BY KWAME WILLIAMS
Clemson University runner, Jacey Harper, pulled off the upset of the year in local track and field , when he captured the Men’s Open National Track and Field 100m sprint title yesterday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
The final featured the likes of Abilene Christian University sprinter, Nicconnor Alexander, Seton Hall’s Marvin Regis and World Junior 100m champion, Darrel Brown, who was widely favoured to win.
Harper had plans of his own though as he followed in the footsteps of Marc Burns, who also upset Brown last year for the prestigious crown.
The start of the race saw the World Junior Champion stumbling out of the blocks and having to play catch up.
He eventually pulled himself back into the thick of things in typical Brown fashion and shot to the front of the pack, with Alexander staying alongside him every step of the way.
But while the stadium crowd had their eyes fixed on the two front runners, a late burst from the former Rebirth runner, Harper, saw him taking an unexpected lead which he kept until the finish.
He won in a new personal best time of 10.19 seconds, while Brown’s 10.20 seconds was enough to earn him the silver.
Alexander placed third (10.22), Texas Christian University athlete Cleavon Dillon finished fourth (10.40) and Marvin Regis was the fifth runner to cross the line (10.41).
Local sprint queen Fana Ashby was also in impressive form.
The Kansas City Kansas Community College sprinter retained her National Women’s 100m crown in fine style (11.23), beating national junior sprint double champion, Wanda Hutson, into second place (11.63).
Damion Barry copped the Men’s 400m title (45.67), cruising to gold ahead of Simplex’s Ato Modibo (45.97) and Carifta silver medallist Jamil James (46.68).
UCLA’s Adia McKinnon took top honours in the Women’s quartermile event (54.17). She beat Memphis’ Abigail David (54.38) and fellow foreign-based athlete, Joseanne Lucas (Auburn University) took the bronze in 54.69 seconds.
Monique Peters of the University of Kansas was also in winner’s row, taking the Women’s long jump title with a 6.04m leap. Carifta Girls Under-17 double gold medallist, Rhonda Watkins, won the silver (5.97m) and 2002 Carifta Pentathlon gold medallist, Charisse Bacchus, clinched third position (5.94m).
Men’s 100m: 1. Jacey Harper (10.19); 2. Darrel Brown (10.20); 3. Nicconnor Alexander (10.22).
Women’s 100m: 1. Fana Ashby (11.23); 2. Wanda Hutson (11.63); 3. Monique Peters (11.81).
Men’s 400m: 1. Damion Barry (45.67); 2. Ato Modibo (45.97); 3. Jamil James (46.68).
Women’s 400m: 1.Adia McKinnon (54.17); 2. Abigail David (54.38); 3. Joseanne Lucas (54.69).