By Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis, Special to

In the third feature of the ‘Champs’ countdown, we focus our attention on the half-lap events where track fans are expected to experience heart-stopping moments.                                         

200M Class 3

We should witness another impressive demonstration of top class sprinting in this event. At the Central Championships in February, Patrice Moody of Edwin Allen created a huge upset when she defeated both Kimone Shaw and Yanique Dayle in the 200m. It was a big statement which now makes the Class 3 200-meter finals at ‘Champs’ an eagerly awaited event.

The relentless Kimone Shaw of St.Jago High School will have to prove her class once again against quality opposition. Her teammate Sashell Frater will be hoping for a very unlikely quinella for the school. Many persons are of the view that the Hydel High School possesses one of the strongest Class 3 teams this year. The school will no doubt present a spirited challenge through their top athletes Shaneil English and Yanique Dayle. Edwin Allen’s Shellece Clark and Aaliyah Hopkins if entered in this event are also capable of creating problems in this quality field.

Incidentally, Edwin Allen have an embarrassment of riches and will have to choose two from the three quality athletes (Moody, Hopkins & Clark) in their squad to compete in this event. Watch these young women attack the curve and be in awe of their top end speed in the home stretch. This one will be closer than the 100m but I still give Kimone the edge over her rivals despite her loss at Central Champs.

The talent assembled in this event makes it one of the races of the championships that will leave you breathless. The existing record of 23.11 seconds held by the sometimes forgotten Anneisha McLaughlin is out of reach for now.

200M Class 2

The usual suspects return and a massive showdown awaits track fans. There are so many quality athletes in this event, which makes it difficult to identify a clear favourite. The pride and joy of Hydel High School Taqece Duggan must be in pole position to make her mark in Class 2. Her winning time of 23.77 seconds last year in Class 3 was a very good effort. Her main challenge should come from second place finisher in class two last year in St. Jago’s Natalliah Whyte the CARIFTA Under-17 200-meter champion as well as Papine High’s standout Tiffany James.

Another St. Jago sprinter Shanice Reid looked good in winning this event at the Charlie Fuller JAAA PUMA Development Meet at Kirkvine. Rushelle Burton of St. Andrew High School for Girls who was the overall Class 3 champion last year with 21 points should also be in this final.

However, all avid track fans are hoping to see a rejuvenated Shauna Helps from Wolmer’s Girls in this race to give it more oomph. I am not committing to this one, as I believe it will go right down to the wire. Again, the record for this event 23.13 seconds also held by Anneisha McLaughlin is not in danger, nevertheless, it will be a great race that will have everyone on edge.

200M Class 1

The departure of Shericka Jackson from ‘Champs’ last year has left a void in Class 1 200m sprinting. We hope this is temporary and track fans will not wait too long before seeing another quality athlete going below 23 seconds in a final at this level. A few of last year’s finalists should return such as silver medallist Monique Spencer of Edwin Allen, Chanice Bonner of Holmwood Technical and Asaine Hall from Petersfield High School.

In my opinion, this event could become a surprise bonus package at ‘Champs’ with the possibility of Jonielle Smith of Wolmer’s Girls and Edwin Allen’s Saqukine Cameron joining the action. Saqukine Cameron’s commanding victory at the CARIFTA trials makes her the favourite for this event. 

Two other likely finalists who could spice up this event are Dawnalee Loney, a promising sprinter from Balaclava and Diana Johnson of Holmwood Technical. I guarantee this fabulous field will provide lots of tension and entertainment in what should be a closer final than last year.

Edwin Allen will be relying on a 1-2 finish and 16 points. A classic final awaits us all. I would be happy to see a victory time of 23.00 seconds from anyone in the field. I hope I am not too ambitious in my thoughts.


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