JC run blazing 39.72 to win 4X100m at Penn RelaysSunday, April 27, 2014
PAUL A REID Observer writer
PHILADELPHIA, USA — A Penn Relays High School boys 4x100m record 39.72 seconds by Jamaica College highlighted a brilliant day by Jamaican high school boys relay teams on yesterday’s third and final day of the 120th Penn Relays Carnival at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.
Despite cooler-than-normal weather and even a short downpour during the 4x00m finals, the Jamaican boys brought the heat and excitement as they swept all three Championships of Americas relay titles, while St Jago won the 4x400m and Calabar copped the 4x800m.
On Friday Edwin Allen girls won two Championships of Americas finals — the 4x100m and 4x400m — to take the total of wins to five for the high school teams, one of the best years for the Jamaicans for some time.
A Saturday crowd of reportedly 49,103 was on hand to watch the fireworks provided by the young Jamaicans to take the three day total to 108,660, the 11th straight year the three-day total was going over the 100,000 mark.
On the track, Jamaica College won one of the fastest high school boys 4x100m races ever here with the top five being among the top eight times ever run here, as the six Jamaican teams in the race finished ahead of the two American schools in the race.
This was their second win in the event and first since 1985 to become the team with the second longest break between wins.
The team of Waseem Williams, Tyler Mason, Keneil Patterson and Devaughn Baker had sent out a warning on Friday after running 40.92 seconds, the fastest in qualifying, then backed it up yesterday.
Calabar High had come into the race as favourites among many fans after some fast times earlier in the season and while most fans were surprised by their victory, Jamaica College coach Orville Brown told the Sunday Observer he was not among those, as he expected to win, while conceding he was not expecting the fast time.
"Yes, we knew we could win at Penn Relays," Brown said. "We had some injury issues early in the season and so that set us back a bit early, but once the boys came through (ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys) Champs healthy, we knew we had a shot here."
Jamaica College surprised many with their sublime run as they eclipsed Wolmer’s Boys’ 39.78 seconds set in 2010 as Calabar, who was second in 40.23 seconds, has the third fastest time ever. St Jago, who were third in 40.23 seconds, now have the sixth fastest, St George’s College, who were fourth with 40.32 seconds, now have the seventh fastest time. Kingston College, who were fifth in 40.35 seconds, are the eighth fastest ever.
St Elizabeth Technical equalled Manchester High’s 2009 record for the Small Schools consolation final, winning in 41.13 seconds with the team of Rohan Morrison, Okeen Williams, Robin Black and Leroy Francis.
Munro College were second in 41.21 seconds with Tevin Wilson, Kemar Mowatt, Rushane Edwards and Canniggia Harriott. Garvey Maceo were disqualified and Excelsior failed to finish.
After winning at Champs, St Jago were tipped in some quarters to win and they delivered with the quartet of Ivan Henry, Martin Manley, Shamar Barnes and Nathon Allen clocking 3:11.73 minutes, slower than expected by coach Danny Hawthorne. "A win is a win and that’s what we came here for," said the veteran coach.
St Elizabeth Technical were second in 3:13.07, and Calabar High without Javon Francis third in 3:13.70.
Kingston College, who were recognised for their 50th year at the Carnival after being the first Jamaican high school team to attend in 1964, were sixth and finished the weekend without a win in either the relays or individual events.
Calabar coach Michael Clarke said on Wednesday that he thought the 4x800m team gave them their best chance to win here and the team of Norman Pittersgill, Alex Hutton, Rajay Hamilton and Jorel Bellafante proved him right in a race that saw the lead change hands several times before they won in 7:37.36 for only their second win in the event, after winning first in 1995.
Chaminade of New York were second after a gallant effort on the final leg, while Kingston College were third, Spalding High ninth and Jamaica College 11th. Calabar led after the first leg from Pittersgill, but Spalding took over with Chadoye Dawson who was moved up in the order from the team that ran the heats.
Kingston College then took over the lead for one lap, but once Hamilton took the stick and moved his team to the front, it was smooth sailing for Bellafante.
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