GC Foster, Sprintec make mark
OVER the years, the Stephen and Paul Francis-coached MVP Track Club and the University of Technology (UTech) have dominated action at the Milo Western Relays.
However, at last Saturdays staging of the event, both teams had to play second fiddle to the Maurice Wilson-coached G.C. Foster College and Sprintec teams, which both accounted for the majority of wins in individual and relay events.
"I was very pleased with the performances of both the college and club teams, and I think we are on target, especially among the college athletes, to do very well for the remainder of the season, although it is still early days. But we do have a very vibrant team that has been very supportive in the form of Dr Joyce Royal, Paul Beckford, Marvin Gayle, Alf Remekie, and other members who have been helping so far," said Wilson, who is also a senior lecturer at G.C. Foster College and technical leader of Jamaica's track and field team.
In individual events, there were wins for G.C. Foster College's Ronda Whyte, AndrÈ Clarke, Nascieve Powell, and Sprintec's Oshane Bailey.
Whyte and Clarke, who were members of Jamaica's team to the World University Games last summer in Gwangju, Korea, wrote their names in the record books.
Whyte won the women's 400 metres hurdles in 58.24 seconds to erase former Edwin Allen High athlete Sherone Pinnock's 2006 record of 59.30.
Clarke, who fractured his right shoulder in practice a few days before the start of his event in Korea and could not participate, won the men's 400m hurdles in 51.25, erasing the 2014 record of former St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) standout Okeem Williams of 52.34.
Bailey captured the men's 100m in 10.32 seconds, finishing ahead of the G.C. Foster College duo of Colin King (10.33) and Chadic Thorpe (10.48). The other individual success for G.C. Foster College came in the men's 400m Open as Powell won in 48.22 seconds.
Sprintec won the women's Open 4x400m relay, while G.C. Foster captured the men's equivalent along with the men's 4x200m and sprint medley.
G.C. Foster College's 4x400m quartet of Alvin Green, Demish Gayle, Marzell Miller, and Demar Murray won in a record of 3:07.17 to break MVP's 2008 record of 3:08.01, with Sprintec second in a close 3:07.35 and UTech third in 3:09.71.
It was a welcome return to the Milo Western Relays for Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby, whose last appearance was with the MVP Track Club. Now representing Sprintec, she teamed up with Verone Chambers, Anastasia LeRoy, and Ristananna Tracey to win the women's 4x400m in 3:32.47. UTech, with Janieve Russell and Shericka Jackson, were second in 3:33.18, with MVP, led by Stephenie McPherson, third in 3:36.22.
G.C. Foster's other successes came in the women's sprint medley, which they won in 3:32.31 and the 4x200m Open in 1:23.42.
MVP captured both 4x100m relays. In the women's event, with World 100 metres champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and World 200 metres silver medallist Elaine Thompson, MVP clocked a record 43.31 to beat G.C. Foster College, 43.94.
In a very close men's event, MVP, with Julian Forte and Andrew Fisher, clocked 38.89 and just got the better of Sprintec, which clocked 38.90 seconds.