Defending champions Windward Road Primary and Junior High lead the overall points standing after five finals on day one of the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) Junior High School Athletics Championship at Stadium East yesterday.Windward Road also lead the girls’ section with 35 points, while John Mills are in front in the male category on 17.50 points.The Oral Whilby-coached Windward Road won two finals yesterday to accumulate 52.50 points and lead ahead of main rivals John Mills, who won one final and have amassed 47.50.Whilby described the day as a very good one, noting that his team exceeded expectations after winning two five finals.Michaelia Wilson took the girls’ Class One high jump with a leap of 1.54 metres, while Kishuana Smith took the girls’ shot put open with a throw of 9.63 metres. They also took silver in the Class Two girls’ high jump and Class Three boys’ long jump.Calabar’s Kevin Smith won the boys’ Class Two high jump with 1.69 metres and Braeton’s Mickel Wilson won the Class Three long jump with 5.05 metres.”We had some good results and some valuable points are on the board, so it was a fairly decent first day,” said Whilby. “Tomorrow (today), we anticipate another good day; there will be 21 finals, and we expect to be out front again tomorrow.”They (John Mills) are in many finals, and we are also in most finals with two athletes, so it’s going to be a straight shoot-out between us and John Mills and may the best man win,” he stated.John Mills’ only finals success on the day came from Shella Hamber (4.32m) in the Class Three girls long jumpHowever, coach Ransford Spalding was pleased with his team’s performance on the opening day.”All in all, I am satisfied with the performance of my team; we are just four points behind and they are giving a good account of themselves,” he said.Twenty-one finals are scheduled for today’s second day, with the first event set to begin at 9 a.m.
Exciting and never-say-die 400m runner Javon ‘Donkeyman’ Francis, who brought the curtains down on the 13th staging of the Jamaica International Invitational (JII) meet on Saturday night in emphatic fashion at the National Stadium, dedicated the victory “for my mother, tomorrow (yesterday) is Mother’s Day”. Twenty-one-year-old Francis completed a stout-hearted victory to much applause from the National Stadium crowd. “I just did a great job for her, and then tomorrow (yesterday) I’ll visit my mother and give her a big kiss,” the former Calabar High School standout said in a post-race interview. He added: “I feel good with the win and to come out here and put on a show.” Francis ran a fast backstretch from Lane Five and took over the race after being briefly consigned to second place by American Vernon Norwood for some distance before his power finishing saw him surge ahead and take the win in 44.85 seconds. Norwood was second in a flat 45.00, with Belgian Olympian Kevin Borlee (45.17) in third place. National record holder Rusheen McDonald had to settle for fifth in a time of 45.90 seconds. “It’s a good run for me and I am pleased with my time.” He added that in the “next couple years I just want to uplift myself, stay focused and just think about my career”. Francis is a 2013 World Championships relay silver medallist and says he is looking forward to an excellent National Trials in June. “My focus right now is on the Olympic team, and when I make the Olympic team, I focus on the final,” he commented, adding that he was doing what he loved, “running with the big guys”. “All the years I have always told myself I want to run with the big guys. The preparation is going quite fine and I want to just thank the Lord that I’ll stay injury-free,” he stressed, a clear reference to last year’s injury-plagued season. At last year’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, Francis was eliminated in the semi-finals despite running a fast 44.77 seconds, the 12th fastest time overall.