James dominated STETHS straightaway
Girls’ competition at last Saturday’s Western Championships saw several notable double winners. None of them, however, shone more brightly than Alexis James of Petersfield High School, the 2022 World Under-20 100 metres hurdles runner-up. She wasn’...
Girls’ competition at last Saturday’s Western Championships saw several notable double winners. None of them, however, shone more brightly than Alexis James of Petersfield High School, the 2022 World Under-20 100 metres hurdles runner-up. She wasn’t at her best but nevertheless dominated the 100m straightaway on the grass of St Elizabeth Technical High (STETHS), both on the flat and over the hurdles.
She began her day in the 100m hurdles and lowered her own record from 13.91 last year to 13.51 seconds.
“I wasn’t really comfortable in the race. The hurdles, because of how they’re lined up, I wasn’t really sure which hurdles are in my lane,” she said minutes after her victory. Her mood picked up when she heard the 13.7 hand time from a veteran stopwatch handler. “Great time,” she said with genuine glee.
That performance at STETHS followed her time of 13.95 seconds into a 1.8 metre per second headwind on February 4 at the National Stadium at the Youngster Goldsmith Classic.
Last year, James placed second to Oneka Wilson of Hydel High at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships, with Wilson setting a Class One record of 13 seconds flat. In the flat 100m, she was fourth, behind Tina Clayton, Brianna Lyston and Tia Clayton, all of whom have left school.
She completed her Western Champs double by outstarting tall Carletta Bernard in the 100m and returned with an impressive second leg for Petersfield’s 4x100 metre relay.
Asked about her preparation for the 2023 season, she replied, “It’s going good although I’ve kind of had to sit out some training sometimes because of injuries.”
She ran the hurdles with her right knee wrapped.
Last August, in the sprint friendly climes of Cali, Colombia, James clocked 12.87 seconds to complete a Jamaican one-two behind Kerrica Hill at the World Under-20 Championships.
Others to do notable Western Champs doubles included Lacovia High’s Carifta Under-17 200m champion Sabrina Dockery in the Class Two 200m, Mount Alvernia’s Class One 400m/long jump queen Aaliyah Foster, and Muschette High School’s prospect Shanoya Douglas. This smooth mover covered the field in the Class Three 400m in 56.75 seconds and crossed the line ahead in the 200m as well.
A busy performance by Habiba Harris edged on to the radar. Harris zoomed past James’ Class Two 100m record with a time of 13.52, popped up in second place in the Class Two 200m, and ran a decisive 4x400m third leg for STETHS at the end of the day. She overcame a big margin established for Lacovia by Dockery on the first leg to put the hosts in the lead and on the way to victory.