No records fell at the 2021 Athletics Association of Barbados National Championship but local track and field enthusiasts were treated to some on-track rivalry and the men’s 100m final between Mario Burke and Kuron Griffith topped the list.
Coached by Gabriel Burnett at Quantum Leap Club, the 22-year-old Griffith is now the fastest man in Barbados with a personal best of 10.30 seconds ahead of favourite and former 2017 national champion Mario Burke (10.39).
The three-day national championship held at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex climaxed yesterday evening. Many had their eyes fixed on the track to see whether Griffith competing in the men’s 200m would complete the sprint double.
Burke did not feature in the 200m but there was Matthew Clarke of Talons Club that Griffith had as his challenger. As they started out the block Griffith suddenly pulled up around the 200m bend and it was all Clarke’s for the taking with an impressive 20.80 seconds.
A couple of Barbados’ overseas-based college athletes returned home to participate and Rhea Hoyte, currently based at San Diego State University, was among them.
Hoyte stamped her authority in 24.50 seconds and denied Jovanna Gustave of Extremely Velocity Management (24.83) from claiming the women’s sprint double. Gustave won the women’s 100m in 12.09 seconds on Saturday night.
The 200m, 400m hurdles and 800m for men and women were part of the schedule for the third and final showdown yesterday.
As proven time and again, Josiah Parris of Quantum Leap is a class above the Under-18 field in the 200m and 400m. Parris sped to a fantastic 21.77 seconds in the 200m and was just as amazing the day before in a time of 49.22 seconds in the 400m.
Kishawna Niles of Elite Distance took the top podium finish in the Under-18 Girls 100m (12.17) and 200m (25.15) for the sprint double. Amari Knight of Extreme Velocity Management (10.96 seconds) was unstoppable in the Under-18 Boys 100m.
Meanwhile, Brieanna Boyce who ran unattached was too hot to handle in the Under-18 Girls 400m with 58.81 seconds showing.
In the Under-15 200m clash, Kadia Rock Quantum Leap (25.81) pipped Aniya Nurse of the Alleyne School (25.84) to emerge as national champion. At the moment Rock is dominant in the Under-15 Division. She outpaced the 400m field on Saturday in 58.86 to emerge victorious.
Ethan Harte of Quantum Leap did not come to play as he destroyed his 200m and 400m rivals. Harte, a notable name from the 2020 National Primary Schools Athletics Championship, clocked 23.88 seconds in the 200m and 53.95 seconds in the 400m.
While most of the athletes who won the 400m starred yesterday as the 200m champions in their respective divisions, there were some outstanding individual 400m performances from Proformers Track Club’s Miguel Nicholas who clocked 48.44 seconds. Tiana Bowen also made her mark in the women’s 400m with 55.90 seconds.
Rasheem Griffith of Elite Distance ensured he captured bragging rights with 52.00 seconds flat against Nathan Fergusson of Quantum Leap (52.44 seconds) in the men’s 400m hurdles.
On Saturday reigning national champion Kierre Beckles of Rising Stars produced 13.51 seconds in the women’s 100m hurdles, beating Hannah Connell of Extremely Velocity Management with a second-best time of 13.85.
Joshua Dottin of Quantum Leap was a clear winner (55.32) in the Under-18 Boys 400m hurdles. Shadae Worrell of Quantum Leap (66.16) won the women’s 400m hurdles easily. Rihan Price of Christ Church Foundation School (1:20.63) secured victory in the Under-18 Girls 400m hurdles.
University of the West Indies Blackbirds’ supporters had something to shout about on home turf when Tafari Bishop registered 1:58.09 in the 800m. Elite Distance had the next best finishes of 1:58.36 compliments Rick Williams and 1:59.88 thanks to Daemon Dawson.
Sade Sealy showed her experience as an 800m runner, crossing the finish line in a comfortable 2:06.96 as an Elite Distance representative. The closest to that time was Zhaiel Price’s 2:56.72 and Rania Roberts’ 3:08.92 competing unattached.
The 3000m and 5000m races brought a premature end to the final days proceeding as there was an issue with the light.
However, those who competed in the gruelling long-distance races braved the darkness. Elite Distance duo of Layla Haynes (10:25.36) and Carlie Pipe (10:49.50) were the lone competitors in the ladies 3000m.
Flynn Armstrong of Elite Distance who is known in the triathlon circle registered 9:52.42 in the Boys’ 3000m. Meanwhile, Joshua Hunte competed unattached and clocked 15:56.20 in the men’s 5000m.