Wolmer's' Hyde, KC's Hughes in blistering record runs


BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter walker@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, March 29, 2014

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DEFENDING champions Calabar High surged impressively to the top of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Athletics Championships with 83 points despite early mishaps to hold a 13.5-point advantage on a day that local fans witnessed three unbelievable records at the National Stadium yesterday.

Calabar rebounded in style after 15 finals and lead KC on 70.5 points and JC with 70 points going into the final day.

It was an amazing day and KC's Zharnel Hughes took schoolboy sprinting to another level with a jaw-dropping 10.12 seconds to smash Yohan Blake's record of 10.21 seconds done in 2007.

Hughes easily confirmed that he was the fastest junior in the region showing great top-end speed to catch Jevaughn Minzie, who also went below the previous record with 10.16 seconds.

Just minutes earlier, fans were left in awe as 16-year-old St Jago star, Raheem Chambers, smashed Yohan Blake's Class Two 100m record of 10.34 and lowered it to an amazing 10.29 seconds.

Chambers pulled the talented 15-year-old Jhevaughn Matherson of KC to 10.37 seconds. The lanky Akeem Bloomfield of KC limped in at eighth.

The irrepressible Jaheel Hyde of Wolmer's — the World Youth 110m hurdles champion — stepped up to the 400m hurdles and decimated the field in a National Junior record of 49.49 seconds, lowering Omar McLeod's 49.98 done last year.

The smooth-hurdling Hyde left Marvin Williams, the World Youth 400m hurdles champion, in his wake and in the process turned in the performance of the meet to date.

Tyreke Wilson and Dejour Russell gave Calabar maximum 16 points placing first and second in the Class Three 100m. Wilson just missed Matherson's record of 10.85, stopping the clock at 10.91 seconds.

In the first boys' final of the day, Shakwon Coke of St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS), won the Class Three long jump final with a leap of 6.57m and relegated favourite Dejour Russell of Calabar to second with 6.52m.

Excelsior's Joel Morgan with 6.41m was third with Calabar's Kristoffe Clifford fifth. JC's Malik Cunningham was sixth with 6.07m.

Delroy Stewart of Edwin Allen captured the Class Three 1,500m in 4:20.04. Calabar's Andrew Ashby sprinted the last 100 metres as if his life depended on it and snatched second spot in 4:27.03. Keenan Lawrence of St Jago High was third with 4:27.63. The green-and-black boys from Red Hills Road got five more points as Anthony Danvern finished fourth in 4:33.36 minutes.

Jauavney James of STETHS ran a well-judged race to win the Class Two equivalent in 4:04.85 ahead of Holmwood's Rayon Butler with 4:05.23 minutes. In Class One, Calabar picked up 15 points as Raja Hamilton upset his more established teammate and defending champion, Jorel Bellafonte, winning in 3:58.30 minutes ahead of long-time leader Chadoye Dawson of Spaldings High with 3:59.01. Bellafonte of the Cayman Islands was third in 4:00.29.

Calabar got a double blow yesterday as their crown jewel Michael O'Hara was disqualified from the 100m event at the semi-final stage. He had earlier failed to qualify for the Class One 110m hurdles, an event he was tipped to win after breaking the record in Class Two last year.

O'Hara, the World Youth 200m champion, who constantly said the sprint hurdles is his favourite event, finished third in his semi-final heat with 14.29 seconds behind Jordan Chin of St Jago in 14.10 and Abraham Robertson of Wolmer's High with 14.23 seconds.

O'Hara and his teammate Seanie Selvin were expected to garner 13 points for their school, but instead Selvin with the fifth fastest time will have to run out of his skin to win the event.

The outstanding Jaheel Hyde of Wolmer's, who is the 2013 World Youth Championship 110 hurdles record holder with 13.13 seconds, was quickest into the final with 13.63 seconds. JC's Tyler Mason clocked 13.89 seconds to be the second fastest into the final.

But things looked better for the defending champions in the 400 metres as Christopher Taylor and Brandon Heath were quickest into the final with 50.74 and 51.24 seconds, respectively. Both KC and JC failed to advance, while St Jago also had two in the final in Gary Gordon (51.39) and Javad Black (52.12). Gaynstead High's Travis Williams with 51.64 could be among the medals.

In Class Two, the KC pair of Dontae Williams and Nathaniel Bann were safely through to the final with the two fastest times of 48.43 and 48.86 seconds, respectively. Calabar also has two runners in the event in Anthony Carpenter and Aykeeme Francis with 49.15 and 49.46 seconds, respectively, but they will have to fight off Devaughn Ellington of Petersfield High who did
49.75 easily.

Defending Class One 400m champion Javon Francis, running with a strapped leg thigh, easily won his semi-final in 47.39 seconds and was fastest into the final. Marco Doodnaughtsingh of Kemps Hill High was second fastest winning semi-final two in 47.44. St Jago's Nathon Allen won the first semi-final in 47.82. His teammate Ivan Henry is also through with
48.64 seconds.





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