Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 Girls open with two records at Champs 2017 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Girls-open-with-two-records-at-Champs-2017_93990 BY PAUL A REID Observer writer reidp@jamaicaobserver.com The top contenders for the girls&rsquo; title are happy with their performances on yesterday&rsquo;s opening day of the 107th ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys&rsquo; and Girls&rsquo; Athletics Championships despite no points scored in the opening session.<br /> <br /> Michael Dyke, coach of three-time defending champions and prohibitive favourites Edwin Allen High, and Keilando Goburn of St Jago High said they were right where they expected to be, midway yesterday&rsquo;s session and before the first rounds of the 200m.<br /> <br /> Dyke told the Jamaica Observer: &ldquo;So far, so good, things are pretty much on course; based on our plans things are well in place and going as we planned it.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Goburn said, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s early days yet, but the objective of today is to advance athletes and we are doing a good job of that. There are still no points on the board, but if you are unable to advance you can&rsquo;t score,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We are right where we want to be in terms of expectations.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Two records were broken, Holmwood Technical&rsquo;s Shanette Allison clocked 13.30 seconds (0.3m/s) to win heat number two to erase the 13.38 seconds set in 2013 by Peta-Gaye Williams, then of Camperdown High.<br /> <br /> Vere Technical&rsquo;s Britany Anderson, the favourite to win the gold medal, also went under the old record after she won the first heat in 13.37 seconds (0.0m/s).<br /> <br /> They lead the qualifiers along with Hydel High&rsquo;s Ray-Donna Lee, who won the fourth heat with 13.51 seconds (-0.4m/s) into the semi-finals set for Friday.<br /> <br /> St Jago High&rsquo;s Brianna Lyston sped to a new Class Four 200m record clocking an easy-looking 24.00 seconds (0.0m/s) in the first round, faster than the 24.21 set two years ago by another St Jago runner, Joanne Reid.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, teams will start accumulating points today with two finals set to be contested; both in the throws, the discus throw Class One, and shot put Class Two.<br /> <br /> Also today, the first rounds of the 400m and the 1500m, the 4x100m relays, shot put Class One preliminaries, discus throw Class Three, among others, will be contested in the first full day of competition.<br /> <br /> Immaculate Conception&rsquo;s Danielle Sloley leads the qualifiers for today&rsquo;s finals of the Class Two shot put with 13.18m in yesterday&rsquo;s preliminaries, ahead of Rusea&rsquo;s High&rsquo;s Western Champs record holder Aliesha Shaw with 13.00m and St Jago High&rsquo;s Shania Scott just behind her with 12.99m.<br /> <br /> Wolmer&rsquo;s High School for Girls&rsquo; Aiko Jones threw 40.91m to lead the Class One discus throw qualifiers followed by two Edwin Allen athletes, Fiona Richards with 40.05m and Sheika McPherson with 38.43m, and Petersfield High&rsquo;s Shyledeen Smith with 37.21m.<br /> <br /> World Junior Championships finalist Devia Brown of Hydel High also advanced with 36.49m.<br /> <br /> St Jago High&rsquo;s Crystal Morrison ran 11.30 seconds (2.1m/s) to lead the qualifiers in the Class Three 80m hurdles, winning heat three; Holmwood Technical&rsquo;s Dyandra Gray with 11.32 seconds was next fastest and Hydel High&rsquo;s Velecia Williams won her heat with 11.36 seconds.<br /> <br /> Shanoya Pottinger of Hydel High ran the fastest time in the Class Four 70m hurdles, 10.67 seconds (0.1m/s) leading St Jago High&rsquo;s Danae Nembhard with 10.68 seconds, and Edwin Allen&rsquo;s Alisha McKenzie with 10.69 seconds.<br /> <br /> Defending champion Ania Ashley of Edwin Allen leads the qualification in the Class Two long jump with 5.64m (1.8m/s) followed by Camperdown High&rsquo;s Monief Heslop with 5.63m (0.4m/s), Holmwood Technical&rsquo;s Maricia Spence (5.61m) and Immaculate Conception&rsquo;s Ashalee Brown with 5.59m.<br /> <br /> Petersfield High&rsquo;s Colistia Baker, who was second to last is among the qualifiers in the Class One high jump that also saw Camperdown High&rsquo;s D&rsquo;Andra Morris, Excelsior High&rsquo;s Rushellee Jones, St Andrew High&rsquo;s Lorean Murray and Hydel High&rsquo;s Shiann Salmon.<br /> <br /> Spalding High&rsquo;s Cherice Cope leads the Class Three 800m qualifiers after she ran two minutes 17.21 seconds to win her heat with the Edwin Allen pair of Jessica McLean (2:19.12 minutes) and Rushana Dwyer (2:19.57 minutes) also winning their heats. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13742158/267247_93100_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13742155/267240_93102_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13742157/267242_93101_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Wednesday, March 29, 2017 12:00 AM Petersfield coach has high hopes for Kevin Nedrick http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Petersfield-coach-has-high-hopes-for-Kevin-Nedrick_93985 BY SHERDON COWAN Observer staff reporter cowans@jamaicaobserver.com Kevin Nedrick has been in superb form all season and so it was no surprise for Petersfield&rsquo;s coach Machel Woolery when he established a new national junior record in the javelin open on the first day of the 107th staging of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys&rsquo; and Girls&rsquo; Championships at the National Stadium yesterday.<br /> <br /> Nedrick, the overwhelming favourite for the gold medal, bettered the previous junior record of 63.69m set in July 2014 by Orlando Thomas in leading the qualifiers for the event.<br /> <br /> However, he was just shy of the Championships record of 64.08m, also set in 2014 by Devon Spencer of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) as a senior athlete.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am not surprised because he has been in good form all season and it was just about going through the first round, that was the whole objective. I just told him to go out there and qualify and then when the final comes we take it from there,&rdquo; Woolery told the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Nedrick, 19, who doubled in both the discus and shot put throws at the World Under-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, in July last year, dominated the javelin qualifiers and looks set to challenge for the triple gold over the five-day ISSA Champs.<br /> <br /> The 2015 Commonwealth Youth double gold medallist currently has a personal best of 65.09m for the javelin, which with a little more thrust in the final sets him up nicely to better the Champs record.<br /> <br /> He also holds a personal best of 20.08m and 59.70m in the shot and discus events, which leaves Woolery beaming about the prospects of the second-year Class One athlete closing the high school chapter of his career on the up.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He was happy after the throw but not overconfident. It was just about executing and getting into the finals and then we take it from there, like I said. This is a championship, so we are working on getting all three gold medals, so let&rsquo;s see what happens based on his current form,&rdquo; Woolery noted.<br /> <br /> Finally, Woolery hinted that the Westmoreland-based school&rsquo;s star thrower will be attempting to make Jamaica&rsquo;s team to the London World Championships in August.<br /> <br /> However, he was quick to point out that it will require continued hard work, both physically and mentally, as the equipment at the senior level will increase significantly in weight.<br /> <br /> At the high school level, Nedrick is currently throwing a discus weighing 1.75kg and the shot put at 6kg, while the javelin is 700g. However, at the senior level the discus is 2kg and the shot put 8kg with the javelin being the same weight.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I have high hopes for him going forward, but for now we just hope to come out of the Championships as healthy as possible and we would love to win those three gold medals.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are also gunning for at least two records out of the three events, and his start today (yesterday) gives a good indication of what is to come,&rdquo; the coach stated.