Monday 30 March, 2020

Edwin Allen, St Jago take lead at Central Athletics Championships

Defending champions Edwin Allen High and St Jago High have surged into the lead heading into Wednesday's second and final day of the 2020 Central Athletics Championships at the GC Foster College in Spanish Town.

Edwin Allen High are leading the girls' championship after Tuesday's opening day with 108.5  points after 12 finals scored, 5.5  points ahead of second-place St Jago High (103 points), while Hydel High are in third place on 79 points. Holmwood Technical (53 points) and Vere Technical (34.5 points) complete the top five.

St Jago High have tallied 112 points in the boys' championship after 11 finals scored, a 64-point lead over second-place Edwin Allen on 48 points, while Bridgeport High are third on 34 points. Knox College (34 points) and Jonathan Grant High (22 points) complete the top five.

Seven meet records were broken and one equalled on the day. Three of the meet records in addition to the one that was equalled came in finals.

The meet records, which came in finals were the Girls’ Class 3 1500m, the Boys’ Class 1 high jump and the Boys’ Class 2 1500m.  The Boys’ Class 2 high jump record was equalled in the final.

Edwin Allen’s Rickeisha Simms broke the Girls’ Class 3 1500m meet record. Simms outclassed her rivals to win in 4:44.75 to lower the previous record of 4:45.34 set in 2017 by  Aneisha Lawrence of Bellefield High School.

St Jago High’s Nekeisha Henry was well beaten into second-place in 4:51.01, while Holmwood Technical’s Cindy Rose finished third in 4:55.92.

St Jago High were responsible for another meet record in a final through Demar Marshall who won the Boys’ Class 1 high jump by clearing 2.09m to surpass the previous mark of 2.05m set in 2017 by his teammate Lushane Wilson.

Kimarley Cooper of Vere Technical, Kymani Thomas of St Jago High and Odane Smith of Edwin Allen High, all cleared 1.90m for second, third and fourth places.

St Jago High’s Tafar-Hi Hinds scored an impressive victory in the Boys’ Class 2 1500m. He dismantled the field in 4:13.70 to erase the previous meet record of 4:14.44 set in 2016 by his teammate Renardo Johnson.

It was a one-two finish for St Jago High as Corlando Chambers finish second, well beaten with a time of 4:21.22, while Tavaughn Martin on Bellefield High ended third in 4:22.10.

Jordan Richards of Manchester won the Boys’ Class 2 high jump with an effort of 1.90m to equal the previous meet record held jointly by  St Jago High athletes  Damar Marshall (2016) and Kymani Thomas (2018).

St Jago High’s Demario Prince cleared 1.85m for second place, while Andrew Simpson finished third with an effort of 1.70m.

The remaining meet record came in the preliminary rounds of the Girls’ Class 2 100m, the Girls’ Class 1 100m, the Boys’ Class 1 100m and the Boys’ Class 2 400m hurdles

Brandy Hall of Edwin Allen High won her preliminary round heat of the Girls' Class 2 100m in 11.46 seconds to erase the previous meet record of 11.58 set in 2019 by Saskieka Steele of Holmwood Technical.

The previous record-holder Steele (11.50) and Edwin Allen’s Tia Clayton (11.55) also dip below the record.

Kayla Bonnick of St Jago High won her heat of the Girls’ Class 1 100m in 11.64 to erase the previous meet record of 11.72 held jointly by Vere Technical’s Rene Medley (2015) and Shurria Henry (2019).

Javari Thomas of St Jago won his preliminary round heat of the Boys’ Class 1 100m in 10.52 seconds to erase the previous meet record of 10.58 set in 2018 by Odane McPherson of Greater Portmore High.

Thomas’ teammate Jamar Treasure also dip below the previous meet record with a 10.54-second clocking.

Jaheene Bell of St Jago High won his preliminary round heat of the Boys’ Class 2 400m hurdles in 55.90 to erase the previous meet record of 56.11 set in 2017 by Shamar Brown.

Meanwhile, the eagerly awaited clash between impressive Class 1 sprinters Ashanti Moore of Hydel High and Kevona Davis from Edwin Allen High will not take place at the championship.

Moore was missing from the 100m and 200m events. Davis only completed in the 200m and easily qualified for Wednesday's final in 23.59 seconds, the fastest qualifying time. Kishawna Wallace of Holmwood with 24.48 is the second-fastest going into the final.

Central Championships is the third of four regional qualifying meets for the March 14 Digicel Grand Prix finale - the G C Foster Classics with over $5 million in prizes.

The other qualifying meets are Western Championships and the Digicel/Anthrick Corporate Area Championships,  which took place last Saturday at GC Foster College and the National Stadium, respectively and  Eastern Championships, which will take place from February 24 to 25 at the National Stadium.

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.

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