Jamaica College (JC) and Kingston College (KC) suffered minor hiccups on the opening day of the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships as long jumper Paketo Dudley and Romain Brown in the javelin, both failed to reach the final in events they were tipped for silver medals.
Dudley, who was seventh last year with 7.06m, could only muster a best of 6.72m (3.6 mps) and finished 16th overall. However, his teammate Safin Willis leapt 7.32m (3.1 mps) from Flight Two, while favourite Wayne Pinnock of KC easily qualified with one jump of 7.32m (4.7 mps) from Flight One. KC's Shaquille Lowe left it late on his third and final jump to surpass the qualifying mark of 7.00m with a jump of 7.03. Both Calabar athletes Alexander Thompson (7.31) and Daniel Allen (7.03) safely navigated their way to the final.
In the javelin throw, Brown, who had the longest throw this season of 55.53m, registered a weak 44.05m and was eliminated from Flight One which was won by Tajay Broomfield of JC with 49.56m. Calabar's Kobie Henry threw 51.64m and head into the final with the best throw. KC's Shakwon Coke threw 50.93m.
The 800m event looks set for some fireworks in the finals as all the “big guns” easily qualified for the semi-finals set for tomorrow.
In Class Three, JC looked awesome as Lox Lox Reid, the son of former Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Loxley Reid, got things going as he took the first heat in 2:05.91 minutes and was the second fastest into the semis. His teammate Omarion Davis won heat four in 2:05.85. St Jago's Tafar-hi Hinds was quickest in 2:05.61 minutes.
Calabar's Jevor Murray took heat three in 2:09.75 and along with his teammate Kewarny Fletcher (2:05.92) are safely through, as did the KC pair of Ainsley Campbell (2:10.22) and Raheem Richards (2:06.89).
The Class Two 800m is also shaping up quite well as Marcus Hutchinson of Clarendon College was quickest into be semi-final with 1:59.53 minutes. He was the only athlete to dip below the two-minute barrier. Assinie Wilson of Ferncourt High was second best in 2:00.22 minutes.
JC's J'Voughn Blake (2:00.45) and Javier Brown (2:03.79), along with Calabar's Daniel Cunningham (2:01.00) and Jordan Anderson (2:01.49) advanced to the semi-finals along with the KC duo of Rayon Campbell (2:01.53) and Giovouni Henry (2:04.14).
In what is deemed one of the big races of the championship, the Class One 800m qualifiers whetted the appetites of the spectators as the top runners all cruised into the semi-finals.
Rushane Fullerton of Munro College was quickest overall although he extended more in 1:56.02 minutes in capturing heat three ahead of a relaxed-looking Tarees Rhoden of KC, who was clearly saving his energy for the steeplechase a few hours later.
Favourite Jauavney James of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) effortlessly clocked 1:59.56 in heat two as did Calabar's Kimar Farquarson in 1:58.43 in heat one. Tyrese Reid of Spot Valley High eased home in heat five in 1:58.42. St Jago's Leon Clarke with his long Arthur Wint strides coasted home in 2:02.22 minutes. Calabar's Javon-Taye Williams clocked 1:56.15 in capturing heat six.