Williams eyes better CARIFTA

Some of the marvellous performances at the Inter-Secondary Track and Field championships last week helped the selectors assess hopefuls for the CARIFTA Games in St. Kitts over the Easter weekend. 

Kenrick Williams, track technical director, said, “Overall, it was a great championship and what I was most pleased about was the discipline of the officials and athletes.” 

He added that there were some “fantastic times” by the athletes, especially by Jada Francis in the 400 meters Under-14 girls and by Rashaun Conolly in the U-18 boys 400m who was also in sizzling form in winning the 100m and 200m sprints on the first two days of the three-day event.  

“Conolly is one of those for the future,” Williams said. Daneliz Thomas has qualified for CARIFTA in javelin, while Lacee Barnes qualified in the shot put and discus. Thomas unexpectedly won a CARIFTA javelin bronze a couple of years ago and may be on the podium again next month.  

Williams said, “We have a good mix of kids who did some fantastic things at these championships and we hope from that we will see our CARIFTA qualifiers.” 

The Truman Bodden meet is next, this Friday, and then a succession of meets for kids to prepare for CARIFTA.  

Williams stressed that even if an athlete reaches the qualifying mark for CARIFTA, he or she is not guaranteed a berth, as has often been the case in the past. The process is more selective now and there will be genuine medal contenders this time.  

Barnes, 15, looks destined to make the CARIFTA trip though. She won the shot put and discus U-18 events comfortably. A student at Clifton Hunter School, next year she will be doing ‘A’ levels at St. Ignatius. She wants to become a journalist and also excel in her field events as a senior, winning medals at major championships.  

Barnes has already qualified for CARIFTA, making these the third Games in which she has will have competed. Despite being much younger than most of her rivals there, she hopes to medal this time.  

In shot put, she expects the best competitor to be Chelsea James, 17, from Trinidad and Tobago. “She’s my real competition so I’m looking for her to push me this year to get a medal,” Barnes said.  

“I’ve definitely taken a different stride to my training and I’m expecting a different result.” 

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Rashaun Conolly is Cayman’s top junior sprinter.
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