Tuesday, April 12, 2011

JAAA names strong 70-member CARIFTA team

JAAA names strong 70-member CARIFTA team

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

MONTEGO BAY, St James — The Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association (JAAA) yesterday named a powerful 70-member team to defend Jamaica's title at the 40th CARIFTA Games to be held at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, Easter weekend, April 23-25.

Calabar's Traves Smikle, the third best junior discus thrower ever and Holmwood Technical's world junior leading quarter-miler Chris-Ann Gordon will lead the team that will see St Andrew High's Leacroft Bolt as head coach.

Jamaica College's Rohan Walker, who was left off his school's team at Boys' Champs, has been named in the team and will contest the Under-17 200m/400m events.

There were some notable omissions, however, including new national junior record holder in the female high jump, Kimberly Williamson of Edwin Allen High, who could only manage third at the Trials held March 19-20 at the Stadium East field.

Her teammate Ristananna Tracey, the defending Under-20 400m hurdles champion is also out, as she was held out of the Trials by her coach Michael Dyke, who told the Observer he could not risk any injuries, given the closeness of the Gibson Relays, Trials and Girls' Champs.

St Elizabeth Technical's Opal James, who was second in the CARIFTA Games Under-17 long jump last year and who won the long and triple jumps at Trials, was not named and it is understood she is nursing a slight injury.

Munro College's Waynee Hyman, who was second in the Under-20 boys' 400m and also second in Class One at Champs, was also left out.

Jamaica has dominated the regional championships that was first held in 1972 and has won the lion's share of the medals over the last 25 stagings or so.

Jamaican athletes won 72 medals last year to top the medals table in the Cayman Islands with Trinidad and Tobago next on 40 and The Bahamas third with 29.

Bolt said that he was confident the Jamaican team would continue its high level performance and said competing in front of a home crowd will push them to do even better.

"I am expecting stellar performances," he told the Observer. "We have a well-balanced team with some superb athletes and they will do well."

Team: Under-17 Girls — Shauna Helps, Shanice Bonner, Jonielle Smith, Yanique McNeil, Kissi Ann Brown, Lisa Buchanan, Alethia McLaughlin, Yanique Thompson, Peta Gay Williams, Kimone Green, Krista Gay Taylor, Shardia Lawrence, Claudette Allen, Gleneve Grange, Paul Ann Gayle. Under-17 Boys -- Raheem Robinson, Jevaughn Minzie, Rohan Walker, Khadeesh Willis, Keneil Harrison, Kevon Robinson, Herbert Thomas, Orville Dixon, Tyler Mason, Michael Ohara, Rosean Maxwell, Marvin Williams, Christoffe Bryan, Julanie Walker, Christopher Brown, Alec Verne Longmore.

Under-20 Girls — Christania Williams, Deandre Whitehorne, Shericka Jackson, Celia Walters, Chris-Ann Gordon, Olivia James, Simoya Campbell, Chantal Duncan, Taska Johnson, Chrisdale McCarthy, Megan Simmonds, Janieve Russell, Rushell Clayton, Chanice Porter, Petergay Reid, Nickeva Wilson, Avril McGhie, Kellion Knibb, Sashagay Marston.

Under-20 Boys — Kemar Bailey-Cole, Jazeel Murphy, Kemarley Brown, Odail Todd, Rusheen McDonald, Brian Smith, Andrew Hosey, Orane Wint, Rogeek Rochester, Khari Bowen, Stefan Fennell, Omar McLeod, Demar Robinson, Clive Pullen, Kazuma Davis, Xavier Boland, Oshinia Miller, Traves Smikle, Jeffrey King, Javier Bell.

Coaches — Leacroft Bolt, Steve Cole, Corey Bennett, Leaford Grant, Dwight Jones and Keilando Goburn.

Management team — Keith Wellington, head of delegation, Langley Robinson, manager, Jennifer Brown and Sonia Rose, assistant managers, Omar Savon, team doctor, Marlon Wilkie, masseur.

Friday, April 8, 2011

School museum opened at St Andrew High

School museum opened at St Andrew High

Friday, April 08, 2011

THE St Andrew High School for Girls today became the first educational institution to open a school museum in Jamaica.

The museum, which was funded by members of the school alumnae and is built in recognition of past administrator, Mrs Emrie James, as the institution celebrates their 85 year anniversary (1925-2010).

The unveiling ceremony was attended by dignitaries from the education ministry, led by Minister of Education Andrew Holness.

"I endorse this move and I must say from the bottom of my heart I respect this school," said Holness.

