Jamaica’s best to match USA counterparts

May 05, 2023
Adaejah Hodge
Adaejah Hodge
Oneika McAnnuff
Oneika McAnnuff


Several of Jamaica's top high school athletes will showcase their talents on Saturday, with mega clashes expected for the second Puma East Coast International Showcase meet, which will take place at the Prince George Sports And Learning Complex in Landover, Maryland, USA.

The meet is the brainchild of former Jamaica Olympians Sanjay Ayre and Juliet Campbell, who have assembled top juniors from Jamaica, the USA and the British Virgin Island.

"We are very excited to have so many top junior athletes on show, and fireworks are expected. I am happy that we can get several athletes from high schools in Jamaica to compete as this is good exposure for them, and I am also excited that Puma has come on board as our main sponsor," said meet organiser Ayre.

The meet follows last weekend's successful 127th staging of the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, and a big clash for the girls pits the two fastest juniors in the world over 100 metres.

Hydel High's Alana Reid will go up against BVI's Adaejah Hodge. Reid, the national junior record holder in the 100 metres with 10.92 seconds, has been in the form of her life this season and was pivotal in Hydel's first success in the 4x100 metres at Penns.

Hodge, who last Saturday raced to a personal best 11.11 seconds in Lubbock, Texas, USA, was scheduled to go up against Reid at the recent Carifta Games in the Bahamas but received an ankle injury during warm-up.

Reid's teammate Oneika McAnnuff, a double winner at Penns in the 4x100 and 4x400 metres relays, hopes to turn the tables on Holmwood Technical's Rickianna Russell in the 400 metres. Russell won their battle thrice this season.

McAnnuf, with a season-best 51.94 seconds, cannot be written off as she showed at the Penn Relays that she is in top form and could upstage Russell for the first time this season.

A strong cast of USA boys will match strides with the Jamaicans in the 100 to the 400 metres, led by Issam Asinga, who recently broke Noah Lyles' 2016 high school record of 19.97 seconds. The USA will also parade Brody Buffington, who has a season-best 10.29 and 20.71 seconds over the 100 and 200 metres and Nyckoles Harbor, with a best of 10.22 seconds in the 100 metres.

For Jamaica, Adrian Kerr of Kingston College, who is down to run both sprints, Javorne Dunkley of St Elizabeth Technical and Edwin Allen's duo of Brian Levell and Antonio Powell will be hoping to match the Americans.

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