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Jake Brislane thrilled to bring back two track medals from Carifta Games

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Jake Brislane, right, at the 1,500 metres awards ceremony (Photograph supplied)

Bermuda’s only medal-winner at the Carifta Games was delighted to bow out of the athletics championships on a high.

Jake Brislane, 19, earned a bronze medal in the under-20 boys 1,500 metres in Grenada before ending his Carifta career with a silver in the 5,000 metres, taking his total medal tally to three after he won bronze in the same event last year.

“Being able to come this year and improve on how I did last year is incredible,’’ Brislane told The Royal Gazette from Spain, where he is taking a language course.

“It’s an amazing feeling since it was my goal when I came to come away with two medals because I knew the 5K is usually my strongest event.

“I knew the 1,500 would be very tough because there are lots of fast guys from different countries, so I was especially proud to get the bronze in the 1,500. To follow it through in the 5K was great.”

Jake Brislane (Photograph supplied)

“I was disappointed that I wasn't able to get the gold in the last one, but I knew that the guy who won the 5K was going to be very tough to beat, so I'm not too disappointed.”

Despite Brislane’s efforts, Bermuda’s total medal count was three fewer than the 31-strong team achieved in the Bahamas, but the middle-distance runner feels that is down to an inexperienced squad this time around.

“Last year we had a much more experienced team,’’ Brislane said.

“We had a lot more people at the top of the age groups. This year we had a very young squad, we had no under-20 girls and a lot of the girls in the under-17s are still at the bottom of their age group.

“Next year I think we’ll have more juniors at the top of the under-17, and that will mean they are more competitive.”

Brislane, who starts university in Britain in September, will be returning to Bermuda in June for the National Championships.

“My 1,500 time was nearly a seven-second personal best for me which is a big improvement,’’ he said.

“In the 5K, while I was three seconds faster than last year, it wasn’t quite a personal best but lowering that is something I may look to do at the national championships in June.”

Jake Brislane with his mother, Kerry (Photograph supplied)

Although Brislane was the only Bermuda team member to make the podium there was a number of notable performances. Chief among them was 16-year-old Miles Outerbridge, who finished seventh in the final of the 200 metres after setting a personal best time of 22.37sec in the semi-final.

“I didn't really expect to make it to the finals but it was a great experience getting there,’’ Outerbridge said. “I was really excited to be there representing Bermuda at the main stage.

“All I wanted in the final was to have a good run and put myself closer to the pack. I wasn't expecting a medal and mostly I just wanted to do well. If a medal would have come out of the final, I would have been extremely happy with it.”

Miles Outerbridge in the 200m final (Photograph supplied)

There is no time to rest for Outerbridge, as less than 24 hours after returning to Bermuda, he headed off to the United States, where he will be running the 100 and 200 metres for Montverde Academy in the Citrus League Championship in Florida on Friday.

Jake Smith, who finished seventh in the 1,500 metres behind Brislane was pleased to finish the race with a personal best.

“I'm just happy to compete for my country internationally even if I don’t win a medal,’’ Smith said.

“I improved from my qualifying time of 4:13 to 4:08, which is my personal best. I ran 4:22 last year so my times are getting better.

“I ran the race really well, Much better than last year, where I sprinted at the beginning and ended up dropping later.

“I'm not disappointed and there were a lot of great athletes there, including Jake who is just a phenomenal athlete. The speeds he does with the other countries is just incredible.”

Bermuda Carifta Games team (Photograph supplied)

The 16-year-old Smith, who still has two more years of Carifta participation, has great ambitions regarding next year’s Butterfield Mile.

“I will be trying to go for Tyler Butterfield’s high school boys record of 4:27, which was set in 1999,” Smith said.

“Next year is my last chance to do Front Street, as I’m in Year 12 at Warwick Academy.”

Bermuda coach DeVon Bean expressed his satisfaction with the team’s effort in Grenada and believes the athletes will have gained valuable experience.

“I'm content with the two medals because those were hard-earned,’’ Bean said.

“Going into any major championships, you hope your team performs well and we had a number of personal bests.

“The Games were highly competitive and I think this is a wake-up call for the athletes. They did their best but sometimes your best is not good enough for that level.

“A bit disappointed, yes, as the two medals that we did manage to achieve were obtainable from the get-go.”

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Published April 04, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated April 05, 2024 at 7:20 am)

Jake Brislane thrilled to bring back two track medals from Carifta Games

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