Taylor stars at Jamaica Under-18 Invitational

By Dwayne Richards
Observer writer

Monday, July 02, 2018

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A week on from his amazing run at the National Athletic Championships where he produced a scintillating 44.88 seconds to set a new national junior record, Christopher Taylor was back in the headlines again when he equalled the 100m junior record on Saturday.

Running in a specially arranged 100m race on day one of the inaugural staging of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association Under-18 Invitational Meet, Taylor lined up against his Calabar teammates Michael Stephens, Tyreke Wilson and Orlando Bennett, as well as Sachin Dennis of St Elizabeth Technical High School, who are all known for their exploits over the shorter sprint.

Taylor got off to an explosive start, leaving his schoolmates in his wake and was only matched by Dennis who pulled up midway the race, just as Taylor seemed to find another gear.

The Calabar track captain then streaked away from the field over the last 40 metres to stop the clock at 10.11 seconds to equal the time done by Yohan Blake way back in 2007. Stephens was second in 10.54, Bennett third in 10.71, and Wilson fourth in 10.72, while Dennis did not finish.

It was Jamaica versus Canada in most of the other events with Jamaica expectedly dominating in the sprints, while the Canadians showed their prowess in the middle distance and some field events.

The first track event was the girls' 100m hurdles, which saw Jamaica finishing first and second with the Canadians finishing third and fourth. Ackera Nugent ran a personal best of 13.18 seconds to win, while Crystal Morrison was second in 13.23secs. Olivia Gee was third with 13.75 and Karlie Moore was fourth with 13.92.

Canadian Adam Exley (14.24) split the Jamaican pair of Jashon Parkes (13.75) and Sharvis Simmonds (15.26) as he grabbed the silver medal for his country in the boys' 110m hurdles.

There were two heats of the girls' 100m, the first won by Britaney Anderson in 11.81 (+0.1 wind), while Tia Clayton won heat two in 11.61 (+1.6 wind). Jamaica swept the boys' 100m as Javair Thomas was first with 10.65, Conroy Jones, second, also with 10.65, while Rajay Morris was third in 10.82. The only Canadian in the field, Joakim Genereux, was fourth in 10.85.

The girls' 400m also had two heats, Danielle Josephs winning section one in 54.65 and Danielle Deer taking section two in 55.29.

The boys' 400m also had two sections. Section one was won by Bovel McPherson in 47.58, while Shemar Chambers won section two in 47.19.

The tables turned in the 1500m as the visitors showed their strength there. Kendra Lewis (4:28.92 minutes) and Anna Workmann (4:29.25) overpowered the lone Jamaican, Amanda Blake, who finished in 6:09.43.

There was little difference in the boys' race as Nicholas Mota (4:07.92) and Foster Malleck (4:08.78) finished well ahead of Kevroy Venson (4:25.59).

In the girls' discus, Dolly Gabri of Canada won with a distance of 46.04m to beat back the challenge of the Jamaican pair of Kimberly Lung (43.10m) and Cedricka Williams (38.23m).

The boys' discus was won by Jamaica's Ralford Mullings with a distance of 55.15m, while his teammate Romaine Beckford was second with 51.52m. Lucas Woodhall grabbed the bronze for Canada with a best of 48.85m.

There was another Jamaican sweep, this time in the girls' long jump, with Ackelia Smith cutting the sand at 5.92m, Suzan Francis at 5.82m and Shantae Foreman at 5.62m.

Jamaica's Shaquille Lowe (6.90m) got the better of Canada's Shaidan Gabaud (6.69m) in the boys' equivalent.

Samuel Musto was the lone competitor in the boys' pole vault and had a maximum height of 3.85m.

There were only two competitors in the 2000m girls' steeplechase and Meredith Boyer with 6:54.95 took gold ahead of her teammate Baneet Bains (7:19.10). It was the same for the boys, and Skyler York made sure the gold was his in 5:58.76 with Noah Costa following him home in 6:19.52 as Canada took all the steeplechase bounty.

Canadians Phoebe Price-Roberts (52.99m) and Ryan Jacklin (62.42m) were the only competitors in the hammer throw for girls and boys, respectively.

Jamaica got the better of Canada in the girls' 4x100m, while Jamaica failed to get the stick around the track in the boys' race.

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