The Cayman Islands Athletics Association (CIAA) held the first meet of it’s abbreviated season Saturday (26 January) at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
In total, four athletes hit the 2019 CARIFTA standards, three of which gained automatic qualification to the 48th staging of the games held in Grand Cayman 20-22 April.
In the Under-17 Boys 1500 metres, 345 Athletics Club saw two runners hit the ‘A Standard’. Middle distance specialist Levi Superville took first overall with a time of 4:22.65. Superville, 15, surpassed the qualifying time by over seven seconds (4:29.35). In his CARIFTA debut last year, Superville placed sixth overall in the Under-17 Boys 1500m.
After a health scare sidelined his CARIFTA debut last season, 345 Athletics Club Juan Pablo Valerio also hit the Under-17 Boys 1500m ‘A Standard’ placing second overall with a time of 4:27.00. The 15-year old John Gray High School student has worked his way back into competition form, most recently winning the Pirates Week 10K.
In the Girls Under-20 1500 metres, 16-year old Ava Hider met the ‘B Standard’ with a time of 4:58.60. According to the 2019 Carifta Games Selection Policy document, the 345 Athletics Club runner will have to hit the B Standard again (5:00.45) in order to fully qualify. Hider narrowly missed a medal in her CARIFTA debut last year, placing fourth overall in the Under-17 Girls 1500m.
345 Athletics Club President and Head Coach Derek Larner says he’s happy with his team’s results.
“I am very proud,” said Larner. “These athletes have worked extremely hard, and having observed them closely it is no surprise that they are hitting their target times in the first track meet of the year. They will try to achieve times in other distances.”
In the field events, 14-year old Rachell Pascal easily cleared the Under-17 Girls Javelin ‘A Standard’ (32.12m) with a distance of 34.17 metres. In July, Pascsal won silver at the Caribbean Union of Teachers Games. She says she’s excited to compete at home in her first CARIFTA Games.
“It feels great to achieve the CARIFTA standard,” said Pascal. “It feels like I did it no problem. I am following in the footsteps footsteps of my father and brother, and to represent my island on my home turf feels great.
Pascal is the younger sibling of men’s national javelin record holder Alex Pascal. She says working with both her father, and brother, along with visiting throws coach, Grenadian Paul Phillip, will make all the difference come April.
“Coach Paul is helping me with my techniques,” said Pascal. “He helps me by correcting my mistakes. I feel I can throw 40 metres.”
Short distance sprints did not count towards CARIFTA qualifications due to lack of a proper timing system for the meet. All races, including middle-distance qualifiers, were hand-timed, and approved, by the Athletics Association.
View all the meet results here.