Topping the field
With the likes of Shanieka Rickets, Kimberly Williams, Daniel Thomas-Dodd, O'Dayne Richards, and Fedrick Dacres mining medals at the highest level for Jamaica in field events over the past several years, there were signs at the just-concluded ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships that Jamaica's future in this area is in good hands.
Leading the way among the impressive junior performers was St Jago High School jumper Shantea Foreman, who delivered a remarkable double in Class One for her new school.
Foreman, who dominated in both the high and long jump events in all classes during her time at Excelsior High School, carried over that form to St Jago, winning the high jump with a 1.84m clearance and the long jump with a distance of 6.43m.
Those performances put Foreman at the number two and three positions, respectively, among Jamaican athletes.
In the high jump, only Lamara Distin, the former Rusea's, Vere Technical, and Hydel athlete, has a better clearance this year, with her 1.89m mark. Meanwhile, former Manchester High School standout Chanice Porter, 6.77m, and former Rusea's High School athlete Nia Robinson, 6.56m, have both recorded better distances in the long jump than Foreman.
Foreman's marks also place her fifth in both events on World Athletics' Top List for athletes under 20 years old.
Edwin Allen's team captain, Ackeila Smith, who won the Girls' Open Triple Jump event with 13.42m, also made a strong impression and currently sits third on the list among Jamaican competitors so far behind Doha World Championships silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts, 14.63m, and finalist Kimberly Williams, 14.62m.
Smith is also second among her peers on the World Athletics Under-20 Top List.
Holmwood Technical's standout thrower, Cedrika Williams, continued her purple patch in the discus event after a record-breaking 47.04m to win the Class Two event, erasing the old Champs mark of 46.69m set by Vere Technical's Marie Forbes in 2018.
Williams also broke the Class Three record in 2019.
The other outstanding field events performances on the female side came from Hydel High School's Shemonique Hazle, who won the Class Three long jump with 6.00m.
Kingston College's Ralford Mullings led the way among the males.
Mullings, who is ranked number three on the World Athletics Under-20 Top List in the discus, produced a winning throw of 61.92m to capture the Class One event at Champs.
St Jago also had two big performances in the field among the boys through Shaiquan Dunn and Javar Thomas.
Dunn, 52.77m, was first in the Class Two discus, while Thomas, with a wind-aided 15.23m, took the Class Two triple jump event.
Calabar's Kobe Lawrence was also outstanding in winning the Class Two shot put, with a 19.00m effort, with his teammate, Luke Brown, who won the Class One triple jump with a wind-aided 16.31m, also registering an encouraging performance.