Dwyer upstages Weir to claim 200 crown
Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer
SPRINT TECH'S Rasheed Dwyer created a major upset on yesterday's final day of competition of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships inside the National Stadium as the Maurice Wilson-coached athlete defeated world leader Warren Weir to win the men's 200 metres in a personal-best 20.04 seconds.
Weir had to settle for second in 20.17 seconds, with third going to 100 metres silver medallist Jason Liver-more in 20.25 seconds.
Drawn in lane six, the powerfully built Dwyer, a former World University Games gold medallist, led off the bend and maintained his form to pull off the biggest win so far in his career.
"First, I must give God thanks for the win, and coach Wilson, who has guided me well, as I came to the Championships very confident, and I just executed as he said, and in the end, it was a win for me," said Dwyer.
Wilson was a happy man.
"I'm extremely happy, seeing that I just came out of the high-school system, and for my charge to score a big win ... . It has been very hard all season as we have to travel from G.C. Foster to the National Stadium on a regular basis, but in the end, it paid off," said Wilson, who is also the technical director of the Jamaica's senior team.
It was a close finish in the women's event, where two former Holmwood Technical athletes - Anneisha McLaughlin and Schillonie Calvert - had a keen battle all the way. In the end, McLaughlin prevailed to win her first national senior title, winning in 22.79 seconds ahead of Calvert (22.88) and Samantha Henry-Robinson, who was third in 23.15 seconds.
Novlene Williams-Mills and Akeem Gauntlett won the respective female and male 400 metres titles.
The in-form Williams-Mills, who is the Diamond League leader and top Jamaican this season, captured another national title with a well-timed run.
Despite being a little way behind her main rivals, the classy Williams-Mills found an extra gear in the final 80 metres to win in 50.05 seconds, getting the better of a fast-finishing Christine Day, who registered a personal-best 50.16 seconds, with Stephenie McPherson third in 50.50 seconds.
Overseas-based Gauntlett, who won the male title two years ago and was third last year, held off a strong field to regain his title in 45.00 seconds flat, which is his season best and the joint-fastest time by a Jamaican this year, joining Javon Francis.
Second was Rusheen McDonald from MVP Track Club in 45.24 seconds, with third going to Hugh Graham Jr of the University of Florida in 45.43 seconds.
The women's 100 metres hurdles - the final track event of the night - was the most competitive of the evening as there was a blanket finish, and a new champion was crowned.
Former Immaculate High athlete Monique Morgan underlined her status as the fastest Jamaican in the event this season. After being in about third position in mid-race, Morgan unleashed her best in the latter part of the event, which ended in a bang-up finish, taking top spot in 12.96 seconds to equal her season best. Defending champion Danielle Williams was second in 12.99 seconds, while former champion Indira Spence placed third in 13.03 seconds.