The Sprinter Factory

The Sprinter Factory


(upbeat music) – Girls’ track and field. Yeah, it’s serious business in Jamaica. (whistle blowing) We have so many girls wanting to be a part of this great legacy
that we have in Jamaica. There’s no other school
in Jamaica that produces the amount of athletes
going to the Olympics as St. Jago School. The pressure is immense. The pressure is immense. These kids are hungry. They are from poor
families, and they see this as a vehicle to keep them out of poverty, and you know, to breed success. Soon, and very soon, I’m going
to have my Olympic champion. I mean there are a lot of prospects here. I couldn’t tell you who’s
going to make the transition, but first we have the
Boys and Girls Champs. (muffled announcing)
(horns blowing) I don’t think there’s any
harder high school event in the world like the Boys
and Girls Champs in Jamaica. It’s fierce competition over five days. All of these great athletes
who have competed at Champs. Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann
Fraser-Pryce, and Elaine Thompson. At Champs, it was like a
platform or a springboard for them going into their
adult or professional career. (fun, bouncy music) – I can say that this football field, it has done me great justice. I can’t count on my
palms the days, my hands, the days that I’ve trained over there. During the nights, you
know, I’m there running, we don’t know where I’m
running to, but I’m getting to the end of that line. I am going to be that
Olympic gold medalist in the 400 metre. – These are Okhalia’s medals. Most particularly proud of this. This is the 400 gold
medal winner from Champs, Boys and Girls Champs. That experience is so
overwhelming, I scream, I scream, and I say, go, Okhalia, that’s
my girl, that’s my girl. – [Okhalia] I ran 54.42, that
placed me eighth in the world for the juniors. – [Announcer] Okhalia Buchanan. – [Okhalia] And I was only 14. – ‘Cause she was the
smallest one in the pack, they called her little rocket. – The big rocket is
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. So, that’s the big rocket. – [Narrator] This is what house? – You know, this is where I’m from, so I’m familiar with everybody. (mixed chattering) Yeah, so these are my, I
grew up with everybody here. Wha gwan? Growing up, my mother was very poor. We lived in a one room. We had a lot of violence,
so most times you come on this street, you see a lot of police. You can’t come out at a certain hour. My mother was an athlete. She got pregnant when she was very young, she dropped out of school,
and that was it, you know? And for me, she wanted to make sure that what happened to her didn’t happen to me. I remember my mother saying, you know, track and field’s your way out. This can be your way out. So you find that for a lot of girls, now more focused than
ever because they realise it’s possible for them
to become an Olympian, it’s possible for them to become more than their circumstances. – I won’t say that my mother is rich, but she tries her best to keep us, to keep us alive and to let us know that there’s always bigger and better things for the years coming. – Okhalia is not from
an affluent background, she’s from a low income
family with her mother, who is the bread winner,
doing as best as she can. (mumbling) For me, that imagination of
being an Olympic champion in terms of my family, I would
ensure that life is good. I’d leave no one behind. (fun, bouncy music) – Okhalia Buchanan,
fantastic young athlete who has had some challenges
because of injury. She has had a lasting hamstring injury that thank god we are now getting
down to fix it properly. – I have to get continued flush outs so the pain can be
removed, as I train daily. – Okhalia, she didn’t get to run last year because two weeks before
Champs, she got injured. The year before, something
similar happened, so I think her soul, her spirit is down. – Track and field, as everyone would say, is an ungrateful sport,
but I’m coming back slowly but surely, and time will tell. – I don’t think much people
out there remember Okhalia because she’s been three
years out of the running. She needs to go there
and surprise people now. (upbeat music) – Yes, Okhalia, low squat, go down. Not half squat, right, full squat. Anything has to do with your
arms, you’ve got to be quick. Can’t waste much time. Alesha Kelly is our special talent. So, we have some big plans in terms of her going to the World Juniors in June,
and maybe in the Olympics. I honestly thought that last year, she could have gone to
the Olympics, you know, I thought she could have at
even a part of the four by four. – [Keilando] Alesha, she has
a recent recruit at St Jago, she’s a gift to us. – Well, training is very important because all the top schools
