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Full flight

Edwin Allen, Hydel look set to defend schoolgirl titles

Observer writer

Friday, April 26, 2019

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PHILADELPHIA, USA – Edwin Allen High and Hydel High look set to retain their high school girls' 4x100m and 4x400m titles, respectively, on today's second day of the 125th Penn Relays Carnival at the historic Franklin Field in Philadelphia after spectacular performances on yesterday's opening day.

Without Kevona Davis and Serena Cole, an Edwin Allen team with the Clayton twins – Tia and Tina – making their Penn Relays debut, Edwin Allen scorched to a brilliant 44.21 seconds, while Hydel led all schools with 3:39.98 minutes in the 4x400m as they seek a third-straight Championships of the Americas title.

Danielle Sloley created history for Immaculate Conception High when she won the shot put, the Catholic school's first event at the Penn Relays as Excelsior High's Adrienne Adams created an upset in the discus throw and Ackelia Smith beat her teammate and defending champion Lotavia Brown in the triple jump.

Lashanna Graham also won the 400m hurdles that was run early in the morning.

Seven of the nine schools in the Championships of the Americas high school girls 4x100m final today are from Jamaica – six in the 4x400m, while Edwin Allen are the only representatives in the 4x800m.

Additionally, seven schools will run in the 4x100m International finals.

Despite a mostly overcast day yesterday, it was a good day for the Jamaican high school athletes who enjoyed a good day of competition and the scene is set for fireworks today, if the weather coorporates.

The forecast is for thunderstorms today, but the thousands who are expected to show up will hope the lightning will come from the athletes on the track.

Edwin Allen will be seeking a sixth-straight 4x100m title and break the tie they have with Vere Technical for the most consecutive wins in the event when they line up at 2:27 pm USA time.

Holmwood Technical ran 45.34 seconds to be the second fastest yesterday followed by Hydel High (45.63 seconds), St Jago High (45.70 seconds), Excelsior School (46.37 seconds).

St Catherine High ran 46.94 seconds, while Rusea's High had the ninth best time of 47.01 seconds.

Vere Technical just missed the Championship final and leads the qualifiers for the International final with 47.13 seconds and will have Immaculate Conception High (47.33 seconds), Petersfield High, (47.35 seconds), The Queens School (47.45 seconds), Papine High (47.75 seconds), St Andrew High (48.03 seconds) and Herbert Morrison (48.93 seconds).

Hydel High, barring an upset, looks set to win the 4x400m after running 3:39.98 seconds, comfortably ahead of Holmwood Technical (3:41.06 seconds), while Spalding High (3:44.54 seconds), Petersfield High (3:46.71 seconds), the Queen's School (3:47.26 seconds) with Edwin Allen getting in with the ninth fastest time of 3:47.81 seconds.

Just one Jamaican team – Edwin Allen – showed up for the 4x800m, and they led the qualifiers with 9:02.43 seconds.

Graham, who almost missed her starting time in the 400m hurdles, ran 58.02 seconds to take the event, the joint eighth best time ever, while Britton Wilson of Mills Godwin of Richmond, Virginia, was second in 58.58 seconds and pre-race favourite Brooke Jaworski of Wausa West in Massachusetts was third in 58.62 seconds.

Shaquena Foote of Petersfield High, the Carifta Games champion, was sixth in 59.09 seconds after winning her section by at least 15 metres with Johnelle Thomas of St Catherine High ninth.

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