Jamaican trio lands gold in field events
PHILADELPHIA, USA — Edwin Allen High's long jumper Claudette Allen and discus thrower Rochelle Frazer gave the Clarendon school a great start to their quest for honours at the 120th Penn Relays Carnival at Franklin Field in Philadelphia after wins on yesterday's opening day.
Three Jamaican high school girls scored wins in field events yesterday as Convent of Mercy Alpha Academy's Krista-gay Taylor won the high jump on her fourth attempt.
After placing second last year, Allen, despite complaining of being tired from her exploits last weekend at the Carifta Games in Martinique, produced a wind-aided 6.21m (6.6m/s) effort to beat Colombia High's Kayla Richardson, who leapt 6.15m, while Edwin Allen's other jumper Shanice Lewis was third with 5.92m, and Manchester High's Annastacia Forrester was sixth with 5.84m.
Allen had four jumps of at least 6.00m, including 6.03m and 6.17m to dominate the event.
Afterwards, Allen, who also had a big run on the second leg of the Edwin Allen 4x100m team that is seeking honours today, told reporters she did not warm up properly, but once she got into a rhythm her confidence also lifted.
"I feel good about this win, especially as I am still a bit tired after Carifta Games last weekend," said Allen, who was taking part in her final meet as a high school athlete.
Taylor, who is headed to college in the United States, also finished her high school career in style, just missing her personal best of 1.80m with the joint sixth best winning jump in Penn Relays' history, and the fifth Jamaican to win the event since 2008 when former STETHS athlete Peter-gay Reid won the first of her back-to-back titles. Edwin Allen's Kimberly Williamson won in 2011-2012.
The lanky sixth former told the Jamaica Observer she was happy with the win. "This is my fourth time here. I wasn't thinking about anyone else, I was just trying to do my personal best. The wind was definitely a factor. It was cold. I had to keep putting on my wind breaker. I was happy. Very happy to win."
Taylor needed just one jump to clear all her heights but failed three times at 1.81m.
Herbert Morrison's Sashane Hanson was fourth with 1.71m, while Manchester High's Shanae McKenzie was tied for sixth with 1.67m.
Jamaican athletes have won the last five high school girls discus throw titles, as Edwin Allen's Frazer threw 47.52m to beat Hydel High's Shadae Lawrence, who landed the implement at 47.45m on her final throw, while Edwin Allen's Tasha Cross was eighth with 39.61m and Ardenne's Venique Harris ninth with 38.38m.
Frazer trailed Lawrence going into the final round after the Hydel thrower had opened with 47.45m, but was passed by the Edwin Allen athlete in a close and exciting finish.
Frazer followed in the footsteps of former Holmwood Technical thrower Gleneve Grange, who set the Championship and National Junior Record 54.29m last year, Edwin Allen's Dannile Thomas in 2012, Sasha Gay Marston, also of Edwin Allen in 2011, and Candie Bernard of St Hugh's in 2010.