Rusea's sprinter Francis in sparkling form ahead of 'Champs'Friday, May 07, 2021
SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth — If Rusea's High's Aalliyah Francis was hoping to sneak into next week's Inter-secondary Schools Sport Associaton (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships, she would have blown her own cover after two spectacular performances at last Thursday's County of Cornwall Athletics Association (COCAA) Western Champs at the St Elizabeth Sports Complex in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth.
Francis retained her Class One girls' 200m in a smart 23.69 seconds and then ran away from the rest of the field in the 400m, winning in 53.40 seconds, crossing the line more than 50 metres ahead of the next runner.
Not only had she achieved her targets of winning and running a certain time, but she has put the target squarely on her back, as despite booking automatic spots at Champs, she has also run the fastest times in Class One so far this year.
“My season so far has been exceptional,” she told the Jamaica Observer after winning the 200m, a race which she also described as “intense”.
A year ago she ran 25.37 seconds to win the 200m and then placed second behind Petersfield's star Shaquena Foote in the 400m in 55.42 seconds and now has her sights set on double gold medals next week.
“I plan to win at Champs,” she said, adding she had not run too many 400m races so far this season.
“This was my second race as I had run one with the seniors at the National Stadium,” she noted, referring to a race on March 13 when she ran 55.04 seconds.
Francis, who is headed for the US on a scholarship this year after copping eight CSEC subjects and three CAPE so far, says she prefers the longer 400m, simply because “that is the one I am better at”.
She would not say where she was headed for college, saying she was still looking at the options but was firm in her decision that college was her next stop after high school.
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