Holmwood’s Mitchell basks in Champs’ record
A successful Class One girls' 1500 metres title defence and breaking a decade-long record, Holmwood Technical's Jody-Ann Mitchell could not have envisioned a better way to start her final ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships campaign.
On Wednesday, Mitchell stormed to victory in 4:29.42 minutes, breaking Manchester High alum Natoya Goule's mark of 4:29.81, set in 2010.
It was not just a matter of securing back-to-back titles, but it was the pride she felt in finally claiming a record that she believed was reachable this season.
"It means a lot to me. I hear people telling me that the record is close to my personal best. I tried my very best and did what I had to," Mitchell said.
Mitchell's personal best before Wednesday was 4:30.31, which she set at the Central Championships earlier this month. What she did was execute a game plan which, according to her, worked to perfection.
"The plan was to just stay with the pack, and once I reached the last 200 metres I just had to swing and come home," Mitchell said.
For Mitchell, she started the season wanting to claim both milestones, believing that Goule's 13-year-old record was not a lofty goal but attainable this year.
"I felt that it was achievable. It was challenging, but I managed to do it," Mitchell said. "The result was expected. I have been training hard all season, and now you are seeing the results."
Mitchell hopes a middle-distance double is in her future to crown her swansong from Holmwood by also winning the Class One girls' 800 metres that begins on Friday. For now, she said that taking the title was not only about personal validation but also about rewarding her coaches who have stood by her throughout her high school years and made her into the athlete she is.
"I am feeling like a champion. It makes me feel extra special. It is my last year, and I have to let the coaches see me in my last season," Mitchell said.