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Stewart makes fast start - Jarrett, Keddo, Laing also win

Published:Monday | April 23, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer

Jamaica's Olympic 200-metre bronze medallist, Kerron Stewart, became the fastest Jamaican female so far this season over the distance, winning in 22.79 seconds at the War Eagle Invitational track and field meet in Auburn, Alabama, on Saturday.

Stewart, who also tied for silver with Sherone Simpson in the women's 100-metre finals in Beijing, where Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce led a famous Jamaican 1-2-3 finish, won comfortably ahead of The Bahamas' Nivea Smith (23.22).

At the same meet, Jamaica's senior representatives, Jovanee Jarrett and Eric Keddo, also won.

World Championships long jump representative, Jarrett, produced her second best season-opening, leaping 6.60 metres to defeat Breanna Smith (6.51m).

Jarrett, who is targeting a place on Jamaica's team to this summer's Olympic Games in London, was happy with her start.

"I am training very well and I am pleased with my performance," she said. "My goal is to make it to the Olympic Games and I am hoping that I can able to reach the 'A' standard soon.

"I was a bit flat and I felt tired because I have to be moving from work to training, but after coming back from an injured shoulder which kept me out of competition for most of last season I am pleased," added Jarrett, who has a personal best of 6.75 metres.

World Indoor 60m hurdles representative, Keddo, had the best result among the Jamaican male competitors at the meet. He won the 110m hurdles in 13.97 seconds.

Jamaica's other win at the meet was scored by former Immaculate Conception High school hurdler, Kimberly Laing, who became the fastest Jamaican female this season in the women's 100 metres hurdles.

Impressive time

Laing clocked an impressive 13.09 seconds, a personal best, running into a negative wind of 1.4 metres per second to win. Her time bettered the 13.15 done by Shermaine Williams at the recent University of Technology Classics

Laing, who represented Jamaica at the Carifta Games some years ago and recently graduated from University of Alabama - where she majored in political science - upstaged World Indoor 60 metres hurdles representative, Vonette Dixon, who was second in 13.15 seconds, as Jamaican athletes swept the top three spots.

Former Wolmer's Girl's representative, Keisha Wallace - a sophmore at Mississippi State University - finished third in 13.27 seconds.

Laing, who has improved a great deal over the past two years, was very pleased with her performance.

"It is a motivating experience that allows me to feel confident going forward. This puts me in a great frame of mind to keep working hard for the Jamaica National Championships," expressed Laing, when asked about her performance.

Former World Junior 400 metres finalist, Jodyan Muir, continued to improve in the one-lap event. Competing for Mississippi State University, Muir, a past student of Wolmer's Girls', finished second in 52.89 seconds.

The United States' Joanna Atkins won in 52.29, while Jamaica's World Indoor representative, Dominique Blake, was fourth in 53.08.

Former Wolmer's Boys' jumper, Kamal Fuller, who represented the country at the last World Junior Championships and now attends the Universty of Alabama, was second in the long jump with a 7.56-metre effort.