Impressive double for Edwin Allen
FRANKLIN FIELD, Pennsylvania:
EDWIN Allen High girls produced two outstanding performances at the Penn Relays yesterday to retain their Championship of America 4x100 and 4x400 metres titles.
The Frankfield, Clarendon-based school went into both events as the underdogs and triumphed over main rivals St Jago High.
Coach Michael Dyke made a tactical move for the final, switching Shellece Clarke from third leg to anchor and it paid off. Drawn in lane six, behind St Jago, Aaliyah Hopkins, Patrice Moody, Saqkuine Cameron and Clarke clocked 45.40 seconds, ahead of St Jago, 45.86, and Holmwood Technical, 45.94. Wolmer's Girl's were fourth in 46.63.
Dyke said the win, Edwin Allen's fourth in the event, was "sweet".
"We came here as underdogs but I had no doubt my team would win. I was always confident, as we know how to perform at Penns," he said.
Anchor-leg runner Clarke admitted that she was nervous ahead of the race.
"When I was told that I was going to run the anchor leg, I was a bit nervous, but after getting confident words from my coach and teammates, I was highly motivated and I was happy to bring it home for them," said Clarke .
A strong anchor leg from Cameron sealed Edwin Allen's fourth victory in the 4x400m. Vere Technical and St Jago dominated early but Cameron, in her final race at the meet for Edwin Allen, showed her class to get the win in 3:40.41, ahead of Vere (3:42.18). Nonsemond out of Suffolk, Virginia, were third in 3:43.03 and Holmwood, fourth in 3:43.53, with St Jago a disappointing fifth in 3:43.96.
Cameron who was named high school relay MVP for her third leg on the 4x100 and anchor on the 4x400m was extremely proud.
"This is my final year at Edwin Allen and I am very happy. At Champs, I was very disappointed after my performance, but this is a good way to come on a big stage and redeem myself and win for my team," said Cameron.
Holmwood captured the 4x800m. Lisa Ann Buchanan who did not compete in the preliminary round on Thursday, stamped her class on the final leg, to give her school an emphatic win in 9:01.01, as Western Branch of Virginia took second in 9:07.71, and Vere, third in 9:13.06.
The boys' finals are on today.
There will be a new champions in the Championship of America 4x100m as defending champions Jamaica College failed to advance to the final.
Kingston College led five Jamaican teams into today's sprint relay final as the quartet of Chadwayne Walker, Akeem Bloomfield, Twaine Crooks and Shivnarine Smalling won their heat in 41.12 to emerge the fastest qualifiers. St Jago High (41.30), Calabar (41.36), St George's College (41.41) and St Elizabeth Technical all won their heats to qualify for the final.
Four Jamaican teams will compete in the Championships of America 4x800m final. KC were second in their heat in 7:56.36 and joining them in the final are St Elizabeth Technical (7:58.45), Holmwood (7:59.85) and defending champions Calabar, 8:00.12.
The 4x400m heats are on this morning with the final set for 4:30 p.m. (Ja time).