Wednesday 29 January, 2020

Digicel Grand Prix: Edwin Allen, Jago defend titles at Central Champs

The combination of photos show Monique McLeod, marketing manager of Digicel. with athletes from Edwin Allen (left) and St Jago High posing with their cheques after the schools won the girls and boys'  titles at the Digicel Central Championships, at  G C Foster College on Wednesday. (PHOTO: Marlon Reid).

The combination of photos show Monique McLeod, marketing manager of Digicel. with athletes from Edwin Allen (left) and St Jago High posing with their cheques after the schools won the girls and boys' titles at the Digicel Central Championships, at G C Foster College on Wednesday. (PHOTO: Marlon Reid).

St Jago High and Edwin Allen High have retained the boys and girls' titles at Central Championships, the fourth regional meet of the 2018 Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship, at G C Foster College in Spanish Town on Wednesday.

Spanish Town-based St Jago proved a cut above their challengers to beat  nearest rivals - Edwin Allen High - by all of 184.50 points after entering the second and final day with a 65-point lead in the boys' championship.

St Jago High compiled 346.50 points at the end of the 40 finals, while Edwin Allen High ended with 162 points.

After a ding-dong battle with Holmwood Technical on the final day in the girls' championship, Edwin Allen High pulled away for a 41.50-point victory after entering the day with a 66-point lead.

At the end of the 45 finals, Edwin Allen High tallied 412 points and Holmwood Technical, 370.50.

Digicel presented cash prizes to the top three finishers (boys and girls). St Jago High and Edwin Allen High were each presented with  $250,000 for winning the boys and girls' titles. 

 Holmwood Technical (girls) and Edwin Allen (boys) walked away with $100,000 each for second place finishes, while Hydel High  (girls) and Holmwood Technical (boys)  received  $50,000 each for third place finishes.

The battle for championship honours

The day was highlighted by 28 meet records, 17 of which came in Digicel Grand Prix events.

The Digicel Grand Prix events, which produced meet records on the final day were the sprint medley open, 100m, 200m, 400m, discus throw and long jump.

Holmwood Technical produced a record run in the Digicel Grand Prix Girls' 1600-metre sprint medley open. The Christiana-based school won the event in three minutes 57.07 seconds to erase the previous record of four minutes 09.27 seconds set by Edwin Allen in 2017.

Second-place Spaldings High (4:02.80) and third-place Edwin Allen (4:06.43) also bettered the previous record.

The boys' equivalent was also won in meet record with St Jago crossing the line in  three minutes 29.46 seconds to better the previous mark of  three minutes 30.39 seconds the school set in  2016.

The Digicel Grand Prix 200 metres produced four record runs.

Edwin Allen High top sprinter Kevona Davis romped the Girls' Class 2 200 metres in 23.61 to erase the previous record of 23.99 seconds she set in the preliminary round when erasing 24.30 set in 2017 by Vere Technical's star Britany Anderson.

Holmwood Technical's Michae Harriott accounted for the Girls' Class 1 200 metre meet record, winning the event in 23.56 to erase the previous mark of 23.83 set in 2016 by her teammate Ashley Williams.

St Jago High's Javari Thomas smashed the Boys' Class 2 200 metre record with a 21.53 clocking to erase the previous mark of 21.97 recorded by his teammate Kavian Kerr in the preliminary round.

Clarendon College's Rajay Morris (21.63) and St Jago's Kavian Kerr (21.96), finished second and third, to also better the previous mark.

Richard Nelson of Clarendon College accounted for the Class 3 200 metre record, winning the final in 23.11 to erase the previous mark of 23.37 set in 2016 by Glenmur High's Zidane Brown.

In the Digicel Grand Prix 400 metre event, Vere Technical's Nickesha Pryce took the Girls' Class 2 final in 54.00 seconds, must faster than the previous record of 54.99 set in 2016 by Sanique Walker.

Second-place Hydel High's Garriel White (54.48) and third place Holmwood Technical's Daniella Deer (54.97) also erase the previous mark.

In the Digicel Grand Prix 100 metres, Edwin Allen High's Tia Clayton powered home to easily win the Girls' Class 3 final in a record 11.83 seconds to beat Saskieka Steele, who clocked 11.97, which equalled the previous mark established by Ray-donna Lee in 2015.

In the Digicel Grand Prix Boys' Class 2 long jump, St Jago's High Kavion Kerr produced a record effort of 6.89 metre to easily win the final. The previous record of 6.50 metres was held by Ryan Brown of Old Harbour High in 2015.

Apart from Javari Thomas' meet record run in the  Boys' Class 2 200 metre, St Jago High also featured in four other new marks on their way to retain the championship title.

Those other record moments for St Jago came from Jahvel Granville, Leon Clarke, Corlando Chambers and the Class 2 4x100-metre relay team.

Granville smashed the Boys' Class 2 110-metre hurdles record in the final with a 13.91 clocking, which bettered the previous  mark of 14.27 set in 2017 by his teammate Clinton Simmonds.

Clarke was responsible for the Boys' Class 1 800 metre record again, winning the final in one minute 52.08 seconds to erase his previous mark of one minute 52.46 seconds done in 2017.

Chambers, as expected, smashed the Boys' Class 3 record in the final with a two minutes 02.74 clocking to erase the previous mark of two minutes 06.02 seconds achieved by Spaldings High's Omario Windett in 2017.

Second-place Sean Gardner of Manchester clocked two minutes 05.83 seconds to also erase the previous mark.

St Jago High won the Boys' Class 2 4x100-metre relay in a record 41.43 to better the previous mark of 42.76 set by Bridgeport High in 2017.

MALE - TEAM RANKINGS - 40 EVENTS
1. St Jago High (346.50)
2. Edwin Allen (162)
3. Holmwood Technical (131)
4. Clarendon Collge (95)
5. Manchester High (87)
6. Bridgeport High (81.50)
7. Charlemont High (65)
8. Bellefield High (59)
9. Vere Technical (43)
10. Bog Walk High (40)

FEMALE - TEAM RANKINGS - 45 EVENTS
1. Edwin Allen (412)
2. Holmwood Technical (370.50)
3. Hydel High (314)
4. St Jago High (205)
5. Vere Technical (170)
6. Manchester High (80)
7. Spaldings High (65)
8. St Catherine High (41.50)
9. Bellefield High (15)
10. Clarendon College (10).

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 Digicel Grand Prix events are the 100m, 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles, 800m, 4x400m and medley relays, as well as long jump, high jump and discus.

For the Grand Prix Series, athletes are placed in two age categories. For the males (Class 1 athletes compete in one age category, while Class 2 and Class 3 athletes complete 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.

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. 

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.

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