KC, Edwin Allen win 2019 Champs titles
The combination of pictures show Don Wehby, CEO of the GraceKennedy Group, presenting the championship trophies to Kingston College (left) and Edwin Allen High after they won the respective titles at the 2019 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships at the National Stadium, on Saturday, March 30, 2019.
Kingston College (KC) and Edwin Allen High on Saturday night won the respective titles at the 2019 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls' Athletics Championships at the National Stadium.
North Street-based KC scored a runaway victory over Calabar to win by all of 82.5 points, but Edwin Allen High had to survive a strong challenge from Hydel High throughout the final day before securing a seven-point victory.
KC, which entered the fifth and final day on 180 points, 40 ahead of second–place Calabar High, ended the championships with a record 395.50 points after the 42 finals were scored to dethrone the seven-time defending champion and won their first title since 2009 and 32 overall.
Calabar ended with 313 points. Jamaica College (232.50), St Jago High (106.50), St Elizabeth Technical High School (90), Wolmer's Boys (80), Petersfield High (51), Bellefield High (40), Edwin Allen High (39) and Rusea's High (35) complete the top 10.
The track and field title came four months after KC defeated North Street neighbours St George's College 3-2 in a dramatic ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup final, at the National Stadium to win urban area biggest schoolboy football prize for the first time in 32 years.
Edwin Allen High, which entered the final day on 150 points, 63 ahead of Hydel High in second place, took the girls' championships with 291 points after the 46 finals were scored for their sixth straight victory and seventh overall. Hydel High scored 284 points for their second place.
Holmwood Technical (220), St Jago High (207) and Rusea's High (84), Immaculate Conception High School (81), Excelsior (80), Vere Technical (64), Spaldings High (51) and St Catherine High (44) complete the top 10.
KC secured the Mortimer Geddes trophy long before the relays and even delivered an unexpected victory by taking the Boys' Class 1 4x100m relay final in 39.98 seconds. Calabar High, with Michael Stephens on the anchor leg, finished second in 40.15.
The victory handed Wayne Pinnock, who ran the opening leg of the Boys' Class 1 4x100m relay, three gold medals.
Pinnock on Wednesday won the Boys' Class 1 long jump and earlier on Saturday scored an impressive victory in the 110m hurdles, the two coming in record-breaking fashion.
Pinnock, after leaping a record 8.05m on Wednesday, returned to face a crack field of hurdlers, including the Champs record holder, Dejour Russell of Calabar, who was running just his second race of the season.
Pinnock clocked a stunning 13.06 seconds to break Russell’s 2018 record of 13.10, finishing ahead of teammate Akeem Cargill, 13.28, and Rasheed Broadbell of St Jago High, 13.33.
Russell was fourth in 13.43 seconds.
KC also scored big points in the Class 3 100m hurdles courtesy of a 1-2 finish. Ra'john Gray won in 13.17, just ahead of his teammate Amontae Wray (13.18).
St Jago High had a 1-2 finish in the Class 2 110m hurdles. Vashaun Vascianna smashed the record of 13.35 he set last year to clock 13.26 seconds. Jahvel Granville was well beaten into second place in 13.43.
In one of the most anticipated events at the championships, Calabar High’s Kimar Farquharson smashed the 32-year meet record in the Boys’ Class 1 800m.
In a thrilling finish, Farquharson outbattled the gold medal favourite Tyrice Taylor of Enid Bennett High and Tarees Rhoden, the KC captain, to cross the line in 1:48.67 and erased the previous mark of 1:48.84 set by Vere Technical’s Sherwin Burgess in 1987.
Tyrice Taylor clocked 1:48.91 for second place and Rhoden crossed the line in 1:51.59 for third.
A record run was highly expected after Tyrice Taylor turned back a strong field at the Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championships on March 16 to clock an impressive 1:48.85 seconds, a time which was just one-hundredth of a second outside of the Champs record.
Earlier, Jeremy Farr of Wolmer's Boys' School handed Christopher Taylor of Calabar High his first defeat over 400m at the championships.
Farr, who was the gold medal favourite following the semi-finals, came with a strong stretch run to split the Calabar pair of Taylor and Evaldo Whitehorne on his way to register a big personal best 45.65.
Christopher Taylor, the Class 2 and Class 3 record holder at Champs, held on for second in 46.38, while Whitehorne finished third in 46.54.
Following his 400m defeat, Christopher Taylor - who was expected to give Calabar High big points in the championships but was obviously not at his best - did not show up for the Boys' Class 1 200m final, a sign that the school, trailing by 92 points at that stage, had conceded defeat.
The defeat of Christopher Taylor in the 400m came just over a week after the school’s Physics teacher Sanjaye Shaw had stated that he had formally reported to the police a December 15, 2018, alleged assault by the top sprinter and De'Jour Russell.
Shaw, who heads Calabar's Physics department, stated at a Press Conference that “Christopher Taylor proceeded to drape mi up and let me know dat it's 'track man' run the school."
The teacher reported that Russell knocked his phone from his hand and stomped on it. The revelation of the assault led to widespread calls for the school to pull its two biggest stars from the championships. But the school did not budge
Xavier Naire of Wolmer's Boys went on to win the Boys' Class 1 200m in impressive form, clocking 20.91 to beat KC's Jevaughn J Powell, Clarendon College's Rajay Morris and JC's Ryiem Roberson, all credited with 21.02 seconds. Only six runners took part as Antonio Watson from Petersfield High, just like Christopher Taylor, was absent.