Alumnae, including Maxine Henry-Wilson and wife of the Governor General Lady Hall, who were in attendance, expressed their pride at seeing the museum become a reality.

"Cherish this museum young ladies, as we remember the people who made all this possible," said Lady Hall.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Holmwood Technical captures their ninth straight Girls title

Holmwood Technical captures their ninth straight Girls title

Sunday, April 03, 2011

IN a battle of wills, experience prevailed as Holmwood Technical last night captured their ninth straight Girls Championship title, beating longtime nemesis Edwin Allen by six points at the National Stadium.

The Frankfield, Clarendon-based Edwin Allen finally seemed ready to take the elusive title and actually entered the final day on 134 points to Holmwood's 130.

Edwin Allen star athlete Ristananna Tracey powers to her third victory, in the Class one Girls 400 metres, at the National Stadium yesterday. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)

The lead changed hands several times yesterday but essential points in the relays helped the defending champions Holmwood establish themselves as they took the sprint medley in a new championships record 4:01.62, lowering their own mark of 4:01.92 set last year, finishing ahead of St Jago in 4:01.83 and Edwin Allen 4:05.84.

Holmwood also secured the class three sprint 4x100m relay in a record 45.83 seconds and the Class 1 sprint relay in 45.50, while Edwin Allen finished second in 45.77. The top two positions were reversed in the Class 4 version, where Edwin Allen won in 48.30 to Holmwood's 48.31.

Edwin Allen's Ristananna Tracey was not fast enough to catch Holmwood anchor runner Chris Ann Gordon in the final event, the open 4x400m as the champions finished second in 3:36.90 and retained their title with 326 points to Edwin Allen's 320.

Vere claimed the 4x400m in a meet record 3:33.17.

Holmwood's coach Maurice Wilson told the Sunday Observer the pundits and naysayers who said his team could not take the title gave them the motivation needed.

"I was extremely motivated based on all that was being said. I'm really extremely happy for all of the young ladies who showed tremendous courage. A champion is a champion and I know it was going to be very difficult for Edwin Allen to just steamroll us," he said.

Meanwhile, Tracey and St Andrew's Rushele Burton led a cadre of multiple medallists, each capturing a trio of individual gold.

Having already secured the 400m and 400m hurdles, Tracey made a quick start before storming away to a huge lead and a standing ovation in the Class 1 800m in 2:05.95, with teammate Desreen Montaque second in 2:09.01, and Chantal Duncan of Vere third in 2:09.44.

"I'm very determined. It's my last year of Champs and I want to leave a special mark here so that they can say, 'yes, Ristananna has done this in 2011 for Edwin Allen'," she told the Sunday Observer.

Tracey had earlier defended her Class 1 400m title, establishing a 10-metre lead by the 200m mark and widening by almost 30 metres by the finish, clocking 52.38. Manchester's Orenthia Bennett was second in 55.26, with Bellefield Moya McKenzie third in 56.10.

Burton captured her second gold when she came from behind to claim the Class 4 70m hurdles in 10.79 seconds, pipping Janeek Brown of Wolmer's.

Burton, who on Friday won the 100m in 12.19 ahead of Ayeshia Morgan of Hydel (12.25) and Shellece Clark of Edwin Allen (12.30), went on to take the 200 in 25.36 ahead of Excelsior's Jody-Ann Petrie (25.39) and Shanice Brown of Edwin Allen (25.45).

Wolmer's Shawna Helps completed the sprint double, adding the 200 to her Class 3 100m gold in a fight to the finish with teammate Janiele Smith, both registering 24.64 seconds, with Sashalee Forbes of Holmwood third in 24.66.

Vere's Shericka Jackson continued her dominance in the Class Two 200m, sealing victory in 24.06 as Edwin Allen's Claudette Allen was second in 24.25 and Wolmer's Cardine Copeland third in 24.79.

Yanique Ellington of Holmwood posted 24.10 for victory in the Class 1 race, finishing ahead of the Herbert Morrison pair of Remona Burchell, 24.18, and Teveo Jenkins, 24.45.

Holmwood's Lisa Buchanan in the last 10 metres was forced to stave off the challenge of STETH's Chantal Smith to claim the Class 3 800m by the narrowest of margins in 2:12.05 to Smith's 2:12.07, with Aleitha McLaughlin third (2:14.21).

Chris-Ann Gordon was handed a shock by Spaldings' Simoya Campbell in the Class 2 800m. Campbell has had an impressive season and finally came through to win by 10 metres in 2:11.24, while Gordon posted 2:13.01 and Marleena Eubanks of Edwin Allen, 2:14.97

Gordon, however, remained unbeaten over 400, clocking a record and world-leading 51.62 seconds to beat the Vere pair of Olivia James (52.90) and Shericka Jackson (52.94).

