Strong start expected for Kalawan
THE 122nd staging of the popular Penn Relays will begin this morning at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, with outstanding Edwin Allen High School athlete, Shannon Kalawan, set to give her school a perfect start in the 400 metres hurdles, where only female athletes will be in action on the opening day.
After thunderstorms on Tuesday, yesterday was a much better day and today’s opening day of competition is expected to see cold temperatures. Kalawan is expected to warm-up the proceedings, when she takes the track at 9:20 a.m. (Jamaica time). She is the top seed in the line-up, with a season best 56.20 seconds.
St Andrew Technical High School’s (STATHS) Linnesha Thompson is the other Jamaican in the event.
Following success in the 4x100m and 4x400m events last year, the Michael Dyke-coached team is looking to equal or better those performances this time around and should qualify for tomorrow’s finals in both events, along with the 4x800m. Edwin Allen are the top seeds in this event, which will see preliminary round action getting under way at 9:30 a.m. (Jamaica time). Defending champions Holmwood Technical will be the first Jamaica team on track. They will be under severe pressure to retain their title as they have lost their top two runners from last year, Shanieke Watson and Lisa Buchanan.
They will be followed by Vere Technical (9:40 a.m.) and favourites Edwin Allen (9:50 a.m.) in the Large Schools category.
Preliminary action in the 4x100 relays will get under way at 10:10 a.m. (Jamaica time), with Alpha Academy first up, when they compete in the Small Schools segment. Camperdown High, Excelsior High, Green Island High, Holmwood Technical, Manchester High, Petersfield High, STATHS, St Jago High and Spalding High will also be competing in this section
At 11:20 a.m., there will be action in the Large Schools section. Edwin Allen headlines the Jamaican entries, which also include The Queen’s School and St Catherine High. The eight fastest teams will qualify for tomorrow’s Championships of America finals.
The other relay involving high school teams, the 4x400m will get under way at 12:30 p.m. (Jamaica time), where favourites St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), with the outstanding Junelle Bromfield will lead the charge. Manchester High, Green Island, St Catherine, St Jago, Excelsior, STATHS, Petersfield, Hydel and Edwin Allen will also run in the preliminaries.
Today also see athletes competing in individual events. The outstanding Shanice Love of Excelsior High will be hoping to continue her amazing season in the discus (10:15 a.m.), where she will be joined by Hydel’s Devia Brown.
Triple and long jump action will get under way simultaneously at 10:05, with St Jago’s Tissan Hickling, who was second a year ago, will be hoping to go one better in the long jump. Teisha Pryce of STATHS, Annia Ashley and Telecca Briscoe of Edwin Allen and Monief Heslop of Camperdown will also be competing.
The triple jump will see Samara Spencer of Hydel, Jodyann Petrie of St Jago High and Myesha Nott of Rusea’s High.
Other events on will be the shot put and high jump. Janice Fullerton of St Jago will compete in the shot put while, Shian Salmon of Hydel and Gabrielle Foster of Convent of Mercy Academy (Alpha), will compete in the high jump.