Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer
The hurdles events, both 400 metres and 110 metres for boys and the girls' sprint relays, will hold the spotlight at today's Youngster Goldsmith meet at G.C. Foster College.
With the annual Boys and Girls' Championships just six weeks away, some of the leading athletes in the hurdles events will be seeking to gain psychological advantages as the March 12-16 meet gets closer.
The meet begins with the men's open 400m hurdles, which will be followed at 8:10 a.m. by the high school boys' event. Following his mishap in his opening race for Kingston College (KC) in the event two weeks ago at the Central Hurdles and Relays meet, where he ran into the final hurdle after holding a commanding lead, former Manchester High School athlete, Omar McLeod, will be hoping for better luck today.
He, along with Calabar's Javon Francis, KC's Divonte Dennis, Wolmer's Boy's Yanick Hart and St Elizabeth Technical's Okeem Williams should all have a close battle for top spot in the timed final event.
GIRLS' 400M HURDLES WIDE OPEN
There is no clear favourite in the girls' 400m hurdles. All the performances have been modest so far. Kimone Green of St Elizabeth Technical, who won on home turf a week ago, along with Vere's Andrenetti Knight, Sashel Brown of Alpha and Shantea Green of Holmwood Technical are expected to fight for top spot.
There will be heats and finals for all the sprint hurdle events. In the Class One 100-metre hurdles for girls, World Junior representative Chrisdale McCarthy will lead a strong St Jago trio which also includes Shanell Francis and Tatian Wolfe.
In Class Two, Camperdown High's Peta Gaye Williams, an impressive winner at the same venue two weeks ago, will get her sternest test of the season against Holmwood's Yanique Thompson.
Rushelle Burton of St Andrew High will start favourite in the Class Three 80-metre hurdles, while in the Class Four 70-metre hurdles, Edwin Allen High's Rackiel Gayle and St Andrew High's Ebony Forbes are the top two.
O'HARO IN FINE FORM
McLeod and Hart are also the top two young men in the Class One 110m hurdles, while in Class Two, the outstanding Michael O'Haro of Calabar is expected to continue his good form. Wolmer's Boys' Jaheel Hyde, who is making his first appearance in the event this season, should also do well.
The top three in the Class Three 100m hurdles should be St Jago High's Kamali Simpson, Jamaica College's Garth Williams and Calabar's Javon Shaw.
The steeplechase for both males and females will be run for the first time this season. The other events down to be contested are the 100m, 400m, 1500m and 4x800m relay, discus, shot put, javelin, high jump, long jump, triple jump and pole vault.
There will be a minute's silence at the start of the meet in memory of Youngster Goldsmith, who died two weeks ago.