want to see in people is a track and field war. It is very intense,
everybody wants to win. But at the end of the day,
there only can be one winner. I will bet that St.
Jago will be the winner. – [Narrator] So, that’s a casualty? – Casualty. After patch her up, I
can get her back ready. But she’ll be good, she’ll
be good, she’ll be good. (reggae music)
(mixed chattering) – I’m currently living in Spanish Town, I’ve been here for one year. I grew up in Saint Mary. It’s about two hours from Spanish Town. – This is where Alesha
lived for the past year. I have five boarders here and
I have two daughters here, which are mine, there’s several girls. Five teenagers, which is just, means it’s kinda hectic at times. I love them, Alesha is my girl. She’s a very nice girl,
very, very nice girl. – Well, my family, you know,
they’re all over the place. All over. My mom is in Orlando, Florida. Well, I talk to my mom every day. Every single day, so. (reggae music) – At first, she used to
like, cry, and sulk away, but I talked to her and I said, Alesha, God gave you this gift to run. It’s not where you’re from,
it’s what you intend to do and what you do do with that. Stop looking behind,
Alesha, try to look forward. (chanting) (upbeat reggae music) – At Champs, the last five years, we have won four championships. The past Olympics, that
was our most successful, we had four Olympians. We have well over 100 girls. And they make up about 70% of the team from the length and breadth of Jamaica. But that’s our little
dormitory for our female team. And that’s where all of
our champions sort of, able to develop from. Girls, incredible on this
side because we’re gonna do work over here. We start to recruit at age 11, 12. The girls want to be at Edwin Allen They want to be the girls
who are the champions, who are born and still exceling. For example, Shellece Clark,
Shellece has been champion coming up since age 11, 12. When you go to recruit, they would ask, we are going to go to the
same school as Shellece, can we meet her? So, sometimes we probably take her along so they would meet her and you know, get attracted to her, and want to be a part of our programme as well. (upbeat music)
(muffled announcing) – [Narrator] Leading away
our first time, a fast game. – In Champs 2015, I
participated in the 100 metre, 200 metres, and the 400
metre, which I came out with being a triple gold medalist. I guess you could say I’m
surprised overall because growing up, I wasn’t really
a fan of track and field. It’s pretty shocking. – [Woman] This is where
she won three gold medals. Once Champs seasons starts,
every paper, we take out. – [Man] Every paper. – Something pertaining to Shellece. When she was about three years old, I noticed she walked on her toe point, and I always wondered, is
something wrong with her? I took her to the doctor,
and the doctor said no, she’s fine. And a friend of mine said,
she’s going to be a sprinter, that’s why she walked
on her toe point like that. – Yes, the Olympics gold, yes! – One year at Champs.
– Be confident. Probably 20, 2020? – 2020.
– 2020, yeah. 2020, we’re looking for it. (upbeat music) (banging) (mixed announcing and horns blowing) – I would imagine roughly
50 coaches come down here to recruit some of these athletes. One of the reasons why I recruit here is because the kids here
are a lot more hungry. The opportunities are more scarce here, so they’re trying to run themselves out into a better situation. (muffled announcing and horns blowing) – I think Champs is the
reason that Jamaican track and field athletes for a population of only three million
people are so dominant. What these kids go through
in terms of the pressure and handling the pressure,
it gets them ready for a bigger stage when they go on When they go on to the world championships
or the Olympic games. They’ve been brought
up in this atmosphere, they’re ready for it,
and you can see a result. (mixed chattering) (cheering) – This year, I’ve endured
a lot of challenges. I’ve had an hamstring
problem since last year, but I guess it progressed into
this year and it got worse. Monday when I got here, I
found out that I wouldn’t be doing the 100 metre, so it
kinda threw me off, but yeah. Patrice will be replacing
me in the 100 metre. – [Announcer] From Edwin
Allen, Patrice Moody. – They learn from now
that you have to work hard each year in order to
maintain the top position, and any time, any moment,
you can be kicked away from that top position by someone else. Shellece will only
be running the relay. You know, I know that
Shellece is disappointed, but I don’t work with sentiments. It doesn’t matter what
you have done in the past, track and field is all about history, it is what you’ve done on the day. (horn blowing)
