Sport

Top schools jockey for position as Champs heats up

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer Senior Reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, March 29, 2012    

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DUE to the inclement weather at the 102nd ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships, the two scheduled boys finals had to be pushed back and up to press time, no finals were completed.

The boys long jump final should have started at 5:20 pm, but instead got going at 7:00 pm.

The Kingston College duo of Keneil Grant and Clive Pullen were expected to garner 16 points for first and second. Wolmer's Adam Cummings led the qualifiers with a leap of 7.08m, but midway in the final, Grant with 7.27m led ahead of Pullen with 7.10m and well on their way to a possible one-two finish.

Each title protagonist had two athletes in the final. The second scheduled boys final was the 2,000m steeple chase which was scheduled for 9:25 pm.

Meanwhile, Calabar's Adrian Riley led the decathlon with 2,213 points after three of the 10 events. Buff Bay's Alton Palmer is second with 2,147 ahead of Waquar Larrington of St Jago on 2.219. In fourth is Oshane Shaw of Wolmer's on 1,976 and favourite Darron Hunter of KC on 1,951 points.

There were no major casualties in the preliminary heats as the top schools positioned themselves.

JC's Waquar DaCosta led all qualifiers in the Class One 800m with a time of 1:56.18 minutes ahead of Oryane Espuet of Manchester High with 1:57.01.

The KC pair of Carifta trials winner Alex Saunders and Sanj Powell are through with times of 1:57.64 and 1:58.94, respectively. Kevin Robinson of Foga Road High with 1:58.93 and Vere Technical's Wesley Gaynor 1:57.06, Michael Stone of St Jago in 1:57.16 are through with good times. Of note, no athlete from Calabar High was even entered for the event.

In Class Two, KC's Miguel Morrison was the quickest through with 1:58.77 ahead of Ricardo McKenzie of Cornwall College in 1:59.72. Race favourites Chad Miller of KC with 2:01.23 and Calabar's Orville Dixon with 2:00.08 were also safely through.

St Elizabeth Technical's Jevaughney James was the fastest qualifier in Class Three in 2:07.49 ahead of Munro College's Rajiv Lewis in 2:08.98 with KC's Jean-Marc Smith third quickest in 2:09.24.

In the 200m, World Olympic Youth 100m champion Odeen Skeen of Wolmer's Boys was smooth and effortless in 21.23 seconds. Green Island High's Odail Todd, the 100m World Youth champion, cruised home in 21.33.

Delano Williams of Munro won his heat in 21.65. KC's Travane Thompson also looked easy in 21.46 as did JeVaughn Minzie of Bog Walk with 21.49 seconds. Calabar's Gawayne Porter was the fastest in Class Three with 23.12 ahead of Dinthill's Damane Dixon (23.15) and Wolmer's Dajour Wilson in 23.19. Race favourite Jhevaughn Matherson of KC looked extremely easy in 23.71. The green and black-clad bearers from Red Hills Road showed their strength in the Class One discus courtesy of Ashinia Miller and Fedrick Dacres. Last year's runner-up Dacres threw 47.84m, while Miller hurled 47.10m. Munro College's Jevaughn Shaw had the best throw of 48.68m of the 17, qualifiers.

In the boys 400m hurdles Open, JC gained the upperhand on their rivals as both their runners reached the final compared to one from Calabar and none from KC.

JC's Kyle Robinson and Javarn Gallimore with 52.97 and 53.41 qualified with the fifth and sixth fastest times. Calabar's Javon Francis was the last qualifier with 54.03. Omar McCleod of Manchester heads the finalists with 51.90 ahead of the St Elizabeth duo of Jamie Demns and Ronald Levy in 51.99 and 52.16 seconds, respectively.

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