In the process, she lowered the seven-year-old record of 52.41 set by Sonita Sutherland in 2004.

Vere's Yanique McNeil, the fastest qualifier entering the final, improved on the silver she won in 2010, taking charge after the first 100m to win the Class 3 400 in 54.29 ahead of St Jago's Genekee Leith, 55.10, and Semoy Hemmings of Hydel, 55.29.

Jamaica College and Holmwood triumph!

JC, Holmwood triumph!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

A hundred years after their first win in 1911, Jamaica College (JC) last night won their 21st ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys Championships for the Mortimer Geddes Trophy after overhauling early leaders Kingston College (KC) on a pulsating final day of the 101st staging at the National Stadium.

In the Girls competition, Holmwood Technical held off a stern challenge from rivals Edwin Allen High to prevail by a mere six points — 226-220.

Jamaica College athletes take a victory lap with their school flag after winning the 101st Boys’ Athletic Championships at the National Stadium, yesterday. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)

Munro College’s Delano Williams (2nd right) sprints to victory in the Class One 200-metres final in 21.00 seconds ahead of Green Island’s Odail Todd (3rd left) and Jazeel Murphy (2nd left) at the National Stadium yesterday. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)

The Orville Brown-coached JC team prevailed with 280 points to KC's 269 nailbiting points as Calabar was third with 236, followed by Wolmer's Boys, 139, and Munro College fifth with 133.

JC, who last won in 2000, trailed fierce rivals KC by 21 points (112-133) from 17 completed finals at the start of the final day, but continued to chip away at the deficit before taking their first lead after 23 finals at 159-154 after scoring 14 points in the Class 2 sprint hurdles.

The lead continued to change hands almost with every event until the 26th final, the Class 2 800 metres, when the Hope Street-based school took the lead for good.

JC's win extended a glorious year for the school after they won the Under-19 football treble for the first time — the Manning and Walker Cups and the Olivier Shield — as well as the all-island Under 14 and the ISSA Under-19 hockey title, the latter a first.

Orville Brown, the JC head coach, told the Sunday Observer the coaching staff stayed up well into the early morning "assessing our situation, but we realised we are still in it".

Despite their good showing at the Gibson Relays, there were doubts about JC's depth and Brown said they, too, were nervous.

"We were not certain even in the sprint relays until after the 5000m when Bejaun Jones placed third, then they knew it was all over."

Co-captain Hugh Lewis told the Sunday Observer that "We've been saying it all year. Champs was ours to win and this is the truth; it will set you free."

Two records were broken yesterday. Ashinia Miller of Calabar set a new record in the Class 1 shot put, surpassing the previous 18.22m set last year by Chad Wright by a massive 0.76m with a new mark of 18.98m.

Traves Smikle, who had smashed the discus record on Thursday, was second in 18.05m, while Munro's Emanuel Oniya was third with 17.70m.

JC set a new mark in the Class 2 4x100m relay, posting 41.21 seconds to erase the 41.24 set by Calabar in 2006.

There were three double winners — JC's Deshawn Jackson, who took the Class 2 sprint double, Calabar's Orville Dixon, who won the Class 3 800m yesterday after winning the 1500m a day earlier, and his teammate Michael Ohara, who won the Class 3 100m/100m hurdles double.

In one of the most highly-anticipated events, 17-year-old Turks and Caicos native Delano Williams got over his "disappointment of placing third in the Class 1 100m final on Friday to win the 200m in 21.00 seconds, ahead of Green Island's Odail Todd, 21.42, and 100m champion Jazeel Murphy, 21.48.

Afterwards, he said while he gave it his all in the shorter sprint, it was the half-lap event he really wanted and was happy to finally win an individual gold medal a Champs.

Williams won two more god medals, including two in the relays as he teamed with compatriot Ifeanyi Otuonye, who led off; Rajiv Service and Waynee Hyman to upset favorites STETHS in the Class 1 4x100m, winning in 38.92 seconds.

STETHS, who were unbeaten since the Penn Relays Small Schools consolation finals last year, were second in 40.48 and Bridgeport, anchored by Murphy, third in 40.83.

He led off the 4x400m team which included Hyman, Service and anchored by Kaneil Harrison in 3 minutes 12.90 seconds, with Manchester high second and Calabar third.

