Saint Lucian speedster off to school in the USA

By Terry Finisterre

(SNO) – One of Saint Lucia’s most exciting track and field talents is ready to embark on the next stage of her journey, as she is off to school this month on an athletics scholarship.

Mechaela Hyacinth, one of the fastest teenagers ever from Saint Lucia, and one of the most successful of local spirinters on the international stage, is now a Lady Cougar.

The Gros Islet native has taken up a full four-year athletics scholarship at Azusa Pacific (AP), a private, evangelical Christian university in Azusa, California, starting this month.

Turning 19 in November, Hyacinth is the niece of Olympic finalist, Flora Hyacinth.

She (Mechaela) made the semifinals of the 2015 IAAF World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia, in the women’s 100m dash, finishing 11th overall with a time of 11.87 seconds. She improved to 11.84, albeit with an illegal tailwind, in making the CARIFTA Games finals this year.

Although she started out with Cuthbert Modeste and his Survivors club, Hyacinth made the move to Gimry Lewis and Blazers Track Club about four years ago.

One of the most affable young personalities in the sport, the Leon Hess Comprehensive alumna benefited from the difficult move, but it also soured her relationship with her former coach.

Under the tutelage of Azusa Pacific head coach Jack Hoyt, and Barbados’ Andrea Blackett, the AP sprints coach, young Hyacinth will have the chance to challenge for a spot on the list of the best sprinters ever to pull on a Cougars vest.

Only four Cougars have ever gone under 12 seconds, but the 23-year-old school record of 11.36 will be tough to beat.

As things stand, Hyacinth would also fall eighth in the all-time list for the women’s 200m at AP with her personal best 24.50.

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