Lloyd, Soleyn Headlines Carifta Team

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Young and upcoming female sprinters Joella Lloyd and Bliss Soleyn, headline a 19-member national track & field team for next month’s Carifta Games in Curacao.
The 14-year-old Lloyd, who specialises in the 100, 200 and 400 metres, will compete in the under-18 girls’ category as she seeks to make her mark at the noted Carifta meet. She will also run as part of the 4X1 relay team.
She is joined by Rianna McDonald (400, 4X1 and 4X4 relay), Abigail Dyett (100, 200, 400 and 4X1 and 4X4 relay), Ryanne Small (400 and 4X1 relay) and Dahlia Barnes (long jump, triple jump and 4X1 relay) in the under-18 division.
Also part of the impressive line-up is overseas-based and former junior sportswomen of the year Bliss Soleyn, who will contest the under-20 girls’ division.
Soleyn, who is currently at the Ohio State University, will compete in the 100 and 200 metres respectively. She is the lone under-20 female competitor in the team.
Head coach of the team Jamille Nelson said strong emphasis was placed on the selection of the 4X1 relay team as they go after the country’s medal at the games.
“You may not know but we have actually never won a medal in the 4X1 at Carifta but I think we won a medal back in the ‘80s in the 4X4 for the girls so we thought that this year we have very good chances of winning medals for both the boys and girls in the 4X4 and the 4X1 under-18,” he said. 
Carrying the country’s flag in the boys’ under-18 category are Darion Skerritt (200, 4X1 and 4X4 relay), Jalen Dyett (400, 4X1 and 4×4 relay), Sheldon Noble (long jump, triple jump and 4X1 relay), Taeco O’Garro (triple jump and long jump), Barack Matthew 100 and 4X1 relay) and Kaden Joseph (100, 200 and 4X1 relay).
Also competing in the boys’ under-18s are Harlan James (high jump), Timon Emanuel (400, 800 and 4X1 relay) and Antonio Beckett (400, 800 and 4X4 relay).
Meanwhile, leading the country’s charge in the boys’ under-20 is sprinter and former junior sportsman of the year, Coull Graham (100 and 200).
Graham, set to compete in the sprints at the April 15-17 games is joined by Kobe Glasford (100), Ramadin Alexander (200) and Kalique St Jean (5000 and 1500).
According to Nelson, 11 of the selected athletes made the qualifying standard while others were selected on two bases.
“We have standards set and there are a few athletes who did not make the standards but were very close and that was one consideration. Another consideration we looked at was consistency throughout the season and we were very interested in getting relay teams,” the coach said.
The team will also be coached by Kesswin Anthony with Jo-Ann Small traveling as the female official.
Keston Daley will travel as physiotherapist while President of the Antigua & Barbuda Athletics Association Everton Cornelius, and General Secretary Leslie Williams will be attending the Annual Carifta Games Congress also in Curacao.

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