Jackson of JC completed the Class 2 sprint double, winning the 200m in 21.97 seconds, with Bog Walk High's Jevaughn Minzie taking the silver in22.26 and Kedeesh Willis of St Jago, who was fourth in the 400m, third in 22.49.

Another JC athlete, Devaughn Baker, won the Class 3 200m in 22.69 seconds ahead of Jordan James of Wolmers, 22.97, and Raheem Chambers of St Jago, 23.06.

After several attempts, Seaforth High's Javere Bell finally struck gold, racing to 46.54 seconds to take the Class 1 400m, beating his IAAF World Youth Championship teammate Hyman of Munro, 47.40, with KC's Jovan Williams third in 47.60.

Manchester High's Lennox Williams retained his Class 2 title with a commanding 47.96 clocking after a false start, crossing the line well ahead of Calabar's Javon Francis, 48.83, and St Jago's Ivan Henry, who beat teammate Kadeesh Willis for the bronze.

JC's Baker appeared to have won the Class 3 quarter-mile, but inexplicably stopped a few feet from the line and was passed by the hard-rushing Jordan James of Wolmer's, who won in 50.28 seconds, an improvement on his third place last year.

Baker of JC took the silver with 50.34, while the bronze went to Calabar's Malcolm Campbell with 51.24.

Holmwood's Kevin White prevailed to win the Class 1 800m in 1 minute 52.26 seconds after a stirring home stretch battle with Clarendon College's Brian Smith, 1:52.43, and Calabar's Rando Gunn, 1:52.50.

Calabar's Jorel Belfante, the Class 2 1500m champion on Friday, was denied a second gold medal and despite diving across the line, was beaten by Foga Road's Kevon Robinson, who made up for third place last year with gold in 1:57.40.

Belafonte took silver with 1:57.45 and JC's Romaine Headman took bronze in 1:57.77.

Calabar's Dixon, who broke the Class 3 1500m record on Friday evening, won his second gold less than 24 hours later when he raced away from the Class 3 800 field, winning in 2:00.24, beating Nakeem Hemmings of JC, 2:03.14, with Foga Road High's Oyeth Bailey third.

Red-hot favourite Stefan Fennell of KC duly obliged in the Class 1 110m hurdles, sailing over the barriers to post 13.68 seconds, erasing last year's disappoints when he crashed out in the Class 2 semis.

He was followed home by Yannick Hart of Wolmer's, 14.05, and Omar Graham of Manchester, 14.24.

Tyler Mason of JC won consecutive hurdles gold, racing to 13.82 seconds in the Class 2 110m final after winning in Class 3 last year, beating Calabar's Kemar Williams, 14.16, and STETHS' Davion Dennis, 14.34.

Calabar's Michael Ohara, who won the 100m gold on Friday night, won his second gold yesterday, taking the 100m hurdles in 13.96 seconds, easily ahead of Wolmers' Jaheel Hyde, 13.93, leaning across the line ahead of St Jago's Jordan Chin, who clocked 13.96.

In one of their rare victories yesterday, Wolmers' earned nine points from Christoffe Bryan in the Class 2 high jump after he won on the count back from JC's Ashani Wright after both cleared 2.08m. Calabar's Jovan Swaby was third with 2.00.

Munro's Giovanni Mowatt sprinted away from St Jago's 2000m steeplechase winner Webster Chung to win the 5000m Open in 15 minutes 24.09 seconds, while Bejaun Jones of JC took third.

Jamaica College (JC) and Holmwood Technical High shines at Champs

April 2, 2011

Jamaica College (JC) and Holmwood Technical High held off strong challenges from main rivals Kingston College and Edwin Allen High respectively to emerge boys and girls' champions on the final day of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/ GraceKennedy 2011 meet at the National Stadium yesterday.

It was not a day for the faint of heart. Leads in both the girls' and boys' championships changed regularly throughout the day. The girls' title was only decided in the final event, the 4x400 metres which was won by Vere Technical. Holmwood finished second to clinch the title, their ninth consecutive, with 326 points with Edwin Allen second on 320.

JC went into the boys' 4x400 metres with a comfortable lead to end with 280 points, eleven more than Kingston College, Calabar were third on 236, Wolmer's were next on 139 with Munro College fifth on 133.

The boys from Old Hope Road who were claiming their first title since 2000 started the day 21 points behind Kingston College, who had been leading the championships since the first day, but managed to produce the goods when it mattered, to stave off the hot pursuit and secure their 21st hold of the title.

With the title still on the line before the final event, the 4x400m Open, in true dramatic fashion, the second leg runners for JC and KC collided in each other, resulting in the two finishing at the back of the pack. It didn't matter in the end as JC crowned themselves Champs kingpins.

