By Christopher Hunt
Rolyce Boston learned more than he expected when he went down to the Florida for the Pan Am Junior Games Friday. He didn’t have much practice time after nationals last season. The new Sheepshead Bay graduate was resting a right knee he injured at the state championships.
But he felt fine. Boston, who represented Guyana, figured the international competition would be just like any other championship meet he competed in. Until he stepped on the runway.
“I looked down at my jersey,” Boston said. “I’m like, ‘Wow, this doesn’t say Sheepshead or it’s doesn’t have a Superman on it. It’s a country. I have a whole country behind me.”
Maybe it was the adrenaline. Boston enjoyed his best jump on his first attempt. He jumped 24 feet, 1 inch to earn a bronze medal at the Pan Am Games in Mirmar, Fl. Americans Devin Field and Terrance Williams swept the first two places. Field, of Lancaster High in Texas won at 24-10.50. Williams of North Texas University, was second at 24-9. The experience gave Boston a sense of the change in the level of competition he’ll face when he competes at Iowa-Western University next year.
“It let me know that what I was doing in high school is not going to cut it,” said Boston, who cleared 24-6.50 at the state, the best mark in the PSAL in 41 years. “It’s not going to cut it at all. Going out there, and seeing what they could do, it was like, ‘Wow, I’ve got to step up.”
LSU’s Karen Henning, a St. Anthony’s graduate also claimed third in hammer throw with a toss of 177-09. American Shelby Ashe, a Georgia resident won gold, throwing 194-05. Former CHSAA great Phyllis Francis, who coimpleted her first freshman year at Oregon, scored a bronze in the 400 meters. She finished in 53.81. Chrisann Gordon of Jamaica winner in 52.62.