Two-time Carifta medallist Asha James (Signal Hill Secondary/Zenith) and Shaquile Benjamin (Bishops High/Kazien Panthers) became the first local athletes to achieve the qualifying standards for this year’s Carifta Games set for Curacao from April 14-17.
James and Benjamin achieved the marks in girls under 20 javelin and boys under 18 high jump respectively at the Second NAAA Development Meet at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet on Sunday, January, 15.
James won her event with a distance of 41.48m getting over the 39.00m standard set by the NAAA while Benjamin was successful with a distance of 1.90m to match the 1.90m standard. He also cleared 1.90m at the First NAAA Development Meet at Dwight Yorke Stadium on December 11. James won Carifta silver (2015) and bronze (2016) in the girls under 18 javelin event.
Konnel Jacobs (Speyside High/Tobago Jaguars) missed on the 15.90m standard in the boys under 20 shot put when he took the event with a distance of 15.88m. Jacobs also captured the javelin crown with 44.13m, off the 57.00m standard.
Several Carifta hopefuls Justin Guy (Scarborough Secondary/Kaizen Panthers), Anya Akili (Bishops High/Kaizen Panthers) and Ayla Stanisclaus (Scarborough Secondary/Zenith) were triple winners. Guy won the boys under 18 100m (11.96), 110m hurdles (15.28) and 400m hurdles (1:02.64). The under 16 competitor was impressive in the 110m hurdles as he crossed the line ahead of his under 18 and under 20 rivals. Guy also won three titles (boys under 16 150m and high jump, boys under 18 110m hurdles).
Akili secured the girls under 20 100m hurdles (15.39), long jump (5.27) and women’s 200m (25.83). The 2006 Carifta girls open heptathlon bronze medallist was a double winner (G U20 high jump/women’s 100m hurdles). Stanisclaus swept the girls under 18 100m (12.47), 200m (25.11) and 400m (1:01.36).
Jacobs and World Under 20 championships 4x400m finalist Dwight St. Hillaire (Kaizen Panthers) head a list of athletes who were double winners. St. Hillaire won the men’s 200m (21.15) and 400m (47.71) both in personal best times. The former Bishops High student was a member of T&T’s 4x400m team which finished sixth at the 2016 World Under 20 Track and Field Championships in Poland last July. Shakera Kirk (Pentecostal Light and Life/T’go Falcons), Shanika Belfon (Bishops High/Kaizen Panthers), Christopher Crawford (Pentecostal Light and Life/T’go Falcons) won two titles each for the second straight NAAA Development Meet at the Dwight Yorke Stadium. Kirk secured the girls under 16 shot put (9.12) and discus (27.21) while Belfon was victorious in the girls under 16 200m (27.43) and 400m (1:02.46). Crawford, the 2016 NAAA Under 16 Field athlete of the year, took care of the boys under 18 shot put (12.82) and discus (42.72).
Three-time Carifta shot put champion Chelsea James (T’go Falcons) won the women’s shot put (13.52) and discus (40.24) in her first year competing in the women’s division. Jaabir Taylor (Scarborough Sec/Kaizen Panthers) won the boys under 16 200m and 400m. Taylor, a brother of 2011 World Championships women’s 100m bronze medallist Kelly-Ann Baptiste, won the 200m in 24.29 and the 400m in 56.11.
The other double winners were: Addriana Cordner (Kaizen Panthers)-G U14 Shot put (7.28)/Discus (12.96), Tyrique Dennis (Kaizen Panthers)-B U14 High jump (1.40)/Long jump (4.34); Safiya John (Kaizen Panthers-G U18 100mH (15.41)/Long jump (5.01), Tyshawn Gray (Speyside High/Zenith)-BU18 200m (23.17)/400m (51.69), Diamond Payne (Goodwood High)-B U18 Triple jump (13.25)/Long jump (6.29), Chevelle Mc Pherson (UWI Sixth Form/Zenith-B U20 Shot put (7.76)/Discus (31.96), Elvis Turner (T’go Falcons)-Men 1500m (4:25.04)/3000m (9:44.69)