Two to watch in 2016

first_img Record-breaking performance In a year where several of Jamaica’s male juniors performed with distinction, two athletes, Christopher Taylor of Calabar High and Akeem Bloomfield of Kingston College, stood tall in the 400 metres. Taylor, who gave early signals at development meets early in the year with excellent times in both the 200 and 400 metres, continued his good form at the ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships, where, in his first year in Class Two, he easily won the one-lap event along with the 200m and ran a brilliant leg in the 4×400 metres as Calabar clocked a record 3:06.76 to wipe out St Jago High’s one-year-old mark of 3:08.31. On the world stage, Taylor produced outstanding times. At the IAAF World Youth Championships in July in Cali, Colombia, he was just brilliant. After posting 45.30 seconds in his semi-final, where many thought he had gone out too fast and would have paid the price in the final, he went even faster in the final as he stopped the clock at an astonishing 45.27 to win the event and become the second-fastest ever at this level. Only American Obi Moore with his 45.14 in Santiago, Chile, in 1995 has gone faster. The 16-year-old Taylor (born October 1, 1999), who went sub 46 seconds four times in the year, was ranked number one on the IAAF Word Youth list and was sixth on the World Junior list for 2015. While Taylor was the talk of the town, Kingston College’s Akeem Bloomfield was not far behind. Competing in his fourth individual 400 metres of his career at the ISSA-GraceKennedy Championships in March, he created history in the one-lap event. Bloomfield (born October 11, 1997) dipped under 45 seconds in winning the Class One 400m in 44.93. In doing so, he became the country’s first junior to go sub-45 and, in the process, he shattered Davian Clarke’s national junior record of 45.21. Bloomfield, with that record-breaking performance, ended the year at number two on the IAAF list. Only Abdelalelah Haroun of Qatar was faster. Haroun, who had the seven-fastest times in the event, topped the list with his 44.27. Following these impressive 400m runs from Taylor and Bloomfield, all attention will now be turned to next year’s IAAF World Junior Championships as Jamaica could do something special in the 4x400m. With the likes of Martin Manley and Jaheel Hyde set to join Taylor and Bloomfield, the world record of 3:01.09 set by the United States in Grossseto, Italy, in 2004 could be in danger.last_img read more

Landslide aftermath surveyed

first_imgSAN DIEGO – Erinn and Alton McCormick had no idea when they bought their house in June that it sat directly beneath a weak hillside. On Thursday, it sat buried up to the roofline by a wall of earth and cracked asphalt studded with pieces of curb, eucalyptus and palm tree that used to be across the street. Residents returning to the shaken neighborhood – whether just to grab some things and take photos to show insurance adjusters or, if they were lucky, to stay for good – struggled to figure out who to blame for the landslide that took a chunk out of their La Jolla hillside a day earlier. The collapse came just hours after engineers hired to inspect an earth slippage that was first spotted in July warned residents not to sleep in their homes because of the potential for instability in an area that has suffered landslides in the past. It sent four homes sinking down the slope and shoved tons of dirt up to the roofline of the McCormicks’ house on the street below. In all, nine homes had severe structural damage that put them off limits and 18 others remained yellow-tagged for further inspection before they can be reoccupied. The only possible exception is if homeowners prove the landslide was caused by something that is covered, like utility-line ruptures, said Jennifer Kearns, a spokesman for the California Department of Insurance. “If the history of inspections of pipelines on Mount Soledad indicates that leakage isn’t an isolated event, if it keeps happening and they just deal with it, you have to ask what kind of work have they been doing over the past 10 years,” said Ahmed Elgamal, a professor of structural engineering at the University of California, San Diego. “If it’s been active that’s a sign that in certain areas it’s an expected event that the pipes would move.” The city spotted cracks on Soledad Mountain Road in July and water and gas main breaks in August. A water line in the neighborhood was replaced with an above-ground pipeline in September to avert damage, and engineers were in the area installing measuring devices just as the land began to shift. Residents below the slide’s origin, like the McCormicks, said they didn’t have any warning that the hill above might give way. According to San Diego real-estate attorney George Berger, California laws don’t necessarily require individual sellers to disclose information about previous landslides, especially if there isn’t any evidence of movement on the property itself.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “They told us the worst-case scenario was six feet of dirt in our front yard,” said Erinn McCormick, 37, who said she first heard that engineers were concerned about a slip a month after she moved into her “dream house.” “Then I talked to an engineer yesterday morning before I took my kids to school, and he said, `I wouldn’t stay here if I were you.”‘ McCormick, who could see her buried house from a police checkpoint but hadn’t been able to return and inspect it, said she had spent days calling city officials about a water leak in her street. She didn’t get a response until Monday, two days before the collapse, when workers finally turned off a hydrant. A total of 111 homes were evacuated after the slide. Residents of 84 undamaged houses were allowed to return Thursday. “They told me I wouldn’t ever be able to get back in, but it’s absolutely perfect,” said Jeanne Plante, 43, who said she was just planning to remodel her $1.7 million mountainside house. “I probably lost half a million in equity overnight, though.” Many insurers provide homeowners’ policies that protect against earthquakes and floods but they have shied away from covering landslides, which only affect a relatively small number of people. last_img