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Baptiste in line for 4th major award
Kelly Ann Baptiste was set to claim her fourth major honour within the last week as she was overwhelming favourite to walk away with the NAAA Athlete of the Year honour, at the National Association of Athletic Administration Awards Ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Hotel last evening.
The 2011 World Championships women’s 100m bronze medallist claimed the Top Performer and Female Athlete of the Year accolades at the Ministry of Sports’ SOSA (Spirit of Sports Awards) on December 28 and captured the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) Sportswoman of the Year the following day.
Baptiste raced to bronze at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea on August 29 in 10.98 seconds to become the first local sprinter to capture a medal at a senior global meet.
Baptiste already enjoyed success on the international success at the junior level when she claimed bronze in the girls 100m dash at the 2003 World Youth Championships in Sherbrooke, Canada and captured the Continental Cup 100m gold in the Split, Croatia in September, 2010. The Zenith sprint queen also clocked the fifth fastest time of the year of 10.91 and secured top three finishes in all her races in 2011 including four wins. The 25 year old Bethesda Government/Signal Hill Secondary graduate last captured the award in 2008 when she won the NCAA indoor 60 and outdoor 100 titles whilst a student of Louisiana State University.
Former multiple winner and Pan American silver medallist Cleopatra Borel should be the closest contender. Borel finished in the runner up spot in the women’s shot put at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico in October with 18.47m to improve on her third place finish in Rio de Janeiro Brazil in 2007. The two time Commonwealth medallist was also a finalist at the World Championships finishing in 13th.
Double Olympic silver medallist Richard Thompson leads the race for the top Male Athlete honour with his national record run in men’s 100m at the National Championships on August 13 clocking 9.85 seconds to lower Ato Boldon’s previous mark by 0.01 seconds. Pan American Games medallist Emmanuel Callendar is in the running with his bronze medal performance in the men’s 100m finals in Guadalajara. National men’s discus holder Quincy Wilson leads the way in the field event after improving the men’s standard twice in 2011. The 2007 World Youth finalist first improved the standard to 58.60m at the Palo Seco Games in May and then 59.60m to take the national title in August.
Pan American Junior champions Michelle Lee Ahye (women’s 100) and Elton Walcott (men’s triple jump) are the leading names for the Junior Female and Male athletes honours respectively. Lee Ahye was also second in the girls under 20 100m finals at Carifta Games and was semi-finalist at the Daegu, South Korea World Championships where she also set a personal best of 11.20. Her closest rival could be Kai Selvon who was runner up in the Pan American Junior 200m finals. Selvon also set a national junior record of 22.89 in Daegu at reach the semis.
Elton established a national junior triple jump mark of 16.43 in Florida before taking the gold in 16.51w.
The Toco athlete won his third straight boys under 20 Carifta title (his fourth gold overall after taking the boys under 17 victory in 2008).
His older brother Kershorn may challenge him for the top prize after taking the boys under 20 javelin title (for the second year) with a record throw of 72.04m and when to improve the mark on seven occasion in 2011.
Double Carifta boys under 17 champions Nicholas Landeau (1500/3000) and Machel Cedenio (200/400) are in a close race for the top under 17 Male Track Honours but Cedenio may get the edge after helping the Carifta 4X100 and 4X 400 team to silver medals and finishing fourth in the 400m finals at the World Youth Championships in Lille, France.
Jeminise Parris, Adel Colthrust, Shervon Worrell, Hezekeil Romeo, Deon Lendore, Afiya Glasgow, Kema McShine and Matthew Hagley are for recognition after excelling in their events in 2011.
IAAF Area Representative and NACAC President Neville Mc Cook and CAC president Victor Lopez will be present for the ceremony while former NAAA president Rawle Raphael will be inducted into the CAC Hall of Fame.
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