André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
The boys from St Jago High and dethroned girls' champions Holmwood Technical sent out early signals ahead of the fast-approaching ISSA/Grace-Kennedy Boys and Girls' Championships with dominating performances at yesterday's 37th Gibson Relays inside the National Stadium.
The boys from Monk Street, Spanish Town, took the Class Two and Class Three 4x100m relays and finished second in the Class Four event, showing depth and talent in the marquée sprint relays.
In Class Two, St Jago, 41.26 seconds, finished ahead of Jamaica College (JC), 41.45, and Calabar, 41.47, with the Class Three team winning in 43.45, upstaging Calabar, 43.64, and Kingston College, 43.73.
Calabar came storming back in Class Four, stopping the clock at 44.38 for a new meet record, with St Jago following in 45.97 and Wolmer's Boys' in third in 46.21.
Earlier, World Youth champion Odail Todd produced one of the finest runs of the evening, with a blistering anchor leg to lead Green Island to a big win over Wolmer's and Calabar in the Class One boys' 4x100m showpiece.
Todd, who collected the baton in second place, powered past the Wolmer's anchorman, striding smoothly to the finish line in 40.18, with Wolmer's finishing in 40.60 and Calabar, 40.92.
HAPPY FOR WIN
"This means a lot to me. I really wanted us to win this race and I am really happy that we were able to do it," said Todd after the race.
Holmwood, still smarting after losing their girls' title to Edwin Allen at last year's Girls' Championships, came out blazing, taking two of the four sprint relays under the National Stadium lights.
In the Class One 4x100m, Holmwood romped to a 45.10 win over Edwin Allen, 46.13, and Queens, 46.27. They returned to win the Class Two 4x100m in 45.51 ahead of Wolmer's, 45.54, with the fast-closing Shauna Helps and St Jago, 46.46.
Edwin Allen, the island's top female school, was not to be left out, however, as they were the only team under 46 seconds in the Class Three 4x100m, winning in 45.97 with Hydel, 46.17, and STETHS, 47.54, rounding out the top three.
The Racers Lions team of Mario Forsythe, Jazeel Murphy, Yohan Blake and Kemar Bailey-Cole were hardly tested in the Clubs and Institutions 4x100m, winning in 38.50 ahead of their training partners, running as Racers Track Club, 39.19, with SWEPT, 39.29, finishing in third place.
Junior representative Clive Pullen (KC) was impressive throughout but had to settle for second place in the long jump Open, his 7.68m falling short of MVP's Jermaine Jackson, who took the competition with 7.86m. G.C. Foster's Orneldo Thomas was third with 7.55m.
Immaculate High's Safia Morgan won the women's high jump open ahead of G.C. Foster's Tasha-Gaye Bailey, both women clearing 1.75m. Krista Gay Taylor of Alpha finished third after clearing the bar at 1.70m.
WOLMER'S TOP MALE HIGH JUMP
Christoff Bryan of Wolmer's tried to better his 2.20m personal best but could only clear 2.17m on the day, winning the Open high jump ahead of Calabar's Jovan Swaby, 2.10m, and JC's Ashani Wright, 2.05m.
Easily one of the most appreciated categories of the meet, the youngsters from the prep and primary schools brought the stadium crowd on its feet with some exciting performances.
The Vaz Prep quartet was seamless in an impressive 54.29 win in the first-ever Under-10 Prep schoolboys' 4x100m relay contested at the Gibson Relays. The east Kingston-based team won ahead of Lannaman's Prep, 55.03, and Hydel Prep, 55.34.
In the primary schools' Under-10 4x100m, New Providence, 55.53, were too strong for Naggo Head, 55.64, and Jessie Ripoll, 56.46.
Lannaman's had their revenge in the Under-12 category, winning in 51.23 ahead of Hydel, 51.93, and Vaz, 52.30, with Naggo Head winning the Primary School section in 52.29 over Ewarton, 52.66, and Spanish Town, 52.89.