Dominic Dyer confirmed his status as the region’s top junior middle-distance runner at the inaugural Invictus Reggae Classic Track & Field Meet on June 9 and 10 at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
Dyer, who also dominated the Under-20 division at this year’s Carifta games, turned back the challenge of the two junior athletes capable of vying for the top spot who were unable to compete at the Carifta games. Kingston College’s Shane Buchanan and Aryamanya Rodgers arrived in Cayman following stellar performances from this year’s Jamaica’s Boys & Girls Championships, a press release states.
In the men’s open 1500m, which brought the curtain down on Friday’s program, Dyer produced a devastating burst over the last 300m, cruising home in 4:05.98. Buchanan trailed in 4:10.88, followed by Rodgers in 4:10.98.
The Kingston College duo returned on Saturday evening “with a clear plan to frustrate the taller Dyer,” the press release states. “It was clear that their strategy was to take turns in exchanging the lead between them, control the tempo of the race and box-in Dyer as much as possible. They failed to include in their calculation Dyer’s teammate, Will Edwards. As he did on the night before, Edwards went to the front from the start and took control of the pace for the first four laps of the seven-and-a-half lap race, while Dyer bided his time behind the top three.
“With four laps to go, Rodgers surged to the front, followed closely by Buchanan, and for the next two laps, both of them increased the pace but failed to shake off the looming presence of Dyer.
“With two laps to go, and a raucous home crowd roaring him on, Dyer turned on the after-burners, circled his more diminutive opponents and set sail for home in an impressive 9:02.76 to Rodgers’s 9:12.47 and Buchanan’s 9:13.09,” the press release states.
Other notable performances at the meet included an impressive 27.91 200m clocking by Special Olympics’ Jharan Greenidge; a sprint double and long jump victory from Falcons Athletics’ Bradley Erskine Jr., who turned in 12.59 (100m), 25.56 (220m) and 5.06m (long jump); Invictus’ Aijah Lewis, who turned in a personal best 5.55m (long jump) in turning back the challenge of national record holder, Mustang’s Annissa Owens (5.51m); Mustangs’ Daneliz Thomas in the women’s open javelin (39.77m); Invictus’ Umar Gordon in the Under-13 boys 400m (1:06.50); and Falcon Athletics’ Jaden Francis 26.11 in the 200m.
In the Primary Schools Division of the meet, Sir John A. Cumber walked away with the 50-inch flat-screen television as their athletes amassed seven gold medals to Red Bay’s four, with the top performers being Tarique Beckford (John A. Cumber), and Mikayla Brown (also John A. Cumber).
In the Security Services Division, competition was keen between teams from Immigration and the Fire Services. With the relays to go, Immigration had a 2-point lead over the Fire Services. After winning both of the 400m sprint relays, Fire Services easily won the coed 800m medley relay to end up with 173 points, to Immigration’s 163. Fire Services’ efforts were in large part due to some good running from former national youth athletes Jon-Mikol Rankine, who was impressive in the 100m (11.67), and Amelia Gillespie. Equally impressive was Immigration’s Agueda Blake, who showed good form in winning the 400m and 200m while finishing second in the 100m.
Immigration’s “Lord” Barron Solomon won the men’s javelin, finished second in the 400m and third in the 100m. For their victorious effort, the Fire Services won not only the Invictus Security Services Cup, but also a 15-inch flat-screen television.
The meet, which was under the patronage of Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, had many local sponsors and is scheduled to be an annual event on the local track and field calendar, organizers said in the press release.
The raffle for the autographed Manny Pacquiao gloves was won by Boris Brady.