Wed | Jun 26, 2019

Foote looking to double up at Champs

Published:Monday | January 7, 2019 | 12:00 AMKavarly Arnold/Gleaner Writer
Shaquena Foote (left) of Petersfield High wins the 1500m class two finals with a time of 4:40.41 at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Champs 2018 held at the National Stadium in Kingston on Friday, March 23.

Petersfield High School middle-distance runner Shaquena Foote is looking forward to an exciting track and field season as she aims to take the 800m and 1500m double at this year's ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships despite being a first-year class one athlete.

After opening her season with a time of 4:55.76 minutes on Saturday ahead of Chris-Ann Lewis of hosts Rusea's High School (5:21.69 minutes) and Petersfield's Nariesha Warren (5:31.56) at the COCAA First Chance Meet, Foote, who won the double at class two last year after opening the season with 5:01.30 minutes, is confident she will lower her personal best of 4:30.31 minutes this season.

"Training has been going great for me so far," she said. "I'm looking forward to bettering my times and getting PBs (personal bests) in both the 800m and 1500m events."

The 17-year-old Foote, who won gold in both the 800m and 1500m at the CARIFTA Games last year, said she is confident she can defend both titles.

"I will also be looking forward to CARIFTA Games and Penn Relays," she added.

"It won't be that tough because I've been training really hard to maintain the position."

Foote, who in 2016 placed fifth in the 400m and helped Jamaica to second in the 4x400m mixed relays at the World Under-18 in Nairobi, Kenya, also competed in her first-ever 400m hurdles on Saturday, which she won in a time of 1:01.70 minutes. Terice Steen of Rusea's was second in 1:02.92, ahead of Hisheeno Stewart (1:06:03), also of Petersfield.

Petersfield swept the girls' class one 400m with Stewart in 58.61 seconds, ahead of Ockera Myrie (59:01) and Shanoi Powell (1:00.61).

Petersfield also took the male equivalent, with Romario Taylor (49.77) winning ahead of teammate Kevon Stone (50.19).