BACOLET, Tobago – Carifta champions, Khalifa St. Fort (Unattached) and Akani Hislop (Zenith), were among the stars at the T&T NAAA/NGC/THA National Junior Track and Field Championships at the Dwight Yorke Stadium on June 11 and 12.
Both attained the qualifying standards for this year’s World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland from July 19-26.
St. Fort easily sped past the women’s 100m qualifying mark of 11.80, running 11.53 (-0.7) in the heats of the girls under 20 event on the opening morning. With the qualifying time under her belt, the 2015 World Youth 100m silver medallist/World Senior 4x100m bronze medallist, opted out of the semifinals. Her training partner, Sara Wollaston, won the finals in 12.04.
Hislop took the boys under 20 200m in 21.13 (-0.3) to dip under the World Junior mark of 21.35 on the second day of the meet. The 2014 Youth Olympic Games finalist captured the 100m title on the opening day in 10.57, missing the 10.55 standard by 0.02.
Seven qualifiers overall
St. Fort and Hislop were among seven athletes to achieve World Juniors standards on the weekend. Jacob St. Clair (Abilene Wildcats), Kashief King (Pt. Fortin New Jets), Jeminise Parris (Memphis Pioneers), Jenea Spinks (Concorde) and Rae-Ann Serville (Memphis Pioneers) were the others.
Clair and King pushed each other under the 47.70 standard in the boys under 20 400m with St. Clair taking the gold in 47.19 ahead of King (47.39). With Third placer, Judah Taylor (Abilene Wildcats), clocking 47.87 and Dwight St. Hillaire (Kaizen Panthers) in fourth in 48.02, the four are in contention for selection on T&T’s 4x400m team for Poland. Parris took the girls under 20 100m hurdles in 14.19 (-1.9).
Running alone in her age group, as she had done for most of the season, the 2013 Carifta champion, crossed the line just inside the 14.20 standard. Parris also won the girls under 20 200m in 24.74. Spinks made her case to join St. Fort in the 100m in Poland, when she won the girls under 18 100m in 11.79 (0.5). Serville captured the girls under 16 400m in 55.15 to go faster than the World Junior barrier of 55.25. However, the 14 year-old is too young to compete at the global meet.
Her victory in the one lap race was one of four titles she won, joining Anya Akili (Kaizen Panthers) as quadruple champions. Serville added the girls under 16 100m hurdles and 200m gold medals to her tally and then anchored Memphis to victory in the 4x100m event.
Akili secured the girls under 18 100m, 400m hurdles, high jump and long jump crowns and was going for a fifth in the girls 4x400m but the event was scratched because of insufficient entries. Akili’s club mate, Khemani Roberts, was a triple winner, taking the girls under 20 high jump, long jump and 400m. The national junior heptathlon record holder, also placed third in the shot put and javelin.
Carifta boys under 18 champion and record holder, Tyriq Horsford (Zenith), did not participate due to injury.
Among the stand-out performers who won two gold medals, were three-time Carifta champion, Chelsea James (Tobago Falcons) – girls under 20 shot/discus, Konnel Jacob (Tobago Jaguars)-boys under 18 shot/javelin (second in discus), Avindale Smith (Abilene Wildcats) – boys under 16 100m/200m, Safiya John (Kaizen Panthers) – girls under 16 javelin/long jump (second in 100m hurdles), Kershell McIntyre (Cougars) -girls under 18 800m/1500m and Anson Moses (Tobago Falcons) – boys under 18 high jump/400m hurdles.
Kaizen Panthers emerged at the top club with 30 medals (14 gold, 5 silver and 11 bronze) ahead of Memphis Pioneers 22 (11, 7, 4), Cougars 23 (8, 8, 7), Abilene Wildcats 20 (8, 6, 6), Tobago Falcons 11(8, 3, 0), Zenith 11(5, 4, 2), Toco Titans 9 (2, 5, 2) and D’Abadie Progressive 7(2, 3, 2).