They call him “Super Mari”. And Shamari Addison definitely delivered some super performances today at the National Stadium.
The National Primary School Athletic Championships (NAPSAC) might only have been at the quarterfinal stage, but Addison left tongues wagging and eyes wide open with some scintillating runs.
The St Alban’s Primary athlete was the class act of the Under-9 boys, sprinting to victories in the 80 metres, 100 metres and 150 metres events.
Embroiled in a daylong battle with Jayden Greene of Eden Lodge and Wesley Hall Junior’s Kevion Newton, Addison came out on top every time.
He even had his very own group of supporters, with a section of the VIP Stand donning “Super Mari” shirts.
Running in the same heat as Newton in the 80 metres, Addison just managed to get home in a time of 11.82, relegating Newton (11.95) into second. Greene had the third fastest time of 12.08.
The 100 metres was even more exciting, with all three sprinters drawn in the same heat.
But once again it was Addison who came out on top in 14.44, while Greene (14.52) was second this time around and Newton third in 14.60.
It seemed as though Greene would get his revenge in the 150 metres, as he led Addison with 15 metres left in the race.
But a late surge by the diminutive sprinter ensured he maintained his unbeaten run, with his time of 21.81, barely beating Greene (21.83) into second position. Once again Newton had to settle for the third fastest time of 22.25.
What was especially interesting, was the fact that some of the big names struggled to make an impact, especially those competing in higher age groups for the first time.
Such was the case for West Terrace’s Skye Spencer-Layne and Maliki Harris of Deacons’ Primary –– two of the most dominant athletes at last year’s championships.
In her first year in the Under-11 division, Spencer-Layne found the going tough in all three of her events.
In the 400 metres she finished fifth in her heat and although she did much better in the 100 metres, placing third in her heat in a time of 14.78, that was only good enough for eighth overall.
Spencer-Layne’s leap of 3.44 metres in the long jump was also just the sixth best jump in her division.
The strongly built Harris still managed to dominate the Under-13 boys’ cricket ball throw with his throw of 60.31 metres, well ahead of second placed Jacob Bethel of St Angela’s Primary (54.39) and St Alban’s Primary’s Jabari Cumberbatch, who threw 53.03.
However, he didn’t fare as well on the track.
He found himself placed in heat four, labeled the “heat of death” in the 100 metres, alongside speedsters Savion Hoyte of Sharon Primary, Milton Lynch’s Jevon Burnett, Kristin Cummins of George Lamming and West Terrace’s Shamar Lewis –– who came into the event with the four fastest times.
Harris never recovered from a slow start, finishing fifth in that heat in a time of 13.87 and ninth fastest overall.
That event was won by Burnett in 13.40 –– the fastest time of all the heats –– while Cummins (13.49) was second. Joshua Thornhill, the winner of heat three was also clocked at 13.49.
And while Harris did manage to win his 200 metres heat, clocking 28.09, it was only good enough for seventh fastest.
Caleb Massiah’s 26.83 was fastest overall, with Kobe Hutson of St Angela’s Primary second in 26.98 and Hoyte (27.03) third.
Among the girls, St Stephen’s Kiara Payne was dominant among the Under-13 girls.
Payne recorded the fastest time among the 200 metres, clocking 27.74. Eboni Browne of Gordon Greenidge was just behind in 27.79 and Blackman and Gollop’s Shania Gill third in 27.86.
She also placed first in the long jump with a leap of 4.09 metres. Knight also had the second fastest time in the 100 metres (13.47).
St Stephen’s, West Terrace, Charles F Broome and Luther Thorne all performed well in the relay events, setting the stage next week for what is sure to be a blockbuster semifinals.