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Lawrence signals Champs shot put intent

Published:Sunday | February 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer

There is a new contender for the Boys' Class 1 shot put gold medal at the ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships next month. It is Courtney Lawrence of Petersfield High School, the upset winner of the event at last week's Western Athletics Championships. Lawrence produced a lifetime best of 18.06m and staved off a late challenge from Danree Delancey of Munro College to win.

The Munro head boy did not give up without a fight and dug out his second-longest throw ever, 17.90m, in the final round.

The Petersfield thrower followed the advice of coach Machel Woolery to upset the previously undefeated Delancey. "Go in the ring, don't think about anything and throw, and you will get your distance", he recalled of the coach's instructions. Third in the 2016 Class 2 shot put, Lawrence extended the mark of 17.26m set in third place to Cobe Graham of Calabar High, and Delancey at the Charlie Fuller Memorial on January 13 on the grounds of Manchester High School.

His Western Championship series also included throws measured at 17.64 and 17.62m. As an added bonus, his winning mark makes him just the second athlete, after Delancey, to go past 18m this season.




He is viewing the rest of the season more brightly now. "Yes, it has uplifted my thinking of what will come that I can throw better," he said. Asked what those thoughts were, he continued, "I want to win at National Championships."

Coach Woolery noted that Lawrence was the third Petersfield thrower to win the Western Champs Class 1 shot put in three years, following Sanjay Lawrence and Kevin Nedrick. "Courtney stepped up and delivered," he praised. With regard to a ninth-place finish with just 14.26m by Lawrence at the Big Shot Invitational, just a week after his fine throw at Manchester High, the coach said, "It's a roller-coaster season so far."

Asked how far Lawrence might go this season, he replied, "I just want him to maintain from here and build on it." Pressed for numbers, he simply said, "Let's see."

The throws were held at St Elizabeth Technical High School on February 13, prior to the final day of the Championships, which was staged at Catherine Hall, Montego Bay, on February 17.