Ever since she was seven, Winsome Harris of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) has had reigning Common-wealth 400 metres hurdles champion Kaliese Spencer as her favourite athlete. Thanks to a stroke of luck, Harris has the good fortune to train with Spencer. The STETHS sixth-former says the experience is a source of motivation.
Spencer has been training at STETHS for the last few months as a member of the Elite Performance Track Club coached by Renaldo Walcott, who also coaches Harris. Like Spencer, Harris runs the 400 metres hurdles.
"She is my favourite athlete, ever since I was seven," she said last week at the Western Championships qualifying meet at STETHS.
Training with the former world number one has been a dream come true. "Yes, definitely a motivation," she agreed, "especially when we're running together or practising together and she's like, 'Go Winsome'."
With motivation like that, it's little wonder that the Maggotty, St Elizabeth, native is hoping to improve on her eighth-place finish in the 400m hurdles at Boys and Girls' Championships. "Each year, I have a better chance and I place better each year", she recounted, "so hopefully, this year I place much better than last year."
Harris, who bears a passing resemblance to 2013 World 100-metre hurdles champion Brigitte Foster-Hylton, won both the Class Two 100-metre hurdles and the Open 400 hurdles at the recent Western Championship finals held at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.