Harrison College sprint queen Akayla Morris is out of this year’s Barbados Secondary School’s Athletics Championships (BSSAC) due to injury, and will also miss out on an opportunity to represent Barbados at the CARIFTA Games in Bahamas from March 30 – April 2.
The severity of the injury is yet to be confirmed, but as her school participated in the two-day Esther Maynard Zone of BSSAC 2018, which concluded on Wednesday at the National Stadium, Morris who transferred from The Lodge School back in the academic year 2015-2016 was forced to watch the action from the sidelines.
Without their star athlete in the girls’ department, Harrison College still managed to finish in third position in the zone totalling 284 points as Christ Church Foundation took the title while Springer settled for the runners-up spot.
Morris’ track and field dominance and average of at least 30 points will be missed, after last year’s stunning performance when she captured the Under 17 girls division title with 24 points after winning gold in the Long Jump with a leap of 5.75 metres, picking up bronze in the 100m hurdles , settling for second in the 100m and then taking the 200m in a time of 24.68 seconds.
So far for the season, Morris did not record times to make the standard and cement her spot on the CARIFTA team having not being able to participate at the Barbados National Junior Championships due to her being hurt. And with the “Qualifying Period” ending last Saturday she seems definite to be out.
This year the Under 20 girls had to run times of 11.80m or lower in the 100m and 24.00 in the 200m to make the CARIFTA mark.
That being said, representing the Crumpton Street School would have been her best bet to book her ticket to Bahamas, but having not competed at the preliminary stages of BSSAC 2018 the CARIFTA team will have to travel without Morris.
It won’t be the first time the 16-year-old isn’t outfitted in the national colours in the annual athletics competition founded by the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) which is held every year around the Easter weekend.
Due to the strict age limit restriction, Morris and the talented Ashley Lowe who was representing Combermere School at the time but now the St Michael School were only 14-years-old back in 2015 and could not travel with the team.
At the time the pair would have had to be born in 1999 to be eligible for competition in the Under 17 division.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY Morris confirmed that she picked up a hamstring injury competing for her track club High Performance Programme at the Louis Lynch Championships on February 18 after finishing second in the women’s 100m behind the high-flying Hannah Connell.
“(Unfortunately) I suffered a hamstring injury. I have not competed at BSSAC and I won’t be going to CARIFTA and honestly I am heartbroken that I can’t run. Seeing all my friends participating and cheering on with the school it breaks my heart but hopefully next year I will be back on track.” She said.
“My goal this year was to come back out and win the 100, 200 and the long jump, qualify for CARIFTA and medal as well. I don’t think my being hurt will impact that big on Harrison College, maybe I would have secured 30 points but HC will still have girls to make up for my loss. Next year I will focus on my strengths and try to listen to my body if I’m tired. I will know to take a break.”
Amidst talk of athletes not being able to balance academics and extra curriculum activities, Morris stated that she had been doing well thanks to her support system.
“I have been doing this for about three years now. When I started it was hard but with my mother and teachers behind me and having a supporting coach I am getting through.”