Friday 19 July, 2019

Digicel Grand Prix: KC, XLCR surge into lead at Corporate Area Champs

Kingston College (KC) and two-time defending girls' champions Excelsior High have taken the early lead at the 2019 Corporate Area Championship, the fourth and final regional meet of the Digicel Grand Prix Series on Friday at the National Stadium.

KC ended the first day on 70 points, a 13-point lead over second-place Jamaica College (JC) on 57 points in the boys' teams score after six finals scored. Defending champions Calabar High (49), Wolmer's High (17) and Excelsior High (16) complete the top five.

In the girls' section, Excelsior High finished on 92 points, leading second-place Immaculate Conception High (48 points) by 44 points after 11 finals scored. St Andrew High (45), The Queen's School (44) and Camperdown High (41) round off the top five.

The opening day produced 14 meet records, which comprised six on the track and eight in the field.

Calabar High's Rivaldo Marshall, Jamaica Colleges' J'Voughnn Blake and Christopher Scott, Kingston College's Jaquan Coke and Convent of Mercy Academy's Shenell Tucker were among those who accounted for the records on the track.

Marshall accounted for the first meet record by posting 3:56.13 to easily win the Boys' Class 1 1500m final. Marshall's 3:56.13 erased the previous meet record of 4:01.11 set by KC's Kristoff Darby in 2017.

Kevroy Venson (3:58.83) made it a 1-2 finish for Calabar High, while KC's Tarees Rhoden (3:59.12) finished third. Both Venson and Rhoden also dipped under the previous meet record. Fourth-place Fabian Campbell (4:00.75) also improved on the previous meet record.

Blake won the Boys' Class 2 1500m final in 3:56.43 to erase the previous meet record of 3:59.59 set by KC's Aryamanya Rodgers in 2017.

Twin brothers Gianni Henry (4:03.50) and Giovounni Henry (4:05.52) of KC finished second and third.

Coke smashed the Boys' Class 3 1500m, winning the event in 4:22.63 to surpass the previous meet record of 4:24.29 set by Calabar High's Kewarny Fletcher in 2018. JC's Kemarrio Bygrave finished second in 4:23.80, a time which also bettered the previous meet record. KC's Darnel Edwards crossed the line third in 4:26.36.

Tucker won Heat 2 of the Girls' 400m hurdles open in 1:02.97 to erase the previous record of 1:03.23 set by Michka Mae Hyde of St Andrew High in 2018.

Scott won his preliminary round heat of the Boys' Class 3 100m in 11.13 to improve the previous meet record of 11.21 done by KC's Nkrumie Bouwahgie in 2018.

Jamaica's World Under-20 discus champion Kai Chang was among the athletes who produced meet record in the field.

The Calabar High student easily won the Boys' Class 1 discus throw with an effort of 58.91m to surpass the previous meet record of 57.03m he set in 2018. It was a 1-2 finish for Calabar as Zackery Dillion finished second with an effort of 47.51, while KC's Tahj Mullings finished third with 46.86.

KC also logged a 1-2 finish in the field with Ralford Mullings taking the Boys' Class 2 discus throw with a new meet record throw of 54.37m, well ahead of teammate Kyle-mykal Stones with 38.79m. Mullings had the previous meet record of 50.38m which he recorded in 2018.

Immaculate Conception and Excelsior also produced 1-2 finishes in the field.

Immaculate Conception's 1-2 finish came in the Girls' Class 4 long jump where Jounee Armstrong won with a new meet record jump of 5.85m, beating Lori Choy (5.22m).

Shantae Foreman and Daniel Hinds handed Excelsior High a 1-2 finish in the Girls' Class 2 high jump. Foreman cleared 1.75m for the victory to erase the previous meet record of 1.70m. Hinds cleared 1.70m for her second-place finish.

Calabar High and Excelsior High easily won the boys and girls' titles last year.

In topping the male team scores last season Calabar High, in the process, dethroned the 2017 champions Kingston College, while it was back-to-back titles for Excelsior High.

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 four regional meets act as qualifiers for the Grand Finale/GC Foster Classics on Saturday, 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 events from the four regional meets will be joined by the next four best to compete in the Grand Prix Finale.

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