Alliah Baker emerges as top Jamaican sprinter at Puma East Coast meet Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

MARYLAND, USA: Alliah Baker emerged as the top-performing Jamaican sprinter in the 100m events at the third staging of the Puma East Coast International Track and Field Showcase at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex on Saturday.

Baker, who entered the meet riding a wave of success after leading Hydel High to a double victory in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays at the Penn Relays, secured second place in the Girls’ 100m ‘A’ final.

In the chilly conditions, 18-year-old Baker delivered a powerful surge in the final quarter of the race but found Travis McKenzie of the USA too hot to handle.

McKenzie, destined for the University of South Carolina upon completion of her high school tenure, clinched victory comfortably in 11.62 seconds (-0.7m/s).  Baker clocked 11.68 for her second-place finish, followed by her Jamaican counterparts – Carifta Games champion Sabrina Dockery (11.80) of Lacovia High, Shanoya Douglas (11.81) of Muschett High, and Shemonique Hazle (11.95) of Hydel.

Douglas, who secured her spot in the final with the quickest qualifying time of 11.97, experienced a sluggish reaction at the start and failed to regain momentum to challenge the leaders. She attributed her performance to the chilly conditions.

“I was focusing on getting warm, and at the same time, I heard the starter’s gun. I was surprised,” Douglas remarked.

In the ‘B’ final, Doniellia Lewis of Holmwood Technical clinched second place with a time of 12.21, securing the overall 10th position.

In the Boys’ 100m ‘A’ final, Orlando Wint of Vere Technical emerged as the top-performing Jamaican, securing seventh place with a time of 10.85 seconds, while Raheem Pinnock of St Jago High finished ninth in 10.88.  However, Damor Miller of Excelsior High, the 100m champion at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships, commonly referred to as Champs, was disqualification due to a false start.

Shaun McCoullum of George Washington High School in Virginia led a clean sweep of the medals for the USA, cruising to victory in 10.59 seconds (-0.7m/s). Ajani Dwyer (10.62) and Malachi James (10.74) secured second and third place, respectively.

Jamaica asserted its dominance in the sprint hurdles, with Briana Campbell of St Jago High leading a sweep of the medals in the Girls’ 100m hurdles.

Campbell, who finished third in the Class Two 100m final at Champs, claimed victory with a time of 13.54 seconds (-1.9m/s), upstaging the Class One 100m hurdles champion Shania Myers of Hydel High, who finished with a time of 13.63. Kiara Meikle of Holmwood Technical secured third place with a time of 13.75, while Bryana Davidson of St Jago High finished fifth with a time of 14.12.

Taylor Cox of Union Catholic High School emerged as the highest-placed American, finishing fourth with a time of 13.77.

Richard Hall of Excelsior High claimed victory in the Boys’ 110m hurdles, narrowly defeating Washington Township senior Yashahya Brown in a tightly contested finish. Both athletes were credited with a time of 13.66 seconds, with the Jamaican athlete securing the edge. Anthony Waterman of DeMatha Catholic High School was well beaten into third, crossing the line with a time of 14.19 seconds.

Abigail Campbell secured the top Jamaican position in the 400m time finals.

Campbell, who claimed the Class One 400m title at Champs with a personal best of 52.27, placed second in heat one of the Girls’ 400m behind Sophie Rambo of Speed of Evolutions Athletic Club. Campbell crossed the line at 54.99, the third-fastest time overall. Rambo dominated the race with a time of 52.83 seconds.

Kennedy Brown of Bullis School, winner of heat two in 54.92, took second place overall. Ryana Dennis of St Mary High School finished 10th with a time of 56.95, followed by Abina Wright of Holmwood Technical in 11th place (57.09) and Natassia Fletcher of Hydel High in 12th (57.12).

In the Boys’ 400m, Roshane Syminister of Jamaica College claimed the top Jamaican spot, finishing seventh with a time of 48.11. Quincy Wilson of Bullis School successfully defended his title, winning in a new personal best of 45.17, leading a USA 1-2-3 finish. Jayden Horton-Mims of the Imhotep Institute Charter High School in Philadelphia secured second place in 45.82, while Nicholas C. Spikes of Paint Branch High School in Maryland finished third with a time of 47.29.

Jamaica clinched three victories in the field events thus far. Kijonna Lee of Vere Technical soared over 1.52m to claim a decisive win in the Girls’ high jump, beating the USA duo of Anaya James-Grier (1.52m) from Bishop McNamara High and TyTiana Grandy (1.47m) from Baltimore City College.

In the Boys’ shot put, the Jamaican pair from JC, Shaiquan Dunn and Josh Ty Brown, secured a 1-2 finish. Dunn delivered a throw of 19.69m to seize the victory, while Brown took second place with a throw of 19.35m. Benjamin Shue of Bergen Catholic High School in the USA captured third place with a throw of 19.08m.

Natassia Burrell of Hydel High secured victory in the girls’ discus. Burrell dominated the competition with a big throw of 45.76m, surpassing her previous personal best of 44.64m set on March 20 at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Yanelli Dawkins of the Cayman Islands took second place with a first-round throw of 36.86m, while American Aleah Schwartz of Bullis School claimed third with a throw of 34.84m.