By Jim Irish
Photos by Luis Gomez
Brice Chabot returned from the under age 23 North American, Central American, and Caribbean Athletics Championships (NACAC) in San Jose, Costa Rica with a medal in the 400-meter relay. But he most desired one in the 200-meter dash.
Chabot, a 2021 Smithville High School alumnus currently on the track team at UT at San Antonio, finished in fourth place in the 200 in 20.83 seconds on Sunday. His personal record of 20.44 was set at this year’s conference meet.
“The gun went off; I reacted well,” said Chabot, the youngest at age 20 of the eight finalists. “I was in first place coming off the curve. (But) I couldn't’ find that extra gear toward the end.
“(That’s my) last race of 2023. I’m not happy with it. I know I can go faster. My body didn’t allow me right now. It’s tired.”
Chabot said he competed in 32 sprint races in 2023. He plans to run fewer races next year.
“Only the important ones,” he said.
Callus Robinson, from Canada, captured the gold medal in the 200 in 20.52 followed by Jamaica’s Demar Francis, who competes for Baylor University, 20.67; and American Connor Washington, who runs for Arkansas, in 20.83.
Chabot claimed the three sprinters ahead of him benefitted from shorter seasons. Francis was injured most of the track season, Chabot said.
“They are a lot fresher than we are,” he said. “We run, run, run, take a week off, come out here and try to compete to our best. We can’t.”
In the preliminaries of the 200, Chabot won his heat in 21.02.
“I was just really relaxed,” he said. “I wanted to get out there and open up, nothing too fast. I used it as a test for the finals.”
Chabot earned a bronze medal Saturday with his American teammates in the 400 relay in 39.62. Jamaica and the Bahamas took first in 39.04 and second in 39.59, respectively.
He ran the second leg on the straightaway and “knew I ran a great leg.”
His biggest thrill in Costa Rica was “the experience and representing Team USA.”
Chabot returns to UTSA as a junior in August and will work on strength training and his running form.
Jim Irish is a freelance writer in Bastrop, Texas