Fri | Apr 19, 2024

Small margins in the men’s 4x100 at Gibson-McCook

Published:Wednesday | February 21, 2024 | 12:16 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Kadrian Goldson
Kadrian Goldson
Oblique Seville
Oblique Seville

IN THE Jamaican context, high school athletics will understandably take centre stage this Saturday at the 50th anniversary of the Gibson-McCook Relays inside the National Stadium.

However, with the Paris Olympics just over the horizon, keep an eye on the men’s sprint relay.

The Sprintec Track Club is undefeated in two starts with both races yielding times under 39 seconds. Oshane Bailey, 2021 Olympic 200-metre finalist, Rasheed Dwyer, Canada’s 2022 World 4x100 winner Brendon Rodney, and World Student Games 100 victor Kadrian Goldson, clocked 38.93 seconds at the Central Hurdles and Relays. That was on the grounds of the GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport last month.

A slightly different unit – Bailey, Goldson, Rodney and 2017/2019 World Championship 400-finalist Demish Gaye – scooted 38.99 at the same venue during the February 10 Milo Western Relays. In both races, Sprintec aced GC Foster by big margins, 0.6 at Central Hurdles and Relays and 0.84 at the Western Relays.

The margins will be thinner on Saturday.

The Racers Track Club has won four of the last eight finals. Of course, the Glen Mills-coached sprint powerhouse owns the Gibson-McCook record – 38.08, thanks to the 2010 quartet of Kenroy Anderson, Yohan Blake, Marvin Anderson and Usain Bolt.

Mills’ current squad includes 2023 World Championships 3rd- and 4th-place finishers Zharnel Hughes of Great Britain and Jamaica’s Oblique Seville. The diminutive Seville showed an admirable state of fitness with a decent run over 400 metres on February 10 at the Camperdown Classic, clocked at 47.44 seconds.

Racers has the best recent time in Gibson-McCook history at 38.36 in 2018 with its most recent win coming in 2022 over Sprintec in 38.89 seconds. Incidentally, the records show that Maurice Wilson’s Sprintec did beat the Racers in 2016, 38.59 to 39.02.

There are two other notable entries. One is Elite Performance with a deep stock of young sprinters, guided by sub-10/sub-20 man Julian Forte. The other is Dynamic Speed. If indoor 60-metre terror Ackeem Blake joins veteran namesake Yohan on this team, Dynamic could be a factor.

The evidence points in one direction. When Sprintec’s Bailey settles into the starting blocks in lane four for the Gibson-McCook men’s 4x100, his team will aim to win with a time superior to 38.93 seconds. However, if the team in lane 5, the ultra-successful Racers Track Club, is ready to run, Mills’ men will be favoured.