Stars set to shine at Junior Champs

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter

Friday, June 13, 2014

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A host of young promising athletes will be hunting spots on Jamaica's junior teams to the IAAF World Junior Championships and the CAC Junior Championships when the two-day Supreme Ventures National Junior Championships start today at the National Stadium.

The Under-20 and Under-18 teams will be selected for the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Junior Championships set for July 4-6 in Morelia, Mexico, while the World Juniors are set for July 22-27 in Oregon, United States of America (USA).

The runners who propelled Jamaica to the top of the medals table at last year's World Youth Championships in the Ukraine, including gold medallists Michael O'Hara, Jaheel Hyde, Martin Manley, Marvin Williams and Yanique Thompson, are back to highlight this National Junior Championships.

Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association's (ISSA's) Boys' Championships standout Jevaughn Minzie of Bog Walk and Calabar High's O'Hara are set to do battle in both the 100m and 200m in the Under-20 category.

Their mouth-watering clash did not materialise at Champs and fans will get a chance to witness Minzie, with a personal best of 10.16, taking on O'Hara, with a best of 10.19 seconds, in the blue-ribbon event this evening at 5:30 pm.

Action on day one starts at 10:30 am with the boys' Under-18 discus final in which Warren Barrett Jnr of Cornwall College and Vashon McCarthy of Ascot High will renew their fierce rivalry.

The boys' Under-20 long jump final will also be on at that time with Jullane Walker of Calabar, the Kingston College duo of Gavin Gibson and Sharlando Nelson, along with Edwin Allen's Michane Ricketts fighting for supremacy.

The girls will first be in action on the track in the 3,000m Under-20 final, but up to press time, no entries were received for the event.

The day one morning session will also see the heats of the 400m hurdles for both sexes for both Under-18 and Under-20 with the finals set for 4:30 pm.

The outstanding World Youth 110m hurdles champion Jaheel Hyde of Wolmer's Boys will contest both the 110m and the 400m hurdles in the Under-20 category.

Marvin Williams, the World Youth 400m hurdles champion, and Okeen Williams, both of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), should provide the biggest test for Hyde in the 400m hurdles, while the improving Tyler Mason of Jamaica College should give Hyde something to think about in the sprint hurdles.

St Jago High's 400m World Youth champion will have his hands full containing his schoolmates, Ivan Henry and Nathon Allen, in the Under-20 event.

World Youth 100m hurdles champion Yanique Thompson of Holmwood Technical comes face-to-face with Peta-Gay Williams of St Jago in the Under-20 final.

The girls' Under-20 100m and 200m events should be very exciting with the likes of the Wolmer's pair of Joneille Smith and Shauna Helps, alongside Chanice Bonner of Holmwood, GC Foster College's Kedisha Dallas and Natalliah Whyte of St Jago.

The promising Dawnalee Loney of Balaclava High heads the field in the Under-20 400m, which consists of Yanique McNeil of Vere Technical, and Asaine Hall of Petersfield High.

The two-day championship will conclude tomorrow at 4:25 pm with the running of the Under-20 boys' 200m final with both Minzie and O'Hara set to battle once again.




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