Gaskin’s winning gear
By Randy Bennett | Fri, March 23, 2012 - 12:03 AM
Sonia Gaskin is one of the most timid people you will ever meet.
That is, until she gets on the track.
And then, as if in some sort of magical metamorphosis, she becomes one of the fiercest competitors, portraying confidence and determination, which belie her 17 years of age.
Yesterday at the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletic Championships (BSSAC), Gaskin was at it again, racing to victories in the 1 500 metres and 400 metres, to go along with her earlier triumph in the 3 000 metres in the Under-20 Girls’ division.
Her run in the 1 500 was not only a record-breaking one, eclipsing a 14-year-old mark held by former Lodge girl Sheena Gooding, it also marked a personal triumph for the upper fifth student of Parkinson Memorial.
“It felt wonderful when I realized that I had broken the record, although to be honest I didn’t set out to break it.”
“But what makes it so special is the fact that a former Parkinson athlete, Janelle Inniss, used to have the record before Sheena came and broke it.
“So I feel good now that the record is held rightfully by a Parkinson athlete,” she told WEEKENDSPORT, her face beaming with delight.
She isn’t done just yet either, as in today’s final day she will be competing in the 800, one of her favourite events, as well as the 4x100 metres relay.
Having barely missed qualifying for CARIFTA in the 1 500, she now has her sights set on also meeting the required “A” time of 2:16.00 in the 800 metres.
When all eyes were glued to the track, Shanika Haynes had her sights glued on gold. The 15-year-old Grantley Adams Memorial fifth former obliterated the field on her way to winning both the Under-17 Girls’ javelin (36.69 metres), and the shot put (10.81 metres).
In doing so, she realized one of her dreams in qualifying for the April 6 to 9 CARIFTA Games to be held in Bermuda, surpassing the 36 metres requirement in the javelin.
“I have always wanted to go to CARIFTA, and I feel very good that I have now qualified,” said the strongly built Haynes.
She has an opportunity to make it three out of three when she competes in today’s discus event, but she knows that it won’t be an easy task.
“I expected to win gold in the javelin and the shot put, but I’m not 100 per cent sure about the discus. I will just have to go out there tomorrow and put my best foot forward, and pray for the best,” she explained.
The number 13 is usually considered an unlucky number. For Tianna Bowen’s rivals, it definitely is.
Bowen, who turned 13 in January, will be one of the main shoulders on which Lester Vaughan’s chances of moving up the table in the girls’ division will rest.
And she stepped up to the plate too, dismissing the field on her way to victory in the Under-15 Girls 800 metres, while also placing second in the high jump.
She will also be going into today’s 400 metres finals with the second fastest time, and she is hoping to convert that into another gold medal performance.
“I’ve been in pretty good form so far for the year,” Bowen, who is also a member of the Rising Stars Track Club, pointed out.
The second form student revealed that she had been running from the time she was in nursery, and that she had no intentions of stopping any time soon.
As for her athletic abilities, she says that it runs in the family, as her older sister Lizan Bowen, a former student of Springer Memorial, was also an athlete.
“My mother has also told me that she used to be an athlete too, but I’m not so sure about that,” she said, flashing a huge grin.
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