Jamaica Observer / Amoi Brown of Vere Technical High, Shian Salmon of Hydel High and Michael Stephens of Calabar High were three of the outstanding performers at the 21st staging of the Grace/Puma Youngster Goldsmith National Classics, at the National Stadium last Saturday. Brown upstaged her rivals Britany Anderson of Camperdown High and Daszay Freeman of The Queen’s School in the Class One Girls’ 100m hurdles final, producing a technically efficient race to win going away from the field in a time of 13.35secs. Anderson and Freeman followed home in 13.72secs and 14.03secs, respectively.
In the Class Two girls’ final Ackera Nugent was just as impressive, storming away from the field and leaving them for dead as she won in 13.69secs. Crystal Morrison of St Jago High was second in 13.87secs, while Ray-Donna Lee was third in 14.03secs.
Salieci Myles of Edwin Allen showed great foot speed between hurdles to beat back the challenge of the Hydel pair of Gabrielle Matthews (11.57) and Oneka Wilson (11.60). Myles stopped the clock at 11.42secs for gold.
Hydel High continues to challenge the dominance of the ‘Central’ schools in girls’ sprinting and finished first and second in the Class Four final of the 100m. Kerrica Hill led home Alana Reid, while Toni-Ann Forbes of Edwin Allen finished third.
Last year’s Class Four girls’ sprint champion Brianna Lyston is quickly finding out that she will not have things all her own way in Class Three, as she was beaten into third place in 11.89secs. Tia Clayton of Edwin Allen finished ahead of her in 11.80secs in their heat as they both trailed Saskieka Steele of Holmwood Technical home, who won the event in 11.71secs. The explosive Kevona Davis showed her dominance in Class Two, while her teammate Kasheika Cameron took gold in Class One.
Shiann Salmon of Hydel High was another top performer of the day, winning the 400m hurdles Open in 59.11secs in the morning, before returning to take the 400m for Class One girls in 54.73secs later in the afternoon.
Chrisanni May of Holmwood Technical made a strong early statement in the Class One Girls’ 1500m, winning in 4:49.72 minutes. Alecia Young of Vere Technical took Class Two in 5:01.98, while Jadeen Dawkins of St Jago took Class Three in 5:05.78.
Aneisha Ingram of Edwin Allen won the girls’ Open steeplechase in 7:13.76, leaving the Holmwood Technical pair of Samantha Pryce (7:19.92) and Megan Thomas (7:34.78) in her wake.
In the field events, the favourites obliged in the discus. Fiona Richards of Edwin Allen was not up tp her best but still prevailed with 50.04m. Marie Forbes of Vere Technical produced yet another solid throw of 45.31m, while Raphae Guthrie of Excelsior is fast establishing herself as one to watch at Champs in Class Three, with a throw of 34.01m.
The diminutive Dahlia Sterling of Excelsior High has been consistent this season and while smaller than the rest, seemingly has the best technique in the javelin. She won again on Saturday with a throw of 39.63m, four metres more than Gabrielle Bailey (35.52m) of St Jago and almost six metres more than the discus champion, Fiona Richards, who had a best of 33.73m.
Edwin Allen swept the Class Four high jumps with Shanta Jones, Alliah Baker and Shackayla Henry all clearing 1.50m, with Jones winning on countback. In Class Three, Bianca Samuels took gold with 1.60m; in Class Two, Kadian Myers of Lacovia took gold with 1.70m; and in Class One, Annia Ashley of Edwin Allen took gold with 1.75m.
Calabar’s David Lynch (11.59secs) split the Kingston College pair of Bouwahjgi Nkrumie (11.39secs) and Nicardo Hinds (11.63secs), who finished first and third, respectively, in the Class Three Boys’ 100m. In Class Two, Javari Thomas of St Jago won in 10.76secs, York Castle’s Rohan Watson was second in 11.01secs, and Zidane Brown of Glenmuir was third in 11.06secs.
Defending Class One Boys’ 100m champion from a year ago, Michael Stephens of Calabar High, won in 10.48secs, distancing himself from his teammate Rosean Young, 10.63secs, and Kimani Gardener of Excelsior, third in 10.64secs.
There was a close finish in the Boys’ 200m invitational which went to Tyreke Bryan of Kingston College in 21.60secs; Kevon Stone of Petersfield was second in 21.61secs, while Dashawn Morris, also of Kingston College, was third in 21.71secs.
