Top J’can juniors down for East Coast showdown
BALTIMORE, United States — Some of Jamaica’s top junior athletes will descend on the Prince George Sports and Learning Complex in Maryland to compete at today’s second staging of the East Coast International Showcase track and field championships.
The contingent will be led by national junior 100m record holder Alana Reid from Hydel and Bryan Levell of Edwin Allen.
Reid, who has been in excellent form this season, shattered Jamaican sprint legend Veronica Campbell Brown’s 100m record at the recent ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships with a new mark of 10.92 seconds as she erased the previous mark of 11.13. Levell, who has a personal best time of 20.34 in the event, has run 20.76 seconds this season.
Sanjay Ayre, one of the organisers of the meet, told the Jamaica Observer that he is expecting an exciting championship and says the athletes are ready and raring to go.
“I am expecting great performances from the athletes because all the athletes have been here for five days and they are very pretty acclimatised, and they are rested, and they are comfortable, and everyone is healthy and they are excited to compete,” said Ayre.
“This is a great opportunity for them — travelling and competing on an international stage — and they are raring to go,” he said. “I am quite impressed with them because I have watched a couple of the training sessions and they seem very focused and ready to go,” he added.
The 18-year-old Reid, who is the World Under-20 200m bronze medallist, is set to line up against British Virgin Islands’ outstanding sprinter Adaejah Hodge in the 100m.
Hodge, who has run 11 seconds flat this season, was to face Reid in the 100m at the Carifta Games last month but she pulled out due to an ankle injury. Peterfield Alexis James is also down to compete in the event.
Reid said she is entering the race with a “positive mindset”.
“It is just for me to go out there and do my best, because I have been training and working hard so I am going out there with a positive mindset to win the event,” said Reid.
Levell, who missed this year’s Champs due to a hamstring injury, will be competing in his first individual race since January.
He is set to face strong competition from Kingston College sprinter Adrian Kerr who has a personal best of 20.90. The Jamaicans should be wary of American rising star Issamade Asinga who has a personal best time of 19.97. The 18-year-old Asinga also ran 10.10 seconds in the 100m last month.
Levell noted that he is looking forward to the challenge of competing against both men as he will be using the race to see where he is in his preparation for the National Championships next month.
“This is going to be a very good race and he (Kerr) will help me to see where I am in my build-up for the trials. I am just looking to go out and execute my race plan and just finish the race injury-free,” he said.
St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) athlete Jasauna Dennis and Edwin Allen High’s Delano Kennedy are set to renew their rivalry in the 400m event.
With this season’s matchup tied at 1-1 Dennis holds a slight advantage heading into today’s encounter, having defeated Kennedy to win the gold medal in the Boys’ Under-20 event at the Carifta Games last month.
However, it was Kennedy who struck first when he had defeated Dennis to win the gold medal at Champs in March. Holmwood Technical’s quarter-miler Rickann Russell is down to contest the 400m while Hydel High School’s versatile athlete Oneika McAnuff will contest the 200m event.
In the field events Holmwood Technical’s Cedricka Williams is down to contest the girls’ discus throw while Richelle Stanley from St Elizabeth Technical, who has been having a good season, will contest the girls’ long jump event.