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Two Jamaican junior records established at Penns on final day

Posted by Dresonic on April 27, 2009

PHILADELPHIA, USA – Two Jamaican National Junior Records (NJR) were set yesterday as
the curtains came down on the 115th Penn Relays Carnival at Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jamaica College’s K’Don Samuels cleared 4.80m for a massive new personal record and NJR in the pole vault as he became the first Jamaican to win the event here.

IAAF World Junior Championships silver medallist Shermaine Williams a sophomore at Johnson C Smith University ran 13.06 seconds for second place in the College Women’s 100m hurdles setting a new national standard.

The former Alpha Academy runner eclipsed the previous record 13.07 seconds set by Gillian Russell in July 1992 and said she was surprised when her coach Lennox Graham told her about the new record moments after the end of the race.

Former St Jago High runner Natasha Ruddock, competing for Essex Community College of New Jersey was third in 13.39 seconds.

Samuels, who is in his final year as a junior, took over the record by himself after sharing 4.60m with Jabari Ennis who cleared it in 1998.

Samuels said that his new mark atoned for not doing so well at the CARIFTA Games two weeks ago and blamed that on the organisers who he said used the American high school rules instead of the IAAF rules used in Jamaica.

Nontheless, he was ecstatic for the new mark as battled cramps in his right calf as he cleared 4.80m on his final attempt after two previous misses.

Samuels, who is also the CARIFTA record holder and who was sixth here last year, first matched his previous personal best on his second attempt at the height, then cleared 4.70m on the second attempt.

Orville Brown who has coached Samuels for seven years fought with his emotions when he spoke to the Observer yesterday, saying he had longed dreamt of taking a vaulter to this level.

“He was small when he first started, maybe only about 80lbs but he was technically sound and is a hard worker,” Brown said.

Calabar’s Devon Dobson who finished 11th tieing his personal best 4.20m, and who worked with Samuels through the rounds told Observer, he was happy for his training partner but said he was coming for the record next year.

“I felt great for him today to see all the hard work pay off,” Dobson said.

St George’s College Kimarki Absalom became the third Jamaican and second in arrow to win the high jump when he cleared a personal best 2.06m.

He beat his previous personal best of 2.05m and joined last year’s winner Andrew Riley of Calabar (2.06m) and Enrico Gordon of Wolmers’ Boys’ in 1995 (2.11m).

St Jago’s Machel Baker was fourth with 2.03m and Kingston College’s Champs Class One winner Jonathon Reid failed to get past the opening height.

Calabar’s Chad Wright was second in the discuss with a best throw of 54.44m while Shane Dodd of Jamaica College was sixth with 51.06m; Kingston College’s Oshane Harris was 11th while the Munro College pair of Omar Bryan and Razzack White were 12th and 13th respectively.

Kamal Fuller of Wolmer’s Boys’ was the best-placed Jamaican in the long jump with 7.23m for third place while Dexter McKenzie of Munro who also ran the 4x100m and 4x400m was fifth with 7.19m while Kingston College’s Jerome Wilson was 11th with 6.68m.

Wolmer’s Boys’ Ramone Bailey was fourth in the triple jump with 14.

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