Record-breaking start to spark early fireworks
IF THE preliminary rounds of the Class I girls’ discus were any indication, the stage is set for a battle royal in the final that could spark the early fireworks at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships.
Yesterday’s opening day at the National Stadium saw the Class I record twice change hands in qualifying as St Jago’s Abigail Martin ended the day, for now, as the top schoolgirl.
Martin’s effort of 55.19 metres set the new mark for the event, minutes after Holmwood Technical High School’s Cedricka Williams seemingly had the record for herself with an effort of 53.22, that had originally removed a six-year-old mark set by Edwin Allen’s Fiona Richards (53.04).
Martin had previously said Williams was a competitor who brings out the best in her.
“I always wanted to throw with her (Williams). She pushes me, and I also push her. It is always great competing with her,” Martin said.
Williams had credited being patient in her technique for her improved performances this season, after showing good signs at the Carifta Trials and is hoping to sign off her Holmwood career with a title she fell short of gaining last year.
“I had to be more patient and work on my recovery and speed. Last season I rushed my throws or didn’t finish some techniques in turn,” Williams said leading up to these Championships.
“I know expectations are high but it would mean a lot, especially because it is my last year.”
Both finished outside of the top three in 2022, with Martin placing fourth and Williams placing seventh.
On the track, the top three contenders for the Class I girls’ 100-metre title all progressed through comfortably in their first-round heats.
Frontrunner Serena Cole of Edwin Allen qualified comfortably with the fastest time among the semifinalists, clocking 11.57 in her first-round heat.
Alexis James of Petersfield High had the second-fastest time, clocking 11.74 to win her heat, while Alana Reid won her heat in 11.81, which was the fourth-fastest time among the semifinalists.
Cole’s teammate Tonie-Ann Forbes had the third-fastest time with 11.80.
Hydel’s Shemonique Hazel, 12.17, has the fastest time entering the Class II semifinals with St Catherine’s Kacycian Johnson (12.19) and Doniellia Lewis (12.20) being the other top qualifiers.
In Class III, Edwin Allen’s Theianna Lee Terrelonge (12.10) leads all qualifiers with Poshanna-Lee Blake of St Jago (12.47) and Vere Technical’s Tiana Oliver (12.53), the other top standouts.
Class IV is led by Holmwood Technical’s Maria Baker, who clocked 12.47, the fastest time in qualifying. Mount Alvernia’s Giana Murray (12.62) and Naje Brown of Immaculate Conception (12.65) were the other top qualifiers.
In the 400m, Lacovia’s Sabrina Dockery set the fastest mark among the Class II semifinalists, clocking 55.29 with Rosalee Gallimore of Holmwood (55.70) and Jody-Ann Daley of Hydel (55.71) among the top qualifiers.
Class III was led by Hydel’s Nastassia Flecher, who clocked 56.29 with Excelsior’s Breana Brown (56.84), and Shanoya Douglas of Muschett High (59.90), the other top qualifiers.
In the field, Hydel’s Natassia Burrell qualified for the Class II shot put final after throwing a distance of 14.17 metres in the preliminaries, well over the 14-flat automatic qualifying distance. Edwin Allen’s Dionjah Shaw had the second-farthest distance in the preliminaries (14.03) and Able Mills of St Catherine High was third with a distance of 13.88.
St Jago’s Jade-Ann Dawkins set the pace in the Class II girls’ long jump, qualifying with a distance of 6.08 metres, while St Catherine High’s Rohanna Sudlow had the second biggest leap with 5.65m.
Shelley-Ann Taylor of Excelsior High’s effort of 5.60 was good enough to close out the podium of qualifiers.