The women’s 100m got underway on Thursday morning in Cali, Colombia, on the second day of the IAAF World Youth Championships. It was a bit of a wait for Saint Lucia’s Mechaela Hyacinth, going in heat 7, but she was worth it.
Mechaela comes from a good bloodline, most notably her cousin, Flora. The daughter of former calypsonian Lucian Parrot, Flora represented the US Virgin Islands at the Olympic Games, World Championships and even the IAAF World Cup.
Born between Flora’s last Olympics and World Champs appearances, Mechaela is definitely picking up the Hyacinth name.
Going on 16 in November, the Leon Hess Comprehensive student ran a wind-aided 11.54 at National Championships.
In Cali, at the Pascual Guerrero Stadium, Mechaela placed third in her opening heat, with a personal-best time of 11.91 seconds, shaving five hundredths of a seconds off her previous wind-legal best time.
The speedy teenager, a member of Blazers Track Club, became the first Saint Lucian track athlete to go past the first round in a global athletics championship at any level.
It was the best performance since Levern Spencer’s bronze medal in WYC.
But there was more to come. Drawn in lane 1 of heat 1 for the evening semifinals, Mecheala improved her personal best by running 11.87 to finish fifth. Out of 58 girls entered for the event, she finished 11th.
It’s likely the end of the season for the Gros Islet native, unless there is a dramatic U-turn regarding Commonwealth Youth Games selection. Next season, though, Mechaela should be in a great position to push for a medal at the CARIFTA Games.
She could also qualify for the World Junior Championships Athletics, and would surely target Michelle Baptiste’s 1996 national junior record of 11.69 seconds, which itself stood as the open national record for a number of years.
Whatever the next step for Mecheala, her cousin; her father, Kenny; and the rest of the Hyacinth family will be leading the cheering section.