Five Champs records tumble on penultimate day

Smashing day

PAUL A REID Observer writer

Saturday, March 16, 2013

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MUNRO College's Delano Williams is well on his way to joining the pantheon of stars to have graced the over a century-old ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships with a sparkling run last night to retain the Class One boys' 100m.

Before of a near-packed grandstand at the National Stadium, the IAAF World Junior 200m champion overtook a fast-starting Raheem Robinson of Wolmer's Boys to win in a new personal best 10.28 seconds.

Williams, who is seeking to join the ranks of the men who have retained the Class One sprint double, trailed at 75 metres, but reeled in the early leaders as his teammate Senoj-jay Givans was seceond in 10.45 seconds and Odail Todd of Green Island third in 10.49 sceonds.

But the title of champion school, meanwhile, is poised on a razor's edge with the top-three teams separated by a mere five points with other finals due to come on today's culmination.

Five records were broken on yesterday's penultimate day with Kingston College's hurdler Omar McLeod accounting for two.

The championships resume today at 1:30 pm and will see another 23 finals being contested, including the 200m, 400m and relays.

Yesterday started under cool overcast conditions and intermittent drizzle with Kingston College, leading overnight with 63 points after eight completed finals, including the Decathlon Open, six points ahead of Jamaica College with Calabar High in third position on 54 points, the top three separating themselves from the chasing pack.

Five points separate the top-three after 17 finals last night, with Jamaica College clinging to the lead with 115, two more than Kingston College's 113 and Calabar's 110.

Wolmer's Boys were in fourth place on 51 points, with St Jago in fifth on 35.

In another 100m final last night, Calabar's Michael O'Hara delivered in the Class Two event after placing third last year. He got out of the blocks late, but caught the fast-starting Raheen Chambers at 70 metres and blew by him before looking disdainfully at his rival over his right shoulder to win in 10.56 seconds.

Chambers took the silver in 10.71 seconds and Jamaica College's Wassen Williams of Jamaica College was third in 10.82 seconds.

Kingston College's Jhevaughn Matherson, who broke the Class Three 100m record in the semis earlier in the day, running 10.85 seconds to beat the 10.86 seconds set by St Jago's Raheen Chambers set last year, won the final running 10.86 seconds, ahead of Calabar's Tyreke Wilson (11.01 seconds) and Kingston College's Yashawn Hamilton (11.36).

The runners had to take orders from the starter twice after Michael Bently of Seaforth High false-started and was disqualified.

On Thursday night, in the semi-finals of the 200m, Williams, Todd and Minzie went under 21.00 seconds to set themsleves up for the chase to the gold today.

Williams, who is seeking to join the Kingston College great Lennox Miller as the only Class One athlete to win three straight 200m titles, won the first heat in 20.47 seconds ahead of Minzie's (20.96 ), while Todd won his semi-final heat in 20.85 seconds.

Calabar's Javon Francis, the IAAF World Junior Championships 400m finalist, also had a decent 21.02 seconds to win the third semi-final heat.

Michael O'Hara, the Calabar work horse, was the fastest in the Class Two semi-finals, winning the first semi-final in 21.06 seconds, well ahead of Jamaica College's Devaughn Baker (21.45).

Raheem Chambers, who is expected to chase O'Hara for the gold, won his semi-final in 21.72 seconds, just edging May Day's Michael Campbell (21.74).

Jhevaughn Matherson of Kingston College leads the Class Three finalists after breaking the three-year-old record of 22.07 second set by St Jago's Kevaughn Rattray with a new 22.02 seconds, while his teammate Nathaniel Bann won his semi-final in 22.11 seconds.

Kingston College's Omar McLeod ran an astounding race to set a new record 49.98 seconds to win the 400m Open (his second record of the day), becoming the first schoolboy at Champs to go under 50.00 seconds and besting the previous record (50.24 seconds) set in 2006 by Josef Robertson, running for Wolmer's Boys, his second record of the day.

McLeod, who was second last year, took over the race from the sixth hurdle and was never pressured as the grandstand rose as one to cheer him home.

Kyle Robinson of Jamaica College was second with 50.90 seconds and Okeen Williams of St Elizabeth Technical third in 51.74 seconds.

Earlier in the day, McLeod signalled his intentions to atone for last year's disappointments in both hurdles when he broke the record in the 110m hurdles after running 13.42 seconds under cool, overcast conditions in the semi-finals, erasing the six-year-old 13.53 seconds set by Clarence Stewart.

McLeod was fourth in the sprint last year and second in the intermediate hurdles to Jamaica College's Javarn Gallimore.

Wolmer's Boys' Yanick Hart, the silver medallist last year, clocked 13.61 sceonds just ahead of Jamaica College's Tyler Mason (13.62 seconds) going into today's final.

Wolmer's Hyde, who was sixth last year, leads the qualifiers in the Class Two 110m hurdles after running 13.79 seconds to win his semi-final heat followed by the St Jago High pair of Jordan Chin (13.81) and Roje Jackson Chin (13.83) and defending champion O'Hara (13.90).

Calabar High's Jorel Bellafonte won the Class One boys' 1500m in 3:58.78, edging Clarendon College's Delano Rochester (3:58.94) and Marcel Williamson of Bellefield High (4:00.81).

One of the pre-Champs favourites, Western Champs gold medallist and CARIFTA Trials Under-20 champion Herbert Thomas of Munro Colege fell with a lap to go and finished down the track.

Calabar's Orville Dixon continued his impressive Champs showing by storming to victory in the Class Two 1500m in 4:08.17, holding off Petersfield's Tion Gray (4:08.33), with St Jago's Webster Pennant taking the bronze with 4:08.54.

Jauvaney James of St Elizabeth Technical set a new record in the Class Three 1500m, running 4:14.51 to erase the 4:17.27 set by Calabar's Dixon two years ago.

Damoy Boyd of Kingston College took silver with 4:22.32, while Jamaica College's Kashiek Brown took the bronze with 4:23.35.

Kingston College's Clive Pullen added the triple jump Open with a new record 15.83m to the long jump with Nicholas Phynn of Jamaica College second with 14.97m and Alex Rookwood of Hydel third in 14.92m.

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