TRINIDAD AND Tobago are set to field as many as eight athletes as they prepare to defend their overall title, at the NACAC (North American Central American and Caribbean) Age Group Championships, on December 17 and 18 in Nicaragua, pending ratification by the NAAA (National Association of Athletic Administrations).
The final weekend of the 13-15 age group trials, hosted by the NAAA, took place at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet.
After five events in the pentathlon and seven in the heptathlon, the top two in each category are expected to comprise the TT contingent in Nicaragua.
In the Under-13 category, Tehillah Francois of Mason Hall Police Youth Club (2,583 points) and Makayla Cupid of Zenith (2,304 points) topped the female section, while Michal Paul of Concorde (2,861 points) and Malique Young of Zenith (2,791 points) were the top male performers.
And, in the Under-15 age group, Tenique Young of Concorde (3,848 points) and Jenna Marie Thomas of IG Fast Lane (3,708 points) finished one-two among the females, while Kymani Felix (4,244 points) and Jeremiah Francis of D’Abadie Progressive (4,140 points) topped the male section.
After three events on day one at Bacolet, the action on Sunday started with the Under-15 boys and girls hurdles.
Thomas was the fastest in the girls 60-metre hurdles, recording a time of 9.56 seconds, followed by Tenique Vincent of Concorde (9.60) and Alexxe Henry of Zenith (9.88).
In the boys 80m hurdles, Tyrique Vincent of Concorde stopped the clock at 12.69 seconds, ahead of Akinde McKenzie of Mercury, who 0.23 seconds slower in second position, while Kymani Felix of D’Abadie Progressive was third in 13.45 seconds.
The Under-13 pentathlon started with the long jump event. Sisters Maliyah and Makayla Cupid of Zenith where the top performers, recording distances of 4.42 metres and 4.34 metres respectively. Francois was third, on her final jump, which was measured at 4.09m.
Paul won the Under-13 long jump with a leap of 4.88m, Tylon Wright of Mercury and Malique Young of Zenith were joint second, after their best distance produced 4.38m.
The Under-15 boys high jump featured a titanic duel between Tyrique Vincent of Concorde and Zack La Rosa of Mason Hall.
Both athletes dropped the rest of the competition at the 1.55m mark. La Rosa who was relying on his strength over the bar, needed three attempts to clear 1.58m. Vincent, who was poetry in motion throughout his execution, had two misses before clearing 1.61m.
La Rosa, who was over the bar on his last attempt at 1.61m, was visibly disappointed when the bar dropped, as he landed on the mat.
Tyrique Vincent went on to clear 1.64 m safely, before failing at 1.67m.
In the female equivalent, Tyrique’s twin sister Tenique was in a class of her own. Tenique’s smooth approach and technique over the bar, produced 1.54 metres on her best clearance.
Thomas, whose best height was 1.48 m, earned second position, while Kaori Robley of Mercury (1.45m), sealed third place.
There was no surprise in the girls ball throw result. Chloe James of Mercury, who prevailed with a distance of 35.71 metres, established herself as the strongest female in the heptathlon. James also won the shot put on Saturday.
The male ball throw proved to be a proud moment for Francis, whose throw of 69.70m on his first of three attempts, was the icing on his flight to Nicaragua.
Francis picked up 697 points in the event, compared to Isaiah Alder of Cougars, who earned 609 points in second, with a best effort of 57.50 metres. McKenzie was third with 1.55m.
Mason Hall Police Youth Club, proved to be head and shoulders above the competition in the distance races. Mason Hall athletes reigned supreme in three of the four categories.
Francois used a strong surge in the final 80m, to hold off Toniyah Boucher of Zenith, in the female Under-13 800m.
Francois was timed at two minutes 43.66 seconds, Boucher recorded two minutes 45.62 seconds, followed by her clubmate Denesia Fletcher, in two minutes 49.48 seconds.
Malique Young, who was in third place entering the Under-13 1,000m, needed no motivation to certify his place among the TT team for the NACAC Champs.
Malique Young won the event in an impressive time of three minutes 16.66 seconds, followed by Paul (three minutes 38.49 seconds) and Tylon Wright of Mercury (three minutes 39.33 seconds).
Angel Davidson of Mason Hall showed her maturity in the Under-15 1,000m. Davidson did not caught get up with the pacy frontrunners, but she made her move on the final back straight, to finish in a superb time of three minutes 28.18 seconds.
Taking second was Natalia Eastman of RSS Phoenix in three minutes 30.22 seconds. Third was Henry in three minutes 30.63 seconds.
Mahkaya Mahon of Oasics Track Club, was the favourite going into the male Under-15 1,200m, but La Rosa of Mason Hall, made the race into a one-man exhibition.
La Rosa, established a new record for the event, with a personal-best time of three minutes 42.82 seconds, personal best. Mahon was 13 seconds slower in three minutes 55.61 seconds.