The 2013 edition of the St Lucia National Individual Track and Field Championships was an international affair, as athletes here competed not just against each other but competitors from Martinique, Montserrat, St Kitts Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Just over 200 athletes competed in the Championships held over the weekend at the George Odlum Stadium/Hospital. Once again there were hardly any spectators on hand. The atmosphere was exactly what you expected in a stadium incorporating a hospital-deadly quiet.
Nevertheless this championship provided some exciting moments like the men’s 100 metres. In that race St Lucia’s Mandela Clifford who is enrolled at Lincoln University, lost to Cornel Lionel of Iowa Western Community College by a hundredth of a second. Lionel’s winning time was 10.27.
There were several outstanding performances particularly by the following athletes who recorded double victories in their events: Marbeq Edgar , Choiseul, 800 metres in a time of 1:53.66 and the 1500 m (4:08.07); Sandisha Antoine, Martinique, long jump (6.31 m), triple jump (13.01); Verlyn Taylor, Abilene, 200 m (26.03); 100 m (12.95); Michael Biscette, Road Busters, 5,000 m (16:49.22), 10,000 m (35:14.04). Rosalie Pringle, St Kitts-Nevis, 800 m (2:12.85), 400 m (55.59).
It was a highly successful meet for Antoine who is St Lucian but lives in Martinique. She recorded a personal best in long jump and triple jump.
Antoine was the lone female competitor in the long jump and triple jump and as a result competed alongside the men. It gave her that extra boost.
She said: “Today competing against the men I was very motivated. Having a jump over six metres is very good for me and hopefully in the next few weeks I will jump further.”
What are her plans for the future? Antoine is counting on going to CAC Championships set for Mexico in July and further done the line the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
In other related news, the SLAA selected a team for the 2013 Central America and Caribbean (CAC) Age Group Championship taking place in Curacao from June 29-30. The CAC Age Group Championship which is held biannually for boys and girls between 11-14 years of age, with the sole intention of allowing athletes at that age to have experiences in a variety of events.
The St Lucia 11-12 team consists of Julien Alfred (Speed Printing Survivors), Faith Emmanuel (Piaye Athletics), Antonio Maynard (Speed Printing Survivors), Sanjay Jean (Road Busters). They will compete in the following events. Boys: 60 metre dash, 1,000 metres, long jump, high jump, baseball throw. Girls: 60 metres dash, 800 metres, long jump, high jump, baseball throw and mixed 4×100 m relay.
Athletes 12-13: Sherlan Jules (Ciceron Secondary), Tonisha Edwin (Night Riders Track Club), Najem Jean (Road Busters). These athletes will compete in the following events. Boys: 80 metre dash, 1200 metres, 80 metre hurdles, long jump, high jump, baseball throw, shot put. Girls: 80 metre dash, 1200 metres, 80 metre hurdles long jump, high jump baseball throw, shot put.
While in Curacao the team will be under the supervision of Cuthbert Modeste and Verneta Lesporis.