(muffled announcing) I expected her to run the 100m But she didn’t, so we’re still here supporting her She’ll be running the four by one (hip hop instrumental) (horn blowing)
(muffled announcing) – Run, run! – [Announcer] This is Shellece
Clark with a slight fumble by Edwin Allen, that
allows Excelsior to sneak up on the outside, but
Shellece Clark gets back into contention. – Shellece! Run, Shellece! Shellece! Shellece! Run, Shellece! Shellece, run! – [Announcer] Edwin Allen, from Clarendon, turn and goes away for the gold medal. (muffled announcing) A gold medal, yeah – Yeah. (mixed chattering) – I saw her make it and that was it. You understand me, go out and
do your thing today, Okhalia. – The next Jamaican
sensation, look at her now. Look at that, the mommy there. – Yeah, okay, love. (mixed chattering) (mixed chattering) – She out here doing it for us. – Everybody’s out here
supporting me right now, and I’m very thankful. (mixed chattering) Ever since I’ve been running,
they have been supporting me even though I was Injured,
they would ask me like, when am I coming back,
when am I gonna turn back. I’m ready to go out
there, compete at my best. – [Narrator] You are the best. – Thank you. And do whatever it is that
takes me to the finals. Oh, Jesus. (contemplative music) – After yesterday’s performance,
Okhalia was a little bit shaky in terms of self confidence,
and we’re trying to see if we can get back to the stage
where there is the Okhalia of three years ago. She ran a beautiful
350 metres at the race, and then coming down to the end, she died. She ran a 57, we need
Okhalia to run at least a 55 to be guaranteed a spot
going into the final. So, it’s two seconds off. This year would have been the
year, she has been working very hard, but coming back
from the type of injury, she has had two hamstring
injuries back to back, and we don’t want to be
unrealistic in saying, oh, she’s gonna just
suddenly run at 52 or 53. (mixed chattering) – These girls are very excited
about this championship. You know? You are competing against
the best of the best, so this is the thing that
overseas schools look at, they don’t look at any other thing. This is my final year. I’m here to do big things,
great, great things. I’m determined of everything that I do, so it’s gonna be competitive, yes, but I don’t think it’s gonna
be very hard for me to win. (horns blowing) – [Announcer] Joins her, Alesha
Kelly presses on the gas, so she wants to secure
the win, and she does. She passed her best time going into the semi finals – [Announcer] So, on track
now, girls 400 metres semi final round. In lane five from St. Jago, Alesha Kelly. In lane two, from Wolmers, Okhalia Buchanan. (banging) So, here we go, and
Alesha Kelly of St. Jago is kind of like the bullet from a gun. Onto the back stretch on the outside, Setania Wright, also travelling fast. So is Ranesha McGregor of Hydel, St. Jago’s Alesha Kelly,
and Satania Wright. Also going well on the
outside, Okhalia Buchanan of Wolmer’s is trying to
get back to the party. It’s Alesha McGregor all
by herself from Hydel, away from Alesha Kelly of St. Jago. McGregor, she come across the line first. Alesha Kelly slowing down rapidly, but gets across the line
in second just ahead of Satania Wright and
Myesha Bonds of Steths and Edwin Allen respectively. (contemplative music) – I can only hope that from here on, I can only improve and
not go back to square one. As coach says, the race isn’t who comes first but who endures, that’s what I’ll see,
it’s not the end of me. – I think Jamaica pushes some
of these athletes too hard, especially with the talented ones. A lot of these kids are doing
a lot of work in training. Some of them get injured, and
the schools and the coaches tend not be proactive
with injury management. And we see them come into
Champs and aggravate an injury. There’s a lot of talent in Jamaica. Some of the coaches
feel it’s just a matter of moving on to the next. So, they don’t have to
take the time to deal with injuries correctly
because there is always someone waiting in the wings. – [Announcer] It is McGregor,
following Kelly Winter. Williams coming now on the inside, Williams of Steths taking
aim, but on the outside, it is Kelly Williams fighting back. Williams and Kelly. Stacy and Williams of Steths. Great run there by Kelly of St. Jago, but Stacy Williams just made it home. – Talent pool in Jamaica,
every year, one set graduates, the next year, it’s just
some other persons pop up Even when Elaine comes, and
Shelly-Ann Fraser Price retires, I don’t think we’ll have
a problem replacing them because the talent pool
in Jamaica is almost like a spring or a fountain, and
we’re looking forward to giving the world their
next big female face of track and field. (orchestral music) (horns blowing) (upbeat music)

