KC surges with Hamilton’s leap
Desperate to regain the title they last won in 2009, Kingston College (KC) have surged to the top of the hill in the early race for the Mortimer Geddes Trophy at the 2016 Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships inside the National Stadium.
With two finals scored, the purple-hearted unit were leading the points standings with 23 points ahead of Jamaica College (JC), 19, with defending champions Calabar High, which must overcome a testing day on the track, third on 10. They are followed by Excelsior (nine), St Jago (seven) and Campion College (four).
KC got off to a strong start yesterday evening, with Yashawn Hamilton securing the first points for the North Street-based school with a 7.01-metre win in the Class Two boys' long jump event.
Excelsior's Joel Morgan, 6.95m, won the silver medal ahead of Calabar's Kristoffe Clifford, 6.87m.
O'Brien Wasome of JC's 7.50m mark in the Class One boys' long jump was enough to give him the win and nine valuable points for his school, with St Jago's Shawn-d Thompson, 7.27m, claiming second place ahead of third-place finisher Shammawi Wellington (KC), 7.23m.
Earlier, in the half lap event, Calabar's titan, Christopher Taylor, showed no signs of wear after last night's 400m-record run and was comfortable in winning his heat and posting the fastest time in the Class Two boys' 200m heats, 21.13.
His teammate, Dejour Russell, got in on the action, stopping the clock at 21.14 in the very next heat as St Jago pair Gary Gordon (22.01) and Javad Black (22.12), JC's Chislon Gordon 22.16 and KC's Yashawn Hamilton, 22.17, will all be looking to upset the Calabar duo.
Class One favourite, Nigel Ellis, is determined to leave Kingston with the sprint double, and the early signs are positive.
The in-form sprinter was easy in winning his 200m heat in 21.24 seconds, to lead all qualifiers into the next round of the event.
With no Jhevaughn Matherson registered for the event, KC fans were relieved to see Tyreke Bryan, who had the second-fastest qualifying time of 21.33 and seventh fastest qualifier Shivnarine Smalling, 21.47 both securing lanes in the next round.
Thiea Shea (Wolmer's) won his Class Three boys' 200m heat in a time of 22.42 - the best clocking among all qualifiers - as he beat Clarendon College's Rahyme Christian, 22.80, into second place.
Event favourite Sachin Dennis (STETHS), 22.76, is also safely through to the next round, so, too, is his teammate, Tyrone Barnes, 23.32; Petersfield's Antonio Watson, 22.90, and Papine's Shemar Willis, 22.91 - the top qualifiers.
Calabar suffered a major setback in the Class Three boys' 800m heats, with Kevroy Venson, who was expected to bring in maximum points in both the 800m and 1500m, struggling to last place in his two-lap preliminary-round race after battling with flu symptoms.
The second Calabar athlete in the event, Rivaldo Marshall, also failed to book a spot in the next round, with St Jago's medal favourite, Jevana Edwards, leading all qualifiers to the semi-finals with a 2:06.23 time. Shanthamoi Brown (KC), 2:06.51, was the next best qualifier in the event, followed by Donald Quarrie's Jordan Anderson, 2:08.44 and JC's Malik Ricketts, 2:08.85, also securing semi-final lanes.
The Calabar coaching staff, which outlined that Venson was cleared to compete, has indicated that the athlete will line up in the 1500m heats this morning.
St Jago's Keenan Lawrence is expected to push for the Class Two boys' 800m record of 1:52.27 and it's about time. Aldwyn Sappleton's (Edwin Allen) mark of 1:52.27 has been on the books since 1997, and with Lawrence already clocking 1:53.82 this season, there are strong signs that he will be able to carve his name in history.
Lawrence was comfortable in qualifying from his heat, clocking 1:58.21 for the win as Dwight Mason (STETHS), 1:57.40 - his fastest time this season, was responsible for the fastest time in the preliminary round.
Bellefield's Shevan Parks, who cruised to 1:56.09 in the heats and STETHS' Jauavney James, 1:56.79, should take their Class Two rivalry into the Class One 800m and could push each other to special performances in what is a keenly anticipated clash at this year's championships.
It was, however, Rogay Granston (Holmwood), 1:55.29, who posted the fastest time in yesterday's heats, with St Jago's Leon Clarke next best with 1:55.30 and Nathan Brown (Excelsior), 1:55.80, also making a statement in qualifying.
Warren Barrett Jr (Calabar) 49.25m was the best effort in the boys' Class One discus qualifiers, with Munro's Kino Dunkley, reminding all that this will be one of the closest events at these championships with a 48.53m qualifying mark of his own.
Petersfield's Kevin Nedrick, 46.29m and Munro's Vikarie Elliott, 46.13m, also placed their names in the conversation, along with JC's Vashon McCarthy, 44.45m and Hydel's Derrick Spencer, 44.05m, also among the top qualifiers to the final.