Their authority was underlined in the Class Three 4x100m as they smashed the old mark of 43.04 seconds, to register an impressive 41.21, with KC, 41.43, and Calabar, 41.79, also bettering the old record for their second and third places respectively.

Munro won a scintillating Class One 4x100m relay, in a neck-breaking 39.92, ahead of the previously all-dominant St Elizabeth Technical, 40.49, and Bridgeport, 40.53.

Sprint medley relay

KC, 3:33.17, as expected, won the sprint medley relay, beating Calabar, 3:33.72 and Jamaica College, 3:35.75; JC's strong finish ensuring that KC hearts could not rest in comfort.

Ashinia Miller continued Calabar's dominance in the throws when he broke the Class One boys' shot put record with a big 18.98m mark, erasing his former teammate Chad Wright's 18.22m record set last year. Discus record holder and champion Travis Smikle, also from Calabar, was second with 18.08m with Emmanuel Onyia (Munro), 17.70m finishing third.

The JC pair of Deshawn Jackson and Devaughn Baker won the Class Two and Three 200m respectively as JC continued their relentless late afternoon assault on the title.

Jackson, won his final in 22.06, with Bog Walk's Jevaughn Minzie, 22.26, and St Jago's Kadeesh Willis, 22.49, picking up the other medals.

Devaughn Baker (JC) won the Class Three boys 200m in 22.69 ahead of Jordan James (Wolmer's), 22.97, and Raheem Chambers (St Jago), 23.06.

In the Class Three boys 400m final, favourite Jordan James (Wolmer's), 50.28, got out quickly and appeared to start tiring at the 200m mark, but recovered with gusto towards the end to steal a win from JC's Devaughn Baker, 50.34, while Calabar's Malcolm Campbell was third in 51.24.

After finishing a disappointing fourth last year, Eastern Championships record - holder Javere Bell (Seaforth), 46.54, returned to decimate the field in the Class One final, with his fastest time of the year, while Munro's Waynee Hyman, 47.40, was second with KC's Jovan Williams, 47.60, finishing third.

Michael O'Hara (Calabar) continued his impressive championships, building on his 100m triumph by dominating the Class Three 100m hurdles field, stopping the clock at 13.69. O'Hara, who wore a big smile across his face while clearing the last hurdle, was trailed by Wolmer's Jaheel Hyde, 13.93 and St Jago's Jordan Chin, 13.96.

Class Two 110m hurdles

Tyler Mason (JC) won the Class Two 110m hurdles event in 13.82, just shy of the 13.69 Champs record set in 1999 by Dwayne Robinson. Mason, however, would have probably bettered that mark had he not decided to celebrate before the end of the race. Kemar Williams (Calabar), 14.16, was second with Davion Dennis (STETHS), 14.34 running third.

KC's Stefan Fennel has been peerless all season, so it was little surprise when his smooth hurdling gave him an easy win in the Class One final, threatening the meet record with an impressive 13.68 run.

In one of the most exciting races at the meet, last year's Class Three champion Kevin Robinson (Foga Road), 1:57.40, produced a late burst to nip 1500m champion Jorel Belfante (Calabar), 1:57.45. JC's Romaine Headman, 1:57.77, was third.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Carifta Trials at the Stadium East

Carifta Trials at the Stadium East

Edwin Allen High's Christiania Williams was in impressive form at yesterday's opening day of the two-day Carifta Trials at the Stadium East. Running against a 1.1-metre per second wind, Williams scorched the track in an outstanding 11.39 seconds to capture the girls' Under-20 100-metre final.

The former Oracabessa High sprinter who is not eligible to run at Boys and Girls' Championships this month, pulled away from a determined Deandre Whitehorn in the final 20 metres for her impressive win. Whitehorn, just returning from injury, was second in a personal best 11.56 with former Glengoffe High athlete, Natasha Morrison, competing for the University of Technology, finishing third in 11.70.

"I was very confident before my final as I knew that I was going to win as I have been doing well all season and I was not surprised when I heard my time," said the Michael Dyke-coached athlete.

Easy victory

Former Old Harbour High athlete, Kemar Bailey-Cole, romped to an easy victory in the Under-20 boys' 100 metres. Now at Racers Track Club under sprint-guru coach Glen Mills, Bailey-Cole led from start to finish to turn back the challenge of Bridgeport High's Jahzeel Murphy, winning in 10.41 seconds. Murphy clocked a season-best 10.50 for second as Jamaica College Class Two athlete Deshawn Jackson was third in 10.73. Wolmer's Boys' Odean Skeen, who was expected to figure prominently in the event, did not compete.

