Sun | Jun 20, 2021

Spoiler alert!

A look at the lesser-known athletes set for big performances at Champs this year

Published:Tuesday | May 11, 2021 | 12:13 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer
OAKLEY
OAKLEY
GRANT
GRANT
Rusea’s High School sprinters Aaliyah Francis (left) and Lavanya Williams.
Rusea’s High School sprinters Aaliyah Francis (left) and Lavanya Williams.
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At the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships (Champs) over the years, there are athletes from teams not vying for top honours who have left their mark with outstanding performances. They are referred to as spoilers as their...

At the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships (Champs) over the years, there are athletes from teams not vying for top honours who have left their mark with outstanding performances. They are referred to as spoilers as their performances can help to tilt the title one way or the other.

With the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in several schools not entering Champs this year, and a number of them carrying fewer numbers than usual, there will not be many spoilers this time around, but for sure, there will be great performances from some of these athletes.

Leading the way on the girls’ side will be the Rusea’s High School duo of Aaliyah Francis and Lavanya Williams, who both were double winners at the Western Athletics Championships.

Francis is a cinch for the Class One girls’ 200m and 400m as her times of 23.69 seconds in the 200m and 53.40s in the 400m are the fastest among her peers and she should win both events quite easily.

Williams, who is in Class Three, will go into the 200m as the number one ranked athlete with 25.00s. She is the fourth ranked in the shorter sprint with a season’s best time of 12.14s.

Also from the west is Petersfield High School’s Alexis James, who is the number one seed in the Class Two girls’ 100m hurdles with 13.37s and is ranked at five in a very competitive 100m field with a personal best of 11.88s.

MAKING CLARENDON COLLEGE PROUD

Dejanea Oakley, Marissa Simpson, Roxene Simpson, and Kimola Hines are expected to make Clarendon College proud as all three should be among the medals. Oakley, who will compete in Class Two, is down to do the 200m and the 400m. With times of 24.05s and 54.48s, she is ranked second in both events.

Simpson, with a best of 13.84s, is ranked number two in the Class One 100m hurdles and is one of two under the 13 seconds barrier, just behind Hydel High School’s Oneka Wilson, who has a personal best of 13.52s.

In the field, Simpson and Hines, who are in Class One, should do well in the throws as Simpson, with a season best 48.08m, is at one in the discus throw while Hines is ranked third with 45.40m.

Two years ago, Ferncourt High School’s Derrick Grant was expected to medal in the Class Three 400m, but somehow missed the final. This time, despite competing in Class Two, he has shown signs at the various meets, including a win at Central Championships, that he could make up for his disappointment of two years ago, and is ranked at number two in the event with a time of 48.76s.

sports@gleanerjm.com

Rajay Hemmings (St Catherine High School) - Class Two boys’ shot put

Zachary Wallace (Maggotty High School) - Class Three boys’ 200m and 400m

Deshaun Gordon (Charlemont High School) - Class Two boys’ 200m and 400m

Deandre Daley (Herbert Morrison Technical High School) - Class Two boys’ 100m