Wed | Nov 29, 2023

Kennedy and Russell in the fast lane at Gibson McCook

Published:Tuesday | February 28, 2023 | 1:06 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Edwin Allen’s Delano Kennedy
Edwin Allen’s Delano Kennedy
Holmwood’s Rickiann Russell
Holmwood’s Rickiann Russell
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Jamaica College (JC) and Edwin Allen High took top honours in the high school 4x400 metres races at last Saturday’s Gibson McCook Relays. However, World Under-20 400m finalist Delano Kennedy and Rickiann Russell caught the eye with brilliant...

Jamaica College (JC) and Edwin Allen High took top honours in the high school 4x400 metres races at last Saturday’s Gibson McCook Relays. However, World Under-20 400m finalist Delano Kennedy and Rickiann Russell caught the eye with brilliant performances for Edwin Allen High and Holmwood Technical, respectively, with awesome relay legs.

JC and Edwin Allen clocked season-leading high school times of three minutes 10.40 seconds and 3.36.09, respectively, but Russell brought fans to their feet inside the National Stadium with a closing leg timed in 50.8 seconds. For Holmwood’s head coach Dave Anderson, it confirmed that Russell, a former Class Three 400m champion, was back to her best.

“To tell you the truth,” he said, “I’m really happy and pleased that she’s able to put herself back on that level that I expected of her from Class Three.”

The proud coach added, “To see her at the end of her high school career now at her very best is a very good feeling.”

Her effort closed ground but she started too far back and the clock stopped at three minutes 36.09 seconds for Edwin Allen and 3.37.67 for Holmwood.

The outgoing Holmwood senior has already run a personal best of 52.88 seconds.

“What I can say is I’m expecting her to get another personal best. Once she holds up, nothing goes wrong and she turns up at the championships, I’m expecting her to go as fast as she can. She’s a competitor. She knows how to deliver on the big stage so I’m very confident she will do well,” Anderson indicated.

In the boys’ 4x400m final at Gibson McCook, Kennedy took Edwin Allen from out of the pack to the lead with a stormer clicked off at 45.7 seconds. His coach Leon Powell took the big relay split as evidence that the 2022 Carifta Under-20 400m champion is on target for big assignments to come. “We’re doing a lot more speedwork now so I expect him to be faster and he’s showing signs of speed already, so I guess we’re on track,” Powell said yesterday.

His Gibson McCook is a big step up from his 48.2 stint at the Western Relays two weeks ago, and Powell believes Kennedy is benefiting from his time this season with the school’s 4x100m group.

“Levell is not available so he is the one that I trust the most there right now, so I’ve put the responsibility of anchoring the team at his feet,” he explained, while noting that reigning Class One double sprint champion Bryan Levell is nursing a niggle.

Kennedy is enjoying his sojourn in the sprints more and more.

“At first, he didn’t really like it because he was in my 4x100m set-up from Class Two coming up but he sort of disliked it, but now, after this weekend, he says he wants to run more 4x100m. He likes it now,” Powell chuckled.

With Levell unavailable, Edwin Allen were fourth in both the Class One 4x100m and the 4x400m. However, Kennedy spurred those quartets to their best 2023 times – 40.50 and 3.12.28.