By Neto Baptiste
Sprinter Joella Lloyd completed the double at the 2022 National Track & Field Championships on Sunday, claiming the 200 meters title in a time of 23:32, adding the accolade to the 100 meters victory she recorded a day earlier when she clocked 11:17 seconds to better the field.
On Sunday, the national record holder in both distances dominated the field to finish ahead of LaNica Locker (24:42) and Geolyna Dowdye who finished second and third respectively as Lloyd further asserted her dominance during the championships held at the YASCO Sports Complex.
In the men’s equivalent, Darion Skerritt outpaced the field to win in a time of 20:86 seconds with Richard Richardson (21:28) and Coull Graham (21:58) second and third respectively.
Meet director Ted Daley said that although some things could have been better, the meet was a success given it was the first time in over four years that a full-scale national championships was being held.
“The conditions weren’t the best in that there was a very strong crosswinds to the points where one of our tents got blown away but those guys, both Cejhae and Joella came to perform. They wanted Antigua and Barbuda to see what they are capable of doing live and direct and they didn’t let that bother them so they went out and performed well,” he said.
“This is the first time in four years we are hosting national championships. One year because we didn’t have a clock in 2019 and in 2020 and 2021 [a scaled down version was held in 2021], the effects of Covid and so it’s a welcomed renewal that we were able to house the National Championships,” he added.
Daley, a former national athlete turned coach, said also that the meet provided opportunities for a number of young and budding athletes, some of whom, he hinted, have caught the eyes of some.
“The event was streamed live and we have already had inquiries about some of our junior athletes. Because it was national championships, they had to perform with the seniors and the way that they performed some of them are already being noticed,” he said.
There was success as well for middle and long distance runner, Kalique St Jean, who dominated the 800m (1:59.36) and 1500m (4:21.87) while finishing second in the 5000m with a time of 17 minutes, 38.41 seconds. The 5000m was captured by Kamar Thomas in 16 minute, 57.22 seconds.
In other results on Sunday, Hannah Charles won the 800m and the 1500m women’s events; UWI Blackhawks’ Keyan Martin captured 400m open men’s title in 49:43; while Mia McIntosh grabbed gold in the women’s equivalent with a time of 57.13 seconds.
In the field events, Deshawn Martin captured the men’s shot put event with Amya Wade taking the female crown. Gerilyn Barnes was champion in the women’s long jump with Sheldon Noble taking the men’s equivalent. Taeco O’Garro was triple jump champion while Jeffrey Skerritt won the javelin throw.