Grand finish

Edwin Allen, Calabar claim Grand Prix titles

Observer staff reporter

Monday, March 12, 2018

It could be viewed as a preview of what to expect at the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association\GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships, and if it is anything to go by, then reigning champions Edwin Allen and Calabar are in no mood to let up.

Both teams produced a commanding display to capture the respective Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship titles to bring the curtains down on the fourth staging of the exhilarating series at the GC Foster Classics at the National Stadium on Saturday.

Edwin Allen will be etching their names on the girls' title for a fourth-straight year as they continued their winning trend since the inception of the championships.

They amassed 144 points, 31 more than closest rivals Holmwood Technical (113), with Hydel (82.5), Excelsior High (48) and St Mary High (27) completing the top five.

On the boys' side, Calabar were claiming their first hold on the lucrative crown, after narrowly being edged out by a mere 1.5 points by St Jago last year.

The Red Hills Road boys threw down the gauntlet this time around by tallying a whopping 146 points, with St Jago left some distance back on 74 points. Kingston College (KC — 54.5), Jamaica College (42) and Petersfield (39) were the other teams in the top five.

Both schools pocketed the $1-million prize towards their sports programme, while the second- and third-placed schools were awarded $500,000 and $200,000, respectively, for their efforts.

Some controversy surrounded the boys' 4X400m relay, the final event of the meet, when Calabar's lead-off runner Shemar Chambers seemingly fell out of the blocks, just before the starter's gun.

Chambers was left stooping on the track while the other competitors were already on the backstretch when the officials decided to call back the race.

After a lengthy discussion, the officials accepted responsibility for the error and Calabar were allowed to compete to the disapproval of some supporters who were of the view that Chambers actually false started.

As a show of protest, Excelsior opted to sit out the event.

Calabar went on to win in 3:06.37, just outside their record of 3:05.04 set earlier this year.

Hydel won the girls event in a new record 3:34.28, lowering their previous mark of 3:35.66 set last year.

Hydel's record was one of six records that were taken down, with two being established in the recently added sprint medley relays.

Edwin Allen (3:54.95) and Calabar (3:25.72) both clocked the fastest times in the event this year.

Also among the record-breakers set to pocket $25,000 was Edwin Allen's Kevona Davis who like she did last year, once again stole the spotlight as she stormed her way to 23.13 seconds in the girls' Under-20 200m.

Davis, having already clocked 23.11 seconds this season, produced another superb performance in a head wind of negative 1.4 metres per second which saw her lowering the previous record of 23.69 set by Ockera Myrie of Petersfield.

She also holds the record of 23.32s in the Under-17 event, which was set last year.

Earlier, Holmwood Technical's smooth-striding Rickiann Russell was fast and strong on her way to a new record of 54.41 seconds in the girls' Under-17 400m, lowering the previous time of 54.49 seconds set last year by Joanne Reid of St Jago.

Evaldo Whitehorne of Calabar left the field struggling to keep pace on his way to posting 47.93 seconds in the boys' Under-17 400m.

Cherokee Young of Hydel closed fast to top the girls' Under-20 400m event in a time of 53.42 seconds.

Calabar's special talent Christopher Taylor took the boys' Under-20 event in 45.92 seconds, despite going out hard and leaving the field for dead from lane five in a race against the clock.

The much-anticipated clash between Calabar's Kevoy Venson and Tyrese Taylor of Bog Walk lived up to its top billing, with Venson sweeping by Taylor in the closing stages to win the boys Under-17 800m.

Venson stopped the clock in a new personal best 1:53.72, just ahead of Taylor (1:53.76).Rushana Dwyer of Edwin Allen won the girls' Under-17 event in a season's best 2:12.82.

Holmwood Technical's Chrissani May has been improving with each run and she displayed that when she timed her run to perfection in the girls' Under-20 800m to win in commanding fashion in 2:07.72.

May was just outside the record of 2:07.37 held by Junelle Bromfield of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS).

Jauavney James of STETHS produced a late burst to take the boys' Under-20 event in a new record 1:51.50, lowering the previous mark of 1:52.20 set by Tyrese Reid of Spot Valley last year.

James' victory was all the more impressive as he had earlier competed in the 400m hurdles as part of the GC Foster Classics.

In the girls' 400m hurdles open, Hydel's Shiann Salmon stamped her class on the field, coming home in a time of 57.65.

Shanthamoi Brown of Kingston College clocked the fastest 400m hurdles time of 52.16 seconds by a Class Two athlete this season on his way to victory in the boys' Under-18 event.

Rovane Williams of Rhodes Hall executed a peach of a race from lane eight, clocking a personal best 50.32 seconds to upset his more fancied rivals in the boys' Under-20 event.

In the field, Kingston College's Wayne Pinnock won the boys' Under-20 long jump with a record leap of 7.99m, turning the tables on teammate Shaquille Lowe (7.35m), who defeated him at the Under-17 level last year.

Pinnock's effort in a positive 2.0 metres per second wind speed bettered the record of 7.79m set last year by another KC athlete Carey McLeod.




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