About the Author: Garret Beatty

100 Comments

  1. some of these edits are truly embarrassing.
    all kinds of races thrown together as if in a blender. Better than that.

  2. Really good running there, but lets not forget California! Michael Norman and Noah Lyles, etc.These are truly great sprinters that Jamaica will have to work hard to top – Norman has just gotten the WORLD INDOOR 400 meter record at age 19. Also, before anybody quotes best sub-20 times in the world they need to check CIF Championship times from California or best in state times in places like North Carolina or Maryland as well.

  3. I just checked.The results are much slower than the California High School State meet. If California included all 19 year olds it would be on par with the European Open Championships.

  4. This is very bittersweet. Sweet to see the aspiration but very bitter to see the poverty. How hard is it to educate a few million people on a small island?? WTF is wrong with these "leaders"?

  5. The love and support these sisters get is beyond amazing. The strength and focus and passion is SO palpable! From the bottom to the top with PRIDE!!

  6. it great to have all this talent but the sprint factory needs to pay more attention to proper injury management so that these athlete will get a worthwhile career also. I hope that they also get educated in other various things like psychological aspects of being a great athlete, like have a champion mindset while remaining humble and dignified. Good luck Sprint factory and God's speed.

  7. I wish i lived in Jamaica so I could compete with these guys…i love intense meets like these…the competitive atmosphere gets me pumped up meets like these are so fun

  8. I'm not even jamacians or been to Jamacia I'm a Trinidadian but love Athletics for a few years now I looks forward for ISSA /Grave Kennedy girls and boys Championship in Jamacia watched most of it on YouTube, I'm talking nothing has compare to it, real entertaining competition is hot i love it seeing so many youths in action is a great spectacle, always well attended have to gave de Yardies credits the coaches, athletes parents and JAAA association . Respect looking forward to 2019 championships.

  9. Very good, you all run. Maybe, later in life some will remind you of how you motivated them to run like the wind. Good Luck, and again I love this video. 🙂

  10. Great job Jamaica ! also need to invest in sports medicine and certified training for coaches. good job with school and dorms, hopefully, more funding will come to your schools

  11. These young athletes, the coach should put a more in emphasis in the important, how to prevent injury, they’re pressuring these young athletes to win that it can eliminate, them out of poverty, yet it true how about education can also takes them out of poverty like wise. North America are looking for trade individuals because all the skills labor’s are dying out all you have are soft skills filling up the world

  12. This is sports only a few will make it to pro. all they need to do is enjoy their schools years and get a good education out of it. Track and field athletes have a better graduation rate from college that basketball and football. The kids has to roll the dice. to get a scholarship you have to be seen. To be seen you have to train hard . they're no short cut.

  13. does it not bother anyone else that the man was rubbing her leg like that even though he is a physical therapist? just saying some ppl would be uncomfortable

  14. That's a factory. Some products fail. It's like the bulgarian weightlifting school, jumper schools in Russia. It is sad to see because some athletes need more time to develop and maybe they are better after all if you give them more time to grow and become better. Not everyone is an early bloomer.

  15. ONG
    Everyone of you, athletes, coaches, parents, neighbours, teachers,
    Everyone of you deserve the Nobel Peace Prize just for surviving, considering where you are (coming) from
    If you all can come from such dire circumstances and keep your integrity, intact,
    Still keep your joy and peace, your happiness and your hope alive,
    Then everyone else should be able to do it
    No excuses now,
    Let's go…!!!, Let's do it…
    In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and savior..

  16. We just ain’t gone act these ain’t 14 and 17 year olds running 52’s with pulled hams!…..dammit when I got to college we only had one girl that could run a 53 and we thought she was goals!

  17. This is what other African countries need: A government, programs and opportunities for their people in sports like track. The Jamaican govt and institutions in Jamaica actively support and encourage their people to get involved in a sport their clearly good at. That is why a small island of only 3 million people is known to have the best sprinters in the world. If other African countries like Kenya had this kind of support for their people, they would be at the top for every distance event.

  18. It must be noted that MOST TOP ATHLETES AT CHAMPS do not want to do Track and field for life…
    It's done for LOVE OF SCHOOL..

