Modest Grange takes new record in stride
PHILADELPHIA, USA — Despite a massive new personal best of 54.29m, a National Junior and Penn Relays record, Holmwood Technical's Gleneve Grange claimed she did not have a good day on yesterday's first full day of competition at the 119th Penn Relays at Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
The Holmwood Technical athlete, who came into the meet ranked at number three with the discus, also upset pre-event favourite Tara-Sue Barnett of Edwin Allen, who finished second with 50.02m, while another Jamaican, Paul-Ann Gayle, also of Edwin Allen, was fourth with 45.78m.
This was the second Jamaican National Junior Record set at the Penn Relays in the last four years after former Jamaica College athlete K-Don Samuels broke the pole vault record in 2009, on his way to becoming the first Jamaican to win the event here with 4.80m.
Also, 22 years ago in 1991, a Vere Technical 4x800m team of Charmane Howell, Claudine Williams, Janice Turner and Inez Turner ran what is still the meet record and then a World Junior Record 8:37.71. Inez, who ran the anchor leg virtually by herself, had split a mind-boggling 2:03.2 on a cool, rainy afternoon.
It was the only individual victory for the Jamaicans yesterday as they failed to repeat in any of the three events won last year -- the long, triple and high jumps.
Despite the brilliant sunshine that washed over the area yesterday, Grange said the cold breeze that forced the use of sweaters numbed her fingers and she battled some chilly weather but said "I just had the one big throw and that made up for everything".
Grange, whose previous personal best was 50.33m, had a second best throw of 45.77m yesterday and failed to pass 42.00m on her other legal throws, shook her head as if still in disbelief. "It was a bad day for me, except that one throw," she said.
Interestingly, both records that fell yesterday were identical marks of 51.02m. The old Jamaican record was held by former St Jago athlete Kellion Knibb, which she set at the Supreme Ventures National Senior Trials last year and the Penn Relays record set last year by former Edwin Allen thrower Daniel Thomas.
After losing to Barnett in the Class One discus throw final at Champs and then taking the silver in the Under-20 section at CARIFTA Games in the Bahamas a month ago with a throw just under 49.00m, Grange told the Jamaica Observer she "felt good" going into the competition and just "took it one step at a time".