Richards sizzles for Edwin Allen, targets double gold - Hydel take early lead with champions back in fifth place
Edwin Allen got their ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships title defence underway thanks to the double-hunting Fiona Richards, who claimed gold in the Girls Class One Discus throw inside the National Stadium yesterday.
The Michael Dyke-coached team are, however, at the moment looking up at pace-setters Hydel, who lead the point standings with 12 points after two events with Immaculate (11), Holmwood (10) and St Jago (10) enjoying success on Day Two of action. Excelsior 8, Rusea's 7, Vere 5, Petersfield 1 and Wolmer's 1 complete the early standings.
"I am not really challenged by my field in either the discus or shot put, and I just want to focus on records," stated a confident Richards, who noted her determination to help the Frankfield-based school to a fourth straight girls' title, after shattering the meet record with a throw of 53.04m in the discus event. She replaced Shanice Love's 52.73m records which was set at last year's championships.
Richards, who also registered a 12.76m effort in qualifying to Saturday's shot put final, is also optimistic that she will be adding another gold medal from her Champs 2017 assignment.
CONFIDENT IN SELF
"I am very confident of winning the double. I have been training very hard and putting in the work and I feel like I executed very well today (yesterday), despite being out for a month before Champs," she told The Gleaner.
Hydel's Devia Brown won the silver medal with a mark of 47.80m with Gabrielle Bailey (St Jago) securing the bronze with 47.61m.
In the day's other girls' final, Immaculate's Danielle Sloley, 14.73m, who fell just short of her 14.74m season's best, won gold in the Class Two girls shot put event with Rusea's Aliesha Shaw, 14.51m and Holmwood's Shaday Hudson, 13.93m securing the other podium spots.
Meanwhile, in Girls Class Four 4x100m, the champions were in dominating form winning heat one in 47.22 seconds to finish ahead of Mount Alvernia, 48.61 and Wolmer's Girls, 49.09 seconds.
Heat two was won by St Jago, 47.50, while Hydel took heat three in 48.31 with Immaculate winning heat three in 48.81 seconds.
In the preliminary round of the girls Class Three 400m, Joanne Reid of St Jago took heat one in 56.87 ahead of Roshell Rowe (Manchester High), who finished second in 58.80, while Shenell Tucker of Covenant of Mercy, 1:00.74, was third.
Daniella Deer of Holmwood took heat two in fast 55.94 seconds, followed by Donnell Hartley of the Queens School, 57.76 and Tiana Lugg of Covenant of Mercy, 59.03.
Garriel White took heat three for Hydel in a time of 56.43, second went to Raneeka Cain of Papine High, 58.14, and Sydonie McIntosh, 1:00.89, of St Mary High.
Nattesha Palmer of Holmwood won heat six in 56.49, ahead of Jodyann Dixon, 58.67, of Clarendon College and Danalee Brock (59.82 of Maggotty High.
The final will take place tomorrow at 1:35 p.m.
Favourite Stacey-Ann Williams (STETHS) made things easy by taking the first heat of the Class 1 girls' 400m in 53.78, while Alesha Kelly of St Jago won heat three in 54.76 ahead of Moisha Barnes (Edwin Allen), who finished strong in 54.99.
MORE HEAT WINNERS
In the girls Class Two 400m, Sanique Walker of Vere Technical took heat one in 55.08, ahead of Shanamarie Staple of Lacovia, 56.02, and Teresa Allen, 57.05, of Guy Hill High.
Hydel's Abigail Brooks, 55.81, and Charokee Young, 56.60, in heats two and three, won their heats comfortably.
In Girls Class Three 1500m, Edwin Allen's Rushana Dwyer won heat one in 4:49.16, ahead of Samantha Price of Holmwood Technical, 4:50.25, and Aaliyah Stewart of Hydel, 4:58.40.
The final will take place on Friday at 6:25 p.m.
Lamara Distin (Vere) and Edwin Allen's Janique Burgher have both cleared 1.80m this season and the pair are comfortably through to the Class Two high jump final after clearing 1.65m yesterday in the preliminary round.