By Anthony Foster, TrackAlerts.com writer
Jaheel Hyde of Wolmer’s blazed the track on Friday’s penultimate day of the five-day Jamaica’s High School Track And Field Championships, with a breathtaking 400m hurdles performance.
Hyde, who had World Youth champion Okeen on his inside, and Marvin Williams, the then favourite for the World Youth title on his out before he fell in the final, outside in lane 5, showed no mercy. Hyde was out like a bullet from a gun and by time he touched the backstretch he had the entire field covered, leading by some five metres.
The Wolmarian didn’t seem to cut his speed any at all, which made his race more impressive. He straightened some 10 metres ahead of the field, leaving STETHS pair of Marvin Williams and Okeen Williams, who had to fight back from 5th to get third in the end.
Hyde with eyes on the clock in the last meters was aware to chase a record, which stood as both Champs and National Junior record 49.98, set only last year by Omar McLeod of Kingston College. If McLeod was impressive when just a year ago he became the first junior to go sub-50, Hyde, who dominated the field from start to finish, was exceptional with 49.49 seconds.
The entire stadium, included his father, former Jamaica player and top coach Lenworth Hyde, was on their feet from Hyde flawlessly cleared the first hurdle.
"I am very happy with my performance because I have worked very hard throughout the season to achieve this," said Hyde, who even before he reached a complete stop ended in the waiting arms of Christoffe Bryan, his Wolmer’s teammate, who was waiting around the high jump final.
In the girls event, St. Jago’s Genekee Leith had a very strong final 50 metres to dispatched favourite Andrenette Knight of Vere Technical and dethroned champion Camira Haughton of Edwin Allen. Leith victory came in 58.20 ahead of Edwin Allen’s Shannon Kalawan, who ended very strong out of lane 8 in 59.16 and Knight 59.52.
Meanwhile, in the 1500m, which brought excitement in the boys Classes 1 and 2 finals, Calabar scored heavily. Chadoye Dawson of Spadlings 3:59.01 splitted Calabar’s pair of Rajay Hamilton, the winner in 3:59.01 and dethroned champion Jorel Bellafonte 4:00.29.
In Class 2, STETHS’ Jauvayney James 4:04.85 beat Holmwood’s Rayon Butler, who many believe left it late, into second with 4:05.23, while in Class 3, Detroy Stewart of Edwin Allen won in 4:20.04 ahead of Calabar’s Andrew Ashby 4:27.03.
On the girls side, Edwin Allen’s Marleena Eubanks 4:32.90 finished ahead of Monique McPherson of St. Jago 4:43.62 in Class 1, while Sasha-gaye Whyte of Vere 4:41.82 just did enough to hold off Holmwood’s Lisa Buchanan 4:42.47. Britnie Dixon of Vere had things her way in Class 3, winning in 4:49.08 ahead of Hydel’s Monifa Green 4:54.05.
The field winners, on the day, were Tamara Moncrieffe of Holmwood 13.51m in the girls’ triple jump; Isheka Binns of Manchester the girls javelin with 44.59; Paul-Ann Gayle of Edwin Allen girls’ discus 44.27m; Shakwon Coke of STATHS boys Class 3 long jump 6.57m; Danielle Griffiths of Alpha the girls Class 4 high jump 1.63m; Vere’s Avery Pryce 37.89m in the Class 3 girls discus and Clayton Brown of JC 15.68 in the Class 1 boys triple jump.