On track for fast medal haul

This
is the most exciting time in the track and field calendar, with four major
international meets for Cayman’s athletes.

Most
of the team gathered on Monday night at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex for a
farewell gathering and to thank sponsors.

First
meet is the Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships in Santo
Domingo, Dominican Republic. The team left on Wednesday and competition runs
from Friday, 2 July, to Sunday, 4 July. Manager is Jenna Terry, and coach
Tyrone Yen will be guiding the youngsters. The male competitors are: Troy Long,
Travis Webb, Lloyd Barker, Andrew Perrin, Joseph Suberan, Mitchell Forbes,
Andrew Frederick, Reynaldo Kelly-Vernon and Alex Pascal. The females are:
CARIFTA 100-metre gold medal winner Chantelle Morrison, Ashleigh Nalty, Melinda
McLean, Alexandra Terry and Anissa Owen. 

Then
it is the Carib Union Teachers’ meet in St Kitts from 24-25 July. The managers
are Sana Tugman and Paula Erskine, and the coaches are Yen and Flynn Bush.

Competing
for the boys are: Vinton Wedderburn, Javier Johnson, Rico Bodden, Deandre Rowe,
Leo-Isaiah Ebanks, Jouri Haylock, Jamal Walton, Jeavhon Jackson, Jonathan
Frederick and Justin Nalty. The girls team is Kasey-Faud Edwards, Valeska
Bennett, Anni-Kay Anderson, Mikayla McLaughlin, Kiara McLaughlin and Tiffany
Cole. After that, the seniors get a chance to shine at the North American,
Central American and Caribbean Under-23 championships in Miramar, Florida, from
9-11 July. Manager is Ventisha Connolly, and technical director Kenrick
Williams will be in charge. 

The
team comprises Steven Reid, Junior Hines, Tyrell Cuffy, Kemar Hyman, Richard
Ibeh and Maxwell Hyman.

Next,
the cream of Cayman’s athletic talent will be at the Central America and
Caribbean tournament in Puerto Rico. Cydonie Mothersill has shown good early
season form and she hopes to be at her peak for this one after a couple of
years of niggling injuries. The rest of the team, with Michael Nalty as manager
and coach Williams, are: Ronald Forbes, Michael Letterlough, twins Carl and
Carlos Morgan, Kemar Hyman, Maxwell Hyman, Tyrell Cuffy, David Hamil, Richard
Ibeh and Junior Hines.

Then
it’s the World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada, from 20-25 July.
Elizabeth Smith is the manager, with Kareem Streete-Thompson coaching. The only
two entrants are sprinters Joseph Suberan and Chantelle Morrison, who is also
in the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore from 14-26 August. Heather Roffey
will be the manager, with coach Yen supplying support.

Suberan
said: “I haven’t been training that much because I was injured and attended
physio. I have injuries in my right leg, including my quad and hamstring, but
hopefully, I’ll get to the finals. I know I’m still fit and hopefully, I’ll
still have the speed.”

Morrison
said she hasn’t really been training hard “because I’m still in physio. (She
pulled a hamstring in the CARIFTA 200 metres heats and had to withdraw). I’ve
done some light work, but I’m not 100 per cent. I’m only partially confident
because I know I’m not fully fit. I’ll still do my best.” Coach Williams was
optimistic.

“It
seems like we’re going to shape up real good. We’ve had our ups and downs in
training for these Games but on a whole, the athletes have rehabbed quite well.
They are in the best of shape now and ready to go.

“Chantelle
and Joseph are carrying niggling injuries but nothing to prevent them from
giving their best. Joseph recovered sufficiently to compete the week before
last in the 100m and 200m, so what we did was as a precaution we gave him a
week to do physiotherapy and some light training.

“Our
CAC Under-23 team is looking really good,” said Williams, “especially Junior
Hines in the 400m hurdles. Kemar and Tyrell are doing the 100m and 200m and the
4 x 100m relay team. On the CAC side, we’re looking pretty sharp too,
especially Cydonie who is our main athlete along with Ronald Forbes.”

Yen
noted that “Chantelle has just got over the hamstring injury. She’s been doing
a lot of physiotherapy work. Training started back about a month ago. She’s
been doing a lot of tempo work and we’re back in the gym trying to increase her
strength levels. I would say she is anything around 50 or 60 per cent. We’re looking
at the CAC for her to see where she is and what time she can put down. It would
help me as a coach. But if she’s not fully comfortable with competing I’ll understand.

“I’ll
be head coach for the CAC Games and that is a notch above the CARIFTAs,” Yen
said. “You have the Central American countries and the English-speaking Caribbean,
plus Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, so it will be a little bit tough, but the athletes
are well prepared mentally as well as physically for a good show.”

Rayle
Roberts, president of the track association, said, “Hopefully, we can go beat
up on them like they came and beat up on us at CARIFTA. A lot of the junior
athletes are very much prepared, especially since CARIFTA and been itching to
get back into competition and really show what they have.”

Harcourt
Wason, the track association’s first vice-president, hopes everyone will do
well, “especially the younger ones. They are much smarter than we had in the
past. I think we can expect well from Jonathan Frederick in the throws and
Jouri Haylock, Justin Nalty, the McLaughlin girls and Jamal Walton. So we
should have a good haul at CUT.

“At
CAC Juniors we’re going to find it a lot tougher than CARIFTA but, of course,
we expect Chantelle to do well, and Ashleigh Nalty to find her best form for
the year and Alexandra Terry too. Hopefully, we’ll get a few medals there.

“At
NACAC I expect Kemar and Tyrell to be in the finals and Junior too,” he said.
“In the World Juniors I hope to see Chantelle and Joseph in the finals as
well.”  

SPORTScydonieSTORY

Mothersill wants more medals.
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