Sport

Dwyer, McLaughlin prevail

... as first-time champs reign at National Trials

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, June 30, 2014    

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RASHEED Dwyer and Anniesha McLaughlin were first-time national senior champions last evening after winning their respective 200m titles as the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships came to an end at the National Stadium.

Dwyer's win was a minor upset as he held off an easy-looking Warren Weir, the world leader, while McLaughlin beat Schillonie Calvert and Samantha Henry-Robinson to get to the line first.

There were also two other first-time senior champions as Ahkeem Gauntlett won the men's 400m and Monique Morgan was an upset winner of the women's 100m hurdles.

The four-day championships will help the JAAA selection committee pick teams to the NACAC Under-23 Championships in Canada, the Pan-American Championships in Mexico, and the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, between July and August.

Dwyer, who earlier this season announced himself with a win at the Jamaica International Invitational, ran a personal best of 20.04 seconds (0.5m/s) to hold off Olympic and World Championships medallist Weir, who looked easy in running 20.17 seconds with Jason Livermore third in 20.25 seconds.

While Weir was just going through the motions, he said, "enough to make the team," Dwyer was over the moon with his victory.

"I was more confident and more focused this year," he told reporters, and he is hoping to lower his personal best when he gets to Glasgow.

McLaughlin, a medallist at the World Junior Championships and one who has had serious injury setbacks last year, including in the semi-finals at the World Championships in Moscow, Russia, said, "it's a very big deal to be the senior champion of Jamaica".

McLaughlin ran 22.79 seconds (-0.6m/s) to hold off the ever improving Calvert (22.88 seconds) and Henry-Robinson (23.15 seconds).

Gauntlett, who withdrew from the team to the World Championships last year, produced a personal best of 45.00 seconds to hold off Rusheen McDonald (45.25 seconds) and US-based Hugh Graham (45.43 seconds).

Gauntlett's time is equal fastest by a Jamaican with Javon Francis, who pulled out of the championships after running the first round on Friday.

Novlene Williams-Mills ran a season best of 50.05 seconds to win her eighth women's 400m title, beating what was easily the best field of any final this past weekend. The MVP pair of Christine Day was second in 50.16 seconds and Stephenie-Ann McPherson third in 50.50 seconds.

After running her personal best 12.94 seconds in the semi-finals contested earlier in the afternoon, former Immaculate Conception athlete Monique Morgan clocked 12.96 seconds (0.9m/s) to win the women's 100m hurdles.

World Championships semi-finalist Danielle Williams was second in a season's best of 12.99 seconds, just holding off Indira Spence, who was third in 13.00 seconds.

IAAF World Indoors bronze medallist Kimberly Williams won yet another national title with a 14.07m jump in the women's triple jump, beating NCAA Division One champion Shanieka Thomas 13.54m, and Nickeva Wilson, who leapt to 13.18m.

Kimberly Williamson won her second high jump title, beating two-time defending champion Saniel Atkinson-Grier, both clearing 1.84m.

Alpha Academy schoolgirl Krista-Gaye Taylor was third, clearing 1.80m.

Odayne Richards won the men's shot put with 20.56m over Raymond Brown's 18.38m and discus champion Chad Wright's 17.86m.

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