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National Trials Day 2 Wrap: Powell, Fraser-Pryce sizzle, Stoddart makes first national team since 2003

Published:Friday | June 26, 2015 | 10:25 PMRaymond Graham, Gleaner Writer

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Asafa Powell were at their best on the second day of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA)/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championship inside the National Stadium with impressive wins.

Fraser-Pryce produced a world leading time of 10.79 seconds in winning the women's 100 metres, while Powell overpowered the field to win the men's equivalent in 9.84.

Fraser-Pryce, the defending Olympic and world champion was out of the blocks like a rocket leaving the field for dead, pulling away from her rivals for a convincing win. It was one-two for the Stephen Francis-coached MVP Track Club camp as in a big performance, Natasha Morrison ran impressively to finish second in 11.03 seconds with many time champion, Veronica Campbell-Brown having to settle for third in 11.06 seconds

"I thought I executed very well and the field was good as usual and for me it wasn't  about qualifying as I have already qualified as it was about executing a proper race and the fact that I have missed a couple races because of my hamstring injury", she said.

In the men's 100m, Powell found himself behind Andrew Fisher at the 40m mark, but again confirmed his good early season form, crossing the line in 9.84 ahead of Nickel Ashmeade's 9.91 and Kemar Bailey-Cole's 9.97.

"I was surprised to be behind early in the part of the race but I know I am strong and would have finished strongly and I am happy to be National champion again and I think I can go much faster and I am going to put in the work ahead of the World Championship," said Powell.

In the first track final, the women's 400 metres hurdles, there was no surprise as pre race favourite Janieve Russell captured her first national senior title. Russell ran intelligently as she did not got carried away by the fast start by Daniel Dowie who led for the first five barriers.

Russell, the Commonwealth Games bronze medal winner made her move with three hurdles to go taking the lead. Veteran Shevon Stoddart ran on strongly but Russell held on for a win in 55.10 seconds. Stoddart was timed in 55.29 seconds for the runner's up spot as Ristananna Tracey ran her best race of the season to finish third in 55.45 seconds.

"I am overwhelmed, as this victory is sweet and I am happy for the win and my first national senior title," said Russell, who stated that she did not panic when Dowie went out very fast. "I was not perturbed because I ran according to the instruction from my coach as I waited for the right time to make my move," said Russell.

It was an elated Stoddart, who finished second to make her first national team since 2003.

"Thank God, I am extremely happy to know that after so many years I can come back and make a national team as I was always confident as this has been my best season said the veteran Stoddart.

In the men's event, Racers Track Club's Annswert Whyte, who came into the championships with a question sign following an injury at the New York Grand Prix, showed no sign of that injury, as he took control early to score a good win in 48.90 seconds to hold off defending champion Roxroy Cato, who was second in 49.09 seconds with Leford Green finished third in 49.41 seconds.

Schoolboy Jaheel Hyde failed to face the start as it was reported that he was suffering from a slight hamstring injury.

In the first field event final yesterday, it was former Edwin Allen High athlete, Danniel Thomas, who came out on top in the women's discus, as the Kent State University athlete threw 57.67 metres.

GC Foster's Tara-sue Barnett was second with 54.56 metres, while former St Jago High's, Kellion Knibb a student at Florida State University was third with 54.71 metres

In early action on the track there were first round action in the women's and men's 400 metres where the top athletes qualified for today's semi-finals.
 
In the women's event, last year's surprise runner-up Christine Day of MVP Track Club was the fastest qualifier after winning he heat in 50.86 seconds, ahead of UTech's Shericka Jackson second in 51.01.

Favourite for the event, Stephenie-Ann McPherson was quite easy in winning her heat in 51.79 seconds, ahead Sonique Walker of Ohio State in 52.72 seconds.

Kaliese Spencer led the way in her heat with a winning time of 52.85 seconds, getting the better of Chris-Ann Gordon, who was second in 53.24.

In the men's event there was only one casualty as former champion Jermaine Gonzales, making his comeback after injury, failed to finish as he pulled after just 80 metres in the event.

Competing in the sixth and final heat it was Racers Track club, Edino Steele who led the way as his winning time of 46.20 seconds was the fastest time of the evening. Other heat winners were, Javon Francis (46.31), Javere Bell (46.45), Rusheen McDonald (46.48), Dane Hyatt (46.52) and Nicholas Maitland 46.92 seconds.