By Flynn Bush
Recently concluded, the North American Central American and Caribbean Championships saw an impressive performance from the contingent of athletes representing us. Normally, our position on the medal table would be somewhere in the lower half of countries. However, the Cayman Islands ended the competition in 8th place with a total of 5 medals, including two gold, one silver, and two bronze medals.
National coach, Tyrone Yen, stated, “There is a lot to be proud of regarding this group’s achievements at the meet. They all worked hard, competed well, and have made us proud.”
Leading the way for our team was Lacee Barnes who has made tremendous strides over the past few years while at University in the USA. Competing in the Under-23 division, she walked with a first-place finish in the discus. Adding to that, she also placed third in the shot put. With these accomplishments, Lacee has added to her already impressive resume’ of success at international championship meets.
Rasheem Brown has been a highly regarded hurdler for a few years now. At this meet, he showed the world why as he performed well once again. This time, he was able to add NACAC medal winner to his name, as he raced home in second in the Under-23 110-meter hurdles.
In the javelin event, the team claimed two medals. Perennial achiever, Rachell Pascal, threw a near personal best to claim the gold medal in the Under-18 event. She is really proving that the javelin is a family affair as she follows in her older brother’s footsteps. As all of you should know, Alex Pascal has been a star in the event for our country for many years.
The second medal in the javelin for the team came from relative newcomer, Marlon Sathoo. Marlon threw a personal best to claim the bronze medal and bragging rights to go with it. This feat is encouraging in the fact that it is proof in our ability as a country to find talent and to develop it.
Outside of medals, there were some other notable accomplishments worth mentioning. One such accomplishment is that Karim Murray ended up making the semifinals in the Under-23 200-meters. Shalysa Wray also claimed a fourth-place finish in the Under-23 400-meters.
At the end of the competition, the team got some other great news as well. Two athletes from the Cayman Islands had made the Top 100 Best Performance List. This is a list compiled by the IAAF (World governing body for track and field). Shalysa’s performance was ranked at number 53, and Rasheem broke into the Top forty with his performance ranked at number 38.
As the team members recover from the competition, we as a nation should feel proud that we were represented so admirably. The future is bright for us in athletics. It has often seemed bright, but the present is pretty shiny right now as well. Well done athletes and coaches.