Slim lead for Calabar, Edwin Allen pulling away
Friday. This is the day when dreams are realised or dreams are shattered. Both championships are usually decided based on the results of those critical events on Friday.
Twenty-three finals will be concluded, including the 100m, 1500m and 400m hurdles, while the semi-finals of the 400m, sprint hurdles and medley relay will determine the athletes and teams that make Saturday's finals.
Both semi-finals and finals of the 100m will be run a few hours apart, and the long awaited 100m Class Two clash between Jevaughn Matherson of Kingston College and the Calabar duo of Tyreke Wilson and Dejour Russell will be realised. Raheeem Chambers of St Jago is favoured to win the Class One race, while in Class Three, Javier Johnson of Green Island, and Tiwaine Garriques of St Jago should duel for the gold medal.
But the most intriguing event will be the 400m hurdles, where Jaheel Hyde of Wolmer's Boys should threaten not only his championship record, but also his own national junior record. In the 1500m races, the St Elizabeth duo of Jauavney James and Shemar Salmon should easily win the gold and silver medals in Class Two, while Shevan Parks of Bellfield and Alex Hutton of Calabar should be the main contenders in the Class One event. The triple jump Class One record will surely be threatened when Obrien Wasome and Clayton Brown of Jamaica College try to hold off the threat of Odaine Lewis of Cornwall.
The semi-finals in the 400m races will be no less interesting with Christopher Taylor of Calabar, the Kingston College duo of Twayne Crooks and Akeem Bloomfield and the St Jago pair of Martin Manley and Nathan Allen looking to easily qualify for Saturdays finals, while the sprint hurdles will again be highlighted by World Youth champion Jaheel Hyde and his archrival Michael O'Hara.
So, Friday night closes with Calabar and Kingston College both scoring over 100 points, but Calabar still maintain a slim lead. Jamaica College are just below the 100 points mark and should not be counted out.
On the female side, new 400m hurdles sensation Junelle Bromfield of St Elizabeth Technical will take on defending champion Genekee Leith and world youth finalist Andrenette Knight, both from St Jago. Then in the Class One girls' 100m, World Youth Olympics champion Natalliah Whyte of St Jago will line up against favourite Saqukine Cameron of Edwin Allen, Shauna Helps of Wolmer's and Rene Medley of Vere.
The Class One and Class Two 1500m races will be head to head clashes with Britnie Dixon and Sasha-Gaye Whyte of Vere trying to hold off the threat of Chrissani May, Lisa Buchanan and Shanieke Watson from Holmwood.
In the semi-finals of the sprint hurdles, Peta-Gaye Williams of St Jago and the much-improved Jeanine Williams of Immaculate are the top contenders in Class One. Janeek Brown of Wolmer's, Safiya Thompson of St Jago, and Sidney Marshall of Manchester are expected to be the top qualifiers in Class Two.
At the end of the day, Edwin Allen should be leading the girl's scoring with over 130 points, while St Jago, Holmwood and Hydel should be approximately 30 points behind as they have attained totals of just below 100 points.