Super Mario still sprint king
It took just 10.27 seconds for Barbados’ king of speed Mario Burke to ascend his 100 metres’ throne for a second straight year on Saturday night at the National Stadium.
The time wasn’t as fast as his 10.17 last year, but the University of Houston speedster left nothing to chance as he sprinted to a scintillating victory over Burkheart Ellis, Jaquone Hoyte and experienced campaigner, Ramon Gittens, at the ICBL National Athletics Championships.
Barbados also has a teenage sprint queen in Alleyne schoolgirl Shemia Odaine and two new 400 metres champions in Harrison College sixth-former, Jonathan Jones and versatile San Diego State University athlete, Lisa-Anne Barrow.
The world-ranked Shane Brathwaite also comfortably retained his men’s 110-metres hurdles title in 13.62 seconds from Michael Nicholls (13.98).
Indiana State University’s 20-year-old Ayanna Morgan dethroned perennial sprint hurdles queen Kierre Beckles by mere fractions of a second to become a first-time national winner after both flashed across the finish line together in 13.77 seconds.
Running in breezy conditions, Burke pulled away from Gittens (10.37), who was also passed by second placed Ellis (10.33) and Hoyte (10.35) after leading at the 60-metre mark.
Minutes earlier, 17-year-old Odaine overcame some anxious moments with a green card to the field, after her blocks shifted, to win the women’s 100 metres in a personal best 11.81 seconds.
A fast-finishing Asha Cave (11.94) didn’t deliver and settled for second with pocket-rocket Hannah Connell (11.95) third. Earlier, Connell was fourth in the women’s 100 metres hurdles.
Jones’ winning time of 46.64 seconds didn’t surpass his 46.30 effort at the Louis Lynch Championships but the way he attacked the race would have impressed national record holder Elvis Forde, who watched every stride, and later presented him with his gift.
Running in Lane 4 with Illinois State University graduate Anderson Devonish in his sight in Lane 5, Jones swiftly caught the NCAA finalist along the back stretch.
Devonish, who has a personal best 45.97 this season, accelerated into the bend and gave it his all over the last 100 metres. But there was no catching Jones with Devonish falling after crossing the finish line in 46.75.
Vincentian Akani Slater held on for third in a personal best 47.61, while 15-year-old Kyle Gale was fourth in 47.62.
The 21-year-old Barrow, who represented Barbados at the 2011 CARIFTA Games in Jamaica as a 14-year-old, was a joy to watch as she covered the field going up the back straight.
Even though hurdler Tia-Adana Belle challenged just past the 200-mark, Barrow, who ran a personal best 51.86 seconds last month, was undaunted. She came off the curve well clear and held her form in the straightaway to win in 53.30 seconds.
Belle ran a personal best 54.23 while last year’s CARIFTA silver medallist, Tiana Bowen, was third in 55.94 with Akeilia Knight (56.41) fourth. There were also personal bests for St Michael schoolgirls Rhea Hoyte (56.56) and Asia Foster (56.67).
Joshua Hunte was a runaway winner of the men’s 1500 in 4:07.84 minutes but disappointingly, there was no women’s race over this distance after attracting a full field of 12 last year.
On the field, Tristan Whitehall captured the men’s discus, tossing the 2.0 kilogram disc 52.98 metres while Triston Gibbons (54.61m) triumphed among the Under-20s with the 1.75 kilogram disc.
Charles Greaves, who was fifth in the 100 final, leapt 7.60 metres to win the long jump from his younger brother Anderson Greaves (7.10).
Aria Small (12.86) won the women’s triple jump and Jalisia Neil cleared 1.65 metres to take the women’s high jump. (EZS)