Big boys shot highlight Charlie Fuller memorial
Kevin Nedrick of Petersfield High School did a throwing double at the Manchester High School/Charlie Fuller Memorial on Saturday but his Class One shot put victory had patrons buzzing. With reigning ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships gold medallist Kyle Mitchell of Calabar High School showing fine form, Nedrick topped the early season showdown courtesy of a big last throw of 18.85m. He and Mitchell were the class of the field.
Nedrick had won the discus easily with a mark of 54.05m but watched Mitchell take early control of the shot with throws of 17.16m and 17.38m. The tall lad spun into the lead at the end of the second round with an effort landing 18.02m away and stretched away to 18.14 in Round Four. The burly Calabar champion was, however, also improving and boomed forward to 17.97m in the fifth round and to the lead in the final round with a high arcing heave of 18.33m.
On the last throw of the competition, Nedrick launched his shot to a winning distance of 18.85m.
"It was kind of hard at the beginning because of the temperature I didn't get my body that warmed up but going into more and more throws, I felt better," Nedrick said afterwards.
Queried about his prospects for the season, the 2015 Commonwealth Youth shot put champion replied: "(There is) A lot more to come. This is just a piece of the cake."
Without making excuses, Mitchell revealed that he was competing with a gimpy wrist.
"I'm battling with some minor issues with my wrist, so I'm just trying to get as fit as possible as it relates to throwing competitively, so today was a good start for me," said Mitchell.
Nedrick's team manager Junior Clarke has high hopes for him.
"I'm just looking for Champs because he's leaving Champs will all the records this year," predicted Clarke.
Pan-Am discus champion Fedrick Dacres placed all his four legal throws over 61m with his fourth-round spin taping out at 64.79m. Dismayed with his first-round elimination at last year's Olympics, he has his eyes on London and the 2017 World Championships.
"It's more of a redemption so you're going back to show that you're not finished as yet," Dacres determined.
His University of the West Indies teammate Traves Smikle was second with a best mark of 61.74m. Smikle barely missed the qualifying standard last year and with it, a chance to compete in his second Olympics but he is looking ahead to London too.
"You know 61 today is a good sign that with more work anything is possible," said Smikle.
O'Dayne Richards, the MVP Track Club star, who made it to the Olympic shot put final, began his 2017 endeavours with a victory throw of 20.11m. In other action, there were one-two finishes in the Class Two and Three long jump for girls by Edwin Allen and Holmwood Technical respectively.
Double jump 2016 Champs gold medallist Annia Ashley flew to the longest jump of the day at 5.98m to outdistance her teammate Latavia Brown in Class Two, while Suzette Palmer of Holmwood survived a tight Class Three affair. Palmer bounded 5.37m to edge her teammate Samantha Jibbinson by just 2 centimetres with Nia Robinson of Rusea's close on 5.32m.