Athletics

Juniors to begin quest on quiet day of 'Trials'

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, June 20, 2019

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The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association's (JAAA) National Junior Championships will get underway this afternoon on what is expected to be a relatively quiet afternoon session at the National Stadium.

No finals will be contested today and the first rounds of the Under-20 100m and 400m for both male and female, as well as the first round of the Under-18 400m in both genders, will be contested to kick off the four-day event that will be used to help select several teams to represent the nation in internatiomal competitions later this summer.

The event will select the teams for the NACAC Under-18 Championships to be held in Quarertaro, Mexico, July 5-7 and the Pan-American Under-20 Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica, July 19-21.

The event will run simultaneously with the Senior Championships that will be used to select teams, including the one to the IAAF World Championships to be held in Doha in late September to October this year.

The Junior Championships has been robbed of what was expected to be an explosive women's sprint contest by the decision of some to run with the seniors as well as the absence of others.

Based on the results from earlier in the season, it was expected that a Jamaican women's 4x100m team could have challenged the 43.27 seconds world record set by Germany two years ago at the European Under-20 Championships.

With as many as five Jamaicans in the top six in the world, expectations were high, but three of the five have not entered for the championships. Among them are Kiara Grant, who broke the National Junior Record twice in the last month, and compatriot Briana Williams, who has run faster. The others are Hydel High's Ashanti Moore and US-based Lanae-Tava Thomas.

Williams and Kevona Davis will run against the seniors, but the JAAA had announced that juniors who competed against the seniors would still be eligible to be selected for individual events on the junior teams as long as their performanes were better than the top two that competed in the juniors.

Former Calabar High runner Michael Stephens, who is listed as running for Racers Track Club, will lead the Under-20 boys' 100m first round today, including STETHS' Conroy Jones and Michali Everett of Jamaica College.

Forty runners are listed for the boys' 100m and only 26 for the women where it is possible the event could go straight to the semi-final stage on Friday if less than 24 participants show up for the first round today.

The Clayton twins from Edwin Allen – Tina and Tia – will come into the event with the fastest times, but are not eligible for the Pan-American team as they are not yet 16 years old, but will be eligible for the NACACAC Under-18 event.


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