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;After the Championships we are hoping to do well at the Carifta Games, as well as the PanAm Games, and also want to take a shot at the senior trials. So a lot is in store for him, he has the potential to go really far. And like I said I have high hopes about what he can accomplish,&rdquo; Woolery ended. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13742149/267180_93097_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13742143/267245_93098_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Wednesday, March 29, 2017 12:00 AM Franfield yes, but only just http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Franfield-yes--but-only-just_93760 BY RUDDY ALLEN Observer staff reporter It was expected to be romp. Instead, Franfield racing against a field consisting of one true opponent and others who were not supposed to be in his class still had to dig deep demonstrating all of his depth and fighting powers to withstand the presistent and pesky challenge of Blue Dixie.<br /> <br /> The win was great relief for Azan as he was visiting the winners&rsquo; enclosure for only the second time this year.<br /> <br /> Franfield raced in second position at the off as Proud Of Nuclear (Robert Halledeen), shot into an early lead while his stable companion Blue Dixie (Dane Nelson) settled in third spot on the rails, going around the clubhouse turn.<br /> <br /> Approaching the five-furlong marker, the race gathered momentum when Blue Dixie and Franfield covered the leader but Harvey decided to push Franfield through and he began to edge away at the half-mile with Nelson vigorously riding<br /> <br /> Blue Dixie to stay in close touch.<br /> <br /> Franfield looked all over a winner at the furlong pole but Blue Dixie crept up against the inside rails and actually pointed in the last half-furlong. However, a determined Harvey produced extra from Franfield and was able to nip Blue Dixie at the wire. Hover Craft (Omar Walker), who was outpaced, ran on in deep stretch for third place. The final time for the event was a very respectable 1:55.0.<br /> <br /> Dr Graham Brown, a member of the Elite Bloodstock Limited syndicate, owner of Franfield, said that he was always expecting a tough race, especially from Blue Dixie. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We had to fight it out but the jockey and the horse prevailed in the end&hellip;it was a good win by Franfield. I didn&rsquo;t expect it was going to be an easy victory as Blue Dixie is a talented horse and she has never done two turns before, so it was always going to be interesting.<br /> <br /> &ldquo; Blue Dixie had actually taken the lead and we came back and prevailed and that was the main thing,&rdquo; Dr Brown told the Complete Racing Guide.<br /> <br /> As to future plans, Dr Brown said: &ldquo; Franfield is essentially our horse for the Superstakes and for the other big races and if the Diamond Mile is still on, that is his favourite distance, a mile, so we are looking for Franfield to be around for the rest of this season.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739615/266798_92770_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739618/266778_92769_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM Let the show begin! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Let-the-show-begin-_93839 BY HOWARD WALKER Senior staff reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com The long-awaited and much-anticipated 107th staging of the prestigious Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) GraceKennedy Boys&rsquo; and Girls&rsquo; Athletics Championships starts today inside the National Stadium at 1:00 pm.<br /> <br /> Defending champions Edwin Allen High girls are hunting for their fourth-consecutive title, while boys&rsquo; champions Calabar High will be looking for their sixth-consecutive hold on the Mortimer Geddes trophy.<br /> <br /> While Edwin Allen are heavily touted to retain their title ahead of the likes of Hydel High, St Jago High and Holmwood Technical, Calabar High will have their hands full in keeping fierce rivals Kingston College (KC) from gaining a record 32nd title.<br /> <br /> And for the first time in the history of the event, there will be designated prize monies of $1m for the top boys&rsquo; and girls&rsquo; champions.<br /> <br /> Edwin Allen High look a shoo-in after winning last year&rsquo;s edition by 66.5 points, and Head Coach Michael Dyke is pretty confident of retaining the title and gaining their fifth lien in the last six years.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are as ready as we can be. It&rsquo;s all systems go and the spirit here is very high. We have no injury concerns and everyone is ready and knows what they have to do,&rdquo; Dyke said.<br /> <br /> Hydel High, who have been looking promising and getting closer over the years, are expected to once again challenge Edwin Allen, but will have their hands full battling Holmwood Technical and St Jago for a top-three place once again.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Second to fourth places will be tight. We have finished between those places over the past few years but we are still a work in progress,&rdquo; said Hydel&rsquo;s Head Coach Corey Bennett.<br /> <br /> While the girls&rsquo; section looks tailor-made for Edwin Allen, boys&rsquo; champions Calabar High will have to show what champions are made of to thwart the challenge of KC once again.<br /> <br /> The green and black-clad boys from Red Hills Road have been winning since 2012 to be on 26 titles, five behind KC as the most successful schools, and it appears, for the first time in the last five years, Calabar will start as second favourites.<br /> <br /> But Calabar have in their camp one Michael Clarke, who is the most successful coach in the history of the championships.<br /> <br /> Clarke, who started coaching approximately 32 years ago in 1985, has 15 titles under his belt. He has won seven titles each with Calabar and JC and had given St Jago High their first championship in 1987.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think this will be one of the more exciting championships throughout the history of the championships. The two major players are keenly contested, somewhat evenly matched, although not echoed by the various punters,&rdquo; noted Clarke. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;But I think Calabar has a very good chance of defending successfully. KC has a good team and track and field lovers should have a fantastic treat,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, KC, who have not won the title since 2009, are hungry for success and, based on their early season form and the apparent all-round depth of their squad, the &ldquo;Famed Purples&rdquo; look good to dethrone Calabar.<br /> <br /> Head Coach Neil Harrison, in his third year at KC, is confident but not complacent because he knows very well that nothing can be taken for granted.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Pretty much the long-awaited championships is here and we are excited. This is what we are prepared for and now that it presents itself, we are ready and raring to go,&rdquo; he told the Jamaica Observer yesterday. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am very optimistic. We have been doing very well all season and we expect to continue along that phase. And I am just hoping that, all things being equal, we will just rise to the occasion and this championship should be ours,&rdquo; Harrison added.<br /> <br /> The coach, who left Munro College three years ago, said the favourite tag placed on KC will not affect his team.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am cool, calm and collected. There is no pressure any at all. Championships always come with pressure in some shape or form, but I have not been bothered by pressure. I know what I am capable of, I have already done the work. It&rsquo;s just now to steer the team through the championships,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> It will be five days of exhilarating stuff starting today at 1:00 pm with the Boys&rsquo; Class One long jump preliminaries and ending with the Boys&rsquo; steeplechase open heats at 9:15 pm. There will be no final on day one, but come tomorrow, crucial early points will be up for grabs, with four finals in total &mdash; the boys&rsquo; Class One and Two long jump finals and the Girls&rsquo; Class One discus and Class Two shot put finals. