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Fritz, Watson top Mandeville Burger King 7K

Published:Monday | October 27, 2014 | 12:00 AMRaymond Graham
Raymond Graham photo Obrien Fritz cools down at the finish after winning the men's segment at the Mandeville Burger King 7K, in Mandeville, yesterday.
Raymond Graham photo Holmwood Technical's Shanieke Watson cools down at the finish after winning the men's segment at the Mandeville Burger King 7K, in Mandeville, yesterday.
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FORMER Holmwood Technical middle distance athlete, Obrien Fritz, along with Shanieke Watson, who presently attends the same institution, claimed the respective men's and women's top honours at yesterday's Mandeville Burger King 7K Road Race.

The athletes earned $15,000 each for their efforts.

Fritz, the 2014 double champion at the ISSA Boys and Girls' Championships in the 2000 metres Open Steeplechase and the 5000 metres Open, was impressive in taking the event in 23 minutes, 51 seconds, defeating the consistent Damion Bent (24.06) and Digicel 5K winner, Garfield Gordon (24.35), of Mavis Bank.

"I have been training real hard this season and I am happy for the win. In the early stages, I was behind Bent, but I did not panic as I kept my composure and was able to win in the end," said Fritz, who is attending HEART/NTA in Mandeville.

Watson, the girls 2000m open steeplechase champion at Champs last March, covered the course in 29 minutes, 14 seconds, getting the better of Digicel 5K winner, Crystal Brown (30.11) of Mavis Bank High, while national senior representative, Simoya Campbell (30.21) of the University of Technology, was third.

"I am very proud of my performance and I will be using this result as a platform for the remainder of the season," Watson noted.

Holmwood Technical's boys' and girls topped both categories in the high school team segment.

The event, which is the first in the Burger King Grand Prix Series, was held in Mandeville for the first time and meet organiser, Alfred 'Franno' Francis, was pleased with the overwhelming support.

"It was an enormous success and the event being held in Central Jamaica for the first time saw an increase of over 100 per cent compared to last year and I was also pleased with those who came out for recreational purposes," he said. "The course was a bit challenging, but the athletes all did well."

Francis is looking forward to the next event in the series, the Portmore 10K.

"We expect a bigger turnout in Portmore because we have the 4G 150-metre relay for high schools and this is always well supported," he said.