Good day for Jamaica
FRANKLIN FIELD, Pennsylvania
JAMAICAN athletes had to endure very low temperatures on yesterday's opening day of the 121st staging of the Penn Relays at the Franklin Field Stadium in Philadelphia.
Despite the unfavourable conditions there were good individual and relay results for Jamaican teams. University of Technology's Rushell Clayton along with schoolgirls Shanice Lewis, Paula Ann Gayle and Tamara Moncrieffe won individual events.
Holmwood Technical, Edwin Allen High, St Jago High and Vere Technical are performed well in the relays.
Fresh off her win at the UTech Classic, Clayton improved on her fifth place finish a year ago in the collegiate women's 400 metres hurdles. Clayton ran on strongly in the final 10 metres to pip Jessica Gilbert of Coastal Carolina in 57.81 seconds. Gilbert clocked 57.88 for the runner-up spot.
Clayton was pleased with her win.
"It was very cold out there and I am happy for the win as I was disappointed with my race at the intercollegiate championships, but now I am in fantastic form, and I am looking forward to the National Senior Championships," Clayton said.
Shanice Lewis and Danique Bryan ensured a one-two finish for Edwin Allen in the long jump. Lewis won with 6.11 metres ahead of Danique Bryan (6.00m).
Edwin Allen also bagged gold in the discus. Paul-Ann Gayle surprised Carifta Games Under 20 champion Shanice Love of Excelsior to win with a throw of 51.96m. Love threw 58.44m for second.
Holmwood's Tamara Moncrieffe and her teammate Shanique Wright dominated the triple jump. Local schoolgirls' champion Moncrieffe won with a best of 13.36m with Wright taking second with 12.87m.
Defending champions, Edwin Allen and St. Jago High were impressive qualifiers in the 4x100 and 4x400 metres relays. Edwin Allen's quartet - Shanice Lewis, Patrice Moodie, Shellece Lewis and Aaliyah Hopkins - stopped the clock at an impressive 46.26 seconds, the fastest time of the day. Head coach Michael Dyke was delighted.
"The girls did exceptionally well today and I am very confident that we will defend our title successfully," said Dyke, who is expected to bring in top sprinter Saqukine Cameron for the final.
St Jago High, minus top sprinter Natalliah Whyte, won their heat in 47.02, Holmwood clocked 47.30 to top their heat while Wolmer's Girls also advanced to the final after taking their heat in 47.93.
St Jago High sent out a strong message to defending champions Edwin Allen in the 4x400m after a superb run. Genekee Leith, Tashana Ewan, Shanice Rowe and Andrenette Knight clocked a fast 3:46.54 to advance with the fastest time. Vere Technical (3:50.65), Holmwood Technical (3:51.22), Vere Technical (3:50.65) and Edwin Allen (3:51.75) also advanced to the final. The Jamaican girls will have to contend with New Jersey's Columbia High who clocked 3:49.54 for the second fastest time.
Vere and Holmwood Technical are the only Jamaican teams in the 4x800m final. Vere's Britney Dixon, Sanique Walker, Sasha Gaye Whyte and Derriann Hill stopped the clock at 9:10.31 to emerge the second fastest qualifiers. Holmwood Technical finished third in their heat in 9:17.28.
The University of Technology's women's sprint team advanced to the final of the collegiate 4x100m as the second fastest qualifiers. The quartet of Janelle Kelly, Elaine Thompson, Shimarya Williams and Chanice Bonner won their heat in 45.66. The University of Texas, Austin were the fastest qualifiers in 45.59.