  19. Foam rolling, static, ballistic stretching, PNF- proprieoceptive neurological facilitation, AROM -active range of motion. Sequential firing. There are ways to trick the nervous system, for output/ performance. For all the amazing genetics, they are not fully applying the science. It's not all about rate of force production, and workload capacity. These kids needs to work on flexibility and core training. You should not GO INTO competition banged up and worried about existing injury. You should be at 100% springy, spongy and AMPED TO PERFORM for God, family, friends, team, coaches, and country. In that order. Sometimes you can hinder more then help. EDUCATE YOURSELF.

  20. Hey am Kevon Lewis, am from Jamaican , i attend GreenPond High School and am looking for a scholarship for track and field…… If there's any out there contact me at 876-313-6668

  21. Why is it that the fathers are never featured. Its the big problem with Jamaica, too many fatherless household as such we will continue to battle against the social ills hauting us.

  22. Its not just hungry to run outta poverty as I hear many, US Couches saying, most high School students, if not rich, cannot be described as poverty stricken, but Champs has been a traditional prestige for all Schools over the last 100years, all young Athlete who wins a race for their School, is equivalent to winning a Gold medal at the Olympics in reality.

  23. This is amazing! The film focused on those girls who were disadvantaged at the beginning but they made it through – Shelly-Anne and Elaine! Go and Go, Jamaica, world's factory of sprinters!

  24. This’s how we should be all the time, unity together without hurting each other with the guys an elimination the national with guns violence (united stand divided we stand)

  25. Brilliant documentary- Jamaica must now concentrate on injury management and show support to their athletes. If they do this then jamaica will become world leaders and possibly dominate the sport.

  26. Greetings! Salute to all of my beautiful tribe sista's aka Queen's… I'm so very proud of all of y'all… I know that it's more than just a race / running track… It's Life to you young ladies… And that's ladies and gentlemen is the reason why, y'all are # 1 period… Shalom

  27. Why do all these little girls rock perms and straightened hair. I swear I've never seen Jamaican curls which ik are serious if they are from the islands

  28. Parents should hold couches responsible for these injuries. Stretching, exercise and rest. Destroying bodies before they even get a chance 😔

  29. Some of these coaches need training themselves, these girls are burned out before even being able to showcase their best time to the university abroad.

  30. This was a joy to watch! These young ladies work so hard, and their support systems are very positive. I wish all these young people the absolute best. Ice massaging [fill & freeze plastic cups with water] before and after training is a gamechanger for muscle recovery, injury treatment, and prevention all in one… I learned this the hard way after years of working out as a Football Player to the point of being unable to jog. Bless you all.

  31. To the coaches more water and bananas, potassium for your athletes, see the differences less injuries, quicker recovery time. All the best.

  32. The injury management is the key. I am a trainer in body building which is a totally different sport however injuries do occur in this sport as well. From watching this video I wonder how is the rest / recovery schedule for these athletes. I mean recovery is the key to success in any sport. The body will not respond to over work it has to rejuvenate. Also how is there nutrition? Just so much questions that I think there should be some oversight for these programs.

  33. What they achieve and contribute to this world is just because of their crazy athletic culture . It's not helpful for other athletes , they have to work on their potential and technic . So keep on practicing .

  34. WOW …I am so attracted to the Jamaican accent that Shelly Ann speaks at 3:11… its just like the American being attracted to the French accent…i never knew this

  35. Yo brought here because Bolt did a defend eim coach. Yo big up to he who sane fei a speak up…

    Jah….

    MyCall

  36. Jamaicans are soldiers, fighters and a determined nation that's why they are winners, training in those conditions and beating the world, what a great NATION!

  37. I'm very proud of these young girls in Jamaica they work hard train hard and some of these outsiders the recruiters I'm speaking families have to be careful because they will sometimes end up in situations where they are promised stuff and they are not always fulfilled and they end up sacrificing themselves and working for other countries

  38. My take away from competive athletic is the life lesson. The lesson of discipline learning to get up when you are down and never ever giving up. Use these qualities in your life and they will help you attain success.

  39. Hi my name is rianna downer and the school that I go is innswood high school and I really want to go to a school like this I really want to talk to some one

  40. Read between the lines… track fans. What the documentary is really saying is : Jamaican athletes have a very high injury rate amongst poor children. An Olympic ban on jamaican athletes will prevent poor children from being "exploited" in hopes of making it out the ghettos of Jamaica. America and the British are tierd of competing against young, hungry lions in Jamaica.

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