NACAC age group trials at Dwight Yorke Stadium this weekend

Tenique Vincent (left), Tyrique Vincent (centre) and Michal Paul -
Tenique Vincent (left), Tyrique Vincent (centre) and Michal Paul -

THE DWIGHT Yorke Stadium in Bacolet will be the venue for the North American Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) age group trials on Saturday and Sunday, for boys and girls in the Under-13 and Under-15 categories.

The athletes will be competing in the pentathlon (boys) and heptathlon (girls) events this weekend, and they will be looking to attain the qualifying standards for the NACAC Age Group Championships in Nicaragua on December 17 and 18.

The trials was originally scheduled for the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, but was shifted to the Dwight Yorke Stadium, as most of the qualifiers, were from Tobago, according to general secretary of the National Association of Athletic Administrations (NAAA), Dexter Voisin.

Voisin said, “36 of the 47 athletes who met the qualifying process, after the preparation meets are from Tobago, so coming out of discussions with the games committee, and consultation with the clubs.

“It was decided, based on various logistics, that it is easier to bring 11 athletes to Tobago, as opposed to 36 athletes coming to Trinidad.”

The newly reopened Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet.

Voisin added, “While Tobago athletes have been prominent on national teams over the years. The clubs, coaches and athletes should feel proud of this present achievements.”

The NAAA recently held two NACAC age group preparation meets, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium and the Dwight Yorke Stadium.

Zenith Athletic Club features the largest quota of athletes at the trials, but Concorde Athletic Club had the best results.

Fourteen athletes will make up the Zenith contingent, followed by RSS Phoenix with eight and Mason Hall Police Youth Club with seven. Kaizen Panthers, Tobago Falcons and Mercury, are the other competing Tobago athletic clubs.

Athletes representing Concorde, topped three of the four age groups. Tyrique Vincent and his twin sister, Tenique Vincent, ranked atop the standings, in the boys and girls heptathlon respectively, while Michal Paul was the best among his peers, in the male pentathlon.

Tyrique accumulated 4,323 points over seven events, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on October 16-17. Jayden Phillips of Mason Hall was second overall, with 4,081 points.

Tenique’s performance among the under fifteen girls, produced 3,814 points. She was followed by Kaori Robley of Mercury Athletic Club, who compiled 3,407 points, at the Dwight Yorke Stadium on October 23-24.

Paul completed his five events in the first prep meet, with 2,863 points, ahead of Malique Young of Zenith (2,673).

Tehillah Francois of Mason Hall, is entering this weekend's trials, as the leading prospect, in the female pentathlon.

Francios took top honours in both prep meets, with her best performance coming in Tobago, where she amassed 2,458 points. Denesia Fletcher of Zenith, is second ranked with 1,904 points.

The heptathlon will feature an 80-metre sprint, 80m hurdles, long and high jumps, shot put and ball throw, along with a 1,200-metre run for the males, while the females will run a distance of 1,000 metres.

Ball throw, high and long jumps, a 60m sprint and an 800m run for the females, and 1000m for males, are the five events comprising the pentathlon.

Ken Barton, coach of Concorde, said, “I have no problems with the change. The Tobago clubs are always coming to Trinidad for games, and looking at the ratio of athletes, I think it is only fair.”

He added, “My athletes will not be affected by the environment, they are fully prepared for the trails and raring to go. As a matter of fact, it will be a nice outing for them.”

Francois, who had the biggest margin of victory among the other categories, was asked about her expectations over the weekend. She responded, “Everyone had an extra month to train, after the last games, so I am not taking anything for granted.

“All of us are starting on zero points and anything can happen on the day, but I am ready to do my best,” Francois added.

Tehillah Francois

The decision by the NAAA to move the trials to Tobago, was met with approval by the recently installed executive of the Tobago Athletic Committee.

Jayann Campbell, secretary of the committee, said, “We are please with the proactive decision by the national association. Most of the meets are held in Trinidad, and it is a financial burden on the Tobago clubs, to always find money for travel, meals and accommodations.”

Campbell was also high in praise on the performance of the Tobago athletes over the two meets, and wish them the best over the weekend.

She also noted, “Due to covid19 health regulations, the event, which will be conducted under strict health guidelines, will not be open to the public.”


"NACAC age group trials at Dwight Yorke Stadium this weekend"

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