Photo: Christopher Taylor of Calabar High storms away from the field in heat one the Class 2 Boys 400m on his way to breaking the record and setting a new mark of 46.33s.
While there were no points on offer on day one of the 106th staging of the ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Track and Field Championships inside the National Stadium on Tuesday, the fans were still treated to some good performances from the athletes on show as the first record of the five day meet was broken in the Class Two Boys 400m.
Just like he did at Champs 2015, Calabar High’s 400m sensation Christopher Taylor went out sailing in the hunt for the record from the preliminary round and again he was successful, coming away with a new Class Two record of 46.33 seconds, erasing the old mark of 46.64s set back in 2013 by Jamaica College's Devaugh Baker.
Speaking with Yardie Sports after his stellar performance, Taylor revealed that it was a deliberate attempt that he made at the record yet again.
"I am very satisfied knowing that I came out here with one intention and that was to break the record, so am very pleased. I am looking to break the World Youth record at the World Juniors as the competition there is much tougher, since am running against older persons,” he confirmed.
Taylor's time was 1.9 seconds shy of USA’s Obea Moore 16 years old World Youth record of 45.14 seconds. And come Saturday's final, Taylor could seek to hit target number two for the season which is that of the World Youth record.
Other notable qualifiers from the Class Two event are Munro College’s Romel Plummer (48.64s), Calabar’s Brandon Heath (49.56s) and St Jago’s Anthony Cox (48.88s).
The top three qualifiers for the Class Three Boys 400m were Petersfield Antonio Watson (51.63s), Kingston College’s Shanthamoi Brown (52.50s) and Munro College’s Devante Heywood (52.62s).
In Class One, record holder Akeem Bloomfield barely broke a sweat en route to winning heat one in a time of 48.36s.
“I am very satisfied with the run, the plan was just to come out and qualify the easiest possible way. I am feeling really good but am still not 100%. My race plan was to chase lane 8, so it all depends how lane 8 run, then I might have to go faster but my aim is to stay fit after Champs, as I look to compete at the Carifta Games and World Juniors” Bloomfield told Yardie Sports at the end of his race.
The fastest qualifiers were Holmwood’s Rojay Granston (47.51s), Greater Portmore’s Terry Thomas (47.91s) and Maldon’s Glenville James (48.33s).
The Class One Girls 400m is shaping up to be a cracker jacker following the preliminary results. The top qualifier was St. Elizabeth Technical’s Junelle Broomfield who won heat one a superb 53.63 seconds. The second heat went to another top contender Holmwood Technical’s Ashley Williams in an easy 55.07 seconds. Shannon Kalawan of Edwin Allen showed glimpses of what could create a three the hard way final run, winning her heat in 54.37 seconds, to be second fastest in qualifying. The Hydel pair of Semoy Hemmings (54.53s) and Tacqece Duggan (54.85S) were also comfortable in qualifying.
Camperdown’s Shonnon Brown (56.40s) and St. Elizabeth Technical’s Stacey Williams (55.58s) took top honours in Class Three and Four respectively.
The girl’s Sprint Hurdles saw most of the expected qualifiers moving through quite easily. In Class 4, Edwin Allen’s Patreece Taylor (10.74s), Hydel’s Gabrielle Matthews (10.94s) and Holy Childhood’s Abigail Blake (10.83s) advanced as fastest qualifiers. There was major disappointments from Convent of Mercy Academy, Alpha, pair of Raevon Morris and Chantel Williams. Both athletes were expected to advance to the next round but failed to do so. Morris was disqualified after a false start and Williams failed to finish her event after clipping a hurdle.
Vere Technical’s Brittany Anderson took care of business in the Class Three 80m hurdles, with an easy 11.43 seconds clocking to be the fastest in qualifying. St. Elizabeth Technical Winsome Harris (11.48s) and Vere Technical Codesha Lewis (11.51s) were next best in qualifying.
Holmwood Technical’s Shanette Allison ran a fantastic 13.59 seconds to win heat one of the Class Two girls 100m hurdles. Manchester pair of Sidney Marshall 13.86 seconds and Dazray Freeman 13.92 seconds were also comfortable in topping their respective heats.
Top Field Action came via Jamaica College’s O'brien Wasome who cut the sand at 7.74m on his first attempt to top qualifying in the Boys Class One long jump.
Girls Class Two Long jump saw pre-event favourite, Annia Ashley out of Edwin Allen, leading all 12 qualifiers with an easy 5.68m leap.
The Class One Girls High Jump saw half of the qualifiers led by Hydel’s Britney Kerr, clearing 1.60m and the remaining six getting over 1.55m to advance to the final.
Happy Grove’s Delarno Beckford was the best amongst the qualifiers propelling the Javelin out to 56.94m to qualify ahead of event favourite Petersfield Kevin Nedrick (53.68m) and Morant Bay High Tyrick Sewell 53.09m.
Day Two action gets going at 8:30am with the Class 4 Girls long jump qualifying.