Florida Sprinters Produce Big Moments At CARIFTA Games

Jamal Walton's first experience competing for the Cayman Islands in the CARIFTA Games came five seasons ago at the age of 15. 

But it wasn't until Monday when Walton, 18, won his first title in the annual Caribbean youth championships. 

The Miramar (Fl.) High junior nabbed first-place in the U20 division of the 200m dash at the 46th running of the FLOW CARIFTA Games, winning in 21.29 seconds. It came after a runner-up finish on Saturday in the 400m dash. 

"I did well coming off the curve and finishing home to the finish line," Walton told Flrunners.com. "It wasn't much wind coming off the curve as my 400m, but I came home with the victory.

"I wanted it so bad because it was my last year at Carifta," he added. 

Meanwhile, Trinidad & Tobago sprinter Khalifa St. Fort secured her second straight double in the 200m dash, winning in a time of 23.99 seconds. 

"That 200 is as proud as I've been of any race she's run for me because I knew she wasn't feeling great," St. Fort's coach, former Trinidad & Tobago sprinter and four-time Olympian Ato Boldon told Flrunners.com. "That was all execution and guts." 

On Saturday, St. Fort, a 2015 IAAF World Championship medalist with the Trinidad & Tobago and a Fort Lauderdale St. Aquinas (Fl.) High graduate, also produced a win in the 100m dash in 11.56 seconds. 

Chaminade-Madonna (Fl.) Preparatory Academy freshman Briana Williams, competing for the first time for Jamaica, secured a third-place medal in the 100m dash. It was part of 86 medals by the country over the three-day stretch of competition in Curacao. 

"Briana is playing with house money," said Boldon, who also coached Williams with his Born 2 Do It Track Club. "She came as the youngest Jamaican on the team, got a bronze and then ran a ridiculous first leg for Jamaica.

"They got disqualified after setting a record by almost half a second, so she lost a chance for gold of her own, but that leg and that individual 100 actually converts to 11.66 in zero wind, which means it's her PR and she's ready for the state meet soon." 

Boldon continued. 

"(I'm) very proud of how Briana handled her first big meet," he said. "She'll be trying out for the Jamaican junior team this summer."