Lawrence, Martin poised for more Champs glory
The school that produced retired distance pioneer Kemoy Campbell is at it again. Bellefield High School's two winners at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships (Champs) last year, Aneisha Lawrence and Tavaughn Martin, both looked good at last Saturday's STETHS Invitational. Lawrence impressed with a record-breaking middle distance double that pleased her coach Dean Tomlin.
Tall and powerfully built, Lawrence won both the Class Two 800m and 1500m with times of 2:17.35 minutes and 4:44.85 minutes, respectively. That's not far off her winning run from Champs - 4.43.54.
"She's coming on fairly fine you know. I'm just trying to see if I can shed some more weight because she's carrying a little bit too much. Once I get that off, then I start to kick in with the speed work and hope everything will be okay. Once she stays injury free, I'll be happy, she'll be good. I like where she is right now", said the man who coached Campbell to seemingly untouchable records of 3:45.54 minutes in the Class One 1500m and 14:18.55 minutes for the Open 5000m at Champs a decade ago.
Though Lawrence ran the 800m last Saturday, she will stay with the Class Two 1500m and the open 3000m for Champs. Tomlin explained the choice of events for Lawrence.
"First, she prefers the longer distance and when she's comfortable at the distance, I'm not going to disturb her," he said. "The 1500m is her pet event and [she'll] just choose the 3000m as her second option and she's comfortable with it, so I go with her."
When the presence of the defending 3000m champion Kayann Green was mentioned, the experienced coach said, "No, I'm not worried about Green right now. What I'm worried about is Aneisha staying fit."
Martin continued to look comfortable in his first year in Class Two with an easy win in the 1500m. Matched with Jaquan Coke, the compact Kingston College boy who beat Martin in the Class Three 800m at Champs last year, Martin strolled home in 4:23.96 minutes. Coke was fourth.
Martin took ownership of the Champs Class Three 1500m record with a fine run that stopped the clock in 4:12.50 minutes last year.