By Anthony Foster, Freelance Writer
REGIONAL POWERHOUSE Jamaica start their search for medals at the 12th Pan-American Athletic Junior Championships here today.
The 19 Jamaican athletes that will be in action today include silver medallist at last week's World Youth Championships in Sherbrooke, Canada, Latoya Greaves and Keisha Brown (women's 100 metres hurdles); St. George's College Tesfa Latty and Calabar's Adrian Cephas (men's 100m); Zara Northover (women's discus; Manchester's Jody Simpson and Sherone Simpson (women's 100m).
Also on the list are Wilbert Walker (long jump); Sonia Sutherland and Maxine Foster (women's 400m); national junior recorder holder Peaches Roach and Shaunette Davidson (long jump); KC's pair of Fabian Morgan and Kimani Kirton (shot put); Kiel Brown and Rohan Phipps (men's 400m); Kayan Thompson and Carlene Robinson (women's 800m) and Mellard Brown (men's 800m).
Despite having six finals (women's 100m hurdles; discus throw for women; long jump for men; women's high jump; shot put for men and men's 100m) to secure medals, team manager Alfred Francis, said he wasn't in medal counting mode.
"The kids (athletes) will give of their best," Francis said.
Jamaica's best chances for medals could be Simpson in the women's 100m final after her 11:37 at Champs in April and 11:44 at Carifta ranked her second in terms of time behind the US's Angela Williams 11.34. No other athlete has gone below 11:49 at the Junior Pan-American Championships.
Roach, who holds the national long jump junior record, will have to dig deep if she wants a medal.
Latty is expected to run well in the 100m but with World Youth record holder Darrel Brown from Trinidad & Tobago aiming to come back from his shock defeat at the hands of countryman Marc Burns two years ago - along with other Americans, things look hard for the Jamaican.