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12771820/191797_21222_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13740477/191803_92860_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13740474/263083_92856_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13740476/192437_92857_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13740478/186493__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12775975/192067_21400_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12668303/186501_16328_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13701919/263500_89947_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13707605/263826_90291_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13576257/252854_79657_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739635/267026_92839_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13740616/Screen-Shot-2017-03-28-at-2-28-52-AM_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM Records aplenty as Olympians strut stuff at UWI Invitational Meet http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Records-aplenty-as-Olympians-strut-stuff-at-UWI-Invitational-Meet_93713 BY SHERDON COWAN Observer staff reporter cowans@jamaicaobserver.com Triple jumper Shanieka Thomas was among a number of Olympians that produced creditable performances as the records were aplenty at The University of the West Indies (UWI) Invitational Meet at the UWI/Usain Bolt Stadium on Saturday.<br /> <br /> Thomas, now sporting her married name Ricketts, leapt to a season opening mark of 14.20 metres in a negative 0.1 metres per second wind speed. She won ahead of her UWI teammates Tamara Myers (14.02m) and Natrena Hooper (12.26m).<br /> <br /> Though the performance was nowhere close to her personal best and meet record leap of 14.57m, achieved last year at the same meet, the 25-year-old Thomas-Ricketts was pleased with the opener.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This was my season opener and 14.20m is well over the qualification standard for World Championships, so I am ok with it. It is a different season working on different things, and it is also early in the season, so we still have a lot of things to work on,&rdquo; the 5ft 9in tall jumper told journalists.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This was my first time running from 18 strides all season, so it is a good start. And I am just looking forward to what the season has to unfold. [My goal is] to make the World Championships final and hopefully make it on the podium,&rdquo; she added.<br /> <br /> The men&rsquo;s triple jump was won by unattached jumper Wilbert Walker, who established one of eight records on the day. He achieved a mark of 16.23 metres in a positive 1.6 metres per second wind speed, bettering the old mark of 15.34m set by Jellani Bogle in 2015.<br /> <br /> The GC Foster College pair of Aubrey Allen (16.18m) and Shown-D Thompson (14.95m) were second and third respectively.<br /> <br /> National discus record holder Fedrick Dacres of the UWI topped the men&rsquo;s shot put with a heave of 19.78m ahead of teammate Christopher Brown (17.10m) and Alec-Verne Longmore (16.33m) of the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech).<br /> <br /> Isheka Binns also of the UWI won the women&rsquo;s event with a new record mark of 15.71m, bettering Genneva Greaves&rsquo; previous mark of 14.80m set in 2015. UTech&rsquo;s Latifah Smith (14.74m) was second and Tia-Gaye Johnson (13.85m) of GC Foster College third.<br /> <br /> Dacres also topped the discus with a mark of 66.38m, two metres shy of his own record of 66.40m set in 2015. Chad Wright (58.44m), throwing unattached, and Basil Bingham (56.80m) of UWI were the runners-up.<br /> <br /> Venique Harris of UWI launched the discus to a new record 58.76m to finish tops in the women&rsquo;s division as she bettered 58.55m set in 2015 by Tarasue Barnett. Binns (55.57m) was second with Smith (41.51m) in third.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson once again tested her mettle at the 400m event and finished down the track despite improved performance.<br /> <br /> The MVP representative finished fifth in heat one of the time final event with her time of 55.98 seconds placing her 14th overall.<br /> <br /> Olympic 400m hurdles finalist Janieve Russell also of MVP won the event in 52.59 seconds, ahead of Dawnalee Loney (53.18s) of Mico University College and Jodean Williams (53.58s) of UWI.<br /> <br /> The men&rsquo;s event, which featured the likes of Warren Weir, Jaheel Hyde, Annsert Whyte and Julian Forte, was won by former St Jago star Martin Manley of Cameron Blazers in 46.36 seconds. Miguel Francis (46.48s) of Racers Track Club was second and Rasheed Dwyer (46.64s) of Sprintec third.<br /> <br /> Javon Francis of Akan Track Club went from the quarter-mile to the 200m half-lap event which he won 20.73 seconds running in a negative 0.2 metres per second wind speed. Oshane Bailey (20.85s) of GC Foster and Chad Walker (20.87s) of UTech were second and third respectively.<br /> <br /> GC Foster College&rsquo;s Sashalee Forbes won the women&rsquo;s 200m in 23.48 seconds in a wind speed of negative 2.3 metres per second. She was followed in by the Sprintec pair of Gayon Evans (23.52s) and Natasha Morrison (23.87s).<br /> <br /> It was a clean sweep for MVP Track Club in the women&rsquo;s 100m with Shericka Jackson leading the way with a 11.32-second clocking in a positive 0.2 metres per second wind speed. Stephanie-Ann McPherson, who has been frequently sprinting since the start of the season, was second in 11.50 seconds, while Srabani Nanda (11.68s) was third.<br /> <br /> The UWI-based Trinidadian Emmanuel Callender finished tops in the men&rsquo;s dash with a time of 10.28 seconds achieved in a negative 0.3 metres per second wind speed. Former St Elizabeth Technical High School stalwart Nigel Ellis (10.29s) was second with MVP&rsquo;s Kavean Smith (10.30s) third. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13705272/263819_90157_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13589235/253811_80709_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13294085/229124_56523_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12830412/195384_24642_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739734/180707_10914_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM Photos: It&rsquo;s on! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Photos--It-s-on-_93883 TAYLOR... Calabar High&rsquo;s star favourite for 200m and 400m double<br /> <br /> DAVIS... tipped to give Edwin Allen High Class Two sprint double http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13703819/263738_90101_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13701917/263501_92842_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM Dyke confident of Edwin Allen repeat http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Dyke-confident-of-Edwin-Allen-repeat_93824 Edwin Allen High&rsquo;s Michael Dyke, while being supremely confident that his 100-member Edwin Allen team can retain their Girls&rsquo; Champs title, is still not taking any chances as they go after a fifth hold and fourth- straight.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are as ready as we can be,&rdquo; he told the Jamaica Observer over the weekend as he wrapped up training at their Frankfield, Clarendon, base.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s all systems go and the spirits here is very high. We have no injury concerns and everyone is ready to go and know what they have to do,&rdquo; Dyke said.<br /> <br /> He said he expects the bulk of the points to come from Classes One and Three. &ldquo;We will choose the best person we think can score maximum points, whether they are in their first year or sixth year in the programme,&rdquo; he noted.<br /> <br /> While some pundits have predicted that Edwin Allen could accumulate up to 370 points, some have put that figure higher. &ldquo;Some say up to 400 points,&rdquo; Dyke noted. <br /> <br /> The Edwin Allen coach says he foresees Hydel High as the team that will finish second.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They are well rounded than the others right now,&rdquo; Dyke said, adding he does not see any surprises given that all the top athletes have competed and their forms are well known.<br /> <br /> Hydel&rsquo;s coach Corey Bennett would not predict any final placings of schools, saying second through fourth places are up for grabs. &ldquo;Second to fourth places will be tight. We have finished between those places over the past few years but we are still a work in progress,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Bennett says his team has evolved over the years and this version will rely more on runners than the field event athletes, as has been the norm in the past.