JC, Hydel show signs of championship pedigree
Whispers a year ago that Jamaica College (JC) and Hydel High School were ready to dethrone respective 2019 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ champions, Kingston College and Edwin Allen High, were never tested due to the devastating effect of the COVID-19 virus on the season, highlighted by the cancellation of Champs 2020.
However, both title suitors gave a glimpse of their impressive potential, with excellent all-round performances at one of the weekend’s Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association Qualifying meets, held at Jamaica College.
Competing at home, the Neil Harrison-coached JC team, led by their outstanding Class One middle-distance athlete J’Voughnn Blake, showed little rust in their performances, despite the long lay-off.
Blake’s winning time of 1:51.37 led a clean sweep of the top three places in the 800m for his team, with Handel Rohan, 1:53.04, and Omarion Davis, 1:56.72, following him to the line.
The Old Hope Road-based team were in complete control of the 800m events, also taking the top two spots in classes two and three.
Kemario Bygrove, 1:56.74, won ahead of Khandale Frue 1:57.55, as Kingston College’s Schavon Wardlow took third in 2:00.11 in the Class Two event, while Tyrone Lawson 2:01.68 took Class Three , ahead of Rasheed Pryce, 2:05.01.
Jamaica College also captured both 400m hurdles events, as Sean Gardener took Class Two in 55.64, ahead of Charlemont’s Brandon Harris, 56.34. Roburn Walker won in Class One in 54.54 seconds ahead of former Tarrant standout Jeremy Bembidge, 54.74, who now represents Calabar.
Bembidge also had to settle for second in the Class One 400m in 47.83, as former top Enid Bennett High School athlete, Tyrice Taylor, who is now attending Vere Technical, won the event in 47.74 with Jamaica College’s Kevin Williams, 47.83, coming third.
The home team also impressed in the field events, making it a clean sweep in the high jump, after winning in all three classes. Jaidi James, 1.90m, won in Class Three; Michael Curriah, 1.88m, took Class Two, while Uroy Ryan was first in Class One with 1.94m
St Jago’s Kimarlie Stewart and Charlemont’s Deshawn Gordon also had good results on the track.
Stewart stopped the clock at 21.23 in a +3.6 metres per second wind, to win the Class One 200m ahead of Jamaica’s College Andre Bent, 21.24. Gordon 22.32, came out on top in Class Two as Mark Manley of Calabar took second in 22.46.Meanwhile, the Corey Bennett-coached girls from Hydel were on fire, in a strong demonstration of their title credentials this year.
It was their 400m hurdlers who started the Hydel show, after a clean sweep in the Open event, where Garriel Whyte won in 1:00.02, ahead of Oneika McAnnuf, 1:02.67, and Diana Dyer third in 1:03.12 seconds.
Hydel also swept the 200 metres with quinellas in three of these contests.
Shenese Walker, 24.92, took the Class One event ahead of teammate Whyte, 24.97, as Annalee Robinson of Vere was third in 25.17.
Alana Reid, 24.26, won in Class Two ahead of teammate McAnnuf, 24.45, with Jodyann Daley, 25.53, winning Class Three ahead of Shamonique Hazle, 25.71, while Tihanna Reid closed out the sweep by winning Class Four in 25.90.
Vere Technical’s Latanya Johnson and Krisann Plummer picked up wins for the Clarendon-based team.
Johnson captured the Class Three 400m in 58.11 ahead of St Catherine High School’s Kitania Headley, 58.32. Plummer won the Class One 800m in 2:18.18 ahead of her former teammate Shian Dacosta, 2:24.83, now representing Hydel.