When Requel Reid placed sixth in the boys' Class Two 400m finals at last year's Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championship, the young Calabar stalwart knew he was capable of much more.
In fact, the 50.30s that he clocked in the process was like a bitter pill he found hard to swallow, especially after clocking a big personal best 49.75s a few meets prior to the five-day championship.
"The fact that I didn't get medal in the finals last year took a toll on me, as I was very disappointed with the time and the overall performance. Leading up to Champs I ran my first sub-50 at the Cooperate Area meet and also assisted my team to qualify for the 4X400m relay final, so I know I could have done much better," Reid told the Jamaica Observer.
However, having since channeled that disappointment as motivation, Reid, now in his second year as a Class 2 athlete, is ready to right the wrong at this year's 113th edition of the Championships scheduled for March 28 to April 1 at the National Stadium.
"I wanted to run sub-49 and was confident that I could have achieved it, but things don't always go as you expect and so I had to learn to take things in stride. With the help of my coach, I was able to use that setback as motivation coming into this season which has been going great for me so far," Reid shared.
"So I'm looking forward to great things this season, this season, I've been working very hard throughout this season with an aim to be more consistent in training and listen to my coach's instructions, which is what I am currently doing," he added.
That said, the 16-year-old pointed out that he hasn't given up on his sub-49 second ambition and if all goes according to plan on this occasion then it should come to fruition. He is also targeting the 400m hurdles title this year, having clocked a personal best of 53.25s a few weeks ago.
"I'm a very hard-working person; I am disciplined and very determined, so once I set my mind to something I won't stop until I've achieved that goal and so I don't expect anything less. I also want to become one of the fastest 400m hurdlers in school boy history and so, of course, I am working towards that," Reid noted.
And much like his Head Coach Corey Bennett stated, Reid explained that the team is tempering expectations heading into the championships.
"Currently we're in the rebuilding process so we're just going to go out there and compete for a title as best as we can. From a personal perspective, again, I want to run more personal best times and to give my school maximum points at the championships," Reid ended.