McPherson tipped to top 400m
With defending champion Shericka Jackson not expected to contest the women's 400 metres at this year's staging of the JAAA National Senior and Junior Championships, the event has now become a very wide-open affair.
Jackson has opted to compete in the 100 and 200 metres at the championships, but at the Tokyo Olympics we could still see her in the one-lap event, so this could make this weekend's event even more interesting, as only the top two spots would guarantee individual places for the Tokyo Games.
Former St Elizabeth Technical athlete Stacey Ann Williams, 50.34; Chrisann Gordon-Powell, 50.84; and former Hydel High quarter-miler Charokee Young, 50.85, are the only athletes under the 51 seconds barrier this season and they will be hoping to cement their spots here.
Both Williams and Young, who recently competed at the NCAA Division One Outdoor Championships, could be outrun in the end after a very long season.
If fully fit, Gordon, who was second in 2017, could go all the way.
Veterans Stephenie Ann McPherson, winner in 2016 and 2018, and Christine Day, who won in 2015 and a top-three finisher in 2016, 2017 and 2018, will be hoping to bring their experience to the fore despite not breaking the 51 seconds barrier this season. Day, with a season's best 52.52 seconds, could, however, find the going very rough this time and could struggle to make the finals.
Number-four ranked with 51.06, McPherson is a big-day performer and the MVP athlete will be right there at the finish and could capture her third National title.
The likes of Candice McLeod, 51.12; Ronda Whyte, 51.28; Roneisha McGregor, 51.43; Tovea Jenkins, 51.52; and Tiffany James Rose, 51.66, are seen as outsiders, but any one of these could spring a big surprise, with the vastly improved McLeod being the most likely one to do so.
It should be a very close encounter for the three individual spots, but the experience of McPherson should prevail here.
1. Stephenie Ann McPherson
2. Chrisann Gordon-Powell
3. Candice McLeod