ON Saturday, May 4, Kiara Grant wrote her name in the history books as she became the fastest Jamaican junior female athlete over 100m when she finished second in 11.11 seconds at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Outdoors championships.
The Norfolk State University sophmore lowered the previous best of 11.12s set by Veronica Campbell Brown all the way back in the year 2000 at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Santiago, Chile. That was the year that Grant was born. She is currently the fastest Jamaican female over the distance this season.
But while it may be considered a wow moment by track and field enthusiasts, Grant expects to go faster, so she is taking the accomplishment in stride.
“Well looking at my 7.22s indoor; I did expect it and even a much better time,” she revealed.
“I keep shocking, surprising myself in competitions, so 11.11 wasn’t really a satisfying time but I’m still thankful,” she continued.
The significance of breaking the record is not lost on Grant.
“Thinking about it gives me a lot of chills, because I didn’t have the best race in that finals, but still came across [with] a record. It brought me a lot of attention and opportunities. With that being said I am now fully motivated to run below 11 seconds.”
Breaking the record set in the same year of her birth made it even more special.
“The birthday coincidence topped it all off, it’s really thrilling. I actually met Veronica a few weeks before the race at a track meet being staged by her husband,” she disclosed.
There is just one meet to go for her before the National Collegiate Athletics Association Outdoor Athletics Championships and the former Convent of Mercy Academy, Alpha, student is looking to go below 11 seconds at one of those two events.
Grant has improved significantly on her personal best of 11.50 from last season and,with this as another source of motivation, could certainly hit that target over the next few weeks.
“That’s my aim, because I believe I have it in me, so for these next couple of weeks I am working towards it,” she stated.
While it is still too early to start focusing on anything other than the NCCA Outdoor Championships, the teenager did admits that the Senior World Championships to be held in Doha, Qatar, was a part of her plans for 2019, saying, “definitely, yes,” to the question.
Grant will next run at the NCAA East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Florida, from May 23-May 25 before heading to Austin, Texas for her first NCAA Outdoor Championships from June 5-June 8.
– Dwayne Richards