There were also impressive wins for Wolmer's Girls' Shauna Helps and Wolmer's Boys' Raheem Robinson in the Under-17 event. First year Class Three athlete, Helps, clocked 11.95 to score a close win over Queen's High's Shanice Bonner, 11.98, with Glenmuir's Ashley Stephens, third in 12.23.

Robinson, who is expected to play a key role in the Class Two sprints for his school at Boys Champs, scored a minor upset as he won the Under-17 event in 10.90 to upstage Bog Walk High's Jevaughn Minzie (10.93) and Herbert Morrison's Gauwin Williams (10.96).

Camperdown High's Peta Gaye Williams was the winner of the Under-17 girls' 300-metre hurdles in 42.32 seconds, ahead of St Elizabeth Technical's Kimone Green (42.53) and Alpha Academy's Krista Gay Taylor (43.69).

Holmwood Technical's Janieve Russell (59.15) outlasted Vere Technical's Rushell Clayton (59.83) to capture the girls' Under-20 400-metre hurdles.

Manchester High's Omar McLeod won the boys' Under-20 one-lap hurdle event in 51.86 from Munro College's Patrick Campbell (52.28) and Vere Technical's Andre Clarke (53.01).

Holmwood Technical's Lisa Buchanan (2:16.42) won the girls' Under-17 800 metres ahead of Central High's Monique McPherson (2:18.64).

Girls' Under-20 800m

Spaldings High's Simoya Campbell (2:09.04) took the girls' Under-20 800m with Vere Technical's Chantal Duncan (2:10.48) finishing second.

Calabar High's Jorell Belafonte streaked to victory in the Under-17 boys' 800m in 1:57.46, while Clarendon College's Brian Smith won the Under-20 event in 1:53.31 to defeat Holmwood Technical's Andre Hosey (1:53.47).

St Jago High athletes dominated the 3000 metres for Under-17 boys and Under-20 girls. Shannakay South won the girls' event in 10:56.22, ahead of St Elizabeth Technical's Nickeisha Williams (10.59.01). In the boys' 3000m, it was Webster Pennant in 9:29.51 ahead of Edwin Allen's Akeem Francis in 9:37.63.

The meet will start this morning at 10:45 with the final of the boys' Under-17 400-metre hurdles.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What to expect two weeks before Champs

What to expect two weeks before Champs

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

WHEN news broke earlier this year that the annual Gibson Relays might have to be postponed, many people in the track and field circle in Jamaica felt their hearts collectively skipped a beat.

Coaches, fans and athletes alike all winced at the thought of not having the one-day spectacle as a last major preparation for ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships. One can just imagine the relief when the dust settled and it turned out that it was not cancelled, but postponed due to the renovation work being done on the track.

Enter a new scenario; Gibson Relays will be the first major meet to be held on the newly installed track at the National Stadium.

The 35th staging of the event will be this Saturday, March 12 and based on the proximity to Champs, will offer possibly the greatest indication of what will happen at Champs than it ever has. The annual relay carnival, which is said to be the biggest one-day carnival of its kind in this hemisphere, is just two weeks before Champs (March 23-26). This means that no matter what games the top coaches might want to play, the gravity of the event will pull the best out of their charges.

With that said, keen attention will be placed on the high school relays. Indeed, the eyes of the crowd will be glued to the track when the 4x100, and 4x400 metre races for high schools are being run.

Based on what has been happening throughout the season, many of the country's top schools are ready to unleash crack squads at Champs and this weekend could provide us with our first glimpse.

One of the key events to watch at this year's event will be the boys' class one 4x100 metres. STETHS took the title in record form at this year's Western Relays but they will be pushed by the likes of Munro College, who are boasting Adam Cummings and Delano Williams in the line-up. Wolmer's Boys and Jamaica College should also be in the mix.

The high school 4x400 metres should be the perfect closers for the show this year. Many schools have been secretly putting together strong teams to compete in this event and we could see something special at this year's staging.

Sprinters stole the spotlight at Western Champs

CATHERINE HALL, St James — Sprinters stole the spotlight on Saturday as the Milo-sponsored County of Cornwall Athletics Association's (COCAA) Western Champs ended at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.

Munro College's Class One sprinter Delano Williams won the sprint double, but his Class Four teammate Rushane Edwards was the toast of the day with a splendid 22.29 seconds in the 200m final.

