COCAA Digicel Western Champs begins today

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

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SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth — The new-look County of Cornwall Athletics Association's (COCAA)/Digicel Western Championships will get under way today at the St Elizabeth Technical Sports Complex in Santa Cruz starting at 9:30 am.

The event, which is part of the Digicel Grand Prix, will be held over three days with the second and third days, to be held Thursday and Saturday, set for the Montego Bay Sports Complex.

This year the organisers have tweaked the schedule and all the field events — the jumps and throws — will be completed today, while the first rounds of the 800m and 1500m, sprint and 400m hurdles in all classes will also be contested.

The first round and second rounds, where necessary, in the track events for both genders, will be held on Thursday with the finals to be held Saturday.

Previously there was one day for girls' eliminations, another for the boys', with the combined finals held on the Saturday, but the new format will see both genders competing all three days.

St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) boys and Rusea's High girls are the defending champions, and based on results in early meets so far, the race for the top three overall places in both sections could be close.

Today the jumpers and throwers will get the spotlight and Cornwall College, Petersfield High, Munro College and Herbert Morrison could battle for the early lead, while defending champions Rusea's High and STETHS will start their battle in the girls' section.

IAAF World Under-18 triple jump finalist Owayne Owens will start favourite for the Class One horizontal jumps after posting a personal best 7.12m in the long jump and season's best 15.05m in the triple at the recent STETHS Invitational.

Petersfield High's Ansel Grey and Green Island's David Tomlinson could make the events interesting.

Herbert Morrison's Antonio Hanson will start favourite to win the Class Two high jump, but Cornwall College's Omari McKenzie won the event at Saturday's Milo Western Relays in a personal best 1.95m and it could take over 2.00m to win today.

The boys' throws will show off deep fields and Munro College's Danree Delancy will head the Class One shot put field that will also see Petersfield's Courtney Lawrence and Christopher Brown.

Petersfield High's Daniel Cope has gone over 51.00m in the discus throw already this season and he will be pushing for the gold medal that his team has won for at least the last two years.

Aliecia Shaw of Rusea's broke the Class Two shot put record last year and will seek to add the discus title as well this year but could face competition from Petersfield's Deon Burley in the discus event.

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