Sports

Parishes gear up to take on first day of Champs

Friday, May 25, 2018

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The two-day athletic meet gets under way today with some 1,000 student athletes from the 14 parishes across the island coming out to showcase their talent on the track and on the field.

The teams are ready to shine as they compete for the Parish Champion title as well as the individual Top Girl and Top Boy titles.

Kingston

With a fifth-place finish last year, the Kingston team is looking to better their performance at the 35th staging of the JTA/Sagicor National Athletics Championships.

First-time parish coordinator Lloyd Bembridge said the team of 68 will be coming to do their best at the championships and make their parents proud.

He said athletes like Tavaji Stoddart will shine in the Under-9 80m and 150m races. Ziele Wallace will be coming to reclaim his title of 'Champion Boy' as he participates in the sprint 100- and 200-metre races. He added that the 100m champion Devoi Walters will be coming to take the top prize in the race.

Though the team suffered some challenges this season, Bembridge is confident in their readiness and ability to do their best.

“This event is good for these children as it gives them an opportunity to represent their parish and experience to run at the National Stadium.”

The parish won the competition in 2008.

St Thomas

The St Thomas team has their eyes set on placing in the top three of the 35th annual JTA/Sagicor National Athletics Championships.

With one objective on the horizon, the 90-member team of athletes, coordinated by Kaydian Woodcock is pumped and ready to represent their parish at the national meet.

With athletes like Quana Walker, who competes in the 100m and 200m races, Rahiem Allen, the Under-13 sprint double competitor and Taveon Wilson, the high jump champion, the team is ready to stand up to the test at the two-day championships.

Despite the challenges posed by the weather, which limited training sessions, Woodcock said the team is ready to put up a fight: “The team does not intend to back down; we are coming to compete and put out our best.”

After careful examination of the team's performance last year, Woodcock said St Thomas have learnt from their mistakes and will stay clear of some “mishaps” that occurred last year. “We have been working on the baton change and the team synergy so we should be doing much better this year,” she said.

St James

If Suzette Virgo, parish coordinator for St James, has her way, the team from 'out west' will place in the top five at the end of the JTA/Sagicor National Athletics Championships.

She said the team is looking to flip the script this year and not finish in the bottom five at the meet, as they always do.

The team is looking to have a strong showing in all events this year, especially the Under-11 girls' relay, which has been St James' best event.

Though the team has had difficulty training because of the weather, Virgo expects medals in five events, where her top performers — Robin Palmer, Raynor Lawson, Aiden Samuels, Nadera Drummond and Winston Brown will be making the parish proud.

According to Virgo, among her team's biggest competitors are defending champions St Catherine, St Andrew and St Mary.

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