By Neto Baptiste
Young Antiguan track athlete, River Robinson, grabbed silver medals in the sprint events at the Jacksonville Athletic Club (JAC) Final Countdown Track & Field Meet held over the weekend in the Bolles District, Florida.
Robinson, a fourth year student at Woodberry Forest School in Virginia, clocked personal bests in both the 100 and 200 meters finals, finishing second in both races to jumpstart his sprint career.
The athlete clocked 10.75 in the 100 meters final to finish behind of Domictress Robinson who won in a time of 10.65 seconds. Jason Paris was third in a time of 10.83 seconds.
Speaking with Observer from Florida, Robinson said he was confident going into the race but elated with his performance.
“I know that going into the race I had a lot of time to prepare and I don’t think many other people were training as hard as I was but it felt great to see the rewards of my training or the success that has come out of it. I knew for a long time that it [100 and 200 races] was something I wanted to move into more and thins just king of cemented in my mind that it’s a possibility,” he said.
Robinson returned to the track to take silver in the 200 meters race, clocking 21.66 seconds to finish adrift of Domictress who won the race in a time of 21-62 seconds. Brian Saul was third in 22 seconds flat.
The athlete’s coach and national sprinter, Daniel Bailey, said the young sprinter was quite impressive given he had not previously competed in the shorter distances.
“This was actually his second 100 meters on the competitive circuit and his fastest 100 meters was 11.44 seconds, so I got him as an 11.44 and I took him from 11.44 to a 10.79. He never knew how to come out of the blocks until [July 24]. His faster 200 meters was 22.90 plus and he came back in the 200 meters and ran 21.60, so he ran two PB [Personal Best] within the space of one hour,” he said.
Bailey revealed that he started working with the youngster some months ago, right here in Antigua.
“We started training at the Liberta playing field for about four months now, all grass, I just lined out the track and worked with it because you have to improvise. At the end of the day, I know what it takes to get to the next level. I saw a couple of flaws that he needed to work on and so we worked on it. He is in high school so he is still a junior [athlete] and he is actually the fastest junior athlete in the island right now,” he said. Robinson is the son of Charles and Erica Robinson, proprietors of Robinson’s Service Station.