Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Gibson-McCook Relays Watch | Calabar Lions to roar in Open 4x400m

Published:Saturday | February 18, 2017 | 2:00 AMRaymond Graham
Calabar will be without Christopher Taylor (foreground), who is seen here competing at Champs 2015, but are still widely expected to win the 4x400m at this year’s Gibson-McCook Relays.

Both St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) and St Jago brought the Gibson-McCook Relays to an exciting end last year with their epic duel in the Boys Open 4x400m relay.

The team from Santa Cruz eventually prevailed, and fans are again in for a treat as both teams, along with Corporate Area kingpins Calabar, Kingston College, and Jamaica College are all expected to report for the expected battle royale.

At the recent Milo Western Relays in Montego Bay, Kingston College silenced the rural fans after defeating STETHS (13:16:13), winning in 3:14.74, and is the fastest team going to the Gibson-McCook Relays.

Here, the Neil Harrison-coached KC team, which had an average lead-off leg from a cautious Nathaniel Bann, saw the likes of Tyrese Bryan, Jhevaughn Matherson, and Dashawn Morris running good legs to tame a Jauvaney James-led STETHS team.

 

AVENGING DEFEAT

 

STETHS will be coming to avenge that defeat as they hope to retain their title and will definitely run much faster this time around.

Pre-season favourite Calabar, with their strong core of quarter-milers, will be coming all out for a win here, but their line-up will not include the outstanding Christopher Taylor, who is yet to make his 2017 season debut.

Despite his absence, Calabar still has some top-quality athletes, including Anthony Carpenter and Akeeyme Francis. At the Camperdown Classics, without Carpenter in the team, Calabar finished a decent second to Mico University College in 3:15.14 and are expected to give a good account of themselves.

St Jago always perform well at the Gibson-McCook Relays and it should be no different this time around. They will want to improve on last year's second-place finish and with quality athletes like Anthony Cox, Timor Barrett, Michael Bentley, and Leon Clarke, will definitely go faster than their 3:17.83 when finishing third at the Camperdown Classics.

One team that cannot be written off is Jamaica College, which normally find its best form late in the season as it did last year at the Penn Relays by surprising big teams like Calabar and company to win the event, and they could be the dark horse here in an event, which really can go any way. However, with their very deep squad, Calabar is given the slight edge here to win the event.

TOP 3 PREDICTION:

1. Calabar

2. Kingston College

3. St Elizabeth Technical