February 20, 2012
In one meet, 17 year-old Shaunae Miller qualified for all of the major regional and international events which are on the track and field calendar this season.
At the 9th Annual Club Monica Track and Field Meet, held on Friday and Saturday at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, Miller dipped below the qualifying time for the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Junior Championships, and the Olympic Games. Her times also secured her spot for regional events such as CARIFTA, the CAC Jr. Championships, and the NACAC Under-23 Championships. Her 22.95 seconds performance in the finals of the 200 meters (m) is well below the 'A' standard for the London Olympics. The 'A' standard is 23.10 seconds and the 'B' standard is 23.30 seconds.
Miller is the fifth Bahamian female to run the 'A' qualifying time in the event for the Olympics, which will run from July 27-August 12 in London, England. Other qualifiers are Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, Nivea Smith, Sheniqua Ferguson and Anthonique Strachan.
Both Strachan and Miller were able to run well under the time set by the IAAF for the World Junior Championships. That qualifying time is 24.56 seconds. The world juniors will take place in Barcelona, Spain, July 10-15. Miller's time is the most recent of the two. Strachan qualified last year at a meet in Miramar, Florida, clocking 22.70 seconds.
Miller, who specializes in the quarter mile, showed her speed over the weekend. In the 100m, she stopped the clock at 11.50 seconds, leaving Lenece Clarke and Devynne Charlton to settle for second and third respectively. Clarke turned in a time of 11.95 seconds and Charlton clocked 12.02 seconds.
The 11.50 seconds was also below the qualifying time for the IAAF World Junior Championships. That mark is set at 11.96 seconds. In 2011, Miller ran 51.84 seconds to qualify for the London Olympic Games in the women's 400m. Miller's coach and father Shawn Miller is confident that she can cruise on past the 'A' standard. Right now, she has qualified with the 'B' standard, which is set at 52.35 seconds. The 'A' standard is 51.55 seconds.
Shawn Miller said: "Things are going very well. She is not primed as yet. We are still in the mix trying to get things sorted out. I will say that we are pretty much on track with her training right now. I am pleased with the times and her performances. We still want to be a little bit more cautious, make sure that we are right on track as far as times are concerned. "We want to make sure that she runs those times at a particular time of the year. We will go back to the drawing board and make one or two small adjustments."
Miller is the favorite heading into the junior regional meets this year in the 400m. At last year's CARIFTA Track and Field Championships, she watched the final in the under-20 girls division from the stands after false-starting in the rounds. As for the IAAF World Junior Championships, she will return to defend her crown. In 2010, Miller ran 52.52 seconds to win the gold. Last year, at the IAAF World Youth Championships, she clocked 51.84 seconds for that title.
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