Record goal | Local sports
Rae-Anne Serville is only 18, but has already set his sights on a senior record in Trinidad and Tobago. The Memphis Pioneers athlete is aiming for the women’s 400-meter standard of 51.83 seconds set by Janeil Bellille in 2014, and hopes to reach her goal when she was still a teenager.
Last June, Serville broke the national junior record, completing her lap of the Hasely Crawford stadium in 52.89 seconds for the under-20 gold medal in the women’s 400 meters at the Junior National Championships.
“That day was pretty funny,” Serville said. “Right before this race, I was lying on a bench and looking up to the sky. I was so relaxed. I really wasn’t thinking about the race and just performed it perfectly. I didn’t realize it was that fast. I’m done, and everyone is really excited. I looked up and my mom is so excited. I was going back, and the announcer said “this is a new junior record!”.
“I didn’t even know what the junior record was,” continued the talented quarter-mile. “It didn’t occur to me. Now it opened my eyes, there are records to break. So I think it would be really cool if I broke the senior record as a junior. I still have a year.
Serville was speaking last Wednesday, during the second episode of Athlete Talks, the new online series starring former national athletes Jamaal James and Zwede Hewitt, as well as current T&T track stars Jereem “The Dream” Richards and Jehue Gordon. James, Richards and Gordon co-hosted the second episode, while Serville and the hedge of a ride Sparkle McKnight were guests on the show.
Serville was recruited by the University of Southern California (USC) and is looking forward to the opportunity to train under the guidance of head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert. Serville said his Memphis coaches Dr Ian Hypolite and Antonia Burton “were very good guides” in the recruiting process.
“USC was probably the only school I went to. I emailed, wrote everything, it’s me, I do this, these are my grades, this is my best run, all kinds of videos, everything. And no answer. It was devastating. Everyone was talking about the quality of the school, but they did not contact him. So I made my five visits: Arkansas, Clemson, South Carolina, Harvard and Texas. “
USC, however, ultimately sued Serville, and she made the obvious choice.
“I was on my way home from Harvard, at the airport on my own. My mom and dad video called me and they looked very excited. They said the USC head coach called. I almost cried at the airport.
Serville is convinced that the USC program will serve him well.
“It would be really cool to run 49 and under. I think I have the competition at USC to do that or to propel me down this path, so I can’t wait to be there. “
Serville won the bronze medal in the 400m girls under 20 at the 2019 Carifta Games and wanted to improve this performance during the 2020 edition, in Bermuda. Covid-19, however, forced the Games to be canceled.
“Next year is not guaranteed,” Serville said. “I’ll be in the NCAA system, so participating in Carifta will depend on whether I’m free at that time and whether I’m allowed to come. It’s in the air, so yeah, it’s pretty disappointing that I’m missing it this year.
The pupil of the Saint Joseph Convent in Port of Spain gave some advice to his sports comrades.
“It’s the same thing my coach tells me. Carifta is not the whole and the end. There are a number of big names that never did Carifta. And honestly, if this is your first year and you missed it, you still have a few more years. Keep doing what you were doing. You made the team once. You should be able to start over, ”concludes Serville. “Stay focused and train hard.”