Digicel Grand Prix: STETHS, Rusea’s defend titles at Western Champs
Digicel's Regional Communications Manager, Elon Parkinson (left) celebrates with athletes from Rusea's High after the schools retained its girls' title at the Digicel Western Championships, at STETHS on Saturday, February 17, 2019.
St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) and Rusea's High retained their boys and girls' titles at Western Championships, the first of four regional meets of the 2019 Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship, on Saturday at STETHS.
After three days of action at different venues, both schools easily won the respective titles - STETHS winning by 130.5 points and Rusea's High by 137 for their third-straight title.
Rusea's High, which won 18 of the 44 finals including one-two finishes in six of them, compiled 411 points to top the female team scores, while Petersfield High finished second with 274 points. Rusea's 18 victories in finals include seven from the 10 Digicel Grand Prix events.
Digicel's Regional Communications Manager, Elon Parkinson (left) celebrates with athletes from STETHS after the schools retained its boys' title at the Digicel Western Championships.
STETHS tallied 424 points to top the boys' championship. On their way to the title, the Malvern-based school won 15 of the 50 finals, including four one-two finishes and seven of the 10 Digicel Gand Prix events. Petersfield High finished second with 293.50 for the runners-up spot again.
Digicel presented cash prizes to the top three finishers (boys and girls). STETHS and Rusea's High were each presented with $250,000 for winning the boys and girls' titles.
Petersfield High (boys and girls) walked away with $100,000 each for second place finishes, while Cornwall College (boys) and STETHS (girls) received $50,000 each for third place finishes.
Saturday’s final day was highlighted by two female hurdles records and four sprint double winners.
STETHS’ Habiba Harris produced the first meet record run on the day in the Girls’ Class 4 70m hurdles.
Harris easily won the event in 10.86 seconds, just under the 10.89 set in 2014 by her older sister Winsome Harris, also of STETHS.
Vernez Nelson (11.20) of Aberdeen High was well beaten into second place, while Britney Powell of STETHS finished third in 11.26.
IAAF World Under-18 and Under-20 representative, Shaquena Foote of Petersfield High proved a cut above rivals on her way to record the day's other new mark in the Girls’ 400m hurdles open, a Digicel Grand Prix event.
Foote took the event in 59.95 seconds to shatter the previous record time of 1.02.67, which was also held by Winsome Harris. The STETHS hurdler set the record last year at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.
It was a 1-2 finish for Petersfield High as Hisheeno Stewart finished well behind into second place in 1:02.06 and also dipped under Winsome Harris’ previous record time.
Terice Steen of Rusea’s High finished third in 1:02.53, which also bettered the 2018 record.
The Girls’ 400m hurdles open closed a double for Foote, who had earlier won the Class 1 800m in 2:10.29, well clear of STETHS' Shadae Findley (2:18.85) and Petersfield High's Briana Reid (2:21.04).
Despite seeing her two hurdles records broken, Winsome Harris took the Girls' Class 1 100m hurdles title by a wide margin, clocking 14.54 second for the victory. The Rusea's High pair of Aliesha Mason (18.81) and Savanah Muir (20.23) finished second and third.
The sprint double champions were Ockeya Myrie of Petersfield High, who easily defended her Class 1 titles, Carleta Bernard of Mt Alvernia High, Deandre Daley of Herbert Morrison and Geomar Russell of Green Island High.
Myrie won the Girls’ Class 1 100-200 double. Myrie easily took the 100m in 11.95 seconds to beat Haye Lasawn (12.33) of Rusea’s High and then returned to win the 200m in 23.81, again beating Lasawn (24.94) into second place.
Bernard landed the Girls’ Class 3 100-200 double. Bernard won the 100m in 12.13 beating Alexis James (12.34) of Petersfield High and later in the afternoon took the 200m in 24.46 while Crystal Chambers of Rusea’s High finished second in 24.77.
Daley ruled in the Boys’ Class 3 100 and 200 finals. Daley took the 100m in 11.53 beating Farel Lewis (11.93) of Petersfield High into second and in the 200m he clocked 23.48 for the victory while Shamani Whyte (23.80) of Rhodes Hall High finished second.
Russell took the Boys’ Class 4 100-200 double. Russell won the 100 in 11.96 and the 200m in 24.29.
MEN - TEAM RANKINGS - 50 EVENTS SCORED
Petersfield High (293.50)
Cornwall College (252.50)
Rusea’s High (141.83)
Herbert Morrison Technical (123)
Lacovia High (89)
Green Island High (80)
Sydney Pagon Agricultural (62)
Munro College (56.50)
Lewisville High (47)
WOMEN - TEAM RANKINGS - 44 EVENTS SCORED
Rusea’s High (411)
Petersfield High (273)
Manning’s School (146)
Mt Alvernia High (110)
Lewisville High (44)
Irwin High (32)
Lacovia High (31)
Merlene Ottey High (30)
Rhodes Hall High (28)
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 three regional meets are:
* Central Championship (Tuesday, February 26 & Wednesday, February 27) at G C Foster College
* 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.