The 2017 Pine Hill National Primary Schools Athletics Championship (NAPSAC) is now on the home stretch with tomorrow’s staging of the semifinals at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex.
The pace on the Ryan Brathwaite track should be hot considering many of the island’s top junior athletes will push for a place in the March 22 finals.
The tradition will continue when the girls and boys’ high jump finals take place tomorrow morning at 11:30a.m. Bayley’s Primary are favourites in the boys as long as Reshawn Batson can once again clear the bars at 1.31m and no one else surpasses that height. Of course there is no telling what can happen on any given day considering three other athletes came close with a jump of 1.28m. They are Jalen Callender of Luther Thorne Primary, Jaedan Best of St Paul’s Primary and Deontae Greenidge of Deacons Primary.
The girls high jump might be much easier to call with Sharon Primary’s Samiya Dell’s height of 1.34m leading the way. Shania Thomas of Charles F. Broome Primary has the closest height to that of 1.29m.
All eyes should be on the Under-13 Division, the pinnacle age of NAPSAC rivalry. Roland Edwards Primary’s top sprinter Josiah Cato will definitely be the one to beat having clocked the fastest times of 12.66 in the 100m and 27.58 in the 200m. The tall lad is also expected to win the boys long jump easily considering he’s the only person coming into this event with a distance of over 5.21m.
It is expected that Daniel Duncan of Bayley’s Primary will win the Under-13 Boys 400m having produced 1:02.90, the best time by far during last week’s NAPSAC quarterfinals. Duncan will be running out of Heat Two tomorrow while his nearest challenger Thierry Corbin of Wesley Hall Primary with a best time of 1:04.91 will run in Heat One.
For each racing event tomorrow, the top four competitors with the fastest times have been separated into two preliminary heats. In the Boys 800m Open, Brandon Hinds (2:30.33) and Duncan of Bayley (2:30.92) will race out of Heat One. Joshua Husbands of All Saint’s Primary with the fastest time of 2:29.89 in this event will lead the way in Heat Two while Jalon Howell will be looking to better his 2:31.49.
Nya Browne of Christ Church Girls School has been impressive throughout and has recorded 13.28 in the 100m and a brisk 27.14 in the 200m. In Heat Two of the 100m, she will have Ciara Piggott of St Stephen’s Primary and Aaliyah Carrington of St Lawrence Primary to contend with as the duo ran 13.87 and 13.97 respectively. It is expected that Shonte Morris competing out of Heat One, and with a best time of 13.60, should also advance into the final along with Skye Spencer-Layne who has so far ran 13.83 for defending girls champions, West Terrace Primary.
The only other athlete on par with Browne in the 200m is Dell of Sharon Primary who has previously clocked 27.69.
Tianna Applewhaite of St Giles Primary (1:05.98) and Isha Adamson of St Elizabeth Primary (1:06.09) will battle for first and second in the Under-13 Girls’ 400m. Adamson will also be looking to perform well in the Girls 600m Open considering she has the second fastest time of 1:53.33 going into Heat One tomorrow. She is just behind Shontal Jacobs of Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary who has a best of 1:52.82 and will feature in Heat Two tomorrow.
The Under-11 Boys showdown will be a difficult one to call for finals day but as it stands for tomorrow St Alban’s Primary with their trump card Shamari Addison will advance quite easily in the 100m, 200m and 400m unless something drastic happens.
Addison with best times of 13.19 and 28.37 in the 100m and 200m respectively, will have main rival Amari Forde (13.31 and 28.94) of St Cyprian’s Boys breathing down his neck as both boys are expected to run out of Heat Two in an effort to secure their places in the finals.
Heat One of the Under-11 Boys should be just as exciting. Jayden Green ran an identical time of 13.19 in the 100m last week with Addison and will dominate proceedings in that department but not without a fight from Kevion Newton of Wesley Hall whose best time is 13.38.
Once Newton can maintain his 200m time of 28.53 he should take this event. Keiron Haynes of St Ambrose with a best time of 28.94 should be the closest competitor following for an automatic place in the 200m finals.
Both Addison and Newton were former joint victor ludorum winners at the 2015 NAPSAC finals and therefore the strong competitiveness of these promising young boys continues.
The battle for supremacy in the Under-11 Girls equivalent will be between Tonika Griffith of Lawrence T. Gay Primary and the Applewhaite sisters of St Giles Primary, Tia and Tania.
Tomorrow’s first event will commence at 10p.m. with the Girls 600m Open.