Mustang Track Club’s Michael Smikle has positioned himself for a CARIFTA return after smashing the Under-20 Boys 800-metre ‘A-Standard’ Saturday (10 February) in the Camperdown Classic at the National Stadium in Jamaica.
The 18-year old placed first overall in the Class One Boys 800-metres with a time of 1:55.37. Calabar High School’s Kevroy Venson (2nd, 1:55.42) Rivaldo Marshall (3rd, 1:56.19) rounded out the top-three.
“Going into the race, I felt confident about running the B-Standard time based on my training and the times I was running in my time trials,” said Smikle. “Surpassing the A-Standard was a complete shock to me.”
The time is two seconds faster than CARIFTA Under-20 Standard (1:57.23). This was Smikle’s first competitive 800-metre of the year, and just his second meet of the season.
“I tried not to come out too slow, and get boxed in,” said Smikle. “I made sure to stay with the top pack after the first lap. I tried to quicken my pace and overtake the Calabar athletes. I kicked in the final 200-metres, and I just continued to open up, maintain my form, and pass the second Calabar athlete down the home stretch. I thought he was going to pass me, so I kicked in again, and ran straight through the line.”
The Mustang standout says the blazing 800-metre time, which was also a new personal best, was a pleasant surprise this early in the season.
“Hearing my time was a total shocker,” said Smikle. “I would like to thank God always, and my coach, Tyrone Yen.”
The Cayman Islands Athletics Association (CIAA) sent 27 athletes total to compete in Jamaica across two meets. View all the Camperdown Classic results here, and the King of the Ring results here.
(Photo: Track & Field Nerdz)