KC ahead in boys' race
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Kingston College (KC) are setting the pace in the race to boys' supremacy after action in yesterday's opening day at the 2011 Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships at the National Stadium.
After one final, KC are out in front with 13 points, while defending champions Wolmer's (nine), Monro College (eight), Herbert Morrison (four) and Holmwood (two) complete the top five.
In an intense Class One boys' long jump final, Wolmer's captain Romone Bailey (7.54 metres) prevailed with his last jump to snatch the gold medal away from KC's Keniel Grant, 7.49m.
Racking up points
KC's captain, Jerome Wilson, was third with a best jump of 7.45m to somewhat make up for last year's injury-riddled campaign and, more important, rack up valuable points for the North Street-based school.
After going into the sixth round in third position, Bailey, who finished second to his teammate Kamal Fuller last year, rallied to register his second best jump this year - behind his 7.61m leap at the Western Relays, to oblige in the hotly contested final.
Wolmer's Julian Forte may not be in the best shape, but he was quite impressive in the Class One boys' yesterday as he posted the fastest time, 21.49, heading into today's semi-finals.
Forte finished ahead of Manchester's Oshane Burrell, 22.40, and Calabar's Jason Hylton, 22.43.
Nethanee Blake-Mitchell (Jamaica College) also looked good in qualifying, registering a decent 21.87 to win his heat, while Kingston College's Jovan Mitchell, 21.96, was the only other sprinter to go under 22 seconds.
Jahzeel Murphy (Bridgeport) is the favourite in this event and will be looking to better last year's injury-affected third-place finish in Class Two. He looked is good shape after clocking a comfortable 22.15 seconds to win his heat.
Julio Edwards (STETHS), 22.55m, is the fastest qualifier in the Class Two 200m, followed by Bog Walk's Jevaughn Minzie, 22.74, and favourite Deshawn Jackson (JC), 22.78.
JC's Akeem Powell is safely through to the Class Three boys' high jump final after clearing 1.60 metres, along with the KC pair of Shaquille Shaw and Chevon Ramsay, as well as Cornwall's Hakeem Grant and Joseph Gibson (Wolmer's).
Defending champion Kevin White (Holmwood Technical) leads all qualifiers into today's Class One boys 800m, after posting 1:56.29 in yesterday's preliminaries. Western champion Giovanni Foote from Munro College, 1:56.88, is next best, while Brian Smith (Clarendon), 1:57.65, Alex Saunders (Holmwood), 1:57.72 and Oryane Espuet (Manchester), 1:57.84, round out the fastest qualifiers.
JC's Waquar DaCosta, 1:58.59, is also among the semi-finalists after finishing behind Jordane Black (Cornwall College), 1:58.52, but seemed to have aggravated the hamstring injury that affected him at Gibson Relays several weeks ago, casting some degree of doubt as to whether or not he will be able to play much of a role in this year's Championships.
In the Class Two boys 800m heats, KC's Chad Antoine Miller was the fastest qualifier, posting 2:00.85 to win his heat ahead of JC's Romaine Headman, 2:00.88 and Camperdown's Ricardo Campbell, 2:01.87.
Ricordo McKenzie (Cornwall), 2:01.23, Kevin Robinson (Foga Road), 2:01.40 and pre-meet favourite Jorel Belfante (Calabar), 2:02.03, have also booked their spot in today's semi-finals.
The Calabar pair of Travis Smikle and Fedrick Dacres are on course for a massive quinella, as they registered the two best throws in the Class One boys discus qualifiers, with distances of 54.89m and 48.82m, respectively, to send a strong message ahead of today's final, which should see the favourites picking up big points.
Rajae Gayle (Munro), 48.32m, also signalled his intentions, while his teammate and bronze-medal favourite, Emmanuel Onyia, did just enough to qualify with a best mark of 38.33m.
The JC duo Javarn Gallimore, 52.89, and Kyle Robinson, 53.29, have set the pace in the boys' 400m hurdles Open, with Calabar's George Fearon, 53.89, rounding out the top three qualifiers heading into tomorrow's final.