Hawthorne: Hot battles ahead in Class One 400m hurdles
Danny Hawthorne, the head coach of Wolmer's Boys School, said track and field fans can expect a "royal treat" in the 400 metres hurdles for Class One boys at the ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championship this year as the main players have all shown signs of being in great form though the track season is in its infancy.
Hawthorne's prediction came after he watched his 400m hurdler, Jeremy Farr, run a personal best of 46.74 seconds in the 400m flat at the Grace Puma Youngster Goldsmith Athletic Classics at the National Stadium yesterday.
"You will be given a royal treat at champs this year," Hawthorne said. "It's anybody's game. Jauaney James from St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) is good, also the guy from Calabar [Malik King-James], but my guy [Farr], is fresh."
Having won the 400m hurdles for Class Two boys last year with a time of 51.44, Farr, who is now in Class One, is looking to upset his seniors.
"He is the young kid on the block, but he is enthusiastic. He is also a committed person to his job and he will be a formidable force in that 400m hurdles," Hawthorne said. "He is not fully fit right now. He has a niggling injury right now, and that's why he is not running any hurdles so far. We are keeping him on the flat for now. we do a little hurdle work at training but nothing in competition."
James of STETHS, threw down the gauntlet two weeks ago at the McKenley/Wint Classics when he opened his season with 51.88 seconds.
Calabar High School's Malik King-James was close behind in second with 51.92. King-James went faster yesterday running 51.27 which now stands as the fastest time recorded this season.
STETHS's coach, Reynaldo Walcott, told The Sunday Gleaner that he expects James to dip below 50 seconds this season. "He is 19 [years old] so I expect him to go under 50 seconds, " Walcott said.
Only two athletes have gone under 50 seconds at champs, Omar McLeod and Jaheel Hyde. Hyde has the record at 49.01.