Thursday 28 May, 2020

Digicel Grand Prix: Western Champs gets into high gear on Saturday

The 2019 track and field season continues on Saturday as the Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship takes the spotlight with the final day of the three-day County of Cornwall Athletics Association/Digicel Western Championships at St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS).

Action starts at 12:00 pm.

Western Championships is the first regional meet of the Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship.

After two days of action at Herbert Morrison Technical High School in Montego Bay on Tuesday and Rusea's High in Lucea on Thursday, two-time defending champions Rusea’s High and Petersfield High are leading the girls and boys’ standings.

Rusea's High hold a 23-point lead in the girls' championship heading into Saturday's final day, while  Petersfield High take a slim 8.5-point lead among the boys.

Rusea's High are leading with 91 points after nine completed finals in the girls’ elimination on Thursday with St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) in second-place on 68. Petersfield High (49), Manning’s School (47) and Mt Alvernia High (36) complete the top five.

Petersfield, which are seeking their first title, have amassed 99.50 points following 11 completed finals in the boys’ elimination on Tuesday. Defending champions STETHS are in second place on 91 points with Cornwall College in third on 74.

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.

The Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship has attracted cash prizes.

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.

Calabar High and Edwin Allen are the defending boys and girls' champions of the Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship.

Two other track and field meets are scheduled for Saturday. Those are the S.W. Isaac-Henry Invitational at the National Stadium and Ben Francis Invitational at Vere Technical High School.


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