By Noel Francis, Trackalerts.Com Contrbutor
The stage is now set for an action packed Gibson Relays
We continue to focus on the 2014 Gibson Relays by looking at the 4×200-meter and the 4×800-meter relays.
With the Milo Western Relays and Camperdown Classics again staged on the same day, it again set the stage for an exciting day of competition as the top schools will now come face-to-face.
At the Camperdown Classics in Kingston there was a heavy concentration of athletes from St. Jago, Vere Technical, Calabar, Camperdown, Excelsior High, St. Andrew High, Wolmer’s Girls, The Queens School and Manchester High School.
And at the Milo Western Relays in Montego Bay strong representation came from Kingston College (KC), Hydel High, Edwin Allen, Holmwood Technical, St Elizabeth Technical High School, Munro College, Green Island and Wolmer’s Boys.
We now take a look at the 4×200-meter and the 4×800-meter relays.
4X200-METER RELAY CLASS 1
The 4×200-meter relays at times can be far more unpredictable than the 4×100-meter relays probably for various reasons.
No one could envisage at last year’s Gibson Relays that Jamaica College (JC), KC and Calabar High would trail Holmwood Technical and Garvey Maceo High for the remaining podium spots behind the outstanding Green Island High.
To their credit, both schools — Holmwood and Garvey Maceo High posted decent times of 1:27:20 and 1:27:80 respectively in the final and it can be argued that their achievements were well deserved.
While the 4×200 relays are not contested on a regular basis at the Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championship qualifying meets all over the island, it is normally held at the Gibson Relays and this year’s showdown should provide another thrilling finish.
The main contenders for the Boys’ 4×200-meter relay are:
Wolmer’s Boys 1:29:06
Muschett High 1:30:12
William Knibb 1:30.15
Munro College 1:30.36
It is expected that the St. Jago High, JC, Kc and Calabar High teams could force themselves into the top four with strong squad selections.
We hope to see the big athletes on show such as Zharnel Hughes (KC), Michael O’Hara and Javon Francis from Calabar and Martin Manley and Chad Walker from St. Jago.
4×200 METER RELAY CLASS 2
On paper KC possess one of the strongest class two teams ever assembled ranging from 100m to 400m.
They won their heat at the Milo Western Relays in the process lowering the event record to 1:28:12, which was three seconds faster than the next best time. I believe KC can run faster.
The fans will be hoping that the St. Jago High and Calabar teams in particular will present the requisite challenge that will bring out the best of this all-conquering KC quartet.
The big question is how close Kingston College can get to the record of 1:26.76 held by Jamaica College?
The leading times going into this event are:
KC 1:28:12 record
Munro College 1:31:38
Green Island 1:34:78
Ruseas High 1:35.61
Wolmer’s Boys 1:36.32
Generally, Jamaicans have gotten so accustomed to the sprints that we sometimes forget to appreciate the efforts of our middle to long distance runners.
Last year this event proved to be one of the most memorable races for KC who made up a 20-meter advantage held by Calabar on the final leg and won going away.
This year’s start list shows over 26 high schools participating in one race.
It should be a real spectacle with 104 runners on display, something that is not witnessed every day, if this does not get your attention nothing will.
Based on the individual 800m outings at the qualifying meets and the results from the Milo Western Relays, the teams that seem to have the strongest aggregation in this event are:
Spaulding High 7:45.08 **
KC 7:48.07 **
Calabar No time
Holmwood 7:51.54 **
Petersfield High 7:52.80 **
JC No Time
St. Jago No Time
Excelsior No Time
Camperdown No Time
Manchester High No Time
** Milo Western Relays times
4X200-METER RELAY OPEN
Holmwood Technical reigned supreme in this event at the recent Milo Western Relays clocking 1:38.34 seconds on their way to victory.
Hydel High, Green Island and Edwin Allen followed them home.
Times posted at this year’s Milo Western Relays
Hydel High 1:41.62
Green Island 1:42.08
Edwin Allen 1:42.26
It should an interesting affair when the above-mentioned teams are joined by the likes of Wolmer’s Girls and St. Jago.
4X800-METER RELAYS OPEN
The event should see a seesaw battle among distance powerhouses Edwin Allen, Vere Technical, Holmwood Technical, St. Jago High and St. Elizabeth Technical.
Some of Jamaica’s most outstanding young distance runners that could grace this event are Marleena Eubanks of Edwin Allen, Vere Technical’s Yanique McNeil, Junelle Bromfield of St. Elizabeth Technical and Lisa Buchanan of Holmwood Technical.
The form line shows:
Edwin Allen 9:06.86
St. Jago 9:21.21
We hope to see some exciting and injury free action on the track this weekend.
Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis is an avid track & field fan and former Kensington Cricket Club player. Email –firstname.lastname@example.org