Nathaniel Bann makes move to University of Kentucky

Senior staff reporter

Monday, August 20, 2018

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Former Kingston College (KC) athlete Nathaniel Bann will be off to the University of Kentucky where he will study business and economics.

Bann, 19, who left KC with nine CXCs and three CAPE subjects, told the Jamaica Observer that Kentucky's philosophy is similar to that of his alma mater.

“I am feeling great. I think the school offers both education and tracks. they are balanced and they have a good coach, so I am pretty pleased,” said Bann.

The talented quarter-miler is the last local high school athlete to defeat Christopher Taylor over 400m in 2013, when he ran a then Class Three record of 49.13 seconds.

But since then, a series of injuries ruined Bann's high school career, which left him devastated.

“It was very frustrated because most of the times I knew my teammates were depending on me, and most of the times last-minute injuries came about,” he noted.

With personal best times of 21. 86 and 47.24 seconds for the 200m and 400m, respectively, achieved in 2014, and a season's best of 21.99 (-3.8 mps) in January and 47.65 in February, Bann explained that those times are not a true reflection of his ability and is predicting big things for the upcoming season.

“Having these setbacks, I still believe that my legs are still fresh because I haven't really produced much, so the lowest I am expecting is 45 (seconds) for the upcoming season. I am feeling great and ready for the new challenge,” he noted.

Calabar High's Ali Watson was the first Class Three runner to dip below the 50-second barrier in 1991, clocking 49.63, and that record stood for 22 years until Bann lowered it to 49.13. The effort propelled him into the limelight as a future star.

The following year, he showed remarkable improvement and clocked 47.24 in the Carifta Trials in 2014, while finishing second behind Martin Manley who went on to become the World Youth Olympic champion.

But that promise never materialised being ravaged by injuries, and four years on Bann has not got the chance to improve on that 47.24 clocking.

In recent times, during most of his races he either ends up stopping, unable to complete the task because of injuries or not extending himself because of the mental scar.

In his final year at KC Bann once again had to skip Champs becasue of injuries, and local fans were left disappointed because they were unable to see his true potential at the greatest high school event in the world. But now Bann will be moving on, looking to put his nightmare behind and deliver on that promise at the University of Kentucky.

“I have to say, most of the times it affects me mentally but you have to just pull through and get things done,” said Bann.

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