<br /> <br /> St Jago High&rsquo;s Keilando Goburn was also cagey with his team&rsquo;s chances.<br /> <br /> His points, he said, &ldquo;will come from all over, especially in the sprints and throws, but St Jago will not roll over and die&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Both Hydel and St Jago have injury concerns, but they don&rsquo;t expect this to significantly derail their efforts.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Paul Reid http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12712731/188771_18432_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM STETHS, Manchester to meet in Headley Cup final http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/STETHS--Manchester-to-meet-in-Headley-Cup-final_93833 DEFENDING champions St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) and Manchester High will meet in the final of the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Grace Headley Cup to be contested April 6-8 at a venue to be named.<br /> <br /> Both team progressed to the final after drawn semi-final matches on Saturday, but advanced by virtue of gaining first innings points over their opponents.<br /> <br /> At STETHS playfield: Scores were: STETHS 166 all out and 205 for six wickets declared, Munro 65 all out, and 105 for six wickets.<br /> <br /> Manchester High playfield: Scores: Manchester 97 all out and 180 all out, Garvey Maceo 56 all out, and three without lost when rain prevent no further play. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10677419/cricket-ball_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM FLOW gives and gets value from Champs 2017 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/FLOW-gives-and-gets-value-from-Champs-2017_93827 Executives from FLOW, exclusive telecommunications partner for the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys&rsquo; and Girls&rsquo; Championships, are once again revelling in the &ldquo;value&rdquo; the association brings to its brand from a consumer perspective.<br /> <br /> According to Kim Lee, head of retail Mmarketing & Television at FLOW, the meet &mdash; which is now the largest and most prestigious of its kind in the hemisphere &mdash; gives the company a great opportunity to connect with a large segment of its key consumer base.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As far as evaluating our return on investment over the past 13 years, Champs has over-delivered on its promised value. The massive crowds which have attended year after year, along with the high profile and highly publicised nature of the annual activity gives us great fodder to land our consumer messages and bring attention to special products or initiatives,&rdquo; Lee shared.<br /> <br /> This year, Champs-goers will have the unique opportunity to capitalise on yet another exciting phone offer from the telecommunications company. &ldquo;From Tuesday to Friday, patrons switching to the FLOW network will be able to trade in voice feature phones, or &ldquo;bangers&rdquo; as they are commonly referred to, in exchange for a brand new Android phone for only $1,400 + GCT,&rdquo; Lee revealed.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As major sponsors, we are always looking for new and exciting ways to engage patrons, as well as our customers directly, and this year is no different. Everyone is now riding the mobile data wave, and persons want to be able to get on social media, use video-calling and, of course, capture special moments like Champs. As such, this is the perfect opportunity to unleash this special offer,&rdquo; she added.<br /> <br /> During the press launch for the 2017 Championships, held two weeks ago, Lee also shared that, beyond its commercial objectives, the activity also allows the company to meet its philanthropic mandate.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Over the past five years we have invested approximately $10 million, outside of our sponsorship fees, directly into the sports programmes at several schools to support their participation at Champs,&rdquo; she highlighted. This year, Calabar High School, Kingston College, Edwin Allen High School and Wolmer&rsquo;s Boys&rsquo; School were the beneficiaries of close to $800,000 in cash and other supplies through FLOW&rsquo;s &lsquo;Journey to Champs&rsquo; programme. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739640/266983_92840_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739635/267026_92839_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM Rodgers wants to represent Jamaica, but... http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Rodgers-wants-to-represent-Jamaica--but---_93874 BY HOWARD WALKER Senior staff reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com Uganda&rsquo;s Kingston College (KC) middle-distance runner Arymanya Rodgers says he wants to represent Jamaica but, based on the negative social media feedback, he is now having second thoughts.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Maybe sometime to come I may represent this country, but if I keep on hearing this negative attitude by these people, you never know, I may change my mind,&rdquo; Rodgers told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> The talented 16-year-old never represented the country of his birth, Uganda before, but since coming to Jamaica last October Rodgers has fallen in love with the island.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I never expected that social media thing. I don&rsquo;t normally answer those people, I don&rsquo;t pay attention to them,&rdquo; he noted.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But I have to remain focused. These haters, these people who talk things about me, I want to prove them wrong,&rdquo; said a determined Rodgers.<br /> <br /> Rodgers, who is said to be a very talented footballer by his middle-distance coach Hamil Pagon, said he actually wasn&rsquo;t interested in track and field in his earlier days.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I wasn&rsquo;t interested in track and field at the time, I was interested in football. But I was invited to try it by my uncle and I tried it, and surprised everybody,&rdquo; he admitted. <br /> <br /> Now Rodgers is set to announce himself to the world at arguably the biggest high school athletics championships in the world. He will be representing KC in the Class Two 1500m and the 5,000m Open event, where he is expected to garner crucial points. The 1,500m record of 3:57.23 minutes set by Keenon Lawrence of St Jago in 2016 is in real danger of being erased. Rodgers has the fastest time heading into the championships with 3:59.59 minutes.<br /> <br /> Rodgers was red flagged by the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) for missing the registration date of September 28, but was given the green light to compete based on extenuating circumstances.<br /> <br /> That ISSA decision sparked weeks of debate as to whether he should have been allowed to participate. But the athlete believes that there could have been other factors at play apart from ISSA&rsquo;s lenience.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think it&rsquo;s the rule only. I don&rsquo;t think why you should hate me because of my talent,&rdquo; said Rodgers, who admitted to a love for Jamaica&rsquo;s fried chicken and rice.<br /> <br /> Tomorrow, at approximately 9:55 am, Rodgers will enter the arena looking to safely navigate KC through to the final of the 1500m where he is expected to secure nine points. Another nine points could be in the asking when he steps up to the 5000m against older boys in the final on Saturday at 8:00 pm. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13719734/265146_91383_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM Waterhouse climb up RSPL table http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Waterhouse-climb-up-RSPL-table_93832 Former Red Stripe Premier League two-time champions Waterhouse FC defeated defending champions Montego Bay United FC 2-0 at Drewsland on Sunday to move off the foot of the 12-team standings. <br /> <br /> But only marginally. <br /> <br /> The Waterhouse victory has lifted the Drewsland-based team up to ninth place in the standings with 31 points.