CAC team back in triumph
BARBADOS’ JUNIOR ATHLETES made a triumphant return from the Central America and Caribbean (CAC) Junior Track and Field Championships in San Salvador on Monday night with the 21 juniors proudly bearing 18 medals – six golds, six silvers and six bronzes.
With only Sade Mariah Greenidge absent from the group as she had to return to the University of Houston to prepare for the World Junior Championships, the other four gold medal winners vied for the praise and attention from the large contingent of relatives, coaches and well-wishers who showed up at the Grantley Adams International Airport.
Kemar Jones was the lone male gold medallist, the others being Akela Jones with double gold, Shakera Hall and heptathlon champion, Shavonte Bradshaw.
Coach Ramon Armstrong was elated when he spoke of the team’s performance while taking a break from the long trip from San Salvador, via Miami.
“It was a very challenging meet but everyone pulled together and put in the effort for Barbados to capture 18 medals,” he said.
The coach pointed to the standout performances from the girls where the three Under-18 girls won two medals each. Hall also won a bronze in the 400 metres hurdles, while Tia-Adana Belle won silver in the 400-metres hurdles and the 400 metres.
“Even so, words cannot explain the thrill of seeing sprinters Levi Cadogan and Mario Burke linking with Dario Scantlebury and Jerrad Mason to take bronze in the 4×4[00 metres relay],” said Armstrong.
Equally impressed was long-standing president of the Amateur Athletic Association, Esther Maynard, who pointed out that Burke took the baton last and used his sprinting prowess to put Barbados into the second position.
Maynard needed no prompting to whip out her documents to highlight the number of national and CAC records which Barbados matched or surpassed.
The most impressive was Jones who obliterated the CAC long jump record of 6.12 metres, raising it to 6.36. Jones equalled the CAC long jump record, while Leah Bannister and Tristan Whitehall also set junior national records in the discus and shot put, respectively.