Ferry school in striking distance of Edwin Allen girls after late flourish
Hydel High 's Oneika McAnnuff powers to victory in the girls' 400m hurdles Open during day four of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships at the National Stadium on Friday. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

A series of top performances, including a one-three finish in the 400-metre hurdles Open, has placed Hydel High within striking distance of their first Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Girls' Championships title, but whether or not they will be able to surpass reigning champions Edwin Allen is left to be seen.

Only seven and a half points separate the two heading into today's final day of the five-day showpiece and it is anybody's guess which way the coveted title will go.

Action is scheduled to begin at 1:00 pm.

Hydel, led by captain Oneika McAnnuff, made a bold move on Friday's penultimate day and, at one point, found themselves a few points in front, before Edwin Allen — hunting their ninth-straight title and 10th overall — responded.

Hydel High's Kaydeen Johnson (left) on her way to victory in the girls' 2,000m steeplechase Open. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

McAnnuff successfully defended her 400m hurdles Open title with a well-paced run that propelled her to a new personal best 56.46s. Edwin Allen's Tonyan Beckford (57.14s) was second with Alliah Baker (58.37s) closing to secure a Hydel one-three finish.

Prior to that, Kaydeen Johnson, also of Hydel, was a figure of grit and determination in the girls' steeplechase Open and was well-deserving of her gold medal.

The diminutive athlete, who fell when clearing the last barrier, briskly picked herself up and sprinted past rivals to win in 7:15.01. Holmwood Technical's Terrica Clarke (7:17.04) and Sanyae Gibson (7:27.51) were second and third, respectively.

However, the Ferry-located school will not be a part of the 1,600m Sprint Medley Relay final after their team of Taiefa Gowe, Tanielle Smiley, Kimberly Henry and Jada Irons, won their heat but were later disqualified on technical rule 17.3.2 (not crossing over at the appointed time).

St Jago High's Jane-Ann Dawkins is a picture of athletic majesty as she executes to win gold in the girls' triple jump Open at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships at the National Stadium on Friday. Dawkins won with an effort of 12.96 metres. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

That means rivals Edwin Allen, who won their heat in 4:06.55, should capitalise and make the points count.

Both Edwin Allen and Hydel will be present in the 4X400m relays final, the much-anticipated event which will bring the curtains down on this year's 113th edition, after safely navigating the prelims, clocking times of 3:42.41 and 3:42.60, respectively.

Meanwhile, the main protagonists, across all classes, safely booked their spot in the 200m final, after topping their respective semi-finals.

In Class one, Hydel's Alana Reid remains poised for the double, as she clocked 23.87s on a stroll, while Lacovia's Sabrina Dockery (24.05s) was best of the Class two qualifiers.

Edwin Allen's Theianna-Lee Terrelonge (24.61s) and Natrece East (24.93s) of Wolmer's Girls, expectedly led the Class three pack, while the top duo of Immaculate's Kayla Johnson (25.72s), who is hunting the sprint double, and Tresha-Lee Sutherland (25.64s), charted the course in Class four.

There were also no surprises across the girls' 800m, with favourites Kishay Rowe (2:12.06) of Alphansus Davis and Edwin Allen's Monique Stewart (2:20.72) and Kevongaye Fowler (2:18.26), leading classes one, two and three qualifiers respectively.

Earlier, Rihanna Chambers of St Catherine placed herself as the firm gold medal favourite for the girls' Class three long jump, after she cut the sand at 5.33m to lead all qualifiers.

Girls' Points Standing (After 23 events)

1) Edwin Allen High 147

2) Hydel High 139.50

3) Holmwood Technical 99

4) St Jago High 89

5) Immaculate Conception 48

6) St Catherine High 47

7) Excelsior High 36.50

8) Wolmer's Girls School 36

9) St Elizabeth Technical 25.50

10) Alphansus Davis High 22

11) St Mary High 20.50

11) Vere Technical 20.50

13) Clarendon College 18

14) Rhodes Hall High 12

14) Camperdown High 12

16) Holy Childhood High 11

17) Mount Alvernia High 9

17) Manchester High 9

19) Campion College 7

19) Petersfield High 7

19) Lacovia High 7

22) William Knibb Memorial 6

23) Merl Grove High 5

23) Ferncourt High 5

25) Manning's School 3

26) Clan Carthy High 2

26) Happy Grove High 2

28) Denbigh High 1

28) Bridgeport High 1

28) Muschett High 1

31) The Queen's School 0.50

BY SHERDON COWAN Staff reporter cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

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