<br /> <br /> Waterhouse were breaking a lean spell of losses while on the reverse, Montego Bay United were going through one of losing which would be their third in the Premier League on the trot.<br /> <br /> Glendon &ldquo;Admiral&rdquo; Bailey, the Waterhouse head coach, declared after the match that he had to make &ldquo;some drastic changes in team personnel to get the team back on its winning path&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> Meanwhile, his counterpart Roderick Underwood said that three matches in nine days could have a negative effect on his team&rsquo;s performance as this leaves little time to recover both physically and mentally.<br /> <br /> Teams: Waterhouse FC &mdash; Romaine Bowers, Damarley Samuels, Kemar Beckford (Neicko Williams 74th), Rodave Murray (Shaquille Dyer 90th+1), Andre McFarlane, Mark Miller, Shawn McKoy, DeAndre Brown (Irvino English 84th), Kymani Campbell, Nicholi Finlayson, Carlos Wright<br /> <br /> Subs not used: Jovani Simms, Akeem Chambers, Dale Reid, Stephorn Brown,<br /> <br /> Booked: Murray (55th), English (90th+2)<br /> <br /> Montego Bay United FC &mdash; Jacomeno Barrett, John Barrett, Ladale Richie, Orlando McBayne, Keneil Moodie (Ramone Sibley 66th), Dwayne Ambusley, Donovan Carey, Jermaine Woozencroft (Cory Hylton 82nd), Allan Ottey (Johann Weatherly 78th), Owayne Gordon, Dino Williams<br /> <br /> Subs not used: David Swaby, Kashief Brown, Ronaldo Rodney, Winston Wilkinson<br /> <br /> Booked: John Barrett (38th), Jacomeno Barrett (39th)<br /> <br /> Referee: Dwight Royal<br /> <br /> Assistant referees: Melvin Reid, Damian Williams<br /> <br /> Fourth official: Gawane Scott<br /> <br /> Referee assessor: Garnet Page<br /> <br /> Match commissioner: Elaine Walker-Brown http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11470104/Screenshot_2015-02-01-22-18-43-1_w300.jpg National Premier League Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM &lsquo;Monday Morning&rsquo; &ndash; a major testing ground http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/-Monday-Morning----a-major-testing-ground_93735 BY OBSERVER RACING WRITER Listed as tomorrow&rsquo;s last race, the Monday Morning Trophy run in honour of the former Triple Crown winner, takes on added significance with the presence of 14 Classic-seeking three-year-olds wanting to get ready for April 8, when the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas races are set to be run. There is one four-year-old, a foreigner, Council of Trent also down to compete.<br /> <br /> The trip of the Monday Morning, seven furlongs (1,400m), is ideal for the three-year-olds seeking their place in the record books as a Classic winner.<br /> <br /> The Complete Racing Guide assesses the chances of the 15 runners.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> LADY FAYE &ndash; Well- seasoned filly who ran on very strongly in the six-furlong (1,200m) Hotline Stakes on February 25.<br /> <br /> Lady Faye is a fighter who will be coming at them in the straight. Do not despise this warrior, as Lady Faye comes in with almost no weight to tote (48.0 kgs - 106lbs) and having rested well over the last 32 days, is in with more than a fighting chance.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> RADICAL &ndash; Very interesting entry. Radical, although finishing well in the Prince Consort (fifth, three and a half lengths behind Fearless Samurai), does not, at this time, seem able to deal with these. It should be noted that<br /> <br /> Radical will race with the Figure 8 on. Watch Radical&rsquo;s progress though, as he seeks to be much better fitted to the upcoming longer races. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> BLUE TRADITION &ndash; Was not present in the Thornbird Stakes and will not be present here.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> UNFINISHEDBUSINESS &ndash; Won on debut but with only that run under her belt, Unfinishedbusiness is going to find it very difficult winning here. This might well be her last race in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> FOOT SOLDIER &ndash; Nothing to recommend him, although the visor is off.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> TRUE WHISPER &ndash; Difficult for her to win this one.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> MARKET FORCE &ndash; Has been missing from action since November 12, 2016 (137 days) when she won on debut. Will have to wait for Market Force to run here first before making any further analysis.<br /> <br /> STORM VALLEY &ndash; Will have to reach category 5 status to win the Monday Morning.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> MALACHI &ndash; Made his debut late in February and did so with aplomb, then returned on March 4 and in a stirring duel just lost out to Dontae. Malachi opted out of the Prince Consort and is in need of this outing if he is to enhance his chances in the 2,000 Guineas. Malachi is developing nicely and now, with the Figure 8 on, he will attract much attention at the betting windows. A good run is a must if Malachi is to have a decent chance in the Classic races. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> ICTUS &ndash; Finished sixth in the Prince Consort but was certainly not disgraced. Ictus now has a chance of redemption.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> NIGHT LIGHT &ndash; Has visited the racetrack very often but not even his experience will count for much here. Night Light should have a good chance of earning with the cheek pieces fitted. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> THUNDEREBLE &ndash; Is going to find it very difficult against these.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> COUNCIL OF TRENT &ndash; As a maiden, will not win.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> EMPRESS HALL &ndash; Another really interesting entry. Empress Hall, after a long break, turned up for the Thornbird and, although not hitting the board, was prominent throughout. Should have benefited from that outing and, with time not on her hands, has to show her credentials here and now.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> WONG DON &ndash; Skipped the Prince Consort after defeat by Sarah Lee. Wong Don is not without some class as evidenced by his win on January 14 and, given normal improvement should have a shot in this one.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Malachi is the choice, from Wong Don and Lady Faye. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739750/266750_92781_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739739/266751_92780_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739737/266749__w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM Firing at the 2000 Guineas http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Firing-at-the-2000-Guineas_93722 BY RUDDY ALLEN Observer staff reporter There is now a strong possibility that Loose Cannon will line up in the 2000 Guineas Classic race for colts and geldings on April 8.<br /> <br /> This comes after the chestnut colt&rsquo;s victory on Saturday over the sprinting distance of five and a half furlongs (1,100m). The 2000 Guineas is run over eight furlongs (1,600m).<br /> <br /> Running with the blinkers off and the Figure 8 on, Loose Cannon (Omar Walker) won fairly comfortably in a good time of 1:05.4 seconds with splits of 22.3 x 45.3.<br /> <br /> Although Loose Cannon (Blue Pepsi Lodge &ndash; Devil Woman) is bred along sprinting lines, trainer Wayne DaCosta said after the race on Saturday that his charge might take a shot in the 2000. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have been considering it, entering him (Loose Cannon) to run in the 2,000 Guineas.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We haven&rsquo;t made definite plans as yet but we are definitely thinking about it. He (Loose Cannon) is bred along sprinting lines but he has some class, so he might be able to get a mile.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We might never know how good Loose Cannon is until we start to stretch him out. Right now, he is a sprinter but very soon we will know if he can stay or not,&rdquo; DaCosta told the Complete Racing Guide.<br /> <br /> Loose Cannon made a reasonable debut on February 11, winning a 1,000-metre event by six lengths in a minute flat. He returned in the Sir Howard Stakes two weeks after and lost by two lengths to Don Chassis over 1,200 metres.<br /> <br /> On Saturday, Loose Cannon raced a neck down in second place behind the speedier Twilight Dreams (Andree Powell) as both horses separated themselves from the rest of the field.