North American Central American and Caribbean Under-13 trials start in Tobago

Michal Paul, of Concorde, left,  and Kymani Felix, of D' Abadie Progressive. - Seve Anthony
Michal Paul, of Concorde, left, and Kymani Felix, of D' Abadie Progressive. - Seve Anthony

THE North American Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) under 13-15 age group trials, got on the way at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet on Saturday.

The event hosted by the National Association of Athletic Administration (NAAA), started twenty minutes after the scheduled 10.00 am start, under bright sunshine, with a subdued atmosphere for most of the day, owing to the absence of spectators, due to the covid 19 pandemic.

Some of the favoured athletes did not have things their way, on day one, after three events of the under 13 pentathlon and under 15 heptathlon.

The day's events started with the sprints, which provided most of the excitement.

The anticipation built from the under thirteen girls, 60m. Tehillah Francois, of Mason Hall Police Youth Club, stamped her authority on the field, clocking a personal best of 8.31 seconds.

Makayla Cupid of Zenith Athletic Club, had the second-fastest time of 8.45 seconds, followed by her sister Maliyah in third with 8.66 seconds.

In the under thirteen boys category, Tylon Wright of Mercury, led the way with a time of 8.27 seconds.

Michal Paul of Concorde Athletic Club was second in 8. 31 seconds. Malique Young of Zenith placed third in 8.55 seconds.

Alexxe Henry of Zenith, established clear daylight between herself and the other competitors, in the female 80 metres.

Henry was the only female athlete under ten seconds, following a personal best of 9.96 seconds.

Kaori Robley of Mercury, earned second place with a 10.36 seconds clocking, followed by Jenna Marie Thomas of I G Fastlane in10.51 seconds

Just as he did in the previous two preparation meets, Jayden Phillips of Mason Hall topped the under fifteen 80m sprints, also in a personal best of 9.58 seconds.

Malakai Cordner of Zenith occupied second with 9.65 seconds and Imanni Matthews of Kaizen Panthers, was third with 9.91 seconds.

Kenise Stewart of Mason Hall, pulled the upset in the under 13 girls high jump. Stewart was the only female to clear 140m as her best effort produced 141m.

Stewart ended the day in third position with a tally of 1,502 points. Makayla was four points better in second place, while Francois who won the ball throw, ended the proceedings in a comfortable lead on 1,709 points.

In the boys’ pentathlon, Paul of Concorde, who was in third position, after the sprint and ball throw, cleared a height of 1.49 metres in the high jump, which was nine centimetres superior to his closest rival, and gave him a final total of 1,836 pts.

Wright of Mercury was a close second on 1,815 points, while Young of Zenith secured third position with 1,728 points.

Ending the first day in the prime spot is nothing new to Henry of Zenith. Her troubles have notably been the 1000m and ball throw on the second day.

Henry, who was a model of consistency throughout, compiled 1,801 points.

Tenique Vincent of Concorde, who has proven to be the strongest second day competitor, held down the second spot on 1,695 points. Robley who won the long jump is third with 1,686 points.

The biggest first-day upset came in the boys’ heptathlon. Kymani Felix of D’ Abadie Progressive, who was a no show in the preparation meets, got his groove together when it mattered the most.

Taking momentum from his superb 12.60 m, throw in the shot put, along with second in the long jump and fourth in the sprints, Felix enters day two on 2166 points.

Cordner of Zenith will start day two on 2,101 points, ahead of Akinde McKenzie of Mercury in third. Speaking of his vast improvement, Felix said “I have to credit my coaches Portia St Louis and George Swanston. St Louis worked on my general strength conditioning and Swanston was the inspiration in the technical events”

Looking ahead to Sunday, Felix said, “I have some concerns with the hurdles and high jump but once I stay close, I am confident that I can make up any deficit in the 1200 metres run.”

While Felix's performance in the shot put was 1.58m clear of his nearest competitor, Kaizen Panthers Matthews' performance in the long jump was worthy of a highlight reel.

Matthews surged to 5.95m across the sandpit on his second jump, to win the event by 50cm. The big disappointment on the day was Phillips of Mason Hall and Tyrique Vincent of Concorde. Both athletes were clear of their competitors entering the trials, but could not bring their "A" game on Saturday.

While Phillips won the sprint, his performance in the other events was below his usual standards and could only produce 1,971 points, which was good enough for fifth.

Vincent 1,847 points, left him ranked eight on the day.

The top two athletes in each category after day two on Sunday will qualify for the NACAC age group championships in Nicaragua next month.


"North American Central American and Caribbean Under-13 trials start in Tobago"

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