KINGSTON College (KC) might have pulled off one of the biggest transfer coups in recent times with the acquisition of the region's fastest youngster in Zharnel Hughes of Anguilla.
Hughes, 18, won the Carifta Under-20 100m crown in March and more recently captured the Pan Am Junior title in 10.31 seconds. Both times he had behind him the highly rated Jamaican, Jazeel Murphy, formerly of Bridgeport High.
The tall Hughes, who stands at 6ft 3 inches, was granted a scholarship to attend the High Performance Training Centre (Racers Track Club) in Jamaica last year, and is expected to enter KC in sixth form which makes him eligible for the Inter Secondary Schools Association (ISSA) Athletics Championship set for next April.
Efforts to get a confirmation from KC principal Dave Myrie, who is also a director of Racers, proved futile as he was said to be off the island. But yesterday, Noel Channer, KC's sportsmaster, did confirm that Hughes should be a KC student.
"Yes we expect him but he is not here yet," he said. Channer also revealed that Delano Rochester, formerly of Clarendon College and who placed second at Boys' Champs in the 1,500m, also made the switch but is currently injured.
Meanwhile, the promising sprinter Odail Todd of Green Island, who finished behind Hughes at the Carifta Games, has moved on to the University of the West Indies after picking up eight subjects at the CXC level.
Michael McIntosh, track coach at Green Island, told the Jamaica Observer that his outstanding 4x100-m relay team was now depleted.
Todd is off to the UWI to study Humanities and Education, Gremiko Whitelock is at GC Foster studying Physical Education and Sports, while Chadwayne Vidal is off to Southern University of New Orleans.
Only Kevarie Andrews remains of the outstanding quartet that won at the prestigious Gibson Relays in 40.13 seconds and later ran 40.09 for third at Champs.
"I am so proud of them. It speaks volume to how they can balance with the commitment of studying and sports," said McIntosh.