<br /> <br /> At the half-mile, Loose Cannon took over the lead and began to open up with every stride. Cruising nicely coming into the lane, Walker simply kept his mount going to a comfortable three- length victory. Lightning Lily (Oneil Mullings) was second with<br /> <br /> Twilight Dreams another four lengths adrift in third.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was a good performance by Loose Cannon. We took off the blinkers and that seemed to have done the trick. The time was also good, it was the first race and the breeze was blowing hard.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think it was a good performance,&rdquo; DaCosta said.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739614/266731_92771_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM Seeking My Dream looks for win number two http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Seeking-My-Dream-looks-for-win-number-two_93618 OBSERVER RACING WRITER This year&rsquo;s Lady Geeta Trophy (six furlongs &ndash; 1,200m) has attracted seven provisional starters.<br /> <br /> Topping the list of possible runners is reigning Horse of the Year, the Wayne DaCosta-trained Seeking My Dream, the winner of one race in 2017. Seeking My Dream logs in with top weight of 57.0 kgs.<br /> <br /> Seeking My Dream&rsquo;s main competition should come from Campesino who has made a rousing start to the season with two impressive wins and Brawn who can put it together at unexpected times. <br /> <br /> The Lady Geeta Trophy (Gr.1)<br /> <br /> Purse: $1,400,000 &ndash; Six furlongs (1,200m)<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> HORSES WEIGHT TRAINERS<br /> <br /> 1. Seeking My Dream 57.0 kgs Wayne DaCosta<br /> <br /> 2. Campesino 52.0 kgs Philip Feanny<br /> <br /> 3. Brawn (47.0 kgs) 50.0 kgs Gary Subratie<br /> <br /> 4. Gary Glitter (43.0 kgs) 50.0 kgs Gordon Lewis<br /> <br /> 5. Hover Craft (41.0 kgs) 50.0 kgs Wayne DaCosta<br /> <br /> 6. Soy El Senor (30.0 kgs) 50.0 kgs Anthony Nunes<br /> <br /> 7. Royal Vibes (27.0 kgs) 50.0 kgs Wayne DaCosta<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13740600/Screen-Shot-2017-03-28-at-1-49-29-AM_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM Reggae Youths snap winless run in defeat of Sandals South Coast http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Reggae-Youths-snap-winless-run-in-defeat-of-Sandals-South-Coast_93825 BY PAUL A REID Observer writer TUCKER, St James &mdash; Mid-season champions Reggae Youths snapped a four-game winless run by handing Sandals South Coast their first loss in the Jamaica Football Federation Western Confederation/Charley&rsquo;s JB Rum Super League on Sunday, with a 1-0 win in the third-round cross-zone fixture at Wespow Park.<br /> <br /> Reggae Youths&rsquo;s win proved their 5-2 extra-time victory over Sandals South Coast in the mid-season final was no fluke, but it was their first win in the league since February 14 as they managed just four points in their previous four games.<br /> <br /> Wadadah FC also continued their winning run with two late goals to beat Clarks Town, setting the stage for five teams fighting for three remaining spots in the semi-finals, with Sandals South Coast already assured of their place at the top of the table.<br /> <br /> Sandals South Coast lead with 35 points, followed by Faulkland FC on 26, Reggae Youths and Montego Bay Boys Club on 24 each, Wadadah FC on 23, and dark horses Beaches Negril on 20 points after a big 6-2 hammering of Holland United on Sunday.<br /> <br /> At the other end of the table, Holland United and Petersfield FC join Three Miles River as the teams that are going back down to parish football next season.<br /> <br /> Defending champions Granville United, Clarks Town and Hopewell United will be fighting over the next two rounds to avoid the drop.<br /> <br /> On Sunday, Denardo Kerr&rsquo;s eighth-minute goal was enough for Reggae Youths to get their sixth win of the season as Sandals South Coast have failed to win any of their two games since securing the top spot in the overall points table.<br /> <br /> At Jarrett Park, superb goalkeeping by Clarks Town&rsquo;s Duvaun Smith kept the Wadadah FC strikers at bay until the 90th minute when the former champions scored two goals to snatch all three points.<br /> <br /> Deshawn Woolery&rsquo;s shot from the left side just managed to cross the line in the 90th minute and, two minutes later, Leonardo Fogarthy secured the full points when he caught the defence napping and finished off a good solo effort into the lower left-hand corner.<br /> <br /> At Elleston Wakeland Centre, Ryan Smith scored twice for Beaches Negril in their biggest margin of victory this season.<br /> <br /> Kenneth Smith, Orlando Harding, Davian Thorpe, Odaine Williams and an own goal carried Beaches to an easy win, while Roniel Cole got both goals for Holland United.<br /> <br /> Hopewell United scored a big 4-0 win over hosts Petersfield FC to help their survival quest while ending the Westmoreland team&rsquo;s hopes.<br /> <br /> Tyrone Clarke, Conrod Reid and Romario Distin gave Hopewell a 3-0 half-time lead while Damion Alexander added a fourth late in the second half. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739593/266975_92795_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739590/266977_92796_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM Ministry of Labour summons INSPORTS Board http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Ministry-of-Labour-summons-INSPORTS-Board_93745 Following recent correspondences from the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) administrative director&rsquo;s labour attorney, John S Bassie, and National Workers Union general secretary, Granville Valentine, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has summoned the INSPORTS Board to an urgent meeting today at their office.<br /> <br /> This is due to the failure of the INSPORTS Board&rsquo;s deputy chairman, Newton Amos, to produce additional charges against Ian Andrews, INSPORTS&rsquo; administrative director, despite several correspondences from Bassie.<br /> <br /> Amos has also failed to properly charge Andrews as he has not submitted the relevant documents to Cabinet, which are required for charging a public servant, in keeping with Government policies and procedures. <br /> <br /> The recent Auditor General&rsquo;s report for the financial year 2014/2015 reflected observations that the Auditor General had made recommendations for the agency to correct.<br /> <br /> Andrews has expressed challenges from the board of directors in his efforts to correct the findings reflected in the Auditor General&rsquo;s report.<br /> <br /> He had also written to the permanent secretary, Alison McLean, regarding the Board&rsquo;s inappropriate actions in hampering the process of the agency making these corrections, which includes the auditing of financial statements and obtaining the requisite approval from the Ministry of Finance and Public Service prior to issuing contracts to retirees. <br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance and Public Service has only just granted the requisite approval on March 22, 2017, that Andrews was awaiting to issue the contracts to Mrs Ann-marie Spence Heron and Mrs Clofyeld Davis, prior to his suspension.<br /> <br /> This approval now empowers the agency to issue contracts to the retirees, commencing in April 2017, as sports officers. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12361589/Newton-Amos_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM #Champs2017: Another record as St Jago&rsquo;s Lyston clocks 24s in 200m prelim http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/-Champs2017--Another-record-as-St-Jago-s-Lyston-clocks-24s-in-200m-prelim KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; St Jago&rsquo;s Class Four sprinter Brianna Lyston etched her name in the history books, as the records continue to fall on day one of the 107th ISSA Boys&rsquo; and Girls&rsquo; Championships under way at the National Stadium.<br /> <br /> Lyston clocked a fast, yet comfortable, 24.00 seconds in the preliminary round of the girls&rsquo; 200 metre to lower the previous mark of 24.21 seconds set by her schoolmate Joanne Reid back in 2015.<br /> <br /> The diminutive sprinter&rsquo;s milestone, which came in a positive 0.1 metres per second wind speed, is the third record of the 2017 championships and second on the girls&rsquo; side.