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Hope for chance at Carifta

EZRA STUART, [email protected]

Hope for chance at Carifta

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A number of athletes who didn’t reach the qualifying standards set by the Athletics Association of Barbados (AAB) could still be selected for the CARIFTA Games in The Bahamas at Easter.

AAB president Catherine Jordan gave that assurance in an interview with NATION SPORT after no new athletes qualified during the Esther Maynard and Frank Blackman zones of the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletics Championships (BSSAC) at the National Stadium, last week.

Noting that the team have to be submitted to the CARIFTA Games’ secretariat by today, the AAB cannot accommodate performances in the BSSAC finals on Thursday and Friday.

Only 18 local athletes, consisting of 13 Under-20 boys, four Under-17 girls and one Under-17 boys have hit the qualifying benchmarks so far, but Jordan said there was provision in the AAB’s selection criteria to take additional athletes.

“We have a clause that allows us to use discretion for development, but we can’t just pick athletes who haven’t qualified as the airfare for each athlete is $2 200 . . . ,” Jordan said.

“There are people we carry for development. That is clearly identified in the criteria for selection,” she added.

Not a single Under-20 girl has qualified, but quarter-miler Tiana Bowen, who is now enrolled at a junior college in the United States, is expected to be named in the team for what will be her swansong. She won a silver medal in the 400 metres and a bronze in the 400 metres hurdles at last year’s Games in Curacao. 

With the AAB’s qualifying standards higher than those of a number of other participating countries, it is expected there will be latitude for athletes, who are close to the requirement.

These include St Michael’s Under-17 sprinter Darian Clarke, who competed in this division at CARIFTA last year but has not been at his best this season, just managing to break the 11-second barrier.

Combermere’s middle distance runner Nathan Goddard-McCarthy has nudge the selectors with best times of 2:01.29 and 4:21.56 minutes this season in the Under-17 Boys’ 800 and 1500 metres. So too, has Christ Church Foundation’s lanky six-footer Nathan Crawford-Wallis also leapt 1.89 metres in the Under-17 Boys’ High Jump after clearing 1.85 at the National Junior Championships.

Among the Under-17 girls, New St Michael schoolgirl Asia Foster wasn’t far off the required 2:19.50 minutes needed for the Under-17 Girls’ 800 when she clocked 2:21.84 at National Junior while St Michael’s petite Vanessa Greaves almost reached the 37 metres needed for the Under-17 Girls’ javelin with 36.30 at the recent Masters meet.

Under-20 girls Ashlee Lowe, who was ran 24.53 in the 200 metres at Louis Lynch and Rhea Hoyte, who clocked 63.42 in the 400 metres hurdles at the Frank Blackman Zone, will be hoping to find favour with the selectors.

Harrison College’s Charissa Moore, unlucky not to be given a chance last year, has been consistent once again, with times of 2:23.33 (Joseph Payne), 2:24.23 (Louis Lynch) and 2:22.22 (Esther Maynard) in the 800 metres and a best of 5:01.91 minutes in the 1500.

Hannah Connell narrowly missed qualification with a season’s best 14.28 in the Girls’ 100 metres hurdles while Jamie Drayton almost reached the 5.80 requirement when she jumped 5.72 at National Juniors.

St Michael’s Seth Edwards was also just shy of the 48.50 metres for the Under-20 Boys’ discus with 48.48 at BSSAC zonal meet. (EZS)