Jamaican athletes to benefit from East Coast Showcase scholarships Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Puma East Coast International Track and Field Showcase in Maryland, USA, has introduced a scholarship fund targeting Jamaica’s junior athletes set to compete in the event’s third edition on Saturday, May 4.

Sanjay Ayre, a Jamaican Olympian and the chief organizer, revealed that between 5 to 10 educational scholarships will be granted later this year. Ayre characterized this initiative as a gesture of recognition and gratitude towards the athletes who have played a pivotal role in the showcase’s accomplishments.

The meet has drawn elite athletes from the USA and other countries for an exhilarating one-day extravaganza at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex.

Leading the Jamaican contingent are Shanoya Douglas of Muschett High, Habiba Harris of St Elizabeth Technical High School, Sabrina Dockery of Lacovia High, Alliah Baker and Abigail Campbell from Hydel High, and Damor Miller of Excelsior and Raheem Pinnock of St Jago High.

Alliah Baker.

Douglas arrives at the meet following her gold medal performance in the Girls’ Under-20 200m at the 51st Carifta Games in St George’s, Grenada, on April 1. She achieved a new personal-best time of 23.03 seconds, narrowly defeating Trinidad and Tobago’s Sole Frederick (23.07) in a tightly contested race.

Preceding her success at the Carifta Games, Douglas clocked a decent 23.93 (-3.5m/s) to easily beat Edwin Allen star Theianna-Lee Terrelonge in the Class Two 200m at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships, popularly called Champs, at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Douglas is also slated to compete in the 400m event, which she claimed victory in at Champs, clocking a time of 53.03.

At the East Coast International Track and Field Showcase, Douglas will face off against Elise Cooper of McDonogh School in Maryland. Cooper, who is considered as one of the best junior sprinters in the country, has already won nine state championships. In her last race of her sophomore season in 2023, she set a new Maryland state record in the 200m with a personal-best time of 22.80, clocking that time for the silver medal at the Pan American U20 Championships in Puerto Rico.

Harris has showcased her good form by clocking a wind-aided 12.93 (2.4m/s) to secure the gold medal in the Girls’ Under-20 100m hurdles at the Carifta Games.

Dockery heads to Maryland with high confidence following her achievement of a new lifetime best time of 11.26 in the 100m at the Carifta Games. In this race, she outpaced her Jamaican teammate and pre-race favorite Theianna Lee Terrelonge (11.32), reversing their positions from the Jamaican High School Championships a week prior.

Baker is currently in outstanding form, having clinched the Girls’ Class One sprint double at Champs. Just three days after winning the 100m with a personal-best time of 11.31, the 18-year-old claimed the 200m title in 23.89 (-0.4m/s), also a personal best. This achievement has established her as the fastest schoolgirl in Jamaica this year over both distances.

Abigail Campbell.

Campbell’s credentials heading into Maryland boast a 400m gold achieved with a personal-best time of 52.27 at Champs, coupled with a silver medal at the Carifta Games.

Miller, who secured fourth place last year in the 100m, will approach this year’s meet in top form following a surprise victory in Class One at Champs, clocking a personal-best time of 10.31. His Excelsior High teammate Daniel Wright, last year’s winner of the 110m hurdles, returns to defend his title.

Kemarrio Bygrave, the Carifta Under-20 800 and 1500-metre champion from Jamaica College, is also slated to compete. He is set to contest the 800m.

Kemarrio Bygrave.

In addition to Cooper, the USA have on their roster reigning 400m champion Quincy Wilson from Bullis High School, Brianna Selby from Indian River High, and Justin Stewart, the son of former Jamaican track star Raymond Stewart.

Wilson, who clinched the title last year with a time of 46.11 seconds, has shown remarkable progress this season, slashing nearly a second off that time. His personal best now stands at 45.19 seconds.

Selby made history earlier this year by becoming the first track athlete in Virginia to sign a Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) deal with New Balance. Just last month, she set a new 60m New Balance National Indoor record with a time of 7.19 seconds. Selby is set to compete in both the 100 and 200 metres.

The USA will also field Sydney Sutton, the New Balance bronze medallist in the 400m with a time of 53.04 seconds, who will compete in the one-lap event. Additionally, Avery Lewis, the Nike 60m champion, will contest the 100m.

Also confirmed for the meet is a team from the Flying Angels Track Club from Canada. The Canadians previously participated in the Gibson McCook Relays in Jamaica on February 24, where they secured victories in the Class One and Two 4x200m relays, claiming the Class One title in 1:26.88 and Class Two in 1:27.72.

With such high-caliber athletes set to compete, Ayre remarked that the meet is poised to become the biggest track and field event of the year on the East Coast in terms of individual events. He added that efforts are underway to secure additional sponsorship.

For all the meet details and registration info, head over to the event’s website. https://eastcoasttrackandfield.com/