Fri | Jun 9, 2023

Don’t miss Class One 800m, 1500m

Published:Sunday | March 26, 2023 | 1:34 AMHubert Lawrence - Sunday Gleaner Writer

WITH THE trio of Jodyann Mitchell, Kishay Rowe and Rackiesha Simms speeding, the Class One 800m/1500m will be among the best races at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships next week. Dave Anderson, who coaches Mitchell at Holmwood, says patrons can’t afford to miss this three-way clash.

Mitchell, the reigning 1500-metre champion, went within shades of Natoya Goule’s record of four minutes, 29.81 seconds, with a fine run – 4.30.31 – at Central Championships, with Simms of Edwin Allen High and Alphansus Davis High School’s’ star, Rowe, second and third, respectively. Rowe is likewise undefeated at 800m, with her latest feat a big win at the Carifta Trials in a season-leading time of 2.07.04.

While they were all in Class Two in 2021, Simms beat them both and Eastern 800m/1500m champion Shone Walters in the 800m and 1500m. The slim Edwin Allen girl has clocked 2.08.18 and 4.32.25 this season.

BAR RAISED

Coach Anderson is backing Mitchell, but said: “People maybe thought before the start of the season that, you know, losing a Rushana Dwyer and Jessica McLean, that the standards would have gone down. But these ladies have raised the bar and possibly raised it to a higher level to keep the competition very high.”

Dwyer and McLean were the high-scoring Edwin Allen duo, who left the Champs arena last year.

“These races, middle distance Class One, are going to be some very competitive races. The young ladies who have been battling from Class Three, now two of them are in their final year and want to go out with a bang. It’s going to bring out the best in all of them, and I know, on the day, the person who is in the best frame of mind will come out on top,” the Holmwood coach relayed.

Mitchell and former Class Three 800m winner Rowe are outgoing seniors.

“Jodyann Mitchell is one such athlete, once she turns up, there’s not much I need to say to her. She’s an introvert, but she’s a silent killer,” he outlined.

Mitchell skipped the 800m at Central Champs and the Carifta Trials, but will be in the two-lap field next week.

“There was a reason for not doubling her for those two meets. You know, she had a little discomfort in her ankle. So I just decided to allow her to make the Carifta team, you know, by running the 1500m, but she’s getting there. She has been putting in the work and I know once she turns up for Champs at the start line, she’s going to give of her best,” he underscored.

Last year she won the Carifta Under-20 800m title in Kingston.

Then Anderson advised: “She knows what is at stake so we’re very confident she’s going to do very, very, very well.”