Photo: Sanya Richards-Ross celebrates with members of the Kingston College track and field team at the Penn Relays
The giants of North Street, Kingston College and St Jago High from Monk Street in Spanish Town, were left celebrating historic victories inside the Franklin Field Stadium on day three of the 122th staging of the Penn Relays on Saturday, while Jamaica College pulled off a massive upset to stun favourites Calabar High in the High School Boys 4x400m, as the curtains came down on yet another fantastic staging of the prestigious relays.
The team of Shivnarine Smalling, Akeem Bloomfield, Jhevaughn Matherson and Tyreke Bryan ran a record equalling 39.63 seconds to secure their eighth title and tie Camperdown High for the most victories in the 4x100m for Jamaican high schools.
"It feels so good. We've worked so hard for this." was what anchor leg runner Tyreke Bryan told Penn relay reporters after the race.
The expected clash between the fastest preliminary qualifiers and local rivals Jamaica College didn’t materialize as the Old Hope Road team was not smooth in their baton exchange. They were eventually disqualified for lane violation after initially crossing the line in sixth place.
Calabar High finished second in 39.89 seconds, ahead of T.C. Williams 40.56 seconds. St. Jago was fourth in 40.63, with Excelsior in sixth in 41.41 seconds while St Elizabeth Technical had a mishap on their second exchange and failed to finish the race.
St Jago had better fortunes in the first championship of America relay contested. The team of Eric McKenzie, Joel Jean Pierre, Keenan Lawrence and Leon Clarke ran a brilliant race to secure the victory in 7:33.71 seconds, their first win in the event in 26 years.
It was sweet revenge for the Monk Street unit, relegating Gibson Relay Champions and nemesis St Elizabeth Technical to second in 7:35.20 seconds. Kingston College finished fifth in 7:45.12 and in ninth was Jamaica College with 7:53.45 seconds. Bellefield 8:01.33 finished at the back of the field.
While everyone was anxiously for the mouth-watering clash in the 4x400m between the Boys and Girls Champs top two against USA TC Williams, Jamaica College was thinking how they could spoil the party and they did just that.
The team led by a ferocious 3rd leg effort from outgoing senior man Devaughn Baker and supported well by Maleik Smith on lead off, Michael Campbell and anchor man Phillip Lemonios stole the event in 3:12.34 seconds.
"I'm very happy, because we didn't do as well as we wanted when we came out here earlier in the 4x100 which we should have won. We knew we had to make up for it in the 4x400, and that's what we did. It came out big for us. We always have confidence, although we always have doubts too. It's the best one in the end that proves which one is better. The strategy for me, overall, was just to finish strongly." Baker explained to Penn Relays reporters.
The Calabar sensation and anchor man Christopher Taylor tried desperately to close but he and his team had to settle for second in 3:13.09 seconds. T.C. Williams ran 3:13.55 for third spot, with early leaders St Jago fading to fifth in 3:14.53 seconds
Edwin Allen crossed the line in sixth in 3:16.69 seconds and Kingston College unit minus Akeem Bloomfield finished in eight place in 3:19.48 seconds.
University of Technology left the college scene empty handed with both 4x 200m teams losing the titles. The unit of Christania Williams, Janieve Russell, Shimayra Williams and Shericka Jackson finished runners up in 1:32.69 seconds. Tennessee won in 1:31.84 seconds.
The males ran 1:23.24 seconds for fourth spot in a race won by South Carolina in 1:22.38 seconds.
In the 4x400m Championship Finals UTech was once again unsuccessful in the quest for victory. The team of Simoya Campbell, Shericka Jackson, Derri-Ann Hill and Janieve Russell finished third in 3:30.75 seconds. They were beaten by Oregon 3:30.11 and Tennessee 3:30.73 who finished first and second respectively.
GC foster was in similar position after the male equivalent with the quartet of Morzel Miller, Remish Gaye , Alvin Green and Nascieve Powell finished in 3:08.19 seconds. The race was won by University of Florida in 3:04.78 ahead of Tennessee in 3:07.75 seconds.
G.C. Foster managed to salvage some pride by securing the 4x 100m Championship Final in 39.31 seconds with a combined effort from Colin King, Chadric Hinds, Evaton Clark and Brandon Tomlinson. UTech ran 39.73 to finish fourth in that event.
Jamaica College had sweet success out in the field with their top jumpers bringing them farewell championship wins. High Jumper Clayton Brown scaled 2:10 metres to defend his title from 2015 and Triple Jumper Obrien Wasome erased Sanya Owolabi’s 38 year old mark of 15.92m to win with 16.01m. Javier Lowe of Calabar 15.83m and Jordan Scott Campion 15.68m were second and third respectively.
Edwin Allen’s Rayan Holmes rebounded from his Champs disappointment to win the High School Boys' 400m Hurdles Championship final in 52.47 seconds. Sherwayne Allen of Kingston College was sixth in 54.01 seconds.
UWI Mona Fedrick Dacres 65.19m and Traves Smikle 63.42m took the quenelle in the College Men's Discus Throw Championship final.