Sat | Dec 14, 2019

Edwin Allen send warning at Penns

Published:Friday | April 26, 2019 | 12:41 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer
Edwin Allen’s Brandy Hall (right) passes the baton to Tina Clayton during the heats of the High School girls 4x100m at the Penn Relays at Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania yesterday. Edwin Allen won the heat in 44.21 seconds.
Edwin Allen’s Brandy Hall (right) passes the baton to Tina Clayton during the heats of the High School girls 4x100m at the Penn Relays at Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania yesterday. Edwin Allen won the heat in 44.21 seconds.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania:

With their Class Three and Class Two teams setting fire to the track all season, Edwin Allen’s 4x100m relay unit arrived at this year’s Penn Relay, as the most-talked-about team within the walls at the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field.

Competing yesterday in cool conditions at the historic 125th staging of the relay carnival, the girls from Frankfield in Clarendon, gave a glimpse of what is to come, after a special performance in the preliminary round of the event.

Despite resting top athlete Kevona Davis and lead-off runner Serena Cole, the quartet of Brandy Hall, Fredrick McKenzie, and 14 year-old twin Tina and Tia Clayton stopped the clock at an amazing 44.21 seconds, the second-fastest time ever in the event at the Penn Relays, behind their own 43.96 seconds done in 2017.

“Very excellent,” assessed anchor Tia Clayton, following her team’s comfortable win. “We just went there and did what we had to do, and we got the baton around safely, but I am not surprised by the fast time despite Kevona not running as all of us train very hard.”

Coach Michael Dyke, who, unlike his young charge, admitted to being surprised by the time, is expecting a full-strength team to land in the low 43-seconds region in the final.

“This is amazing! I knew they were going to run fast but not that fast,” said Dyke, who added that his girls have benefited from an earlier-than-normal arrival in Philly.

“We came in on Monday. It’s the first time we have come to the meet this early, and they are all well rested,” Dyke added.

The finals, which will take place at 1:27 p.m., will see seven Jamaican teams facing the start.

Holmwood Technical, 45.34, Hydel 45.63, St Jago 45.70, Excelsior 46.37, St Catherine High 46.94, and Rusea’s 47.01 seconds are the other Jamaican teams in the final. St Augustine, 46.48, out of The Bahamas and Western Branch, 46.79, out of Virginia, are the other qualifiers.

The consolation final for inter­national teams, which will get ­underway at 1:24 p.m., will see another seven Jamaican teams competing, led by Vere Technical with 47.13 seconds. Immaculate Conception – 47.33; Petersfield – 47.35; Queen’s – 47.45; Papine – 47.75; St Andrew High – 48.03; and Herbert Morrison – 48.93 seconds, are all through.

PERFECT START

New champions will be crowned in the Championship of America High School 4x800m relay as defending champions Holmwood Technical were a no-show in the preliminary round. Pre-race favourites Edwin Allen, the only Jamaican team in the event, won their heat in 9:02.43 seconds to be the fastest qualifier. Jessica McLean, Kayan Green, Abigail Pinnock, and Rashana Dwyer were members of the team and coach Dyke stated that he would make one change for today’s final slated for 12:05 p.m.

Edwin Allen got the perfect start at the meet.

In the first event involving high school teams, the 400m hurdles, ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships gold medal winner, Lashanna Graham, captured the gold medal in a time of 58.02 seconds.

Carifta Games Under-20 ­champion, Shaquena Foote and silver medallist Johnelle Thomas of St Catherine High had to settle for sixth and ninth overall in 59.09 and 1:02.83 seconds, respectively.

Yesterday also saw competition in field events, where the Jamaicans dominated in the discus after capturing the top four places.

Adrienne Adams of Excelsior came out on top-winning with a throw of 48.91m, getting the better of Carifta Games Under-20 champion Marie Forbes of Vere Technical, second with 48.58m. Rusea’s duo of Aliesha Shaw, 47.78, and Shanella Donaldson, 47.08m, ended third and fourth.