Cayman trio ready for the world

L-R: Lacee Barnes, Rasheem Brown, and Shalysa Wray are representing the Cayman Islands at the IAAF U20 Championships.

The Cayman Islands delegation for the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships left over the weekend, with the three athletes competing in Finland focused on the task that lay ahead. Shalysa Wray, Lacee Barnes and Rasheem Brown all told they are prepared and ready to represent the Islands on the big stage for the 10-15 July championships.

Barnes will compete first in the women’s discus on Tuesday. “I’m very anxious because I know this will be the biggest event of my track and field career thus far, so I know that the competition is going to be extremely stiff but I’m ready,” she said moments before departing Owen Roberts International Airport on 7 July.

The 18-year-old has just finished her freshman season at University of Texas at San Antonio and has maintained her training regime since returning home for the summer. “Since coming back to Cayman, I’ve just been trying to keep my training very similar to how it would have been away at school. So, I’ve been training six times a week and in the gym three times a week,” she explained.

Also entering competition on Tuesday is Wray in the women’s 400m. “I’m excited. In training I’ve been running some really good times, which shows I can [go out there] and run a personal best,” said the 19-year-old, who has sharpened her skills while competing for St Jago High School in Jamaica.

Wray, 19, has her eyes set on putting down her best performance at the Ratina Stadium in Tampere. “My goal is just to make the finals and come out with a PB,” she said. “I’m looking to run a 53-low or a 52.”

Her lifetime best is 54.20 seconds and she’s not daunted by the competition she’ll face at the meet. “I’ve been to World Juniors before and even Champs (Jamaica’s legendary inter-secondary championships) is big, so I’m used to the big stage. I’m not worried, just excited,” she said.

CIAA President Lance Barnes (left) and VP Maxine Anglin (right) were on hand to see off the delegation.

On Wednesday, Brown goes under the starter’s gun in the men’s 110m hurdles. He returns to the world stage after being a finalist at the IAAF U18 Championships last summer. He said that experience has helped in his development. “I have the experience now to go against the faster guys from across the world and learned how to keep my composure and stay focused on making the finals and coming out with a good time.”

Brown, 18, has competed at home and overseas since heading off to Milligan College in Tennessee in January. His personal best at the 99.0 cm height is 13.62 seconds set at the Flow CARIFTA Games in April. He has his eyes set on being among the best this week.

“My number one goal is to go there and try to make the finals and focus on winning a medal for my country. The next one is setting a PB to see how fast I can go over this height,” he said in an interview with

Accompanying the athletes are coach Kenrick Williams and manager Molly-Ann Moore.

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