PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – World Youth 100m silver/World 4x100m bronze medallist, Khalifa St. Fort was one of the outstanding performers at the NGC/T&T NAAA Carifta Trials at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurpapo on March 5 & 6.
Competing unattached, St. Fort cruised to victories in the girls under 20 100m (11.39w) and 200 (23.64), crushing the field in both sprints. In the 100m on the first day (March 5), the 18 year old pulled away from her opponents to win by over five metres and dipped below the qualifying standard of 11.80 for the event on the first day of competition (11.79/-1.7 in the heats).
The 2015 Pan American Juniors sprint queen then returned on Sunday (March 6) to secure the 200m on a wet track following early afternoon rains. Her 23.64 was under the Carifta standard of 24.00. St. Fort is expected to be in T&T’s contingent for this year’s Carifta Games, set for St. Georges, Grenada from March 26 to 28.
Reigning Carifta champion and record holder Tyriq Horsford (Zenith) stole the spotlight on the second day with his national youth record throw of 71.52m in capturing the boys under 18 javelin crown on Sunday (March 6) morning. Horsford improved on his previous national mark of 70.73 set in winning last year’s Carifta title in St. Kitts/Nevis. So dominant was Horsford that all six of his throws (68.66, 56.12, 71.52, 68.92, 60.89 and 66.42) could have won him the title and were superior to the Carifta standard of 59.00.
Horsford’s Zenith club mates also impressed in the javelin events taking three of the four titles, producing all four of the Carifta qualifiers in the discpline. Vandel Joseph took home the boys under 20 honours with a distance of 59.31 and had four other marks over the 57.00m standard. The 2015 Carifta boys under 18 bronze medallist beat his training partner, Odel Joefield who also got over the standard with 58.31.
Asha James clinched the girls under 18 javelin spot on the team on the opening morning of action (March 5) with a mark of 43.59 to surpass the 40.00 standard. She will be hoping to improve on her silver medal achieved in the discipline in 2015. James led a Zenith sweep of the event as Talena Murray (38.81) and Kymoi Noray (35.15) took second and third.
Tobago athletes excelled in the throws taking nine of the twelve throwing titles on offer. Konnel Jacob (Tobago Jaguars) and Clarence Hannibal (Tobago Falcons) finished 1-2 in boys under 18 shot put and discus. Jacob won the shot with a distance of 15.23 (standard-15.20) ahead of Hannibal (15.13) but Hannibal reversed the positions in discus taking the top spot with 47.29 (standard-44.30) to Jacob’s 40.20. Triple Carifta champion Chelsea James (Tobago Falcons) landed the girls under 20 shot put with a mark of 14.09 (standard-13.50). James was also second in the discus with 40.93 behind Shaiann Charles (D’Abadie Progressive) 41.70 as both were over the 40.00 qualifying mark.
Another Tobagonian, Nkosi James, competing for the University of the West Indies, secured the boys under 20 discus with a hurl of 41.71 (standard-47.00) and was also second in the shot put (13.62) behind last year’s Carifta boys under 18 winner and record holder Isaiah Taylor (Abilene Wildcats), 15.26.
On the track, another of Zenith’s defending Carifta champions, Akanni Hislop won the boys under-20 200m in a wind aided 21.09 (3.0m/s) after running a strong bend
Cougars secured the top two spots in the boys and girls under 18 800m. Jaden St. Louis took the junior boys two-lap final in 1:59.54 ahead of teammate, Recardo Prescott, 1:59.76. The two will make the trip to Carifta, as Prescott ran 1:57.85 in the heats earlier in the day to ensure that the pair dipped under the 1:59.60 standard. In the girls under 18 Kershell McIntyre took gold in 2:15.77 to cross the line inside the 2:16.00 standard. The 1500m winner was pushed all the way by teammate, Joanna Rogers, who narrowly missed qualifying with her time of 2:16.51.
The girls open heptathlon proved the be the most competitive event at the two day trials, as the lead kept changing at the completion of almost each individual event.
Ayana Glasgow (Toco TAFAC) headed the standings, going into the seventh and final event, the 800m, but with her cellar place in the two lapper, could not hold on to the advantage, and eventually finished in third position. Anya Akili (Kaizen Panthers) took the 800m and overall title with 4272 points ahead of early event leader Antonia Sealey (Pt. Fortin New Jets) 4207 and Glasgow (4272). All six finishing competitors were about the 3500 points standard. Only two will be selected to compete in Grenada.
Akili also qualified for the girls under 18 100m hurdles clocking 14.50 to edge out Cheziah Phillip (Toco Titans) 14.52, as the two bettered than the 14.70 standard.
In the boys open Octathlon, Ian West maintained his overnight lead and went on to claim the top honours with 5280 ahead of Kerlon Ashby (Kaizen Panthers) 4841 and Michael McKenzie (Alpha) 4748 and Aaron Caesar (Pt. Fortin New Jets) 4591, as the top four scored over the 4500 points standard.
The boys under 18 and 20 100m produced contrasting finishes as Adell Colthrust (Abilene Wildcats) showed a welcome return to form to secure the first-named sprint crown. A sprint phenom in his juvenile days, he won in 10.64 by more than 1/10 of a second. He also led four boys under the 10.85 qualifying time. Tyrel Edwards (Toco Titans) was second in 10.75 to record his third sub 10.85 clocking of the day, after posting the fastest times in the heats (10.82) and semifinals (10.80). Avindale Smith, also of Abilene Wildcats, copped third (10.81 ahead of Ako Hislop (Kaizen Panthers) 10.82. In contrast, in the senior boys 100m 0.04 seconds separated the top four in a blanket finish. Jalen Purcell (Simplex) got the nod for the victory in 10.67, with Chad Richards (ZC Athletics), 10.68, Xavier Mulgata (Memphis Pioneers) 10.69 and McNish Compton of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 10.71 all followed closely behind. The quartet narrowly missed getting under the 10.65 standard.
Jenea Spinks and Concorde training partner Akidah Lewis took the top two spots in the girls under 18 100m (standard-12.00). In the finals, Spinks was first to the line in 11.98 ahead of Lewis (12.05). Lewis had earlier run 11.83 in the semis.
Complete results: http://www.ttnaaa.