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Watson has high hopes for juniors in Jamaica

The Bermuda National Athletics Association has sent two strong junior teams to this weekend’s North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Cross Country Championships in Mandeville, Jamaica.

The team left Bermuda yesterday and will overnight in Kingston before travelling to Mandeville today for the event tomorrow afternoon at the Manchester Golf Club.

More than 150 athletes representing nine countries are expected to compete in the battle of endurance in four events. The 4K junior girls will begin at 2.15pm, the 6K junior men at 3pm; the 6K women at 3.45pm and the 8K men at 4.30pm local time.

“This is the first time in many years we will be sending a full female junior team and we feel we have a very strong group of females representing us,” said BNAA president Donna Watson.

“With Kyrah Scraders continuing her winning ways in the KPMG Front Street Mile and the other three (Quaashie Douglas, Quinnae Outerbridge and Zakkiyah Showers) in the top three and all of them having a great cross country season we are looking for big things from them. Looking at the results from last year they should do really well.”

And Watson is also expecting some good performances from the five-member junior men’s team. “The men's junior team is a good team also with Juma Mouchette leading the team,” said Watson.

“Michaiah Robinson placing second in the mile against Dage Minors, Daniel Oatley and Nico Barclay and having a good cross country season, they should perform well. We were hoping to have Dage on the team but he has an event for his school this coming weekend.”

Veteran NACAC cross country participant Jay Donawa will compete in the senior men’s division along with Lamont Marshall while Tamika Williams is the lone women’s competitor for Bermuda.

“I know that Jay has been putting a lot of emphasis on his preparation for the championships and did not compete last weekend,” said Watson. “I am looking forward to Lamont having a good event and Tamika Williams coming off a good Bermuda Marathon Weekend.

“Jay and Tamika have been working with the athletes along with the middle distance coaches Jarita Vickers and Michael Watson preparing the athletes and teaching them team running for a team cross country event. I feel they are all ready and prepared and will represent Bermuda well.”

The event had been held in Trinidad the last four years, having originated in the United states in 2005 where it was held annually until 2009 when it was moved to Trinidad.

Hosts Jamaica and Canada are the only two countries set to field the maximum 24 participants per team. There will be 20 athletes from the USA, 14 from Puerto Rico and 12 from Bermuda, Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago. Aruba and Bahamas are late entrants and will both be sending teams.

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Published January 25, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated January 24, 2013 at 9:56 pm)

Watson has high hopes for juniors in Jamaica

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