By Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis, Special to TrackAlerts.com
The second and final day at the CARIFTA trials at the National Stadium provided a few upsets and disappointments. TrackAlerts.com now review selected events.
Girls’ Under-20 100-metre hurdles
This final brought together Peta-Gaye Williams and Yanique Thompson, two of the biggest names in junior sprint hurdling in Jamaica.
The final lived up to its billing with both athletes involved in a magnificent duel from start to finish. Williams held a slight advantage for 80-metres before Thompson surged forward for a narrow win.
Thompson won in 13.55 seconds while Williams ran 13.60.
Boys’ Under-18 110-metre hurdles final
World Youth champion Jaheel Hyde freshed from his victory in the 400-metre hurdles the previous day was hungry for more success.
He did not disappoint and executed a perfect race on his way to a very fast 13.19 seconds. Roje Jackson Chin of St. Jago High claimed the runner up spot in 13.33 seconds.
Boys’ Under-18 200-metre final
St. Jago High School fielded three of their top runners who won their heats, Martin Manley (21.21), Chad Walker (21.20) and rising star Raheem Chambers (21.08).
Interestingly, none of Kingston College’s (KC) top sprinters in Akeem Bloomfield, Jhevaugn Matherson or Nathaniel Bann showed up for the heats.
The field for the final was weakened, as Manley and Chambers did not start. Walker easily won in 21.24 seconds.
Girls’ Under-20 200-metre final
The final was without the promising sprinter Dawnalee Loney because of a false start.
Nevertheless, the final saw the return of the talented Saqukine Cameron who was sidelined with injury last year.
She ran a blinding curve and came into the straight with a five-metre advantage to win by a wide margin in 23.44 seconds over a strong field.
Among the athletes Cameron had behind were Kedisha Dallas, Shian Hyde, Chanice Bonner and the Wolmer’s pair of Jonielle Smith and Shauna Helps.
However, Smith and Helps did not extend themselves in the event.
Girls’ Under-20 400-metre final
This turned out to be one of the best finals on the day.
Dawnalee Loney after her failure in the 200-metre was seeking redemption against a formidable field over the one-lap event.
Yanique McNeil the overwhelming favourite ran a torrid backstretch. However, the tall and long striding Loney stayed close and made her move in the final 100-metres before winning in a personal best 52.87 seconds.
McNeil (53.00) just hold off the fast finishing Camira Haughton (53.01) for second.
Boys’ Under-20 400-metre final
Nathon Allen a young man who has been running some blistering 400-metre relay legs for St. Jago High all season proved that he is now a force to reckon with in the individual event.
Allen who has good speed destroyed a strong field and posted a personal best of 46.11 seconds ahead of teammate Ivan Henry 46.54 seconds.
Interestingly, one of the favourites, Devaughn Baker, the Class 2 record holder at Champs (46.64) ran a poor race and disappeared out of contention.
Boys’ & Girls’ Under-18 400-metre finals
Martin Manley and Tiffany James secured the Under-18 400-metre titles with impressive wins in 46.54 and 53.77 seconds respectively.
Nathaniel Bann of KC ran a personal best 47.24 to secure second in the boys’ final and Taquece Duggan also registered a personal best 54.76 seconds in securing the runner up spot in the girls’ final.
One the biggest disappointments on the day was defending CARIFTA Under-20 high jump champion and World Youth Championships bronze medallist Kristoffe Bryan of Wolmer’s Boys.
Bryan failed to clear any of the heights he attempted.
The result was a shocker for Bryan who has a personal best of 2.21 metres and has a season best of 2.20 metres achieved at the Gibson Relays on February 22.
There was a major scare for KC when quarter-miler Dontre Williams a crucial member of the school’s Class 2 squad fell in the Boys’ Under-18 400-metre final.
Another unfortunate incident occurred when Rushelle Burton of St. Andrew High picked up an injury in her heat of the Under-18 100-metre hurdles.