Skeen, Porter, Dacres head World Junior team
Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
World Youth Olympic Games 100m champion, Odeen Skeen, IAAF World Youth champions Chanice Porter and Federick Dacres head Jamaica's 40 athletes for the 14th IAAF World Junior Championships to be staged in Barcelona, Spain, July 10-15.
Skeen struck gold in the 100m at the first ever staging of the Youth Olympics in Singapore back in 2010. The Wolmer's Boys student won the 100m in a wind-aided 10.24 seconds (+2.2 mps) at the National junior trials, which was held at the National Stadium last weekend to book his place on the team.
Jazeel Murphy will join Skeen in the 100m at the championship after finishing second in 10.32 seconds; despite his time being 0.04 seconds slower than Bog Walk High's Jevaughn Minzie, who ran 10.28 seconds (+1.1mps) to win the boys' Under-18 equivalent.
Manchester High's Porter and Calabar's Dacres will lead the country's charge in the field having both won historical long jump and discus gold medals respectively at last year's IAAF World Youth Championships held in Lille, France.
The Edwin Allen pair of Monique Spencer and Shawnette Lewin will turn out in the girls' 100m. Spencer stopped the clock at 11.46 seconds at trials for a surprise win ahead of Lewin (11.52), who won bronze in the event at last year's World Youth Championships.
Another top medal prospect for Jamaica is Julian Forte, who despite being the fastest Jamaican junior over both the 100m and 200m this year, will only be competing in the 200m after opting out of the shorter sprint at trials. The University of Technology man ran the second fastest time by a junior this year of 20.38 seconds to win ahead of Garvey Maceo's Tyquendo Tracey (21.35).
Last year's World Youth Championships bronze medalist Olivia James will once again don Jamaica's colours in the 400m, where she will be joined by Chrisann Gordon.
Jamaica's team to the 2010 World Junior championships in Moncton, Canada secured three medals. Dexter Lee led the way after successfully defending his 100m title. The other two medals came in the boys' 4x100 (Lee, Skeen, Brandon Tomlinson and Bernardo Brady) and the girls' 4x400m (Gordon, Natoya Goule, Jeneive Russell and Jody -Ann Muir).
The team's performance was good enough for a ninth-place finish overall out of 168 participating countries, but fell short of the record performance in 2008, where six medals and a ninth-place finish in the medal table was earned.
MALE: Odeen Skeen and Jazeel Murphy (100m), Julian Forte and Tyquendo Tracey (200m), Javon Francis Lennox Williams (400m), Yanick Hart and Stefan Fennell (110m hurdles), Shavon Barnes and Javarn Gallimore (400m hurdles), Clive Pullen (long jump and triple jump), Christoff Bryan (high jump), Federick Dacres (discus), Emmanuel Onyia and Ashinia Miller (shot put), Senoj-jay Givans and Jevaughn Minzie (apart of 4x100m relay team), Jovan Williams, Omar McLeod Faedian Royes and Jermaine Fyffe (apart of 4x400m relay team).
FEMALE: Monique Spencer and Shawnette Lewin (100m), Shericka Jackson and Jodean Williams (200m) Olivia James and Chrisann Gordon (400m), Simoya Campbell and Desreen Montaque (800m), Chrisdale McCarthy and Samantha Scarlett (100m hurdle), Janieve Russell (400m hurdle), Chanice Porter (long jump and high jump), Kimberly Williamson (high jump), Tara Sue Barnett (discus), Deandre Whitehorne and Christania Williams (a part of the 4x100m relay team), Sandrae Farquharson and Annastasia Scott (a part of the 4x400m relay team).
Management team: Julette Parkes (team leader), Neville Myton (assistant manager); Michael Dyke (head coach), Michael Carr, Julian Robinson, Kirk Douglas, Orville Byfield (coaches) and Dr Lincoln Cox.