Smooth sailing – Jamaica Observer

Jamaica College’s Hector Benjamin wins his Class One Boys’
preliminary-round heat at the ISSA/
GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics
Championships at the National Stadium
on Tuesday. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

SPRINTER Thieanna-Lee Terrelonge of Edwin Allen High and quarter-miler Shanoya Douglas of Muschett High gave mouth-watering glimpses of what is to come at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships (Champs) at the National Stadium yesterday.

Terrelonge, a favourite to win the Class Two Girls’ 100m and who threatens the record of 11.16 seconds set in 2018 by Kevona Davis, barely got out of first gear while running 12.15 seconds (-1.6m/s) to win her first-round heat.

The athlete who won Class Three last year and Class Four two years prior ran a personal-best 11.25 seconds two weeks ago as St Jago High’s Briana Campbell, 11.94 seconds (-1.6m/s), led the qualifiers. She was followed by Hydel High’s Shemonique Hazle, who was second last year, running 12.00 seconds (-2.7m/s), and Bryana Davidson, also of St Jago High, who ran 12.10 seconds (-4.0m/s).

There was potential for disappointment when Western Champs winner Sabrina Dockery of Lacovia High, who was expected to medal, was disqualified in her first Champs 100m, and despite running under protest, was later omitted from the results. She was however reinstated and added to the field of semifinalists.

Earlier in the day, Douglas threw down the gauntlet in the Class Two 400m when she ran a personal best 53.39 seconds to win her first-round heat.

Douglas, who has been in sensational form this season, led the qualification for today’s semi-finals, clocking the fastest time by a Class Two runner so far this season and third-fastest by a schoolgirl.

The County of Cornwall Athletics Association (COCAA) Western Championships winner, who was eighth in the Class Three final at Champs last year, got off to a fast start and was well ahead of the field midway the race before easing down about 50m from the finish line.

Also advancing were defending champion Jody-Ann Daley of Hydel High, who won her heat in a more sedate 55.63 seconds, as well as two other finalists from last year. These were Edwin Allen’s Kelly Ann Carr, who also won her heat in 54.87 seconds, and Vere Technical’s Shevaughn Thomas who ran 54.72 seconds.

Wolmer’s High School for Girls’ Mickayla Gardener, the only survivor from last year’s Class One 100m final, advanced to the semi-finals after finishing second in her first-round heat in 12.13 seconds (-2.5m/s) to Edwin Allen’s Jounee Armstrong (11.93 seconds), while Hydel High’s Alliah Baker won her heat in 11.94 seconds (0.7m/s).

Edwin Allen’s Trezequet Taylor led all qualifiers with 11.87 seconds (-1.0m/s), followed by Habiba Harris of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) in 11.89 seconds.

Natrece East of Wolmer’s Girls, tipped to win the Class Three and make up for her second-place spot last year, obliged with an easy-looking 12.42 seconds in her heat.

Adora Campbell of St Jago High, who just missed a medal last year, was the fastest in Class Three with 12.20 seconds (-2.5m/s). St Mary High’s Kaliesha Bell ran 12.25 seconds (-0.7 m/s) while Immaculate Conception’s Kayla Johnson clocked 12.32 seconds (-2.0m/s).

Hydel High’s Teixiera Johnson was the most impressive in Class Four when she ran 12.36 seconds (-1.4m/s), while Edwin Allen High’s Tashana Godfrey (12.46 seconds) (-2.0m/s), Rihanna Scott of Ferncourt High (12.52 seconds, -3.4m/s), and Jadeanne Patterson of Alphansus Davis High (12.77 seconds) also advanced.

In the other 400m preliminaries contested yesterday Sashana Johnson of Hydel High won her race in 56.08 seconds, the fastest among the Class Three girls, followed by Holmwood Technical’s Tracey-ann Evans’ 56.65 seconds. Port Antonio High’s Kevina Bourne ran 56.87 seconds while Clarendon College’s Tresha-Lee Sutherland was timed at 57.69 seconds.

Edwin Allen High’s Tony-Ann Beckford will be looking to complete a full set of medals in the Girls’ Open 400m hurdles after she won bronze in 2022 and silver last year, and easily won her semi-final heat yesterday in 58.80 seconds.

She could be challenged by her teammate Natasha Fox, who missed out on medals the last two years, as the Trinidadian athlete led the qualifying with 58.71 seconds.

Hydel High’s Aaliyah Mullings will also be seeking a medal, running 59.06 seconds, while Western Champs winner and Carifta Games Under-17 medallist Rhianna Lewis ran 59.89 seconds.

Ashara Frater of Vere Technical ,who was fifth last year, ran the fastest in the qualifications for the Class Two Girls’ 1500m when she clocked 4:49.55 minutes, ahead of Holmwood Technical’s Jovi Rose (5:04.58), followed by St Jago High’s Kededra Coombs’ 5:05.95, and Denbigh High’s Natalia Gayle (5:05.95).

Edwin Allen High’s Kevongaye Fowler will hope to improve on her fifth place from last year in the Class Three 1500m. She ran 5:06.30 in the preliminaries, behind STETHS’s Shameika Dennis’s 4:56.90, while another Edwin Allen High runner, Denique Palmer, ran 4:58.50.

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