In the Boys' 4x400m open - the final event of the championships - Excelsior surprised KC to take the gold medal in 3:10.95. KC held on for second in 3:12.08, while Holmwood Technical came home third in 3:12.15.
Earlier, Oneika Mcannuff of Hydel High and Akeem Weir of KC joined Pinnock in registering big personal best times over 400m on their way to gold medals.
Mcannuff outbattled Rickiann Russell of Holmwood Technical in the straight and then pulled away for the victory in a personal best 53.01 in the Girls' Class 3 400m. Russell crossed the line in 53.88. Clarendon College's Dejanea Oakley finished third in 54.09.
And Weir staved off a strong and determined challenge from Deshaun Gordon of Charlemont High to take victory in the Boys' Class 3 400m in a personal best 50.49. Gordon clocked 50.66 for his second place, while Jasauna Dennis of St Elizabeth Technical High School finished third in 51.15.
Also in the boys' section, Calabar (3:24.81) upstaged KC (3:25.77) to win the Sprint Medley Open and in addition to victory in the Boys' Class 1 4x100m relay, KC also won the Class 3 4x100m relay in 43.19, beating Calabar (43.48) and JC (43.69).
Calabar High(41.51) took the Class 2 4x100m relay ahead of Wolmer's High (41.59) and JC (41.71). KC did not finish because of injury to one of their runners.
In the girls' section, Hydel High made things uncomfortable for Edwin Allen High after scoring 32 points in the first three events on the day - the 400m finals - to pull within 31 points after the champions started with a big lead of 63 points.
Hydel came within 13 points of Edwin Allen following the Class 3 long jump, where they earned 14 points, and the Class 1 shot put, where they got three points. Edwin Allen did not have a qualifier in those two finals.
The big lead was further reduced to two after the sprint hurdles where Hydel outscored Edwin Allen 26-15.
Following Mcannuff's easy victory in the Class 3 400m, the first track event on the day, Hydel secured 12 points in the Class 2 400m final and a further nine in the Class 1 final.
The Girls' Class 2 400m final was won by Daniella Deer of Holmwood Technical in 53.30, but Hydel secured the 12 points through Garriel White (53.55), who finished second for seven points and Mickaliliah Vassel (55.65), who finished fourth for five points.
Charokee Young won the Class 1 final in 52.48 seconds to hand Hydel High nine points. Vere Technical High's Nickisha Pryce (53.35) and Holmwood Technical's Kavia Francis (53.95) finished second and third.
Hydel had secured 11 points in the Class 3 final as in addition to Mcannuff's victory for nine points, Dejona Simpson (56.41) finished seventh for two points.
Edwin Allen High did not have a qualifier in any of the three 400m finals.
Hydel High also secured big points in the 800m finals with 18, but Edwin Allen High took 21.
Charokee Young, who had earlier won the Girls' Class 1 400m gold medal, secured the 400-800 double.
The Hydel star took the Class 1 800m final in 2:06.02, beating Peterfield High's Shaquena Foote (2:06.85) and St Mary High's Abigail Schaafe (2:08.83).
Edwin Allen High's Rushana Dwyer won the Class 2 final in 2:14.03, while Kishay Rowe (2:16.46) of Spaldings High took the Class 3 final ahead of Holmwood Technical's Jodyann Mitchell (2:16.90) and Hydel High's Britana Mullings (2:17.06).
Hydel further made things uncomfortable for Edwin Allen in the 200m finals with 24 points, but the champions walked away with 28.
Among the highlights in the 200m finals were Kevona Davis and Tia Clayton, both from Edwin Allen.
Davis, although not at her best, still proved a cut above the field by taking the Class 2 200m in 23.21. The record holder in the event with a time of 22.72, won well ahead of St Jago High's Joanne Reid (23.44) and Holmwood Technical's Sashieka Steele (23.72).
The victory allowed Davis to retain her Class 2 100-200m double. The sprint star had won the 100m the previous night in 11.19 seconds, just outside the record of 11.16 she set last year.
Tia Clayton, who suffered a shocking defeat to her twin sister Tina in the Class 3 100m final on Friday night, returned to take the 200m in 23.44, but it was obvious that Tina, the better of the two at that distance, was not interested in beating her sister again when she realised that St Jago's Brianna Lyston was not closing fast enough to split them.
Tina was only two-hundredths of a second behind her sister for second place in 23.46, while Lyston finished third in 23.73.
“I didn’t expect to win,” said Tia after the race.
“I expected Tina to. I know my sister wanted to win the 200m, but maybe she let me win it so I wouldn’t feel bad, maybe,” a smiling Tia said.
Hydel ended the meet on a high with victory in the 4x400m relay open which handed Charokee Young three gold medals.
Young anchored Hydel to the victory in spectacular style by powering past Holmwood Technical anchor leg runner Daniella Deer, the Class 2 400m champion, to get the victory in 3:34.78.
Holmwood Technical clocked 3:36.09 for second place, while Spaldings High finished third in 3:40.14.