<br /> <br /> She now joins Holmwood Technical&rsquo;s sprint hurdler Shanette Allison and Kimar Farquharson of Calabar as the early record breakers and by all indications there will be more to come over the course of the five-day meet.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Tina Clayton of Edwin Allen, who is expected to be the main danger to Lyston, was also comfortable in heat one in 25.27 seconds. <br /> <br /> She ran in a positive 0.8 metres per second wind reading.<br /> <br /> Sherdon Cowan<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13741809/Jago_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 6:40 PM #Champs2017: Calabar&rsquo;s Farquharson shatters 800m record http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/-Champs2017--Calabar-s-Farquharson-shatters-800m-record KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; After signalling intentions earlier in the season, Calabar&rsquo;s Kimar Farquharson finally shattered the ISSA Boys&rsquo; and Girls&rsquo; Championships Class Two 800m record with a fast 1:51.26 clocking at the at the National Stadium a short while ago.<br /> <br /> Farquharson, running in heat one of the qualifiers, delivered in fine style to take down the second record of the championships and the first on the boys&rsquo; side of action.<br /> <br /> He erased Aldwyn Sappleton&rsquo;s 20-year-old mark of 1:52.27 set back in 1997 to lead the finalists, with his teammate Kevroy Venson (1:56.61) and KC&rsquo;s Tarees Rhoden (1:56.55) also advancing comfortably.<br /> <br /> Sherdon Cowan<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13741659/Kimar_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 5:05 PM #Champs2017: Petersfield High&rsquo;s Nedrick sets new national junior javelin record http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/-Champs2017--Petersfield-High-s-Nedrick-sets-new-national-junior-javelin-record KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Kevin Nedrick of Petersfield High School continued a rich vein of form, as he threw a new national junior record of 63.73 metres in the boys&rsquo; Javelin Open at the 107th staging of the much-anticipated ISSA Boys&rsquo; and Girls&rsquo; Championships currently underway at the National Stadium.<br /> <br /> Nedrick, the overwhelming favourite for the gold medal, bettered the previous junior record of 63.69m set in July 2014 by Orlando Thomas in leading the qualifiers for the event.<br /> <br /> However, he was just shy of the Championship record of 64.08m also set in 2014 by Devon Spencer of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) as a senior athlete.<br /> <br /> KC&rsquo;s Shakwon Coke (50.59m) went across to the javelin after earlier qualifying for the long jump, to join Nedrick in the final. Rajheim Carby (51.73m) of Munro College and Kobie Henry (50.72m) of Calabar will also line up for the final.<br /> <br /> Sherdon Cowan<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13741542/nedrick_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 3:45 PM Anti-doping hearing for Spencer and Hylton this week http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Anti-doping-hearing-for-Spencer-and-Hylton-this-week KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel will convene the preliminary hearing for Kaliese Spencer and Riker Hylton on Wednesday and Thursday respectively at the Jamaica Conference Centre 14-20 Port Royal Street, Kingston.<br /> <br /> News broke last Tuesday that Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles champion Spencer and former training partner Riker Hylton, then with the Bertland Cameron-led group, had refused to be tested sometime last year.<br /> <br /> The allegations are that the athletes &ldquo;have violated article 2.3&rdquo; of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) rules that, in effect, says they refused to give a sample when asked to by a JADCO collections officer.<br /> <br /> The athletes have since refuted the allegations by JADCO that they have violated any of their rules. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13741101/SPENCER_w300.jpg Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 10:37 AM The Winners&hellip;The Winners&hellip;The Winners&hellip;The Winners&hellip;The Winners&hellip;The Winners... http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/The-Winners-The-Winners-The-Winners-The-Winners-The-Winners-The-Winners---_93790 The Complete Racing Guide analyses the winners on the 10-race programme at Caymanas Park last Saturday.<br /> <br /> FIRST RACE: As expected, it was an easy win for Loose Cannon in the opening event as the chestnut colt ridden by Omar Walker cruised home by three lengths over five and a half furlongs (1,100m). The win provided trainer Wayne DaCosta with a final assessment of his charge ahead of the 2,000 Guineas on April 8. Loose Cannon is going to cause some anxious moments for rivals in the 2,000 Guiness as far as speed is concerned and will have to be caught, if entered.<br /> <br /> SECOND RACE: A patient ride from jockey Jevvanne Erwin allowed Bars Of Gold, owned and trained by Paul Smith, to get up in the nick of time to beat Natashadon&rsquo;tplay by three-quarters of a length going eight and a half furlongs (1,700m). Erwin held his mount behind the leaders, hugged the inside rails and made his move at the half-mile. Turning for home is second position, Erwin produced Bars Of Gold who responded for the win. <br /> <br /> THIRD RACE: The Gary Subratie-conditioned Uncle Vinnie broke his maiden with an easy three-and-three-quarter length victory in a maiden condition race over seven and a half furlongs (1,500m). Ridden by Bebeto Harvey, Uncle Vinnie stumbled out of the gates but recovered well to be in a striking position swinging into the half-mile turn. Uncle Vinnie, after turning for home, battled with Musketoon for the lead before moving away in the last furlong.<br /> <br /> FOURTH RACE: Well-ridden by apprentice Jerome Innis, Vision held off rivals to win the fourth race over five furlongs straight (1,000m) after battling with Zugulu under the stand rails for most of the way. Innis kept his mount well-balanced and Vision did enough to hold on over Rally Baby and Mesmerize. Second win on the day for champion trainer Wayne DaCosta.<br /> <br /> FIFTH RACE: In a front-running effort, the once top-class performer Fortuneonehundred, under Robert Halledeen, just did enough in this $250,000 claiming race to last over Prince Sammo and Sundance to win the five furlong-(1,000m) round event. The clock was stopped at 1:01.1 seconds.<br /> <br /> SIXTH RACE: Late N Drafty, under Robert Halledeen, held off all challengers to score a fighting win. The four-year-old bay filly, trained by Anthony Nunes, broke well from the number one draw, kept close to the pace and then took the lead approaching the final bend and did just enough to win by three parts of a length over Chief Prospect and Jafetica. For Halledeen it was winner number two on Saturday&rsquo;s card.<br /> <br /> SEVENTH RACE: The Gary Griffiths-owned and trained Goforhome, Dane Nelson up, came with a strong run inside the last furlong to beat Beast by three-quarter length over five furlongs straight (1,000m) straight. The winning time was 1:02.1. It was the fifth winner for Griffiths this season.<br /> <br /> EIGHTH RACE: Finally, after 11 attempts including a couple of close misses, the Phillip Elliott-trained Profile got the job done. Ridden by Javaniel Patterson, Profile picked up the lead after a couple of strides leaving the gates in the six furlong (1,200m) maiden special weight event and drew away from rivals in deep stretch to win easily. The victory gave Elliott, with his small string of horses, his second winner for the season.<br /> <br /> NINTH RACE: In a driving finish to the line, Franfield rallied to beat Blue Dixie in the Bonnie Blue Flag Trophy feature, in a close finish which brought racegoers to their feet.<br /> <br /> TENTH RACE: A rather easy win for the 10-1 shot Fiery Path, owned and trained by Donovan Plummer. Ridden by Bebeto Harvey, Fiery Path picked up the lead coming off the final bend and just ran away from rivals to win comfortably. It was Plummer&rsquo;s first win this year from 46 starts, while it was the third on the day for Harvey. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739666/266829_92790_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739668/266831_92788_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739667/266830_92789_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM Twelve horses claimed on Saturday http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Twelve-horses-claimed-on-Saturday_93776 Twelve horses were claimed on the 10-race programme at Caymanas Park last Saturday.