Omar McLeod ready to deliver for KC

By Howard Walker Observer senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, February 17, 2013

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After running sensational times of 13.85 and 51.12 seconds in the Class One 110m and 400m hurdles, respectively, at Youngster Goldsmith meet a few weeks ago, Omar McLeod is ready to stand up and deliver for his new school Kingston College (KC).


McLeod, 18, made the switch from Manchester High to the famed purples of North Street and he told the Jamaica Observer, it's not just about winning Champs, but bettering himself.


"The switch is nothing major, I needed a better hurdles coach, so I made the decision to go to Kingston College," said McLeod, who made the final of the 400m hurdles at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Lille, France in 2011.


McLeod, who made his name as an outstanding hurdler at Manchester High, often battling with former KC standout Stefan Fennel and Yannick Hart of Wolmer's Boys, smashed the 400m hurdles record at the Youngster Goldsmith meet, running 51.12 seconds, and then declared, his speed work has not yet begun.


"That 51.12 is surprising because in training I am loaded now and it is going well. So I am giving God thanks hoping to go through the season and take it one step at a time," said McLeod.


With that in mind, McLeod is looking to run under 50 seconds at Champs. "About 49 high, I am confident most definitely."


Last year KC lost Champs by 22 points and with McLeod in their line-up, they are expected to be much closer or even be winners.


The purples from North Street have one of the biggest following and coming from a relatively low-keyed school at Champs, McLeod is contemplating how to deal with the pressure of a school that is expected to win every year.


"Well each day goes by I am meditating how to manage that crowd on how to stay relaxed, keep focused and go out there and deliver," said McLeod.


"I didn't know that I would like it (KC) so much and everybody is just warm, welcoming and the environment is very good and we live good as a family," he added.


McLeod is expected to participate in four events for KC in the 110m hurdles, 400m Hurdles, 4x100m and 4x400m relays.


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