Thu | Oct 19, 2017

Oldest record in the book

Published:Tuesday | January 27, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Records fall frequently at Boys and Girls' Championships. Despite that, some are more stubborn than others. The oldest of them all one minute, 48.84 seconds - for the Class One boys' 800 metres - hasn't even been approached since it was set in 1987.

That might be about to change. Akeem Francis of Edwin Allen, fourth last year, is undefeated in two starts this year. Devaughn Smith of Spalding topped everyone on the clock at the recent Douglas Forrest meet with a time of one minute, 55.38 seconds.

Holmwood's first year Class One athlete, Ryan Butler, is a fine prospect. Second in Class Two last year, Butler ran faster for his silver - 1.53.43 - than Francis did in Class One, 1.54.18 in the semis and 1.54.56 in the final. Butler is fast enough to have been 2014 Central Class Two champion at 400 metres and strong enough to have won gold in the Class Three 1500 in the past.

Francis and Butler may have most to fear from Chad Miller, the 2012 Class Two winner for Kingston College (KC), and his training partner, Miguel Morrison. The latter held off Calabar's Alex Hutton last year in a record-breaking run in the medley relay.

This promising field has others to watch. The 2012 Carifta Under-17 winner, Ricardo McKenzie of Cornwall College, is speedy, and 2013 Class Two winner Dirk Williamson is a smart tactician. This Jamaica College (JC) ace has a turn of speed, too, and does 4x400 duties for JC.

Shevon Parkes of Bellefield and Williamson's teammate, Shemar Walker, were in the Class One final last year.

The presence of so many good prospects brings 1987 to mind. Sherwin Burgess of Vere narrowly beat his cousin, Kenroy Levy of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), with Levy's teammate, Fitzroy Morrison, third, and another Vere boy, Mark Jones, fourth, with all of them under 1.50.

In 1987, Jones' fast first lap set the pace for the record. Perhaps someone like McKenzie might push it early in the 2015 final. With that impetus, this large group of good prospects might just bring the 1.50 barrier and the oldest Champs record back into the realm of possibility.

Hubert Lawrence has attended Champs since 1980.