Tue | Sep 17, 2019

Taylor bags double as athletes step up pace at Calabar

Published:Wednesday | January 23, 2019 | 12:20 AM
Gladstone Taylor / Multimedia Photo Editor Calabar High's Christopher Taylor wins his 400 metres heat in 45.82 seconds at the McKenley/Wint Track & Field Classics. The meet was held at Calabar High last Saturday.

The meet is just in its fourth year, but the McKenley/Wint Classics has become one of the most popular development meets on the JAAA calendar, and last Saturday’s staging at Calabar High was no different. 

Another large crowd turned up to watch the competition, and they were treated some good performances from homeboy Christopher Taylor and St Jago High’s Vashuan Vascianna among the boys, while Shaquena Foote of Petersfield High was the top girl.

Taylor clocked an impressive 45.82 in the 400m and declared after his run that he was pleased with the time.“I am very happy to know that I did so well as this was a training session for me. Last year was a great one for me, but this year, it will be even better as I am gearing towards the National Senior Championships to defend my title,” said Taylor.

IAAF World Under-18 400 metres champion Antonio Watson clocked 47.55 in winning his heat. Taylor later completed a double as he produced the fastest time on the day in the 100 metres after winning his Class One heat in 10.55 seconds, upstaging his teammates Michael Stephens, 10.68, and De’Jour Russell, 10.70. All three were making their seasonal debuts in the event.

St Jago’s Vascianna continued his red-hot form this season in Class Two by also taking a double. The Boys’ Champs Class Two 110m hurdles record holder clocked a fast 13.87 seconds, competing in a negative wind of 1.8 metres per second to win ahead of teammate Jahville Granville, 14.15, and Calabar’s David Thomas, 14.42. He returned later to post the only sub-11-second time among Class Two boys in the 100 metres, winning in 10.81 as the Calabar duo of Corey Ottey, 11.11, and Ellado Coltas, 11.24, had to settle for second and third.

Calabar’s middle-distance star, Kevroy Venson, also shared the spotlight on Saturday. He stopped the clock at 3:54.75 in the 1,500 metres for Class One boys. Jauvaney James, running unattached, took second in 3:55.07. Venson’s teammate, Kimar Farquharson, was third in 4:03.55. In Class Two 1500m, the top time was returned by St Jago’s Tafari Hinds, who topped the event in 4:15.30, ahead of Calabar’s Steve Hines with 4:16.51.

Petersfield High’s Shamar Pearce and St Elizabeth Technical’s Dashinelle Dyer took top honours in the 400m hurdles. Pearce won Class Two in 56.09 seconds, ahead of Tarrant High’s Jeremy Bembridge, second in 56.38. Dyer clocked 53.31 to win Class One, ahead of Calabar’s Nicquaine Henry (53.44) and Anthony Danvers, 54.09.

IMPRESSIVE FOOTE

IAAF World Under-18 and -20 representative, Petersfield’s Shaquena Foote, was the standout performer among the females after producing two big wins in personal-best and record times. Foote first clocked 58.17 seconds for the 400m hurdles while competing for the first time in the event. She later sprinted to an excellent 52.26 seconds in the flat event, faster than her teammate Hisheeno Stewart, who was second best with 56.28.

Foote was surprised by her fast time in the 400m and vowed to go faster this season. “I am kind of surprised by my fast time in the 400 metres, seeing that it was my first race in the event this season, and this shows that I can go much faster, and this will be my objective going forward,” said Foote, who revealed that she will only compete in one more 400m hurdles race for the season.