The Class Two event went to Antonio Watson of Petersfield in 21.56secs, Bradley Spencer of Wolmer’s Boys’ followed him home in 22.38secs, while Justin McDonald of Jamaica College was third in 22.78secs.
Tyreese Williams of Kingston College took the Class Three Boys’ 400m in 51.58secs, Evaldo Whitehorn of Calabar won the Class Two equivalent in 48.11secs, and Jeremy Farr of Wolmer’s Boys’ took Class One in 46.75secs.
Kimar Farquharson of Calabar continues to show good early season form in the middle distance events, taking the 1500m in 4:01.67. He will be a force again this season.
The always exciting sprint hurdles had the fans screaming once more. In the 100m Class Three final, Neil Sutherland of JC was first in 13.35secs, David Williams of Calabar was second in 13.70secs, with Justin Rankine of Kingston College taking third in 14.19secs.
St Jago were first and second in the Class Two 110m hurdles with Vashaun Vascianna first across the tape in 13.72secs, Javel Granville clocked at 14.20secs, while Calabar’s Schavon Carr took third in 14.33secs. Calabar took gold in Class One through Orlando Bennett in 13.62secs, Rasheed Broadbell of St Jago got silver in 13.80secs, and Wayne Pinnock of Kingston College took the bronze in 14.14secs.
Malik James-King of Calabar ruled in the 400m hurdles Open in 51.27secs, while his teammate Andre Leslie took Class Two in 53.16secs.
The 2000m steeplechase Open also went Calabar’s way, Revaldo Marshall outpacing the field to win in 6:14.89, way ahead of Javier Brown of JC in 6:21.98 and his teammate Daniel McDonald in 6:22.31.
JC have a real love affair with the pole vault and it was their athlete Dane Smith who took gold, clearing a height of 4.20m. Andrew Betton of Calabar was second with 4.00m, while Donovan Thames of KC was third with a modest 3.50m.
KC took gold and silver in the Class Three Boys’ high jump, Chris Seaton edging Blaine Byam on countback after they both cleared 1.80. Zavior Cadling of Calabar took bronze with 1.75m. Antonio Hanson of Herbert Morrison won gold in Class Two, clearing 1.95m, Waukeem Walters of Wolmer’s won bronze with 1.90m, and Jerome Campbell of Calabar took bronze with 1.85m. KC were also winners in Class One, with Jon-Michael Davis (2.10m) coming out ahead of the Calabar pair of Ricardo Clarke (2.05m) and Andrew Betton (2.00m).
KC continued to have some joy in Class Three as Anthony Willis took gold in the long jump with a leap of 6.00m. Pavel Lawrence of Calabar with 5.96m denied another KC 1-2 when he beat Seaton into third, as the high jump winner could only manage 5.91m for third. What KC could not do in Class Three Calabar did in Class Two, as Lamar Reid won with 6.82m and Jordan Turner, second with 6.78m. Waukeem Walters of Wolmer’s had to settle for bronze for a second time on the day, when he jumped 6.70m. As in Class Three, KC were denied gold and silver in the seniors as Wolmerian Daniel Bogle (7.14m) split Wayne Pinnock (7.45m) and Shaquille Lowe (7.12m).
JC took charge in the triple jump, Apalos Edwards winning in Class Two with 14.98m, as Luke Brown (13.56m) and Jerome Campbell (13.39m) took second and third for Calabar. Safin Willis and Malik Cunningham were first and second in Class One for JC, while Devonte Bancroft of KC took third with a leap of 14.65m.
Roje Stona of St Jago appears unbeatable, coming up with another big throw — this time 62.50m for gold. Kai Chang of Calabar (60.36m) was the only other athlete to breach the 60m mark and he walked away with silver while Douglas Cyrus (57.13m) claimed the bronze. Zackery Dillion of Calabar took Class Two gold with 52.17m ahead of Ralford Mullings of Kingston College with 51.93m. Romario Jackson of St Jago was a distant third with 46.04m.
Romaine Brown of KC was first in the javelin for high school boys with a throw of 52.88m, his teammate Shakwon Coke was second with 51.66m, and Delano James of Calabar third with 49.85m.
— Dwayne Richards