Jamaican athletes continue to dominate the prestigious Penn Relays Carnival in Philadelphia, winning most or placing among the top three teams in track events.
Penn Relays organizers have named Devaughn Baker, of Jamaica College, Kingston, as the 2014 Penn Relays High School Boys Athlete of the Meet for Relay Events.
Baker anchored his team to a Carnival record time of 39.72, trimming .06 off the mark set by another Jamaican high school team, Wolmer’s Boys, in 2010.
Earlier in the meet, Baker clocked a 46.81 split in the heats of the 4x400m.
Jamaica also won the U.S.A. vs. the World Women 4x100m on Saturday, winning in 42.81. The Jamaican team comprised Carrie Russell, Kerron Stewart, Anneisha McLaughin and Trisha-Ann Hawthorne.
The United States placed second in 43.15, with the team of Stacey-Ann Smith, Alexandria Anderson, Muna Lee and LaKeisha Lawson.
Trinidad & Tobago was third in 43.53, with Aaliya Telesford, Michelle-Lee Ahye, Reyare Thomas and Kamara Durant.
But, in the U.S.A. vs. the World Women Sprint Medley, the U.S. got revenge, winning in 3:37.94, with the team of Alexandria Anderson, Charonda Williams, Moushaumi Robinson and Ajee Wilson.
Jamaica placed second in 3:38.41, with Natasha Morrison, Anastasia Le-Roy, Patricia Hall and Natalya Goule.
In the U.S.A. vs. the World Men 4×100, the U.S. was victorious in 38.57, with the team of Charles Silmon, Justin Gatlin, Rakieem Salaam and Walter Dix.
Jamaica took the second spot in 38.58, with Jason Livermore, Michael Frater, Rasheed Dwyer and Oshane Bailey.
In the U.S.A. vs. the World Men 4×400, the Bahamas was triumphant in 3:00.78, with the team of Michael Mathieu (45.7), Demetrius Pinder (44.7), Chris Brown (45.09) and Ramon Miller (45.32).
The United States was second in 3:03.31, with Kyle Clemons (45.8), Kind Butler (45.1), David Verburg (44.50) and Manteo Mitchell (47.88).
Brazil was third in 3:03.32, with Pedro De Oliveira, Wagner Cardoso, Anderson Henriques (46.77) and Hugo De Sousa (44.14).
Jamaica placed fourth in 3:04.99, with Allodin Fothergill (47.0), Ricardo Chambers (46.5), Chumain Fitten (45.45) and Jermaine Brown (46.03).
In the High School Boys’ 4×400, Jamaica College in Kingston was in the ascendancy, winning in 3:16.61, with Kyno Blackwood (52.45), Shawndail McLaren (47.84), Rohan Walker (49.53) and Devaughn Baker (46.81).
In the High School Boys 4×100 Championship of America, Jamaica College set a new Penn Relays record in 39.72. The previous time of 39.78 was set in 2010 by Wolmer’s Boys of Odeam Skeen, Dwayne Extol, Julian Forte, and A-Shawni Mitchell. Waseem Williams, Tyler Mason, Keneil Patterson and Devaughn Baker represented Jamaica College.
Second in that race was Calabar High of Kingston, in 39.85, with Edward Clarke, Michael O’hara, Julani Walker and Seanie Selvine.
St. Jago, of St. Catherine, was third in 40.23, with Chad Walker, Nathon Allen, Jordan Chin and Martin Manley.
In High School Boys’ 4×100 Small Schools, St. Elizabeth Tech, of Santa Cruz, Jamaica equaled the record set by Manchester (Jamaica) in 2009. St. Elizabeth clocked 41.13, with Rohan Morrison, Okeen Williams, Robin Black and Leroy Francis.
Munro College, of St. Elizabeth, Jamaica was second in 41.21with Tevin Wilson, Kemar Mowatt, Rushane Edwards and Canniggia Harriott.
Athletes from the Thomas Saunders Secondary School (TSSS) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines continue to hold their own and make the nation evermore proud, making commendable performances during their fourth successive effort at the largest collegiate track and field meet in the United States.
The lone Vincentian school, comprising 11 athletes, demonstrated what has been described as a very creditable showing in the three-day games, which began last Thursday.
The boys’ 4x400m team of Azare Samuel, Rogike Thorpe, Neilo Thomas and Erasto Da Silva, running in that order, on Saturday ran their feet and hearts out, buoyed dramatically by the deafening screams of Vincentian nationals, who had trekked mainly from New York to render boisterous support, in the Franklin Field Stadium at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
The young athletes clocked 3 min., 29.36 sec. in placing second to Winston Churchill High School of Potomac, MD in a race that comprised 11 schools, including Taciud Golding High School, of St. Catherine, Jamaica. Tacius Golding was seventh in 3:35.11.
Winston Churchill clocked 3:28.23. John Jay High School, of Hopewell Junction, NY, took the third spot, clocking 3:31.39.
On Friday, in the 4x100m Small School Heats, the TSSS team of Da Silva, Thorpe, Omar Cummings (competing for the first time) and Thomas, in that running order, placed fourth, clocking 44.68 sec. among eight teams.
Friday’s 4x100m Small Schools heat was won by the popular St. Jago Secondary School in St. Catherine, Jamaica in 41.42 sec.
On the opening day, the TSSS girls’ team of Kerina Hooper, Rownesha Spencer, Cheslyn Simper and Lenesha Olliver, running in that order, placed sixth in the High School Girls’ 4x400m, in a field of 15 teams.
The TSSS team clocked 4 min., 21.67 sec. in a race that comprised athletes from Maryland; New Jersey; New York; Washington, D.C.; Pennsylvania and Virginia. The race was won by Springfield Gardens, of Springfield, NY in 4:10.29.
The TSSS girls’ performance this year in the 4x400m was a slight improvement over last year’s in which they clocked 4 min., 21.81 sec., placing 13th among 14 challengers.
Simper, 13, the youngest of the athletes, who competed for the first time, said her experience was “great.” “I thank you, and may God continue to bless you and give you the strength,” she told the reception Saturday night at the Vincentian-owned Calabash Restaurant on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia.
It was, patently, the strength and tenacity of James Cordice, a former president of the Philadelphia-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organization of Pennsylvania (SVGOP), SVGOP and the Brooklyn-based Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, U.S.A., Inc. (COSAGO) that helped to realize the TSSS athletic trip.
“I feel really good about what we’re doing for these children,” Cordice the mastermind behind the nation’s participation, told the Saturday night reception.
“There are those who believed they wouldn’t come to the Penn Relays,” he added. “They came second (in Saturday’s race), and that, to me, is winning.”
COSAGO president, Laverne McDowald-Thompson, a former school teacher in St. Vncent and the Grenadines, was also very high in praise for the TSSS athletes.
“This evening, we’re here to celebrate you, to give you thanks, because you came here to represent our country; and we’re proud of that,” she told the reception.
“Today, we not only hold a flag, but we had (our own) athletes on the track,” she added.
SVGOP President Lorenzo De Caul told the TSSS athletes: “I hope your experience was great. I hope you’ll take back something from this.”