Shone Walters: A rising star from the eastFriday, May 07, 2021
St Mary High middle-distance runner Shone Walters is hoping that 2021 will be her breakout year at the Inter-secondary Schools Sport Associaton (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships.
A dominant force at the Eastern Athletics Championships over the past few years, Walters was able to land a Class Three 1500m bronze, the last time the ISSA/GraceKennedy Championships were held in 2019.
But following the 2020 cancellation, she is eager to do a lot better this year, even though she has stepped up in class since the last staging.
Another excellent performance at Eastern Champs has her revved up for the “big one” next week.
“I am very delighted with my performance at Eastern [Champs], but I still wanted to do much better in terms of the times I ran. If I had more competition, I could have gone much faster in my races,” she said.
Having missed out on a first-year Class Two experience, the 16-year-old is planning to make up for lost time when she takes on the 800m/1500m double again at Champs.
“I think I have something special in store for next week,” she noted.
And having dominated the field at the Eastern Championships this year, Walters may just deliver on those promises.
Walters ran 4:57.32 to win the Class Two girls' 1500m, which was more than a minute faster than the second-place finisher and 2:20.55 to win the 800m, which was more than four second faster than the athlete who finished second at Eastern Champs. That sort of dominance has given Walters the confidence to get into Champs next week with the belief that she could be on the verge of creating history.
Her plan for Champs is clear in her mind and being in good physical shape, the “Star from the East” could shine bright across the entire island next week, that is, if she is able to execute effectively.
“My ambition for next week is to win both my events at finals and run a pb (personal best),” she revealed.
She currently has a 2.14 pb for the 800m and a 4.46 pb for the 1500m and may just have to break those personal records, in order to stand atop the podium at Champs 2021.
Having seen her older sister participate at Champs and leave without a medal, the significance of landing gold is not lost on the fourth former.
“It would mean the world to me to win gold at Champs, because I would be the first person in my family to win a gold medal at Champs,” she said.
Diminutive in stature, Walters has found a hero in another diminutive Jamaican athlete, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, but not as much for her exploits on the track but more so for her words which have become a source of inspiration for the St Mary High athlete.
“Shelly-Ann said, 'Anything that you set out to achieve, just go out there and go after, it no matter what' and those few words of advice that she spok have given me the courage and strength to train hard and do my best, so that I can make my coach, family and friends and myself proud.”
Walters also has a second source of motivation in her former teammate Abigail Schaffe who won the 800m bronze medal at Champs in 2019. Schaffe has been doing extraordinarily well for the University of Minnesota this season, recently receiving Athlete of the Week honours, after victory in the 400m hurdles and a stunning anchor leg performance in the 4x400m.
“Abigail's performances in college have been very inspiring to me. She keeps me motivated because I am aspiring to go to college overseas, after I finish high school.”
Shone Walters is definitely one to keep an eye on at Champs 2021.
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