Briana's back!

Briana's back!

Briana Williams, Helps, Ewers and Carter set for Queen's/Grace Jackson Track Meet

By Howard Walker
Observer senior reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, January 23, 2020

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The “Princess” of Jamaica's sprinting, Briana Williams, is set to compete in the 60m at the 19th staging of The Queen's/Grace Jackson Track Meet inside National Stadium on Saturday.

The 17-year-old Williams, who is based in Florida, USA, recently signed a multi-year contract with sports goods giant Nike, will be competing in the outdoor 60m in Jamaica for the first time. It will also be her first competition in Jamaica since escaping with a public reprimand after an anti-doping violation just ahead of last year's World Championships.

Williams, the 2018 World Under-20 100m and 200m champion who turns 18 in March, opened her season with a 7.25-second run in the 60m at Clemson Indoor Track and Field event on January 11.

Olive McNaughton, meet manager, also confirmed that former Wolmer's High School for Girls standout Shauna Help of MVP International, will jet in to race in the 60m event. She has a personal best of 7.28 seconds.

Shashale Forbes (7.43) and Natasha Morrison (7.14) of Sprintec head the local-based athletes who also include Michae Harriott (7.83) of G C Foster College, and Jodean Williams (7.42) of the UWI Pelicans. Srabani Nanda (7.33) of India and MVP has been entered.

“The new generation is coming out. We were here 19 years ago when the local athletes got to run before they turn stars, now we are here again for the next generation,” said McNaughton.

In the men's section, veteran Nesta Carter (6.52) of MVP will be up against the emerging Andre Ewers (6.52), who is based in the USA. Both are the quickest in the field based on personal bests. Sprintec's duo of Oshane Bailey (6.60) and Andrew Fisher (6.53) will give them something to think about.

The Queen's School is the only all-girls' school to host a track and field development meet and also boasts the record of being the only all-girls' school from the Corporate Area to win the ISSA/GraceKennedy Girls' Championships. They did so in 1978, when the patron after whom the meet is named, Grace Jackson, was a member of the track team.

Last year, Olympic champions Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson of MVP made their seasonal debuts in the 60m at The Queen's/Grace Jackson meet.

Fraser-Pryce won her heat in 7.21 and Thompson clocked 7.24 in winning her heat.

Meanwhile, champion discus thrower Fedric Dacres and Travis Smickle will renew a rivalry in their pet event as over 2,000 athletes will be in action, including more than 100 schools, clubs and institutions.

Action starts at 8:30 am with the 400m for all high school classes and seniors and conclude with the 4x400m relays. Field event starts at 8:30 am with the long jumps followed by the high jumps and the shot put.

All the top schools will be there including Kingston College, Calabar High, Jamaica College, St Jago High, and Excelsior High, while on the girls' side, Edwin Allen High, Hydel High, Holmwood Technical and hosts The Queen's School.

Only the Grandstand will be opened with admission being $700 for adults and $400 for children.


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