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CARIFTA quartet target CAC

Sherrylyn A. Toppin

CARIFTA quartet target CAC

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WITH?THE?GOAL of making the CARIFTA team already achieved, four of the newcomers have set their sights on qualifying for the Central American And Caribbean (CAC) Junior Championships in El Salvador from June 29 to July 1.
When NATIONSPORT caught up with several of the athletes who will be representing Barbados at this level for the first time, they were quite pleased with having been selected.
Among them is Ramarco Thompson of Combermere and Freedom Striders, who was a member of the Barbados team which won the CAC Juvenile Championships last year.
“It feels great to be selected among those to represent Barbados at the 2012 Bermuda CARIFTA Games,” said the athlete, who will be competing in the 400 metres, 400-metre hurdles and the two relays in the Under-17 division.
Thompson said the hamstring niggle from Inter-School Sports had been receiving regular treatment and he was ready to compete.
“I am setting some fairly high goals. I would like to qualify for CAC in the 400-metre hurdles and I would like to run at least 48.3 in the 400,” he said.
Allana Ince is one of the youngest members of the team at 14 years.
The Queen’s College student has a great example before here. Her father and coach Allan attended the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul Korea.
“I don’t feel any pressure.
I’m not my father. It is all me, to chart my own path,” she said of her choice to do athletics.
Just a few weeks ago, she had the fastest time of 44.08 seconds in the 300-metre hurdles.
“I have a goal time which is 42 [seconds]. Right now I am working towards that and hopefully I would meet it for CARIFTA,” she said.
Akeem McCollin of The Lodge School has been enjoying a breakout year individually and as a member of the school’s Under-17 relay teams.
A man of few words, he said he was also was looking at qualifying for CAC although he is only scheduled to compete in the relays.
Middle distance runner Raheem Skinner of Coleridge and Parry School is also quite pleased with having qualified. He has come a long way since he joined Elite Distance and his classmates are no longer taunting him that they can beat him.
The foundation of his season was the Schools’ Cross Country Championships and this season he has made big strides in the 1 500 metres.
“At first I didn’t believe I was going to make it, because the last time I ran before that, I ran four minutes and 20 seconds and that was my fastest time, but the CARIFTA qualifying time was 4:13.50, so I had a lot of doubts that I could make it.”
Brimming with a quiet confidence, he is also looking at the CARIFTA record of 4:04.04, which was set by Kemoy Campbell, and the 4:03 qualifying time for CAC.

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