Whitehall makes shot put grade
Thrower Tristan Whitehall became the first athlete to meet the qualifying standard for the shot put during the League I meet at the National Stadium last Saturday, but it was quarter-miler Tia-Adana Belle and hurdler Kion Joseph who looked most impressive on the track.
Requiring 15 metres flat to qualify for the April 7 to 9 CARIFTA Games in Bermuda, Whitehall, a student at St Leonard’s Boys’, put the shot 15.44 metres, also surpassing the 15.20 (Under-20) for the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Junior Championships in El Salvador.
He was the only qualifier on the day which saw large numbers of athletes in all divisions coming out to compete in wet and cold conditions.
The runners had to settle for hand timing for the second week in a row as the electronic clocks were being serviced, but they should back for the League 2 meet on Sunday.
Now in the second year in the Under-17 division, Belle is clearly stronger and even more efficient. The run looked effortless as she left the competition in the rear in 59.7 seconds. She seemed to be gliding, but needs to strip at least three more seconds off that time.
Joseph, the Commonwealth Youth and Pan Am Juniors bronze medallist, appears to have grown a few more inches and his long loping strides ate up the real estate in the men’s race. He passed Shaquille Alleyne (50.91) and headed for home with no challenge in 49.44.
Mario Burke also impressed in the 100 metres, blowing out of the blocks and clocking 10.82 seconds for the fastest time in the men’s 100. However, Olympic hopeful Shakera Reece watched the races from the stands.
Cindy Forde won the women’s 1500 metres in 5:15.12 and Rashid Blackman (4:20.81) pulled away from Pius Emilien (4:23.68).
There were also wins for Danielle Millington, Shakera Hall and Tramaine Maloney in the sprint hurdles.
Meanwhile in the Under-11 division, Jahlarni Toney (3.84m) and Dedra Mason (3.35m) won the long jump; Leilani Haddock took the girls’ 100m in 14.64 seconds, and her twin brother Ajani won the boys’ race in 13.60 seconds.
In the Under-13 division, Hasani Lowe won the long jump with 4.66m; Janiah Drakes took the girls’ 100 in 13.50; and with a time of 12.50, Fabian Leon was in a class of his own to win the boys’ race.
Akilah Worrell won the Under-15 Girls’ 100 in 12.94 seconds and Joash Best is clearly one to watch in the boys’ division.
With Shem Forde taking the race right to him, Best responded to the challenge, racing to victory in 11.59 seconds with Forde second in 12.19.