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Phillips, Burke set for Carifta

Ezra Stuart

Phillips, Burke set for Carifta

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UNHERALDED Graydon Sealy athlete Ashantia Phillips raised the bar at the CARIFTA Trials at the National Stadium on Saturday night to book her ticket to Martinique this Easter.
So too did High Performer Programme’s (HPP) sprinter Mario Burke, with a sizzling winning time of 10:50 seconds in the Under-18 boys’ 100-metre final and Rising Stars’ hurdler Michael Nicholls with a personal best 13.84-second clocking in the Under-18 boys’ 110-metre hurdles.
Burke’s time equalled the standard set for the World Juniors in Eugene, United States, July 22-27 after he was extremely close with 10.51 at the Joseph Payne Classic in finishing second to Shakeim Greaves.
Nicholls, like Burke, again qualified for the CARIFTA Games in Martinique, April 19-21 and the CAC Junior Championships in Mexico, July 4-6.
But after booking his own flight from the United States where he is a freshman at Missouri University, Jerad Mason missed an opportunity to secure his trip when he inexplicably false-started in the Under-20 boys’ 400 metres.  
With her Freedom Striders’ coach Michael “Abu” Worrell offering advice from the edge of the track, Phillips cleared 1.71 metres on her first attempt, after also easily clearing 1:66.
That effort surpassed the 1:70 metres required for Under-18 for next month’s CARIFTA Games.
The night’s other noteworthy performance came from Elite Distance’s Sada Williams.
After a 200-metre qualifier, she clocked a personal best 54.99 in the Under-18 girls’ 400 metres, coming down from her 59.47 at the Joseph Payne Classic and 55.75 at Louis Lynch.
Tiana Bowen, a finalist in this event at CARIFTA last year, was second in 56.80 as she gets closer to the qualifying time of 55.70.
Joshua Hunte (4:03.48) again produced a sterling run in the Under-20 boys’ 1500 metres but didn’t have the final kick to reach the CARIFTA?requirement of 4:01 minutes, fading over the last 40 metres. Raheem Skinner (4:04.37) also had a commendable run for second place.
With the Under-18 boys’ also competing in this year, 15-year-old Jonathan Jones of Elite Distance impressed with a clocking of 4:18.45, just short of the required 4:08 minutes.   
The women’s 1 500 metres was won by Under-18 athlete, Elizabeth Williams of Elite Distance in 5:06.59 as she held off a late challenge from Ufukozo’s road race runner, Carlie Pipe (5:07.37).      
Freedom Strikers’ Josiah Beckles (6:66) was just short of the 6:85 metres required in the Under-18 boys’ long jump, improving from his 6:53 at the Louis Lynch Championships while Shamar Rock (7:31) again leapt over the 7:30 needed in the Under-20 boys’ long jump.
Freedom Striders’ Romarco Thompson (48.72) won the Under-18 boys’ 400 metres while Pacers’ Joshua Walcott took the Under-20 boys’ quarter-mile in 48.17 seconds, well below the 47.90 standard.
Quantam Leap’s Levi Cadogan (10.57) won the Under-20 boys’ 100 metres from Lodge School’s Kyle Farrell (10.97). Rising Stars’ Tristan Evelyn was aiming for the 11.90-second mark but fell short at 11.94 even though she was an easy winner of the Under-18 girls’ 100 metres from HPP’s Asha Cave (12.22).
Rising Stars’ Juwan Augustin-Mayers (14.45) finished second to Nicholls but was just shy of the 14.40 needed in the Under-18 boys’ 110-metre hurdles.
Last year’s CARIFTA junior girls’ javelin silver medallist, Hayley Matthews surpassed the qualifying distance of 40 metres with a massive 46.57 at Louis Lynch, which was also good for CAC, but only threw 40.73 metres to win the Under-18 event.