Hughes, Taylor, Grant star at Corporate Area Development Meet
KINGSTON College's Zharnel Hughes, Calabar High's Christopher Taylor and Kiara Grant of Alpha Academy shared the spotlight with some scintillating performances at the inaugural Alcor Windows and Doors Corporate Area Development Meet at the National Stadium yesterday.
Hughes, the Carifta and Pan Am Junior 100m champion of Anguilla, cruised to 20.80 seconds into a negative headwind of (-2.0mps) to be the fastest in the Class One 200m.
The powerful-looking Odane Bernard of Donald Quarrie High was second overall with 21.83 seconds, with KC's Antonio Henry third quickest in 22.06.
Hughes, who trains with the Racers Track Club, got out of the blocks quickly from lane eight, ran the curve hard then cruised home with the minimum of fuss.
Hughes, who is expected to lead the charge for KC in the Class One sprints, missed the Gibson Relays as a precaution after feeling a little discomfort.
"It felt quite comfortable coming off the curve and entering the straight. I felt a little pinch in the hamstring, that's why I was absent for Gibson. But as I came off the curve, it went away, so I just took my time and came in," he told the Jamaica Observer.
Hughes, who ran 10.36 at the Western Milo Relays a few weeks ago, said he cruised and was satisfied with his time three weeks before ISSA Boys' and Girls' Championships.
That's the time I was going out for, so I am happy I got it and I am pleased with my run," he added.
Meanwhile, Calabar's Taylor, a 14-year-old, produced in a jaw-dropping 48.54 seconds for the Class Three 400m, winning by the proverbial city block and became the first Class Three athlete under 49 seconds.
Last season, Taylor played second fiddle to KC's Nathaniel Bann, who lowered Ali Watson's 22-year-old record of 49.63 to 49.13. Taylor was second in 50.68 seconds.
Now three weeks before Champs, Taylor's 48.54 clocking is well below the existing record and more remarkably, his time was even faster than both the Class Two and Class One boys' times.
Calabar's Akeem Francis was quickest in Class Two with 49.65, and his teammate Shemar Campbell's 48.75 was fastest in Class One.
Taylor returned to run the second fastest time in winning his heat in the Class Two 200m with 22.30, but was bettered by his teammate Tyreke Wilson in 21.95 seconds.
Meanwhile, Bann, who skipped the quarter-mile for the 200m, was fastest in Class Two with 21.86 ahead of his teammate Dontre Williams with 22.16 seconds.
Calabar's Wilson, who seems on course to break Jevaughn Matherson's Class Three 100m and 200m records of 10.86 ad 21.87, easily won the 100m in 11.1 seconds. His teammate Dejour Russell was second quickest with 11.24 seconds.
Odane Bernard of Donald Quarrie was fastest in the Class One 100m in 10.93 seconds, while St George's College's Joshua Darby won Class Two in 11.30.
In the girls' sprints, Class Four athlete Kiara Grant of the Convent of Mercy (Alpha) Academy was fastest over the 100m for all classes.
She stopped the clock at 11.98 seconds in a negative head wind of (-1.8mps) and is not far off the astonishing record of 11.75 by St Jago's Kimone Shaw last year at Champs.
Class Three was won by Shantal Forbes of Camperdown High in 12.42, done with a positive wind of (3.3mps). Class Two winner was Renee Shaw of Excelsior High with 12.01, and Class One fastest was Rochene Smith in 12.10 seconds. This only underlines how special Grant's time was.
World Youth 400m bronze medallist Tiffany James of Papine High completed the Class Two 200m, 400m double in 24.52 and 55.28 seconds, respectively.
Wolmer's Girls won three of the four hurdles events as Chris-Ann Bryan won the Class Three 80m hurdles in 11.95, and Shantae McDonald the Class One 100m hurdles in 15.62 seconds. Janeek Brown was quickest in Class Two with 14.33 over 100m hurdles.
Rosalee Cooper of St Andrew High won the Class Four 70m hurdles in 11.33 seconds.
Kimone Green of Camperdown High won the 400m open in 1:01.80 minutes, while Alpha won the 4x400m open in 3:56.98 minutes.
Wolmer's Girls' Danielle Spence won the triple jump open with 11.63m. Alpha's Danielle Griffiths won the Class Four high jump with a leap of 1.55, while Anthonette White took Class Two with 1.65m.
Safia Morgan of Immaculate Conception won the Class One long jump in 5.64m with the Queen's School's Jessicca Noble winning the Class Two long jump with 5.49m.
KC won three of the four hurdles event on display. In the boys' 400m hurdles open, Chad Miller caught Excelsior's Jonah Morgan close home. Miller, who runs 800m as well, did 53.83 seconds to Morgan's 54.01. Davian Baker of KC also won the other heat in 54.78 seconds.
KC's Chadrick Brown took the Class Two 110m hurdles in 14.73 and Javain Atkinson captured the Class One equivalent in 14.15 seconds. Jamaica College's Jordon Roberts took the Class Three 100m hurdles in 13.44 seconds.
Calabar High swept the distance races winning all three 800m races and two of the three 1,500m races.
Rajay Hamilton won the Class One 800m in 1:54.76 minutes, with Gawayne Porter capturing the Class Two in 2:01.01 minutes. Andrew Ashby took the Class Three event in 2:09.78.
In the 1,500 metres, Jorel Bellafonte took Class One in 4:12.75 minutes, with Anthony Danvern winning Class Three in 4:34.98. KC took Class Two with Dashane Brown in 4:23.69 minutes.