Tue | Jul 25, 2017

Go with Calabar Dream Team

Published:Saturday | April 22, 2017 | 4:00 AMHubert Lawrence
Calabar High's Michael Stephens (right) and Tyreke Wilson.
Christopher Taylor
Russell
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Had Akeem Bloomfield stayed for his last year of high-school eligibility and if Jhevaughn Matherson had been fit, Kingston College might have had a good chance to defend the high school boys' 4x100 metre relay title at the Penn Relays next week.

However, with Bloomfield off at Auburn University and Matherson not 100 per cent, Calabar High School will be in pole position at the 123rd staging of the Relays in Philadelphia.

The green-and-blacks could have their Dream Team of Tyreke Wilson, Christopher Taylor, Michael Stephens and DeJour Russell on duty.

KC clocked 39.90 seconds to win the Gibson-McCook Relays at the end of February, but Calabar zipped 39.63 and 39.44 at the Boys and Girls' Championships with 400-metre runner Anthony Carpenter replacing Russell on anchor. With or without Russell, Calabar head to Penn as the top Jamaican team.

 

UNFORTUNATE TUMBLE

 

Excelsior High were well clear of Kingston College at Champs ... until final runner Damion Davidson took a tumble. That scotched a sub-40 time for the Excelsior Eagles as can be seen from the KC runner-up time of 40.07 seconds. An unlikely Penn 4x100 victory would be the first for Excelsior since 1967.

Those banking on upsets might look to Jamaica College. The Old Hope Roaders placed third in the Champs Class One race with a time of 40.20 seconds, thanks in part to the school's pair of 100 metres finalists Delano Dunkley and Chislon Gordon. In Class Two, Jamaica College stepped to a an impressive winning time of 40.60 seconds with 100 metre runner-up Michali Everett hustling.

If Russell is fit to sprint, a run on the Penn Relays record of 39.63 seconds, set by Calabar in 2015 and equalled by KC last year, is possible. An injury niggle restricted Russell to the 110 metres hurdles at Champs and the Carifta Games, where he won handily. If he is available for the 4x100m, the Dream Team will be at full speed. In their last major outing together, Wilson, Taylor, Stephens and Russell became the first Under-18 team to break 40 seconds with a run of 39.81 at the 2016 Cayman Invitational.

Matherson, the fastest Jamaican high school student-athlete over the 100 metres this year at 10.25 seconds, suffered a leg injury at Champs. However, it isn't all doom and gloom for KC as he has returned to training. His participation at Penn is yet to be decided.