Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Gibson-McCook Relays Watch | Five the hard way in Open 4x400m

Published:Wednesday | February 15, 2017 | 2:00 AMRaymond Graham
Ashley Williams (left) raises the baton in triumph as she leads Holmwood Technical's 4x400m Girls Open team to victory at last year's Gibson-McCook Relays at the National Stadium. At right is St. Elizabeth Technical's Junelle Bromfield who finished second.

THE 41st staging of the Gibson-McCook Relays will be held next Saturday inside the National Stadium. This is a crucial meet leading to the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships and often times, results here give strong indications to the outcome of those Championships. With a close encounter expected among the males and females, teams will be using the relays to score psychological advantages, and leading up to the relay carnival, The Gleaner will be previewing some of the events.

GIRLS 4x400m OPEN

This is a championships event and will be one of the most competitive among the girls as any of five teams in Edwin Allen, St Jago, Hydel, Vere Technical and defending champions Holmwood Technical can win this event.

A year ago, Holmwood surprised a hot St Elizabeth Technical team and are determined to make it back-to-back wins. They are unbeaten so far this season after winning at the Central Hurdles and Relay meet and the Milo Western Relays, where they clocked a season best of 3:40.91.

Here, they had an easy win over Edwin Allen and a Hydel team which surprised Edwin Allen at the St Elizabeth Invitational meet.

 

A BIG DIFFERENCE

 

The team from Christiana, Manchester, has shown glimpses of former years when they dominated the Championships and the quartet of Britney Campbell, Chrisanni May, Osheena Kerr and veteran Nicolle Foster will be aiming to continue their good early-season form here.

Vere, with a very young team led by Class Two athlete Sanique Walker, scored a good win at the Camperdown Classic, clocking 3:42.58 to defeat St Jago (3:44.88). However, the Spanish Town-based team was without top athlete Alisha Kelly and with her expected addition to the team for 'Gibson', they are expected to improve big time here. They have a strong unit with the likes of Shaniel English, Rosalee Cooper and young Joanna Reid.

After defeating Edwin Allen at the St Elizabeth Technical Invitational meet, Hydel, which boast Shian Salmon and Roneish McGregor among their ranks, were expected to do well in Montego Bay, but they looked flat and could only managed third behind Holmwood and Edwin Allen. Still, they cannot be written off, as coach Corey Bennett will be hoping for a first Gibson Relays victory for his team in this event.

Edwin Allen will be hoping to make it right this time around after flat performances twice this season, and with coach Michael Dyke expected to insert Class One athlete Janiel Moore in his team for the first time this season, this could make a big difference.

Despite Holmwood being the slight favourite here, it could come down to the anchor leg and bring back memories of the Douglas Forest Invitational meet a few weeks ago, where Kelly and Holmwood's Foster were involved in a keen 400m Class One tussle, before Kelly showed her class in the final 30m to pull away for a big win in the end.

 

Top 3 Prediction

 

1. Holmwood

2. St Jago

3. Hydel