Sat | Feb 22, 2020

Manchester’s Thomas a rough diamond

Published:Wednesday | January 29, 2020 | 12:32 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer
Coach Dwayne Jarrett and 400m and 800m athlete Shevanae Thomas.

Last Saturday’s St Elizabeth Technical Invitational in Santa Cruz produced multiple meet records, both on the track and in the field. Among the outstanding performers was Manchester High School Class Two athlete, Shevanae Thomas.

On a day when her school did very well, Thomas was one of those who stood tall as she topped the field in the Class Two 400 metres after clocking a record 55.22 seconds. Her teammate Roshell Rowe ended second overall in 56.73 while also winning her heat. Earlier Thomas had recorded a personal best 2:20.66 to place second overall behind Bellefield High’s Aneisha Lawrence who clocked 2:17.35.Thomas who will be celebrating her 17th birthday on February 8 was extremely proud of her achievements. She has shown marked improvement over the past year. At last year’s ISSA Boys and Girls’ Championships, she failed to advance from the first round in the first year in the class in the one lap event after finishing third in her heat in 58.87 seconds while her teammate Rowe went all the way to the final where she finished third in 55.11.

Despite running on grass on Saturday it was a massive personal best for young Thomas who could hardly contain her emotions after hearing the time and is hoping to build on that performance going forward. “I didn’t do well in the event last year but I just went back to training more determined to do well and just did what my coaches said and this year I went on the attack in the event and doing the 800 metres has really helped me with my endurance,” she said.

UNEXPECTED PERFORMANCE

She was surprised by her record time.

“I didn’t expect to break the record. When I was around the 200m mark my coach shouted to me to attack and I just followed his instructions and came home with the victory,” she added.

According to Thomas that performance on Saturday meant a lot for her.

“I have never ran that fast in my life and I just want to give God thanks for the victory and hoping to continue improving gong into Champs,” she concluded.

Her coach, Dwayne Jarrett, who knows about training champions after being at the helm several times when Vere Technical rule the roost at Champs, thinks his young charge is very special and expects a lot from her at this year’s ISSA Boys and Girls’ Championships.

“She is a good athlete to coach as she listens well and follows instructions and this is the result of that on the track today. She is a super talent and when you have athletes like this who listen well and follow instructions you have nothing to worry about. She has been on the radar for a couple of years and now she has emerged and has shown the signs of a champion,” Jarrett said.

“After running the 400m last year, I decided to put her on the road in the background workout to expand her range and she ran some good 5K, so I carried her to the 800 metres and earlier in the day ,she ran 2:20 which was a personal best. She had so much left in the tank that she decided to run the 400m and the result is another personal best,” added Jarrett who stated that she will be concentrating on the 400m and 800m as he is confident that she can go sub-53 seconds and sub-2:10 minutes in the respective events.