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Sprint hurdles, 400s take spotlight on Champs Day One

Published:Tuesday | March 24, 2015 | 12:00 AMOliver Harris
Wolmer's Boys' Jaheel Hyde
KC's Twayne Crooks ... 4x800m.
St Jago's Martin Manley

There will be no finals on the first day of the GraceKennedy Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Boys and Girls' Athletic Championship, but the level of excitement will be quite high. The events to be contested are the preliminaries of the sprint hurdles, the 400m and the 2000m steeplechase.

In the boys' sprint hurdles, Jaheel Hyde of Wolmer's and the Calabar pair of Michael O'Hara and Seanie Selvin will take centre stage. Expectations are high that all three boys could run below Omar McLeod's record of 13.24 seconds, and these preliminaries could be used as a guide to see the shape that these boys are in.

In the girl's section of the hurdles, St Jago, led by Peta-Gaye Williams, are expected to dominate the preliminaries, while Edwin Allen, Holmwood, Hydel, and Vere expect to qualify all their athletes for Friday's semi-finals.

A lot of attention will be paid to the Class Two boys' 400m for varying reasons. On the one hand, there is some doubt that Nathaniel Bann of Kingston College (KC) will pass the medical to participate in the event; and if he does, there will be much interest in analysing the shape he is in.

On the other hand, Christopher Taylor of Calabar will certainly face the starter, but no one is quite sure if he will be running just fast enough to qualify for the next round, or if he will be attempting to run another blistering sub-46 time and smash Devaughn Baker's 46.64 record.

There will also be a lot of interest shown in the boys' Class One 400m. For the first time ever in Champs history, there will be three athletes - Twayne Crooks (KC), Akeem Bloomfield (KC) and Martin Manley (St Jago) - who have run below 46 seconds; while a fourth, Nathon Allen (St Jago), ran 46.1 seconds twice last year and is also expected to break the 46-second barrier.

In the boys' section of the steeplechase, Daniel Glave of Holmwood Technical, Garfield Gordon of Mavis Bank and Nicholas Mundle of Bellefield are expected to easily qualify for the steeplechase finals, but it will be quite interesting to note the number of athletes that will qualify from the top contending schools Calabar, KC and JC.

The female section will be just as exciting, with the Edwin Allen pair of Alveena Howell and Taleika Jacobs, defending champion Shanique Watson of Holmwood, Monifa Green of Hydel and Alithia Ferron of Vere all expected to qualify easily for tomorrow's finals.