18 finals on tap as National Junior trials begin todayThursday, June 24, 2021
Eighteen finals, including the 100m in all four age groups, are down to be decided on today's first day of the three-day Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association's (JAAA) National Junior Championships at the National Stadium set to start at 8:30 am.
A relatively small number of athletes will be seeking to make teams to the NACAC Under-18 Championships to be held in Costa Rica in two weeks, as well as the World Under-20 Championships, set for Nairobi, Kenya, August 17-22.
The athletes will run in their respective age groups and despite the absence of one of the biggest names among juniors, Sachin Dennis of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), who won the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association Championships Class One 100m, there will be enough quality to make the event interesting.
The first round of the 100m will start the day's proceedings with the finals set for later in the day and there will also be finals in the 800m, long jump in all four age group, three javelin finals, both girls' discus throw and the boys' Under-20 pole vault.
Additionally, there will be the heats of the 400m and the 400m hurdles.
Edwin Allen High School's Clayton twins — Tina and Tia — are the top-ranked athletes in the girls' Under-18 100m, but Rusea's High School's Class Three sprint double champion Lavanya Williams will hope to stake a claim, while Petersfield High School's Alexis James could also be in the hunt.
On the boys' side, the STETHS pair of Alicke Cranston and Orlando Wint will clash with Kingston College's Bouwahjgie Nkrumie and Jamaica College's Hector Benjamin.
Former Merlene Ottey High School runner Akeem Blake, now with Titans TC, will lead the Under-20, while former Cornwall College runner Breton Shippy, who clocked a personal best 10.39 seconds at the Mid-Eastern American Conference (MEAC) Championships for South Carolina State last month, will be running in Jamaica for the first time in three years.
Andrew Gillipps of St Jago, Alexavier Monfries of Excelsior and Deondre McIntosh of Jamaica College are also expected to be amongst the contenders.
Only 18 runners are registered for the Under-20 girls where Kerrica Hill of Hydel High, Brandy Hall of Edwin Allen High School are expected to lead the charge.
As they did at Champs, the Clarendon College pair of Roxene Simpson and Kimola Hines should dominate the Under-20 girls' discus throw, but Edwin Allen's Damali Williams and Manchester High's Fabrienne Foster will also be expected to vie for honours.
— PAUL A REID
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