Saturday 25 January, 2020

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

Defending champions Edwin Allen and St Jago have surged into the leads heading into Wednesday's second and final day of the 2019 Digicel Central Athletics Championships at the GC Foster College in Spanish Town.

Central Championships is the second of four regional meets of the 2019 Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship.

Edwin Allen are leading the girls' championship with 120.50 points after 12 finals scored, 47.5 ahead of second place Hydel High (73 points), while St Jago High are in third place on 70 points. Holmwood Technical (69) and Vere Technical (37) complete the top five.

St Jago High have tallied 120 points in the boys' championship after 12 finals, a 41.5 lead over second-place Edwin Allen on 78.50 points, while Bellefield High are third on 45 points. Enid Bennett High (22) and Charlemont High (20) complete the top five.

Fourteen meet records were broken on the day with Christopher Young of Edwin Allen High accounting for two of them.

Young's first record came in the Boys' Class 2 shot put where he produced a big throw of 17.57m to erase the previous mark of 14.85m recorded by Glenmuir High's Zico Campbell in 2015. It was a one-two finish for Edwin Allen High on the day as Trevor Gunzell got second, well beaten with an effort 14.36m.

Young returned later to take the Boys' Class 2 discus throw title in a meet record 52.26m, again beating his teammate Gunzell (45.16m) into second place.

Young's 52.26m erased the previous mark of 50.58 recorded by St Jago High's Romario Jackson in 2018.

Edwin Allen, which will be seeking their sixth straight girls' title at the upcoming ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships at the National Stadium, were responsible for two records.

Aneisha Ingram and Tia Clayton produced the meet records for Edwin Allen girls.

Ingram shattered the 2000m steeplechase open record she set in 2018.  Ingram completed the course in 6:59.79 well ahead of her previous record of 7:09.88.

Jameaka Mannings (7:13.32) of St Jago High and Samantha Pryce (7:16.79) of Holmwood Technical finished second and third.

Tia Clayton continued her impressive form this season by winning her preliminary round heat of the Girls' Class 3 100m in 11.70 seconds to erase the previous meet record of 11.78 set by St Jago High's Brianna Lyston in 2018.

Holywood Technical's Saskieka Steele also produced a 100m record in the preliminary round. Steele won her heat of the Girls' Class 2 short sprint in 11.58 to erase Edwin Allen High's Aaliyah Hopkins 2015 record of 11.75.

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 G.C. Foster Classic on Saturday, March 16.

The other two regional meets are:

* Eastern Championship (Monday, March 4 & Tuesday, March 5) at the National Stadium
* Corporate Area Development Meet (Friday, March 8 & Saturday, March 9) at the National Stadium

The four regional meets act as qualifiers for the Grand Finale/GC Foster Classics on March 16.

The Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship comprises 10 events. The events are the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, long jump, high jump, discus, 4x400m, medley relay and 400m hurdles.

For the Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship, 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 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/GC Foster Classics. 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.



Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: