Clarke - slowly but surely
Everton Clarke of G.C. Foster College has taken the long route to being on Jamaica's sprint radar.
Last week, Clarke bolstered his growing reputation by winning the men's 100 metres at the Jamaica Inter-Collegiate Track and Field Championships. After clocking a season's best of 10.12 seconds to take the gold medal, he revealed his lofty goals for this season. They include representing Jamaica at the World Championships in London.
Clarke, a graduate of Herbert Morrison Comprehensive High School, held off Ronald Levy of the University of Technology to win the short sprint.
"It's a good start,", he said of a time just 0.04 off his best ever. "I'm looking to improve that time going forward in the season", he continued.
His review of the race was exacting. "It wasn't my usual start", he evaluated, "but I made up for it at the end of the race."
Having tasted international competition outdoors last year and indoors in 2017, he is aiming for more.
"Well, I have the World University Games coming up and hopefully the World Championships so I'm working on it," said the Maurice Wilson-coached sprinter.
Clarke was a Pan-Am Junior representative during his Herbert Morrison days and Wilson modified his preparation to accommodate his indoor efforts.
"I had to adjust my training to facilitate the indoor season so I'm just trying to get back on track for the outdoor season now," Clarke said.
His Pan-Am Junior adventure was in 2011. Since then, he has slowly but surely built his skills at G.C. Foster. Last year, he set his personal best of 10.08 seconds in semi-final action at the National Senior Championships but finished as the fastest non-qualifier. It's no surprise, then, that he has a word of advice for those who aspire to greatness.
"I would say keep working hard," he concluded, "because hard work really does pay off."