Some of Barbados’ premier athletes graced the National Stadium over the weekend in the annual National Athletics Championships.
With a number of meets in the horizon including the Pan American Juniors, the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships, the athletes had significant incentive to perform to their best on the track and field.
Among those capturing the attention firstly on Saturday was speedster Mario Burke in the 100m. The former Harrisonian beat a quality field that included Levi Cadogan, Burkheart Ellis Jr. and Nicholas Deshong to win in a time of 10.17 seconds.
Also impressing was Olympian Kierre Beckles in the 100m hurdles. She ran 13.15 to defeat the flamboyant Lavonne Idlette of the Dominican Republic. Sarah Belle took third spot.
Several of those expected to win did just that but the athletes would undoubtedly have wished to achieve more record times, heights and distances. But this was not the case in most of the events.
Olympian Shane Brathwaite won the 110m hurdles but it was no cake walk as he had to contend with stiff competition from Eddie Lovett of the United States Virgin Islands and Jeffrey Julmis of Haiti. Brathwaite clocked 13.52 to edge Lovett who finished in a time of 13.53.
Brathwaite returned Sunday minus the hurdles to win the open 200m sprint. Also on the track was former Olympian Jade Bayley. She won the 200m open to add to the 100m sprint which she captured on Saturday. Bayley’s times over the two days were not off the charts but she did manage to qualify for the Commonwealth Games in the 100m with a time of 11.39 seconds.
On Sunday Nathan Crawford-Wallace won the U18 high jump while young Josh Newton impressed many knowledgeable enthusiasts with his efforts. At just 12-years-old the Princess Margaret student competed well against the older jumpers and looked a good prospect for the future.
In other finals Sunday Alleyne School’s Achilles Browne won the U13 200m sprint in a time of 26.53, beating Yazid Daniels [26.67] and schoolmate Peter Lowe [27.39] into second and third place respectively. Another Alleyne School lad Darnel Forde clocked 27.83 to finish fourth. These are three names that should feature for the St Andrew school in years to come.
Another Alleyne School athlete who was in good form was Brienna Boyce. She was timed at 27.19 seconds in winning the U13 200m sprint, finishing ahead of Rashida Barrow and Tianna Applewhaite who clocked 28.20 and 28.44 respectively.
Anthonio Mascoll won the men’s open 800m in a time of 1.47.49 and was followed over the line by Rio Williams [1:56.60] and Theo Greenidge [1:56.74] in that order. Sonia Gaskin [2:09.01] won the 800m open, beating out Sade Sealy [2:11.37] and Akeilia Knight [2:20.29] into second and third spot respectively.
Among the others winning their events Sunday were Ronaldo Rock in the U18 800m in a time of 1:56.56; Tiara Stewart in the U15 200m sprint in 26.87; and Brandon Downes in the 200m sprint in a time of 25.36.
On the field in the men’s open shot put, Tristan Whitehall threw 16.09m to win the event while Dequan Lovell’s 15.78m earned him second place and Romario Antoine putted 14.63 for third position.
In the women’s discus, Ashley Williams won with a throw of 43.98m followed by Akeila Flemming in second with a toss of 40.24m and Dayna Francis in third with a throw of 34.98.