Carifta Games
Avindale Smith of Abilene Wildcats (second from right) captured the boys under 18 100m crown in 10.45 (4.1m/s) on the first day of the National Gas Company-sponsored T&T Carifta Games Trials at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Saturday. Terry Frederick (Pt. Fortin New Jets), left, was fourth and Kion Benjamin (Memphis Pioneers), right, sixth. (Photo courtesy: Degannes/Mann/Clarke)

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – Avindale Smith (Abilene Wildcats) roared his way to an impressive victory in the boys under 18 100m finals on the first day of the National Gas Company-sponsored T&T Carifta Games Trials at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Saturday. Smith took the crown in the outstanding time of 10.45 seconds. The 15 year old took command of the race and cruised over the line looking as though if pushed, he could have gone faster. He indeed was pushed but by a wind of 4.1m/s.

The Queen’s Royal College student finished ahead of the slight favourite, his club mate Adell Colthrust who was second in 10.50. Colthurst, the 2016 Carifta bronze medallist, started strongly but Smith took the lead at midway and surged to a convincing win. Shakeel John (Concorde) took third spot (10.72) ahead Timothy Frederick (Pt. Fortin New Jets), 10.74 as the top four dipped below the 10.85 standard set by the NAAA for this year’s Carifta Games set for Curacao from April 15-17. In semifinals earlier in the afternoon, Smith was the quickest in 10.71 ahead of Colthrust (10.83) and Frederick (10.89).

Khalifa St. Fort
Khalifa St. Fort (centre) retains the girls under 20 100m crown in 11.30 on the first day of the National Gas Company-sponsored T&T Carifta Games Trials at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Saturday. Shikyla Walcott of Simple (right) and Akeera Esdelle of Pt. Fortin New Jets (left) finished in second and third respectively. (Photo courtesy: Degannes/Mann/Clarke)

World Junior 100m bronze medallist Khalifa St. Fort retained the girls under 20 100m title with a comfortable victory (11.30). In her season debut, St. Fort pulled away from the field and won by close to 20m and surpassing the 11.80 Carifta standard. Shikyla Walcott (Simplex) finished in second (11.92) with Akeera Esdelle (Pt. Fortin New Jets), 11.94 in third. In the heats, St. Fort lead the finishers in 11.76 ahead of Walcott (12.14).

Akidah Lewis (Concorde) captured the girls under 18 100m in 11.75. Lewis took the lead with a solid start and ran away with the crown from Ayla Stanislaus (Zenith) 11.94 and Deleth Charles (Memphis Pioneers) 11.98. The top three went under the 12.15 standard. The finals was billed a match-up between Lewis and Stanislaus after Stanislaus edged Lewis (11.82 to 11.85) in the semifinals earlier. World Junior semifinalist Jenea Spink (Concorde) was expected to compete but withdrew with an injury.

Jerod Elcock (Abilene Wildcats) ran home with the boys under 20 100m in 10.74, slower than his 10.68 clocking in the semifinals. However, Elcock had to battle with a 4.1m/s head wind. Jalen Purcell (Simplex), 10.77 and Onil Mitchell (Pt. Fortin New Jets), 10.92 took the minor spots. Purcell (10.71) and Mitchell (10.88) were also quicker in the heats.

In the 400m finals, Jacob St. Clair (Abilene Wildcats), Rae-Anne Serville (Memphis Pioneers) and Che Lara (Abilene Wildcats) were winners. St. Clair landed the boys under 20 crown in a 46.53 (personal best) and led the next three behind him under the 47.80 standard. Kashief King (Pt. Fortin New Jets), 47.56, Judah Taylor (Abilene Wildcats), 47.72 and Zidan Martin (IG Fastlane), 47.78 all clocked personal bests as well as Jahi Hernandez (Abilene Wildcats), 47.81 and Terry Frederick (Pt. Fortin New Jets), 48.08.

Rae – An Serville raced to the girls under 18 one lap in 55.08 with Joanna Rogers (Cougars) edging Patrice Richards (Neon Wolves) in a photo finish for the runner-up spot. Both were timed in 56.67. Serville, who turns 15 in April, led the top three under the 57.00 standard. She also clocked 56.00 in the heats.

Che Lara ran away from the field in the boys under 18 400m in 47.80 leaving Tyshawn Gray (Zenith), 49.65 and Akil Boisson (Memphis Pioneers), 49.82 to battle for the lower places.

Kymoi Noray (Zenith) was the first qualifier of the day when she won the girls under 18 javelin in the first final during the morning session. Noray threw the spear out to 42.53 (pb) to get over the 40.00m standard. She also had two other distances (40.35, 41.57) over the barrier.

Clarence Hannibal (Tobago Falcons) and Konnel Jacob (Tobago Jaguars) were the next qualifiers in the boys under 20 discus. Hannibal emerged as the winner with a personal best of 50.77 ahead of Jacob (50.11).

Kieanne Blackman (Memphis Pioneers) joined the list of Carifta contenders winning the girls under 20 discus with a mark of 41.36m getting over the 40.00m standard. Cheziah Phillip (Toco Titans) cleared the girls under 18 hurdles barrier of 14.70 winning the event in 14.40 seconds while Jude Atwell (Pt.-a-Pierre) ran a qualifying 14.66 to win the boys under 20 110m hurdles (14.70). Asha James (Zenith) and Akidah Briggs (Toco Titans) went past the girls under 20 javelin mark of 39.00m. James won with 42.96 ahead of Briggs (39.94). James had three other measurements (42.14, 39.27, 39.76) over the standard. Ianna Roach (Memphis Pioneers) took care of the 13.50 mark for the girls under 18 shot put with a 14.30m effort. The 2016 Carifta silver medallist also had marks of 13.56, 14.11 and 13.90.

The 2017 Carifta trials are sponsored by the National Gas Company (NGC).

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Clayton Clarke is a freelance track and field journalist since 2005. He is a former athlete and an IAAF Level III coach (Sprints & Hurdles). He has been a writer with Track Alerts since its inception in 2009. He worked with several media houses (radio, tv, newspaper, website) in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, St. Kitts Nevis and the Bahamas. The Tobago native has covered the Carifta Games since 2005, the 2010 Commonwealth Games, 2011 World Athletic Championships and numerous local and regional track and field events.. Though track and field is his passion and main interest, he has served as media liaison with numerous sporting bodies in T&T and in particular in Tobago, namely cycling, chess, football, beach soccer, taekwondo, rugby, swimming, tennis and beach volleyball.


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