Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Champs debutants relish experience

Published:Monday | April 3, 2017 | 4:00 AMLivingston Scott
Gladstone Taylor/ Photographer Young sprinters blast from their respective starting blocks in a Class 1 100m heat on Day 4 of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships at the National Stadium last week.

The expectation of performing at Jamaica's biggest single sporting event, the annual Boys and Girls' championships, has brought both joy and disappointment to many young aspiring medallists.

For many, nerves get the better of them, while for others their inexperience in performing at such a major event for the first time is overwhelming. But at the end of the day, the experience garnered, and the confidence gained is invaluable.

Holmwood's Samantha Pryce was set to finish third behind Edwin Allen's Rushana Dwyer and Bellefield's Aneisha Lawrence but she ended in seventh. However, the experience has motivated her for next year.

"Champs was good. In the 800m, I came second in the heats and third in the semi-finals. In the 1,500 I came in seventh overall. So it was a good Champs because I gave my school points and managed to PB (set a persona best time)," she said.

"It has helped my confidence, because I got hit (in the race). I was running well, but the Edwin (Allen) girl kicked me. I looked at her and she was still kicking me. During the last lap, it started to pain me. But that just motivated me to push forward, so next year I am going to hold my faith and medal," she commented.

Munro College's Jahmani Sterling, had his eyes on a medal in the class four sprints but could only managed sixth place in the class four 100m semi-final. Despite the disappointment of not making the final, the exposure is indispensable

"I ran the 100m and 200m Class Four and it was great. I was looking to medal in the Class Three 100 meters. But I didn't make the final. I didn't make the 200m semi but I am happy I made the 100m semi," he recalled.

"Champs has helped my exposure. When people see you this year, they expect to see you again next year, and with the exposure from this year, next year I am confident I can do better," he said.

Excelsior's Class Four female sprinter, Ma-Avian Williams, also thought she was good enough to be in the 100m final, but had to settle for sixth spot in Semi-final Three, but being at Champs was a great learning experience for the youngster.

STILL PROUD

"I did the 100 metres and my expectation was that I would have made it to the final but it didn't. But I am still proud. I reached the semi-finals and I'm pleased," she said.

"I learned from it and it will help me next year with my confidence. Next year I expect to do much better, because if I made it so far. Next year I will expect to do better," she added.

Calabar's Elardo Cortas wanted desperately to contribute to his school's title defence, if even in points, but "nerves" overcame him and he failed to make the semi-final. But the disappointment has spurred him to come back better and stronger for the next championships.

"This championships started good for me. I really wanted to make the (100m) final and contribute to the team, but it turned out to be kind of nervous. I had it in my mind that the Munro boys were the best and that made me nervous, but I kept pushing and after that I just shut down.

"But I am really looking forward to doing better next year, when I step up to the next class, so all can say is that next year, no one will beat me, because I will have experienced it this year, so no one will beat me next year and I am positive about that," he stated.