Cherifa Bartlett clears a hurdle on her way to winning the Girls Class Two 100m hurdles in 14.31 seconds at last Saturday’s final of the Milo COCAA Western Championships at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.

Sixteen records were broken, two equalled and one established as champions Munro College in the boys' section and St Elizabeth Technical High (STETHS) girls' retained their respective titles.

Munro won their fifth-straight title after scoring 452 points, 199 more than second-placed STETHS with Herbert Morrison (228.5 points), Petersfield (179) and Cornwall College (110) rounding out the top five.

STETHS girls won their 10th straight with 419, 99 more than Herbert Morrison's 320 with Mannings third with 200 and William Knibb-125 and Hampton School-77 the top five.

A number of finals were held earlier in the week as the girls' eliminations were held on Tuesday and the Boys on Thursday.

Edwards' new time smashed the 22.96 seconds set six years ago by Jerome Silvera after he won the 100m gold earlier with 11.5 seconds.

Williams, who represented the Turks and Caicos Islands at both the IAAF World Juniors in Canada last year as well as the Commonwealth Games in India, was a surprise winner of the 100m after upsetting defending champion Andrew Fisher of STETHS with a 10.51 clocking before returning to clock a smart 2.73 seconds to win the 200m.

Another Munro College runner, Waynee Hyman broke Usain Brooks' four-year-old record 48.1 seconds in the Class One 400m when he raced to a new 47.26 seconds to win the one-lap race.

Irwin High School's Rene Ambursley continued her good season in the 400m as she ran a personal best 54.98 seconds to win the Class One 400m event, beating the 55.3 time held jointly by Herbert Morrison's Nickesha Anderson and STETHS' Davita Prendergast.

Herbert Morrison Technical's Siedatha Palmer took the Class One 100m in 11.85 seconds, holding off William Knibb's Stacika Bright and another Herbert Morrison runner Remona Burchell.

Three of the girls sprint relay records were also broken, Herbert Morrison won the Class One in 46.99 seconds, STETHS won the Class Two in 47.54 seconds, while STETHS won Class Four in 50.85 seconds.

A number of middle-distance records were also broken on Saturday as Petersfield's Tion Gray added the Class Three 1,500m record (4:28.5 seconds) to the 3,000m Open he broke on Thursday.

Munro's Giovanni Foote ran one minute 55.0 seconds to win the Class One 800m, while Giovanni Mowatt ran four minutes 03.7 seconds in the Class One 1,500m.

Oberlin High lays down the gauntlet at Eastern Champs

Many-time champions Oberlin High laid down the gauntlet to all challengers on day one of the Jamaica National/Eastern Secondary Schools Sports Association Athletic Championships at the University of West Indies/Usain Bolt Track, closing with a slight lead over defending champions Buff Bay yesterday.

Four records were broken as Oberlin, desperate to reclaim the crown they lost to Buff Bay last year, closed the day on 136 points, eight more than the defending champs who have set themselves up nicely for a showdown.

Both teams have distanced themselves from the pack after 17 completed finals.

Titchfield are third on 55 points, Glengoffe (50) fourth, while St Mary High close out the top five on 49.5.

Titchfield's Shantel Reid twice smashed the Class One girls' discus record, to highlight yesterday's action.

Reid first hurled 35.52m to erase Ashantia Hayden's old mark of 33.41 metres, before going even further with a 38.35m posting.

Robert Thomas (Paul Bogle High) made light of the old Class One boys' discus record, posting 47.14m en route to winning the finals and in the process erasing the old mark of 39.09m.

Oberlin's Shanice Lee, 1.65m bettered Trudy Ann Powell's (Morant Bay) 1.55m in the Class Two girls' high jump final, while Titchfield's Shavanes Robinson, 4:31.34, smashed the Class Three boys' 1500m record, which previously stood at 4:39.45.

Morant Bay High qualified with the fastest time in the Class Two boys' 4x100m with 44.69, but should be hard pressed by St Mary Technical, 45.05, and Buff Bay, 45.85, in today's final.

Javere Bell (Seaforth High) eased to 22.23 seconds in the Class One boys' 200m, the fastest qualifying time for today's final, with St Thomas Technical's Brandon McIntosh (22.25) posting the second fastest.

Glengoffe's Trishauna Hemmings, 4.43m, won the Class Four girls' long jump ahead of Raphana Brown from Buff Bay, 4.31m, and Oberlin's Theana Fraser, who posted 4.17m for bronze.

