Less than a week af­ter throw­ing a per­son­al best at the Cay­man Is­lands Carif­ta Games 2019 of 71.45m, The Uni­ver­si­ty of Mis­sis­sip­pi fresh­man Tyriq Hors­ford in­creased that mark to 72.31m at the Na­tion­al Re­lays in Arkansas, USA con­sid­ered a warm-up meet to the NCAA Cham­pi­onships which takes place from June 5-8.

Hail­ing from To­ba­go, Hors­ford is a very fo­cused, ar­tic­u­late and per­son­able young man. He re­calls be­ing one of the youngest around the track and hav­ing the abil­i­ty to throw a wind­ball from one side of the track to the oth­er but when he asked to throw a javelin he was de­nied “be­cause he was too small.” So he wait­ing un­til the coach­es were pre­oc­cu­pied, grabbed a javelin and threw it. The rest is his­to­ry.

Hors­ford, 19, now has a his­toric five Carif­ta gold medals and on this his last games he spoke with pride about be­ing able to share the ex­pe­ri­ence with fam­i­ly and friends. His cousin Kelsey Daniel earned sil­ver in the men’s Unde-20 triple jump and bronze in the men’s Un­der-20 long jump. He ex­plained the long jump event was the night be­fore his own javelin com­pe­ti­tion the next morn­ing so he wasn’t able to be at the sta­di­um. He watched on­line from his ho­tel room and was ec­sta­t­ic that Daniel had won a medal. And was even more so the next day when he won sil­ver.

Hors­ford, a for­mer stu­dent of Sig­nal Hill Sec­ondary School, at­trib­ut­es his suc­cess thus far in large part to the trust he has in coach­es, es­pe­cial­ly To­bag­on­ian Wade Franklin, who coached him be­fore go­ing to col­lege and to whom he still turns too for ad­vice and to his con­fi­dence in him­self. Hors­ford said it wasn’t al­ways like this but over the years coach Franklin, through en­cour­age­ment and plan­ning, has been able to re­veal to him the pow­er of pos­i­tive think­ing, goal set­ting and go­ing out there and achiev­ing. Hors­ford ad­mits he has much bet­ter man­age­ment of his nerves now, but like all great ath­letes still, get a few but­ter­flies be­fore a meet.

At Mis­sis­sipi, the Grena­di­an An­der­son Pe­ters is one of his team­mates and he said that he is not on­ly in­spired by him but al­so grate­ful for the tips and ad­vice that he gets from Pe­ters. Clos­er to home, he al­so shared that he is in touch with Ke­shawn Wal­cott as well from time to time.

Hors­ford ad­mires the breadth of knowl­edge that Wal­cott has about his sport and it was quite ob­vi­ous to me that Hors­ford is tru­ly in­to learn­ing more about mas­ter­ing his craft and liv­ing up to his fullest po­ten­tial as well. He’s cer­tain­ly on the right track with two per­son­al record-break­ing week­ends in a row!