Photo: Usain Bolt winning the Men's 200m at the UTech Classics in a time of 20.20s
Track and Field fans who gathered inside the country’s National Stadium to enjoy the 8th staging of the University of Technology Classics left extremely satisfied, as they were treated to some outstanding performances by local and international, upcoming and established track and field stars.
The meet started with this year's patron, the outstanding retired Jamaican athlete Bridgette Foster-Hylton, declaring the meet open, after she was awarded for her contribution to track and field locally and internationally.
The first set of track events came from the Prep and Primary clashing in the 4x100 metre relays for both genders.
Morant Bay Primary and St Peter and Paul Prep won the male and female event respectively with times of 53.50 seconds and 55.78 seconds.
Next on track was the rematch with High School Boys and Girls over the 4x100 metre relays as teams fine tuned their preparation for the 2015 Penns Relays.
The Girl’s team of St Jago High secured the female event, 44.71 seconds ahead of Edwin Allen in 45.04 seconds.
Boys Champs winners, Calabar High School, won the male section in 40.42 seconds turning back the challenge of St. George's College in 40.75 seconds.
The Clubs and Institutions sprint relays was won by Sprint Tech (45.85 seconds) male, and GC Foster College (49.64 seconds.) female.
In the mile relays, it was the dominant looking Edwin Allen High who secured victory comfortably in 3: 39.07 seconds. St Jago High pocketed the gold in the Boys equivalent in 3:11.71 seconds.
Brilliant showing by sprinters
Fans came out in anticipation of the nation’s top male and female sprinter, Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, gracing the track after their historic meeting earlier this week with USA, President Barack Obama. They both did not disappoint as they secured victory running over 200m.
Fraser-Pryce, lining up against a quality field, which included the likes of Olympian Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart, was pressed all the way, just managing to out dip Simpson at the line to win in 22.96 s. Simpson was in timed in 22.97 s, third place went to Stephanie McPherson in 23.19 s, relegating Stewart to fourth in 23.33s.
It was a much easier race for the world record holder in the Men's race, as he came across the line first in 20.20 seconds ahead of MVP’s Nesta Carter in 20.60 seconds. Bolt's time erased the 20.33s record set by fellow teammate Yohan Blake in 2008.
The spotlight however belonged to the new kid on the block,UTech’s Intercollegiate champion Elaine Thompson who sped to a new personal best and new world leading time in 100m, 10.92 seconds erasing the meet record and surpassing the 10.97 seconds done by Trinidadian athlete Michelle-lee Ahyee earlier this month. The time also bettered the meeting record (11.07second) set by MVP’s Carrie Russell in 2013.
Surprising herself and fans seated in the grandstand, Thompson dominated the race from the starter’s gun and left MVP’s Natasha Morrison (11.17) and UTech’s Christiania Williams (11.18) battling for second and third spot.
The Former Manchester High athlete expressed how astonished she was to the media after her race.
The men’s equivalent was a more closely contested one with UTech’s pair of Kemarley Brown and Julian Forte running neck and neck to the finish line. Brown was judged the winner in a time of 10.11 seconds, with forte second in 10.12 seconds.
The collegiate sections were won by GC Foster pair, Kedisha Dallas (11.47 seconds) and Roberto Smith 10.44 seconds respectively.
Quality showing in the quarter mile events
Former Vere Technical athlete, now running for UTech, Shericka Jackson sped to a new personal best and world leading mark in the Women’s 400m open in a time of 51.32 to secure victory ahead of teammate Janieve Russell 51.93 and Sprintec Tec’s, Anastascia Leroy 52.00. All three athletes dipping below the 52.08 seconds meet record set by Bobby Gaye Wilkins- Gooden in 20009.
On the male side, it was Akan’s Javon Francis who came up best of all, clocking 45.50 to win section three and in the process equaling the meet record set way back in 2011 by William Gutierrez Collazo of Cuba.
Cameron Blazers Athlete, Javere Bell winner of section 2, was second overall in 45.68 seconds, and third was Racers Edino Steele in 46.35seconds.
Utech’s double win in sprint hurdles
2015 Intercol Champion, Megan Simmonds, running in a small field of three athletes, sped to a nippy 13.08, to win the Womens sprint hurdles, in the process erasing Chermaine Williams record of 13.15 seconds.
The male equivalent went to Ronald Levy, also in a new record of 13.63 seconds bettering the time of 13.71 set by National Record holder Hansle Parchment in 2012.
The 400 metre hurdles for male and female were by UWI’s Rushell Clayton (57.71 seconds) and GC foster Andre Clarke, 50.44 seconds respectively.
The women’s 800m was won by Samantha James of UTech in 2:07.46 ahead of 400m hurdlers specialist Kaliese Spencer of MVP 2:08.44.
Jowayne Hibbert running for UWI, Mona captured the male event in 1:48.80 seconds. Second place went to Ricardo Cunningham, MVP, in 1:50.26 seconds.
Decent “Field” day
The field event athletes offered some quality performances, led by Commonwealth Champion, O'Dayne Richards, winning the Men’s shot put in a new meet record of 21.00m. Raymond Brown competing unattached was second in 18.66m.
Travis Smickle continued his comeback with victory in the men’s Discuss, with a mark of 56.87m.
The High Jump and Long Jump were won by Eagle’s Kamal Fuller, 7.27m and Darrell Garwood, Unattached, 2.14m.
The javelin open went to Utech’s Orlando Thomas with a distance of 67.97m.
Edwin Allen High School girl pair of Shanice Lewis, 6.14m and Danique Bryan 6.12m took top spots in the long jump open for women.
In the second field event for women,Genneva Greaves of UTech managed to stave off the challenge of the school girl pair out of Edwin Allen, bettering her own record in 14.58m in the Shot Put. Rochelle Fraser 14.14m and Janell Fullerton, 14.09m finished second and third respectively.