Several top junior athletes hoping to represent T&T at this year's Carifta Games were impressive at the Southern Games heats at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella on Sunday, 5, March. Leading the charge was Rae-Ann Serville (St. Joseph Convent-POS/Memphis Pioneers) who surpassed the Carifta qualifying standards for the girls under 18 200m (25.15) and 400m (57.00). Serville was one of three girls to run quicker than the 25.15 mark in the 200m. She was the fastest in the girls under 16 division in 24.92. However, her club-mate Deleth Charles was quicker in winning the girls under 18 category (24.56) ahead Akilah Lewis (Concorde), 24.72. In the 400m, Serville clocked 56.44 in the girls under 16 category to under the 57.00 barrier for the fourth time for the season. She won the discipline at the Sixth NAAA Development Meet at Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar on February 5 in 56.19 and then improved the time to a pb of 55.01 at the Seventh NAAA Meet (Larry Gomes Stadium-February 11). At the Ninth NAAA meet (Mannie Ramjohn Stadium,-February 11) she crossed the line in 55.79. The 2016 NAAA Top Female under 16 female athlete of the year has also bettered the 200m standard twice.
Lewis, Charles and Serville are joined by Ayla Stanislaus (Scarborough Sec/Zenith), 25.11 (Third NAAA Meet, Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet-January 15) as qualifiers in the girls under 18 200m. Lewis was the quickest at the Southern Games heats in 11.95 ahead of Jenea Spinks (Concorde), 11.96 and Charles (12.15).
Avindale Smith (QRC/Abilene Wildcats) sped under the Carifta marks in the boys under 18 100m (10.85) and 200m (22.05). Competing in the under 16 category, Smith was the best in 100m in 10.83 and the 200m (21.91). He was faster the top under 18 200m runners, his Abilene Wildcats club-mate Che Lara (21.92) and Timothy Frederick (Pt. Fortin New Jets) 22.02 both of whom also made the grade. Smith has the distinction of achieving the Carifta standards in all three sprint disciplines after he clocked 49.06 in the boys under 18 400m (49.25) at the Fourth NAAA Meet at Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on January 21.
His club mate Jerod Elcock got under the boys under 20 200m Carifta time of 21.40 seconds for the second time for the season with a pb clocking of 21.10. He improved on his previous best of 21.26 he ran at the Sixth NAAA Meet on February 5. Elcock and another Abilene Wildcats sprinter Jacob St. Clair (21.40) are the only two competitors to go under the boys under 20 200m standard so far this season. Yet another Abilene Wildcats athlete, Judah Taylor returned Carifta qualifying times. Taylor matched the boys under 20 400m standard (47.80) at the Southern Games heats and joins St. Clair (47.75) as the qualifiers in the one lap event.
The Southern Games Heats provided the final warm-up for many of T&T's junior athletes who will compete at the Carifta Trials at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on March 11 and 12 to earn selection for this year's Carifta Games set for Williamsted, Curacao from April 14 to 17.
So far seventeen (17) have recorded Carifta qualifying performances for the season on local soil.
Shaquille Benjamin (Bishops High/Kaizen Panthers)-boy under 18 high jump (1.90)
Rae-Ann Serville Rae-Ann Serville (St. Joseph Convent-POS/Memphis Pioneers)-girls under 18 200m (25.15) & 400m (57.00)
Jacob St. Clair (Queen's Royal College/Abilene Wildcats)-boys under 20 200m (21.40)& 400m (47.80)
Ianna Roach (Bishops Anstey/Memphis Pioneers)-girls under 18 shot put (13.50m)
Asha James (Signal Hill Secondary/Zenith)-girls under 20 javelin (39.00)
Tyriq Horsford (Signal Hill Secondary/Zenith)-boys under 18 javelin (59.00m)
Clarence Hannibal(Signal Hill Secondary/Tobago Falcons)-boys under 20 discus (47.00)
Safiya John (Scarborough Secondary/Kaizen Panthers)-girls under 18 long jump (5.45m)
Avindale Smith (Queen's Royal College/Abilene Wildcats)-boys under 18 100m-10.85, 200m-22.05 and 400m-49.25
Jerod Elcock (Queen's Royal College/Abilene Wildcats)-boys under 20 200m (21.40)
Ayla Stanisclaus (Scarborough Secondary/Zenith)-girls under 18 200m (25.15)
Akila Lewis (Bishops Anstey/Concorde)-girls under 18 100m (12.15), 200m (25.15)
Deleth Charles (Bishops Anstey/Memphis Pioneers)-girls under 18 100m (12.15), 200m (25.15)
Jenea Spinks (Holy Name Convent-POS/Concorde)-girls under 18 100m (12.15)
Timothy Frederick (Vessigny Secondary/Pt. Fortin New Jets)-boys under 18 200m (22.05)
Che Lara (Arima North Sec/Abilene Wildcats)-boys under 18 200m (22.05)
Judah Taylor (QRC/Abilene Wildcats)-boys under 20 400m (47.80)
Serville, Smith and Benjamin
Rae-Ann Serville, Avindale Smith and Shaquille Benjamin are three of the 17 local based athletes who have achieved Carifta qualifying performances so far for the season. (Photo courtesy: ANDRE DE GANNES)
Trinidad & Tobago Secondary Schools'
Track & Field Association