Sunday 12 July, 2020

Digicel Grand Prix: Edwin Allen, St Jago take charge at Central Champs

Defending champions Edwin Allen and St Jago High were holding comfortable leads at the end of the opening day of the two-day Central Championships, the fourth regional meet of the 2018 Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship,  at G C Foster College in Spanish Town on Tuesday.

Edwin Allen are leading the girls' championship with 134 points after 11 finals scored, 66 ahead of second place Holmwood Technical High (68 points), while Hydel High are in third place on 61 points.

St Jago High have tallied 90 points in the boys' championship after 11, a 65-point lead over second-place Edwin Allen on 25 points, while Holmwood Technical are third on 24 points.

In the combined team scores, Edwin Allen have tallied 159 points to hold  a 26-point lead over St Jago High in second place on 133 points and Holmwood Technical in third on 92 points.

On their way to the comfortable lead in the girls' championship, Edwin Allen won six finals, two of which ended in new meet records.

Ten records were broken on the day.

The Frankfield-based school produced its record performances in the Girls' Class 2 high jump, one of the 10 Digicel Grand Prix events, and the Girls' Class Class 11500-metre final.

Janique Burgher cleared 1.82 metres to win the Girls' Class 2 high jump, a performance that erased the previous record of 1.75 metres done by Lamara Distin in 2016 and 2017.

Vere Technical's Thaila Wilson finished second with an effort of 1.75 metres, which equalled the previous mark.

The other Edwin Allen jumper - Abigale Mullings - finished third with an effort of 1.70 metres.

In the Girls' Class 1 1500-metre final, Edwin Allen's Kara Grant destroyed the field to win unchallenged in four minutes 34.12 seconds, a time that erased the previous mark of four minutes 38.71 recorded by Chrissani May in 2017.

Brianna Watt, Paula-Ann Chambers, Ackeila Smith and Rushana Dwyer won the other finals for Edwin Allen.

Watt took the Girls' Class 4 high jump, another of the Digicel Grand Prix event, with a  leap of 5.15 metres; Chambers won the Class 3 long jump, a Digicel Grand Prix event,  with 5.58 metres; Smith led home a 1-2 finish for Edwin Allen in the triple jump open with 1.99 metres; while Dwyer won the Class 3 1500 metres, a time final,  in four minutes 53.32 seconds.

St Jago High also won six finals, four of which came in new record times.

 Lushane Wilson, Romario Jackson, Roje Stone and Corlando Chambers were responsible for the new record times, while Kymani Thomas equalled a record.

Wilson won the Boys Class 1 high jump, a Digicel Grand Prix event, by clearing 2.16 metres to better the previous mark of 2.05 he held with Romario Douglas.

Wilson equalled the record in 2017 a year after Douglas set the mark. 

It was a 1-2 finish for St Jago as Tony Haughton cleared 2.00 metres to finish second.

Jackson took the Boys' Class 2 discus throw, a Digicel Grand Prix event, with an effort of 50.58 metres to erase the previous record of 43.90 set by Rajeev Meredith in 2015. Tristan Campbell of Bridgeport High finished second with 45.26 metres, which also bettered the previous mark.

Stone outclassed his rivals to defend his Class 1 discus throw  title with 61.71 meres, well ahead of the previous record of 54.97 metres he set in 2017.

Chavar Williams finished second with a throw of 41.72 metres.

Chambers proved a cut above his rivals to take the Boys' Class 3 1500-metre, a time final, in four minutes 26.67 metres to better the previous record of four minutes 37.25 seconds done by Henry Nelson in 2016.

Thomas won the Boys' Class 2 high jump with 1.90 metres to equal the mark set  by Damar Marshall in 2016.

At the end of the meet, there will be cash prizes for the top three schools (boys and girls). First place is guaranteed $250,000, with second getting $100,000 and third place, $50,000. In addition, the Champion Boy and Champion Girl  at the meet will get $25,000 each.

The second and final day on Wednesday is scheduled to start at 8:00 am, 30 minutes earlier to facilitate the sprint relays, along with the sprint medley and the 4x400-metre open relays, which did not take place as planned on Tuesday as a result of time.

1. Edwin Allen (134)
2. Holmwood Technical (68)
3. Hydel (61)
4. Vere Technical (47)
5. St Jago (43)
6. Spalding High (14)
7. Manchester High (10)
8. St Catherine High (7)
8. Bellefield High (7)
10. Clarendon College (5)
11. Knox College (4)
12. Dinthill Technical (1)

1. St Jago High (90)
2. Edwin Allen High (25)
3. Holmwood Technical (24)
4. Christiana High (20)
5. Clarendon College (19)
6. Manchester High (14)
7. Bridgeport High (11)
8. Charlemont High (9)
8 May Day High (9)
10 Tacius Golding High (8)
11. Bellefield High (7)
12. Jonathan Grant High (6)
12. Central High (6)
14. Ewarton High (4)
15. Dinthill High (3)
15. Knox College (3)
17. Belair High (2)
17.Winston Jones High (2)

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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