Monday, April 26, 2010

PENN RELAYS 2010: A BITTERSWEET FAREWELL



Blackwood and McKenzie Move on
MCTF entered the 116th running of the Penn Relays with the focused intention of taking home the HSB 4x400m Championship. The sweet: the team of Rolando Reid, Jodi-rae Blackwood, Delano Williams and Dexter McKenzie qualified for the final with the fastest time of the seven hundred plus schools that competed in the event, 3:12.54. The bitter: all appeared well until anchor Dexter McKenzie (above left) revealed he had been suffereing muscle spasms from the last 200m of his carry in the heats. A fact that made his performance, that much more outstanding as he outran none other than 2009 World Championship 400mh fourth place finisher Jehue Gordon (above right). It has never been team practice to run an injured athlete and as such McKenzie was left out of the final line-up which still retained the potency for victory with the inclusion of the prodigous sprint hurdler Patrick Campbell. The bitter continued when team captain Jodi-rae Blackwood started cramping up on the backstretch during his second-leg carry in the final. The team faded to fourth and eventually finished in sixth with a time of 3:19.55. The team ran in the order of Reid-Blackwood-Campbell-Williams for the final.
video
The sweet: Patrick Campbell took the bronze in the HSB 400mh in a time of 54.27 and was the best performing Jamaican in the event. Sixteen year old, Emmanuel CA Onyia placed fourth in the HSB shot with a heave of 18.82m. Onyia had the best performance of the Jamaican entrants in the event. He had a controversial final throw that looked to be just over 19m. It was called a foot-foul after the head referee decided on the word of the official closest to the circle. Rajae Gayle placed sixth in the HSB discus with a throw of 52.34m. Chad Wright of Calabar won the event with a record throw of 58.50m. Incedentally there were four Jamaicans in the top six as 2nd place finisher Sam Mattis' father is Jamaican, and Michael Cameron of Jamaica College finished third. Myles Chingara finished 11th in the triple jump with a leap of 13.90m. Myles is in fifth form and should have a couple other shots at the title. Wendrico Seymour cleared 1.96m for 9th place and should have another year to set the record straight.

The team next competes at the Jamaica Invitational on Saturday May 1st in the 4x400m relays for High School Boys.

We thank all those who helped to make this possible, the coaching staff, the MC Track Moms, the teachers and administrators at the school and the friends and past students who put up strong financial support to get the team to, and house the team in Philadelphia.

Best regards,
B. Hayden ('87)
Team Manager
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

CHAMPS 2010 - THE POSSIBLE IS NOW

NOW LET'S MAKE IT HAPPEN
For years he flew beneath the radar, crossing disciplines and distances with modest success. In 2008 he was named the team's most improved athlete for having made the 400m semi-final at Champs. An achievement that, like all his others, eluded radar detection. Then in 2009 after attempting the event but once he made the Champs 400mH final and placed a respectable fourth. Certainly a performance of that magnitude on a stage such as Champs must have thrust him squarely onto the radar screen? But a year later, his name and reputation remained a stealthly presence.

With 300m to go he already stamped his class on the field, effortlessly leading with the left, then the right as he moved from barrier to barrier. With 100m to go the maroon clad favourite made a surge but could do little to dent his lead and with 15m of track left he looked to heavens, smiled, put his hand to his chest and crossed the line a Champion. Munro College Track and Field respectfully presents, perennial under-dog, Team Captain, Stealth Bomber and Jamaica's 400m hurdles champion from Champs 2010, Mr. Jodi-Rae Blackwood! (above center)

The Captain finished in a personal best time of 51.56 and so did the entire team recording a total of 100.5 points, the highest the school has achieved in a decade. His path to victory fully embodies the experience the team has had over the last few years. Steady progress amidst relative anonymity. Munro College placed 6th for the fourth year in a row at the National Boys and Girls High School Championships and maintained it's lien on the trophy for the best performing rural school. Our point tally has improved from 45 four years ago to 100.5 this year.

Congratulations must go to the Wolmer's Boys School for lifting the Mortimer Geddes trophy 100 years after they won the first Championships. They did it with a team no bigger than ours and no more talented than ours. It with respect that we applaud the efforts of their coaches, teachers, staff and management because they "believed" it was possible and with focus they achieved it.

Munro's only other gold medal came from the defense of the class II 4x100m title (l-r: Cummings, Williams, Harrison, Germain). Having won only one race all season, the team went into the final as underdogs despite returning two from last year's championship team and the '09 class III 100m champion. They ran out of lane one and based on the commentary one would have imagined they were not even in the race. Nevertheless, they quietly made up ground with Cummings on lead-off, Harrison on the back-stretch and Germain on third. By the time the baton got to anchor man Delano Williams the team was in fourth place and 10m behind the leaders from Kingston College. There's not much to say here, except that Delano Williams gunned them down in 41.75 and remains wanted on a charge of triple homicide. The video evidence is below.

Williams also got the school's top medal haul with two silvers (100m, 200m and the 4x100m gold). He's currently on his way to the Carifta Games to represent the Turks and Caicos and we wish him all the best. The other top medalist at the meet for Munro was the irrepressible Adam 'Redz" Cummings, who continues to defy the odds. Cummings took home three medals in the Class II 100m (bronze), long jump (silver) and 4x100m (gold). Redz has never long jumped in a high school championship meet of any kind. In fact, his first jump came at the Youngster Goldsmith meet in February of this year where he popped a 6.52m to qualify for Champs. Someone once said "the long jump is 90% speed and 10% speed". Adam Cummings proved that true on Friday night when he copped the silver with a leap of 7.24m. We're still waiting on him to actually hit the board. By the way, the fifth former, has already passed six (6) CXC subjects with distinctions and will sit a bunch more this June. His performance is a throwback to many legendary Munro athletes who seemed to move effortlessly from book to track to medal stand.

The only other medals came from Emmanuel CA Onyia who took the bronze in the class I shot put with a heave of 16.56m and the mile relay team that took home the bronze with a season's best 3:13:93.

It was a great Champs for the young Munro team (all but three return in 2011) .They saw that with preparation, focus and determination all things are possible. They showed signs of greatness and greater things to come.

We'd like to thank our coaches, Neil Harrison, Steve Cole, Dr. Gwyn Jones and Joe Powell. Our Track Moms, Paula Miller-Foster, Antoinette Davis, Donette Reece, Shelly Brandon, Ivy Lawson and Norma Kerr-Clarke. Special thanks must also go out to our nutritionists Deron Swaby, Denton Smalling and Wilfred Chin; team physios Karey Lewis and Debra Callendar; and physicians Dr. Paul Auden and Dr. Gwyn Jones.

We must also thank the Principal Mr. Branford Gayle and his staff for leading the support the school provides for the team and the sport.

Congrats to Munro College Track and Field, you did yourselves proud!

Best regards,
B. Hayden ('87)
Team Manager
MCTF Blog
MCTF on Facebook
MCTF on Youtube