By Anthony Turner
New York – Jamaica’s Calabar High School’s 4x400m relay quartet will be seeking redemption on Saturday, June 11, 2011 when the team competes at the annual adidas Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island, NYC.
After having a very successful 2010-2011 athletics season in Jamaica, the “Lions” from Red Hills Road in Kingston were denied the opportunity to compete in the USA at the 2011 Penn Relays as they did not secure visas in time to participate at the meet.
“Calabar has a rich tradition in high school athletics, dating back to the days of Olympians Authur Wint, Herb McKenley OM and countless others. This is Calabar’s third appearance at the meet with head coach Michael Clarke. I know the 4x400m team was disappointed when they were denied the opportunity to participate at Penn Relays this year.
Now that they are confirmed for the adidas Grand Prix, members of their alma mater and the wider athletics community here in the Diaspora will be very happy to see them in action” said Louie Grant, VP of Irie Jam Radio, Caribbean media partner for the NY event.
The Calabar team will be hoping to deliver a repeat of their 2008 performance at Randall’s Island where they won both the 4×400m and 4x100m relays to sweep the high school boys events. They will battle favorites Munro College, who are fresh from their stellar performances at Boys Champs in Kingston and Penn Relays in Philadelphia, where the 150 year old institution won its first ever Championship of America award.
After dominating the mile relay in Jamaica, the team under the watchful eyes of coach Neil Harrison, broke record after record this year and set its own school record of 3:10.66 at the UTECH Classic in April. The squad of Waynee Hyman, Rajiv Service, Rolando Reid, Kaneil Harrison, Ifeanyi Otuonye and Delano Williams (their first time competing in NY) will be making their season ending performance in NY and they are all in a record-breaking frame of mind.
The Randy Edwards coached Vere Technical female sprint relay team earlier this year posted 44.13 seconds, the fastest time ever recorded by a Jamaican high school female team. Satima Chambers, who joins the team at the adidas Grand Prix in NY was a member of the class 2 girl’s 4 x 100 m team that won at Gibson Relays and Girls Champs.
She will be joined by Rushell Clayton and Shauna Cousins, who were members of the class 1, 4 x 100 m relay team that placed 3rd at the 2011 Girls Championship in Kingston. The Keilando Goburn coached St. Jago High School team of Kerry-Ann Richardson, Melissa Williams, Georgiana Gordon and Monique Lovelock cannot be taken lightly as they won their sprint relay in a thrilling victory at Penns this year.
The excitement in this event is expected to reach fever pitch as these two leading contenders battle for bragging rights versus some of the top NY area high school teams.
In its seventh year as one of the premier track-and-field events in the world, the adidas Grand Prix is the sixth stop on the international Samsung Diamond League circuit.
Six athletes ranked #1 in the world for 2010 – Blanka Vlašić, Tyson Gay, Jeremy Wariner, Jessica Ennis, Allyson Felix and Bershawn “Batman” Jackson – are among the superstars announced to date, along with “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius, the 400-meter Paralympic gold medalist hoping to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games and new Jamaican sprint sensation Nickel Ashmeade.
Other Caribbean senior athletes slated to compete at the adidas Grand Prix are Chris Brown, Nesta Carter, Richardo, Dollereen Ennis, Debbie Ferguson, Bridgette Foster-Hylton, Shelly Ann Fraser, Michael Frater, Steve Mullings, Sherone Simpson, Kenia Sinclair, Richard Thompson and more.
Tickets are available at the event website, www.adidasgrandprix.com, or by calling 1-877 TIX TRAC. Use “IRIE JAM AGP” promo code to get discounted tickets.