Wed | Dec 1, 2021

Woolery excited about Petersfield pair

Published:Friday | March 29, 2019 | 12:17 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Woolery
Woolery

Petersfield head coach Machel Woolery has been telling the tale that the outstanding Antonio Watson has been hearing footsteps in practice. Back at full speed after an early-season niggle, Watson is back to the form that has won him titles at home, at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ Championships, and abroad. However, according to Woolery, he has been hearing the footsteps of teammate Kevon Stone in training recently.

Stone, a Boys’ Championships Class One 200m finalist last year, has impressed the coach, particularly in the build-up to Champs.

“I think for the last week or so, we’ve seen a remarkable improvement in terms of running mechanism [and] execution,“ the coach revealed on March 24. He’s been really pushing Antonio now for the last week or so.”

Stone started his endeavours with a first-round run in the Class One 200 metres. Fifth in the 2018 final, Stone was comfortable as he crossed the finish line in 21.61 seconds. That performance, and a solid display in the 4x100m, confirmed a pre-meet advisory from Woolery.

“If he improves how we expect him, if he maintains like that, [we expect him] to really run fast at Champs.”

The former Godfrey Stewart High School student isn’t a total unknown. Last year, he won the Class One sprint double at Western Championships. With Stone and Watson, Petersfield won the Champs 4x400-metre relay after Calabar was disqualified, and at the Penn Relays, with Stone running a 47.5-second leg and Watson anchoring in 45.5, Woolery’s boys clocked 3 minutes 09.50 seconds to clinch the runner-up spot.

Asked about the 10.58/21.14 sprinter’s readiness for Champs, Woolery simply said, “He’s ready to run.”

Watson, the 2017 World Under-18 400-metre champion, is ready, too. With a midseason knock behind him, the Youth Olympic silver medallist eased down to 21.24 seconds in his first-round 200-metre race on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he ambled home in 48.10 seconds in the 400-metre prelims.

Watson, the 2018 Class Two 200- and 400-metre champion, is competing in Class One for the first time.