The Caribbean Utilities Company Championships is always keenly competed because it is the last big meet before CARIFTA Games selection. This year’s event has an extra edge because many of the Cayman’s top middle-distance runners are competing and kids who have never really been competitive at middle distance have recently improved significantly thanks to better coaching from Derek Larner and David Shibli.
The Cayman Islands Athletic Association will stage the 2011 CUC Championships at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex this Friday starting at 6pm and Saturday at 9am. The CARIFTA games this year will be held in Montego Bay Jamaica from 23-25 April.
CUC president and chief executive officer, Richie Hew, said: “CUC and the development of sports in the Cayman Islands are synonymous. The company has been sponsoring the Cayman Islands Athletics Association for the past 25 years and we are pleased to once again host the CUC Championships.
“From this track and field meet, the CARIFTA team will be chosen so we expect that the competition will be fierce. We are encouraging members of the Cayman community to come out and support the youngsters who will be participating.
“CUC will be offering a gate prize of a weekend to Cayman Brac, inclusive of airfare and accommodation. We are looking forward to a very exciting meet.”
There will be top quality sprinting, running, throwing and jumping as many athletes try to make the qualifying times. There will be competition in six age group categories: 7-8; 9-10; 11-12; 13-14; 15-16 and 17 years to adult, competing in a cross section of events. Events being contested are long jump, high jump, javelin, turbo javelin, ball throw, discus, shot put, 100 metres hurdles, 80m, 100m, 150m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 4x100m and 4x400m.
Of special interest will be the performance of the CARIFTA age group athletes. Reigning Under-17 girls 100m CARIFTA champion Chantelle Morrison is expected to take the sprint double, closely followed by Sheyla Torres who has been competing well since the beginning of the season.
Others to look out for are Ashleigh Nalty, last year’s CAC Juniors U-17 girls bronze medallist in high jump and Shanique Yen, CARIFTA 400m U-17 girl’s finalist.
Boys U-20 division’S CARIFTA reps Alex Pascal and Mauricio Terry are in the javelin, Travis Webb is in the high jump, Andrew Perrin, Lloyd Barker, Troy Long, Phillip Ritch and Rajay Reid in the sprints and in middle-distance is Tristan von Kirchenheim.
In the girls U-17 division CARIFTA rep Melinda McLean is expected to do well in the sprints, as well as CAC Youth bronze medallist high jump Amelia Gillespie and CUT 800m bronze medallist Tiffany Cole.
Boys U-17 division 2010 CUT silver rep Jonathan Frederick is in the shot put and CARIFTA rep Demitri Chambers and Gerome Bodden are in the sprints.
In the adult division, athletes to look for will be national representatives Robert Ibeh, Rhymiech Adolphus, David Hamil, Stephon Johnson, Andrew Ibeh, Wallace Lyttle and Christopher Sampson.
On the field CARIFTA reps Alex Pascal and Mauricio Terry are expected to do well in the javelin, while in the shot put, CARIFTA athlete Andrew Frederick is expected to set personal records, along with cousin Jonathan Frederick who won a CUT silver in shot put.
There will also be lots of exciting competition among the youth categories. Athletes to look for include Mikayla McLaughlin, the 2010 CUT double gold medallist in 100m and 200m and Kiara McLaughlin and Pearl Morgan, both CAC and CUT reps, Anniekay Anderson and Amirah Gallow. Youth boys will have CAC and CUT rep Jouri Haylock, plus Jeavhon Jackson, Javdon Nelson and Javon Taylor.
Other exciting and hotly contested events will be amongst the islands’ top road runners who will be competing in the 800m, 1500m and 3,000m. These events have caught the attention of the local road running scene and will prove who the best runners are.
Athletes to look out for are the likes of Scott Brittain, Derek Larner, David Shibli, Mark Hogan, James Ogden, David Shibli Jr, Andreal Harris and junior athletes Jacob Shultz, Alex Muroney, Taj Lewis and Ryan Kirkaldy.
Commonwealth gold queen Cydonie Mothersill will also make a rare appearance, running in the 4x100m relay. The CUC Championships promises to be two exciting days of great running and field events.
There will be a gate prize on both days and for a minimum donation of $5 anyone can enter to win one of these fantastic prizes.
Ticket holders need to be present to collect the prize. The money raised will go towards the athletic programme. Food and beverages will be sold at the concession stand.
Registration is open from age 7 upwards. Forms are available on www.caymanactive.com, or by contacting Liz Ibeh 925-4763, coach Williams 925-1943 and coach Yen 925-6917 or coach Wason 916-6696.
Completed forms may be returned to any of these organisers or emailed to [email protected]