Close to 323 athletes have registered for this weekend’s (Saturday 6th April 2019) National Junior Track and Field Championship dubbed “Carifta Trials” scheduled for the George Odlum Stadium in Vieux Fort. That’s the word coming from President of the Saint Lucia Athletic Association, Cornelius Breen.
Unlike previous years when the championship was over a two day period, due to financial constraints currently being experienced by the newly elected SLAA executive, this year’s event will be a one-day showpiece.
The championship is scheduled to start from 9.45 a.m and will see participants compete in two divisions, Under-18 and Under-20 Boys/Girls.
The event is being held on the heels of last weekend’s Inter-Secondary Schools Track and Field Championship where St. Joseph’s Convent emerged champions with 235 points in the girls category, 60 points clear of second place finisher Vieux Fort Comprehensive with 175 points; in the boy’s category, St. Mary’s College emerged champions with 215 points, 70 points clear of second place Vieux Fort Comprehensive. As is customary a number of standout athletes who participated at that championship are expected to be on show representing their respective schools/clubs in an effort to achieve the qualifying standards.
It is unclear whether the 2018 Youth Olympics Games (YOG) silver medallist in Buenos Aries, Argentina and junior female Sportswoman of the Year Julien Alfred who is currently attending University in the USA will be back home to compete at the games; but her compatriot Shelton St. Rose who was also at the YOG finishing 10th overall in the 100 metres, will be in the thick of things.
At the recently held Inter-Secondary School Track and Field Championship at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Rose captured gold in the 100 metres.
Other Carifta hopefuls who will be on show at the National Juniors/ Carifta Trials are – Tarrick Xavier who will compete in the 800 and 1500 metres, Jayeed Norbal in the 800 meters, Kimani Alphonse in the 200 metres and 400 meters, Miguel Charlery in the 100 metres and 200 metres, Zoya Jn Marie in the discus, CJ Felix in the Octathlon/Javelin and Joy Edward in the discus and shot put.
Members of the SLAA Technical Committee, Chaired by Henry Bailey will be in attendance to have a first-hand look at the various performances along with Wayne Bentie, Allan Hippolyte, Fabian Felix, Titus Elien and Brendaline Descartes.
Meanwhile, the Cayman Islands will host the 48th edition of the Carifta Games, April 20-22, 2019 at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
The VOICE Spoke to SLAA President, Cornelius Breen about Saint Lucia’s team for the Carifta Games and our chances of medalling this time around. Breen said, “I am not sure as to the number of athletes who will make the Saint Lucia squad; the athletes need to meet the standards set. In terms of medalling, I am keeping my fingers crossed as the level of competition is not what it used to be.”
Saint Lucia failed to medal last year in the Bahamas. The team comprised Julien Alfred, Michaela Hyacinth, Deyette Djerel, Zoe Dorville, Reuben Nichols, Lizzie Alexander, Nebia Montrope, Lilyanna Sylvester, Asa Francis, Kimani Alphonse, Armani Modeste, Shelton St. Rose, Taric Xavier and Jean-Claude Auguste.