<br /> <br /> Natashadon&rsquo;tplay was claimed by Gary Griffiths for Hubert Kerr from Borris McIntosh; Genuine Friend was claimed from Johnny Wilmot by Everal Francis for Norris Phinn and Sporting Clay was claimed from Errol Pottinger by Paul Hylton for G-Links Connection from the second race. All claims were made for $350,000.<br /> <br /> Bullet Raj was claimed from Wilfred Chin by Anthony Smith for Byron Brown for $230,000; Sundance was taken from Ian Parsard by Rudolph Hardial for The Sopranos for $250,000; Light Brigade was claimed by Louis Richards for Delroy Senior for $250,000 from Paul Hylton; Tough Cookie was claimed from Richard Azan by Anthony Nunes for Connecticut for $250,000 and Prince Sammo was claimed from Steven Todd by Tyrone Prince for Craig Russell for $250,000 from the fifth race.<br /> <br /> In the sixth race on a $180,000 claiming tag, Welsh Soutar claimed Late N Drafty from Anthony Nunes for W07 Stables; Barrington Rambally lost Cause For Concern to Errol Waugh acting as both trainer and owner; the Johnny Wilmot-trained Chief Prospect was claimed by Norman Palmer for himself and Carl Anderson took Tropicaldepression for himself from Barrington Rambally. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12229007/ZZ206EB36B_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM Some coaches argue that ISSA rule changes will affect points tally http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Some-coaches-argue-that-ISSA-rule-changes-will-affect-points-tally_93823 At least three schools&rsquo; points&rsquo; tallies at this week&rsquo;s ISSA/GraceKennedy athletics championships will be negatively affected by the rule changes implemented by the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) that put additional restrictions on the number of events that individual athletes may compete in.<br /> <br /> Coaches from Hydel High, St Jago High and Petersfield High told the Jamaica Observer, that the rule changes that provoked resistance from a number of coaches, will not help them to maximise their athletes and points total.<br /> <br /> Hydel&rsquo;s Corey Bennett thinks the rules will &ldquo;cut our points in half&rdquo;, St Jago&rsquo;s Keilando Goburn thinks his girls&rsquo; team will fall between five and 40 points short of what he was counting on from earlier in the season, while Petersfield High&rsquo;s Machel Woolery said they stand to fall short &ldquo;by at least 30 points across both teams&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> The rules were introduced and unanimously voted on by 150 principals, as ISSA contends was done in the best interest of the youngsters who, they say, were in danger of being &ldquo;overworked&rdquo; by the number of events they were asked to do at the five-day championships.<br /> <br /> All three coaches who spoke with the Observer contended that they had always produced athletes who were competent across several disciplines and they were able to get the best out of them.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Our strengths were in the athletes in multi events as we did not have the big numbers,&rdquo; Bennett argued, &ldquo;now we have to cut back on what they will be doing.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Goburn said: &ldquo;The ISSA rule changes have affected us based on the projections we had before the changes were implemented.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The coach added that the rule would only work for the &ldquo;schools that have big squads and are deep in talent&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Petersfield High are one of the fast-improving schools in track and field over the last few years, but Woolery said the rules will set back their progress.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Both of my teams, the boys and girls, will be badly affected by the rules as we don&rsquo;t have the depth of some other schools,&rdquo; he said yesterday. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739635/267026_92839_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM Racing photos - March 28, 2017 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Racing-photos---March-28--2017_93787 Racing Commissioner Solomon Sharpe surely has the attention of Claire Du, sales manager at Shenzhen Absen Optoelectronic Company while at the races on Saturday last. <br /> <br /> Vision on the outside rails (in pink silks) with Jerome Innis holding off the challenge of Rally Baby (Andree Powell) in a five-straight event on Saturday. (Photos: Naphtali Junior) <br /> <br /> Jockey Ruja Lahoe enjoying the races from the stands after completing his riding assignments. <br /> <br /> Trainer Spencer Chung checking on his latest communication in the saddling barn area. <br /> <br /> Taking the first turn in the Bonnie Blue Flag Trophy race, from right, Proud Of Nuclear, Blue Dixie, eventual winner Franfield and Hover Craft.<br /> <br /> Late N Drafty (on the inside) with Robert Halledeen just getting the better of Chief Prospect with Linton Steadman to win Saturday&rsquo;s sixth race. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739630/266812_92751_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739624/266811_92767_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739625/266813_92750_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739626/266815_92748_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739629/266814_92749_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739628/266816_92747_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM Jamaican speed skaters epitomise spirit of World Winter Games http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Jamaican-speed-skaters-epitomise-spirit-of-World-Winter-Games_93845 BY SANJAY MYERS @ Special Olympics Winter Games in Austria GRAZ, Austria &mdash; So the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games are history and Jamaican followers must be smiling from ear to ear.<br /> <br /> Five medals, including three gold, one silver and a bronze, are not to be taken lightly, especially for a tropical country such as Jamaica knocking heads against nations with deep winter sports traditions.<br /> <br /> Romaine Austin won speed skating gold medals in division 15 of the 500-metre race and division 18 of the 333m event.<br /> <br /> His compatriot Dave Oddman also starred on ice, taking gold in division 32 over the 333m distance, and copping silver in division 23 of the 222m race.<br /> <br /> Tremendous achievements for two men with limited training on ice.<br /> <br /> Almost as remarkable was the bronze medal feat of Jamaica&rsquo;s floor hockey team. After seeming to be down and out, they clipped the highly regarded Costa Rica team 2-1 in the play-off for third.<br /> <br /> Yet again the Special Olympics motto: &lsquo;Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt&rsquo; came to the fore.<br /> <br /> Inspirational stuff from Jamaica, inevitably evoking memory of the Jamaican bobsled team that &mdash; though not medalling &mdash; boggled minds all over with an impressive show at the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Canada.<br /> <br /> That inspired the 1993 film Cool Runnings. And so many Austrians I&rsquo;ve run into at the 2017 Special Olympics Games have likened Jamaica&rsquo;s venture in ice speed skating as another Cool Runnings story.<br /> <br /> How about a film on Special Olympics Jamaica&rsquo;s historic run?<br /> <br /> Speaking of Cool Runnings, Austrians appear to be some of the coolest people anywhere.<br /> <br /> Good-natured and not short on sense of humour, they aren&rsquo;t shy to have a beer and are actually quite proud of their locally produced wines, said to be made from a special strain of sweet grapes unique to certain parts of Austria.<br /> <br /> Aside from being friendly, there are very methodical and purposeful, epitomised in the way these Games were run.<br /> <br /> People in the know say the level of organisation has been outstanding and, in fact, during Friday&rsquo;s closing ceremony Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver described it &ldquo;the best Games ever&rdquo;. Power to Austria!<br /> <br /> Now let&rsquo;s see what the 2019 Abu Dhabi Summer Games in the United Arab Emirates has to offer. <br /> <br /> &mdash; Sanjay Myers http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13723576/265455_91570_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM