Skeen, Spencer cop 100s at Trials

BY PAUL A REID Observer Writer

Sunday, June 17, 2012

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ODEAN Skeen pulled off an upset yesterday in the marquee event, the Men’s Under-20 100m on the first day of the JAAA/Supreme Ventures Limited’s National Junior Trials at the National Stadium.

Skeen, the Youth Olympics 100m winner in 2010, got to the finish line in a wind-aided 10.24 seconds, pushed by a positive 2.2m/s wind, just over the allowable 2.0, to beat favourite Jazeel Murphy of Bridgeport High, who clocked 10.33. Tyquendo Tracey of Garvey Maceo was third in a PR 10.34.

IAAF World Youth championships 100m gold medallist Odail Todd, last year’s winner at Junior Champs, was sixth in 10.83, grabbing his hamstring before crossing the line.

The race was thrown wide open after Julian Forte, who ran 10.19 earlier this year, withdrew, but will turn out for the 200m today, coach Paul Francis told the Jamaica Observer.

The two-day meet will be used to select teams for the 14th IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain from July 10-15, and the Central American and Caribbean Juniors in San Salvador, El Salvador in two weeks’ time.

Yesterday, the athletes battled windy conditions of as high as negative 6.0m/s, into the faces of the sprinters as they approached the finish and into the backs of the long and triple jumpers.

After the race, Skeen — who was disqualified after false-starting in the 100m final at the ISSA Boys Champs — said except for coming up too early out of his drive phase, his race was executed the way his coaches had planned.

"All I came here to do was to get a good start and to win, and I did that," he told reporters. "I’m definitely looking towards Spain now and hope to do my country and school and family proud."

Bog Walk High’s Jevaughn Minzie, who is seen as a 200m specialist, threw his hat in the ring for a place on the team to WJC after he won the Under- 18 finals in a big PR 10.28 (1.1m/s wind), beating Herbert Morrison’s Gawain Williams, 10.55, and Wolmer’s Boys’ Waheem Robinson, 10.56.

Monique Spencer pulled off an even bigger surprise in the Girls Under-20 final, beating fancied Edwin Allen teammates Shawnette Lewin and Christania Williams.

Spencer won in 11.42 ahead of Lewin, 11.52, and Williams, 11.57. Racers TC’s Deandre Whitehorne was next in 11.58.

Saqukine Cameron of Edwin Allen won the Under-18 race in 11.70 (0.9ms wind), beating Nataliah Whyte of St Jago, 11.75, and Holmwood Technical’s Chanice Bonner, 11.77.

Arguably, the performance of the day came in the final event, the Under-20 Men’s discus where IAAF World Youth Championships gold medallist Fedric Dacres won with a PR 61.55m, making him the third best in the world so far behind Poland’s Wojciech Praczyk, 63.22, and South Africa’s Gerhard de Beer, 61.64.

Dacres told the Sunday Observer he could have thrown farther, but his technique was giving him problems, causing him to be cautious.

The strong winds robbed Manchester High’s IAAF World Youth Championships gold medallist Chanice Porter, a National Junior record and possible worldleading performance, but her massive 6.78m long jump effort was affected by a big 4.3m/s wind.

Her personal best 6.52 was done at Girls Champs, just shy of the 5.53 that has stood as the National Junior mark since 2000 by Nolle Graham.

Holmwood’s Tina Coombs was second with 5.75 (4.4m/s), with Rochelle Farquharson of Mississippi State third with 5.60 done in a legal win of 0.8m/s.

Kingston College’s Penn Relays champion Clive Pullen won the Men’s Under-20 event with a wind aided 7.54m (3.4m/s win) just ahead of Jamaica College’s Nicholas Phynn, 7.51m (3.9m/s) and Keniel Grant of Kingston College, 7.40m (3.8m/s).

Today will see the preliminaries and finals of the 200m in all age-groups, the finals of the 400m and 800m, sprint hurdles, Boys U-18 long jump and the shot put.

Yesterday, Wolmer’s Boys’ Christoff Bryan, the sixth-ranked junior high jumper in the world so far, won the U-18 event with 2.15m.

Clayton Brown of JC was second with 2.00 and Javier Ogilvie of Wolmer’s third with 1.95.

Alpha Academy’s Krista-Gay Taylor won the U- 18 high jump, beating Safia Morgan on the countback after both cleared 1.70, with Manchester’s Shanae McKenzie third with 1.60.

Shavon Barnes won the Men’s U-20 400m hurdles in 50.81 seconds, ahead of Boys Champs winner Javarn Gallinmore, 51.14, and Manchester’s Omar McLeod, 51.16.

Holmwood’s Geneive Russell won the Girls’ equivalent in 57.74 seconds ahead of teammate Shantae Green and Sashel Brown of Alpha.

Khari Bowen of Monmouth College in the USA, the 2011 CARIFTA 5000m champion, won the event in 15 minutes 33.03 seconds, running away from Bellefield High’s Oraine Wint, 15:39.00, while Spalding’s Rodney Henry was third in 16:16.26.

Petersfield’s Glenford Watson was impressive in winning the U-18 discus in 50.30m, well ahead of JC’s Alec-Verne Longmore, 48.87, and Calabar’s Andre Beckford, 47.22.

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