Turks and Caicos Islands’ 2012 World Junior Championships 200m gold medalist Delano Williams, representing Munro College, provided the fireworks at Jamaica’s High Schools Athletics Championships which ended in Kingston on Saturday night (16).
The 19-year-old sprinter was hugely impressive in running two national records 10.28 in the 100m and 20.27 in the 200m. However, he just fell short of the astonishingly high quality championships records in his events, which means that Yohan Blake’s 10.21 and Usain Bolt's 20.25 records live on.
Omar McLeod, from Kingston College, also had a prolific championships and set two Jamaican junior records: 49.98 in the 400m Hurdles to become the first Jamaican junior to go under 50 seconds, and 13.24 to win the 110m Hurdles.
On the women’s side, the star performer was Shericka Jackson of Vere Technical, the old school of Veronica Campbell-Brown. She won the class 1 (under-20) 200m in a personal best 22.98 and the 400m in 51.60.
In the field events, Fedrick Dacres, the 2011 World Youth and 2012 World Junior Discus champion, was a double winner for Calabar. The 19-year-old took the class 1 (under-20) Shot Put with a record throw of 19.29m, the first Jamaican school boy over 19 metres, and then the Discus with 62.80m, which equaled his personal best set when winning his most recent global gold medal in Barcelona last summer.
Tara-Sue Barnett, of Edwin Allen, won the girls’ class 1 Discus with a national junior record throw of 51.16m.
Christoffe Bryan, 16, of Wolmer’s Boys School, showed the talent which could take him to the IAAF World Youth Championships this summer when he won the class 2 High Jump with a record leap of 2.19m.
Likewise, Camperdown High’s Peta-Gaye Williams could be a medal contender in Donetsk. She false started in the girls’ class 2 (under-17) 100m Hurdles but had run 13.38 in heats on Friday.
Also in the class 2 section, Jamaica College’s Devaughn Baker ran a 400m championships record of 46.64.
Shaw and Matherson show prodigious sprint talent
In the younger age groups, 12-year-old St. Jago schoolgirl Kimone Shaw and 13-year-old Kingston College schoolboy Jhevaughn Matherson also impressed.
Shaw and Matherson contributed to four of the twenty-seven records, that fell over the five days of the Championships, which is already being looked upon as one of the best in the over 100 years of this event.
Shaw, running in the class 4 (under-13) 100m final flew to 11.75 (-0.2 mps) and she returned to run 24.28 in the 200m, into a -1.4m/s head wind. Both of her performances are world age-12 bests.
Matherson ran a world age-13 best of 10.85 (1.0m/s) in the semifinals of the boys’ class 3 100m (under-14) and two hours later, on Friday, produced 10.86 (-0.6 m/s) in the final. He returned Saturday to take the 200m in a time of 21.87.
In the class 3 (under-14) boys’ 400m final, Nathaniel Bann, also of Kingston College, clocked 49.13, beating Ati Watson’s old mark of 49.63, set more than two decades ago in 1991.
Rushelle Burton, 14, of St. Andrew High, ran a 11.13 80m Hurdles record in his class while Kamali Simpson, 13, of St. Jago, the former school of Yohan Blake, took the boys class 3 (Under-14) 100m Hurdles title in 13.10.
Anthony Foster for the IAAF