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TrackLife International

Brace for Scorching Times from EA’s Twins and Davis at Champs

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As the renown Jamaica Boys and Girls Athletics Championships looms March 26-30), one event has fans salivating; it’s the Class 3 girls (14-15 years old) 100m, which should feature 14-yr-old twins Tia and Tina Clayton of Edwin Allen High School.

As long as they get to the final of their events and not false start the way their older teammate and then favorite, Kevona Davis, did two years ago, both girls are expected to run spectacular times, based on what they have been doing.

Tia, defending Class Three girls’ 100m champion, clocked a stunning 11.37secs (1.7 mps)—well below the 11.50s Champs record by Holmwood Technical High School’s Sashieka Steele—at Central Championships, February 26-27. That time makes her the new owner of her age-group record, lowering the 12-year-old mark of 11.40 set by the United States’ Ashton Purvis in 2007. Then on March 16, she ran a blazing 11.32 at the final stop of the Digicel Grand Prix.

Tia’s twin, Tina, posted 23.77s in the 200m at Central Champs and 23.25 at the Grand Prix. Runner-up in the Champs 200m last year, Tina is hoping to erase Davis’ record of 23.07s. Their coach Michael Dyke hinted that the twins will be running the sprint double at Champs.

Davis under 11 seconds?

But the focus will not be only on Tia and Tina, there is Davis, now 17 and in Class 2 (16-17), who set the track on fire at last Champs but subsequently ran into injury problems.

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Davis, Champs sprint-double defending champion.

“I am over the injury now’” she told the Jamaica Star newspaper recently. “The doctors say that I am OK, and I have not felt any pain. I feel better than where I was last year this time, so, hopefully, that means I can do better at Champs this year.”

Last year, Davis shattered the Class 2 100m record by .24s when she ran 11.16s, making hers the second-fastest 100m time in Girls’ Champs history behind Veronica Campbell-Brown’s 2001 Class One mark of 11.13. She then posted a blazing 22.72 in the 200m final.

Davis harbors the idea of running a 100m time done only by seniors, when she competes at Champs.

“It would mean the world to me to be the first schoolgirl to run under 11 seconds. It has crossed my mind a lot of times. It is my number one goal now, and I am working really hard for it to happen this year,” she said.

Another Big Clash in June

Perhaps, just about every Jamaican track enthusiast awaits a battle between Davis and another teenaged titan, her Florida-based compatriot Briana Williams, who won the double at last year’s World Under-20 Championships in record times of 11.13 and 22.50. But that showdown may not materialize until the Jamaica senior trials in June to select the team for 2019 World Championships in Doha.

In the meantime, Coach Dyke is cautious with Davis.

“I am trying to make sure Kevona remains as healthy as possible. She started her season somewhat late. She has only run two times in individual events. She might not run the 100m before Champs,” Dyke noted.

“One of the objectives for Kevona is to make the World Championships team, and so we are also preparing her for that.”

Briana

Williams, an American-born Jamaican, is the reigning World Under-20 champion at 100m and 200m.

Williams is also being treated cautiously by her coach, Ato Bolden. 

“Last year, she ran eleven 100m finals and ten 200m finals, I don’t want her going over that,” Bolden told the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper. “We have to leave open room for a Diamond League race, maybe a big invitational in the Caribbean.

“With a 16-year-old, there’s guarding against complacency because of all the hype surrounding her,” he said, adding that she’ll run in quite a few high school high-quality meets.

Williams is tied at number four all-time on the US high school 100m performance list. She is fifth fastest of all-time in the 200m.

As the plot thickens, Davis won the recent Central Championships 200m Class 2 girls’ title in 23.24secs. Williams, who turned 17 two days ago (Mar. 21) , then ran 23.29 to win at the March 2 John Battle All-star Invitational in Florida. On March 10 in New York, she won the New Balance US high school indoor national title at 60m in 7.28secs.

Davis went one step ahead in the 200m with a 22.82 win at the Grand Prix. 

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