André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Kingston College skipper (KC) Clive Pullen brought the house down with a gutsy win in the Class One boys' long-jump final and defending champions Calabar High are well poised.
However, it was 2011 champions Jamaica College - not expected to challenge for this year's title - who were most dominant on yesterday's second day of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships inside the National Stadium.
Pullen flung himself to a best leap of 7.57 metres on his first attempt to hold off a brutal attack from Calabar pair Sadike Eddie and Jullane Walker, who finished second and third, respectively; both jumpers posting 7.32m.
But with a big one-two finish in the Class Two long jump and Gavin Gibson's fourth-place finish in Class One, JC march into day three with 23 points, and out in front; this after two finals.
So with four finals on the cards for today, Calabar find themselves in second place and striking distance on 19 points, with rivals Kingston College a whisper away on 18. Campion and Cornwall College are both on four points, with the steeplechase Open final unaccounted for.
Pullen, who is competing at his last Champs, said that the plan was to put the Calabar pair under pressure from the onset.
HAPPY WITH RESULTS
"This is this is my final year. I prayed for this, I trained very hard for this. I prayed, I prayed, I prayed to the Almighty to give me this one. I said it many times that I wanted to leave with a bang, so I'm really happy about this," Pullen told The Gleaner with a big grin stapled across his face.
"My coach told me to get it done on the first jump and put them (Calabar jumpers) under pressure and it worked," he added.
In Class Two, JC racked up 16 points, with Ajani James and O'Brien Waysome securing a quinella with Calabar's Javaughn Fowler hanging on to the bronze medal.
James registered 7.10m to clinch the gold medal from his teammate Waysome, whose best mark was measured at 7.09m with Fowler posting 7.07m.
In the showpiece Class One boys 200m, Munro standout Delano Williams looked in good shape, as he eased to a 21.77 win in his heat, promising reporters after the race that he is saving the fireworks for the final, in what will be his last appearance at Champs.
"I have a lot more to come. I have something special in mind for my last Champs," Williams assured.
His main rival for the half-lap event will be Green Island star Odail Todd, with whom he has waged battle with out west for the past few years. Todd was also smooth in qualifying, with a 21.43 win in his heat.
However, it was the in form Jevaughn Minzie from Bog Walk who left the preliminaries with the fastest time after his 21.40 clocking.
Michael O'Hara is expected to again have a super Champs this year and the Calabar Class Two star, who will be competing in the 100m, 200m, 110m hurdles and 4x100m, was impressive in qualifying for the Class Two 200m, with a powerful 21.62 win, over medal contender Raheem Chambers (St Jago), 22.47.
Gold medal favourite Fedrick Dacres of Calabar, the World Youth and Junior champion, is safely through to today's Class One boys discus through, after registering a 48.25m mark in qualifying.
Kingston College's Chadrick Dacosta is also through after a 45.73m effort, but its Munro's Jevaughn Shaw, who was the most impressive in qualifying, landing the disc at the 49.90m mark.
CLASS TWO BOYS' 800M BIG NAMES SAFE
Peterfield's Tion Gray, 1:58.92, was the fastest qualifier as all the big names secured safe passage to today's Class Two boys' 800m semi-finals after yesterday's preliminary round.
Gold medal contenders Rayon Butler (Holmwood), 2:00.17, Manchester's Daniel Wint, 2:00.91, Calabar's Orville Dixon, 2:01.94 and season's leader Paul Tate, 2:03.84, will all line up in the semis today after comfortable outings in their respective heats.
Kingston College's Brian Smith, 1:55.63, is the slight favourite for the Class One 800m gold medal, but he had to play second fiddle to Excelsior's Rayon Black, who was the fastest qualifier to the next round with a 1:55.52 mark.
Munro's Herbert Thomas, who has already gone 1:54.06 this season, is also through after clocking 1:57.38 in qualifying with Calabar's Jorel Bellafonte, 1:58.49, also safely through.