Danielle Sloley blazes a trail for Immaculate at Penn Relays

Observer writer

Monday, April 29, 2019

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PHILADELPHIA, USA — Seventeen-year-old Danielle Sloley wrote Immaculate Conception's name in the list of winners at the Penn Relays for the first time on Thursday's first day of the 125th staging at Franklin Field, Philadelphia, when she won the high school girls' shot put championships.

Her 14.38m in the third round made her only the third Jamaican high school girl to win the event at Penn Relays since it was first held in 1978, after Elorine Morris of Vere Tech won in 1982 with 13.72m, and Nadia Alexander of St Hugh's won in 2004 with 13.13m.

Compared to the discus event that has had 10 champions including Excelsior's Adrienne Adams, who won this year, the shot put has not been as good to Jamaicans at the Penn Relays.

The discus throw has seen nine winners from Jamaica in the last 10 years; the record holder is former Excelsior High standout Shanice Love at 54.72m, and eight of the top 10 marks are owned by Jamaicans.

Additionally, the top four throwers in the discus this year were all Jamaicans.

On Friday, Sloley was still beaming from her success, as she watched the high school boys' discus final and told the Jamaica Observer she was happy to be a trailblazer for Immaculate Conception.

“Just to give back to my school and put them in the spotlight is just amazing for me,” she said. And despite the bad weather that plagued the entire weekend, she said her participation in the Youth Olympics in Argentina last October had prepared her for the conditions.

“This is my first time at Penn Relays but after Argentina where we had similar weather, I was prepared for the worst and once I got myself ready mentally, [so the] weather could not stop me physically.”

Sloley was ranked sixth entering the competition but said she was locked in, focused on what she had to do. “I wasn't paying attention to anyone else, I just came here to do my best and give of my best in the ring, and when I got the results the win came as a result.”

After a hectic last month, there will be a reprieve from training and competition but Sloley who has one year left in high school said she will continue to prepare for external exams before turning her attention to the JAAA National Junior Trials, and the hopes of making the team to the PanAmerican Junior Championships in Costa Rica in July.

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