THE top junior athletes in the country, converged at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet, in Tobago, for two days of exciting action, in the National Association of Athletic Administration, Junior Championships, over the weekend.
Along with the prestigious honour of wearing the gold medal, as the best athlete at each track and field discipline in the nation, at stake was the last opportunity to qualify for the World Athletic under 20 championships in Cali, Columbia from August 2-7.
A number of the Carifta athletes showed that they were still on top of their game at this stage of the season.
Devin Augustine, of Point Fortin New Jets (PFNJ), got the better of Concorde's Revell Webster, in their much-anticipated showdown in boys under 20, 100 metres final.
Augustine flashed 10.49 seconds in his victory, in comparison to Webster 10.56. Both athletes dipped under the World Under 20 standard of 10.60 seconds. Jaden De Souza, of Phoenix Athletics Club, filled the bronze medal position in 10.73.
In the girls Under 20 100 metres, Shaniqua Bascombe, of Cougars Athletic Club, dominated the top eight finalists in producing a 11.84 seconds run. Her time eclipsed the 11.90, World under 20 standard.
Bascombe clubmate Reneisha Andrews was a distant silver medallist in 12.12 seconds, followed by Kyah La Fortune of Simplex, in 12.21.
Bascombe was the golden girl among the under 20 females, as she surged to a distance of 5.97 metres across the sand pit, to claim the long jump accolade, and produced a time of 24.56 seconds, to stand atop the podium, after the 200 metres.
Janae De Gannes, of Concorde Athletic Club, who clinched the World under 20 requirements earlier in the season, recovered from a bad start against her season's rival Alexxe Henry of Zenith Athletic Club, to win the gold medal, in the girls under 17, 100 metres.
Henry's bullet start and control up to the 80 metres mark seemed destine for the upset, but the power and form of De Gannes propelled her to the finish line in 11.98 seconds.
Henry settled for second in 12.24, while Symphony Patrick of Concorde secured third, in 12.77 seconds.
It was celebration time for De Gannes when she glanced at the clock after her 200 metres run on Sunday. The clock flashed 23.78 seconds, which was inside the 24.40, she needed to run the double sprints in Columbia.
Shakeem Mc Kay, of Abilene Wild Cats, will also wear the national colours in Columbia, when he posted 21.34 seconds, to eclipse the 21.40 barrier, in the boys under 20, 200 metres.
Natasha Fox of PFNJ is another athlete, who will represent the red, white and black in Columbia. The 400 metres specialist, who also gained qualification during the season, settled for the female under 20, gold medal on Saturday.
Fox, 56.94 seconds bettered her clubmate Malika Coutain 59.46, in second, while Sapphire John of Abilene Wild Cats, copped bronze.
Fox also demonstrated her versatility over the 800m, as she took the under 20 title, in two minutes 33.13 seconds.
Carifta 800 metres bronze medallist Troy Llano