m at the CUT Championships staged
in St. Lucia. Injury prevented her from competing in the 200m finals at those championships.
It was at the 2007 CARIFTA Games in
the Turks & Caicos Islands she first competed at that level. Morrison
failed to make it to the finals but turned a lot of heads with a scintillating
final leg run in the Under 17 Girls 4x100m.
At the age of 13 her times were
good enough to qualify her for the World Youth Championships but unfortunately
she was too young to compete.
In 2008 she returned to the CUT
Championships in the British Virgin Islands, where she showed tremendous form
and dazzling speed in winning the U-15 Girls 100m.
Once again injury prevented her
from competing in the 200m. At the 2008 CARIFTAS in St. Kitts she made it to
the Finals of the U-17 Girls 100m, making her the first female athlete since Mothersill
to achieve this feat.
She competed at the 2008
Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India and again made it to the finals of the
At the CARIFTAS last year at Vieux
Fort, St. Lucia Morrison was edged out of the silver medal position by the
narrowest of margins as she claimed Cayman’s only medal at those Games.
She again achieved a time that was
better than the qualifying standard set by the IAAF for the World Youth
Championships but would again miss out at competing at those championships due
to the change in the age group requirement. She would however again dominate
her favourite 100m event at the Island Games but missed out on what appeared to
be a certain gold medal due to injury.
At this year’s CARIFTA Games which
run from 3-5 April at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex, Morrison will be
amongst the favourites for the gold medal and if she achieves this will become
the first Caymanian to win the Girls 100m at the U-17 level.