Fourth time's the charm for Titchfield's Shelton
Kayleigh Shelton is a special talent.
The Titchfield High School student won three individual gold medals plus a sprint relay silver at the recent Eastern Championships, the second meet in the 2017 Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Series.
Two of the 13-year-old's victories were done in record time. Running in Class Four, Shelton moved the 100m record from 12.83 seconds to 12.65 seconds in the preliminaries, then lowered it to 12.40 in the final.
When the 200m competition began, the record stood at 26.50 seconds. Shelton lowered it to 26.08 in the prelims, then shredded it to 25.31 in the final.
She also won the 70m hurdles in 11.64 seconds and was unlucky in the 4x100m final when a horrible mix-up on the first changeover left her team virtually out of the race, with the field almost 40 metres ahead.
Kayleigh attested to the level of confidence shown by her coach and noted her belief in winning "when I ran the heats.
"I was focused. I wanted to win as many medals as I can and do my part," said Shelton of her contribution to the Port Antonio-based institution's overall third-place finish.
"When I first saw her at the parish meet in Portland, I went to the teacher and said this girl can be a star," noted Titchfield High's head coach, Herman Reid, who admitted working with the junior star for the Portland team.
"Her work ethic is exceptional," he continued.
"Whether it's academics or coaching, she sets her standards high and 12.40 would've placed her in the top five in Jamaica.
"I'm expecting a lot from her, I believe she can go very far."