MONTEGO BAY, St James — Eighteen defending champions from last year's CARIFTA Games team were named in the 70-member team that will defend their regional title at the 41st staging of the three-day championships that will be held in Hamilton, Bermuda April 7-9.
Under-20 boys 100m champion Jazeel Murphy, National Junior Record holder in the shot put Ashinia Miller, 800m runner Simoya Campbell, sprint hurdlers Chrisdale McCarthy and Stephan Fennel and high jumpers Christoffe Bryan and Peta-Gay Reid have been named in the team that was ratified on Wednesday by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA).
However, despite a published list by several media houses and obtained by the Observer yesterday, the JAAA said the official list would not be released until next week.
Michael Vassell of St Hughs is the head coach, while Marlon Gayle of Edwin Allen High, Milton Brown of St Elizabeth Technical, Megan Wilson Copeland of Spalding High and Fernando Douglas of St George's College complete the staff.
There were no major surprises on the list, but defending Under-20 girls' discus throw champion Sasha-Gay Marston and jumpers Clive Pullen and Chanice Porter were left out.
Marston placed second in the discus at the JAAA/Burger King Trials two weeks ago, while Pullen and Porter had missed the meet with injuries but had submitted medical certificates.
In addition to the 18 defending champions, two female athletes, who won events in the Under-17 section last year and have since moved into the older Under-20 age group, were also named.
Peta-Gay Williams, who won the Under-17 100m hurdles last year in Montego Bay and Gleneve Grange, who won three gold medals in the Under-17 section have been named to contest the shot put and pentathlon events.
Aneka Brissett, the young Eltham High runner who will miss the ISSA Girls Champs later this month after her school failed to get the entry forms to ISSA in time, has been named to the team and joins a number of notable first timers including two national record holders.
Female national junior high jump record holder Kimberly Williamson and new discus record holder will compete at the CASRIFTA Games for the first time.
Another newcomer to the team is Nigerian born Munro College shot putter Emmanuel Onyia who won the event at Trials, beating Miller and IAAF World Youth Championships discus gold medallist Fedrick Dacres.
Only this week, Onyia's application for citizenship was granted, clearing the way for him to represent Jamaica in international competitions.
Meanwhile, World Youth Championships 100m gold medallist Odail Todd and Shericka Jackson, who both won minor medals last year, were also named in the squad that will seek to top the 66 medals won last year, their lowest total in a umber of years.