US-based sprinter motivated for World Junior Champs
Posted by Dresonic on July 2, 2008
Hawthorne… I’m very focused and just want to do well
Despite only arriving in the island Sunday night and turning around Monday for a long journey to Poland via London where she will represent Jamaica for the first time at the 12th IAAF World Junior Championships in athletics, Trisha-Ann Hawthorne is excited to be wearing the black, green and gold.
The 18-year-old was named to the 32-member team by the selection committee of the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association (JAAA), despite not attending the National Junior Trials held at GC Foster College two weeks ago as she has the fastest time of any Jamaican Junior in the 100m and 200m this season.
Hawthorne, who was born in Kingston and grew up in Mount Ogle in St Andrew, is a freshman at the University of Connecticut where she posted 11.44 seconds over 100m and 23.3 in the 200m.
Slipping between a slight American accent and the Jamaican Creole, Hawthorne – who is coached by former Jamaican 800m World Indoor Championships gold medallist Clive Terrelonge – said she was excited at the prospects of representing her country.
Hawthorne, who represented Dunrobin Prep before attending Mona High for one term before migrating to the United States at age 12, told the Observer she “never dreamt I would be going to the World Junior Championships; it wasn’t even on my mind”.
“I just thought I would do track, get through my first college season and then this was introduced to me and I jumped at it as I thought it was a great opportunity,” she said.
According to the athlete, it was Terrelonge – who won the gold medal at the 1995 World Indoor Championships held in Madrid, Spain – who called the JAAA and told them about her.
She said the coach was “always telling me I need to run fast as I can make it to the Jamaican team. That’s when I started taking it really seriously, telling myself this is a big step and this is why we train so hard”.
Hawthorne said her main goal was to finally go under the 23.00-second barrier in Poland after running under 23.40secs on four occasions this year.
“I’m training hard and I’m very focused and just want to do well and represent my country,” she told the Observer.
While she was meeting her team-mates for the first time when the team gathered on Monday, Hawthorne said this would not be a problem as she is “a very sociable person and get along well with everyone”.
Hawthorne, who wasted no time to try on her new Jamaican shirt on Monday, played netball as a youngster in Jamaica and also played football while in high school in New York, saying it helped keep her in good condition for track & field.
Asked which event she preferred, she paused for a moment before saying: “I want to say the 100m because it is shorter, but I do better in the 200m.”
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