Sat | Sep 23, 2023

Sprinter Cameron on a mission in 2023

Published:Tuesday | February 14, 2023 | 12:45 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Kasheika Cameron
Kasheika Cameron

Sprint fans may all soon have to add a new name to the list of women contending for national team places. The new name is Kasheika Cameron, the winner of the women’s 60 metres at last Saturday’s Western Relays. Cameron is working quietly at the famed MVP Track Club, with a 2023 target of setting personal bests all around.

She wasn’t far away from her 60m personal best on Saturday despite a sluggish start. By contrast, her Indian clubmate Srabandi Nanda jetted from the blocks and had a clear lead at the 40-metre mark.

“I didn’t get the start I wanted. I had to hold my composure and finish,” the Chapelton native recounted after the race. The effort brought her to the front in 7.31 seconds.

That’s not far from her outdoor personal best of 7.27 seconds, set in 2022.

Grizell Scarlett overtook Nanda near the finish, as they scored times of 7.40 and 7.42 seconds, respectively.

Now 23, Cameron is relishing the work she is doing to improve. Her slim frame now carries extra muscle not evident when she won the 2018 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’Athletics Championships Class One 100m in 11.29 seconds in the colours of Edwin Allen High School.

“It’s great,” she said gleefully about her preparations for the 2023 season. “Training is hard but I’m putting in the work, so I expect to get the results,” Cameron added.

In 2021, she surpassed her 2018 Champs winning time with a new benchmark in the 100m, 11.24s, and her outdoor 60m personal best was set last year. From the looks of her finish at the Western Relays, the outlook is promising. Her outlook is positive.

“Just go hard. That’s it, and I’ll get the result that I want,” she said with steely resolve at the G.C. Foster College for Physical Education and Sport.

Last year, Cameron reached the semis of the 100m at the National Championships, but no further. Cut adrift in a race won by 2016/2021 Olympic champion Elaine Thompson Herah in 10.91, with Olympic bronze medallist Shericka Jackson and 2021 NCAA 60 metre champion Kemba Nelson also advancing, she knows what’s required for success this time around. Asked directly, the soft-spoken sprinter sighed, paused for a moment and then declared, “Hmmm! PBs all around.”

In like manner, the Western Relays men’s 60m put a name on the map. Kadrian Goldson of G.C. Foster College zoomed from lane one to win in 6.54. The rangy Goldson battled a stiff headwind, measured at 1.8 metres per second, to slash his personal best from 6.71 seconds. A similar improvement of his 100m personal best of 10.14 would put the 2022 National Championship finalist in sub-10 territory.

The runner-up on Saturday was 2021 200m Olympic finalist Rasheed Dwyer. Competing a fortnight after his 33rd birthday, the 2014 Commonwealth gold medal winner recorded a personal best 6.63 seconds.