Sport

STETHS, Rusea's tops at Digicel Western Champs

By Paul A Reid
Observer writer

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth — St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) boys and Rusea's High girls retained their County of Cornwall Athletics Association (COCAA) Digicel Western Champs titles after Saturday's finals held at the St Elizabeth Technical Sports Complex in Santa Cruz.

STETHS overcame a first-day deficit to amass 424 points in the boys' section to beat Petersfield by over 130 points (293.5), with Cornwall College taking third with 252.50 points, their best showing in more than a decade.

Rusea's High girls scored a school record 411 points, 137 more than second-placed Petersfield High on 274, which was 20 points more than third-placed STETHS, their lowest placing in more than two decades.

Roderick Myles, the Rusea's High coach, was beaming as the meet wore down and they had gone past the 400 points margin which they had set for themselves coming into the three-day championships.

“This was a good championships for us,” he told the Jamaica Observer. “Four hundred points was the prediction and we got that. Most things went according to plan and we won the events that we thought we would win. It was a hot day and some of the athletes complained but they did what they had to do, overall an excellent championships.”

After a third-straight championship, the Rusea's High coach was already looking ahead to the ISSA National Championships next month. “If we are going to make an impact at Champs, we have to be ready in the sprints and the relays, not just the field events anymore and I am happy where we are right now.”

Rusea's High won two of the four sprint relays, were second in the other two and third in both the 1600m Sprint Medley and the 4x400m events.

There is some work to do in the 400m, he admitted. “It seems the girls are afraid of the pain that comes along with 400m training, but the spin-off is that it helps the 200m runners a lot.”

Reynaldo Walcott, the STETHS coach, said winning their seventh-straight boys' title was “a job well done.”

He told the Observer, “We were balanced all around and we just stayed strong and confident and did what we can do, as we could not control what others did.”

Walcott said STETHS started off the championships on a strong note and despite trailing Petersfield High by 8.5 points on Tuesday's first day, they had made tremendous strides and paved the way for their big total on Saturday.

“Our first day was outstanding,” he said. “The throwers did well and we went from 13 points last year to 41 this year and the jumpers from 17 points to 45 points. They set the tone and normally it was up to the runners to do most of the scoring, but they responded well and rose to the challenge (Saturday) and dug deep. It was not necessarily easy as we were not first in everything or got two medals but they gave it their all for the first time this season.”

With former World Under-18 champion Antonio Watson nursing a sore left quad muscle after a mishap in the 400m hurdles in the morning, it was his teammate Romario Taylor who stole the show in the Class One 400m, running 49.04 seconds to hold off Lacovia High's Demaro Allen with 49.16 seconds, and Herbert Morrison's Antonio Hanson, known more for his high jumping prowess, taking third in 49.17 seconds.

A fourth runner got under the 50.00 seconds barrier with B B Coke's 400m hurdles champion Javed Jones, clocking 49.24 seconds.

Devonte Heywood was the lone standout on a badly depleted Munro College squad, winning the Class Two 400m in 49.74 seconds ahead of Lacovia High's Brian Roach with 50.27 seconds and another Munro College runner Tajay Gardner with 50.41 seconds.

The Petersfield High pair of Hisheeno Stewart (57.45 seconds) and Shanoi Powell (58.73 seconds) were first and second in the Class One girls' 400m with Rusea's High's Terice Steen third in 58.74 seconds.

Montego Bay High's Tahira Morris retained her Class Two 400m in 57.48 seconds, beating Petersfield High's Kayly Guthrie with 59.50 seconds and Maggotty High's Danalee Brooks with 1:00.87 minutes.

The Rusea's High boys' 4x400m team brought the meet to a close with a big upset win, running 3:19.19 minutes, holding off STETHS with 3:19.53 minutes, and Petersfield High, without Watson, third in 3:19.92 minutes.

Petersfield High won the girls' Open 4x400m in 3:46.51 minutes, beating STETHS (3:49.53 minutes) and Rusea's High third in 3:55.76 minutes.

STETHS won three of the four boys' sprint relays with Cornwall College winning the Class Four for the third time in the last four years.

Rusea's High won two of the four girls' 4x100m relays, classes two and three, while Petersfield High won Class One and Belmont High took Class Four.

Girls' points standimng after 44 finals

1) Rusea's High 411

2) Petersfield High 274

3) STETHS 254

4) Manning's School 146

5) Mt Alvernia High 110

6) Lewisville High 44

7) Irwin High 32

8) Lacovia High 31

9) Merlene Ottey High 30

10) Rhodes Hall High 28

10) Montego Bay High 28

10) Belmont Academy 28

13) Albert Town High 25

13) Muschett High 25

13) Aberdeen High School 25

16) Newell High 24

17) Green Island High 21

18) William Knibb Mem 16

19) Spot Valley High 13

20) St James High 11

20) Maggotty High 11

22) Godfrey Stewart High 9

22) Grange Hill High 9

22) Sydney Pagon 9

25) Cedric Titus High 8

25) B B Coke High 8

27) Green Pond High 6

28) Maldon High 5

Boys' points standing after 50 finals

1) STETHS 424

2) Petersfield High 293.50

3) Cornwall College 252.50

4) Rusea's High 141.83

5) Herbert Morrison Tech 123

6) Lacovia High 89

7) Green Island High 80

8) Sydney Pagon Agricultural 62

9) Munro College 56.50

10) Lewisville High 47

11) William Knibb Mem 42

12) Manning's School 41.66

13) Rhodes Hall High 33

14) Merlene Ottey High 28

14) B B Coke High 28

16) Frome Technical High 25

17) Belmont Academy 23

18) Spot Valley High 18

19) Muschett High 13

19) St James High 13

21) Maldon High 11

21) Maud McLeod High 11

23) Aberdeen High School 10

24) Albert Town High 9

25) Green Pond High 8

26) Cedric Titus High 6

26) Godfrey Stewart High 6

28) Knockalva Tech 4

29) Newell High 2

29) Irwin High 2


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