Quality missing from May Classic
IT was a May Classic in name only and not by entries or excitement from excellent performances.
Saturday’s low-key event at the National Stadium was devalued by the absence of several local athletes, either preparing for examinations or attending the Hampton Games in Trinidad and Tobago.
Just when it seemed multiple CARIFTA Games gold medallist Jonathan Jones would raise the standard, he was one of four athletes who pulled up during the second lap of the men’s 800 metres, along the back straight.
Whether or not it was adding insult to injury, Jones was quickly joined by his Elite Distance Programme clubmates Alex Golding and Rasheeme Griffith, who was at least two metres clear of the eight-man field with 200 metres left, when he suddenly stopped.
Savion Hoyte, the lone Under-17 competitor, was the fourth casualty. He was probably feeling the effects from the pace of the race, which was won by the improving Tafari Bishop in one minute, 55.91 seconds.
The experienced Joshua Hunte (1:56.52) was second while Roneldo Rock (1:59.75) was third in a disappointing run.
Promising 13-year-old Layla Haynes not only won the junior section of the merged women’s 800 in 2:23.82, but also left Under-20 competitors Charissa Moore (2:25.64) and Shonita Brome (2:31.40) in her wake.
Bishop had earlier bagged the Under-18 Boys’ 400 metres hurdles in 55.40 seconds from Jaden Callender (57.18) while Griffith impressively took the Open section in 51.61 seconds from Kion Joseph (55.01).
Joseph false-started in the flat 400 metres, which saw the experienced Fabian Norgrove (48.07) winning from Joshua Walcott (50.07).
Fabian’s twin brother Kemar Norgrove dropped out along the back straight while their former Lodge schoolmate Sade Sealy (57.46) held off Jaria Hoyte (57.86) to capture the women’s 400.
Matthew Clarke continued his resurgence in the 100 metres, winning in 10.82 seconds from Josiah Atkins (10.97) and the returning Fallon Forde (11.01).
Shemia Odaine (12.31) beat CARIFTA sprinter Ashlee Lowe (12.41) for the second straight week in the women’s 100 while Nicholas Deshong (21.17) prevailed in the men’s 200 from Nathan Fergusson (21.58) and Walcott (21.66).
The muscular Rhys Phillips (14.31) outclassed Joseph (14.55) in the men’s 110 metres hurdles while Indiana State University’s Ayanna Morgan, back home on holiday, took the women’s 100 metres hurdles in 14.04 seconds, below her season’s best 13.77.
On the field, World Juniors qualifier Jonathan Miller hopped, skipped and jumped his way to 15.27 metres to take the Open men’s triple jump from veteran Barry Batson (14.87).
Anderson Greaves leapt 7.18 metres to defeat Shamar Rock (6.95) and Aaron Worrell (6.90) in the long jump while Antonio Farrell had a winning clearance of 2.00 metres in the high jump.
It was pleasing to see another senior campaigner, Jenila Atherley, with a winning toss of 35.73 metres providing competition for CARIFTA gold medalist Shanice Hutson (35.52) in the women’s discus.
The former Lodge and Barbados athlete also won the javelin with 37.64 metres while Triston Gibbons (51.71 metres) and Zion Hill (60.79 metres) triumphed in the men’s discus and javelin, respectively.
There were also wins for junior athletes Skye Spencer-Layne (13.80) and Zahzara Holford (63.98) in the Under-13 girls’ 100 and 400 respectively while Kyle Babb (13.84) won the Under-13 Boys’ 100. (ES)