Fri | Dec 9, 2016

UTech Classic gives Racers chance to turn tables on UTech

Published:Thursday | April 9, 2015 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman
University of Technology (UTech) coach and meet director Paul Francis (right) poses with top athletes Andrew Fisher (left) and Nimroy Turgott during the launch of the eighth annual UTech Track and Field Classic at Lillian’s Restaurant, UTech, yesterday.
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Colossal athletic clashes could be renewed between the University of Technology (UTech), MVP and Racers track clubs, whose fans could see an epic-encore of the Gibson McCook Relays at the eighth staging of the UTech Track and Field Classic on Saturday at the National Stadium.

Late February, Tyquendo Tracey held off the late surge of global superstar Usain Bolt and handed UTech victory over Racers Lions in the mens' clubs and institutions 4x100m at Gibson/McCook Relays.

Besides Bolt, Racers also has former 100m World champion Yohan Blake, Warren Weir, Michael Frater, Kemar Bailey-Cole and among its female athletes, Kerron Stewart.

UTech won in 38.23 seconds, while Racers Lions clocked 38.29 and AKAN Track Club third in 39.55.

That UTech vs Racers clash has been on the lips of athletics enthusiasts since and Saturday's classic could again go the distance, especially with the addition of MVP, which included former world 100m record holder, Asafa Powell, Nesta Carter and among their female stars, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, multiple Olympic and World sprint champion.

One of those victorious 4x100m men was Andrew Fisher. Fisher ran a glitzy 10.18 seconds at the NCB Intercollegiate Track and Field Championships last week and seems in ominous form.

"I feel good being the fastest man at Intercol, but I didn't really go as hard as I could because I felt my foot from about 50 metres. I just had to maintain and go through," he recalled.

"Others will try stopping me, but I am doing my best to maintain where I am at and try to get better," he assessed.

"I am aiming for World Champs, World relays this year, that's what I am aiming at right now and trying to run sub-10 this year," he added.

In the meantime, Paul Francis, coach and UTech meet director, described the Classic as a great blend of athletes and competitive action.

"All major clubs and teams locally have already confirmed a desire and intent to be at the UTech Classic this year," he underlined.

"For respect for all our athletes, we try not to identify them as big names, but all I can say is that we have a large number of present, former and future stars who will be on show this weekend at the University of Technology Track and Field Classic," he continued.

Internationally, there will be a mix of Colombians, Namibians and some athletes from the United States, added Francis.

"It should be a stellar event of international and national flavour," Francis noted.

"This track meet is going to be the launching pad for the international series of meets that the Jamaican athletes will be participating in," said Bruce James, chairman of the planning committee.

"We have a valuable asset in this country called track and field and we continue to develop it," he said. "It's a week after the Carifta games and two weeks before we send our team to Penn Relays.

James added: "Though I am not allowed to call names, the Racers track club president (Glen Mills) called me and said 'Bruce, our athletes are ready, we need some more races because right after Penn Relays we are gonna have World Relays' (May 2-3)."

Additionally, top high-school teams will be participating, as they continue their preparations for the Penn Relays.

The Classic will consist of 33 events - 18 male and 15 female - and is slated to run from 4-8 p.m.

The event will be broadcast live on Television Jamaica SN and will be streamed live on pay per view on onespotmedia.com for US$1.99.

Costs for students with ID are $500, while regular price is $1,000 to enter grand stands only.