Friday 5 June, 2020

Calabar, XLCR take lead at Corporate Area Champs; 6 records tumble

Calabar High and Excelsior High are highly favoured to win the boys and girls' titles at the 2018 Corporate Area Championships, the second regional meet of the Digicel Grand Prix Series, following day one action of the two-day event at the National Stadium on Thursday.

The opening day produced six records and two record-equalling efforts.

The Red Hills Road-based Calabar High ended the day on 72 points, a six-point lead over second-place and defending champions Kingston College (KC) in the boys' team score after five finals.

In the girls' section, Excelsior High finished on 110 points, leading second-place and defending champions Wolmer's (61 points) by 49 points after 10 finals.

Of the five boys' finals, Calabar secured three victories, among them two new records in the Class 1 discus and Class 3 1500-metre, while KC won two finals one in record style.

Kai Chang and Kewarny Fletcher were responsible for the record performances from Calabar. 

Chang won the Boys' Class 1 discus throw, one of the 10 Digicel Grand Prix events, with a throw of 57.03 metres to erase the previous  mark of 53.87 metres set in 2014 by Calabar's Basil Bingham.

Second-place Douglas Cyrus of Jamaica College (JC) also bettered the old mark with an effort of 55.60 metres.

And Fletcher won the Boys' Class 3 1500-metre final in 4:24.29 beating his teammate Nicholas Power (4:26.74) to erase Gianni Henry of KC previous mark of 2:25.48 set in 2017.

Raheem Richards of KC finished third in 4:26.88.

Calabar's other victories came in the Boys' Class 2 1500-metre final, which they also had another one-two finish.

Rivaldo Marshall won in 4:14.42 seconds beating his teammate David Martin, who clocked 4:15.14; while KC's Atokwatse Crispus was well beaten into third place in 4:18.80.

KC's Taree Rhoden (4:04.01) won the Boys' Class 1 1500-metre final, beating Fabian Campbell (4:04.14) of JC and Devannah  Gayle (4:08.22) of Calabar.

Ralford Mullings of KC was also in record-breaking form. Mullings won the other boys' final, the Class 2 discus throw with an effort of 50.38 metres to erase the previous mark of 49.32 metres set by Zico Campbell of KC in 2016.

Calabar's Zackery Dillon also bettered the previous mark with 49.69 metres.

In the girls' section, Excelsior High won six of the 10 finals including one-two finishes in the Class 2 discus throw and Class 3 discus throw, both Digicel Grand Prix events.

Among the 10 victories were also two record-equalling performances, those efforts came in Digicel Grand Prix events.

Kaliah Jones and Teddyann Arthurs were responsible for the two records, which were equalled.

Jones cleared 1.70 metres to win the Girls' Class 2 high jump and in the process equalled the meet record set in  2015 by Gabrielle Foster of Convent of Mercy Academy.

Ashalee Brown of Immaculate and Shannon Bailey of Wolmer's High, both cleared 1.65 metres, for second and third.

Arthurs took the Girls' Class 4 high jump by clearing 1.55 metres, an effort which equalled the meet record set in 2014 by Danielle Griffiths.

Convent of Mercy Academy's Zaleah Powell and Wolmer's Demetria Graham, both cleared 1.45 metres, for second and third.

In the Girls' Class 2 discus throw, Excelsior Kimberly Lugg won with a throw of 39.20 to beat her teammate Ashanti Wright with 37.29; and in the Class 3 discus throw, Raphae Guthrie won with 33.55 metres to get the better of Shania Notice (31.11 metres).

Excelsior's other victories were recorded by  Gabriella Gordon (5:11.61) in the Girls' Class 5 1500 metres and Rushelle Jones (1.70m) in the Girls' Class 1 high jump.

Friday's second and final day starts at 9:00 am with three field event finals. Those finals are the Girls' Class 3 long jump and Boys' Class 3 high jump, both Digicel Grand Prix events, along with Girls' Open javelin throw.

There will be 68 finals on the day. 

1. Excelsior High (110)
2, Wolmer's High (61(
3. The Queen's School (53)
4. Camperdown High (49)
5. Immaculate (40)
6. St Andrew High (24)
7. Convent of Mercy (23)
8. Merl Grove High (9)
9. Holy Childhood (8)
9 Ardenne (8)
11 Mavisbank High School (7)
12. Kingston High (4)
13. Campion College (3)
14 (Papine High)

1. Calabar High (72)
2. Kingston College (66)
3. Jamaica College (39)
4. Wolmer's High (22)
5. Excelsior High (12)
6. Camperdown High (6)
7. Campion College (3)
8. Mona High (1)
9. Penwood High (1)

Corporate Area Championships showdown

The Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship is a five-series development meet for high schools, which comprises four regional meets and a Grand Finale - the GC Foster Classics - at the National Stadium on March 10.

The Corporate Area Championships is the second regional meet and features schools from the corporate area.

The series began on Monday with Eastern Championships, which ended on Tuesday at the National Stadium, while the third regional meet - Western Championships enters its third and final day on Saturday  at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex.

For this year, the  Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship  has attracted  two new events to bring the total to 10.

The two new Grand Prix events are the 400m hurdles and the medley relay, which have been added to the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, long jump, high jump, discus and 4x400m.

Organisers have changed the process by which athletes qualify for the Grand Finale (the GC Foster Classics).

For the Grand Prix Series, athletes are placed in two age categorie. For the males (Class 1 athletes compete in one age category, while Class 2 and Class 3 athletes compete in the other age category) and for females (Class 1 and 2 compete in one age category and Class 3 and 4 in the other age category).

This means that only the fastest time in a Grand Prix event in each age category at each of the four regional meets automatically qualify for the Grand Finale. As a result, the four automatic winners in each of the 10 Digicel Grand Prix event from the four regional meets will be joined by the next four best to compete in the Grand Prix Finale.

The Digicel Grand Prix series has attracted cash prizes.

One again, school teams (boys and girls) will vie for the title of Digicel Grand Prix champion and $1 million each towards gym equipment or development of their school’s training facilities.

There will also be an overall second and third place cash prizes of $500,000 and $200,000 respectively.

Record-breaking athletes at the Grand Prix Finale - the GC Foster Classics at the National Stadium on March 10 - will be rewarded with cash for their schools.

Digicel will pay $25,000 for each championship record and $50,000 for each national junior record.

In addition, Digicel will reward every athlete who qualifies to run at the Grand Prix Finale with $5,000 each for their school. 

There will also be cash prizes for the top three finishers (boys and girls) at each of the four regional meets. First place is guaranteed $250,000, with second getting $100,000 and third place, $50,000.

Coaches will also be rewarded with cash prizes between $20,000 to $50,000.

This year, with SportsMax as the media production partners for all five meets, event content will be even more accessible for the public through live broadcasts and via the Play Go app for track enthusiasts on the go.

Eastern Champships (February 12 – 13 at National Stadium)
Corporate Championships (February 15 – 16 at National Stadium)
Western Championships (February 13, 15 & 17 at Catherine Hall Sports Complex)
Central Championships (February 20 - 21 at GC Foster College)
Grand Prix Finale - GC Foster Classics - (March 10 at National Stadium)

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