Oberlin's Sashae Fender, 5:13.08, was too strong for her peers, as she helped herself to the gold medal in the Class Three girls' 1500m final, while Shamona Hunt (Glengoffe), 5:18.12, was second with Doneta Hunt (Buff Bay), 5:28.09, running third.

The Class Two girls' were considerably slower with Oberlin's Margaret McKay claiming the event in 5:21.29. Glengoffe's Sanque Richards, 5:25.06, and St Mary's College's Diane Lamont, 5:45.77, finished second and third, respectively.

Oberlin High completed the sweep in the event, with Anna-Kay McCallum winning the Class One final in 5:26.86 ahead of Buff Bay's Lacy-Ann Lecky, 5:31.41, and Seaforth's Shareen Daley, 5:36.50.

Rohan Simms (Titchfield) won the Class One boys' 1500m final in 4:15.75, while Annotto Bay's Collin Miles, 4:23.16 and Oberlin's Marcel Lamb, 4:25.31, claimed the other podium spots.

Yallahs' Orando Morgan won the Class Two boys' 1500m finals in 4:26.80, while Annotto Bay's Gawayne Richards, 4:29.55, ran second and St Mary Technical's Anthony Small, 4:31.01, finished third.

Christopher Shakespeare (Morant Bay) won the boys' Class Two long jump final with a 6.15m jump ahead of the St Mary Tech duo of Theo Walker, 6.11m, and Tashane Riley, 5.99m.

Jodeen Williams' (St Mary High) 12.58 was the fastest female in all classes in the girls' 100m prelims, winning her Class Two heat in 12.58 seconds.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Yohan Blake blazing form at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Invitational track and field

RACERS Track Club's Yohan Blake was in blazing form at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Invitational track and field meet yesterday, as he raced to a world leading 20.37 seconds to capture the men's Olympic 200 metres.

Blake, the former St Jago High sprinter, underlined his ability last year when he went sub-10 and sub-20 seconds over the 100 and 200 metres, respectively.
Yesterday he gave the fans something special as despite easing up some 10 metres from the finishing line, Blake was still able to clock a fast time as he relegated teammate Edino Steele into second place in 20.77 seconds.

Racers actually dominated the event as Kenroy Anderson won his heat in 20.66 seconds for second overall.

Blake was very pleased with his run.

"I feel good about my time as I came to run this event to work on the curve, and after easing up near to the finish line I am happy to run so fast," said Blake. "This is a good start for me and I hope my coach will allow me to run both sprints at the Trials this year."

Bridgeport High School's outstanding sprinter, Jahzeel Murphy, continued his impressive return to competition after missing most of last season with a with a right hamstring injury, as he gave another fine display in the boys Class One 100 metres.

Competing in the first heat, the 2009 CARIFTA Games double sprint champion, despite looking a little bit tight in the first 20 metres, found top gear in the final 80 metres to motor away from his opponents for a 10.52-second clocking.

Second-fastest time
Racers' Kemar Bailey-Cole, the former Old Harbour High athlete, recorded the second-fastest time among Class One boys, as he captured his heat in 10.57 seconds.

Manchester High's Lennox Campbell and Wolmer's Boys' Jordan James look set to capture the respective Class Two and Three 400 metres at Champs, as they produced record-breaking performances.

Williams, running out of lane eight in his heat, showed too much class for his opponents as he cruised to an easy win in 48.94 seconds to erase the 49.49-second mark of Calabar's High's Carlton Cousins.

"I was very easy today and to run a record I am very excited and I am looking to defend my title successfully," said Campbell.

James continued to be elusive in Class Three as he showed too much class for the field to destroy Jamaica College's Jordan Edwards' mark of 53.48 seconds, with an impressive 50.85 seconds. His teammate, Dujon Wilson, finished second overall in 52.42 seconds.

St Jago's boys made a clean sweep in the boys Open 2000 metres steeplechase, which will be a new event at Champs this year. Milo Central Champs winner Webster Chung made it two wins in-a-row as he captured heat one in 6:18.24, while his teammate Sanjay Pantry captured heat two in 6:23.61 for second overall. Rushane Johnson finished third overall in 6:30.81.

In the female equivalent, the vastly-improved Dezrine Montique of Edwin Allen pulled away from Holmwood Technical's Amoy Bailey in the final 90 metres to win in 7:20.85, as Bailey was timed in 7:21.99 for second.

Jamaica College's Edward Clarke and Calabar's Michael Oharo were tops in the Class Two and Three 100 metres, respectively. Clarke stopped the clock at 11.23 seconds, with Oharo registering 11.79 seconds to get the better of Wolmer's Boy's Karey Kelly, who was timed in 11.91 seconds