Some of the most talented track kids have been competing in all the meets in recent weeks, honing their performances for the CARIFTA Games in Jamaica over the Easter weekend and for the younger ones the inter-primary championships at the end of this month.
At the Caribbean National Bank Championships two weeks ago some of them gave outstanding displays to confirm that staging last year’s CARIFTA Games at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex had a positive effect.
Even if they are not old enough to race at the CARIFTA Games, the younger ones have that in their sights for the future.
At the Cayman National Bank Championships there were great displays from the likes of Kiara McLaughlin, who will be racing in the CUC Championships this weekend and little performers like Tahan Rice, the nine-year-old West Bay Primary School sprinter who in his first year with Mustang Track Club has show good technique and concentration.
Dejohnell Richards does 100 and 200 metres and long jump. The 10-year-old Truth for Youth pupil is one to watch out for in the future. D-Andre Row is a George Town School pupil. The 10-year-old sprinter has already seen international action.
He was in the CUT Championships last year in St. Lucia. He is the Division 3 inter-primary champ and a brilliant footballer. Coach Tyrone Yen said: “D-Andre should go far in track if he sticks to it.”
Tyrone’s own son Taj is only nine but already making a name for himself in track and field. He was third in the West Bay Primary sports day 100m and 150m and also does high jump and long jump.
Mikayla McLaughlin is only 11 but already has plenty of international experience, the highlight of which is her silver medal in the Under-9 150m at the CUT Games in British Virgin Islands three years ago.
Of the older athletes, Alex Maroney, 14, has only just started his track career as a middle-distance runner but the St. Ignatius pupil hopes to become good enough to earn a scholarship to the US in the future.
“At first I just did it to get fit,” he said. “But when I found out about the potential to get scholarships in track I started taking it seriously.”
Romario Nathan is a 16-year-old giant. The Jamaican attends Clifton Hunter School and coach Tyrone thinks he has a bright future not just on the track but also in the field events, possibly javelin or discus.
Of the older sprinters, Phillip Ritch, 16, has shown good recent form and hopes to go to next month’s CARIFTA Games in Montego Bay.