St Mary High and Buff Bay High rule at Eastern Athletics Championships
The combination of photos show athletes from Kingston College (left) and Hydel High displaying their symbolic cheques after the schools won the fifth staging of the Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championships on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at GC Foster College. The 2020 staging will take place on March 14.
St Mary High and Buff Bay High won the girls and boys’ titles at the Eastern Athletics Championships at the National Stadium on Tuesday.
Highgate-based St Mary High proved a cut above rivals to easily defend their girls’ title by 105.50 points, while after a ding-dong battle on the final day Buff Bay High dethroned St Mary High by a point in the boys’ championship.
St Mary High, which entered the second and final day with a slim 3.5-point lead over Buff Bay High, totally dominated the day on their way to win the girls’ title with 407 points. Buff Bay High, just like last year, were well beaten into second place on 301.50 points, while Oberlin High finished third on 198 points. Titchfield High (171.50 points) and Glengoffe High School (121 points) complete the top five in the girls’ championship.
In the boys’ championship, St Mary High also entered the final day with a very slim lead but just failed to stave off Buff Bay, which they had dethroned by 31 points in 2019.
The St Mary High boys entered the final event, the 4x400m relay, with a six-point lead ahead of Buff Bay High. However, Buff Bay High won the event in 3:25.63 to pick up 12 points to end the championship with 245 points. St Mary High were relegated to fifth place in 3:31.01 for five points to lose the championship by a point. Titchfield High were well beaten into third place with 148 points. Port Antonio High (115 points) and St Thomas Technical High (111 points) round off the top five in the boys’ race.
The two-day championship produced eight new meet records, while one was equalled.
St Mary High’s Abigail Schaafe had an outstanding championship with two meet records
Schaafe’s meet records came in the Girls’ Class 1 800m and Girls’ 400m hurdles open
In the Girls’ Class 1 800m final, Schaafe won easily in 2:16.48 to better the previous meet record of 2:16.59 set by her schoolmate Titania Markland in 2013. Latasha Hall was well beaten into second place in 2:19.50 to round off a one-two finish for St Mary High. Oberlin’s Brittanique Ashman was a distant behind in third with a 2:37.68 clocking
Schaafe for the second time outclassed rivals, this time in the Girls’ 400m hurdles open in 1:01.18 to beat the meet record 1:02.24 she set last year. Buff Bay High’s Jamera Scott (1:07.30) and Titchfield High’s Kayleigh Shelton (1:07.89) finished second and third, respectively.
St Mary High girls produced two other meet records through Stone Walters and the Class 3 4x100m relay team.
Walters took the Girls’ Class 2 1500m very easily in 4:56.88 to surpass the previous meet record of 4:59.91 set by Oberlin High’s Margaret Mckay in 2012. Buff Bay High’s Kaiesha Samuels (5:25.72) and Oberlin High’s Daneil Aldridge (5:37.60) finished second and third, respectively.
In the Girls’ Class 3 4x100m relay, St Mary High shattered the meet record in the preliminary round with a 48.02-clocking to beat the previous mark of 48.50 they set in 2018. The quartet returned to easily win the final in 48.10, again beating the previous meet record.
St Mary High girls also produced the one meet record that was equalled.
Cordaelia Williams equalled the Girls’ Class 2 high jump meet record of 1.65m to easily beat Buff Bay High’s Jamara Scott (1.60m) and Oberlin High’s Bianca Samuels (1.55m), who won the event in 2019 when equalling the 1.65m set in 2011 by Oberlin’s Shanice Lee.
Buff Bay High’s Raymond Richards also had an outstanding championship with two victories and a second-place finish.
One of Richards’ two victories came in meet record. He won the Boys’ javelin throw open with an effort of 52.33m to easily beat Oberlin High’s Javian Edwards, whose effort of 49.77m also bettered the previous meet record of 49.14m set by Shavian McFarlane in 2018.
Richards’ other victory came in the Class 1 high jump with a 2.00m effort to beat St Thomas Technical’s Orian Forrest (1.95m).
He followed up with a second-place finish in the Class 1 triple jump with an effort of 14.42m, just behind Titchfield High’s Jeremy Hibbert who won with 14.63m.
The other meet records went to Shatoy Chambers and Bianca Samuels, both of Oberlin High, and Racquil Broderick of St Mary High.
Chambers won the Girls’ Class 1 discus throw in a meet record 39.83m to surpass the previous mark of 38.35 set by Shantel Reid of Happy Grove in 2011. It was a one-two finish for Oberlin High as Talleen Gordon finished second with 36.56m, while Kielia Guthrie of St Mary High ended third with 27.80m.
Samuels won the Girls’ Class 2 discus throw with an effort of 35.47m to beat the previous meet record of 34.53m set by Chavanese Burke in 2013. Buff Bay High’s Jahdel Vassell (34.09m) and Titchfield High’s Jameilia Jones (33.90) finished second and third, respectively.
Broderick took the Boys’ Class 2 discus throw with 51.23m to better the previous meet record of 48.02m set last year by Shamar Reid.
St Mary High girls swept the 100m events with one-two finishes in Classes 4 and 3. They also won all classes in the 4x100m relays.
St Mary High boys won two of the three classes in the 4x100m relays.
Shantae Pryce was the standout for St Mary High girls in the sprint events by copping the Class 3 100m-200m double.
Pryce scored an easy victory in the 100m final. She clocked 12.19 seconds for the victory, well ahead of her teammate Tyra Taylor (12.46). Earlier, Pryce took the 200m in 25.49 seconds, beating Titchfield High’s Chevauna Grant (25.93) and Taylor (25.98).
De'Jhaun Strachan of Titchfield High took the Boys’ Class 2 sprint double. Strachan won the 100m in 11.02 and the 200m in 22.75.
Kenoy Francis of Bull Bay High dipped below the 11-second barrier by winning the Boys’ Class 1 100m in 10.98 seconds.
Eastern Athletics Championships is fourth and final regional qualifying meet for the March 14 Digicel Grand Prix finale - the G C Foster Classics - with over $5 million in prizes.
St Elizabeth Technical High School boys and Rusea's High girls defended their respective titles at Western Championships, Kingston College boys and Excelsior High girls also defended their respective titles at the Corporate Area Championships, while St Jago High boys and Edwin Allen High girls ruled again at Central Athletics Championships.
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.
One again, 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.
KC and Hydel High are the reigning boys and girls' champions of the Digicel Grand Prix Championships, which is now in its sixth year.