Getting her priorities right


Getting her priorities right

Kiara Grant chooses school over World Championships

Observer writer

Thursday, June 20, 2019

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If ever there was a young athlete who had her head screwed firmly on her body, that athlete is Kiara Grant.

The Norfolk State University sprinter ran a personal best 11.04s in the fastest Women's 100m outdoor final in NCAA history, to finish sixth behind Sha'Carri Richardson of Louisiana State University (LSU), who blazed to a new record, personal best and world leading 10.75s.

The 11.04s run by Grant certainly placed her among the top Jamaican female sprinters so far this season and left many speculating that she would be among those looking to book a ticket to the World Championships in Doha, Qatar later this year.

The 19-year-old was very clear in her reasons for skipping the National Championships this weekend.

“The championship is gonna conflict with my school, so I decided to put it off (participating). I don't want to miss so many days of school. It's hard to get back on track sometimes,” said the computer science major.

Needless to say, she did express delight in her first NCAA Championship experience.

“My NCAA experience was phenomenal. Not only was I racing and crowded by D1 athletes, but athletes who were hungry for complete recognition. Records were broken, contracts were signed… it was just amazing. I have seen how tight and exciting competition can get,” she gushed.

Grant did have a warning for those who had not signed contracts and would be returning to the collegiate scene next season.

“With that being said, I am up for a dogfight next year.”

The former Alpha Academy track star is already aware of some of the key things she needs to do to be ready for the expected challenges of the 2019-2020 campaign.

“I will be going the extra mile just to ensure that I stay healthy and fit for these mind-blowing championships,” she said.

Despite ending the season with a personal best and twice breaking the Jamaican junior record in the process, Grant is not necessarily a happy camper.

“Happy would not be the word, more like satisfied,” she said.

“NCAA is exceptional to MEAC and the typical track meets (as) these girls compete differently the higher they go. Keeping that in mind, I just have small things in need to fix to ensure I am prepared for various levels and talents,” Grant explained.

Grant and another Jamaican teenage sprinting sensation, Briana Williams, have been swapping hold on the national junior record ever since Grant broke the 19-year-old record held by Veronica Campbell-Brown, shortly before the NCAA Championships.

Many track and field fans have been keeping an eye on that particular development with most of them looking forward to a match-up between the two at championships, but they will be denied the chance of a head-to-head clash between the two promising young stars.

And while the fans have been enjoying the almost weekly swaps, so too has Grant who doesn't describe what has taken place over the past few weeks as a rivalry.

“I enjoy our small clash/altercation with the National junior record, but until we meet face to face and silence the crowd, I wouldn't say rivalry just yet, because my focus right now and next season is running against the clock,” she explained.

While Grant may miss running at the National Championships because of school, it is highly unlikely that Grant will miss watching it to see how the likes of Williams and another potential rival Kevona Davis of Edwin Allen High perform this weekend.

More on Nationals Trials on Pages 38 & 39

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