Spencer, Richards set to top rivals
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Jamaica's 400m hurdles star Kaliese Spencer should this evening walk away with the top honours among females at the 2014 Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA)/Scotiabank Golden Cleats Awards.
Spencer's selection as the island's top female athlete for the year seems a forgone conclusion after the 27 year-old registered her most dominant season to date, winning titles at the Commonwealth Games and the Continental Cup, while taking the 400m hurdles Diamond Race.
The awards function, which is set for the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel at 6:30 p.m., will also pay homage to the island's top male athletes, with shot put man O'Dayne Richards looking the most likely candidate among a list of five nominees to walk away with the top prize.
Spencer, who won 12 of her 13 400m hurdles races this year, left her stamp on the season that saw her starting the year by winning a silver medal in the 400m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, before stuffing her medal cabinet with gold in the 400m hurdles at the Commonwealth Games and the IAAF Continental Cup later on.
But she was not the only impressive Jamaican woman in track and field this year.
The other female nominees are Stephanie McPherson, Novlene Williams - Mills, Kimberly Williams and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce can all feel pleased with their efforts in 2014.
McPherson was of course also impressive this year, winning gold in the 400m at the Commonwealth Games ahead of Williams-Mills.
Williams-Mills, however, sho-wed her consistency, taking the Diamond Race title in the event. Williams-Mills won nine of her 15 quarter-mile starts this season and was second at the Continental Cup. She also joined McPherson as a member of Jamaica's successful 4x400m relay team at the Commonwealth Games.
Triple jumper Williams continues to carry the country's flag in the pit, winning the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, this after claiming bronze at the World Indoors.
On the men's side, Richards created history, becoming Jamaica's first gold medallist in the shot put at the Commonwealth Games, when he heaved a Games and National record 21.61m. Richards also finished second at the Continental Cup.
The judges would certainly have considered Hansle Parchment's national record run of 12.94 seconds, which made him the first Jamaican to dip below 13 seconds in the 110m hurdles, and it would not be entirely surprising if the towering hurdler takes the plaudits.
Kemar Bailey-Cole won gold in the 100m at the Common-wealth Games, while Rasheed Dwyer ran a personal best 19.98 to win the 200m at the same championships to go along with his title won at the National Senior Championships.
National champion Andrew Riley also closed out the year in fine style adding Commonwealth Games gold to his credit in Glasgow.
Stephen Francis, Fitzalbert Coleman, Lynval Swaby, Maurice Wilson and Glen Mills are the nominees for the to coach award.
Additionally, Scotiabank will present two promising young athletes with a scholarship valued at up to $250,000 for use towards their tertiary education. The financial institution will also hand over an electronic display board for use during field events.